Topics

Best ho switches

Dale Gloer
 

If the epoint of teh frog is plastic, it is Insulfrog or if it is metal right to the point it is Electrofrog.  See the photos in section 2-12b of http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_peco.htm for each type.

Dale Gloer

Brian Eiland
 

I have quite a few used (but like new) Peco turnouts that are without of their original boxes. I'm looking for a quick way to determine if they are electrofrog or insulfrog turnouts?
Brian

Brian Lewis
 

Absolutely. I was waiting for this.

It saddens me that folk demand absolute accuracy with regards to locos and rolling stock, but them plonk it on trackwork that bears little or no relationship to the prototype..... Some layouts I see, must owe their origins to Disneyland!  How can such layouts be called 'scale'?

I have been building track and pointwork for more than forty years, using as a baseline, original railways company's drawings. And I agree with you - Fast Tracks makes track building so easy.


On 23/04/2018 20:51, Kurt kurt.konrath@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 

If you really want to get this discussion going on who’s the best how about using hand made switches?


I build all my switches by hand now. 

Most using the Fast-tracks jigs for assembly off layout.  

If done properly the work great with proper look and no shorts. You can power frogs easy as well!

Kurt K 


--

Regards and thanks

 

Brian Lewis

Rob McLear
 

Kurt I agree, I make all of my switches by hand now again using Fast Tracks jigs and filing tools, although recently I built a number 6 single crossover just using the paper template and the NMRA gauge and some Micro Engineering track gauges to hold the rail in place whilst being soldered to the PCB ties.   The powered frog is a real factor here, I have over 60 loco's and going back to add keep alives to all of them is cost and time prohibitive.

I don't like Peco they are a good looking turnout as far as it goes but I have an objection to the pressed point rails, don't like 'em.   Shinohara are reasonable but again the frog is a trouble point for me as the gap is wide and the wheels drop into the gap of the frog.   The way the points are joined causes shorts, although I have modified quite a few on my old layout using a PCB throwbar and replacing the point rails from the frog as one continuous rail from the gap at the frog to the end of the point rail.   Same as the fast tracks system I use.   The new layout under construction will have all hand laid turnouts.

Whatever you decide there are ways to get things working OK, Micro Engineering make a nice number 6 and it is pretty DCC friendly if you follow their instructions.   But they only make a number 6 and I need a lot of number 8's I may however use their number 6's in the staging, but it would depend on cost now that I have all of the jigs and filing tools that I need it is far cheaper for me to build my own.   I will need over 100 and have about 20 built now so it is slowly reimbursing me for the outlay of cost for the jigs.

Rob McLear
Australia.

Kurt Konrath
 

If you really want to get this discussion going on who’s the best how about using hand made switches?

I build all my switches by hand now. 

Most using the Fast-tracks jigs for assembly off layout.  

If done properly the work great with proper look and no shorts. You can power frogs easy as well!

Kurt K 


On Apr 23, 2018, at 12:11 PM, Affordable Roofing Contractors vmarino2009@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:

 

All of the above. The bachmann switches have a short internallyand it throws the circuit breaker. I've removed several switches and they exhibit a short off the layout (I have a device that checks for shorts)

On Mon, Apr 23, 2018, 12:18 PM Greg Williams gregw66@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
 

What do you mean by a "short"? This term is confusing sometimes because some refer to a loss of power as a short but a short is actually a short circuit where the controller goes into a protection mode. So what exactly happens on the turnouts? Does the loco loose power or does the power supply (DCC? DC?) go into a short protection mode?

Greg Williams

vincent marino
 

All of the above. The bachmann switches have a short internallyand it throws the circuit breaker. I've removed several switches and they exhibit a short off the layout (I have a device that checks for shorts)


On Mon, Apr 23, 2018, 12:18 PM Greg Williams gregw66@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
 

What do you mean by a "short"? This term is confusing sometimes because some refer to a loss of power as a short but a short is actually a short circuit where the controller goes into a protection mode. So what exactly happens on the turnouts? Does the loco loose power or does the power supply (DCC? DC?) go into a short protection mode?

Greg Williams

dvollrath@...
 

Good/Great question, Greg. The answer here makes an important difference in identifying the real issue.

If the headlight simply blinks off, motor stops or a sound loco recycles it is an intermittent connection. If the booster or circuit breaker actually trips off it is a true short circuit. Two different problems with two totally different solutions.


Various brands of turnouts have their own version causes of intermittent electrical connections. One cannot totally rely on the points or the point rail pivot to always make a good electrical connection. Use separate rail feeder wires to point rails to keep things powered. Also look for vertical rail height bumps that lift truck wheels above the rails.


True short circuits should be rare, but are usually caused by 1) oversized wheels bridging across frog closure rails of near frog isolation gaps or the back side brushing against an opposite polarity point rail, or 2) powered frogs being at the wrong polarity, or 3) power switched frog rails not being isolated from other rails beyond the turnout. Watch out for unwanted closure of cut but non-insulated rail gaps.  


DonV

---In WiringForDCC@..., <gregw66@...> wrote :

What do you mean by a "short"? This term is confusing sometimes because some refer to a loss of power as a short but a short is actually a short circuit where the controller goes into a protection mode. So what exactly happens on the turnouts? Does the loco loose power or does the power supply (DCC? DC?) go into a short protection mode?

Greg Williams

Greg Williams <gregw66@...>
 

What do you mean by a "short"? This term is confusing sometimes because some refer to a loss of power as a short but a short is actually a short circuit where the controller goes into a protection mode. So what exactly happens on the turnouts? Does the loco loose power or does the power supply (DCC? DC?) go into a short protection mode?

Greg Williams

David Klemm
 

Bill,


I solder to the back side so it is not visible and after painting the rails and ballasting it becomes very hard to see the wire. 


David




From: WiringForDCC@... on behalf of Bill Wilken bill.wilken@... [WiringForDCC]
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2018 7:51 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Re: Best ho switches
 
 

I just don't like the appearance of another visible soldered wire.


On 04/23/2018 08:08 AM, Annette and Dante Fuligni dfuligni2144@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
 

I have the Walthers/Shinohara turnouts and am very happy with them. To power the frogs, you do not have to connect to their undersides, The guardrails adjacent to the frogs are actually electrically connected to the frogs; therefore, you can drop a feeder from the guardrail just as you feed any other rail. That also means that you can do feed the frog after the turnout is installed: only feed the frog after your operations indicate it is necessary. Most of my frogs are not powered.


Dante


Bill Wilken
 

I just don't like the appearance of another visible soldered wire.


On 04/23/2018 08:08 AM, Annette and Dante Fuligni dfuligni2144@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:
�

I have the Walthers/Shinohara turnouts and am very happy with them. To power the frogs, you do not have to connect to their undersides, The guardrails adjacent to the frogs are actually electrically connected to the frogs; therefore, you can drop a feeder from the guardrail just as you feed any other rail. That also means that you can do feed the frog after the turnout is installed: only feed the frog after your operations indicate it is necessary. Most of my frogs are not powered.


Dante


Glenn
 


Yes. But they with not hold non Peco switches in position. You can mount them apart from a Peco switch.

Glenn

-----Original Message-----
From: "railandsail railandsail@... [WiringForDCC]"
Sent: Apr 23, 2018 8:21 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Best ho switches





On Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 1:37 AM, BF halloran bfhalloran@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
 

The old Peco turnout motors with twin coils, when attached to Peco turnouts, had to be excavated.  They were directly attached to the bottom of the turnouts.  And the rod to extend the motor into a left/right switch had a very high rate of failure.
Bernie

Thanks Bernie, I have quiet a number of them (attached to some nice Peco's I bought used), but I have not tried using them yet. In a cursory look I was wondering if they good be made to work if unhooked from their turnouts as designed.. Brian



Glenn
 

I do not know about the newer Peco switches, but my older ones lock into to position with a push of the finger. That was the idea behind machines, they just pushed the points into position.

Glenn

-----Original Message-----
From: "BF halloran bfhalloran@... [WiringForDCC]" <WiringForDCC@...>
Sent: Apr 22, 2018 10:47 PM
To: "WiringForDCC@..." <WiringForDCC@...>
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Best ho switches

Gents,

If you can afford Peco code 83 turnouts, you will have the best. Yes, I’ve used all the others except Bachmann; but those guys do make some fine locomotives nowadays. Bill’s advice is good. (oh, the old Peco turnout motors are the pitts, use either a hand throw of Tortise.)

Bernie Halloran

Brian Eiland
 



On Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 1:37 AM, BF halloran bfhalloran@... [WiringForDCC] <WiringForDCC@...> wrote:
 

The old Peco turnout motors with twin coils, when attached to Peco turnouts, had to be excavated.  They were directly attached to the bottom of the turnouts.  And the rod to extend the motor into a left/right switch had a very high rate of failure.
Bernie

Thanks Bernie, I have quiet a number of them (attached to some nice Peco's I bought used), but I have not tried using them yet. In a cursory look I was wondering if they good be made to work if unhooked from their turnouts as designed.. Brian

Annette and Dante Fuligni
 

I have the Walthers/Shinohara turnouts and am very happy with them. To power the frogs, you do not have to connect to their undersides, The guardrails adjacent to the frogs are actually electrically connected to the frogs; therefore, you can drop a feeder from the guardrail just as you feed any other rail. That also means that you can do feed the frog after the turnout is installed: only feed the frog after your operations indicate it is necessary. Most of my frogs are not powered.

Dante

Jason Willeford
 

I would agree with others that Peco switches are great, however newer generation Atlas switches are pretty good too.
One thing no one has mentioned is that if your using Bachmann, then you likely have Bachmann track with integrated roadbed. If you like the "snap together" feature then you should look at Kato track. Kato switches are excellent as is their full line of track, they also have integrated roadbed that looks great.
--J

Bernie Halloran
 

The old Peco turnout motors with twin coils, when attached to Peco turnouts, had to be excavated.  They were directly attached to the bottom of the turnouts.  And the rod to extend the motor into a left/right switch had a very high rate of failure.
Bernie


From: WiringForDCC@... on behalf of railandsail railandsail@... [WiringForDCC]
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2018 1:23:35 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Best ho switches
 
 


 

Gents,
.. (oh, the old Peco turnout motors are the pitts, use either a hand throw of Tortise.)
Bernie Halloran

So what exactly do you find so objectionable on those twin coil Peco motors, other than their set installation arrangements, and the fact that they are old tech twin coils ?
Brian


.


Brian Eiland
 


 

Gents,
. (oh, the old Peco turnout motors are the pitts, use either a hand throw of Tortise.)
Bernie Halloran

So what exactly do you find so objectionable on those twin coil Peco motors, other than their set installation arrangements, and the fact that they are old tech twin coils ?
Brian


.


William Teeters <cozyflyr9398@...>
 

Tortise are the best, I have at least 50 machines controlled by DS64's ( decoder-pro ect.). Bill T.


On Sunday, April 22, 2018 10:49 PM, "BF halloran bfhalloran@... [WiringForDCC]" wrote:


 
Gents,
If you can afford Peco code 83 turnouts, you will have the best. Yes, I’ve used all the others except Bachmann; but those guys do make some fine locomotives nowadays. Bill’s advice is good. (oh, the old Peco turnout motors are the pitts, use either a hand throw of Tortise.)
Bernie Halloran

From: WiringForDCC@...
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2018 12:30 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Best ho switches



What's "best" depends in part on what you're looking for and are willing to pay.

For a variety of reasons, my railroad uses a combination of Atlas Customline, Walthers-Shinohara, and Peco turnouts ... all DCC-ready from the factory.. The Atlas Customline turnouts typically are the least expensive of the three, lend themselves to easy installation of wiring for powered frogs, and work quite reliably. They, however, do not deliver a "prototypical" appearance. The Walthers-Shinohara turnouts usually are more expensive than the Atlas turnouts, but less costly than the Pecos. They also look reasonably "prototypical," but unlike the Atlas Customlines creating a powered frog requires carefully soldering on their underside. While my Shinoharas work very nicely, it took a bit of learning to achieve that result. It is critical to recognize that they flex rather easily, so you must take care to install them on a flat and even surface. The Shinoharas also have fairly tight tolerances and you must be very judicious in painting their surfaces. Peco makes some really nice product, but I've found it usually difficult to justify their premium price unless you are looking for an easy way to address the powered frog matter.

Bill



On 04/21/2018 08:38 PM, Affordable Roofing Contractors vmarino2009@... [WiringForDCC] wrote:

I'm so discussed with bachmann ez dcc switches. I have shorts so I resorted to removing a switch to figure out what's going on. The dam thing shorts all by itself removed from the layout.

Question. I'm ready to redo the layout. What's the best dcc switches on the market today?



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



Bernie Halloran
 

Gents,
If you can afford Peco code 83 turnouts, you will have the best. Yes, I’ve used all the others except Bachmann; but those guys do make some fine locomotives nowadays. Bill’s advice is good. (oh, the old Peco turnout motors are the pitts, use either a hand throw of Tortise.)
Bernie Halloran

From: WiringForDCC@... <WiringForDCC@...>
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2018 12:30 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] Best ho switches



What's "best" depends in part on what you're looking for and are willing to pay.

For a variety of reasons, my railroad uses a combination of Atlas Customline, Walthers-Shinohara, and Peco turnouts ... all DCC-ready from the factory. The Atlas Customline turnouts typically are the least expensive of the three, lend themselves to easy installation of wiring for powered frogs, and work quite reliably. They, however, do not deliver a "prototypical" appearance. The Walthers-Shinohara turnouts usually are more expensive than the Atlas turnouts, but less costly than the Pecos. They also look reasonably "prototypical," but unlike the Atlas Customlines creating a powered frog requires carefully soldering on their underside. While my Shinoharas work very nicely, it took a bit of learning to achieve that result. It is critical to recognize that they flex rather easily, so you must take care to install them on a flat and even surface. The Shinoharas also have fairly tight tolerances and you must be very judicious in painting their surfaces. Peco makes some really nice product, but I've found it usually difficult to justify their premium price unless you are looking for an easy way to address the powered frog matter.

Bill



On 04/21/2018 08:38 PM, Affordable Roofing Contractors vmarino2009@...<mailto:vmarino2009@...> [WiringForDCC] wrote:

I'm so discussed with bachmann ez dcc switches. I have shorts so I resorted to removing a switch to figure out what's going on. The dam thing shorts all by itself removed from the layout.

Question. I'm ready to redo the layout. What's the best dcc switches on the market today?

Dale Gloer
 

I have about 100 Peco code 75 Electrofrog switches installed, all using Tortoise machines for motion and to power route the frogs.  No stalls ever with any loco, even the real short ones.  Installed for about 13 years and the only problems are when a Tortoise switch contacts fail and the frog goes dead.  And yes I have had to repair the contacts in 5 Tortoises so far.   When I installed them I also made the modifications to make them electrically bullet proof - aka DCC friendly.  See Section 2-12b at this link - the photos are how I did mine.  http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_peco.htm

Dale Gloer