DCC friendly Peco Code 80 points

Mark French

Hi team, I have surfed the net and watched countless hours of how to make your Peco points DCC "friendly" to use with Tortoise motors, they are great for showing DCC friendly HO, OO points but scarce little on N Gauge, other than one for a code 55, which are manufactured different to Code 80.


I thought I had a handle on it, I soldered a green wire for the frog on the wing rail and the Red and Black (Active/Neutral) onto respective sides of the track (Stockrail) just past the switch (about the third sleeper/tie from the end). I have done this with over a dozen points.


On one point, when I switch it, power runs fine when in the open (straight through) position showing 12.1v on my meter, when thrown I have 0v sometimes 12.1v. Other points seam to work fine then randomly the train will stop. When I remove the train and throw the point back and forth then it runs great suggesting a poor connection or a dirty point. This also suggest that I haven't achieved DCC friendly status with my location of the Red & Black wire.


All my points are brand new, oldest is about 6 months and cleaned regularly. 


What do you think?

How do you wire Peco code 80 points?


Many thanks Mark



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Thank you

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

Don Vollrath

Mark French, the symptoms are that the connection from the points to the selected stock rail are intermittent. The Peco turnout from the factory is designed to operate as is but may not be totally DCC friendly as it does rely on one of the points touching the stock rail to power the frog, etc. It may look OK but when a loco runs through, the rail point moves slightly and disconnects power. Several options before slicing rails and making it totally DCC friendly: it is likely to be of the “power routing” type so be sure to provide insulating gaps at the ends of the frog rails.

1. Readjust the point motor to provide increased pressure to the rail points in both directions of the throw bar. Make sure there are no obstructions of the points touching the stock rails. Try bending the tips for a positive contact.

2. Provide aux power to the frog and points using the green wire through one of the SPDT switch motor contacts. OR provide a Frog Juicer do so the same.

3. Note that making a turnout totally DCC friendly by definition requires that the switch point rails are isolated from one another and stay at the potential of the nearby stock rail, and that the frog be powered according to the position of the throw bar. This in itself usually requires butchering of factory provided rails near the frog and additional wire connections. However it is overkill and not necessary for operation on most layouts if #1 or #2 are accomplished.