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Peco has added another Unifrog turnout

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Posted by Doughless on Saturday, November 21, 2020 9:01 AM

richhotrain

 

 
Doughless

I would also think that beveling the inside corners of the two rails might do the trick.  The wheels can't be touching very much metal of the opposing rail. 

 

 

Yep, that would work. Clear nail polish is a great temporary fix. Temporary in the sense that constant use of trains over the area may eventually require another dab of clear nail polish although I have never had to do a repeat application.

 

Rich

 

Absolutely, and I totally understand Jim's reason for the OP and wanting the electrofrog.  

But we simply don't know yet if the unifrog has the same frog length.

- Douglas

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Saturday, November 21, 2020 9:41 AM

Doughless

 

 
richhotrain

 

 
Doughless

Having said that, Mike is making a point that if it was purely a turnout design flaw then every locomotive would short over the turnout.  That's not the case.  To my knowledge, its an occaisional short problem and not an every-time shorting problem.

 

 

In my experience, especially on the Walthers Shinohara turnouts, all of my locos that passed over such turnouts shorted without exception until I solved the problem with a coat of clear nail polish.

 

Even if not all of your locos short on problematic turnouts, that doesn't rule out the turnouts as the cause of the shorts. There may be "play" in the wheelsets for example, but if those locos perform flawlessly everywhere else on the layout, the shorting problem leads back to the turnout - - insufficient clearance.

Rich

 

 

 

I think its a matter of semantics.  To me, saying that its a turnout design flaw means that its something that should be redesigned....which would show up in sales drop offs.  I'm assuming there are plenty of folks like myself who have never had a problem, in whatever their circumstances might be.

And maybe the new Unifrog frog is a bit longer.

But I think the point of having the short frog is to eliminate the need to power the frog or installing keep alives for shorter locomotives...which a person would weigh the efforts with installing those remedies against the efforts of just applying a little nail polish if they had the problem.

I would also think that beveling the inside corners of the two rails might do the trick.  The wheels can't be touching very much metal of the opposing rail.

 

 

It is a semantics problem which was my point and resulted in appropriate discussion. I know from my own experience that the vast majority of viewers accessing the information on this site do so not as logged in members. Just google any model railroading topic and see how often and how prominently these threads show up. Since google algorithms are not member based but general population based it is obvious this is a much utilized resource.

We now have a very useful thread about the various reasons to choose one brand or model of turnout over another.

Clearly, Peco thinks their Unifrog adequately replaces both Electrofrog and insulfrog. The Unifrog now also substitutes for Atlas designs. That is very clever marketing.

The one possible flaw: isolated frog too short, is readily corrected in exactly the same way as for their Electrofrog design.

One other point: although Atlas dead frog (plastic) turnouts may lead to less shorting incidents they also cannot power the frogs. If you power the frogs on the custom line metal frog turnouts then you must fit polarity switching. Peco power routing turnouts do not require polarity controlled powered frogs in any of the three designs.

I just realized this in the course of considering all the information in this thread. I have been planning to add a polarity switch and power to the one Electrofrog we fitted to our layout by mistake (actually, bought the Electrofrog because the insulfrog was out of stock and we needed the turnout at the time). We actually do not need to do this.

The funny thing is we had thought we needed polarity control and power to the Electrofrog because it has a wire connection for that purpose.  In reality, once you fit isolating joiners to the ends of the (inner diverging) point rails, as Peco and others say you need to in order to later convert to DCC, you effectively have a large isolated powered frog that changes polarity with the switch rails because power routing makes the entire turnout into the polarity reversing switch.  

Our Electrofrog turnout works exactly like a long frog insulfrog with polarity controlled power to the frog, I.e. Like Atlas Custom line. It always worked just fine and I only just now figured out exactly why. No need to use the power wire to the "frog".

Unifrog can be easily altered and installed so as to be an Electrofrog or an insulfrog or an Atlas type as the modeller requires.

Uni indeed.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by markie97 on Saturday, November 21, 2020 9:41 AM

I have over 30 insulfrog turnouts on my layout both code 100 and code 83. I power all 6 rails to the turnouts with no insulating between rail and turnout. This way I do not have to rely on point rail to stock rail contact for power in that section of turnout. I did experience some shorting at the frogs so on turnouts that exhibited the problem I filed a larger gap between the rails at the frog. As a preventative measure I painted all frogs with black nail polish but tried to keep the inside portion of the rails free of nail polish and only painted the rails at the gap. Also kept this area reasonably short. Very happy with the results. The frog length on the Peco turnouts is shorter than the Atlas also the Atlas frogs are sometimes slightly higher than the incoming rails affecting wheel contact. At least that was my previous experience on my previous layout.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 21, 2020 10:03 AM

markie97

I have over 30 insulfrog turnouts on my layout both code 100 and code 83. I power all 6 rails to the turnouts with no insulating between rail and turnout. This way I do not have to rely on point rail to stock rail contact for power in that section of turnout. I did experience some shorting at the frogs so on turnouts that exhibited the problem I filed a larger gap between the rails at the frog. As a preventative measure I painted all frogs with black nail polish but tried to keep the inside portion of the rails free of nail polish and only painted the rails at the gap. Also kept this area reasonably short. Very happy with the results. The frog length on the Peco turnouts is shorter than the Atlas also the Atlas frogs are sometimes slightly higher than the incoming rails affecting wheel contact. At least that was my previous experience on my previous layout.

 

The ocassional Atlas frog that is too high is easily filed down to rail height.

All these various brands of turnouts work fine, they all have their quirks and strengths depending on your needs.

Even using DC, I prefer the point rails to be the same polarity as their stock rail.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, November 21, 2020 10:21 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Not a bad idea, BUT why did they make the isolated part of the frog so small?  It looks like it is an invitation to the same sort of shorting out that some people have experianced with the insulfrog.

It looks that way to me also.

I have no skin in this debate because I doubt I will ever use a Peco HO scale turnout, so I will not be joining in.

- -
The shorting problem is not a Peco issue nor is it a turnout issue. It's a rolling stock wheelset issue and all commercial turnouts suffer from the same issue.

"All Commercial Turnouts Suffer"?

This is another of the 100% false statements.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 21, 2020 11:24 AM

In many ways, I prefer Atlas to Peco for turnouts, and Atlas is far less expensive than Peco.

But Peco has two things going for it, shorter length and the spring loaded point rails. Yeah, I know, Atlas turnouts can be shortened and springs can be added. But, out of the box, Peco has these two advantages over Atlas.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, November 21, 2020 12:01 PM

 And more variety. Since I have found hand laying turnouts is not for me, the availability of multiple sizes in both straight and curved is a huge boon. Also, the Atlas 4 1/2 is just a little too small, a #5 is just right for industrial areas.,

 Some people say Atlas turnouts have out of spec flangeways - every time I had a loco that bounced in an Atlas turnout, it was proven that the wheels were slightly out of gauge when checked with an NMRA gauge. Fix the wheels, no more bounce.

                                        --Randy

 


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 21, 2020 12:14 PM

rrinker

 And more variety. Since I have found hand laying turnouts is not for me, the availability of multiple sizes in both straight and curved is a huge boon. Also, the Atlas 4 1/2 is just a little too small, a #5 is just right for industrial areas.,

 Some people say Atlas turnouts have out of spec flangeways - every time I had a loco that bounced in an Atlas turnout, it was proven that the wheels were slightly out of gauge when checked with an NMRA gauge. Fix the wheels, no more bounce.

                                        --Randy

 

 

Interestingly my experiance has been somewhat opposite.

I find that for true industrial areas the Atlas #4.5 is fine, and sometimes Atlas Snap switches are fine, like for waterfront street trackage.

I find that for my needs #5's are not big enough for yards where mainline locos have to arrive and depart.

I have yet to see a curved turnout from any brand that was of much value to me, they are all too sharp. With a minimum mainline radius of 36", I would be looking for curved turnouts with an inside radius of 36". 

I just build curved turnouts when I need them and have learned how to actually bend commercial straight turnouts into very gentle curved turnouts.

So Atlas #6 and #8 turnouts are great for my mainline.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Saturday, November 21, 2020 12:42 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Not a bad idea, BUT why did they make the isolated part of the frog so small?  It looks like it is an invitation to the same sort of shorting out that some people have experianced with the insulfrog.

 

It looks that way to me also.

I have no skin in this debate because I doubt I will ever use a Peco HO scale turnout, so I will not be joining in.

 

 
- -
The shorting problem is not a Peco issue nor is it a turnout issue. It's a rolling stock wheelset issue and all commercial turnouts suffer from the same issue.

 

"All Commercial Turnouts Suffer"?

This is another of the 100% false statements.

-Kevin

 

Good to see you reading my posts again.

Can't be 100% wrong, you know.

Which commercial turnout are you thinking of that never suffers from shorting a DCC powered track no matter what wheelsets you run? 

And thanks for joining in.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 21, 2020 1:09 PM

Lastspikemike

Which commercial turnout are you thinking of that never suffers from shorting a DCC powered track no matter what wheelsets you run? 

DCC or DC, Atlas Custom Line turnouts don't short out.

The points are always the same polarity as their stock rails and the frogs are long enough that even older, wide, european wheelsets cannot bridge anything they should not.

Even wheels out of gauge have no way to short out without derailing.

I gave up hand layed turnouts years ago in favor of the superior electrical design of the Atlas turnout.

Powering frogs is no problem for me, I already have an electrical infrastructure in place for other features that makes powered frogs easy.

The easy way is not always the best way to do things. 

Different modelers have different goals. 

You seem very concerned with this idea of "steering" advice others might get from these conversations, but the value of such advice is dependent on their goals, not just your views of what works best.

I understand all the reasons some people prefer PECO. And I have said repeatedly if you want the little spring, if you don't need other wiring, it is a good system and a good product.

But for me it is just paying more for something I then have to do more work to so I can use it for my needs.

You may not understand my needs, you have yet to engage me in a conversation about my DC control system or how it works, or what features it has.

But one thing it does not need is PECO turnouts, of any design at this point.

I use a system that allows multiple trains to be controlled on a single mainline without conventional block toggles or rotary switches to assign throttles to blocks. Over half of my control blocks are automaticly assigned to the correct throttle, the rest are assigned by the dispatcher as part of the same function of giving a clear signal, or they are assigned at local tower panels.

I have full signaling, walk around wireless throttles, CTC dispatcher control, or local control. Operators can walk around with their train and not press any more buttons than they would with DCC.

I also have automatic train control, run a red signal, your train stops. You do not run into the next block controlled by some other operators throttle and have a short or a run away. 

It's magic.......... 

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Saturday, November 21, 2020 1:36 PM

I notice my micro engineering #5 turnouts also have long frogs. Point rails are separated more widely as a result. 

I meant that all brands of commercial turnouts rather than all turnouts.

However, it looks like ME brand turnouts would not short either. 

Shinohara Wye have wide set point rails also, for example. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 21, 2020 1:48 PM

Lastspikemike

I notice my micro engineering #5 turnouts also have long frogs. Point rails are separated more widely as a result. 

I meant that all brands of commercial turnouts rather than all turnouts.

However, it looks like ME brand turnouts would not short either. 

Shinohara Wye have wide set point rails also, for example. 

 

Neither will Walthers/Shinohara turnouts with isolated frogs.

This is a PECO issue mostly, and maybe some other Euro brands I would never even consider.

Why they did that? I don't know.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 21, 2020 2:29 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
Lastspikemike

I notice my micro engineering #5 turnouts also have long frogs. Point rails are separated more widely as a result. 

I meant that all brands of commercial turnouts rather than all turnouts.

However, it looks like ME brand turnouts would not short either. 

Shinohara Wye have wide set point rails also, for example.  

Neither will Walthers/Shinohara turnouts with isolated frogs.

On my prior layout, I had three back-to-back Walthers Shinohara Code 83 3-way turnouts feeding my large coach yard. All three of them shorted constantly until I applied clear nail polish.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 21, 2020 2:35 PM

Lastspikemike

I notice my micro engineering #5 turnouts also have long frogs. Point rails are separated more widely as a result. 

I meant that all brands of commercial turnouts rather than all turnouts.

However, it looks like ME brand turnouts would not short either. 

You can tell just by looking at a turnout? I cannot until I run a loco over a faulty turnout and it shorts.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, November 21, 2020 2:50 PM

 Easy. The felt the smallest possible dead section was a worthwhile tradeoff to the possibility of a wheel shorting out. Typical British outline locos are signbificantly smaller, so either wiring up the frog, or havign the smallest possible dead frog would be highly desireable. ANd I don't see too many cases of slathering nail polish on Insulfrogs coming from modelers of British railways.

                         -Randy


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 21, 2020 2:56 PM

richhotrain

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 
Lastspikemike

I notice my micro engineering #5 turnouts also have long frogs. Point rails are separated more widely as a result. 

I meant that all brands of commercial turnouts rather than all turnouts.

However, it looks like ME brand turnouts would not short either. 

Shinohara Wye have wide set point rails also, for example.  

Neither will Walthers/Shinohara turnouts with isolated frogs.

 

 

On my prior layout, I had three back-to-back Walthers Shinohara Code 83 3-way turnouts feeding my large coach yard. All three of them shorted constantly until I applied clear nail polish.

 

Rich

 

I was not considering or referring to "specials" like three ways. They have special frog considerations. Did they have isolated frogs? 

I was referring to more recent production Walthers/Shinohara turnouts, regular turnouts, with DCC friendly isolated frogs.

Because I have never personally used a three way trunout, and I am no longer in a shop regularly to see all these products, I caanot speak for every item.

The basic premise here is that if frogs are isolated from closure and running rails, and are sufficently long enough, wheel treads cannot bridge to rails of opposite polarity.

And if points and closure rails are powered "feed thru" so that they are always the same polarity as their stock rail, there is no opportunity for wheels to connect the open point to a stock rail of opposite polarity. 

These things cannot be done to the same degree with specials like slips or three ways.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 21, 2020 2:59 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I was not considering or referring to "specials" like three ways. They have special frog considerations. I was referring to more recent production Walthers/Shinohara turnouts with DCC friendly isolated frogs.

Because I have never personally used a three way trunout, and I am no longer in a shop regularly to see all these products, I caanot speak for every item.

ahh, OK.

As to the W/S 3-ways, at one time I had five of them on the layout and they all shorted which leads me to believe, perhaps wrongly, that all W/S 3-ways shorted.

Rich

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, November 21, 2020 3:01 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Because I have never personally used a three way trunout, and I am no longer in a shop regularly to see all these products, I caanot speak for every item.

I have two Walthers/Shinohara 3-way turnouts. One is old style, and one is labeled "DCC Friendly".

Just with visual inspection, I see nothing different from one of these turnouts to the other. Before I install them, I will do lots of checks with an Ohm Meter.

They will be (if used) on opposite sides of the layout.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 21, 2020 3:12 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Because I have never personally used a three way trunout, and I am no longer in a shop regularly to see all these products, I caanot speak for every item.

 

I have two Walthers/Shinohara 3-way turnouts. One is old style, and one is labeled "DCC Friendly".

Just with visual inspection, I see nothing different from one oif these turnouts to the other. Before I install them, I will do lots of checks with an Ohm Meter.

They will be (if used) on opposite sides of the layout.

-Kevin

 

Look closely, I suspect they are different. A three way switch is something I have never had a use for. like the prototype, I avoid complex turnouts unless they are really necessary.

The new layout will have a just few slips, and maybe one double crossover. The rest will be simple crossovers and crossings, even with it being an extensive double track mainline. 

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 21, 2020 3:33 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

A three way switch is something I have never had a use for. like the prototype, I avoid complex turnouts unless they are really necessary.

The new layout will have a just few slips, and maybe one double crossover. The rest will be simple crossovers and crossings, even with it being an extensive double track mainline.  

I guess that we have really drifted off topic, but...

...complex turnouts are really not bullet proof IMHO.

At one time, I had five 3-way turnouts, two wyes, three double crossovers, two double slips and 4 curved turnouts. I sold them all on eBay when I dismantled my old layout.

That said, I do have four Peco Unifrog Code 83 double slips which I use to control a 4-track mainline on a section of my new layout.

If you want a double crossover, consider two single crossovers as an alternative. Commercial double crossovers are nothing but problems, at least in my experience.

Rich

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Posted by selector on Saturday, November 21, 2020 3:35 PM

Complex trackwork exists here and there.  Double-slips are very common in Europe, and were in N. America back in the day.  Three ways not quite so much, but they sure open up a confined space on our cramped layouts.  They have their uses.  Not on yours, Sheldon, clearly, but some of us could really make good use of a three-way, myself included.  And I do.

I have the Walthers/Shinohara DCC-friendly Code 83 3-Way turnout. I have had to make one slight modification, and that was to solder a single 25 gauge strand of wire between a point rail and a closure rail, can't remember where without going to a photo.  That cured my electrical problem.  Other than that, keep the throwbar and points well clear of crud and bits, and keep them free from contaminants that might impede electrical contact.  Mine is now on its third layout, and while I haven't yet run anything live through it (I'm wiring up ladders and am then going to test), I expect it to be working just fine.

One thing I did learn, or so it seemed on the first layout, was that it is best NOT TO use joiners from the three exits on to other rails that might also be linked with other power-routing turnouts.  I use Peco Insulfrog Code 83 #6 turnouts in my yard, and I would get conflicts when I threw the points in the three-way.  When I severed all those exits, my conflicts went away until a locomotive's metal tire bridged, and then the same conflict arose.  But, with the severed connections (just gapped and carefully aligned), I was often moving 3-way points and not shutting down the entire layout.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 21, 2020 4:46 PM

Here in North America special trackwork like double slips is/was primarily used in complex junction or passenger terminal throat trackage where space was at a premium, and smooth direct multi routes necessary.

Those kinds of locations had lots of turnouts to maintain and full time track crews.

Such trackage would virtually never be used "out in the country".

And so it is on my new layout plan, I have one five track interlocking where the double track mainline joins the passenger terminal, an alternate interchange mainline, and the freight yard.

At that location there will be two double slips, a single slip, seven regular turnouts and a diamond crossing, all in about 6 feet.

In several other locations there will be double track diverging routes, that is two turnouts and a diamond. 

And one other location with a double slip. But the rest will generally be simple single crossovers, with one possible exception where a double crossover may offer some space considerations.

The whole point of my approach to designing the layout was to not "crowd" things in too much. Like the prototype, I have analyzed train movements and positioned crossovers to move trains as needed with the fewest number of turnouts.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 21, 2020 5:10 PM

Dearborn Station in downtown Chicago was virtually covered with double slips.

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 21, 2020 5:36 PM

richhotrain

Dearborn Station in downtown Chicago was virtually covered with double slips.

Rich

 

Exactly, I'm only modeling a four track thru passenger station in a small Appalachian city, not a stub terminal in a major city, and it will be complex enough.....but those four tracks will be long enough for 12-14 car trains.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, November 22, 2020 10:47 AM

richhotrain

 

 
Lastspikemike

I notice my micro engineering #5 turnouts also have long frogs. Point rails are separated more widely as a result. 

I meant that all brands of commercial turnouts rather than all turnouts.

However, it looks like ME brand turnouts would not short either. 

 

 

You can tell just by looking at a turnout? I cannot until I run a loco over a faulty turnout and it shorts.

 

Rich

 

Well, yes and no, of course. The point I was making was only that ME fit longer frogs which spreads the live end of the point rails further apart than Peco insulfrog and Unifrog turnouts do. I then assumed that since the resulting gap was quite a bit wider than even pizza cutter tires ME did this to eliminate this risk of shorting. 

Specifically, the ME #5 frog meets point rails that are nearly 2mm apart. Peco point rails on their #6 are 1mm apart but so are the point rails on an Atlas #6 Superswitch. Atlas Customline #6 point rails are also 1mm apart, approximately.  

Believe it or not, I was also responding positively to a criticism by conceding my earlier statement about "all" commercial turnouts may have been overly broad (although not by much it seems) but it seems a fruitless exercise in this environment. Live and not learn I suppose.

Moving on from Groucho Marx satiric comedy lines and a Robbie Burns humanist aphorism we descend to the level of the children's morality tale. Let me tell you about a man, a boy and a donkey.....

Alyth Yard

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, November 22, 2020 11:03 AM

 

SeeYou190
Just with visual inspection, I see nothing different from one of these turnouts to the other.

Look at the throwbar. The "original" power-routing version has a solid metal tie bar between the points (top). Additionally the frog is a solid, soldered assembly of milled rail pieces as well.

 IMG_8651_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

The "All Live" style, AKA DCC Friendly, has each point insulated from each other by the plastic throw bar (bottom).

Hope that helps.

Ed

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, November 22, 2020 11:09 AM

If you ever ran an OO scale 0-4-0 tank you'd see right away why Peco builds track the way they do.  It would've been a big and risky step when Peco designed their Streamline product for the US market. Their Code 83 turnouts  are quite different to anything else available here. Whether they work for you depends a lot on what you're trying to achieve. Peco are much better quality than Atlas and priced accordingly.

In another post you suggest I have not engaged you in any discussion about your DC layout. I assure you I have read just about everything you have posted recently about your DC ideas. I even think I understand what you have done and why you chose to do it that way.

Certainly your enthusiasm for DC in a DCC world encouraged me to build our first layout as a standard DC block system layout but using a two wire bus even though we also use common rail wiring. Come time to use this as a DCC powered circuit it will be simple to just plug a booster in.  If we need to add a booster we already have the two wire bus and separating blocks into separately powered power districts will be very simple to do. 

We double isolated our Electrofrog turnout as recommended and that was handy as a block limit anyway.

The idea of direct radio control is coming to the DCC world and I look forward to this being fully integrated into a DC system. I acquired quite a number of DC only or DCC ready locomotives from Athearn Genesis, Lifelike and Bachmann Spectrum in part because of your posts explaining how DC locomotives can be made to run these in similar fashion to a DCC layout, although ours does not have the capabilities that yours does. Ideally, I'd like to see DC and DCC converge so that track power returns to straight DC and control signals are sent separately by wireless LAN (not over the Internet) to either DC or DCC equipped locomotives. It is technically feasible right now, just the market isn't yet here.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, November 23, 2020 7:58 AM

gmpullman

 

 

 
SeeYou190
Just with visual inspection, I see nothing different from one of these turnouts to the other.

 

Look at the throwbar. The "original" power-routing version has a solid metal tie bar between the points (top). Additionally the frog is a solid, soldered assembly of milled rail pieces as well.

 IMG_8651_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

The "All Live" style, AKA DCC Friendly, has each point insulated from each other by the plastic throw bar (bottom).

Hope that helps.

Ed

 

 Also note the little tab (there's one on the other, close point side as well) that contact the bottom of the stock rail to power the point area. This is what causes the problem as much as anything - it's not just a wheel back touching the open point - that really shouldn't happen unless thee wheels are badly out of gauge. But if you use a switch motor with contacts like a Tortoise to power the frog, and it's not nearly perfectly lined up, that tab can contact the destination stock rail while the Tortoise contacts are still connected to the original side. Instant short, DC or DCC. There used to be numerous posts on modifying the Tortoise to cut away some of the contact surface to make a larger dead band in the middle.

 Keeping the point and closure rails always at the same polarity as the adjacent stock rail solves the problem once and for all, and allows the open point gap to be much smaller and better looking. So what if the back of a wheel happens to touch, it's the same polarity anyway, no short.

                                         --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
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 10,114 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, November 23, 2020 8:09 AM

gmpullman
Look at the throwbar. The "original" power-routing version has a solid metal tie bar between the points (top). Additionally the frog is a solid, soldered assembly of milled rail pieces as well.

I will take another close look if I ever get my trackwork tote dug out again... hoping! Thank you for the tip.

rrinker
But if you use a switch motor with contacts like a Tortoise to power the frog, and it's not nearly perfectly lined up, that tab can contact the destination stock rail while the Tortoise contacts are still connected to the original side. Instant short, DC or DCC.

That is why I use external contact switches for power routing. They do not make contact until the throwbar is all the way over.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    February 2017
  • 34 posts
Posted by hbgatsf on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 7:59 AM

If you compare an insulfrog turnout with the same size unifrog, is the frog length the same?

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