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Walthers Shinohara Double Crossover - Juicing the Frogs

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Walthers Shinohara Double Crossover - Juicing the Frogs
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 5:52 AM

At one time, I had three double crossovers on my layout. But, I had so much trouble with derailments and dead spots that I finally removed two of them, keeping only one that I considered essential. My latest issue over the weekend was a dead closure rail, so I had to solder a jumper wire to restore power. So, it is only a matter of time now until I remove the last remaining double crossover and replace it with a pair of crossovers.

The double crossover is a marvel or engineering, but I consider the Walthers Shinohara DCC Friendly Double Crossover a little too fragile for my taste. Now, I am sure that some will report that the double crossover on their layout has been there 20 years without a problem, to which I say, good for you. This particular double crossover has been on my layout for nearly 10 years, but it has been a maintenance nightmare.

Now, on to my current issue. I recently purchased a Bowser V-1000 switcher, and I noticed that at slow speeds, the loco stalls on the straight through routes. So, I started testing each and every rail segment for power. The following photo shows the power to each rail segment, blue to the upper rail and red to the lower rail. The uncolored (white) segments show the guard rails, crossing diamond, and frog rails. It just so happens that the front and rear trucks of the V-1000 loco fit perfectly over the "turnout frogs". So, at slow speeds, the loco stalls for lack of power.

I believe that the solution is to power the frogs which are currently isolated dead metal frogs, perhaps using Tam Valley Depot Frog Juicers. The following photo shows the area in green that would require power to eliminate the stalls.

My question is, how many juicers would I need?  Would two do it, one juicer on one of the upper frogs and one juicer on one of the lower frogs?

I look forward to your comments.

Rich

 

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 8, 2016 6:45 AM

 Use 4 outputs of one quad Frog Juicer. Then there is nothing to calculate or figure out. Theoretically, the top 2 should both be the same polarity, the bottom two should both the the same polarity, any other route lined through the crossover would be a conflict and you'd only need a dual frog juicer. Check on the Tam Valley Yahoo group or ask directly at Tam Valley if they support running 2 frogs with 1 juicer output, Duncan is pretty responsive.

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Monday, February 8, 2016 7:08 AM

LION does not juice the frogs. Frogs must fend for themselves. LION uses relays to apply power according to the logic of the alignment. On layout of him, no other power is present anywhere else on the switch.

On Route of the BroadwayLION, we do not even bother to power the entire crossover. with 48 wheel pickup it was deemed quite unnecessary.

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 7:18 AM

rrinker

Check on the Tam Valley Yahoo group or ask directly at Tam Valley if they support running 2 frogs with 1 juicer output, Duncan is pretty responsive.

All good points, Randy. First, the polarities on the upper and lower tracks match, so no problem there. Second, as you say, there are no conflicts on the crossover because conflicts would not be possible without a collision.

Rich

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Posted by carl425 on Monday, February 8, 2016 8:42 AM

Excuse me for butting in without any real experience with the frog juicer, but for some reason, I find the "puzzzle value" of questions like this irresistable.

Don't you also need to juice the X's in the crossover?  (is that a frog?)

I would think you need 4 juice points.  One each for the top and bottom pair of turnout frogs, and one for each of the X-frogs in the crossover.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 8, 2016 9:15 AM

 In the old style ones, those rails are powered from the frog, electrically connected to them Dunno about the DCC friendly version - I'd have to assume they have power through simialr to Atlas turnouts, otherwise a lot more locos would stall, that's a lot of rail to not be powered if the frog is dead plus the rails in the middle. Only the longest locos could pass through such a contraption.

 If the center rails are powered from the frogs, using the frog juicer would power those rails as well and no problem. If those reails already hav power matchign the proper stock/closure rail, then there is no problem, there is no need for them to change polarity. Those middle rails are clearly insulated at the frog and where they touch each other, so either they are completely dead (unlikely) or have jumpers under the frog to feed them.

                          --Randy

 


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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, February 8, 2016 9:39 AM

I'd use 2 juicers, as suggested, and power the two upper frogs with one and the two lower frogs with the other.

The Hex Frog Juicer manual indicates that you can use the same output to drive two frogs if they will always have the same polarity as each other.

Great diagram, by the way. Yes

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Posted by RR_Mel on Monday, February 8, 2016 9:43 AM

Hi Rich
 
I designed my layout around a Walthers code 83 double crossover.  The two things I wanted the most on my layout was a double crossover and a working turntable.
 
The Walthers Shinohara Double Crossover was the first track laid on my current layout.  I tried everything to get it to work and after many frustrating hours of tedious fixing there wasn’t anything left of the double crossover but pieces.  I had so much trouble with derailments and electrical problems I ended up using two Atlas turnouts for a single crossover for many years. 
 
 Over the years I tried four other double crossovers three of the four ending up in the trashcan.  The fourth was a Fast Track and you described exactly the problem I had with it.  At that point I gave up and sold the Fast Track Double Crossover on eBay.
 
Still wanting a working double crossover I built my own from Atlas code 83 Custom Line turnouts and a Atlas 19° crossover and I have never looked back.  I’ve never had a derailment or an electrical problem with my homebrew.  No Juicer needed.
 
 
 
This is my “Mel homebrew” double crossover before installation.
 
  
This picture is after a year of service, I waited for months before I started the scenery to make sure it was a long term fix.  I’m still working on the scenery in this area, the picture was taken two years ago and I’m still not finished with the scenery.
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
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Posted by carl425 on Monday, February 8, 2016 10:33 AM

A quick google produced this:

at: http://www.tamvalleydepot.com/support/frogjuicerinfo.html

 

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, February 8, 2016 10:47 AM

Rich, I only had to juice two of the four frogs for my BS 4-4-0. I got a real good deal on buying ten FJ.s and have used six of them. I have spares in case I get something like a highrailer that causes me more problems. Eventually I will power the frogs with the TO motors when I get that far, but for now Caboose ground throws and FJs give me a quick easy fix to rid myself of mainline frustrations.

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Monday, February 8, 2016 10:49 AM

richhotrain
All good points, Randy. First, the polarities on the upper and lower tracks match, so no problem there. Second, as you say, there are no conflicts on the crossover because conflicts would not be possible without a collision.

There are three possible routings over this switch...

1. Northbound to Track 1 which includes Southbound from track 2.

2. Northbound into track 2; Red signals displayed against movements from track 1.

3) Southbound from track 1; Red signals displayed against Northbound trains and agains movements from track 2.

On Layout of LION Turnouts and Signals arte controlled by separate levers. Green signals cannot be displayed for the routes not alighed.

Tracks 1 and 2 both have red signals displayed unless the track lever is aligned to that track. If said lever is so aligned, then the interlock will allow the signal to be cleared but ONLY IF the Southbound Dyckmann Street platform is open.

No northbound train can leave Dyckmann Street unless lever 3 is reversed. If levers 1 and 2 are normal, and no train is ocupying track 1, then lever three can be moved, Green over Green is the display and the train will move to track 1.

If Lever 1 is reversed (lever 2 is normal because of a mechanical interlock between levers 1 and 2) AND track 2 is not occupied, then lever 3 can be reversed and the train at Dyckmann Street would receive an Amber over Amber indication permitting the train to proceed to track two.

IF LEVER 3 *is* reversed, then the homeball at Botanic Gardens displays red over red, and a train may not continue to Dyckmann Street until it is cleared. The block system would of its own display a red signal if Dyckmann is occupied, but once the train leaves that signal could be lost, but the reversed position of the lever prevents that train from proceeding. Were it to proceed, it would encounter a clear signal a Dyckman Street and would rear-end a train sitting in the station. So there is that extra interlock built into the system. The Dyckmann Signal must be set to RED before Botanic Garden can display a Green.

In any event, The tracks NEVER assum an "X" condition because of the mechanical interlock between levers 1 and 2. Frogs (this was about frogs, yess?) need to respond to three different plant alignments. Of course on route of LION, the entire switch is dead. Leaver 1 selects between track 1 (Normal) or track 2 (reversed) The selected track receives its power from the Northbound track. A rectifyer across a station gap will stop the train in the station, and will only permit southbound movements when Lever 2 is set to the track that will be moved, AND the signal lever is also cleared. The platform track will receive its power from the Southbound track. No signal, no go.

ROAR

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Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Monday, February 8, 2016 11:20 AM

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 11:54 AM

All of the frogs on the Walthers Shinohara DCC Friendly Code 83 Double Crossover are isolated dead metal frogs.  But the crossover routes do not cause stalls because of the distance apart of the crossover frogs. At least with the loco roster that I have, none of the wheelbases results in both the front and rear trucks crossing dead sections at the same moment. So, the problem is limited to the straight through routes.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 11:56 AM

DigitalGriffin

Don, when I refer back to the thread for which you provided a link, you mention that this solution will not work with the Walthers double crossover. I assume that you are referring to the Walthers Shinohara DCC Friendly Code 83 Double Crossover.

Rich

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Monday, February 8, 2016 12:51 PM

From what I can tell, frogs 2 and 5 (see diagram) are insulated.  So you would not need the relay because putting juice to an insulated frog is worthless.  Big Smile

In the above diagram, only 1 route was valid at a time.  If you threw both routes, the frogs at 2 and 5 would be in conflict polarity wide.  AS they are insulated, the polarity doesn't matter.  That's why you can throw both at the same time.

Other then that the wiring should be the same.  You can obviously ignore wires  5, 6, 7 on both tortoises as well as they are only used to help determine the polarity of frogs 2 and 5.

You can even get away with using 1 DPDT on two tortoises.  But the linkages and wiring is different.  Instead of tortoise A controlling the left side switches, and B the right (as above), tortoise A would control the top side, tortoise B the bottom.  You would connect tortoise A's outputs to frog 1 and 4.  Tortoise B's outputs would change polarity on frogs #3 and #6 .  

The linkage of this later arrangement is more complicated because both throw bars are not lined up parallel to the tortoise.  This requires a perpendicular linkage which gets "complex"  One side of the DPDT would read "Clear/Closed", the other side would read "Thrown".  



 [edit]: finished.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 2:44 PM

I got an email back from Duncan, and he confirmed what Mr. B. had already said, and that is that one Frog Juicer can power two frogs with the same polarity.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 2:48 PM

I am a bit confused with Digital Griffin's replies.

All of the frogs are isolated, but they are all metal. So, they could all be powered.

Could you somehow use the Tortoises instead of Frog Juicers to power the frogs.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 2:50 PM

BATMAN

Rich, I only had to juice two of the four frogs for my BS 4-4-0. 

Brent, which two frogs did you juice?
 
Rich

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, February 8, 2016 3:37 PM

 They are on two different tracks but on the same end of the crossover, if that makes sense. Why only two need FJs, I don't know. Parts of the electrical side of the hobby are my weakest in the knowledge end of things. I wonder if I were to turn the crossover around if that would mean I would need FJs on that end.Confused

Brent

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 8, 2016 3:48 PM

 I believe the confusing is resulting becauseof confusing the old non-DCC friendly version with the current DCC friendly version. If you look on Wiring for DCC, it shows the electrical paths for the old non-DCC friendly one, and in fact those middle frogs (2 and 5 on that one picture) are fully live and need power routing to them. But if you look at the OP's photo of his actual crossover, you can see where things are insulated with plastic inserts which do not appear in the old version seen on Wiring for DCC. Batman's post further backs this up - likely the individual sections of rail that go diagonally are all interconnected with jumpers under the plastic bits. You'd have to remove the crossover from the layout to test accurately, but a continuity tester or multimeter on ohms would quickly conform the way it's all wired together.

Despite all the potential paths, there's only 2 conditions that are valid, which is why you can rig up just 1 Tortoise to run all 4 sets of points - if either route is set to cross over, then neither route can allow a train to go straight through, because one side or the other would be going through open points. So either both are set to go straight, or both are set to cross, no other option is physically possible.

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Monday, February 8, 2016 3:50 PM

The frogs circled in yellow sure look like they are insulated frogs to me...

Those are frogs 2 and 5 in my diagram.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 4:06 PM

BATMAN

 They are on two different tracks but on the same end of the crossover, if that makes sense. Why only two need FJs, I don't know. Parts of the electrical side of the hobby are my weakest in the knowledge end of things. I wonder if I were to turn the crossover around if that would mean I would need FJs on that end.Confused

 

That is probably because of the wheelbase lengths of the trucks. Just powering the frogs on one side is enough as long as all the trucks are powered.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 4:24 PM

rrinker

I believe the confusing is resulting because of confusing the old non-DCC friendly version with the current DCC friendly version. If you look on Wiring for DCC, it shows the electrical paths for the old non-DCC friendly one, and in fact those middle frogs (2 and 5 on that one picture) are fully live and need power routing to them. But if you look at the OP's photo of his actual crossover, you can see where things are insulated with plastic inserts which do not appear in the old version seen on Wiring for DCC. Batman's post further backs this up - likely the individual sections of rail that go diagonally are all interconnected with jumpers under the plastic bits. You'd have to remove the crossover from the layout to test accurately, but a continuity tester or multimeter on ohms would quickly conform the way it's all wired together.

As I say, the six frogs are all metal, and they are fully isolated. Instead of using a continuity tester, I used a 12 volt incandescent bulb with two attached wires to identify all of the powered rail segments. The various rail segments are connected in the plastic molding beneath the rails. Also, the DCC Friendly Code 83 version is not power routing.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 4:27 PM

DigitalGriffin

The frogs circled in yellow sure look like they are insulated frogs to me...

Those are frogs 2 and 5 in my diagram.

 

Don, yes, all of the frogs are insulated. I raised the issue because I thought you were saying that it is pointless to power an insulated frog. That is why I said that I was confused by your comment.  I still am.

Rich

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Monday, February 8, 2016 4:34 PM

Insulated is different from Isolated.  Isolated can still conduct.  I said insulated.  Insulated can not conduct.

So all my extra wiring for those two Insulated frogs wouldn't have made much since.


So you have a choice....

  • Throw all 4 at once with 1 turtle (That's a very complex linkage)  I would use a counter sprung load on all four switch points and a series of tensioned pull wires.
  • Use 1 DPDT and pair the top two with Turtle A and bottom 2 switches to turtle B (moderately complex linkage)
  • Use 2 DPDT and only 1 route is valid, A->A, A->B, B->A, B->B but NOT A->B and B->A (All points thrown)  The advantage is the linkage is simpler.  tortoise A controls the left points.  tortoise B controls the right points.  You could also rig this up with a multi pole rotary selector similar to below.

 

So what do you prefer?

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 4:57 PM

DigitalGriffin

Insulated is different from Isolated.  Isolated can still conduct.  I said insulated.  Insulated can not conduct.

LOL

Don, I have been using the term isolated since the frogs are all fully gapped. When you used the term insulated, I went along with you thinking that the terms isolated and insulated were being used interchangeably. 

So, now back to my Walthers Shinohara DCC Friendly Code 83 double crossover. Each frog is fully gapped, so isolated.  But the frogs are metal so they can be powered. So, I can use Frog Juicers to match the polarities of the adjoining rails. Correct?

When you use the term insulated, wouldn't that be the same as a plastic frog?

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 4:59 PM

For what it's worth, I use Tortoises to throw the point rails.  I am using four Tortoises on this double crossover, all wired together and controlled by a single DPDT toggle switch.

Rich

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Monday, February 8, 2016 5:09 PM

richhotrain

For what it's worth, I use Tortoises to throw the point rails.  I am using four Tortoises on this double crossover, all wired together and controlled by a single DPDT toggle switch.

Rich

 

 

Then this is a mundane exercise.  Treat it as 4 track switches and use each tortoise to change the polarity of the frog closest to the switch/tortoise.  EASY-PZ

Why spend $$$$  on a juicer, when you have all the functionality you need already?

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 8, 2016 5:25 PM

DigitalGriffin
 
 
richhotrain

For what it's worth, I use Tortoises to throw the point rails.  I am using four Tortoises on this double crossover, all wired together and controlled by a single DPDT toggle switch.

Rich

 

Then this is a mundane exercise.  Treat it as 4 track switches and use each tortoise to change the polarity of the frog closest to the switch/tortoise.  EASY-PZ

Why spend $$$$  on a juicer, when you have all the functionality you need already?

 

Don, that was actually intended to be my initial question.  I was initially inquiring about the use of Frog Juicers because I thought that was my best option. But, I hadn't even thought about using Tortoises for this purpose until you mentioned it in an earlier reply.

Right now, I use tabs #1 and #8 on the Tortoise for power drawn from a DC power pack and tabs #5,6,7 to power signals for the DCO. Can you suggest the wiring to power the frog?

Rich

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, February 8, 2016 6:38 PM

richhotrain
Right now, I use tabs #1 and #8 on the Tortoise for power drawn from a DC power pack and tabs #5,6,7 to power signals for the DCO. Can you suggest the wiring to power the frog?

The frog wire goes to pin 4.  The track bus wires go to pins 2 & 3.  Since you have a 50/50 chance of getting the right track bus wires to the right pins, you will be wrong 80% of the time by Murphy's Law, so don't solder anything until you've tested it.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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