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So I fried a frog

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  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Canada
  • 58 posts
So I fried a frog
Posted by cp7400 on Monday, February 11, 2008 4:57 PM

Last night I tried to adapt an N scale Peco Code 55 electrofrog turnout. I followed one of the methods on Allan Gartners Wiring for DCC site. I clipped the frog wires and accidently broke one. I soldered it back on and melted stuff. I used a Dremel cut off disc and accidently cut into the plastic guard rails. I soldered other wires and melted ties. I resoldered at the frog and pretty well everything warped or twisted. Actually I was quite impressed because I didn't realise that my soldering is even worse than my electrical knowledge. Must be these tired old eyes.

Before doing all this I read and reread numerous web sites, books and articles for the best way to power route a Peco turnout. It seems everyone has a different idea. So to keep it easy for myself I have decided to do the following:

I'll not cut anything but I will use insulating joiners at the two track ends of the frog. Since I have read that the points alone will not, over time, ensure good electrical continuity I note that I can use a switch machine to change the polarity of the frog. If I simply solder (grimace) one wire to a frog track end (just before where the insulating joiner will go) won't that be adequate? Do I really have to completely isolate the frog and solder wires in that area? Maybe I could really go out on a limb (or frog leg Smile [:)] ) and also solder power feeds to the stock rails at the point end as well?

All my equipment is new in the last five years so clearances should not be a problem as far as shorts go.

 I really want to get on with track laying and construction not frying frogs so opinions will, of course, be much appreciated.

Many thanks.

 

  • Member since
    October 2005
  • From: Ulster Co. NY
  • 1,464 posts
Posted by larak on Monday, February 11, 2008 5:41 PM

Not familiar with Peco but your method appears to be adequate. Not the best perhaps but adequate. Gap the two rails coming off of the frog (joiners are fine) and feed the far ends. It really doesn't matter how far beyond the frog the gaps actually go. 

Do, check that the two rails off of the frog are in fact electrically connected to each other and to the frog and points. If so, add the one frog feed wire with relay, switch, tortoise or whatever and you're done.

Isn't this what we used to call power routing?

Karl 

The mind is like a parachute. It works better when it's open.  www.stremy.net

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Canada
  • 58 posts
Posted by cp7400 on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:15 AM

Thanks for the reply Karl.

That pretty well reinforces what I was thinking. I have 30 Peco turnouts to do so limiting potential problems from close soldering will, hopefully, let me avoid more destruction !!

Even after all that reading I still cannot really see why isolating the frog completely is so important. Especially, if I am correct, with the new equipment I have. Maybe I am just missing some fundamental point (forgive the pun).

Anyway thanks for the input.

 Roger

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Canada
  • 58 posts
Posted by cp7400 on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 1:44 PM

Well it's the old story. Rummage around the Forums and trust in the wealth of knowledge because there is sure to be someone who can help.

I came across Joe Fugate's post 'Forum Clinic - 12 years of DCC' on this Electronics and DCC thread this afternoon and I started reading. As I read things actually began to make sense. He has a great way of imparting the information backed up by relevant graphics.

I think I now know where I am going wrong with this DCC wiring concept. After reading his stuff I am actually eager to go at it again. You could say the light came on - well at the very least a 1156 bulb Smile [:)] .

Many thanks,

Roger

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: Orig: Tyler Texas. Lived in seven countries, now live in Sundown, Louisiana
  • 25,640 posts
Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Thursday, February 14, 2008 6:16 PM
I just gap the rails and control the spur through a DPDT center-off switch.

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
          Joined June, 2004

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