Peco code 75 track

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
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Halsted
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Peco code 75 track

Postby Halsted » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:26 pm

Hello everyone,
all my apologies if si question has been asked too many times before. :oops:
Can I run my "standard" Hornby stock on the Peco code 75 track without any issues ? Many thanks in advance for your time and for all your replies.

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Halsted
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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby Halsted » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:13 am

A wise gentleman gave me this very helpful advice that I'll follow: "I cant see any reason to use code 75 which is more difficult to work with due to the thinner rail, when code 100 laid correctly and painted looks okay."

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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby GeraldH » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:41 am

Code 75 track is more fragile and older Hornby stock will not run on it.
Gerald H - BNR Correspondent :)

My layout: http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Fo ... hp?t=28854

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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby Dad-1 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:06 am

Gerald is right ....... Older stock, but what does that cover ?

If you're running stock, locos and wagons from around the year 2000
code 75 should be fine. Anything earlier could cause problems.
True it's not quite as robust as code 100, but tough enough for most uses.

I've kept to code 100 and don't regret it at all. Well ballasted and painted
it looks good. The one regret is that Peco slips are insulated frog only in
code 100, and live frog only in code 75. Wherever possible I'd always use
live frog points.

Geoff T.
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viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby flying scotsman123 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:18 pm

Code 75 flexitrack is more flexi due to the smaller rail cross section, makes it easier to manipulate, but you do need to be a little more careful in making sure everything is smooth with no wiggles or kinks as these more more easily introduced.
As Geoff says the main advantage of using code 75 is electrofrog points which are more reliable.
Probably anything newly tooled from 1990 would be ok too, but I think Hornby were still churning out some considerably older stuff back then that might not fit as well.
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Halsted
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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby Halsted » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:46 pm

Many thanks for all your replies Gentlemen. Decision made: code 100 and nothing else ! :D

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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby TheDuke71000 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:05 am

Code 100 versus code 75 - What's it all about ?

Super 4 to System 6 track
Back in the mid 1970's there was a change in British track systems from "Super 4" to "System 6". These track systems being Hornby products. Effectively this was a move to standardise track tolerances and bring Hornby's own clip together system in line with the then more advanced Peco Code 100 track previously launched. Altering the track also meant Hornby (and others) had to refine their wheels to cope with the new tolerances, especially through pointwork. It soon became apparent to many modellers they too would have to change as their old locos would not run on the new track reliably, and the old track system vanished fairly quickly....

The root cause of Code 75.
Ten years later in the mid 1980's problems in the then biggest European market for model railways (Germany), resulted in the NEM conference in Germany. All major European based manufacturers were invited. The major problem was that up until that time most major manufacturers in Europe had pursued a policy of "Customer loyalty". This meant each company had its own coupling system, and its own slightly different track profiles and tolerances. The intention to that time was to deter customers from buying someone elses products by making it awkward to couple different manufacturers products, and even you overcame that barrier, you would find one manufacturers rolling stock just wouldn't run perfectly through another manufacturers track and vica versa.

The NEM conference was a result of a serious downturn in sales, mainly in Germany and particularly in HO scale sales. The reason was ultimately blamed on increased taxation, not a lack of enthusiasts. More than half the retailers in Germany closed within just 5 years. The NEM Conference therefore decided to try and standardise various items so that it didn't matter who's products you bought all would be interchangeable, in a bid to revitalise sales. Hence the NEM coupling pocket which should allow any companies coupling to be inserted into any manufacturers rolling stock, as a standard height and size of the coupling pocket was agreed upon. Similar NEM agreements were achieved for the width and profile of wheels, and the tolerances used in track production. The most important of these latter is the gap between check rails and running rails. Also a new minimum curvature was set (suited to HO not OO) and being slightly bigger than previously.

The new tolerences in track and wheels would require a change to the various track systems then prevelant across Europe. Most of which were approximately code 100. Further increasingly sophisticated tooling for all products by many manufacturers in a bit to stem the downturn, by providing even more realistic models would also allow the size of track to be visually shrunk to something nearer to scale size. In the process taking advantage of the new track and wheel dimensions agreed. So British Peco, who have always had a large foothold in the European mainland market for their track sales (their OO track has in reality always been HO scale), introduced code 75 track, with a rail height of 75 thousandths of one inch. European made track being made with metric tooling is normally within a thousandth or so in height, but still meets all the actual track tolerances agreed.

British Peco make three systems suited to OO/HO. Code 100 (old system), Code 83 (new US system) and Code 75 (new European inc UK system). Each of these sytems is designed to deal with and match the tolerances agreed for each of these systems. Although code 100 due to its age and a lack of agreements in those days meets an "average" of then European norms.

Running Code 75 wheels on Code 100 track
Peco Production of both Code 100 track in parallel with the new code 75, has strangely continued in production for an inordinately long time. As sales of code 100 drop all across Europe it is more and more likely it will be discontinued sooner rather than later.

The finer wheels applied to virtually all rolling stock models by all European manufactures (inc UK) since 1990ish and designed to cope with the finer track tolerances. Which effectively means Code 75, as no one makes a code 100 track to the new tolerances. Means new items of rolling stock designed for code 75 will not run so fluently through Code 100 pointwork. The fundamental reason is that there is too much slop in Code 100 pointwork, which is likely to encourage more frequent derailments.

Contrary to a comment I have seen elsewhere, Insulfrog and Electrofrog type points are still available in either code 100 or Code 75. HOWEVER Peco do not seem to have made it clear that in Code 75 Electrofrog points can NOW be made Insulfrog by removing two tiny connections underneath each point before it is laid ! Finally the fact that Peco have recently introduced a Code 75 British type Bullhead track system, is in my opinion another indication that Code 100 track is not going to continue to be produced forever....

The Duke 71000

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Halsted
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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby Halsted » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:49 pm

Very impressive ! Very good explanations. Thanks.

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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby RFS » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:37 pm

TheDuke71000 wrote:Code 100 versus code 75 - What's it all about ?

Peco do not seem to have made it clear that in Code 75 Electrofrog points can NOW be made Insulfrog by removing two tiny connections underneath each point before it is laid !
The Duke 71000


Don't understand what you mean here. If you remove the two bonding wires underneath then you end up with a dead frog. The only reason that you would remove these wires is so as to power the frog separately from a polarity switch connected to the point motor, something many people do especially when using DCC. This then makes the point fully Electrofrog.
Robert Smith

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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby TheDuke71000 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:03 pm

RFS wrote:
TheDuke71000 wrote:Code 100 versus code 75 - What's it all about ?

Peco do not seem to have made it clear that in Code 75 Electrofrog points can NOW be made Insulfrog by removing two tiny connections underneath each point before it is laid !
The Duke 71000


Don't understand what you mean here. If you remove the two bonding wires underneath then you end up with a dead frog. The only reason that you would remove these wires is so as to power the frog separately from a polarity switch connected to the point motor, something many people do especially when using DCC. This then makes the point fully Electrofrog.



Yes you are quite correct but "Electrofrog" was basically Pecos commercial concept of a live frog and "Insulfrog" was their method of providing effectively a Dead Frog i.e the plastic V section (code 100) did not require a separate switch, and was itself dead, but looked like yuck. So as you correctly say removing these two little connections (code 75) now effectively makes the whole frog area dead, but it is dead frog. From a commercial point of view it means Peco only have to provide one production line. DCC requirements have also changed demands. The electrofrog point as it currently stands is self switching, and suitable for DCC fans many of whom have chosen DCC because it simplifies wiring. For those still using traditional wiring methods, myself included, its obviously assumed these fans know how to add a switch to control the otherwise dead frog. The real problem in my opinion is that Peco have not explained to the modelling fraternity the implications of these changes.

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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby RFS » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:25 pm

Well I'm still completely lost as to what you are trying to say! You cannot convert a code 75 Electrofrog point into Insulfrog just by cutting the two link wires, since otherwise you end up with a dead frog of up to 4 inches in length which very few OO gauge locos will cross without stalling. If you connect up a polarity switch to power the frog, it's still Electrofrog!
Robert Smith

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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby TheDuke71000 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:01 am

RFS wrote:Well I'm still completely lost as to what you are trying to say! You cannot convert a code 75 Electrofrog point into Insulfrog just by cutting the two link wires, since otherwise you end up with a dead frog of up to 4 inches in length which very few OO gauge locos will cross without stalling. If you connect up a polarity switch to power the frog, it's still Electrofrog!


RFS
Let me explain the problem another way. It seems Peco are trying to abolish both the term "Insulfrog" and "Electrofrog". This is because having a little plastic "V" in the points is both ugly and unnecessary. The only type of point that is now made for code 75 can now do both the jobs customers now demand without the confusion of having the problematic terminology.

Option 1
Therefore if you buy a current code 75 point, you can lay it as it comes and it will feed (via one or other blade) the correct current to the frog area, so it is self switching. This is the simplest method and effectively an improved version of what used to be called "Insulfrog".

Option 2
If you remove the two little connections underneath the point before laying it. The blades only become live when either touches the stock rail. The whole frog area is now dead. Obviously as you have correctly pointed out this can leave an area as much as 4 inches dead. So obviously you need to use a point mechanism with a built in switch to automatically feed the frog. The problem here is that the complexity of wiring confuses many modellers who therefore don't want to get involved with this scenario. This is obviously just another way of providing what was known as "Electrofrog".

Both options now require plastic rail joiners on both rails at the far end of the frog.

As railway modelling has changed with the introduction of DCC. Option 1 is clearly aimed at DCC fans. It abolishes the problem of little dead plastic bits, and now allows you to have live frog without the need for switches. As DCC needs feeds to the rails about every metre, or you increase the risk of the carrier signal to the locomotive chip getting scrambled, obviously having plastic rail joiners at the far end of the frog is of no consequence. As you need a power feed before the point and on both tracks after the point, in any case.

For those not into DCC, option two, is more likely to be the method chosen, especially if you use something like a Fulgurex point mechanism, which come with two free switches built in. One for the frog, and the other to light up your grandmother sitting in the armchair the other side of the room, or whatever you want !!!

Hope that helps
The Duke 71000

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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:41 am

A lot of people jumped on board with the mods to suit an electrofrog to dcc, without fully understanding why it should be essential rather than an option. On DC insulating joiners were only necessary where there was a feed (or backfeed going all around a loop) beyond the point. Done like that DCC would work BUT if a short circuit occurs somewhere fed through the point, the blade to rail contact will have to carry anything up to around 5amps before the DCC power supply trips. 5amps passing through the thin tapered end of a piece of rail soon gets hot, hot enough to burn fingers and melt plastic. Like all good ideas Peco's new wiring for an independently powered frog is so obvious you wonder why it took so long to occur to them. Or like "electrofrog" in the first instance did someone else think of it first, and was it just another case of waiting for news from the outside world to trickle down to East Devon. (ignore that comment it's an old joke that should have been put down years ago).
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Re: Peco code 75 track

Postby RFS » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:31 pm

TheDuke71000 wrote:Hope that helps


Well no it doesn't! Quite simply I think if you are going to dispense expert technical advice in this way you really ought to know your subject which it seems you don't. As a long standing DCC-user with a large layout containing 70+ Electrofrog code 75 points and slips perhaps I can explain things here and leave it at that.

Both code 75 and 100 Electrofrog points (not slips) cause problems for both DC and DCC users. It's a misconception to assume points should be wired differently depending on whether you use DC or DCC. There are two issues:

1) The open blade is opposite polarity to the adjacent stock rail. Any vehicle with metal wheels that are not precisely true to gauge can cause a momentary short circuit when the back of the wheel touches the open blade as it passes through. This can result in a visible spark on DC (not good) but in DCC can cause the command station to trip.

2) The method of using power routing to the whole of the point via a touching contact between blade and stock rail is inherently unreliable. All very well when the point is new, the rails are shiny and the spring is strong. But over time problems are inevitable especially if the track has been ballasted and weathered.

For these reasons experienced modellers make simple changes:

1) The frog is isolated by removing the linking wires and providing a polarity switch. I use Tortoise slow-action motors anyway and these have two switches for this purpose.

2) The fixed closure rail is bonded to the stock rail, and I make this bonding wire a DCC feed as well

3) Some users also bond a thin wire (eg 3A fuse wire) between the moving blade and the closure rail, to overcome the problem of the pivoted joint failing, eg due to the ingress of ballasting glue, paint etc.

With these changes you end up with a turnout where every piece of rail has a soldered track feed, and the short circuit problem has been eliminated.

With the latest code 75 bullhead turnouts Peco have addressed these issues with their Unifrog solution. The frog is now very small, but made of metal and isolated. It also has a wire attached so modellers can use a polarity switch if they wish.

That's my definitive advice on the subject: it works for me on my large layout.
Robert Smith


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