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Insulfrog Vs Electrofrog points - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2018 03:11 am
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charliebishop
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https://youtu.be/2kZbfOwe0_E
Regards Charlie

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 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2018 07:14 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Charlie,

Nice tutorial. Anything with a wheelbase shorter than the frog will stall on insulfrogs, for anything longer they run just as well as electrofrogs (usually, see below). Where they are better worse than electrofrogs is however in the absence of shorts across the frog with out of gauge wheels because of the power-routing design in the latter (which of course requires insulators on the frog rails), with both points having the same polarity (old Hornby stock is often as low as 13mm btb BTB and will wobble as they go across the frogs) or old pizza cutters with broad treads (old Lima diesels for example). Old Mainline and Lima B-B's are also problematic as they have pick-up on one side on one bogie, the opposite side on the other. One poor contact on one wheel is enough to stop them dead on a insulfrogs. Short wheelbase Tenshodo spuds and similar are also problematic as they can sit with both wheels on the insulated section.

From memory 7/8" is less than the wheelbase of a Hornby 0-4-0 (I could be wrong, none to hand, although my 48xx is 1.25"), you did remember to remove the plastic insulators from the rails? Or did you not bother as you were only using the exit side? The latter I suspect.

All of the Peco code 100 turnouts have issues in their now very old design (sleeper size and spacing, FB rail, chairs, pressed point rails, over-wide point rail-stock rail spacing, overwide frog and check rail spacing, common frog angles across different radii), it's not just the frogs. Most modelers happily ignore them, I lean towards the school that says if you spend £150-£200 on a highly detailed locomotive run it on track of the same standard.

Members of the HO modular group I belong to like Peco insulfrogs over electrofrogs, more reliable, matches Atlas HO flex track, and this is 100% DCC sound operation. Not one 0-4-0 in sight though. Slow speed in DCC is of the order of a couple of feet per minute, that is when the problems really start to appear.

Nigel

Edits in red after Jeff's post below. Mea culpa. Insulfrogs can short across the frog rails where they meet the plastic frog (and where the design calls for narrowing of the rails where they meet the frog), As long as modern wheel sets are used and the BTB is correct there is not usually a problem. I have some old coffee-grinder brass locomotives with treads that would put a steam roller to shame and a less than optimal BTB, crossing an insulfrog is always an adventure usually accompanied by shouts of protest as the DCC power closes down and sound is lost from the other 5 or 6 locomotives. Both Insulfrogs and Electrofogs benefit from some additional work, irrespective of whether you use DC or DCC. Unmodified Electrofrogs have a very unprototypical spacing between the point blades and the stock rails to accommodate the power routing design and the when designed wide wheel tread, as well as the usually narrow BTB found on older locomotives. This spacing is not necessary with modern wheels and a correct BTB of 14.5mm, especially if the power-routing is eliminated.

Plenty of advice on the web or on this site about how to do this. Nothing complicated, mostly rewiring and cutting through rails.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 02:47 am
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charliebishop
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Hi Nigel,  you have some very valuable points (excuse the pun).  I only hope that Peco's new bullhead rail points, come down in price once they are established in the market place.  Regards Charlie

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 Posted: Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 08:45 am
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BCDR
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Hi Charlie,

Peco points have their good as well as bad points. The point is that they can be made into very good points using some of the pointers on the web. Most modelers are happy to point their locomotives at the points without getting the point. Others just do not get the point about the points. I've raised the point about the points several times on this very topic. I switched over several years ago to hand built points. (Do I get any points for the number of points?).

Nigel



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 Posted: Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 02:08 pm
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SRman
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BCDR wrote: Hi Charlie,

Nice tutorial. Anything with a wheelbase shorter than the frog will stall on insulfrogs, for anything longer they run just as well as electrofrogs (usually, see below). Where they are better than electrofrogs is however in the absence of shorts across the frog with out of gauge wheels because of the power-routing design in the latter, with both points having the same polarity (old Hornby stock is often as low as 13mm btb and will wobble as they go across the frogs) or old pizza cutters with broad treads (old Lima diesels for example). Old Mainline and Lima B-B's are also problematic as they have pick-up on one side on one bogie, the opposite side on the other. One poor contact on one wheel is enough to stop them dead on a insulfrogs. Short wheelbase Tenshodo spuds and similar are also problematic as they can sit with both wheels on the insulated section.

...

Nigel
 There should not be shorts across the frogs on electro-frog points because the whole frog and rails from the 'Vee' are the same polarity - there should always be insulating joiners at the ends of the 'Vee' anyway.

On the other hand, I used to get a problem with the old insul-frog diamond crossing with some over-wide wheels (on a Wrenn Brighton Belle unit) where anything stored on the cross-line would creep as the train passed over the frog and briefly energised the rails for the other unit.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 05:38 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Jeff,

Quite right, that's what the insulators are for. I'll correct the above. The issue is with insulfrogs and old stock shorting across the frog rails just prior to the frog. Another argument for using electrofrogs.

Nigel



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 Posted: Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 06:13 pm
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charliebishop
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It strikes me that it's a bit of a pointed remark.  However, I take your point and I'm not going to get "crossover" it.  Regards Charlie

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 Posted: Thu Mar 22nd, 2018 07:45 pm
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Longchap
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I think it might turn out, that you two are talking about the same thing.

Bill



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 Posted: Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 01:31 am
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BCDR
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Hi Charlie,

Time we took Bill's point and switched to another track.

Nigel



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 Posted: Fri Mar 23rd, 2018 02:55 am
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SRman
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You seem pretty switched on, Nigel! ;)



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