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Practical Peco Bullhead Trackwork

Peco Bullhead Streamline OO 4mm




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#51 hayfield

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 07:50

I think that once the track is permanently located, it would be better to have nothing rather than the normal Peco insulated rail joiner. They look pretty bad.

 

Possible the best option would be to fix the location with the rails aligned, glue a bit of plastic into the gap and then glue half a plastic fishplate on the visible side of the joint.

 

 

C&L fishplates are in 2 pieces, so can be glued in place, likewise the Exactoscale fishplates can be cut in half ( shame but if its the only way it fits) Both would have pips on the inside to separate the rails


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#52 Harlequin

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 20:29

James asked what insulating joiners could be used with Peco Bullhead track. That's a good question because while Peco have created specialised conducting joiners they have not (at the time of writing) created insulating joiners specifically for the Bullhead track system.

 

There are potential solutions to this problem using third party products but there is a solution while staying within the Peco range of products: The SL-111 "Fine Standard Rail Joiners":

IMG_20180710_085208.jpg

 

They grip the webbing of the Peco Bullhead rails reasonably well but they are longer than the specialised bullhead joiners and so don't fit in the space between timbers:

IMG_20180710_085616.jpg

IMG_20180710_085838.jpg

 

So, they must be cut down to size:

IMG_20180710_090412_01.jpg

 

Then they can be used similarly to the specialised metal bullhead joiners:

 

IMG_20180710_091249.jpg

 

As you can see, these joiners are not really up to the standards set by the rest of the Bullhead system. They do provide some alignment of rails and they guarantee isolation of track sections (see posts elsewhere about sections becoming connected due to expansion in extreme heat) but they look ugly.

 

As explained above there's less need to use insulating joiners in the Bullhead system and maybe they could be disguised in scenic trackwork where they have to be used. Nevertheless, I hope Peco will come up with a better solution.


Edited by Harlequin, 10 July 2018 - 20:37 .

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#53 Jeff Smith

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 23:31

They certainly look ugly but there doesn't seem an easy solution. I think my P4 track assembled 30 years ago just left a gap. If the track bases are firmly stuck down and the rail painted the gap should not close as the rail won't slide through the chairs when painted. You could also sandwich and superglue a small piece of styrene in the gap and smooth off with an emory board to match the rail profile - fiddly but maybe doable....
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#54 JohnR

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 07:41

I'm sure I read in a recent issue of RM that Peco are producing insulated rail joiners for the bullhead track?



#55 Harlequin

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 08:49

I'm sure I read in a recent issue of RM that Peco are producing insulated rail joiners for the bullhead track?

I couldn't see anything in the latest Peco catalogue, where the upcoming Bullhead slips and crossings are shown and marked as "Due 2018/9" (sic).


Edited by Harlequin, 11 July 2018 - 09:35 .


#56 cctransuk

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:30

It is my understanding that the Peco 16.5mm. scale bullhead points require a switch to change the polarity of the frog.

 

At least in the immediate future I will use the 'flick-it-across' method of point actuation, and so I am considering using these microswiches attached below the sleepers, and operated directly / indirectly from the tie-bar :-

 

https://www.ebay.co....LkAAOSw8SpbC-UA

 

I would welcome comments upon their suitabilty; given that I shall need approximately 70 switches, I would purchase 100 so as to have a reserve against failure.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.


Edited by cctransuk, 12 July 2018 - 15:26 .


#57 sp1

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 10:18

James asked what insulating joiners could be used with Peco Bullhead track. That's a good question because while Peco have created specialised conducting joiners they have not (at the time of writing) created insulating joiners specifically for the Bullhead track system.

There are potential solutions to this problem using third party products but there is a solution while staying within the Peco range of products: The SL-111 "Fine Standard Rail Joiners":
IMG_20180710_085208.jpg

They grip the webbing of the Peco Bullhead rails reasonably well but they are longer than the specialised bullhead joiners and so don't fit in the space between timbers:
IMG_20180710_085616.jpg
IMG_20180710_085838.jpg

So, they must be cut down to size:
IMG_20180710_090412_01.jpg

Then they can be used similarly to the specialised metal bullhead joiners:
https://youtu.be/x1Xn7rqsmQM

IMG_20180710_091249.jpg

As you can see, these joiners are not really up to the standards set by the rest of the Bullhead system. They do provide some alignment of rails and they guarantee isolation of track sections (see posts elsewhere about sections becoming connected due to expansion in extreme heat) but they look ugly.

As explained above there's less need to use insulating joiners in the Bullhead system and maybe they could be disguised in scenic trackwork where they have to be used. Nevertheless, I hope Peco will come up with a better solution.

The Peco N Gauge insulated joiners fit! Obviously they don’t hold the rail as securely as the 00 ones so care is needed in tracklaying, but they are a lot less noticeable, and do not need cutting down to fit.

The Peco N gauge metal rail joiners fit bullhead rail from C & L and SMP - I have yet to try them on Peco Bullhead rail...
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#58 martin_wynne

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 10:34

I would welcome comments upon their suitabilty; given that I shall need approximately 70 switches, I would purchase 100 so as to have a reserve against failure.

 

Hi John,

 

Microswitches are an absolute pain to install and adjust, and maintain in adjustment. It is 10 times easier and more reliable to use a relay. You can get 10 changeover relays for under £3, such as:

 

 https://www.ebay.co....A5/113108453169

 

All you then need is a simple on-off switch at the tie-bar or lever frame. Which is easily home made, using a bit of springy wire and a brass pin, or somesuch. The relay itself can be anywhere you like, and takes 5 seconds to install with a dab from the glue gun. You do require a 12v power supply for the relay coils, but it would be a strange model railway which doesn't already have that.

 

Martin.



#59 cctransuk

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:12

Hi John,

 

Microswitches are an absolute pain to install and adjust, and maintain in adjustment. It is 10 times easier and more reliable to use a relay. You can get 10 changeover relays for under £3, such as:

 

 https://www.ebay.co....A5/113108453169

 

All you then need is a simple on-off switch at the tie-bar or lever frame. Which is easily home made, using a bit of springy wire and a brass pin, or somesuch. The relay itself can be anywhere you like, and takes 5 seconds to install with a dab from the glue gun. You do require a 12v power supply for the relay coils, but it would be a strange model railway which doesn't already have that.

 

Martin.

 

Martin,

 

Thank you for your comments - much appreciated.

 

I was really looking for a solution that can be a self-contained physical addition to the point itself, mechanically switched by the action of flicking the point over. That's why microswitches attracted me; I am confident that I can devise a mechanical installation / actuating arrangement that can be mass-produced and rigidly attached to the underside of the sleepers.

 

Clearly, the microswitches that I am considering can be made to switch the polarity of the frog.

 

However, can the same microswitch switch the polarity of the switch rails, such that the there is not the possibility of the toe end of a switch rail being at the opposite polarity to the adjacent stock rail? (Thus allowing the free toe end to touch the back of a wheel flange and cause a short circuit)?

 

Furthermore, I ideally need the microswitch to determine which of the two diverging roads is live - ie. for the point position to activate the track to which it is switched; (though this function could be ascribed to separate section switches if it would significantly simplify the point polarity switching).

 

In summary, I wish to arrange matters such that merely changing the position of the point manually will :-

 

i] not rely on switch rail contact for electrical continuity;

 

ii] switch the polarity of the frog;

 

iii] prevent short circuit between stock and adjacent switch rail due to contact between adjacent switch rail and wheel / flange back

 

iv] ideally, but not essentially, switch power between the two diverging roads according to the point postion.

 

I strongly suspect that I will need something more complex that a SPDT switch, but something similar with perhaps more switched poles would be ideal.

 

Further comment will be very welcome.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.



#60 martin_wynne

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:51

Further comment will be very welcome.

 

Hi John,

 

i] not rely on switch rail contact for electrical continuity;

 

iii] prevent short circuit between stock and adjacent switch rail due to contact between adjacent switch rail and wheel / flange back

 

These conditions already apply to the Peco bullhead turnouts. The switch rails are electrically bonded to the adjacent stock rail.

 

ii] switch the polarity of the frog;

 

This requires a SPDT (single pole changeover) switch. You propose a microswitch for that. I would very much prefer a relay.

 

iv] ideally, but not essentially, switch power between the two diverging roads according to the point position.

 

If the diverging roads are dead-ends (sidings) nothing more is required. Simply connect the inner rails together and to the crossing (frog).

 

If the diverging roads are running lines, you will need at least one and possibly two additional switches. If using relays, this can be done very easily by using multiple SPDT relays in parallel (or a single multipole relay at greater cost), and would require no additional switching at the tie-bar. If using microswitches you will need to install at least two of them at the tie-bar (multipole microswitches are available but expensive and not readily sourced).

 

Martin.



#61 Barry Ten

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:17

It is my understanding that the Peco 16.5mm. scale bullhead points require a switch to change the polarity of the frog.

 

At least in the immediate future I will use the 'flick-it-across' method of point actuation, and so I am considering using these microswiches attached below the sleepers, and operated directly / indirectly from the tie-bar :-

 

https://www.ebay.co....m&s=ci&mail=sys

 

I would welcome comments upon their suitabilty; given that I shall need approximately 70 switches, I would purchase 100 so as to have a reserve against failure.

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

 

I've been using similar micro-switches (sourced from Maplins), but without the roller, for ten years without a failure. I must have installed around 50 or so by now. In my case I glue them directly onto the base of  a Peco solenoid using superglue, with the solenoid's drive pin acting against the microswitch lever. Again I haven't had a failure of either the switch or the glued joint, with the oldest installations dating from 2008.

 

post-6720-0-17639200-1354716342.jpg


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#62 RedgateModels

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:31

Similar thing on Summat Colliery, but using the very long lever type so get lots of adjustment potential Never let me down since being fitted unlike the peco switches that are very prone to dust and damp ....

 

DSC00852.JPG


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#63 cctransuk

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:49

Hi John,

 

i] not rely on switch rail contact for electrical continuity;

 

iii] prevent short circuit between stock and adjacent switch rail due to contact between adjacent switch rail and wheel / flange back

 

These conditions already apply to the Peco bullhead turnouts. The switch rails are electrically bonded to the adjacent stock rail.

 

ii] switch the polarity of the frog;

 

This requires a SPDT (single pole changeover) switch. You propose a microswitch for that. I would very much prefer a relay.

 

iv] ideally, but not essentially, switch power between the two diverging roads according to the point position.

 

If the diverging roads are dead-ends (sidings) nothing more is required. Simply connect the inner rails together and to the crossing (frog).

 

If the diverging roads are running lines, you will need at least one and possibly two additional switches. If using relays, this can be done very easily by using multiple SPDT relays in parallel (or a single multipole relay at greater cost), and would require no additional switching at the tie-bar. If using microswitches you will need to install at least two of them at the tie-bar (multipole microswitches are available but expensive and not readily sourced).

 

Martin.

 

Martin,

 

Thanks for your continuing input.

 

So - i] and iii] can be ignored.

 

ii] The frog polarity switching can, theoretically at least, be switched by the SPDT microswitches that I am considering - though you would strongly recommend the use of relays.

 

iv] If the rails beyond the two diverging tracks are isolated from the points and fed separately via section switches, presumably no additional point switching is needed?

 

As an illustration of the intended use of Peco bullhead points, below is my intended trackplan.

 

LOFT LAYOUT.JPG

 

The scenic area will be Peco Code 75 bullhead track; the hidden section will be Peco Code 75 or Code 100 flat-bottomed track.

 

Will the same polarity switching as proposed for use with the bullhead track also be applicable to the Code 75 / Code 100 flat-bottomed trackwork?

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.


Edited by cctransuk, 11 July 2018 - 17:19 .

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#64 The Stationmaster

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 14:47

John,

 

The situation will vary around your layout because of the nature of the trackplan but one very simple example is the nest of dead end sidings on the lower edge of your scenic area.  

 

If these are laid using Electrofrog points there would be no need for an isolatiing switch for any of the sidings unless you chose to subdivide it into separate sections for whatever reason but it would be sensible and logical to put a feed at the neck of the sidings.  However note you would be relying on the inbuilt conductivity of the points so it is better to add an SPDT switch to feed the 'frog' (horrible word).

 

If they are laid using Insulfrog points or using Unifrog points as they come out of the packet you will need a rail break and an isolating switch for each siding you wish to isolate.

 

If you wire Unifrog points to create a live frog then you will need an SPDT switch for each point plus the siding isolating switches.

 

If you turn the Unifrog points into an arrangement equivalent to an Electrofrog point you will still need the SPDT switch for each point but you will not need any isolating switches for the sidings.

 

Of necessity with double ended sidings you will require at least one rail  break if you use Electrofrog points 



#65 cctransuk

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 15:40

John,

 

The situation will vary around your layout because of the nature of the trackplan but one very simple example is the nest of dead end sidings on the lower edge of your scenic area.  

 

If these are laid using Electrofrog points there would be no need for an isolatiing switch for any of the sidings unless you chose to subdivide it into separate sections for whatever reason but it would be sensible and logical to put a feed at the neck of the sidings.  However note you would be relying on the inbuilt conductivity of the points so it is better to add an SPDT switch to feed the 'frog' (horrible word).

 

If they are laid using Insulfrog points or using Unifrog points as they come out of the packet you will need a rail break and an isolating switch for each siding you wish to isolate.

 

If you wire Unifrog points to create a live frog then you will need an SPDT switch for each point plus the siding isolating switches.

 

If you turn the Unifrog points into an arrangement equivalent to an Electrofrog point you will still need the SPDT switch for each point but you will not need any isolating switches for the sidings.

 

Of necessity with double ended sidings you will require at least one rail  break if you use Electrofrog points 

 

That is really helpful - thank you.

 

I had a stab last evening at inserting isolating gaps and feeds on the basis of my understanding of the wiring of Unifrog points, and what you have stated seems to be in accord with my assumptions.

 

The prototype location is, of course, Evercreech Junction (S&DJR) - but with the actual junction moved (conveniently) off-stage!

 

The bank of marshalling sidings in the scenic section will be worked by a yard shunter - for which there is a convenient short head-shunt spur for stabling. Reception and despatch of freight trains will be from the headshunt loop at the neck of the bank of sidings, and I do not foresee the need to isolate individual sidings. I will fit a SPDT microswitch to each Unifrog point to switch the frog polarity.

 

https://www.ebay.co....LkAAOSw8SpbC-UA

 

These microswitches are really tiny, but they seem to have a more than adequate rating - I have bought enough to have approximately 40% surplus against failures. Their size means that they can be easily fixed below the sleepers, adjacent to and actuated by the tie-bar, so my initial intention of using the manual 'flick-over' operation will be easy to achieve. I will, however, make provision in the baseboards for subsequently adding solenoid or servo actuation at a later date.

 

Thanks again to all who have offered advice - I'm a bit out of my comfort zone here.

 

Now to read up on cab-control !!

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.


Edited by cctransuk, 12 July 2018 - 15:41 .


#66 The Stationmaster

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 14:07

John,

 

What you might find helpful in the areas of more complex pointwork or where double ended sidings are involved is to draw up a double rail sketch and use colours to identify what will be +ve and what will be -ve rails plus another colour to identify rails which switch from one to the other depending on the setting of points etc.  Setting things out like this can be very helpfiul I've found in the past and no need for scale drawings but just sufficently clear sketches to show what each piece of rail is likely to have happen to it in current feed terms.



#67 cctransuk

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 19:30

John,

 

What you might find helpful in the areas of more complex pointwork or where double ended sidings are involved is to draw up a double rail sketch and use colours to identify what will be +ve and what will be -ve rails plus another colour to identify rails which switch from one to the other depending on the setting of points etc.  Setting things out like this can be very helpfiul I've found in the past and no need for scale drawings but just sufficently clear sketches to show what each piece of rail is likely to have happen to it in current feed terms.

 

The drawing above is a .jpg image of a CorelDRAW .cdr file, and is scaled 1:1 for 4mm. scale track - in fact, I used the Peco Code 75 downloadable templates for the layout design. Using CorelDRAW, I can add isolating gaps and track feeds on an individual rail basis, by zooming into the drawing.

 

The main problem with a 1:1 CoredDRAW drawing of this size, using relatively high res. .jpg images of the Peco point templates, has produce a file approaching 1G in size. CorelDraw crashes frequently as a consequence, and I think that I am going to have to scale the drawing down before I can do much more work on it !!!

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.



#68 Harlequin

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 11:51

The drawing above is a .jpg image of a CorelDRAW .cdr file, and is scaled 1:1 for 4mm. scale track - in fact, I used the Peco Code 75 downloadable templates for the layout design. Using CorelDRAW, I can add isolating gaps and track feeds on an individual rail basis, by zooming into the drawing.

 

The main problem with a 1:1 CoredDRAW drawing of this size, using relatively high res. .jpg images of the Peco point templates, has produce a file approaching 1G in size. CorelDraw crashes frequently as a consequence, and I think that I am going to have to scale the drawing down before I can do much more work on it !!!

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

Doesn't CorelDraw support a drawing to real world scale factor for measurements within the drawing? (It's a long time since I last used CD)

 

If not you might like to try the free trial of Xara Designer, which does have such a feature and I use it all my layout drawings. Just so you know, I work for Xara.

http://www.xara.com/...igner/download/

 

Affinity Designer doesn't have this feature yet but I expect they will soon.



#69 cctransuk

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 20:35

Doesn't CorelDraw support a drawing to real world scale factor for measurements within the drawing? (It's a long time since I last used CD)

 

More than likely - but I use CorelDRAW 7, because that was what we used at work when I retired.

 

Say no more!

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.














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