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  • Topic: WiFi Trax

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    • September 7, 2018 8:03 PM EDT
      • Streamwood, IL
         
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      WiFi Trax

      This may be a topic here already, I don't know, and I haven't looked or done a search, but every month except July, in the Chicagoland area, there is a monthly train show and swap at the DuPage County Fairgrounds. At this month's show they have a bunch of special events going on, one of which is this, and they gave their website that I thought would be interesting to those of you that are electronically minded:  http://www.wifitrax.com/index.html

       

      Here's the link to the show: https://mailchi.mp/trainshow/train-show-this-sunday-dwlk857atv-1050673?e=026baf2973

      This post was edited by Mike Wlez at September 7, 2018 8:06 PM EDT
    • September 7, 2018 9:03 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      I've stated a number of times Wi-Fi is cheap enough that it makes more sense than Bluetooth... maybe this company will make a large scale compatible driver, 1.2 amps peak, and the 12 volt limitation (yes I know max 18) makes it not suitable for most if not all large scale locos.

       

      Greg

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    • September 7, 2018 10:13 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Hi Greg -

       

      I'm curious why you prefer WiFi over Bluetooth. Is it for improved range?  I have done some beta testing on a bluetooth based system and have had no coms issues, howeverI didn't try pushing range beyond 10 feet or so. For me, a device based system with no tactile feedback just isn't practical, but it's fun to experiment with.

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    • September 7, 2018 10:23 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      There are a lot of reasons, speed, interference, co-existance, etc.

       

      An illuminating example might be that you do not see people networking computers via bluetooth, but by wifi...

       

      https://www.diffen.com/difference/Bluetooth_vs_Wifi

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • September 8, 2018 7:44 AM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      OK, Thanks.  I see where we differ, You consider train control as a wide area network, where I see it as a peer to peer relationship. This is logical since you are running DCC in a large multi-locomotive loop environment while I am running battery R/C in a small point-to-point environment where I am always within sight of, and running a single locomotive.

       

      For my needs, I don't see much value in setting up WiFi coverage in my yard. I also see limitations in needing to connect to a WiFi network when I am visiting another railroad. In my world, the peer-to-peer relationship of Bluetooth functions just fine. I haven't been in a situation where there were multiple users on bluetooth, so the interference issue has not been a factor yet.  On the other hand; I suppose using the WiFi protocols could still work in a peer-to-peer relationship. I have several devices that do this - A Automotive Code Reader and some LED controllers. In their case. I need to connect my device to their network exclusively which then limits other functions of the phone or tablet I am using.

       

      Bottom line for me is, so long as handheld devices remain touch only and difficult to see in an outdoor environment, they aren't for me regardless of the communication type.

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    • September 8, 2018 11:35 AM EDT
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      Interesting product.  I have a WiFi receiver that runs off my mobile phone, but the app is geared to model airplanes.

       

       

       

      This post was edited by Pete Thornton at September 8, 2018 2:00 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • September 8, 2018 2:05 PM EDT
      • Streamwood, IL
         
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      Thanks for that link, Greg, it helps me to better understand and gives me some avenues to research

    • September 10, 2018 11:03 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Jon, indeed having a network has distinct advantages, as you say, you can control devices that you cannot reach directly, and also sharing devices is much simpler.

       

      But those are is not the reasons I brought forth in my post.

       

      Wi-fi has better speed, and better handling of distance, and better co-existance. These advantages are present in a typical one to many network, AND a peer to peer network.

       

      One major issue is things like sound. A very reasonable idea is "sending" the sound from your throttle to the loco. You could use a very simple decoder and basically a receiver for sound all on wi-fi.... there's plenty of bandwidth for several locos, unlike bluetooth. The range on bluetooth for high speed data like audio is very short.

       

      Bluetooth really came about because of the promise of under $5 transceivers... well, Wi-Fi is there now, with all of it's advantages.

       

      Also, ultra low power is really silly when you are pulling an amp from your loco's motor... so Bluetooth does not have an advantage. There are other technical issues where Bluetooth is the wrong solution, like having to run 2 different modes of communication on Bluetooth, one for range running the motor and a different one for audio...

       

      So, it's not a simple peer to peer vs. network answer, there's a lot more in this... and don't get me started on Bluetooth's lack of security.

       

      In any case, there's no simple right or wrong answer, but I'll take Wi-Fi any day over Bluetooth unless I have to leave a sensor sitting out in a field for 10 years  waking up once a month to report the temperature. (and even then Zigbee and other mesh networks would be better, like the one my electric and gas meters are on)

       

      Greg

       

       p.s. my trains are on 2.4 GHz Zigbee

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at September 10, 2018 11:04 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

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    • September 10, 2018 6:46 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Thanks for the more detailed explanation.

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    • September 10, 2018 7:08 PM EDT
      • Post Count ,PA ,
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

       

      In any case, there's no simple right or wrong answer

      Hell that's a first.....Can I get an Amen !

    • September 11, 2018 7:04 PM EDT
      • Right here 'X', Pa
         
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      Amen!!!!

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