Unable to Connect to Train

Category : Articles

If you think you have setup everything correctly, and cannot see your train/board, there are several possible issues to check:

Do NOT pair with train from settings >> bluetooth.     When you connect to a bluetooth train, it becomes unavailable to other applications and devices. For this reason, do NOT pair with your train from settings >> bluetooth (as you may be used to with other bluetooth devices). Doing so will make the train unavailable in BlueRail or E-Z® App. It is ok to use settings >> bluetooth to test if your train, but you will need to hit disconnect in order to see the train in one of the control apps. If you do connect to the train (for test purposes) within the settings >> bluetooth section, you should choose “forget this device” to prevent your settings app from monopolizing the train in the future.

Does your train have power? Check to see that your layout is receiving power or battery has charge. If the BlueRail board is receiving power, a green LED will flash on the board.

Is your train connected to another app or smart device? When an app on a smart device (like a smartphone or tablet) connects to a bluetooth train, that train becomes invisible to other users. If your train is receiving power and you still cannot see it listed on your Home screen, check to see that the train is not connected to another smart device in range that is running a bluetooth train control app (BlueRail or E-Z® App). The best way to rule this out is to temporarily cut power to the locomotive for 30 seconds. The train should become available in the Home screen once the board within the train has powered back up. Also, if you have both BlueRail and E-Z® App installed on your smart device, make sure you only run one app at a time (and that the second app is not running in the background).

Is bluetooth working properly on your smart device? Bluetooth service in smart devices sometimes acts up and gets glitchy. This can generally be resolved by temporarily switching off bluetooth in your smart device and turning it back on, or rebooting the smart phone. 90% of connection issues can be resolved by turning bluetooth off and then back on within your device.

ANDROID SPECIFIC ISSUES There are more than 24,000 models of Android. Each Android manufacturer writes their own Android software and updates. The most popular brands generally have bluetooth implemented properly and work great. Less popular (or older) Androids can have bluetooth bugs that can only be solved by the Android manufacturer releasing an update fix. One great way to determine if your connection issue is caused by your Android is to borrow a recent iOS device (iPhone or iPad) and see if everything works. If so, your Android might need an update fix. See if any software updates are available for your Android. The general method for updating your Android software is: Settings >> General (scroll down) >> About Device >> Software Update. See THIS ARTICLE.

Clearing the bluetooth cache on your Android. Sometimes Android bluetooth issues can be resolved by clearing the bluetooth cache. This procedure may be slightly different on different Androids.

1) Tap the Settings icon.
2) Hit Application Manager.
3) Swipe the screen left or right in order to find All Tabs.
4) Select Bluetooth.
5) Tap Clear Cache.
6) Select Clear Data.
7) Choose Ok.

Turn on Location Services in Android. Due to changes in Bluetooth permissions with Android 6, the app may not be able to detect BLE trains properly. To resolve this issue, go to Settings in the OS–> Location and turn on location services.

9-PIN HARNESS NOT PUSHED IN ALL THE WAY If you can connect, but are having trouble running your loco (or the lights) it is possible that the 9-pin connector isn’t pushed all the way into the board, so some of the colored wires aren’t really making contact, and therefore not getting any power. Before you mess with it, I have found these connectors can be delicate and are easily broken, so I like to take a little strip of duct tape and wrap it around the harness right where the 9 wires go into the plastic JST connector – just to reinforce it before messing with it. Once its reinforced, push the connector all the way so it is well seated.

Is your phone/tablet bluetooth smart? Assuming this is your first time operating trains with a certain smart device, check to make sure your smart device supports bluetooth smart.