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DCC and Peco Insulfrog Turnouts

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  • Member since
    January, 2013
  • 4 posts
DCC and Peco Insulfrog Turnouts
Posted by Jim's Trains on Sunday, January 27, 2013 9:02 PM

I am experiencing a short on my DCC layout when I throw the Peco Insulfrog turnout in the main direction.  There is no short in the diverging direction.  Anyone have any experience in this area?

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 20,906 posts
Posted by selector on Sunday, January 27, 2013 9:58 PM

Try gapping the rails at one of the two turnouts to the track segment.  I'm guessing this is a siding with two turnouts, one at each end.  Gap the two routes beyond the frog on either turnout and you won't find the short any longer.   I think.....

Otherwise, you have a small piece of metal or conductive material that bridges the two rails someplace, probably at the frog of a nearby turnout.

Crandell

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Monday, January 28, 2013 9:02 AM

Peco Insulfrog turnouts are "power routing," so you need insulated rail joiners on both rails that diverge from the frog, and separate feeder wires for the track beyond the frog.

We have close to 30 Peco Insulfrog turnouts on our HO scale club layout and have never had a short problem with any of them.

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: South Carolina
  • 1,718 posts
Posted by Train Modeler on Monday, January 28, 2013 9:30 AM

We use Peco among others on our layouts.   Some we gap and some we don't gap since the power routing feature allows us to turn power on or off for a siding.    We have several ladders in double ended yards with them and no problems.    So, I would suggest that you make sure you don't have an unintended reverse loop or something bridging the rails inside rails near the frog.   If the turnout is not new, make sure it's wiring/jumpers weren't changed.

Richard

  • Member since
    January, 2013
  • 4 posts
Posted by Jim's Trains on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 8:59 PM

Crandell,

Thanks.  I have checked for the metal bridging rails but haven't tried the gapping yet.  Will try that next!  Cheers,

Jim

  • Member since
    January, 2013
  • 4 posts
Posted by Jim's Trains on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 9:02 PM

Thanks.  Everyone suggests that the gapping is the solution so that is what I will try next.  I studied the wiring  diagrams for both types of Peco turnouts last night after receiving your message and insulated rail joiners are used in both diagrams.  There is something to be said for avoiding the easy solution with turnouts and doing the extra work when you install them.  Thanks again!

  • Member since
    January, 2013
  • 4 posts
Posted by Jim's Trains on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 9:05 PM

Richard,

Thanks.  Are you using DCC on your layout?  I understand power routing on the DC side but didn't think you could use it the same way with DCC?  Everyone has suggested the gaps so I will re-work this turnout this weekend to see if that solves the problem.  Thanks again for your assistance!

Jim

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • 48 posts
Posted by darrel480 on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 6:25 PM

Peco Insulfrog turnouts dont need to be gapped with insulated rail joiners.  They are designed to work without insulating and extra feeder wires on the short leads after the frog.  This is why in theory these are a preferred choice.  That being said, I have had nothing but trouble with Peco Insulfrog turnouts.  I had so much trouble with them I tore them out and replaced them with Peco Electrofrog turnouts.  I am running nscale though so might make a difference.  I am not familar with Peco HO turnouts but would think they both work the same way.  My short wheel based nscale engines (switchers) and sound engines would stop on the plastic frog on Peco insulfrog turnouts  most of the time, when the turnout was switched one way.  This sounds like a similar problem you are having.  Do they short your system out or do they just loose contact and stall? I changed to Peco Electrofrog turnouts and havent had one problem with stalling.  It is necessary to use insulated rail joiners and some extra feeder wires with electrofrogs though.  I'd say the electrofrog turnouts are much more dependable atleast with nscale. 

  • Member since
    November, 2017
  • 1 posts
Posted by Captain D on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 4:28 PM

Yes. While switch is in straight position (un-thrown?) train goes through fine. When switch is thrown to head into yard the loco shorts/stumbles through at the frog. The problem was the fat, non-protypcial riding surfaces of the n scale wheels were touching both routes while exiting the frog. Solution slice a piece of electrical tape (.75 mm wide) and place it on the non-thrown route, thus insulating that rail. Problem solved. Better yet, grab of your wife's clear nail polish and paint a thin coat on both rails where they come out of the frog.

Otherwise PECO Insulfrog turns should never give one any problems unless they are physically damamged.

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 2,137 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 4:27 PM

Capt. D welcome to the forum. 

Jim the original poster, OP, has not posted in 4 years to tell us if the proposed solution worked.   Darrell in 2 years but maybe they both are lurking out there somewhere.

 

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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