After following DCC Concepts instructions, I isolated all frog rails on turnouts facing heel to heel when laying track to prevent power shorts. Now I realise that the Micro Engineering track comes with insulated metal frogs, leaving 2 1/2 inches of unpowered rail on each frog rail so isolated. Now I have the problem of bridging the isolation joiners in each case rather than running leads to installed track. Jumper wiring the outside of the rails is a possibility but rather unsightly. Does anyone have other suggestions?
Ron from down under.
I'm not familiar with the ME turnouts, but would it be possible to simply solder the ends of the rails together at the factory gap? You would have to remove any filler between the ends of the rails. Silver bearing solder (usually 2%) is much stronger than the regular lead/tin stuff, not that there should be any stress on the short pieces of track. I'm not sure what is available down under but Kester is one company that makes the silver bearing solder.
Here is what I use. Scroll down a bit:
Do You have the older ME turnouts? Or the new? Here is a link to wiring both with diagrams:
You can keep Your two insulated joiners there...just add two feeders, like in diagram.
hon30critterI'm not familiar with the ME turnouts....
I wasn't either but a friend gave me a half-dozen of them and, liking their appearance and the built-in spring for the points, I went out and bought a few more for the long-planned partial upper level of my layout. I was very disappointed when I discovered, after installation, that I had to wire them to eliminate all the dead areas. I'm running DC, and most of my turnouts up to that point had been Atlas and Shinohara - very simple to install and generally trouble-free. I did eventually get everything working, but I'll not likely buy more ME turnouts in the future. I don't bother to power the Atlas frogs, as even three-axle switchers glide over them without hesitation.The same friend also gave me a couple of Peco turnouts, and they were easy to use and work well without any alterations, although they'd normally be out of my comfort zone on price.
soldering the gaps would entail cutting out the many insulating joiners, no easy task, and trying to shape solder joints to conform to rail contours on installed track. It sounds like a case of masochism to me so I think I'll pass on your suggestion, but thanks for your response and the soldering tips.
I have the new DCC friendly turnouts and the associated wiring info which I followed as to wiring live metal frogs. Sadly I also followed the wiring instructions for the Cobalt analog turnout switches advocating the isolation of frog rails on opposing turnouts, and therein lies my folly.
I feel that your suggestion of running feeders to all frog rails on installed turnouts is as unsightly and fraught with more danger than the bridging alternative. So in the absence of any other solution, I guess it's a case of frog rails wearing jumpers!
Ron Humesoldering the gaps would entail cutting out the many insulating joiners, no easy task, and trying to shape solder joints to conform to rail contours on installed track. It sounds like a case of masochism to me so I think I'll pass on your suggestion
You are right about the masochism aspect. It was an easy suggestion to make considering it was your back that would suffer, not mine.
After thinking about it, I agree that jumpers would seem to be the easiest route to go. They don't have to be very long so they won't be too obvious, and you might be able to make them look like prototypical rail joiners if you were to use brass stock somewhere around 1/32" x 1/64". K&S sells brass stock that size.
Ron HumeI feel that your suggestion of running feeders to all frog rails on installed turnouts is as unsightly and fraught with more danger than the bridging alternative. So in the absence of any other solution, I guess it's a case of frog rails wearing jumpers!
All depends upon how You look at it.....I don't see any difference to soldering two feeders after the frog, which should be easier, it only takes two solder points versus, jumpering the joiners with four solder points....which would leave more chance for a screw-up and may be unsightly. You don't mention what Your roadbed and sub is. But it would be a piece of cake for Me to add feeders to My ballasted track. Just drill a hole next to the rail on the outside of track, use a 22 gauge solid wire, put a 90 degree bend in it and solder to rails. Can be painted to match rails. My sub is 1/2 ply and roadbed is 1/2 Homasote. I use Silver bearing solder paste though....a lot easier than holding solder to the joint....Your one hand is free to hold wire against the rail with the paste on it and just touch the iron to it. The paste has flux added in it.
Good Luck, on whatever You choose!
BTW: After posting My reply...I got to thinking...how many insulated joiners do You have on one turnout? If in DCC you only need two on the exiting frog rails. If in DC and that was a separate block, then you would need to do all four, unless running common rail, for a block control.
Frog wearing jumper????
Very funny! Exactly what the OP's thread title suggested!
How long did it take you to find that image?
The picture I posted reflects exactly what I thought when I read the thread title. I thought it might be something about scenery and ponds and critter-modeling.
Yeah, it's in the electrical section, not the layout one. That would have been a hint.
I found the picture right-quickly--just entered the title in search. Oddly, there wasn't ONE picture of a track frog--go figure. I was hoping for a REAL frog dressed up, but frog-dressing hasn't seemed to take off. Yet.
7j43kbut frog-dressing hasn't seemed to take off.
Sure it has:
And here's a frog with dressing:
Model Railroader magazine