Battery Bluetooth trains? is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Well-Known Member
Has anyone tried converting a loco to run on a rechargeable battery? I was having a think about it and with a audrino Bluetooth/RF + a digital rheostat it should be possible even at n scale.
Wondering why no one has done it 🤔
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
I'm curious what do you mean by "digital rheostat"
I guess I mean.. like a relay, but a rheostat to control voltage rather than just on and off).
I do not know what the correct name for this is but I would assume some kind of micro controller would be involved (hence digital)?
I was thinking a Bluetooth connection on an MC could ajust the potential to the motor from a lithium battery stored in a tender or car, instead of picking it up from the tracks.
Last edited:


New Member
It's been done, especially in larger scales, BlueRail, Dead rail society, CVP Airwire and more, the new Soundtraxx Bluenami decoders allow direct control of a model equipped with just such a decoder by iPhone or Android Smartphone.

The Bluenami with the direct Bluetooth link from the model to the phone would be the perfect candidate for dead rail with a battery pack for power. It's the newest form of direct communication from controller to locomotive model.

I am researching this myself right this moment, trying to find batteries that would be small enough to fit in HO scale equipment, yet with enough power to run the models steady for at least 4 hours at a time. The 14.8 volt R/C car batteries look promising.

With diesel locomotive models the batteries could be housed in a second "dummy" unit which would look fine anyway as a multiple unit lash up on trains, for steam locomotive models, the batteries would need to fit in the tender, or in a boxcar behind the locomotive.


Well-Known Member
Yeah, look up "Dead Rail" and you'll find a lot of information.
For control, I run RailPro, which is popular in the larger scales who tend to run dead rail.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.