I know, I know, this topic has been beaten to death so many times I should know how to this by now. But to be honest, I have NO clue. I have some Peco code 55 curved turnouts that I need to wire up this weekend. I've read all I can but I'm just more confused than I was before. So can any one explain to me in small, simple words how to do this (as in were to cut gaps and solder feeders)? Pics would be VERY helpful. I don't think I need any fancy power routing since I will be running newer Altas, Kato, and Athearn locos. My layout is powered by DCC.
"Peco "Electro-Frog", Shinohara, and such
These turnouts can be used directly by putting insulated joiners on each of the two rails connected to the points of the turnout. There may be some limited reliability, depending upon the contact between the moving point and each rail. To enhance the reliability of these turnouts, use an external switch (part of the ground throw or motor which moves the turnout) and connect power from the selected rail to the frog by an extra drop somewhere inside the triangle. Advantage is that there is almost NO area where the loco does not receive power. Also you can create "quick and dirty" signaling with these turnouts. With a bicolor three lead LED, connect each element to one side of the track. Connect the common lead to the points with a series dropping resistor. Now when the turnout moves the light changes. Power drops to the two outside rails will suffice, especially if you have used an external switch to route power to the frog."
Thanks for the reply. That helps a lot.
So, if I understand this correctly, I have 2 options.
1) Simply connect the frog rails with insulated joiners, therefore having about an inch of dead track between the frog and the end of the turnout. So if I had a crossover using two of these turnouts there would be a 2" dead spot, which is unacceptable.
2) Do the same thing as #1, but run a single wire from the tortoise or ground throw and connect it to the frog. This is called power routing and it is actually easier than I thought.
No, you are not quite understanding it yet......
1) If you install the insulatated joiners, there is no dead spot. (even with a crossover). You will not have any area of dead track. It will all be powered providing both turnouts are in good condition and working as designed. There will only be one insulator between the two turnouts. If you had a small 2" peice of track between the turnouts, you would only insulate one side of the 2" track.
You have some flexibity with where you put the insulated joiners. But they must be on the rails that go to the frog. Just think of the frog as where the two opposing rails cross and create a short).
2) With Peco Electrofrog's, the frog is always powered. There is no need to wire the frog. These turnouts are "route selective" and transmit track voltage via the points to each diverging route. (Same as Shinohara/Walthers and some others). In addition to the contact of the point rails, there is a little tab underneath that contacts the rails and conducts the current. Often these tabs get bent or broken and then only the point rail will conduct the power. (not always reliably). THAT is why some people prefer to add a feeder wire.
I hope this helps.....
Here are some links that might help:
Thanks for the help everyone!
So, to make everything work two insulated joiners must be placed on the frog rails. This does not make any dead spots because the point rails are touching the stock rails; therefore the frog and frog rails are always powered.
The reason to power rout is because everything from the points to the frog rails relies on a solid connection between the points and the stock rails. If this connection is bad, the frog has no power. Also, if the hinges between the point rails and the closure rails fail, there is no power to the frog. So, to solve this I need to solder a wire to the frog and connect it to a power routing switch.
Was all that correct?
Model Railroader magazine