Peco Code 75 Electrofrog points questions

 
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Just purchased three sets of points to try a little DCC operation and test locomotives/carriages across points.  Pulled points out of the box, connected DCC power to track (open ended, just three sections of flexitrack and one set of points) and for each of the points that I try, switching the points from one track to the other causes a short.  In other words, one road is always OK, the other road always shorts.

Have never used code 75 before, haven't experienced this problem with N gauge points...is there something I am doing wrong, why would one road always cause a short?

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  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
sounds like the point is a electrofrog.  the frog may need a insulated gap.  No real differenc in HP or N scale, peco make both electrofrop and insulfrog in both N and HO.  A photo or quick sketch would help heeps.

Regards,
David Head
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Hi David

It *is* electrofrog, but Fleischmann N gauge eletrofrog don't do this.

Why would an electrofrog point short out, isn't an insulated gap part of the point?  If you cut a rail (where?), doesn't that now turn it into an insulfrog?

Just don't understand....don't have a camera handy, but imagine three pieces of flextrack joined to a point - that is all it is, nothing else...just for testing.

Not very successfully so far Sad
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
All I can think of is that you've not used any insulator fishplates like what the instructions in/on the box say to do. The short is coming from the live frog changing from + to - while still needing to remain + or vice versa.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Hi ARodH...

Have just RTFM Smile and see that it has a section for wiring to DCC or DC when the track shorts. Insulated fishplates are an option but not required according to the instruction sheet.

So it appears that I need to wire in a PL-13 or PL-15 switch if I want to use electrofrog with DCC...one can't just lay track and test it.

This is exactly *not* how the Fleischmann track works....it just....works, no funny wiring or additional switches.

Oh well....
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

OK...a quick Google landed me at http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_peco.htm

Which makes it simple for me to understand... Smile

But I don't understand why it doesn't work "out of the box" like Fleischmann N gauge, where one takes the point, connects rails and power and - voila - no wiring or fiddling or shorting or...just works.
  John_Bushell Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Grem,

I have used plenty of Peco Code 100 and Code 83 Electrofrog points and if you just connect up a few bits of flex track and the points you would not get a short.  You read the instructions it seems from your post.  Perhaps Code 75 points are queer.  If they were Code 100 or Code 83 I would just snip a couple of wires and no need for whatever those switches are that you mention, unless you want reliable operation in the longer term that is.  For a short run just to test not really needed.

Regards,
John
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Are you applying power to the heel (correct) or one of the toes (incorrect) of your point in this simple setup? Sounds like you've wired power to one of the toes to be getting a short.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

apw5910, and others, all I have done is:
  1. take point out of pack
  2. place on baseboard
  3. attach one piece of flexitrack to each road
  4. on the "straight through" road, attach DCC power to one end of flexitrack


Switching (manually) from main to side road causes a short.  Does this on all three points.  Not applying any power to any other place - one clip on each rail at one place only at the end of the "straight through" road.

Couldn't have imagined a simpler connection...
  TedFreeman Locomotive Driver

Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
apw5910, and others, all I have done is:
  1. take point out of pack
  2. place on baseboard
  3. attach one piece of flexitrack to each road
  4. on the "straight through" road, attach DCC power to one end of flexitrack


Switching (manually) from main to side road causes a short.  Does this on all three points.  Not applying any power to any other place - one clip on each rail at one place only at the end of the "straight through" road.

Couldn't have imagined a simpler connection...


Which end of the straight road, the heel, where there is a single track, or the diverging straight track end, if the latter, there is your problem.


Gremlin
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

It was the toe, I swapped the point 180 degrees and it works....why?

What now happens if I make a loop - will it short again?
  TedFreeman Locomotive Driver

Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
It was the toe, I swapped the point 180 degrees and it works....why?

What now happens if I make a loop - will it short again?
Gremlin
If you make a loop you will get a short when you set for the siding, you will need insulated joiners (or gaps) on the toe end of the loop track and the feed must come from the Heel (point blade) end.

The power will go around the loop and stop at the insulated joiners, its hard to explain, if I could post a picture, I would.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

TedFreeman, I understand what you are describing electrically...

What I don't understand is - why does the point allow this to happen?  Can't they be built so this *doesn't* happen?  I can only use my N gauge Fleischmann experience, where you don't need to do any of this.  I wonder what Fleischmann are doing differently?
  John_Bushell Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
its hard to explain, if I could post a picture, I would.
TedFreeman
Every Peco point I have opened had an explanation and diagram on a sheet of paper.  Grem, you said you read the instructions didn't you?  If you just run your finger along the rail when selected to the branch you will see why you get the short if you feed power to the toe end of the point.  The rail that moved across to make the line to the branch is touching the rail on the opposite side, unless you use insulated joiners on the toe end as indicated in the instructions.

Best regards,
John
  John_Bushell Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
its hard to explain, if I could post a picture, I would.
Every Peco point I have opened had an explanation and diagram on a sheet of paper.  Grem, you said you read the instructions didn't you?  If you just run your finger along the rail when selected to the branch you will see why you get the short if you feed power to the toe end of the point.  The rail that moved across to make the line to the branch is touching the rail on the opposite side, unless you use insulated joiners on the toe end as indicated in the instructions.

Best regards,
John
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Hi John

OK, I get it.  So, for electrofrog points I have to wire from a specific location and use insulated joiners to be able to connect power at either end of a straight non-looped section.  If, on the other hand, I used insulfrog points, I should be able to connect power anywhere I choose and not have to use insulated joiners...?
  qredge Deputy Commissioner

Location: Marsden Qld
Electro frog means the metal frog is live and depends which way the point is set to which track makes it live
If it is straight then the curved rail is making it live so no problems as the wheel runs from the curved rail across the frog to contine on in a straight line
If you change it to the siding
then the straight side is what makes it live and again no problem as the other wheel runs from the straight side across the frog to the curved siding line
So the frog changes polarity depending on which way the point is set
Now if you join in a loop using straight side and set for straight there is no pmroblem as the frog is the same polarity as the curved side of point
Now the problem occurs when you change to the siding the frog changes to the polarity of the straight side which then clashes wit the loop track feeding in from the opposite end and a short occurs
So you put a plastic fish plate there and problem solved
The other brands probably have a switch to change it and the frog is totally isolated and only fed through the switch
Peco you have to do that yourself
  John_Bushell Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Hi John

OK, I get it.  So, for electrofrog points I have to wire from a specific location and use insulated joiners to be able to connect power at either end of a straight non-looped section.  If, on the other hand, I used insulfrog points, I should be able to connect power anywhere I choose and not have to use insulated joiners...?
Gremlin
Grem,

I never use Insulfrog points so I haven't studied whether that same short would happen.  My first inclination is that it would still give a short, but since I know nothing about Insulfrog points I am no authority on the question.  Sorry.

Best regards,
John
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Insulfrog points won't short out, but they won't transmit power, either. The rules for electrofrog are very simple, you must feed power from the heel end and if any feed "looks into" the toe end of a point, you'll need insulated rail joiners (or gaps) on the frog rails.

There used to be a very good little publication by Peco (good old C.J. Freezer), "Wiring Your Layout" that went into a lot of detail with simple diagrams about how to do all this.

Don't use Insulfrog points, your trains WILL stall on the plastic frog.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Thanks all - very informative and helpful, have been experimenting with each suggestion and I can see the operational differences due to the track manufacturing differences between Peco and Fleischmann - now for some more reading based on the help from the forum Smile
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
A quick pic:



If you connect your power to "B" the live frog will short out as all joiners are metal, if the point  is set to sent a train up. it wold work if the point is level.

so "A" is the best place to connect power.

Peco points, and many other brands do not provide complex wiring in the point. More complex track get more difficult and insulted gaps would be needed.   Fleischmann is the exception for wiring.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
David Head
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

Got it - thanks! Smile
  MtBeenak Train Controller

http://www.peco-uk.com/imageselector/Files/Instruction%20sheets/Code75ConTurnoutInst.pdf

This is the link to the instructions which should have come with your Code 75 points.  I disagree with having no insulated rail joiner on any stub ended siding where you are going to stable a loco, as power flows through the motor and energises the adjoining siding.  I have had this experience, and now isolate each siding and run a separate, switched wire to each rail which comes off the frog of an electrofrog point.  I know this sounds like more work, but the results are trouble free operation and no erratic power flow.

Mick
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
http://www.peco-uk.com/imageselector/Files/Instruction%20sheets/Code75ConTurnoutInst.pdf

This is the link to the instructions which should have come with your Code 75 points.  I disagree with having no insulated rail joiner on any stub ended siding where you are going to stable a loco, as power flows through the motor and energises the adjoining siding.  I have had this experience, and now isolate each siding and run a separate, switched wire to each rail which comes off the frog of an electrofrog point.  I know this sounds like more work, but the results are trouble free operation and no erratic power flow.

Mick
MtBeenak

+1

Long ago I learnt to not rely on the often dubious electrical continuity provided by the sliding wipers on the point blades. I switch the frog's polarity using contacts on the point motor instead.
  Gremlin Assistant Commissioner

"I switch the frog's polarity using contacts on the point motor instead."
Which is fine, of course, if one is using point motors or not just testing layouts...

What about if it is a manual switch?

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