Date   
Re: Peco Unifrog

PennsyNut
 

Allen. I just looked at your link. Great. Very nicely done. The problem I see is that people are waiting for PECO to send Unifrogs to the U.S. and that the wait is taking a very long time. And if they start with Only code 100, those of us with code 83 will be waiting longer. (and what about the frog number? #6 first? #5 most popular) And Rick, who started this thread, is only one of many. PECO seems to be a little vague about when they will be supplying all this, so we can only wait and see! My only comment is that I used Insulfrogs and did not fasten them down - did no wiring - and just finger throw/or rod throw. No electrical connections at all. And they work fine. But when using machines or lights or frog feed, you should use electrofrog. But I was too lazy to wire or fuss with the turnouts. This is not to say my way is best. It's just that I practice the K.I.S.S. principal. And when the Unifrogs get here, I suspect they will be even better. And thanks to Allen for this fantastic thread that is a boon to DCC.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Peco Unifrog

wirefordcc
 

I have written up the Peco Unifrog on my website at:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_peco.htm#a7

It appears that the Unifrog will replace the Insulfrog and Electrofrog turnouts.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Re: Peco Unifrog

Mike Hoggard
 

I did not know that Peco were going to produce a Unifrog turnout and I am not sure what it will do. I.m guessing that it will be a turnout that makes both legs live. You can do this very simply by using a small spring that Hornby make. One in each exit leg of the turnout overrides the isolating character of the standard Peco or Hornby turnout so that both legs are live. It,s easy and you can change your mind without lifting the turnout. .The part number is R8232 DCC Electro point clips. Pack of 20. They cost £7.20 a pack which is outrages but i suppose that 72 pence a point is not too bad.

On Saturday, 29 February 2020, 15:22:42 GMT, Arthur Hammeke <hammekea@...> wrote:


Did you try Ebay?

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Rick Beatty <rb10de@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 29, 2020 9:08 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Peco Unifrog
 
Since posting my question I found a timeline at the DCCWiki site.  Rollout continues to be slow.

When I built my railroad over 20 years ago I primarily used Peco HO code 100 electrofrog turnouts, making them DCC friendly and powering the frogs.  I am now going to finish some areas that were passed over including laying the track for the steel mill.  I have to make a decision on what to use.

This area won't be as accessible for wiring as the mainline and I was thinking of using insulfrog or unifrog turnouts.  If I decide on the unifrog I need to wait until they are available and if I decide on the insulfrog (or electrofrog) I need to get them while they are still available.  I do have a mining area where I installed some Atlas customline turnouts and I intend to run the switchers there to see how they behave since I have no Peco insulfrog turnouts to experiment with.  

Can anyone give me feedback on the operating differences of the Atlas and Peco DCC ready turnouts?

Re: Resistance Leak from Fast Track turnouts

Richard Sutcliffe
 

Guys

A very,very high resistant short circuit.
Not enough current flow to trip any circuit protection, but enough current to heat the circuit over time and cause damage.

I have had leakage through a grain of ballast from the bottom foil to the top foil of a PC tie. Over time (several years on a club layout) the small amount of heat destroyed the resin until the foils touched. Then it took a while to find the now significant short that was tripping the circuit protection. The area became apparent when a heavy loco was in the same place when the “short” occurred.

Another one was a Walthers passenger truck with one wheelset across the gaps at the end of a reversing block. In a much shorter time than above, the wheel softened enough to move on the axle causing a derailment. But did not trip the auto reverser.

Both cases there was a very high resistance short, just a tiny leak of current.
I’m sure many can relate to the term resistance leak.

I avoid the use of double sided PC ties, to the extent I heat & peal the the one foil off the tie before building the turnout. I usually do the pealing before cutting the ties to length.

On Feb 8, 2020, at 9:43 AM, Gary Chudzinski <chudgr@...> wrote:

Like Brian, I have never heard the term, resistance leak.  I can't even imagine what it means!  I have built many Fast Track turnouts in over ten years and the only thing I can think that it relates to is high resistance between track and Circuit Breaker tie due to corrosion.  Corrosion that may have built up over time because an acid Flux was used and not properly cleaned, rather than a resin core solder, or a liquid resin with the solder.  In the early years, a Flux was recommended by Fast Track for a stronger bond, but reading the instructions for this application was a must! After completing the turnout, it was necessary to thoroughly wire brush the joints to remove the bulk of the Flux residue, than wash with soapy water to remove any remaining residue.  In so doing, I have never had any problem with corrosion.  However, in more recent years, Fast Track recommends using the Resin Core solder they sell.  Refer to their website.  Look under Tools and Supplies, and read the Description under both Flux and Resin Core Solder.  Corrosion is not a problem with their resin core.  

Gary Chudzinski


Re: Peco Unifrog

Rick Beatty
 

What would I try ebay for?

Re: Peco Unifrog

Arthur Hammeke
 

Did you try Ebay?


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of Rick Beatty <rb10de@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 29, 2020 9:08 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Peco Unifrog
 
Since posting my question I found a timeline at the DCCWiki site.  Rollout continues to be slow.

When I built my railroad over 20 years ago I primarily used Peco HO code 100 electrofrog turnouts, making them DCC friendly and powering the frogs.  I am now going to finish some areas that were passed over including laying the track for the steel mill.  I have to make a decision on what to use.

This area won't be as accessible for wiring as the mainline and I was thinking of using insulfrog or unifrog turnouts.  If I decide on the unifrog I need to wait until they are available and if I decide on the insulfrog (or electrofrog) I need to get them while they are still available.  I do have a mining area where I installed some Atlas customline turnouts and I intend to run the switchers there to see how they behave since I have no Peco insulfrog turnouts to experiment with.  

Can anyone give me feedback on the operating differences of the Atlas and Peco DCC ready turnouts?

Re: Peco Unifrog

Rick Beatty
 

Since posting my question I found a timeline at the DCCWiki site.  Rollout continues to be slow.

When I built my railroad over 20 years ago I primarily used Peco HO code 100 electrofrog turnouts, making them DCC friendly and powering the frogs.  I am now going to finish some areas that were passed over including laying the track for the steel mill.  I have to make a decision on what to use.

This area won't be as accessible for wiring as the mainline and I was thinking of using insulfrog or unifrog turnouts.  If I decide on the unifrog I need to wait until they are available and if I decide on the insulfrog (or electrofrog) I need to get them while they are still available.  I do have a mining area where I installed some Atlas customline turnouts and I intend to run the switchers there to see how they behave since I have no Peco insulfrog turnouts to experiment with.  

Can anyone give me feedback on the operating differences of the Atlas and Peco DCC ready turnouts?

Peco Unifrog

Rick Beatty
 

About a year ago I had contacted Peco. The word has been that they intended to expand the line as current tooling wore out. When I asked for an estimate on when that might be for HO code 100 their response was that it could take years.  

Has anyone heard anything recently regarding a timeline?

Adding CP6 and Auto SW

Wyndell "Wingnut" Ferguson
 

I have a NCE Power Cab and want to add a NCE CP6 circuit protector and an Auto SW Program Track auto switch. Im thinking I should go from the PNP to the CP6, then to the AUto SW and from the Auto SW use one output(C1) to the main track and another to the Program Track.  Is this correct?

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Duff & Polly M
 

I must take back part of my previous post.  Upon closer examination, the Bachmann SD40-2 is standard DC, although it appears that the motor may be isolated.  Wires from the trucks go to a simple circuit board, which appears to distribute power - both pos and neg -  to the motor and the lamps; no measured conductivity from either to the frame.  That may be a simple, but not necessarily low cost, conversion.  If so, I will make this locomotive dedicated, as I previously mentioned.

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Duff & Polly M
 

Thank you for the various replies.

An issue of speed control was mentioned a couple of times; the locomotive with DCC decoder set for DC will not necessarily respond the same way as the locomotive without the decoder, when the locomotive is powered by lower DC throttle settings.  There is a minimum voltage needed before the decoder activates, resulting in a locomotive minimum speed that may be higher than desired.  I had not appreciated this before, although the physics makes sense.

One of the locomotives is a Mantua Pacific, with Vanderbilt tender.  It seems that the decoder is located in the tender, and the tender top is readily removable.  Except for possible problems with repeated removal and insertion of plug and decoder, it should not be inconvenient to swap the two, if the performance with the decoder programmed for DC is not acceptable.

The other locomotive is a Bachmann SD40-2.  I have not yet explored how easy replacements can be done, but my initial thought is that the reduced low speed performance would be more problematic, suggesting swapping, instead of reprogramming, might be necessary.  It was suggested that I dedicate certain locomotives for exclusive use at the club; this solution might be best for the SD40-2.

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Don Vollrath
 

Good rule Jerry. After all it’s your RR and your club.
DonV

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Mark Gurries
 

This topic seems to have derailed into a layout question as opposed to YOUR decoder question.

Almost ALL decoders made past and present support both DC and DCC mode of operation.

The question is not if the decoder will support DC mode but how well it supports DC mode.   You can see a wide variation in the locomotives response to a DC throttle position.  Simply put is will not have as wide of a speed control range than the locomotive had BEFORE you installed the decoder.  Many considered this speed control in DC mode unacceptable.

Some History:  Some time ago, Atlas decided to market a new type of decoder with a marketing name of "Dual Mode”. By Dual ModeTM, they meant the decoder has a physical jumper plug that allows the modeler to select between DC-only operation or DCC and DC operation. With the plug in the DC-only position, a decoder equipped locomotive runs on a standard DC powered (analog) layout with no speed differential when compared to a similar non-decoder-equipped locomotive.  The locomotive shell had a roof top hatch that you removed exposed the jumper so you can change it on the fly.  You then put back the hatch.

These decoders are no long made but it has lead to some confusion in the market place to imply you must buy a specific decoder to run in both DC and DCC mode when that is not true at all.

Finally there is one downside to keeping the DC mode enabled (by default it is typically enabled) when running on DCC.   If there is a momentary short on the track, it can confuse the decoder and it will exit DCC mode and go to DC mode on the fly.   Unfortunately this results in a runaway locomotive under DCC mode where the only way to stop it is to kill layout power or grab the engine.

On Feb 20, 2020, at 5:04 PM, Duff & Polly M via Groups.Io <dpmeans@...> wrote:

I am sorry if this has been asked before, or if this question should go elsewhere.
I currently operate DC, mainly because of the number of locomotives that will need work.  I do have a few locomotives that are DCC Ready.
A club I am joining is DCC.  I am thinking I would like to equip one or two of my DCC Ready locomotives with decoders, so they can run at the club.  However, I would also like to use them also at home on my DC layout.

I have heard something about dual mode decoders that can automatically determine whether DC or DCC is available.  If these do what I think they do, are available, and not too too expensive, I am inclined towards this solution.

Are there negatives to this approach, and.or recommended methods?

Thank you.

Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com



Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Jerry Michels
 

Hi Thomas, we've had similar discontent at the Amarillo Railroad Museum, but we just ignore it.  The rule is that we run DCC, no if ands or buts.  We have even disabled running address 00 because it messes with our detection system.  No one is forced to join the museum, so you either comply or take your DC locomotives with horn-hook couplers and plastic-wheeled rolling stock elsewhere.
Jerry

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

Jerry Michels
 

Ron wrote: "he argument "I have 50 engines for DC" doesn't really hold water when you ask them "How many of them do you regularly run?""
Also, conversion to DCC doesn't have to be done to all locomotives at the same time.  
Jerry Michels

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

thomasmclae
 

Trying to do that for 20 years.
Still some folks that insist on running DC.

Thomas
DeSoto, TX

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

RONALD ST.LAURENT
 

Greg,

We avoided the DC/DCC thing at our club by purchasing a decoder for each member to install in an engine of their choice.  This was about in the year 2000.  Our club has been around since 1953.

The argument "I have 50 engines for DC" doesn't really hold water when you ask them "How many of them do you regularly run?"

Being a pure DCC club makes things infinitely easier.

Ron

Lansing Model Railroad Club www.lmrc.org


On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 9:25 AM Greg Harter <greg1462@...> wrote:
Just for info:  Our club, in Columbus, Indiana, is over 25 years old, and has been running both DC and DCC on the same layout for over 20 years.  We use DCC detector boards, which we designed and built, that preclude a loco going from a DC track to a DCC track, or vice versa.  We have four mainlines, several crossovers and a couple of reversing loops, If the current on two specific mainlines isn't the same (DC or DCC), the crossovers will not operate, and/or the isolated track section between those two mainlines will not receive any current of either type.  We have never had an incident where this did not work, and have not had an incident involved any damage to a loco.  

We planned this originally because we had several members who wanted to run DC and several who wanted to run DCC.  

We did a clinic at the 2016 NMRA in Indianapolis on how this operates.  

Dual mode decoders are okay, but very limited.  

Greg Harter
Columbus Area Railroad Club

Speaker for a Walther's mainline loco.

Arthur Hammeke
 

Been looking for a speaker and shroud that will fit a Walther's mainline sd70ace. The factory installed versions have a shroud with built in screw hole from the top.  Like to find something similar.

Anyone got any ideas?

Thanks,
Arthur.

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

thomasmclae
 

Most decoders let you set whether the Lok runs on DC as well as DCC.
However, some DCC layouts require you to turn this option off for technical reasons.
Best option is to select some Locs to add DCC, and use those exclusively at the club.
(Note, my club still has DC as well as DCC.)

Thomas
DeSoto, TX 

Re: Dual Mode? DCC/DC

doncarter521@...
 

FYI 
Most newer decoders will work with just DC current with no problems. Most manufacturers will state if it will work both ways so check when you purchase. them. 
📞🚂👂


On Feb 20, 2020, at 8:04 PM, Duff & Polly M via Groups.Io <dpmeans@...> wrote:

I am sorry if this has been asked before, or if this question should go elsewhere.
I currently operate DC, mainly because of the number of locomotives that will need work.  I do have a few locomotives that are DCC Ready.
A club I am joining is DCC.  I am thinking I would like to equip one or two of my DCC Ready locomotives with decoders, so they can run at the club.  However, I would also like to use them also at home on my DC layout.

I have heard something about dual mode decoders that can automatically determine whether DC or DCC is available.  If these do what I think they do, are available, and not too too expensive, I am inclined towards this solution.

Are there negatives to this approach, and.or recommended methods?

Thank you.