Peco SL-99 3 Way Turnout

Dennis DeGroff

Hey everyone.  New to the group and wiring my first layout in DCC.  In my yard district, I have wired two Peco SL-99 3 way turnouts with the toe end opposite each other and joining from the right side of one to the right side of the other.  I installed the units with conductive rail joiners on each of the three legs exiting both units and soldered the joiners only on the toe end of the turnouts.  I have been having a problem with a locomotive shorting out (using PM42 Digitrax for power management) when going from one SL-99 to the other SL-99, but no problems going to either of the other two legs of the turnout.  Both the turnouts are on the same power district.  In reviewing the Peco information on the SL-99 packaging, I noticed that for DCC operations, they suggest placing insulated rail joiners on the inside 4 legs.  Could this be part of my problem?  If so, can I cut an gap between the sections to basically isolate the tracks without the need for the insulated joiners?  I have checked the wiring below the layout and also with the 9v buzzer check when the wiring is disconnected from the PM42 and all checks out good.  The loco is a Walthers Proto 2000.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Dennis DeGroff, Fort Wayne, IN

Nick Ostrosky

I have two of these as well but not in a reversing loop.  You are correct that Peco recommends insulating the four inside legs, which I did, and have experienced no problems in operation.  I would think this would hold true regardless of the reversing section because of left/right rail issues and how Peco recommends wiring the turnout to power those rails.  As to simply cutting gaps, yes, you could, but that could invite arcing, alignment, or other issues that may be less than optimal.  Nick your nearby neighbor in Kalamazoo, MI

Dennis DeGroff

Hey Nick.  Thanks for the response.  My units are not in a reversing loop, as they just butt up to each other in the yard.  Since I have not added ballast yet, I am going to pull up the track and turnouts so that I can add the insulated rail joiners as Peco recommends.  Hopefully that will take care of the issue.

Best Regards, Dennis.