full powered frog converted into an insulated frog????


PolarExpressBill

New Member
I have been making an N scale Polar Express Theater on wheels train layout. It is all 3d printed and uses ez track.
I wanted to add in a signal light for my turnout. After doing much testing and research, I found out that when I used my insulated frog, ( a piece of track that I acquired from a sale), that this setup will work. But on the layout I learned that I don't have insulated frogs and both turn outs have full powered frogs. Now without taking the track off the layout, is it possible to convert, modify or hack the full powered frog to act like the insulated one works. The pictures are just for reference to show you the layout. But the turnouts are for this post.
If I can't make this work, a possible work around would be a slider switch that is double pole and I would use this to simulate the green or red light as I manually switch the track during the show. I can make that work. This is all DC.
Thanks I hope you guys can offer me a very positive solution on if this if it is possible. This is my first post.
First picture (insulated frog) test that works.
Second picture (full powered frog, test that does not work, but acts like an on or off for the lights.
Third picture (working diagram for dwarf lights.
Fourth picture of where the turnout is for the layout.

I should add that I powered the track from the circle in the last picture, so if I do change the frog would that not allow power to the rest of the track or would could it weaken the strength of the signal for the entire track? There are no feeders.
 

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Now without taking the track off the layout, is it possible to convert, modify or hack the full powered frog to act like the insulated one works. The pictures are just for reference to show you the layout. But the turnouts are for this post.
...
Second picture (full powered frog, test that does not work, but acts like an on or off for the lights.
So, am I understanding this correctly? The turnout that is not on the layout, will light the red signal when turned one way and the green signal when switched the other way. In contrast the turnout that is on the layout has both signals on or both signals off depending on direction of turnout. If so, are the signals ON when turnout is set for the loop, or ON when the branch is chosen.

Are these signal lights actual light bulbs or are they LEDs?

Yes, in a loop power will go around the entire layout and into the other side of the turnout. That is good or bad depending on the circumstance.
 
So, am I understanding this correctly? The turnout that is not on the layout, will light the red signal when turned one way and the green signal when switched the other way. In contrast the turnout that is on the layout has both signals on or both signals off depending on direction of turnout. If so, are the signals ON when turnout is set for the loop, or ON when the branch is chosen.
Yes this is correct.
These are fairy lights, that I sanded down to fit inside these little boxes I made. They are smds. I have a 470 ohm resistor on them for the power consumption.

Yes, in a loop power will go around the entire layout and into the other side of the turnout. That is good or bad depending on the circumstance.

I 3d printed a polar express cow catcher and some other stuff for a 4-8-4 locomotive that came in the sale I bought last year. This is all old stuff that is Bachmann. So having power around the whole track is necessary when backing up out of the loop during the show. I am thinking about getting a 2-6-2 Bachmann instead and trying that.

So, basically there is no hack or grinding that can be done to make them insulated?? To tear up that track that is permanently caulked in would be a nightmare this close to Christmas.

I can show you a video of how it works that I posted last year during the covid outbreak, because no one could see the show then.
Maybe this will help you understand what I am trying to add.

This lights are not necessary, but a cool feature, I thought.
 
So, basically there is no hack or grinding that can be done to make them insulated?? To tear up that track that is permanently caulked in would be a nightmare this close to Christmas.
No I didn't say that. I just need to totally understand the situation before I start making comments. Unfortunately I have no Bachmann N-scale turnouts to look at and have a real life example in front of me. So I need to think about it some more.

The lights are powered from track power, right?
 
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The lights are powered from track power, right? So they get brighter as the train goes faster?
Yes the turnout with the insulated frog does that. The turnout on the layout does the same. I planned to solder them on the side of the rails on the outside.

Did the video help?
thanks.
I made this up in tinkercad with a 3 way switch, if all else fails I can wire this in for the look.
Fake lights
 
Yes the turnout with the insulated frog does that. The turnout on the layout does the same. I planned to solder them on the side of the rails on the outside.

Did the video help?
thanks.
I made this up in tinkercad with a 3 way switch, if all else fails I can wire this in for the look.
Fake lights
Yes it did.

So the turnout at the top of the video that goes from the big outer loop into the north pole loop is the one you want the lights on?

With the lights that go both on or both off, is it opposite when the train is running the opposite direction.

And oh yes, is there just one signal light or three?

edit - I did just find this....Note especially the picture at the bottom. You would have to rewire that section to make it behave as you want, which obviously can not be done without having access to the bottom of the turnout. I am guessing the turnout you bought separately had some custom work done in this area.
1670354107008.png
 
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With the lights that go both on or both off, is it opposite when the train is running the opposite direction.
The lights with the insulated turnout would work with the straight run as green and the curve as red. This way I can see from the directors view, remember this is a show or theater, that I had the straight (green) facing me for the two shows. Arrival and Hot chocolate, then the red light would show me it ready for the Christmas wish show.
And oh yes, is there just one signal light or three?
One at the bottom and one set of lights at the top. Each light has two smds in it. One red, one green.

Like I mentioned, that is helpful and probably would work, but the show must go on. If it is not a simple cut or grind I may resort to the tinkecad method and just use that for the illusion. There are a ton of jumper bars and connectors underneath the layout I can wire into.

I know it would make switching easier for me to see, since these will be facing toward the director table on the layout. It worked two years ago like it is. But I thought this might help me see it better in the night.
 
Ok its been awhile since I posted on here, but here is my solution. It is fake and this means that does it not work when the switching is taking place, but this does offer many types of simulated solutions using batteries and smds

Maybe something like this would work for those who have non- insulated frogs that have permanent glued down track??
It was all designed in Inventor and tinker CAD for the wiring tests. I am very pleased with it and this works for my theater setup.

You can see it in this short
Working switch
 

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Ok its been awhile since I posted on here, but here is my solution. It is fake and this means that does it not work when the switching is taking place, but this does offer many types of simulated solutions using batteries and smds

Maybe something like this would work for those who have non- insulated frogs that have permanent glued down track??
It was all designed in Inventor and tinker CAD for the wiring tests. I am very pleased with it and this works for my theater setup.

You can see it in this short
Working switch
I am glad you found a working solution.
 



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