Topics

Powering Points

Perry A Pollino
 

I have N scale Peco code 55 turnouts. Just started testing y track and it is not going well. I am using DCC NCE powe cab fr testing. I have PSX curcuit breakers and PSX Frog AR's. One of my scale trians 6 axle locos would stutter through and indicate a short. $ axle Atlas Loco only stuttered. I took  meter set for continuity. It seem my points are not being powered well. if I pus point into the rail I get continuity.
How can I improve the contact between the points and the rails?
Perry

John Heaps
 

Hi Perry,

You did not say if they are electrofrog or insulfrog.

If electrofrog you can solder a wire to the frog and wire so that you get power to the frog from the appropriate rail. This also depends on how you change the points.

To improve the contact with the point blades you can sandpaper with very fine sandpaper, then use a graphite pencil or a soft pencil ( 6B ) on the point blades. This works for me.

Cheers,

John Heaps,
Vic, Australia.



On 9/12/2019 10:45 am, Perry A Pollino wrote:
I have N scale Peco code 55 turnouts. Just started testing y track and it is not going well. I am using DCC NCE powe cab fr testing. I have PSX curcuit breakers and PSX Frog AR's. One of my scale trians 6 axle locos would stutter through and indicate a short. $ axle Atlas Loco only stuttered. I took  meter set for continuity. It seem my points are not being powered well. if I pus point into the rail I get continuity.
How can I improve the contact between the points and the rails?
Perry


Perry A Pollino
 

John Thanks,
I did not specify which turnout I am using. I am using electrofrog.  I did imply it by saying I am using the new PSX Frog AR boards. My  bad, PSX are the same as a frog juicer.
I will try your sandpaper and Graphite trick. The problem does seem to be the  electric contact with stock rails and point rails. While checking with my meter if I push a bit on point rail I get continuity. I took out the springs in my turnouts since I am using Tortoise switch machines. I also upgraded a larger wire and brass tube to improve the movement.
Perry

On Monday, December 9, 2019, 5:17:39 AM CST, John Heaps <hpod@...> wrote:


Hi Perry,

You did not say if they are electrofrog or insulfrog.

If electrofrog you can solder a wire to the frog and wire so that you get power to the frog from the appropriate rail. This also depends on how you change the points.

To improve the contact with the point blades you can sandpaper with very fine sandpaper, then use a graphite pencil or a soft pencil ( 6B ) on the point blades. This works for me.

Cheers,

John Heaps,
Vic, Australia.



On 9/12/2019 10:45 am, Perry A Pollino wrote:
I have N scale Peco code 55 turnouts. Just started testing y track and it is not going well. I am using DCC NCE powe cab fr testing. I have PSX curcuit breakers and PSX Frog AR's. One of my scale trians 6 axle locos would stutter through and indicate a short. $ axle Atlas Loco only stuttered. I took  meter set for continuity. It seem my points are not being powered well. if I pus point into the rail I get continuity.
How can I improve the contact between the points and the rails?
Perry


Blair & Rasa
 

Perry,
Just as an observation, I've never had to remove the springs.  I just up-size the wire, and the Tortoise is plenty capable of overcoming the spring.  Mind you, the turnout does have a bit of that characteristic "snap" sound, like a bang-bang solenoid machine.  This worked for several years in a pair of large staging yards totaling about 50 machines, so it's not a one-of experience.   Continuity was always good; however, in my current layout in progress, I am adding two small gauge wires from stock rails to point rails, to guard against the problem you're experiencing.  These are well-documented on  the W4DCC website; best installed before putting the turnout in place, however.
YMMV
Blair

On 2019-12-09 8:46, Perry A Pollino wrote:
John Thanks,
I did not specify which turnout I am using. I am using electrofrog.  I did imply it by saying I am using the new PSX Frog AR boards. My  bad, PSX are the same as a frog juicer.
I will try your sandpaper and Graphite trick. The problem does seem to be the  electric contact with stock rails and point rails. While checking with my meter if I push a bit on point rail I get continuity. I took out the springs in my turnouts since I am using Tortoise switch machines. I also upgraded a larger wire and brass tube to improve the movement.
Perry

On Monday, December 9, 2019, 5:17:39 AM CST, John Heaps <hpod@...> wrote:


Hi Perry,

You did not say if they are electrofrog or insulfrog.

If electrofrog you can solder a wire to the frog and wire so that you get power to the frog from the appropriate rail. This also depends on how you change the points.

To improve the contact with the point blades you can sandpaper with very fine sandpaper, then use a graphite pencil or a soft pencil ( 6B ) on the point blades. This works for me.

Cheers,

John Heaps,
Vic, Australia.



On 9/12/2019 10:45 am, Perry A Pollino wrote:
I have N scale Peco code 55 turnouts. Just started testing y track and it is not going well. I am using DCC NCE powe cab fr testing. I have PSX curcuit breakers and PSX Frog AR's. One of my scale trians 6 axle locos would stutter through and indicate a short. $ axle Atlas Loco only stuttered. I took  meter set for continuity. It seem my points are not being powered well. if I pus point into the rail I get continuity.
How can I improve the contact between the points and the rails?
Perry



PennsyNut
 

To start: I use Insulfrogs, and no machines. However, the springs are a great advantage to PECO turnouts. You should have left them in. As for the "snap", that may be more important to you than me. I like a snap. I also like the way the spring helps the point rail keep contact. I do on occasion, when cleaning track=clean the points very carefully. And there is controversy in what I do. I use acetone on a very small brush, keeping it off the ties. Only the rails and the adjoining points. And then, graphite. I also use graphite on all rails. Helps with both continuity/current and seems to make the rolling cars sound better. Seems to smooth the rails some. Be very sparing with the graphite. I rub it on with a brush about 3" and 6" without, and repeat. And running a car or two helps to smooth it over the rails. Similar to what I do with the turnout. move it back and forth a few times, and run a car through it on both sides to smooth the graphite.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

wirefordcc
 

Acetone will melt plastic.  If you use Acetone, you need to be sure you keep it off the plastic or wash it off.

Allan
Wiring for DCC

Carl
 

Hi Gang:

Why would you spend the money for a Tortoise, then leave the toggle spring in place resulting in "Snap" action. I thought the whole point was to have the points move slowly like the prototype??

Carl.

On 12/9/2019 9:13 AM, Blair & Rasa wrote:
Perry,
Just as an observation, I've never had to remove the springs.  I just up-size the wire, and the Tortoise is plenty capable of overcoming the spring.  Mind you, the turnout does have a bit of that characteristic "snap" sound, like a bang-bang solenoid machine.  This worked for several years in a pair of large staging yards totaling about 50 machines, so it's not a one-of experience.   Continuity was always good; however, in my current layout in progress, I am adding two small gauge wires from stock rails to point rails, to guard against the problem you're experiencing.  These are well-documented on  the W4DCC website; best installed before putting the turnout in place, however.
YMMV
Blair

On 2019-12-09 8:46, Perry A Pollino wrote:
John Thanks,
I did not specify which turnout I am using. I am using electrofrog.  I did imply it by saying I am using the new PSX Frog AR boards. My  bad, PSX are the same as a frog juicer.
I will try your sandpaper and Graphite trick. The problem does seem to be the  electric contact with stock rails and point rails. While checking with my meter if I push a bit on point rail I get continuity. I took out the springs in my turnouts since I am using Tortoise switch machines. I also upgraded a larger wire and brass tube to improve the movement.
Perry

On Monday, December 9, 2019, 5:17:39 AM CST, John Heaps <hpod@...> wrote:


Hi Perry,

You did not say if they are electrofrog or insulfrog.

If electrofrog you can solder a wire to the frog and wire so that you get power to the frog from the appropriate rail. This also depends on how you change the points.

To improve the contact with the point blades you can sandpaper with very fine sandpaper, then use a graphite pencil or a soft pencil ( 6B ) on the point blades. This works for me.

Cheers,

John Heaps,
Vic, Australia.



On 9/12/2019 10:45 am, Perry A Pollino wrote:
I have N scale Peco code 55 turnouts. Just started testing y track and it is not going well. I am using DCC NCE powe cab fr testing. I have PSX curcuit breakers and PSX Frog AR's. One of my scale trians 6 axle locos would stutter through and indicate a short. $ axle Atlas Loco only stuttered. I took  meter set for continuity. It seem my points are not being powered well. if I pus point into the rail I get continuity.
How can I improve the contact between the points and the rails?
Perry



Robert W. Childress
 

Add jumpers between the points and the rails.

Donald Scharenbroch
 

I have heard so many different recommendations on track cleaning & track maintenance that it is mind boggling. I think the only recommendation I have not heard is SNAKE OIL.

 

Here is an article that everyone should read at least twice before you tell me that I am an idiot: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/mrhpub.com/2019-05-may/online/index.html?page=9   Clean your track with KEROSENE. When done cleaning, make sure that there is a VERY VERY light film of kerosene left on the rails. Same with your rolling stock.

 

I have heard of layouts running 2 years before a light cleaning is required. Kerosene is available at Home Depot, Lowes and some small hardware stores.

 

Don

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of wirefordcc
Sent: Monday, December 9, 2019 11:04 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Powering Points

 

Acetone will melt plastic.  If you use Acetone, you need to be sure you keep it off the plastic or wash it off.

Allan
Wiring for DCC

PennsyNut
 

With Kerosene, there's the smell. I've used acetone now for over a year. Yes, it's not good on plastic. But I carefully wipe the rails, top and inside edge. And turnout points. CAREFULLY! There's noting inherently wrong with this. It's like anything else in the hobby. Use your common sense and don't do something stupid. And I'm sorry, this is not snake oil. It is what I do and it works for me. The graphite is what keeps the trains running for quite a while before re-coating with graphite. The actual cleaning is not required very often. Assuming you operate fairly often. If you leave a layout unused for weeks, you definitely need to clean. I'm not stepping anyone's toes and am not trying to sell anything. As for the snap: I only mentioned that it does help to keep electrical continuity. If you don't like it because of "slow motion", then remove it. That's your choice. I apologize and respectfully ask you to stop stomping on me. And I also apologize to Allan Gartner if I am being inappropriate. This forum is to help and that's all I'm trying to do.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

wirefordcc
 

All,

There was a great discussion on this topic a few months ago.  The thread is titled, Cleaners and Lubricants.  Please refer to it.  Do not rehash it now. 

Thank you

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

wirefordcc
 

All,

Perry still has his question out there about powering points for his N-scale Peco code 55 Electrofrog turnouts.  If anyone can help Perry, please do so. 

Note:  This topic derailed and got back to track cleaning.  This happens occasionally.  If there is a need to change topics, please create a new topic rather than derail the old one.  If a topic, like track cleaning, was recently discussed and needs to be discussed again, it just makes sense to refer to the previous discussion.

Thank you

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC

PennsyNut
 

And in all fairness and honesty, that's all I was trying help with. In my experience, the usually problem with contact between point and closure is "clean". And that is why Went Off Topic! I was not trying to hijack the thread nor to rehash old stuff. I personally don't like wiring. With the Insulfrog, I don't need to. With the PECO snap action, that is usually enough to keep electricity flowing. IF CLEAN. So if one chooses to remove the snap, then they must find a solution. And the solutions I've ever seen for Electrofrog is with wiring. I don't wire turnouts, and with the web site for "wirefordcc" having several excellent wiring instructions. So please forgive me if I stepped on someones toes = Causing a rehash on what to clean with, etc. Also, I find graphite helps with electrical continuity. Again, my apologies!
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Perry A Pollino
 

Folks
Thanks for the replies.
I thought I would follow up and let you know what I discovered. The turnouts I powered in my first power district, were also the first turnouts I installed. In doing so I had not upgraded the piano wire driving the switch points. Although it was only put through 1/2 inch of plywood and 1/4 inch of foam plus cork roadbed it was not putting enough pressure on the points. Cleaning the points and changing that wire seems to have remedied the problem of making good contact. Time will tell. I am not sure what will happen with the 1/2 dozen or so remote machines I have in place. I will find out as I power those districts. 
Perry

Greg Harter
 

Our club changes out all the .025" wire with .032' wire.  makes a big difference.Getting harder to find this stuff!!!!!!

Greg Harter

Perry A Pollino
 

In addition the .032 wire I also add the brass tube. In some cases my Tortoise is 2" below the turnout.  The three turnouts were in my staging and the first ones I installed. I did not occur to me until I crawled under the layout to see if I could drill and add a feeder wire for the points. I had honestly thought I had changed them all out. I am not sure if the tortoise remote machines will give me a problem. I have about 6 of those. 
Since I do not have a LHS I typically by all my hobby needs on line. Yes I have had trouble finding the .032 wire in stock anyhow. I stocked up when I did find it. Amazon usually has a vendor. I am almost out.
Perry 

On Monday, December 16, 2019, 07:20:30 AM CST, Greg Harter <greg1462@...> wrote:


Our club changes out all the .025" wire with .032' wire.  makes a big difference.Getting harder to find this stuff!!!!!!

Greg Harter

RONALD ST.LAURENT
 

Perry,

You can shop piano wire at local hardware stores.  Typically made by K&S and sold 5 to a pack in 36 inch lengths.  Be sure to use a hard wire cutter as this wire will surely ruin your track cutting tool.

Ron


On Mon, Dec 16, 2019 at 9:07 AM Perry A Pollino <texasperry@...> wrote:
In addition the .032 wire I also add the brass tube. In some cases my Tortoise is 2" below the turnout.  The three turnouts were in my staging and the first ones I installed. I did not occur to me until I crawled under the layout to see if I could drill and add a feeder wire for the points. I had honestly thought I had changed them all out. I am not sure if the tortoise remote machines will give me a problem. I have about 6 of those. 
Since I do not have a LHS I typically by all my hobby needs on line. Yes I have had trouble finding the .032 wire in stock anyhow. I stocked up when I did find it. Amazon usually has a vendor. I am almost out.
Perry 

On Monday, December 16, 2019, 07:20:30 AM CST, Greg Harter <greg1462@...> wrote:


Our club changes out all the .025" wire with .032' wire.  makes a big difference.Getting harder to find this stuff!!!!!!

Greg Harter

John Cahill
 

In case it helps, I get mine from a supplier of parts for R/C aircraft where it is used (I believe) to connect servos to control surfaces.
John


On Mon, Dec 16, 2019 at 1:20 PM Greg Harter <greg1462@...> wrote:
Our club changes out all the .025" wire with .032' wire.  makes a big difference.Getting harder to find this stuff!!!!!!

Greg Harter

Carl
 

Hi Greg:

Is this what you are looking for:

https://www.mcmaster.com/6517K66

100 pieces for $11. All straight a foot long.

Carl.

On 12/16/2019 8:20 AM, Greg Harter wrote:
Our club changes out all the .025" wire with .032' wire.  makes a big difference.Getting harder to find this stuff!!!!!!

Greg Harter

Richard Sutcliffe
 

Not likely, note that this is "softened"
What is needed is steel wire - and music has some "spring" to it.