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Peco has added another Unifrog turnout

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 8:15 AM

hbgatsf

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

 

It appears Peco used their Electrofrog pattern and put an insulated cut into the all metal frog. The Insulfrog point rails just end before they would otherwise meet at the frog point.

Therefore, I would say the Unifrog and the Electrofrog use the same size frog.

I know the Electrofrog and Insulfrog use the same frog, one metal the other plastic.

The Insulfrog and the Unifrog have the same size of insulated gap between the ends of the point rails.

All three designs have the same frog size and geometry. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 10:35 AM

 Finally saw a picture of the new Unifrog #6 - and it makes me want to not buy any more #8's until they convert those over if they do the same thing - all rail points and closure rails! No mire cut and hinge! That advance in realism and reliability trumps any possible disadvantage the Unifrog might possibly have. Solid rail from the frog to the point blade - on a mass produced commercial turnout! 

I can put the 8's I have now in the back where you don't see them. I really want #6 and #5 in the Code 70 version, hopefully those will also be an all-rail design, and available sometime this century - it's only been like 3 years they've been promising them. Since I've started on the yard side of my layout, those would be the next thing, more so than Code 83 #8. 

                                 --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 10:55 AM

rrinker

 Finally saw a picture of the new Unifrog #6 - and it makes me want to not buy any more #8's until they convert those over if they do the same thing - all rail points and closure rails! No mire cut and hinge! That advance in realism and reliability trumps any possible disadvantage the Unifrog might possibly have. Solid rail from the frog to the point blade - on a mass produced commercial turnout! 

I can put the 8's I have now in the back where you don't see them. I really want #6 and #5 in the Code 70 version, hopefully those will also be an all-rail design, and available sometime this century - it's only been like 3 years they've been promising them. Since I've started on the yard side of my layout, those would be the next thing, more so than Code 83 #8. 

                                 --Randy

 

 

Randy, you're a good source for this info so I'll ask you.

The Peco Insulfrog code 83 #6 crossing is supposed to be 9.5 degrees.  That tells me that it is designed for use where you want one track to cross through an adjacent parallel track using a #6 turnout.

Does that mean that I can connect the diverging routes of two #8 turnouts to the crossing, and have the tangent track remain straight?  Think of the crossing as an X where a connecting line between two corners remains straight.  Or will there have to be a slight curve?  I guess it comes down to the angles in degrees.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 11:19 AM

 If you use a #8 then the crossing angle has to be difference for it to come out straight, as the #8 is a shallower angle. The angle is arctan(1/frog number)

Or do you mean just connecting a pair of #8's diverging route to diverging route as a single crossover between two tangent tracks? Yes, this works fine. All of the numbered turnouts have straight diverging routes, not curved. The difference is what the center to center ditances comes out to, and how long the whole setup ends up being - with the more gentle angle, it takes more linear space to get from one main to the other - but then it also means the whole crossover is less of an S curve and easier for longer locos and cars to handle. Like everythign else, it's a trafeoff. I'm using #8's for my main crossovers, but #6 most anywhere else, since with 30" radius curves, a #6 is plenty big enough to not be the bottleneck, and they are significantly shorter than a #8. It just better fits the length of run I want in my space to use the #6 for turnouts off the main, and while I technically don't need #8's for anything I run to cross over (I has #6's two layouts ago, and my 4-8-4 would run through are ridiculous speed with no problem, and most of what I run is much shorter - 4 axle diesle, 40 foot cars), it does flow nicely and looks betterI don't have a lot of crossovers between mains, so I'm not 'wasting' too much space. If Peco changes the #8 the way they just changed the #6 - it will really look good.

                                     --Randy

 


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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 12:03 PM

rrinker

 Finally saw a picture of the new Unifrog #6 - and it makes me want to not buy any more #8's until they convert those over if they do the same thing - all rail points and closure rails! No mire cut and hinge! That advance in realism and reliability trumps any possible disadvantage the Unifrog might possibly have. Solid rail from the frog to the point blade - on a mass produced commercial turnout!                                  

--Randy

I did notice the stock rail points on the Unifrog.  It's too bad they couldn't have an all rail frog and stock rail points.  That would be the best of both worlds.  Cause with the Unifrog, the frog isn't realistic looking with the plastic gap, but the formed metal points on the Electro and Insulfrog turnouts isn't as realistic looking either.

But if you are after Unifrog #8, it's hard to say when those will become available, and how long are you willing to wait?  It would be a few months or maybe a year or two or longer.  Look how long the Unifrog crossing and double slips have been out, and now finally one of the standard turnouts, the #6 finally went Unifrog.  Probably the tooling for the #6 wore out more quickly because it is produced more and so those were then next to convert.  The #8 probalby sells in much fewer number so it's anyones guess. 

I have a layout going up now, and will need to install code 83 turnouts in the coming weeks, or maybe early next year.  There are visual advantages to the Unifrog, but the frog itself, IMO, the Electrofrog looks better.  Unfortunately it seems we can't have both in one turnout ...

Or can we?  The new Walthers turnouts, now delayed until Jan 28, 2021, may be even better.  But it may be delayed again to Feb or Mar as can happen with Walthers often.  I am interested to see how they turnout, no pun intented.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 12:37 PM

 Well, as slow as I work - the real bet is what's going to show up first, an all-rail Unifrog #8 in Code 83, or a #6 in Code 70.

The area I have put up benchwork so far, calls for one #8 crossover, back against the wall, behind what will be the most complex part of the yard where the ladder connecto to the AD tracks and where the AD tracks connect to the main, and the whole works feeds to the engine terminal. So I can use the #8's I have there, and the connections off the main can use the #6's I already have, but I'd almost rather the Code 70 turnouts came in first so I could build the rest of the yard. I have to figure out my moveable section to allow access to the water heater and furnace before I get to where the next set of #8s will be needed. Or plan the connection between the town side and where the helix will be for the crossover that will be there, both to allow either track in the helix to be used for either direction, and also allow a train coming off the branch that loops around the outside of th ehelix to get on to the correct main.

 If I worked at normal speeds, I would ahve had an order in for more turnouts weeks ago, and already have the capability to run a train around in that whole section where the yard will be, well over 50' of main. Which is more than a complete loop of my previous layout. But, I am slow. Plus been down because of eye issues. ANd people approriating my sheet of plywood on sawhorses to use as a table to wrap Christmas presents... that's all gone now. Maybe this weekend, since previous plans have canceled. I need to finish the backdrop, but between sanding, waiting for spackle to dry, sanding again, and waiting for paint to dry (3 coats) - that's not going to get completed in just a weekend. And I can't start cutting up plywood strips while the paint is wet - sawdust in the sky is not a good look. Too cold and too much of a pain to haul it outside to cut it.

                                                    --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 1:17 PM

rrinker

 If you use a #8 then the crossing angle has to be difference for it to come out straight, as the #8 is a shallower angle. The angle is arctan(1/frog number)

Or do you mean just connecting a pair of #8's diverging route to diverging route as a single crossover between two tangent tracks? Yes, this works fine. All of the numbered turnouts have straight diverging routes, not curved. The difference is what the center to center ditances comes out to, and how long the whole setup ends up being - with the more gentle angle, it takes more linear space to get from one main to the other - but then it also means the whole crossover is less of an S curve and easier for longer locos and cars to handle. Like everythign else, it's a trafeoff. I'm using #8's for my main crossovers, but #6 most anywhere else, since with 30" radius curves, a #6 is plenty big enough to not be the bottleneck, and they are significantly shorter than a #8. It just better fits the length of run I want in my space to use the #6 for turnouts off the main, and while I technically don't need #8's for anything I run to cross over (I has #6's two layouts ago, and my 4-8-4 would run through are ridiculous speed with no problem, and most of what I run is much shorter - 4 axle diesle, 40 foot cars), it does flow nicely and looks betterI don't have a lot of crossovers between mains, so I'm not 'wasting' too much space. If Peco changes the #8 the way they just changed the #6 - it will really look good.

                                     --Randy

 

 

I was referring to two stub spurs crossing each other near the turnouts. 

Placing the tangent tracks of two #'s together, and have the diverging tracks point in the same direction (so it would be a LH and a RH joined at their tops), then joining the diverging routes with a crossing.  

I guess for a #6 crossing to work I would need #12 turnouts.  No such commerically produced product.

I'm using Peco 8s for all turnouts, including industrial spurs.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 1:43 PM

Doughless

The Peco Insulfrog code 83 #6 crossing is supposed to be 9.5 degrees.  That tells me that it is designed for use where you want one track to cross through an adjacent parallel track using a #6 turnout.

Does that mean that I can connect the diverging routes of two #8 turnouts to the crossing, and have the tangent track remain straight?  

I have several Peco Code 83 Insulfrog crossings on my layout. As you suggest, these crossings are designed to work with Peco Code 83 #6 turnouts. The tangent tracks do remain straight. I may be mistaken, but I am unaware of a Peco Code 83 crossing that will work with #8 turnouts.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 2:27 PM

So you have two turnouts, one left, one right, the diverging sides facing each other, adn then a crossing in the middle, and these are two industrial sidings? Unless I am picturing this all wrong, I'm not sure what the point of such an arrangment would be. Why would you go on track 1, only to take the diverging route of a turnout and cross to track 2, instead of just going in track 2 from the beginning? 

 Guess you have a lot of room - #8s on industrial tracks? Unless you have nothing less than 43" radius curves everywhere - that's a lot of room that could extend car capacities of sidings just by using a #6 instead. It's nearly an extra 50 foot car per #8 replaced with a #6.

                                  --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 3:49 PM

rrinker

So you have two turnouts, one left, one right, the diverging sides facing each other, adn then a crossing in the middle, and these are two industrial sidings? Unless I am picturing this all wrong, I'm not sure what the point of such an arrangment would be. Why would you go on track 1, only to take the diverging route of a turnout and cross to track 2, instead of just going in track 2 from the beginning? 

 Guess you have a lot of room - #8s on industrial tracks? Unless you have nothing less than 43" radius curves everywhere - that's a lot of room that could extend car capacities of sidings just by using a #6 instead. It's nearly an extra 50 foot car per #8 replaced with a #6.

                                  --Randy

 

 

Yes, I have the space, and I'm using it.

A better question,  a double crossover made with a #6 crossing, what is the proper frog number for the turnouts?  

I looked it up and I read where a #6 crossing would work with the 4 turnouts,  #8 frogs, but I don't think that's right. 

Peco makes insulfrog #8s which I have, and they have a new UniFrog #6 crossing.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 3:56 PM

Doughless
 
rrinker

So you have two turnouts, one left, one right, the diverging sides facing each other, adn then a crossing in the middle, and these are two industrial sidings? Unless I am picturing this all wrong, I'm not sure what the point of such an arrangment would be. Why would you go on track 1, only to take the diverging route of a turnout and cross to track 2, instead of just going in track 2 from the beginning? 

 Guess you have a lot of room - #8s on industrial tracks? Unless you have nothing less than 43" radius curves everywhere - that's a lot of room that could extend car capacities of sidings just by using a #6 instead. It's nearly an extra 50 foot car per #8 replaced with a #6.

                                  --Randy 

Yes, I have the space, and I'm using it.

A better question,  a double crossover made with a #6 crossing, what is the proper frog number for the turnouts?  

I looked it up and I read where a #6 crossing would work with the 4 turnouts,  #8 frogs, but I don't think that's right. 

Peco makes insulfrog #8s which I have, and a new UniFrog #6 crossing. 

Douglas, if this is any help to you, the Peco Code 83 #6 crossing is set at a 9.5 degree angle.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 4:15 PM

 The #6 crossing needs $6 turnouts to come out square. With #8s, the turnouts will lean in towards one another as you move away from the crossing. I just drew it quick in 3rdPlanIt. To make it work with #8s, you's need to add some straight track to the 4 legs of the crossing, the at the point end of each of the 4 turnouts, you'd have to put in some curves to get the two tracks parallel again. If you mean just 2 turnouts, so there are 3 tracks, with the turnouts there to allow a train to move from track 1 to track 3, crossing over track 2, if you do that with #8s, then you will need curves on the point ends of the turnouts to bring them parallel with the center track.

 One of the things I am not doing is making double crossovers - I am building thm up out of 4 turnouts and just having one cross from track 1 to track 2, then a follow up one cross from track 2 back to track 1. One reason is - Peco doesn't have a crossing that matches #8 turnouts.

                                       --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 5:15 PM

richhotrain

 

 
Doughless
 
rrinker

So you have two turnouts, one left, one right, the diverging sides facing each other, adn then a crossing in the middle, and these are two industrial sidings? Unless I am picturing this all wrong, I'm not sure what the point of such an arrangment would be. Why would you go on track 1, only to take the diverging route of a turnout and cross to track 2, instead of just going in track 2 from the beginning? 

 Guess you have a lot of room - #8s on industrial tracks? Unless you have nothing less than 43" radius curves everywhere - that's a lot of room that could extend car capacities of sidings just by using a #6 instead. It's nearly an extra 50 foot car per #8 replaced with a #6.

                                  --Randy 

Yes, I have the space, and I'm using it.

A better question,  a double crossover made with a #6 crossing, what is the proper frog number for the turnouts?  

I looked it up and I read where a #6 crossing would work with the 4 turnouts,  #8 frogs, but I don't think that's right. 

Peco makes insulfrog #8s which I have, and a new UniFrog #6 crossing. 

 

 

Douglas, if this is any help to you, the Peco Code 83 #6 crossing is set at a 9.5 degree angle.

 

Rich

 

Rich, you're making me have to do the math. Shame on you.

 

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 5:34 PM

rrinker

 The #6 crossing needs $6 turnouts to come out square. With #8s, the turnouts will lean in towards one another as you move away from the crossing. I just drew it quick in 3rdPlanIt. To make it work with #8s, you's need to add some straight track to the 4 legs of the crossing, the at the point end of each of the 4 turnouts, you'd have to put in some curves to get the two tracks parallel again. If you mean just 2 turnouts, so there are 3 tracks, with the turnouts there to allow a train to move from track 1 to track 3, crossing over track 2, if you do that with #8s, then you will need curves on the point ends of the turnouts to bring them parallel with the center track.

 One of the things I am not doing is making double crossovers - I am building thm up out of 4 turnouts and just having one cross from track 1 to track 2, then a follow up one cross from track 2 back to track 1. One reason is - Peco doesn't have a crossing that matches #8 turnouts.

                                       --Randy

 

 

Dammit, I knew there was a simple answer.

The frog# of the crossing in a double crossover would be no different than the frog# of a wye.  It's half the frog number of the turnouts.  

You can't make a double crossover with the #6 9.5 degree Peco crossing using any Peco turnout.  I guess I would need a #12 turnout.

Its for a diverging track coming off a tangent track at 9.5 degrees (#6 turnout) to cross a parallel tangent track.

To make a double crossover using #8 turnouts, you need a #4 crossing. 

And a double out of #6's , a number #3 crossing.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 5:55 PM

Doughless
 
richhotrain 
Doughless 
rrinker

 

 Guess you have a lot of room 

Yes, I have the space, and I'm using it.

A better question,  a double crossover made with a #6 crossing, what is the proper frog number for the turnouts?  

I looked it up and I read where a #6 crossing would work with the 4 turnouts,  #8 frogs, but I don't think that's right. 

Peco makes insulfrog #8s which I have, and a new UniFrog #6 crossing.  

Douglas, if this is any help to you, the Peco Code 83 #6 crossing is set at a 9.5 degree angle.

Rich 

Rich, you're making me have to do the math. Shame on you. 

Douglas, I was counting on you to do the math since I am math-challenged. Laugh

Rich

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 6:35 PM

richhotrain

 

 
Doughless
 
richhotrain 
Doughless 
rrinker

 

 Guess you have a lot of room 

Yes, I have the space, and I'm using it.

A better question,  a double crossover made with a #6 crossing, what is the proper frog number for the turnouts?  

I looked it up and I read where a #6 crossing would work with the 4 turnouts,  #8 frogs, but I don't think that's right. 

Peco makes insulfrog #8s which I have, and a new UniFrog #6 crossing.  

Douglas, if this is any help to you, the Peco Code 83 #6 crossing is set at a 9.5 degree angle.

Rich 

Rich, you're making me have to do the math. Shame on you. 

 

 

Douglas, I was counting on you to do the math since I am math-challenged. Laugh

 

Rich

 

Don't thank me, thank my high school son. 

I challenged him to see if he could remember some critical facts about junior high geometry math.  I obviously did not.

Hey, but the three angles of a triangle have to add up to 180 degrees, in case I ever need that one again.

And I know Atlas labels their numerous crossings in terms of degrees and not frog numbers.  I guess they figure that people who use Atlas crossings are smarter at math.  I could never figure out which degreed crossing I needed for what situation.  Except for the 90 degree of course.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 7:09 PM

 Well, it's easy to get degrees from the frog number. But the problem is then figuring which side of the angle you're actually on. Either Atlas rounds their numbers or they don't EXACTLY fit to make a double crossover - small gaps are usually not a problem, but I don't think things fit completely square if you attach all 4 turnouts tightly to the crossing. One of the old Custom Line plan books I have has a section in the back that shows how to make all sorts of combinations using the stock parts.

 Otherwise, it's right, you need the frog angle of the crossing to be double that of the turnouts to form a double crossover, a a #3 crossing for #6 turnouts, or a #4 crossing for # 8 turnouts. If I had an easy way to sketch it out...

 So on one main, you have 2x #8, one left, one right. Tracks fromt he diverging routes cross in the middle. That forms a triangle. The sum of angles in a triangle is 180. A #8 is 7.125 degrees. SO what's left is 180-7.125-7.125, or 165.75. 

 With me so far? Extend one of those lines through to the other side, like the crossover really is. The sum of two angles on the same line is also 180 - you know, turnign around and going back exactly the way you just came is pulling a 180. So the smaller angle, the one that is the angle of the crossing - the onees facing the direction of tracvel along the mains, is 180-165.75, or 14.25. 

Draw two parallel lines and an X between them, then you cna see what I'm talking about.

 The frog number is 1/TAN(angle) Don't make me to into expansion of expressions for trig functions, but if the angle of the frog is ARCTAN(1/frog) then the frog number is 1/TAN(angle). So that's 1/tan(14.25) which might as well be 4. Thus - indeed you do need a #4 crossing.

 Math is fun. As long as you stop at integrals.

 

                                 --Randy

 


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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 7:47 PM

rrinker
Otherwise, it's right, you need the frog angle of the crossing to be double that of the turnouts to form a double crossover, a a #3 crossing for #6 turnouts, or a #4 crossing for # 8 turnouts. If I had an easy way to sketch it out...

The way I rememdered it (before I forgot it) was to mentally overlay a wye with turnout and realize that the angle of the wye is twice that of the turnout  (sort of two turnouts standing back to back), and frog#s get smaller as the angle gets wider.  #4 wye = #8 turnout.

Before I asked my complicated questions, what I forgot is that one half a crossing in a double crossover is a nothing more than a wye.  So its got the same frog# as a wye, but it has two frogs of course ( In most alignments, we wont talk about how many frogs a 90 degree crossing has) 

And the whole point of this was that I was considering buying a new Unifrog #6 crossing.  Wont work for my needs.

Yeah, I figured out the geometry math with the help of my son, then realized the frog angle of a #6 9.5 degree crossing required two turnouts with 4.75 degree angles, which is about a #12, then I remembered the 1/2 (or double) quick ratio.

Thanks for your help.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Thursday, December 3, 2020 8:43 AM

Peco labels their crossings with the same number as the matching turnouts. A #6 Peco crossing or slip switch works with their #6 turnouts.  

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 1:28 PM

I'm resurrecting this topic.

Some of you may know that Peco has discontinued their code 83 #6 line of Insulfrog and Electrofrog turnouts and replaced them with a single line of Unifrog turnouts.

I have noticed on the other Unifrog code 83 turnouts such as the #6 double slip turnout, tha the rails converging on the small metal frog appear to be very much like those on the Insulfrog turnouts.  Now remember that some have reported short at spot where the rails of opposing polarity come close together.  This is due to the metal tread bridging that gap.

With the discontinuance of the code 83 #6 Electrofrog turnouts, I decided I better hunt down a bunch before they got even more scarce than they already were since they would not have the shorting problem.

I recently read on another forum that someone was having shorting issue with their Peco Unifrog double slip switch.  So it appears the Unifrog are prone to the same issue as the Insulfrog, as it appeared would be the case.  But the unfortunate thing is hobbyists no long have a choice was the two lines of Insulfrog and Electrofrog turnouts are being discontinued.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 2:30 PM

 I'm not seeign this - and I searched for peco unifrog short. A whole lot of refuting of the Insulfrog issue, at least for HO (N scale seems more prone to the wide wheel treads). The N scale Unifrog - if you have a wheel tread wide enough to short that, you need new wheels for wure. In HO, it seems the shorting issue even with Insulfrogs is pretty much blown way out of proportion based on what I've seen on other forums. I'm not worried. I really just want those Code 70's to chip so I can work on my yard area.

 And where there are issues - it seems to be nearly 100% oversize wheel treads, not a design issue witht he turnout. If you run a lot of older pre-RP26 locos there may not be much you can do about it, but anything made in the past 30 years or so should be just fine and not short. I suppose you could get an odd turnout here or there where the metal shifted slightly as the mold closed and the rails stick up more than they should on a correctly made one, but that happens with everyone.

 I'll find out shortly. Just ordered a pair of #6 Unifrogs from Yankee Dabbler. I need more lefts, but they are out of stock of lefts. To do the area I have the benchwork almost done, I need 2 rights, so I got those. I need 6 more lefts. ANd some #8s.

                                      --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 riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 7, 2021 6:39 AM

rrinker
 I'm not seeign this

There has been discussion here in the past and a recent topic at another forum discussing the specter of the Peco frog shorts, the most recent one indicting the Unifrog double slip.  As noted, the issue appears to mainly be due to wheel treads wide enough to bridge the gap.  Whether or not I happen to have any of such, I don't know.  But I've chosen to steer clear of the issue.

There is a video on Youtube if you do a google search using key words: short circuit peco.  Interestingly, this gentlemans train appears to have fairly standard rolling stock with BN and MRL SD40-2's and fairly modern rolling stock, not older trains that might have wider wheel treads.  He runs his train into a yard with Peco insulfrog turnouts and it shorts.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjIC7lHPFa8&ab_channel=teddybeareleventeen  The insulfrog and unifrog converging rails are visually identical.

If you don't have a problem, then you don't have to worry.  My strategy has been to purchase turnouts without the Insulfrog and Unifrog design when planning and purchasing turnouts for a new layout.

As many know, if one does happen to experience shorts, they can be mitigated by insulating the tops of the rails nearest the frog where the bridging may occur using black nail polish or some other thin coating materla.

The bummer about the discontinuance of the insulfrog and elecrofrog turnouts is there is no longer a choice, at least with Peco.  Fortunately Walthers new line of turnouts should be available soon adding to the mix of available HO turnouts we have to choose from.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 7, 2021 7:25 AM

I have also read reports of the shorting issue on PECO Insulfrog turnouts, and believe that the unifrog has the same narrow rail frog design.

But I use Insulfrog turnouts exclusively and have never experienced the shorting problem, ever.

I tend to agree with Randy.  I think when folks come on forums to report a shorting issue, they fall short of explaning the exact conditions and circumstances of how the short occurs.  Often it has to do with something specific to their situation, and is not a widespread issue.  JMO.

I run only good "quality" locomotives built after 2000; Atlas, Athearn RTR, and Genesis, with what could be called phinicky DCC Sound. With these circumstances, I have never had a short, or even notice a light flicker over a Peco Insulfrog.  Rolling stock is similar vintage.  I don't own a wheel gauge.

People may have different experiences.

- Douglas

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 7, 2021 7:57 AM

The more you read around the internet, the more you find examples of the shorting issue.  I get it .. If I had already built a layout with insulfrogs and was not experiencing any shorts, I probably wouldn't change anything.  But I've read enough that the issue appear wide spread enough that starting out new ....

I did think it was interesting that the guy in the video ran a train that appeared to be only good "quality" rolling stock and still got the short on a couple different insulfrogs. 

Nuff said.

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 7, 2021 9:04 AM

 SOmetimes you have to do some back digging to find out if the person witht he short problem is using N scale or HO scale - it seems the N scale Peco Insulfrog was the one most prone to shorts at the frog point. The N scale Unifrog, they radically changed - the gap is cut well up from the tip of the frog, more like an HO Electrofrog, although that gives a rather unsightly piece of plastic.

 The HO Unifrog has one thing that trumps any need to modify things - the point and closure ralis are continuous. No more silly toy train-like hinge. If this means occasionally filing down the rails at the frog for to stop the odd short (this is a permanent fix, unlike putting nail polish or paint on the area), the improved appearance is worth it.

 I wish there was a way to disable the keep alive in my little Plymouth switcher, short of cutting the wires, because I wonder with such a small isolated area if it will even be necessary to power the frog in a Unifrog, even for a small, slow loco.

                                     --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
    December 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, January 7, 2021 12:30 PM

riogrande5761

The more you read around the internet, the more you find examples of the shorting issue.  I get it .. If I had already built a layout with insulfrogs and was not experiencing any shorts, I probably wouldn't change anything.  But I've read enough that the issue appear wide spread enough that starting out new ....

I did think it was interesting that the guy in the video ran a train that appeared to be only good "quality" rolling stock and still got the short on a couple different insulfrogs. 

Nuff said.

 

 

I get it, but the culprit must lie with a particular wheelset of a locomotive or the gauge dimension of a car truck.  Or else any train would cause a short most of the time it traversed any Peco insulfrog.

I think what I read is that 90% of folks equipment works just fine, and a short occurs 10% of the time.  It must be a couple of cars or locos. 

If it happened randomly 10% of the time because of standard wheel slop of every piece of equipment happening to hit the frog at the wrong moment, then everybody who runs insulfrog would have the problem at least once.

I agree, I think the easiest solution to fix the problem is the nail polish on the frog.  But I think the problem lies with a few wheelsets in a few pieces of equipment.    

- Douglas

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 7, 2021 1:20 PM

 Well, we shall see when mine get here. I can repalce the Electrofrog on my workbench with the Unifrog and see what happens. I have 4 different locos available to try - the little tiny Plymouth sweitcher, a 4 axle diesel in the form of an Atlas RS3 with sound, a 6 axle diesel in the form of an Atlas Trainmaster with sound, and an older design steam loco with blind center driver (the one thing that seems to be a common culprit - since there is a lot of lateral motion and no flange to keep the blind driver on the proper side of the rails - also the blind driver is likely not properly conical) in the form of an old Mantua 0-6-0T. Rest of my stuff is still packed up.

 All work over the Electrofrog without the frog being powered, thought he steam loco is touchy. The Plymouth makes it because of the keep alive. The two diesels have long enough wheelbases and all wheel pickup and they actually have working pickups all around so they have no problems.

 This is just 3 sections of flex and a #6 Peco turnout sitting on my bench, wires soldered to a pair of joiners stuck on the far end of the piece of flex that connects to the point side of the turnout. I was going to use a #8 but there wasn't enough room.

                                       --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
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 29,474 posts
Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 16, 2021 4:19 PM

 Unifrogs arrived today. Haven't put one in my test track yet, but I did measure the spacing where the rails come together. There's at least 0.1" space between the rails are the plastic fill. RP25 sets tread width at 0.080", so RP25 wheels should never bridge such a gap.

 The lack of a hinge in the point rails is VERY noticeable compared to my Electrofrogs. Much nicer.

                            --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
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 29,474 posts
Posted by rrinker on Saturday, January 16, 2021 11:28 PM

 Test results:

Atlas RS3 - no problems. Couldn't make it short even pushing the trucks side to side with the wheels right over the narrow gap.

Atlas Trainmaster - Same

Walthers Plymouth - no problems. Watchign where the wheels were, even if it didn't have a keep alive capacitor, the short wheelbase still spans from the closure rail to the diverging rails past the tiny little isolated frog point.

 Mantua 0-6-0 - this one has a blind center driver which is extra wide. Running freely, it was fine in both directions, both routes. But if I twisted the loco to force the wheels one way otr another, the center drivers did bridge the gap and short out. This loco needs work anyway, it's a horrible runner even on straight track. Only thing making this better than the earlier Tyco version is it has some sort of can motor and not the old Hong Kong open frame motor. The blind center drivers don;t even pick up power. I'm hoping to figure out a better mechanism to fit to this, along with changing some body details to make it a more accurate model. Or really, not even worry much about it - since with scale models I cant actually use it for the purpose, mainly moving dead locos in and out of the shops, so it will spend most of its time parked on a track next to the roundhouse anyway. I was going to add sound but I'm wondering just how much I'll actually run it.

That's all I have to test. Nothing else I own is like that 0-6-0, it's all P2K/Atlas/Stewart 4 axle diesels.

 I don't forsee any problems with these. And the appearance is definitely improved.

                                   --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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