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Frog Rail Insulation

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  • Member since
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Frog Rail Insulation
Posted by staybolt on Thursday, November 14, 2019 7:44 PM

I'm putting a turnout kit together. The manufacturer recommends insulating the frog rails from each other by inserting a sliver of tape, photographic film or thin styrene where the rails form a point in the frog and would otherwise touch each other thereby creating a short circuit. Anybody else do this, or is there a better way to avoid a short?

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, November 14, 2019 8:00 PM

staybolt
The manufacturer recommends insulating the frog rails from each other

Maybe the track builders in the audience know which brand recommends this.  Fast Tracks solders the frog rails together and you would use insulated joiners on the frog rails.

I could be wrong, and people will soon say so, but I think the insul Peco turnouts short out when wheels contact both frog rails where they come together but are insulated from each other.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, November 14, 2019 8:07 PM

 What sort of turnout kit is this? A better way to do this is to not insualte the frog where the two rails touch, but rather gap them somewhere past the diverging point, and then provide power to the isolated section using contacts on your switch machine. 

 Using a thing insulator is asking for a wheelset to bridge said insulator and cause a short anyway - this is more or less how Peco Insulfrog turnouts insulate the frog, and many find they have t paint some nail enamel on the rails to keep a wide wheel from bridging the two sides.

                                --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by staybolt on Thursday, November 14, 2019 10:25 PM

Thanks for replies, Henry and Randy. This is the first turnout I've dealt with for my railroad. It's a Central Valley HO, code 70 kit. Maybe I'll ask CV why it suggests the frog rail insulation.

As you two say, I can see how a metal wheel could short the rails at the converging point. If I don't follow CV's suggestion and cut gaps in the two frog rails somewhere beyond the frog, the frog would then be electrically dead (though the closure rails connect with the frog there's no electrical conduction because the frog itself is plastic). Wouldn't those gaps have to be no further from the dead frog than the shortest locomotive wheelbase I plan to use so electrical pickup wouldn't be lost as the engine passed through the turnout (the last wheel would have to still be in contact with a closure rail as the first wheel comes in contact with the rail beyond the gap)?

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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Friday, November 15, 2019 6:50 AM

 Plus the plastic length. ANd if you cut the gaps in the frog rails that close you may affect the stability of the small section, it might not stay glued down reliably. If the frog is plastic, how can the rails touch? I'm not too familiar with these kits but usually you have an all-rail frog where the two rails come together and form a sharp point, or the raisl come sort of but not that close together and there's a hunk of plastic making the sharp point in front of the rails.  If it's only a very tiny piece of palstic, then it's like a Peco Insulfrog and I get it.

 I would leave enough rail to secure the frog, and then apply power to that area, for the best reliability.

                                       --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • 52 posts
Posted by staybolt on Friday, November 15, 2019 6:03 PM

Yes, I understand what you're saying about stability. I've used Pliobond cement to adhere the rails to the plastic ties that form both the through and diverging tracks of the turnout. From what I've read it's a pretty strong adhesive. If I cut the gaps a couple of ties away from the frog point junction I'll still have enough ties from there to the end of the turnout to hold the frog rails firm. 

With regard to the frog, despite the fact that it's plastic the frog rails touch each other where they're pushed together to form the frog point.

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    December 2015
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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, November 15, 2019 6:40 PM

I looked for a picture and CV doesn't have any.  Other internet pics are of the code 83 and it "looks" like an all metal frog.  I saw some posts about using Details West frogs for CV turnouts.  The posts were not clear why that was an advantage. 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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