Insulated Frog or elecro frog for DCC

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dmiller

Member
Purchasing Peco turnouts for my Steam locomotive era layout . Does it make any difference wiring wise for purchasing Electro Frogs. I am using insulated frogs but need a 3 way turnout and my the local store has only the Electro (power routed) frog . This turnout is for a Stub end yard and the stub tracks are all wired in. Should I be able to use this Electro frog straight out of package? Or should I order an insulated frog to keep with what I have . None of my locos have issues with insulated frogs . Perhaps I will like Electro routed for in the future .
Thank You
 

PRR Modeler

Well-Known Member
I use Insulfrog and have a Walthers 3 way switch that did not require anything special. I believe the Electrofrog needs the use of one insulated rail joiner on each set of tracks if I remember correctly. The instructions show what you have to do.
 

gjohnston

Slow Learner
I used the electro frogs so that my small switcher locos will always have power going through the turnouts. But if you don’t have that problem with any of your locos now then you should be good to go with the insofrog turnouts. The electro frog turnouts do require some modifications before putting them in service for DCC use but I didn’t find it difficult to do.

There are YouTube videos out there on how to do this too.
 
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Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Does it make any difference wiring wise for purchasing Electro Frogs. I am using insulated frogs but need a 3 way turnout and my the local store has only the Electro (power routed) frog . This turnout is for a Stub end yard and the stub tracks are all wired in. Should I be able to use this Electro frog straight out of package? Or should I order an insulated frog to keep with what I have.
No, if the stub tracks have power to them, and you use this straight out of the package it will cause short circuit(s). BUT simply add insulated rail joiners to the frog rails and it will be fine.

The easiest way to use hot frog turnouts on a stub end track is to not put separate power feeders to the track. Just let the turnout power them as needed from the points.
 

diesel

New Member
I don't see a big difference there. The "unifrog" seems to just include the insulated gaps that you would normally add on the point rails of an electrofrog. I've been using exclusively electrofrog type switches since my first layout was completed in about 1994.
 

Suzie

Member
Unifrog is the answer. It has a metal frog that is very small, smaller than the plastic frog of insulfrog, so you can choose whether you wire the frog and use it as live frog, or leave it unconnected and use it as dead frog. The unifrogs to not come wired for power routing so traditional DC users will need to rewire them, but for DCC they work fine out of the box - just add a frog switch and away you go.

Insulfrog should not be used for DCC because the way that the frog has been optimised for DC use causes shorts on a DCC layout when the wheel tyres can bridge both frog rails. If you do have to use an Insulfrog it should be wired the same as an Electrofrog (you might just as well use an Electrofrog!)

The three way points really need to be wired properly because the frogs are close together and you can easily end up with a lot of pickup wheels on the frogs - they really need to be powered.
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
If you need to punish yourself for something buy and electrofrog switch. That should do the trick. I have just about all Peco insulfrog switches including the three way switch your talking about. Right at the moment I'm installing an Peco electrofrog only because I bought it by mistake some years ago and I need right now. Because the switch is in the middle of a reverse loop it creates a big wiring problem. If there's some reason you need a electrofrog because of the steam engines then I guess you'll have to go with it otherwise don't do it.
George
 




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