Bluetooth Model Train Control Module
Bluetooth Model Train Control Module
Bluetooth locomotive control modules and accompanying apps for model train control. Take your model railroading to the next level!
Bluetooth locomotive control modules and accompanying apps for model train control. Take your model railroading to the next level! Read more
About this project
Model Trains Are Timeless.
Model Trains are a much loved past time shared by generation after generation. Whether it be as simple as a loop circling the holiday tree in December or a room sized replica of a real rail system - the magic of watching models of civilization's workhorses - is timeless.
Current Model Train Control Tech is Dated.
Less timeless is the current control mechanisms available for model locomotives and layouts. Basic setups require wiring to and from the controller and at best may have DCC control. More involved setups typically have miles of control wiring and utilize outdated controllers and other hardware, which complicates the hobby.
New Possibilities Are as Close as Your Phone or Tablet.
Monocacy Trains immediately saw the potential for Bluetooth technology and a smart device control application. By communicating directly with the locomotive wirelessly through an easy to use application - the immense power of your smart device can be put to work improving and simplifying advanced control of model locomotives.
Possibilities are Endless.
By switching control to your mobile device, you are effectively putting the details of locomotive control in the hands of a powerful computer. While the interface is as simple as any dial or lever, the controls can be augmented and tailored in their execution at the locomotive level.
For example, already in the app is the ability to configure a locomotives acceleration speed as it moves from a standstill. Likewise a top speed can be set to represent scale speed or as a safety mechanism.
Configured operational settings are stored at the module level - so if the locomotive is accessed from a different device it will have the same name and operational characteristics as were last set.
Beyond that, as the app evolves, the ability to develop new and exciting features to simulate real world locomotive train behavior - and to coordinate locomotive activities are all possible - and without any modification to the physical locomotive module.
An Easy to Install Locomotive Module.
Our Bluetooth locomotive module is very easy to install and run. For Example: in the case of a standard Bachman HO gauge locomotive:
1. Remove the locomotive housing.
2. Remove the existing DCC control board and clip the motor wires.
3. Connect the motor wires and any light wires to the appropriate wires on the module's wire harness.
4. Open the control app on your mobile device, run through a quick configuration wizard where you can set forward direction, name, photograph and customize your locomotives settings - that's it.
DCC Decoder on Board.
The Monocacy Bluetooth locomotive module also has a DCC decoder on board*. If you are not controlling your setup through your smart device you can use your existing DCC controller instead.
Also thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity of the module you can set locomotive DCC settings through your smart device super simply.
*Module includes DCC decoder, however module firmware and app may not support DCC control and configuration at time of Kickstarter delivery. A firmware and app update may be required at a future date to enable this functionality.
Switching and Other Modules Possible.
If our Kickstarter goal is reached and community interest exists - a Bluetooth switching module and/or accessory module, all controlled through the native applications, will be developed.
Risks and challenges
Realistically, there is always the possibility of a production delay or lack of app approval, however given our company experience in designing and producing products and app development, we do not expect delays in our delivery timeline.
At this time:
- Working prototype modules are complete.
- A trusted OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) manufacturer has been selected and has quoted module production.
- Apple iOS application has been developed and is ready for submission to the app store. Actual screenshots and use footage are included.
- Android application is in development as is scheduled for release prior to fulfillment of Kickstarter funder modules.
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