Topics

Peco SL-E391F turnout

Michael Snyder
 

I am new to your group and to model railroading.  I am currently laying track, N scale, and need help with the multitude of Peco turnouts.  
 As typed int he subject, I am using all Peco N Scale Code 55 electrofrog turnouts.  My first set of questions is for the SL-E391F:

1. What are jumpers as manufactured by Peco?  Where are they located?  It states that they are to be removed.  How does one go about removing them without destroying the turn out?

2. In the photograph, where the frog wires are cut and soldered together on the back side of the turnout, I get this.  What I can not see is, the wires that are joined and soldered together, are they both then connected to the main bus or to the Tortise Switch?  Then comes the question of where does the Frog Juicer fit into all of this?

Thats's about it on this switch.  Thanks to anyone who can help.

Michael


Michael Snyder
 

I put out these questions on Wed and haven't received any response.  I'm not sure what to expect, but I thought I would have heard something by now.  Does anybody know how to help please?

Michael

On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 8:46 AM Michael Snyder via Groups.Io <comichael57=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
I am new to your group and to model railroading.  I am currently laying track, N scale, and need help with the multitude of Peco turnouts.  
 As typed int he subject, I am using all Peco N Scale Code 55 electrofrog turnouts.  My first set of questions is for the SL-E391F:

1. What are jumpers as manufactured by Peco?  Where are they located?  It states that they are to be removed.  How does one go about removing them without destroying the turn out?

2. In the photograph, where the frog wires are cut and soldered together on the back side of the turnout, I get this.  What I can not see is, the wires that are joined and soldered together, are they both then connected to the main bus or to the Tortise Switch?  Then comes the question of where does the Frog Juicer fit into all of this?

Thats's about it on this switch.  Thanks to anyone who can help.

Michael


wirefordcc
 

Michael,

Hopefully we'll hear from N-scalers who use the Peco electrofrog.  One of my website readers sent me a N-scale Peco turnout several years ago. It is documented on my website at: http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_peco.htm  I don't have it now.  So what I know is what is contained in my website. 

The diagram for the Peco electrofrogs indicates where the jumpers are located that you need to cut.  They are on the bottom of the turnout.  The rail is already gapped.  Just snip the jumpers and push apart the ends so they don't touch.

You will need to add jumpers on the bottom of the turnout as shown in the diagram in my website.  You will also need to add the feeders from the stock rails to your bus.

Don't forget the insulated joiners that I show in my diagram.

I hope this helps.  Otherwise, we'll have to rely on any Peco N-scale electrofrog users.

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC

Dale Gloer
 

I have not used the Peco N scale Electrofrog turnouts but I have  installed about 100 HO scale ones.  If the Nscale are similar then I  think I can help you.  First of all, go to the wiringfordcc.com web pages and from the main page select 'turnouts', then in the menu bar on the right hand side of the page presented, select Peco.  Scroll down to this item -
SUGGESTION #2-12b:  Peco "Electrofrog" Turnout Is DCC Friendly In Just a Few Snips.  Look at the the picture labelled ' Electrofrog - Underneath View Unmodified' and compare it to your turnout.  If they are the same then here is answers to your questions.  If not, you can stop reading. 
"1. What are jumpers?"  The jumpers are the 2 very short wires at the right side of the picture.  They connect across the insulators in the point rails where the frog connects.  It is not necessary to remove then, just snip the wire and make sure they not longer make electrical connection.  (Actually, they are held in place with very small spot welds and can easily be pulled off once they are cut.)  Reference the third picture showing the modified turnout.
"2. I'm not sure what your question is?"  The two short copper wires soldered between the stock rails and the point rails provide power to the point rails and ensure that a derailment will not cause a short circuit in the switch.  Since they are connected to the stock rail you do not need to wire them to anything else.  They also mean that power to the point rails is not dependent on good electrical contact between the toe of the points and the stock rails.  The two long jumpers under the frog should remain as is.  The wire that is connected to the frog and leads out the side of the switch through a tie is where you connect power to the frog.  If you are using a Tortoise to operate the turnout you can use one  of the sets of contacts in the Tortoise to route power to the frog.  If you want to use a Frog Juicer then you connect the frog juicer to your DCC bus and to the Frog wire following the Frog Juicer instructions.  (The Frog Juicer is an excellent device for this and is easier to use than wiring the Tortoise contacts.)

I hope this helps you. 

Dale Gloer   (I contributed this section to the website)

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Michael,

 

I am sorry not to have responded sooner.  Had some allergy problems that made me too sick to function, but am coming back to life now.  I use Peco Code 55 too.  The jumpers are different from HO, different (I think) from Code 80, and different between small (SL-E391F)  and medium radius turnouts.  They may also have changed over time. It is disconcerting, but they are worth the trouble.  Well manufactured and smooth running.

 

If you want truly understand, I recommend Alan Gartner’s web site.  The pictures don’t match the Code 55 electrofrogs on my layout, but the background was helpful within the rather tight limits of my mental capacity.  When my brain filled up, I resorted to my usual strategy of stomping into the minefield and waiting for something to blow up.  I haven’t tried everything yet, but I’m happy to report on what has and has not worked for me.  I use solenoids and Blue Points, so I don’t have any Tortoise experience, but there are plenty of smart people out there who can help you on those.

 

Must put some fires out on my day job first.  Then I will try to take a few pictures of things that are not glued down and send some comments, and we can go from there.

 

Cheers,

John Johnston

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Michael Snyder
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2019 10:22 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Peco SL-E391F turnout

 

I put out these questions on Wed and haven't received any response.  I'm not sure what to expect, but I thought I would have heard something by now.  Does anybody know how to help please?

 

Michael

 

On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 8:46 AM Michael Snyder via Groups.Io <comichael57=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

I am new to your group and to model railroading.  I am currently laying track, N scale, and need help with the multitude of Peco turnouts.  

 As typed int he subject, I am using all Peco N Scale Code 55 electrofrog turnouts.  My first set of questions is for the SL-E391F:

 

1. What are jumpers as manufactured by Peco?  Where are they located?  It states that they are to be removed.  How does one go about removing them without destroying the turn out?

 

2. In the photograph, where the frog wires are cut and soldered together on the back side of the turnout, I get this.  What I can not see is, the wires that are joined and soldered together, are they both then connected to the main bus or to the Tortise Switch?  Then comes the question of where does the Frog Juicer fit into all of this?

 

Thats's about it on this switch.  Thanks to anyone who can help.

 

Michael

 

 

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Michael,

 

I found an SL-E391F still in the package and have uploaded a photo of the back to the group web site.  I also uploaded photos of an older-model Insulfrog turnout with exposed wires that are easy to see for comparison.  The Album name is Code 55 Electrofrog.  It is fair game for anyone who wants to use/add/annotate etc.  And just to add to the confusion, I threw in photos of a double-slip and some top views of scissors crossovers connected to either toe and frog ends of SL-E391F and SL-E392F turnouts.  In the process, I noticed that Alan Gartner is the moderator of this group.  He knows WAY more about this stuff than any of us, and can correct my mistakes if he has time.  My photos are better than his, though.

 

Anyway – to your questions:

 

  1. The jumper on the SL-E391F (and it’s small radius left counterpart) is the exposed Square-C shaped wire that bridges between inside two rails of the frog and the two closure rails.  You will see that the each end of the C connects across both rails, meaning that all parts of the frog are connected electrically.  They are also connected electrically through the hinges to the point rails, so that whichever point rail touches one of the stock rails, will deliver the power from that stock rail to the entire frog.  It is tricky to cut the very short legs connecting adjacent rails at each end of the C, and VERY hard to re-solder individual wires without melting the plastic ties.  I failed.  (See Frog Juicers).
  2. The jumpers on the medium radius turnouts (SL-E395F and 396F) are different.  Two separate wires run longitudinally to connect the each closure rail to its corresponding frog rail.  Mine are all glued down, but there is a picture of one on Alan’s web site.  It is easy to snip them in the middle, and end up with four nice leads already soldered to the appropriate rails.
  3. I included a photo of on older model Insulfrog with crossing longitudinal wires, and showing how the point rails connect to the closure rails through a joiner.  Now they use a wiper hinge, which is better but still not reliable enough.  (Also a little dirt or oxidation will prevent the point rail from making good electrical contact with the stock rail.) 
  4. MUST USE insulated joiners on the two inside rails at the frog end.  Otherwise whichever way the switch is set, the polarity will always be wrong for one of the two tracks.

 

I have 80 small radius turnouts, and cataracts.  Rather than melting ties, I have opted for “half-friendly.”  I power-route the frogs with Frog Juicers or Blue Points.  Results to date have been excellent.  I don’t seem to have many out-of-gauge problems.  Derailments still cause shorts, but I prefer that to collisions.  Electrofrog double-slips and crossovers are getting friendlier (cuts and leads already).  I haven’t tried any Unifrogs yet.

 

To use a Frog Juicer with the SL-E391F, I lift a corner of the jumper directly under the rail with an Exacto knife about 1/8th inch.  I pull a single wire from my big roll of Cat 5 and tin 1/4th inch, then bend a very small hook around the exposed jumper with the wire pointing straight down.  If I keep the solder blob small, it will go back into the groove in the plastic, or disappear into hole drilled into the roadbed directly under the rail. Connect that wire into one of the six holes in a Hex Juicer, and you are done.  Frog Juicers are expensive, but easy to use, and they work beautifully.  I use Hex Juicers because I need to juice a lot of frogs.  Haven’t tried singles or duplex.  Plenty of power for anything in N-scale.  No problems so far with some leads going to frogs on a reversing section or sharing two leads from one juicer across two adjacent frogs.  I not tried powering two frogs from the same lead, but it should work if the frogs never need different polarity at the same time.

 

Blue points are cheaper, but I don’t have enough in service yet to deliver a verdict.  Should also be easy and effective. Tortoises have built-in power routing switches, but I don’t know beans about them.  Micro switches are an option I haven’t explored.  They don’t seem to offer much benefit for the small difference in cost.  If I were doing sophisticated signaling, I might think differently.

 

Critical spots first (hidden, hard to reach, switching intensive).  Some routes have been so trouble free that I’m just letting them run as-is until they cause problems.  Eventually they will.  Oxidation happens.  Good cleaning may postpone the day.

 

Like any good railroad nut, I could babble on until your eyes glaze over.  Will stop for now and wait for the next round…

John

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of John Johnston via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2019 12:25 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Peco SL-E391F turnout

 

Michael,

 

I am sorry not to have responded sooner.  Had some allergy problems that made me too sick to function, but am coming back to life now.  I use Peco Code 55 too.  The jumpers are different from HO, different (I think) from Code 80, and different between small (SL-E391F)  and medium radius turnouts.  They may also have changed over time. It is disconcerting, but they are worth the trouble.  Well manufactured and smooth running.

 

If you want truly understand, I recommend Alan Gartner’s web site.  The pictures don’t match the Code 55 electrofrogs on my layout, but the background was helpful within the rather tight limits of my mental capacity.  When my brain filled up, I resorted to my usual strategy of stomping into the minefield and waiting for something to blow up.  I haven’t tried everything yet, but I’m happy to report on what has and has not worked for me.  I use solenoids and Blue Points, so I don’t have any Tortoise experience, but there are plenty of smart people out there who can help you on those.

 

Must put some fires out on my day job first.  Then I will try to take a few pictures of things that are not glued down and send some comments, and we can go from there.

 

Cheers,

John Johnston

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Michael Snyder
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2019 10:22 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Peco SL-E391F turnout

 

I put out these questions on Wed and haven't received any response.  I'm not sure what to expect, but I thought I would have heard something by now.  Does anybody know how to help please?

 

Michael

 

On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 8:46 AM Michael Snyder via Groups.Io <comichael57=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

I am new to your group and to model railroading.  I am currently laying track, N scale, and need help with the multitude of Peco turnouts.  

 As typed int he subject, I am using all Peco N Scale Code 55 electrofrog turnouts.  My first set of questions is for the SL-E391F:

 

1. What are jumpers as manufactured by Peco?  Where are they located?  It states that they are to be removed.  How does one go about removing them without destroying the turn out?

 

2. In the photograph, where the frog wires are cut and soldered together on the back side of the turnout, I get this.  What I can not see is, the wires that are joined and soldered together, are they both then connected to the main bus or to the Tortise Switch?  Then comes the question of where does the Frog Juicer fit into all of this?

 

Thats's about it on this switch.  Thanks to anyone who can help.

 

Michael

 

 

Michael Snyder
 

Thank you John!  This is all very helpful.  I wish Peco had a standard with which to connect their turn-outs.  Their website is also basically worthless in accessing information.

Michael

On Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 5:31 PM John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...> wrote:

Michael,

 

I found an SL-E391F still in the package and have uploaded a photo of the back to the group web site.  I also uploaded photos of an older-model Insulfrog turnout with exposed wires that are easy to see for comparison.  The Album name is Code 55 Electrofrog.  It is fair game for anyone who wants to use/add/annotate etc.  And just to add to the confusion, I threw in photos of a double-slip and some top views of scissors crossovers connected to either toe and frog ends of SL-E391F and SL-E392F turnouts.  In the process, I noticed that Alan Gartner is the moderator of this group.  He knows WAY more about this stuff than any of us, and can correct my mistakes if he has time.  My photos are better than his, though.

 

Anyway – to your questions:

 

  1. The jumper on the SL-E391F (and it’s small radius left counterpart) is the exposed Square-C shaped wire that bridges between inside two rails of the frog and the two closure rails.  You will see that the each end of the C connects across both rails, meaning that all parts of the frog are connected electrically.  They are also connected electrically through the hinges to the point rails, so that whichever point rail touches one of the stock rails, will deliver the power from that stock rail to the entire frog.  It is tricky to cut the very short legs connecting adjacent rails at each end of the C, and VERY hard to re-solder individual wires without melting the plastic ties.  I failed.  (See Frog Juicers).
  2. The jumpers on the medium radius turnouts (SL-E395F and 396F) are different.  Two separate wires run longitudinally to connect the each closure rail to its corresponding frog rail.  Mine are all glued down, but there is a picture of one on Alan’s web site.  It is easy to snip them in the middle, and end up with four nice leads already soldered to the appropriate rails.
  3. I included a photo of on older model Insulfrog with crossing longitudinal wires, and showing how the point rails connect to the closure rails through a joiner.  Now they use a wiper hinge, which is better but still not reliable enough.  (Also a little dirt or oxidation will prevent the point rail from making good electrical contact with the stock rail.) 
  4. MUST USE insulated joiners on the two inside rails at the frog end.  Otherwise whichever way the switch is set, the polarity will always be wrong for one of the two tracks.

 

I have 80 small radius turnouts, and cataracts.  Rather than melting ties, I have opted for “half-friendly.”  I power-route the frogs with Frog Juicers or Blue Points.  Results to date have been excellent.  I don’t seem to have many out-of-gauge problems.  Derailments still cause shorts, but I prefer that to collisions.  Electrofrog double-slips and crossovers are getting friendlier (cuts and leads already).  I haven’t tried any Unifrogs yet.

 

To use a Frog Juicer with the SL-E391F, I lift a corner of the jumper directly under the rail with an Exacto knife about 1/8th inch.  I pull a single wire from my big roll of Cat 5 and tin 1/4th inch, then bend a very small hook around the exposed jumper with the wire pointing straight down.  If I keep the solder blob small, it will go back into the groove in the plastic, or disappear into hole drilled into the roadbed directly under the rail. Connect that wire into one of the six holes in a Hex Juicer, and you are done.  Frog Juicers are expensive, but easy to use, and they work beautifully.  I use Hex Juicers because I need to juice a lot of frogs.  Haven’t tried singles or duplex.  Plenty of power for anything in N-scale.  No problems so far with some leads going to frogs on a reversing section or sharing two leads from one juicer across two adjacent frogs.  I not tried powering two frogs from the same lead, but it should work if the frogs never need different polarity at the same time.

 

Blue points are cheaper, but I don’t have enough in service yet to deliver a verdict.  Should also be easy and effective. Tortoises have built-in power routing switches, but I don’t know beans about them.  Micro switches are an option I haven’t explored.  They don’t seem to offer much benefit for the small difference in cost.  If I were doing sophisticated signaling, I might think differently.

 

Critical spots first (hidden, hard to reach, switching intensive).  Some routes have been so trouble free that I’m just letting them run as-is until they cause problems.  Eventually they will.  Oxidation happens.  Good cleaning may postpone the day.

 

Like any good railroad nut, I could babble on until your eyes glaze over.  Will stop for now and wait for the next round…

John

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of John Johnston via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2019 12:25 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Peco SL-E391F turnout

 

Michael,

 

I am sorry not to have responded sooner.  Had some allergy problems that made me too sick to function, but am coming back to life now.  I use Peco Code 55 too.  The jumpers are different from HO, different (I think) from Code 80, and different between small (SL-E391F)  and medium radius turnouts.  They may also have changed over time. It is disconcerting, but they are worth the trouble.  Well manufactured and smooth running.

 

If you want truly understand, I recommend Alan Gartner’s web site.  The pictures don’t match the Code 55 electrofrogs on my layout, but the background was helpful within the rather tight limits of my mental capacity.  When my brain filled up, I resorted to my usual strategy of stomping into the minefield and waiting for something to blow up.  I haven’t tried everything yet, but I’m happy to report on what has and has not worked for me.  I use solenoids and Blue Points, so I don’t have any Tortoise experience, but there are plenty of smart people out there who can help you on those.

 

Must put some fires out on my day job first.  Then I will try to take a few pictures of things that are not glued down and send some comments, and we can go from there.

 

Cheers,

John Johnston

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Michael Snyder
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2019 10:22 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Peco SL-E391F turnout

 

I put out these questions on Wed and haven't received any response.  I'm not sure what to expect, but I thought I would have heard something by now.  Does anybody know how to help please?

 

Michael

 

On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 8:46 AM Michael Snyder via Groups.Io <comichael57=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:

I am new to your group and to model railroading.  I am currently laying track, N scale, and need help with the multitude of Peco turnouts.  

 As typed int he subject, I am using all Peco N Scale Code 55 electrofrog turnouts.  My first set of questions is for the SL-E391F:

 

1. What are jumpers as manufactured by Peco?  Where are they located?  It states that they are to be removed.  How does one go about removing them without destroying the turn out?

 

2. In the photograph, where the frog wires are cut and soldered together on the back side of the turnout, I get this.  What I can not see is, the wires that are joined and soldered together, are they both then connected to the main bus or to the Tortise Switch?  Then comes the question of where does the Frog Juicer fit into all of this?

 

Thats's about it on this switch.  Thanks to anyone who can help.

 

Michael

 

 

Michael Snyder
 

Thanks Allan.  Pass along anymore that comes your way.

M

On Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 9:14 AM wirefordcc <bigboy@...> wrote:
Michael,

Hopefully we'll hear from N-scalers who use the Peco electrofrog.  One of my website readers sent me a N-scale Peco turnout several years ago. It is documented on my website at: http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_peco.htm  I don't have it now.  So what I know is what is contained in my website. 

The diagram for the Peco electrofrogs indicates where the jumpers are located that you need to cut.  They are on the bottom of the turnout.  The rail is already gapped.  Just snip the jumpers and push apart the ends so they don't touch.

You will need to add jumpers on the bottom of the turnout as shown in the diagram in my website.  You will also need to add the feeders from the stock rails to your bus.

Don't forget the insulated joiners that I show in my diagram.

I hope this helps.  Otherwise, we'll have to rely on any Peco N-scale electrofrog users.

Allan Gartner
Wiring For DCC