A cure for insulfrog points?

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
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End2end
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A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby End2end » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:57 pm

I have already laid and ballasted my peco insulfrog points so don't really want to have to dig them up to do any tweaking to cure the problem of stalling on the points and I am running DCC.
So with that said, I found this..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXLPSpilpDE

Would this actually work?
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Mountain
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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby Mountain » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:20 pm

Yes, it will work but one has to ensure wheels dont bridge the current, so stop short of the end of the point (The man has gone slightly too far with his foil on the frog).
I'd be tempted in taking the whole frog out via grinding down, along with removing the rails that meet the frog, and building up a whole new frog from new rails, but one may as well start from scratch!
Another thing of note is that his loco wheel contacts desperately need looking at as to stop on every point like that (Even though they have insulated frogs) there is a problem. So he needs to look at his locomotive before he goes looking at his frogs.
I will add, that dont expect his method to last long though, and if some foil comes adrift it could cause issues elsewhere.

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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby End2end » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:37 pm

What about conductive paint instead of the foil?
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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby Mountain » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:54 pm

That would also work, but also dont expect it to last long!

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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby Suzie » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:38 pm

Conductive paint does work and probably better than foil, but as with using foil you will need to put insulated joiners (or at least cut through the conductive joiners) on the frog rails.

Peco Streamline Insulfrog are particularly bad because they short out as well as lose contact so you will have to do something if using them with DCC.

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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby End2end » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:47 pm

I was just looking at my already laid track and is seems not all frogs are the same. Some have a longer plastic frog yet all are peco track. :?
Has anyone else noticed this?

Also I didn't mention that I have indeed added insulating fishplates to all the Vee rails on all points laid so far. Thanks Suzie.
Thanks
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Last edited by End2end on Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby Emettman » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:49 pm

This has come up before, and for no reason other than curiosity I had a go:

I took out the plastic triangle by knife, hook and crook, and re-built to within a ~0.25 mm of the rail height with balsa wood, into which superglue was allowed to penetrate when I was happy.
On top of this, as close to rail-height as possible but erring on the raised side I added a brass triangle to restore the V, with a connecting wire at the base of the triangle.
The triangle did not make contact with any other rail, so became a tiny switchable frog.

DSC00762.JPG


It wasn't a horrendous job, but was easier in my case for not being "in situ"
There seemed little risk of wrecking the point.
I suspect after two or three it would become a routine chore.

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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby Mountain » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:34 pm

Well done Emettman.
End to End. Peco have made about five different designs of the same points in about 30 to 40 years. Some have looked more realistic but tend to break. Others, less realistic tend to last and last... I've noticed more recent designs, even with their settrack range have much reduced flangeways widths so older wide flanged locos have not been catered for. Their points back 40 years ago would run anything. Today if one wants an off the peg point to run Triang along with today's models one may be better off buying Hornby points as the best compromise. If one has all newer stock Peco is best to go for.
In the past I've worked on Peco points to open up flangeways and it can be done quite easily, though one has to grind down check rails and glue in new checkrails...

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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby End2end » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:53 pm

Yes it's mainly out of curiousity. The only wider flanged rolling stock I have is the Tolgus Tin loco which does sometimes stall.
Out of the 3 loco's I have out on the layout 2 out of 3 are fine with clean track.
I don't have the skills, tools or workshop to hack a point about thus the idea of this "quick fix". :?
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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby Mountain » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:39 pm

Touglas Tin is a fairly modern loco wheel flange speaking. It does not have deep or wide flanges like Triang models have. The only issue you may have is the back to back measurement or the wheel pick ups may not always be in contact or wheels needing a clean. (Dont forget to clean the wheel backs as the pickups need to touch these parts).
Tools one can buy now and then. £1 shops have surprisingly useful tools. Probably the largest outlaywill be a minidrill and accessory set, or a soldering iron. While 25 watt is usually recommended, I think I'd prefer a 40 watt as a more universal iron as one can also use it for soldering tin.
The only tool I'd spend out to get a better one is a minidrill. Soldering irons are cheap these days.

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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby kebang » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:44 am

Last year I managed to destroy a hornby set track point trying to convert it into an electrofrog point (I am very ham fisted!)
Been reading this thread with great interest. Will this work?
hornby point electrofrog small.png

This is meant to replace unmotorised points and could be done in situ. The layout is connected to a bus so power reaches all pieces of track from every direction

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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:25 am

These mods are all more or less emulating what Peco have now done with their universal frog. One of those ideas which cause you to think "why the hell didn't we do this to start with?"
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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby Emettman » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:01 pm

kebang wrote: Will this work?


There's no need to make the the Dremel cuts unless the point is already in situ: insulating rail joiners on the two inner rails wil replace the cuts.
But you will then need a wire to supply electricity to the V, and this to switvh polarity with the setting of the points.



On the new "universal" Peco frog, this seems to have little or nothing to do with eliminating dead-frog issues,and everything about removing the need for good electrical contact between the point blade and its stock rail. at the cost of the point no longer providing isolation in the non-selected direction.

I put those jumper wires in on every Setrack point bar one on my exhibition layout to avoid any question of the whole point bladed going dead.
The one point where I wanted the switching (to avoid having to have and remember to use an extra section switch) did give rare troubles compared to the others.
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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:22 pm

End2end wrote:I was just looking at my already laid track and is seems not all frogs are the same. Some have a longer plastic frog yet all are peco track. :?
Has anyone else noticed this?
End2end


It all depends on the Age of your Peco point and whether or not they are Streamline or Setrack. They seem to have changed the length of the frog on various points at different times, so you can get a mixture of different lengths. They are all going to change to unifrog but they say it will take time. For which I read we'll only do it when the tools expire.
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Re: A cure for insulfrog points?

Postby End2end » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:27 pm

They are setrack but now you mention it Bufferstop I'm sure some were in paper sleeves rather than the card and plastic they come in now.
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