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Author Topic: Electro Frog?  (Read 5053 times)
Anubis

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« on: January 27, 2010, 07:23:04 PM »

Hi guys,

On my latest layout, I have just started using Peco On30 Electrofrog turnouts (after using Insulfrog for over 35 years) and I am finding them to be something of a headache when it comes to routing power to the selected roads.

I have painted the sides of all the rails (except for the contact ares) but have not as yet, added ballast to the turnouts. The rest of the layout has been ballasted.

The problem seems to be in the contact blades, for when a locomotive stalls, I can usually get it running again by applying added pressure to the throw rod.

Has anybody else had similar problems using Peco?

What do you think?
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ebtbob


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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2010, 08:38:33 PM »

     I use Peco electrofrog turnouts on my On30 railroad.   If an engine starts stalling on any of the turnouts,  I simply press the point rail against the stock rail right where the little metal contact tab is located.  In general,  I have no problems with the electrofrogs.
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Bob Rule, Jr.
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JohnR

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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2010, 09:49:23 PM »

The points are your source of power to the frog.  Poor contact due to dirt, glue, paint and other debris where the points touch the stock rails is the source of problems.  A good cleaning often can correct this but not always.

Routing power directly to the frog is a worthwhile effort.  This bypasses the points and provides a more reliable means of powering the frog (and points).  There are several ways to achieve this.  What's right for your setup largely depends how you're operating your switches.

-John
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Steve Magee

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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 01:51:17 AM »

There is another solution, called the Frog Juicer, that may help.

Have a look at: http://www.handlaidtrack.com/hex-frog-juicer-automatic-frog-polarity-switcher-p-8579.php?zenid=ouqmg0vcavllvovlftnorbfdi4

Regards

Steve Magee
Newcastle NSW Australia
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Steve Magee

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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010, 01:57:26 AM »

Oops. Sorry, that is for DCC.

Steve Magee
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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2010, 02:39:14 AM »

I use the built-in switches on my slow motion machings to power the frogs, makes for smooth trouble free operation.

NM
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Tarheelrrds

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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2010, 12:06:40 PM »

Here's an easy way for correcting this problem.

http://www.berretthill.com/trains/Papers/Entries/2008/1/1_Wiring_Turnouts_For_Uninterrupted_Operation.html

Alan
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Anubis

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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2010, 07:15:15 PM »

Looks good, Alan.

I'll give it a bash.

Thanks, mate.
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2010, 12:57:53 AM »

Using built in contacts to switch the frog is fine, if your switch machines have built in contacts.  But I am guessing Anubis is using Peco switch machines on his Peco turnouts.  Then his best bet is to add a Peco SPDT switch to the bottom of each switch machine.  That will solve the bad contact problem.  I wouldn't cut gaps in the turnouts or add jumpers unless some long wheelbase steamers are shorting the turnouts.

Jim 
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Anubis

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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 11:37:00 PM »

Hi guys,

I have no continuity problems with the Electrofrog turnouts on my layout that are switched by the Peco motors. (Good guess, Jim.) Roll Eyes

My problems are only with two out of six that are manually operated - by push/pull rod.

Most of the hassles seem to stem from the small contact strips under the outer edges of the wing rails that slip under the stock rails to ensure continuity. If these become slightly bent, or covered in glue or paint (!) they will affect the flow of current. 

This is where I am concentrating my efforts. As a result, I have cut off a thin slice of track-cleaning pad and use this to polish these otherwise inaccessible areas, as well as the tapered faces of the wing rails where they abut the stock rails.

At the moment, all seems to be working well.

Thanks for all your suggestions, guys. Smiley

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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 05:49:27 PM »

I have read suggestions here from people who have wired in a slide switch next too or under the turnout and conected it to the switch with a actuator wire, this way the turnout and switch are thrown at the same time.

NM
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SideTracked


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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 06:13:10 PM »

I don't wanna sound like a nag, but I'm curious:
Peco's have those under rail wipes (if that's what they're called) and hidden wiring. Supposedly, they automatically take care of the polarity shuffling necessary in non-3-rail turnouts. Now, I'm hearing all sorts of horror stories that the Peco system isn't working and various alternatives are being discussed. If the Pecos are going to require the degree of retrofitting (essentially converting them to isolated frog conventional design) that some of you are recommending, then why use them in the first place?
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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2010, 08:25:25 PM »

I use the pecos for the electrified frog because I run mostly 0-4-0 and 0-4-2 porters, I wired mine to the aux contacts in the switch machine for reliability with electrifying the frogs, I and most model  rail roaders should know ANY exposed electrical contacts will eventually be fouled and need to be serviced.

NM
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Anubis

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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2010, 05:49:34 PM »

Amen to that, NM....
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railtwister

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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2010, 07:06:01 PM »

The biggest problem with Peco's method of point feeding power to the frog is that the contacts are mounted on the points, rather than the stock rails. This means that when a loco's weight is on the point, gravity pushes the point down, lessening the pressure on the contact. If the contact were securely mounted to the stock rail, the weight of the loco on the point would increase the pressure on the contact making it more reliable. Another disadvantage is that both points are the same polarity, which can create back-to-back shorts as the wheel passes between the point and stock rail on the open side, unless the gap between the open point and the stock rail is wider than it would otherwise need to be. That being said, the Peco turnouts are still the most reliable out of the box turnouts for On30, especially when the frog and point polarity is controlled by a positive set of contacts such as those found on a Tortoise (powered) or BluePoint (manual) switch machine.

Regards,
Bill
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