Peco code 55 electrofrogs: power routing only the turnout?

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videobruce

Tower Operator
I have read many articles on power routing Peco 'electrofrog' turnouts for DCC, but for my situation, I don't beleive it is necessary.

Situation;
1. All turnouts will be Peco code 55 electrofrog,
2. The spring will be left in using servos for a 'motor' (I don't care about slow motion or the 'snap' sound),
3. No reverse loops or 'wyes',
4. Layout will be DC for now, but wired for DCC (insulated joiners both rails and all four exit rails on each turnout insulated),
5. I plan on using NoOx to get a handle on track cleaning after reading many articles on it's benefits,
6. No steam, all diesels (if that matters).

I'm concerned about long term contact problems with oxidation between the points and the stock rails. Mostly for the curved point since the straight point has considerably more contact area. Also, the 'hinge' area between the points and the closure rails. I know it is recommended to cut the closure rails, but I don't want to do this as long as there won't be a contact problem with the points down the road (no pun intended).

See the attachemnts.

I have read up on this NoOx which has been out for decades and it appears to be the 'cats meow' for oxidation problems and keeping the rail clean better than any track cleaner car etc. Will NoOx help solve the problem?
 

dgwinup

Member
My personal opinion, formed from experience, is that No-Ox is just short of miraculous!

It improves electrical conductivity. When used on track, it helps prevent oxidation.

I also use it on the internal contacts of locomotives and axle wipers on illuminated rolling stock.

A tiny amount it all you'll need for any application.

Hope this helps.

Darrell, quiet...for now
 

videobruce

Tower Operator
I realize this is for the railhead, but for the points & hinges, does that still apply? And exactly how you remove all the residue after it does it's job in all the crevices?

I just read one argument argument against using it, based on the fact nickel silver doesn't oxide. I also wonder, why/how could this stuff prevent the need to 'clean' the rails?? Aren't they still going to get a buildup of contamination even if it not oxidation or the like?

I have seen a couple of other names mentioned other than NoOx. It seems the real problem is the very small amount needed. I'm not one for small amounts. :(

I just don't want to additional expense and electrical wiring for all these turnouts. The Atlas version of these 'electrofrogs', isn't there the same problem there? I used Atlas insulated frog turnouts in the past and every one had a problem with shorting where the closure rails meet, before the frog, not after.
 
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Ron McF

New Member
I have nearly 30 Peco C55 'electrofrog' turnouts installed, and my biggest regret with them is that I didn't modify them before installing them. The biggest problem I have with them is that they rely entirely on good contact between the point and stock rails. It requires only small specks of grit, dust, etc. to get between those rails, and continuity is broken.

These days I use Atlas C55 track, but if I was to ever lay another Peco C55 turnout, I would modify it as done by Dwyane Ward, here:
http://kdrail.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/peco-turnout-prep.html

The extra effort is small, and the extra cost is minimal.

Regards,
Ron McF
 

videobruce

Tower Operator
That's probably fine if you are using those overly huge Tortoise machines. But, I'm not. ;)

The spring feature is one of their best features. Prototype turnout points move much faster than most here seem to realize, so that 'hand throw' speed most seem to like to achieve is overkill.
 

Ron McF

New Member
That's probably fine if you are using those overly huge Tortoise machines.
Yeah - I probably should have said that I wouldn't bother removing the spring, as I do NOT use tortoises. My Peco C55 turnouts are thrown manually.

In any case, my comments apply regardless of how you throw the switch. With an unmodified Peco C55 turnout, if debris (grit, dust, whatever) gets between the point blade and the stock rail, electrical contact is broken, and engines stall. Sometimes it is difficult to even see what the problem is, and the large contact area actually seems to increase the likelihood of debris being caught. During ops sessions, I keep a toothbrush on hand to clean the gaps.

One thing that I neglected to mention in my previous post was that if you isolate the frog you will need a switch of some sort to power it. So the extra cost will likely not be as 'minimal' as I stated.

Regards,
Ron McF
 

videobruce

Tower Operator
if you isolate the frog you will need a switch of some sort to power it. So the extra cost will likely not be as 'minimal' as I stated.
I have no intention of buying those 'frog juicers' for each and every turnout. That's ridiculous.
 

Ron McF

New Member
I have no intention of buying those 'frog juicers' for each and every turnout.
I agree - they are a very expensive solution. I use ordinary DPDT slide switches that cost about $2 each, and operate them with push-rods. Here's how I install them:
http://gulflines.blogspot.com.au/p/turnout-pushrods.html

However, as you're not planning to use push-rods then slide switches are probably not an option for you. One advantage of tortoises, and the like, is that they have additional contacts for powering the frog.

If you use servos, then I'm not sure what (inexpensive) options you have to power a frog. Unless you can find one, then you might as well just use the Peco turnouts as they come, and live with the fact that sometimes continuity will fail due to debris getting caught between the point blades and the stock rail. In my experience, it's not a big problem - just an occasional annoyance. Just keep a brush handy and you'll be fine.

Regards,
Ron McF
 

videobruce

Tower Operator
I guess I shall have to see. Some say it's a problem, others say it isn't. You would think a better solution would be available pother than all those modifications, cutting, jumping etc. :mad:

Like removing a engine of a car just to change the oil. ;)
 




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