According to this review of the new 60197 passenger train you can only have one Bluetooth thing talk to the new LEGO battery box at a time.

The new Power Up system as it currently appears in this set is very rigid. One remote or device can be used to operate one battery box/receiver, which in turn can operate one train motor. All of the flexibility of the old system seems to be gone.

I'm hoping to put a train in my office before Christmas and it would be great if multiple people could install the app and change the speed. Is that too much to hope for with LEGO's current evolution of this technology? This seems like a normal thing to expect for something that uses Bluetooth, but the review above makes me doubt that applies to LEGO. Has anyone tried this?

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As far as I know, this is not possible using the current stock firmware. The battery box can only pair with one device. The UI on the battery box is a single button, and for simplicity the device is either in a mode where it is looking for a device to pair with (flashing light) or already paired (solid light). There isn't a way to pair it with another device once it is already paired, and pressing the button while paired cancels the current pairing.

I'm hoping to put a train in my office before Christmas and it would be great if multiple people could install the app and change the speed.

There are ways to allow multiple people to control a device, but it will likely require a bit of hacking. Here's how I would do it:

  1. Assuming that your workstation is in range of your train, pair the hub with your workstation.

  2. On your workstation, write and run a basic web app on top of one of the community tools to interact with Powered Up (e.g. https://github.com/nathankellenicki/node-poweredup).

  3. Share a link to this app with anyone who you'd like to be able to control your train.

  • I hadn't considered centralizing it, but that sounds totally doable. This is more of a hacking project than I hoped for, but it is worth a shot. – chicks Nov 2 at 15:39

I can confirm that using something like jncranton suggested (a third-party library that speaks to PoweredUp devices over bluetooth), you can use a computer to control several PoweredUp devices at once.

The limit seems to be the number of devices your Bluetooth will pair with.

The Remote is a smart hub like the battery box so each remote counts as one device and each battery box likewise counts as one.

When paired in this fashion, the buttons on the remote do nothing. You'll need to write code to dispatch messages to the battery box to perform whatever action you want your remote to control. I wrote a script that makes the remote behave like the remote in the box, i.e. it makes the train go faster or slower. But as the train only uses one side of the remote, I programmed the other buttons to raise and lower the gate at the level crossing, using a Boost brick which was also part of this program.

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