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Points - Insul vs Electro frogs - Layout Design, Trackwork & Operation. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Mar 15th, 2008 12:58 am
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Sol
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Points

On a few topics, there have been various discussions concerning Insul & Electro frog points/turnouts.
What this post hopefully does is to give some clarification.

Insulfrog wiring is easier & works well. The only concern I have is with short wheel based locos & I have found that on long diamond crossings & slips, that shunting slowly over Insul frog with a 0-4-0 loco can cause it either to stop or jerk its way across the insulation.
That said, if your locos are larger & pickup on more wheels & you find that very slow running like step 1 under DCC conditions is still viable, then Insul frog is very effective. Of course if you do not like or understand wiring, that is another benefit.

Me, I like slow shunting using 0-6-0 that may or may not have pickups on all wheels, - I build my track & I enjoy wiring so Electrofrog is my thing.

Electrofrog points do require additional wiring & if you are using Peco Code 75, then additional wiring is a must for Electrofrog slips, diamonds & the Asymmetric 3 way Point SLE199 (& this point is only available as Electro).

http://brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical.htm#Points gives a very good description of the two types & some basic electrical connections, etc. You will need to cursor down to read it all.

This site http://rail.felgall.com/pfo.htm indicates another lot of info where to put insulating breaks.

Both of those sites has lot of information that will take sometime to read.


The arguments for & against modifying points for DCC is good for DC as well but they are not really needed if two things are done:
1. Points are laid flat, not horizontal but flat from toe to frog
2. Back to back measurements on your rolling stock are all the same so that wheels will not short against blade to stock rails.

Ok, under DC, lets take a dead end siding.
Unless you intend to store more than one loco per siding, toggle switches are not needed - either type of point will stop locos moving.
Under a passing loop, in both types of points ( Insul & Electro) , I recommend that both loop tracks are completely isolated & controlled via toggles - more so if Cab Control is used (http://rail.felgall.com/cc.htm or the very good links in the Forum Index under Wiring, etc). Even without Cab Control, this gives flexibility in double heading ,etc.

I think that this Forum has also pointed to the Peco " How to" booklets that discuss wiring.

If you have purchased Electrofrog points- don't sell or mutilate them unless needed - they work well under DC or DCC as they come.

Now after reading this & you are still confused on specific areas, by all means ask.

DCC is a different story & that will be the subject of another post if requested.

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 Posted: Sat Mar 15th, 2008 10:48 am
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Sol
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As an addition to the above, if using Electrofrog points in a crossover fashion between adjacent trackage or whenever points have their frogs connected by any length of track, insulated fishplates should be used on both rails anywhere in the joining piece of track otherwise permanent short circuits will occur. This applies to DC & DCC.

Brian Lambert's website does stress this as well. Cursor up from the part dealing with Points.

That is one thing not needed for Insulfrogs in these situations.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2008 09:49 pm
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Neil Wood
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A new issue seems to have arisen in regard to electro frog points due to Hornby's use of the fixed trainling bogies on recent locomotives. At our BRMA meeting on saturday, one member was pointing out that he had issues due to shorting from the fixed wheel bridging the gap between the outside rail and the swicthing rail on the inside. He had resolved this by sawing a gap in the inner rails and using droppers to put current back into them. However it is a new issue that many will have to deal with as this type of wheels become more prevalent.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2008 10:00 pm
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Sol
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Good point Neil, possibly no real concern for analogue users but for DCC, a bad thing.
It will seem then that modifying electro frog points will be a necessity if running those type of locos.

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 Posted: Wed May 21st, 2008 08:30 am
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Sol
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Hornby magazine #12 has a good 2 page article on Insul ( dead) frogs & next monrh, it will be about Electro ( live) frogs.

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