SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Basic electrical and electronics, such as DC/Analog control.
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dfarndale
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SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby dfarndale » Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:47 pm

NEW 0-16.5, 7mm Narrow Gauge layout being planned - wiring conundrum
DC CONTROL - NOT DCC

Hello everyone

Just joined the forum - thanks Admin for approving this ...although you might change your mind later :)

I am a complete newbie to model railways but want to build a small (2m x 1m) 0-16.5, 7mm narrow gauge layout using Peco [Narrow Gauge] Streamline Code 100 flexi OO track; and 10x Peco electrofrog points [also Narrow Gauge type]; all of this that I have already purchased. I will be using all short wheelbase 0-4-0, 0-16.5 locos (planning to have 7 locos; mostly mining types - some will be scratchbuilt; others will be converted donor Hornby (China made) locos.

I have no need for ANY points motors since I will be able to reach all using the simple "Hand of God" method ...and want to keep things really simple. Am I right in saying:

(A) That with no point motors being installed, there is no need to do ANY wiring to these electrofrog points; and also that frog polarity (which I've tried to understand) does NOT need to be switched with stock off-the-shelf Peco points?

But that I WILL need to use insulated joiners/fishplates at the two centre rails (point frog rails?)?

And

(B) But that if I DO make the often recommended Peco points changes (to improve reliable points running with 0-4-0 locos; i.e. snip two existing factory links, solder on two new ones, etc.) that I WOULD need to arrange frog polarity switching; but that without any points motors installed, this would not be easy/possible to arrange?

Why am I finding all this so confusing :) ???
Despite having watched a few YouTube videos and read forum articles.
...love everything Narrow Gauge railways!

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fourtytwo
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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby fourtytwo » Mon Jan 03, 2022 4:30 pm

Hi welcome to the forum and you are quite correct!
The problem with reliability can come from two sources
1/ the frog polarity switching built into the points is dependant upon a sliding contact between the switch rails and the outer running rails near the tiebar, look carefully with the point upside down and you can easily see it, this contact becomes unreliable over time BUT is often coated with glue during ballasting and unsurprisingly ceases to operate, that is why many people use an external contact (your solution B) though this can be a micro-switch operated by point rodding etc so is not dependant on motors.
2/ Some out of scale wheels can cause a short circuit when passing between the open switch rail and running rail, this momentary short seems to cause particular trouble in DCC layouts but not so on DC. This again is cured by solution B.
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Bufferstop
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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:16 pm

My layout. Is DC control with mechanically operated points, they are all electrofrog, I haven't cut the links but a microswitch operated by the rods which operate the points feeds the right polarity to the frog. The backs of wheels touching the point blades isn't a problem, if it was I'd cut the links. The polarity switching problem is greatly magnified by DCC, you have a power supply which can deliver 3 -5 amps which causes high resistance at the tips of the point blades, DC is more like 0.3 - 0.5 amps, the problem then becomes to keep the tips clean or provide a feed to the frog, hence the microswitch.
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Mountain
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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby Mountain » Mon Jan 03, 2022 11:57 pm

It does not need to be a microswitch as an ordinary two way switch mounted near the point will do, or how about buying cheap slide switches and drilling a hole in them so as you slide the switch, a bar from the switch will change the point? The switch and the little link bar (Wire or paperclip?) can be fixed near the point itself. If the switch sliding length and the pointblade movement are a different length then an omega shape in the wire may help or some form of additional lever. Usually they are similar so should not be an issue.
Thinking of this idea and one can take a link wire from the point tie bar (One can drill a hole near the end of the Peco tie bar or squish the knob flat and drill a hole through that (I expect doing this voids the warrantee though) and to the switch, and one can have the wire go through the sliding knob of the switch and up to form a little lever for ones convenience. One may be able to use a mini toggle switch instead which is lever shaped. Experiment. I am considering experimenting in this area as having point levers near points does make the layout feel realistic in its operation as it feels more like a "Hands on" railway which is how many (Actually most) prototypes operate, especially narrow gauge idustrial prototypes!

I think your project will be fun! :)

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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby Flashbang » Tue Jan 04, 2022 2:12 pm

Hi
I have answered your questions in blue next to where you have asked them. Many if not all have already been answered by others but this is just a "To make sure" exercise. :D

dfarndale wrote:NEW 0-16.5, 7mm Narrow Gauge layout being planned - wiring conundrum
DC CONTROL - NOT DCC

Hello everyone

Just joined the forum - thanks Admin for approving this ...although you might change your mind later :) Welcome and ask whatever is needed as it important to ask and be advised not remain in the dark!

I am a complete newbie to model railways but want to build a small (2m x 1m) 0-16.5, 7mm narrow gauge layout using Peco [Narrow Gauge] Streamline Code 100 flexi OO track; and 10x Peco electrofrog points [also Narrow Gauge type]; all of this that I have already purchased. I will be using all short wheelbase 0-4-0, 0-16.5 locos (planning to have 7 locos; mostly mining types - some will be scratchbuilt; others will be converted donor Hornby (China made) locos.

I have no need for ANY points motors since I will be able to reach all using the simple "Hand of God" method ...and want to keep things really simple. Am I right in saying:

(A) That with no point motors being installed, there is no need to do ANY wiring to these electrofrog points; and also that frog polarity (which I've tried to understand) does NOT need to be switched with stock off-the-shelf Peco points? Most Peco Electrofrog points work straight from the box, except for the Double slip and three way point, which do need some form of frog polarity switching. See also fitting of IRJs

But that I WILL need to use insulated joiners/fishplates at the two centre rails (point frog rails?)? Yes,' Best Practice' is to always fit two IRJs onto the points Vee rail ends then add new rail feeds of the correct polarity after the IRJs.

And

(B) But that if I DO make the often recommended Peco points changes (to improve reliable points running with 0-4-0 locos; i.e. snip two existing factory links, solder on two new ones, etc.) that I WOULD need to arrange frog polarity switching; but that without any points motors installed, this would not be easy/possible to arrange? Yes, if you cut the two bonding wires underneath the two closure rail gaps the rails from these two gaps onto and through the frog and out to the IRJs will all be electrically dead! So some form of frog polarity feeding would be needed. How this is obtained is up to the layout builder. One method is to use a small micro switch operated by the points moving tie bar (Stretcher bar) or to use a toggle switch etc but then that relies on you remembering to flip the switch each time each of the points are moved. The Tie bar operated micro switch method is more automatic!

Why am I finding all this so confusing :) ??? Rule of thumb in my book is.... A) Always fit two IRJs on the Vee rail ends. B) Cut the two link wires and ensure some form of frog polarity switching is used. C) Link each stock rail to its adjacent closure rail on each side. These links are soldered to the two rails and are ideally soldered on underneath the rails and fitted in a bed between sleepers and between the cuts in the Closure rails and the pivot of the point blades. Then with these modifications you will have 100% best power flow through each point. If you also extend these two link wires they can also be used to feed rail power to the point too.
Despite having watched a few YouTube videos and read forum articles.
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dfarndale
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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby dfarndale » Mon Jan 17, 2022 6:05 pm

Just t say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who posted a response to my "rookie" question!
I will absorb everything you have written and hopefully this will bring me "out of the darkness into the light" :)

(I have another question regarding a really nice "Bachmann Spectrum On30 Narrow Gauge 0-4-0 Davenport Gas Mechanical Locomotive" that I have just acquired (a used example), but will post the question separately in the most appropriate Topic and Title, etc. Only I just noted that is has a "DCC On Board" label underneath so I need to know if will work OK (including slow running) on a DC system - in my case I will be using a home build PWM based Budget Model Railways controller.)
...love everything Narrow Gauge railways!

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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby Flashbang » Mon Jan 17, 2022 7:44 pm

Operation on a DC powered layout depends on whether CV29 has had the DC running turned Off. Most decoders supplied new will have CV29 turned On for DC operation but many sounds on a sound fitted decoder will not work on DC.

PWM DC controllers are not recommended for DC operation of a decoder fitted loco. Pure DC is needed. The PWM may well cause issues with irregular/erratic running.
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Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

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dfarndale
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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby dfarndale » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:24 pm

Flashbang wrote:Operation on a DC powered layout depends on whether CV29 has had the DC running turned Off. Most decoders supplied new will have CV29 turned On for DC operation but many sounds on a sound fitted decoder will not work on DC.

PWM DC controllers are not recommended for DC operation of a decoder fitted loco. Pure DC is needed. The PWM may well cause issues with irregular/erratic running.


Many thanks Flashbang for your help - really appreciate this...but "CV29" is just a foreign language to a complete novice like me. I have since checked online and think you are referring to DCC equipped locos that have the "CV29" chipset. And that some need reprogramming to make them MORE useable on a DC layout!! It's such a nice loco that I don't really want to have to rewire it by routing the motor wires directly to the wheel contacts (I think I'm correct in saying that).

Do you happen to know for sure that this specific local has the CV 29 chipset installed?
I'm not bothered about any sound function working; although it that is already wired in and starts to sound really weird, then that won't be good!
...love everything Narrow Gauge railways!

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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby Flashbang » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:38 pm

Er no! But normally a new (UK supplied) decoder has CV29 set to allow DC running. The current exception to this is the Hornby TTS sound decoder which is supplied new with CV29 DC operation turn Off by default as supplied. i.e. it will not work on a DC system as supplied.

As a DC user, any DCC Fitted loco should be checked and if necessary set by a DCC user - Friend, Model/Hobby shop or local model railway club member to allow DC operation. However, If it works correctly (excluding any sounds) out of the box on pure DC, then no adjustments are needed. :D
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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby Roger (RJ) » Mon Jan 17, 2022 9:58 pm

A CV is just like a memory address in the decoder. That address can have a value assigned to it that can affect the way the loco works. Most CVs only control one thing but CV 29 is complex and controls a number of things, including whether the loco will work on DCC only or DCC and dc.

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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby Bigmet » Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:33 pm

dfarndale wrote:...It's such a nice loco that I don't really want to have to rewire it by routing the motor wires directly to the wheel contacts (I think I'm correct in saying that)...

I had a quick look at the Bachmann USA site, and if your loco has all the acccesories it was orignally shipped with, you should find a blanking plate to go in the decoder socket. If so unplug decoder, insert blanking plug, and that makes it a straightforward DC loco; simpler than rewiring and fully reversible.

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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby dfarndale » Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:50 am

Flashbang wrote:Hi
I have answered your questions in blue next to where you have asked them. Many if not all have already been answered by others but this is just a "To make sure" exercise. :D

dfarndale wrote:NEW 0-16.5, 7mm Narrow Gauge layout being planned - wiring conundrum
DC CONTROL - NOT DCC

Hello everyone

Just joined the forum - thanks Admin for approving this ...although you might change your mind later :) Welcome and ask whatever is needed as it important to ask and be advised not remain in the dark!

I am a complete newbie to model railways but want to build a small (2m x 1m) 0-16.5, 7mm narrow gauge layout using Peco [Narrow Gauge] Streamline Code 100 flexi OO track; and 10x Peco electrofrog points [also Narrow Gauge type]; all of this that I have already purchased. I will be using all short wheelbase 0-4-0, 0-16.5 locos (planning to have 7 locos; mostly mining types - some will be scratchbuilt; others will be converted donor Hornby (China made) locos.

I have no need for ANY points motors since I will be able to reach all using the simple "Hand of God" method ...and want to keep things really simple. Am I right in saying:

(A) That with no point motors being installed, there is no need to do ANY wiring to these electrofrog points; and also that frog polarity (which I've tried to understand) does NOT need to be switched with stock off-the-shelf Peco points? Most Peco Electrofrog points work straight from the box, except for the Double slip and three way point, which do need some form of frog polarity switching. See also fitting of IRJs

But that I WILL need to use insulated joiners/fishplates at the two centre rails (point frog rails?)? Yes,' Best Practice' is to always fit two IRJs onto the points Vee rail ends then add new rail feeds of the correct polarity after the IRJs.

And

(B) But that if I DO make the often recommended Peco points changes (to improve reliable points running with 0-4-0 locos; i.e. snip two existing factory links, solder on two new ones, etc.) that I WOULD need to arrange frog polarity switching; but that without any points motors installed, this would not be easy/possible to arrange? Yes, if you cut the two bonding wires underneath the two closure rail gaps the rails from these two gaps onto and through the frog and out to the IRJs will all be electrically dead! So some form of frog polarity feeding would be needed. How this is obtained is up to the layout builder. One method is to use a small micro switch operated by the points moving tie bar (Stretcher bar) or to use a toggle switch etc but then that relies on you remembering to flip the switch each time each of the points are moved. The Tie bar operated micro switch method is more automatic!

Why am I finding all this so confusing :) ??? Rule of thumb in my book is.... A) Always fit two IRJs on the Vee rail ends. B) Cut the two link wires and ensure some form of frog polarity switching is used. C) Link each stock rail to its adjacent closure rail on each side. These links are soldered to the two rails and are ideally soldered on underneath the rails and fitted in a bed between sleepers and between the cuts in the Closure rails and the pivot of the point blades. Then with these modifications you will have 100% best power flow through each point. If you also extend these two link wires they can also be used to feed rail power to the point too.
Despite having watched a few YouTube videos and read forum articles.


FLASHBANG:
Actually...now having had a closer look underneath at the PECO O-16.5 NARROW GAUGE points/turnouts (as I mentioned in my first post - I already bought these)...they are not the same as regular OO gauge Peco points/turnouts. They do have two VERY thin wires that seem(not sure???) to be connected to the frog V; also quite short points blades; and no cutaway sleepers to allow soldering to the rails although I guess this could be done. It would help if could see a picture showing how someone had made the mods to O-16.5 NARROW GAUGE points.

I'm therefore slightly inclined to leave the points unmodified and see how I get on although I don't want to have to lift track later (especially after any ballasting) to fit "stuff". I like the idea of fitting slide or toggle switches near to the points (to look more realistic) but unsure how I would use these (i.e. the exact wiring) to provide correct polarity to the points blades if I DON'T have any points mods done.

MY HEAD IS SPINNING !!!
DESPITE THE HELP ;-)
SORRY - ADMIN I SAID YOU MIGHT REGRET ADMITTING ME TO THIS GROUP ;-)
...love everything Narrow Gauge railways!

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Mountain
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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby Mountain » Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:00 pm

The answer is to try them as they are. Worst case senario is either ones controller overload protection will trip if there is a short, or one will have a dead track with no power... Either way you are not going to damage anything. Just means that trains wont go if things don't go to plan. Is part of the learning curve.

I don't have any Peco 0-16.5 points myself as I have either converted 00 points using home cut PCB sleepers (With many spare 00 insulfrog and a few spare electrofrog 00 points rescued from my old 00 layout), or home made points, so I can't say if your points are insulfrog or electrofrog. With ordinary sidings they work the same on DC as long as the current reaches them down the rails from the single end of the point.

Is only when track plans get more complex one needs to consider wiring and isolating according to the type of points and trackplan one has. Insulfrog is easier to wire as one does not need frog polarity switches, but electrofrog eliminates the frog having an electrically dead spot. Not an issue unless one is driving the train at crawling speed over ones points where on occasions it may stall if it cant obtain current. (If this happens I used to either give the loco a nudge or if it was out of reach I would bang the layout with my hand and the loco will have moved just enough to get it some current again. Maybe not prototypical but it works! :D ).

One thing to add is that with the internet, one can draw ones trackplan so others can see and offer advice on how to wire it if needed. You may need to buy a packet of insulated railjoiners (IRJ's) for certain track formations... I did not use these and instead I simply cut my track and filled the isolating gaps with resin and filed the resin down so it followed the shape of the rail. One can just leave an air gap, but rails can occasionally move and touch each other so it is the best plan to have someting inbetween which is what IRJ's are designed to do.

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dfarndale
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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby dfarndale » Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:41 pm

Mountain wrote:...so I can't say if your points are insulfrog or electrofrog.


Thanks (as with others) for your kind and helpful reply.
But just to confirm...the Peco O-16.5 narrow gauge points ARE electrofrog - they don't offer insulfrog versions.
https://peco-uk.com/products/turnout-medium-radius-left-hand12

As to my mining / industrial layout, I have started to design this using AnyRail software (the free version) so very much a beginner with this too but its taking shape. As for a simple layout - well it has 13 turnouts(!!) so lifting some of this track later will not be much fun - that's why I am keep to get things right from the beginning - if that's possible :)

David F
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Mountain
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Re: SORRY - yet another rookie electrofrog puzzle - pse help!!

Postby Mountain » Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:58 pm

That seems good. I tend to drill small holes in the sleepers and pin track down using Hornby or Gaugemaster track pins, as if one does not pin too tightly, one can reposition the track if one does not like it where it is.


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