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Soundtraxx offering Bluetooth/DCC/DC sound decoders


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  • 2 weeks later...

Just watched the live session and it looks interesting.

 

Possibility for chip to be fed power by battery dc dcc etc and control by App or dcc system.  The onscreen way to amend settings looks handy.

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George indicated that this is a development of the existing Tsunami2.  He mentioned that there was a slight increase in the size.  

 

No mention about how much range you can get with the controller.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, AMJ said:

He mentioned that there was a slight increase in the size.  

 


I guess to include the Bluetooth receiver. 41.9 x 18.8 x 6.8mm

 

6 minutes ago, AMJ said:

No mention about how much range you can get with the controller.

Going by normal Bluetooth about 10-20ft for reliable control depending what else is interfering. 
 

https://soundtraxx.com/products/blunami/blu-2200 More setup and sound info here. 

Edited by PaulRhB
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10 hours ago, PaulRhB said:


I guess to include the Bluetooth receiver. 41.9 x 18.8 x 6.8mm

 

Going by normal Bluetooth about 10-20ft for reliable control depending what else is interfering. 
 

https://soundtraxx.com/products/blunami/blu-2200 More setup and sound info here. 

Range was one of the questions towards the end of the video. The reply was it’s a different Bluetooth protocol and range was tested at 100ft with full control maintained!

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2 minutes ago, Nigel Emery said:

Range was one of the questions towards the end of the video. The reply was it’s a different Bluetooth protocol and range was tested at 100ft with full control maintained!


It will be interesting to see as my experience with Bluetooth is the range varies considerably depending on other electronics around 😉  My phone will happily contact my Bluetooth speaker from near 100ft out the front of the flat but not from the bedroom less than 15ft away in the opposite direction without regular dropouts. Ok it’s not line of sight but it’s only one plasterboard wall so some other device or appliance must be interfering with the Bluetooth? The phone is the common piece of equipment though so how would the decoder protocol affect it, or is it a continue until another signal bit of programming as available on normal DCC chips? 
We have got reliable wifi control of DCC systems from similar distances but it will be interesting to see if diecast bodies on steam locos affect range too. 

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55 minutes ago, PaulRhB said:


It will be interesting to see as my experience with Bluetooth is the range varies considerably depending on other electronics around 😉  My phone will happily contact my Bluetooth speaker from near 100ft out the front of the flat but not from the bedroom less than 15ft away in the opposite direction without regular dropouts. Ok it’s not line of sight but it’s only one plasterboard wall so some other device or appliance must be interfering with the Bluetooth? The phone is the common piece of equipment though so how would the decoder protocol affect it, or is it a continue until another signal bit of programming as available on normal DCC chips? 
We have got reliable wifi control of DCC systems from similar distances but it will be interesting to see if diecast bodies on steam locos affect range too. 

I have to admit I was surprised by the answer as my experience is similar, I can’t leave my phone in one location and  randomly walk around the house / garden wearing Bluetooth headphones without it dropping out at some point. I know nothing about Bluetooth protocols but the comment about “different” did make me wonder if that is only going to be possible with the latest handsets / iPads. I won’t be an early adaptor as I don’t do sound, I’m tone deaf and to me it all sounds like white noise! I can’t see any reason though why the technology wouldn’t work for basic motor and light control as well.

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The key RE Range/strength/connection-reliability is the difference between "BlueTooth" (the flavour you are used to only surviving 10-20 feet between a phone and BT speaker) and "BlueTooth LE (Low Energy)".

Reccomend reviewing the parent company's info http://bluerailtrains.com/

http://bluerailtrains.com/articles/

 

 

 

Happy Modelling,

Aim to Improve,

Prof Klyzlr

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Would it be possible to use a different BT-enabled controller, such as a home made on? Are the protocols going to be made available?

I prefer a tactile hand-held unit, and also have no need to be using most of the functions most of the time. Happy to use a phone or tablet to change settings, but essentially as I am not into having a large roster, a simple rotary switch for selection, a knob for speed, a forward/reverse switch, and few other buttons to set the “load” (direct control, light engine, medium load, heavy load) and do things like operate a brake, whistle and switch the WAB pump on/off, and I am happy.

 

Something like Geoff Bunza’s home-made controller: Simplified Customisable WiFi Throttle

 

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57 minutes ago, Prof Klyzlr said:

The key RE Range/strength/connection-reliability is the difference between "BlueTooth" (the flavour you are used to only surviving 10-20 feet between a phone and BT speaker) and "BlueTooth LE (Low Energy)".

The change with Bluetooth LE as I understand it is energy consumption though not range, I checked back and three online articles say roughly the same thing. 
Their demo is outside with no other electrical devices and from practical experience normal Bluetooth and wifi have significantly better range in that situation, I can connect to my stereo from 50-100ft away in the park out front of my flat. Conversely I’ve found both Bluetooth and Wifi more limited indoors, especially at a busy show like Warley NEC and it was the multitude of mobile hotspots that caused the issue with DCC wifi, we scanned and saw the peaks as people walked by as one chap had a scanning program on his laptop. On the wifi the phones managed but the commercial handsets struggled because of their lower power to conform to toy regs. 
I’d count a demo in a busy show or convention hall a much fairer demo of Bluetooth range as a result 😉

Because of the exhibition circuit here I’d want locos equipped with it to be capable of running at shows so while I’m already a Tsunami2 user I’d like to see some variety of installs, metal bodied locos etc, demonstrated in a busy mobile electronic environment. 

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One possible key difference will be the amount of data being sent - potentially much easier to get the digital command sent over a weak longer distance signal than the much higher bandwidth audio signal used with headphones.

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Yes lots of possibles but it will be interesting to test it under realistic conditions. I’m hoping to get one to test in my On30 K27 at some stage but with holidays and other due models it may be a while. 

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On 03/08/2022 at 05:39, PaulRhB said:


I guess to include the Bluetooth receiver. 41.9 x 18.8 x 6.8mm

 

Going by normal Bluetooth about 10-20ft for reliable control depending what else is interfering. 
 

https://soundtraxx.com/products/blunami/blu-2200 More setup and sound info here. 

 

Here is a video of the Blunami being operated at 100ft and a discussion on range and bluetooth-low-energy (BLE):

 

 

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  • mdvle changed the title to Soundtraxx offering Bluetooth/DCC/DC sound decoders
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6 hours ago, GrapevineFlyer said:

 

Here is a video of the Blunami being operated at 100ft and a discussion on range and bluetooth-low-energy (BLE):

 

 

Thanks, that answers a couple of the questions. So it’s faraday cage like structures that will limit range and while he says get the Bluetooth ¼ in away, approx 6mm, I wonder if that includes the tender top? I’ll ask in his comments. 

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That app is only available on iPhone....  So us Android users are left in the cold. And on the blunami section of the soundtrax website they have a poll asking if they should make an android version which says to me that they have no current plans to make an android app.

 

 

 

Why does soundtraxx do that to us. Not everyone has the pockets for an apple device. And I'm sorry but buying an old iPhone or iPad for controlling trains is just outright silly.

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1 hour ago, Trainnoob said:

That app is only available on iPhone....  So us Android users are left in the cold. And on the blunami section of the soundtrax website they have a poll asking if they should make an android version which says to me that they have no current plans to make an android app.

 

 

 

Why does soundtraxx do that to us. Not everyone has the pockets for an apple device. And I'm sorry but buying an old iPhone or iPad for controlling trains is just outright silly.


Make your voice heard by emailing them and do the poll, it’s establishing there is a market. I use an android tablet, and an iPhone, so I’ll do the poll to support the tablet. 
 

Do the survey here,

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9RPK5B9
 

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6 hours ago, Trainnoob said:

Why does soundtraxx do that to us. Not everyone has the pockets for an apple device. And I'm sorry but buying an old iPhone or iPad for controlling trains is just outright silly.

 

I doubt it is Sountraxx specifically.  Looking and the existing Bluerail app is iOS only and I am guessing Soundtraxx is either directly or with modifications using that app.

 

If one was doing this today there are several ways to code an app for phones/tablets where the single codebase can target both Android and iOS but at a guess back when Bluerail started that wasn't an option so they went with the more popular US based option of iOS (and iOS historically was easier to deal with given less fragmentation in the operating system versions - Google has spent a lot of money and time dealing with that issue in Android).

 

But fill out the survey - if Android users don't fill out the survey then there won't be the market demand to make an Android version.

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