Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Powering Atlas turnout frogs

1820 views
6 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 26,544 posts
Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 1:12 PM

 Right, I didn't tap. Or even use self tapers. That pot metal is so soft a brass screw (I got some that Walthers packages as Ho-Bits at the LHS) can still self tap.

                       --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 2009
  • 4,161 posts
Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 11:41 AM

The hole in the Atlas turnout frog measures .0615”, I normally use a 2mm screw, .0787” diameter.  A 2mm tap does the job nicely.  The reason for Metric is because almost all of the foreign made model railroad stuff is Metric and because of that I have a good inventory of metric hardware. 
 
A good source for hardware is Micro Fasteners
 
SAE Model Railroad Assortment:
 
Metric:
 
 
EDIT:
Randy is correct, a #72 screw fits tight in the hole.  If you tap the hole with a #72 tap the screws won’t hold, been there and done that.
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 
  • Member since
    January 2002
  • From: Loudonville, NY
  • 671 posts
Posted by Benjamin Maggi on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 9:27 AM

RR_Mel
You put the screw in from the bottom using a small solder terminal.  Don’t heat up the frog.  Cut the threaded portion of the screw flush with the ties and put a dob of paint on the screw.

An excellent idea! I was just thinking about this last night and came to the same conclusion, but didn't know if it would work. Thanks!

 

Modeling the D&H in 1984: http://dandhcoloniemain.blogspot.com/

  • Member since
    January 2010
  • From: Chi-Town
  • 7,518 posts
Posted by zstripe on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 4:16 AM

They do make Aluminum/Pot metal solder that will work with the frogs now.....It is by Solder-It. I use it for soldering Aluminum screen to brass rod for chain-link fence scratch builds.....it has a low melting point and can be used with a soldering iron or butane torch.

https://www.solder-it.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=164

I had already used a different remedy for powering My Atlas frogs before the paste solder came out......but I have tried it on a couple turnouts on the bench and it works to solder to the pot-metal frogs.

I needed to power some of My frogs for really slow speed operation, (I run DC) and the turnouts were already laid and ballasted. I drilled a hole right down into one of the holes in the frog and used a solid #24 gauge wire cut off part of the insulation at the top, put a 90 degree bend in it about a 3/32'' so the bend would rest on the side of the hole and used a black flat head 1-72 machine screw and with a little pressure tightened the screw in the hole with the wire, the threads of the screw cut into the wire forming threads and was able to screw the wire flush with tie....worked like a charm........did not even attempt to camouflage the screw head yet. Couple pic's of a #4 and #6 crossover, of which I have ten.

I also sand off the black on top of the frog.

Good Luck on whatever You decide! Big Smile

Frank

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 26,544 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 7:47 PM

 I am fairly certain what I used was a 1-72 scre, not a 2-56, 2-56 seems like it would be very large. I didn;t have to tap the hole, I just ran a scre in from the bottom, and only until the bottom was flush with the top of the turnout - I used a brass screw so it was easy to just solder the wire to the screw, no terminals needed.

 If the turnout is already installed there's little choice but to put the screw on the top. What might work would be to use a long brass screw, drive it in, and then cut it off nearly flush with the top, and then there would be enough brass poking out the top to solder a wire to, but not an ugly screw head. Paint it all black after soldering the wire.

                              --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 2009
  • 4,161 posts
Posted by RR_Mel on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 6:51 PM

You put the screw in from the bottom using a small solder terminal.  Don’t heat up the frog.  Cut the threaded portion of the screw flush with the ties and put a dob of paint on the screw.
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 

I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps

  • Member since
    May 2017
  • 45 posts
Powering Atlas turnout frogs
Posted by Capt.Brigg on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 6:06 PM

I have a set of #6 Atlas turnouts with the metal insulated frog. I need to add a wire to the frogs to hook to my Tortous switch machines. The frogs come with two small holes in the metal ears on the frog. I have tried to solder the wire into the hole in the frog ear, with poor results and melted plastic ties. I have also watched YouTube videos that suggest tapping the hole and adding a 2-56 screw to which you solder the frog wire.  This leaves a large unsightly screw head next to the frog. I also tried to find the subject in MR Video Plus.  I'm looking for better suggestions on attaching a wire to the Atlas metal frog. Thanks for any links or suggestions.

Capt. Brigg CEO
Pacific Cascade Railway in HO gauge

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!