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Hex Frog Juicer queries





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#1 billtee

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 11:56

Happy New Year, everyone!

I've got a dozen DCC Concepts Cobalt point motors on my layout, but I am NOT happy with the internal SPDT switches within them for switching the frogs (or anything else) of my Peco Code 75 electrofrog points. I put in a brand new Cobalt point motor, connect them up to the 12V DC for the point operation, and everything is just fine. However, after connecting up the frog via one of the internal switches, after a couple of uses the switch no longer works. I've had this problem now with three different point motors, so I have decided to give up on the switches. The point motor works fine, so I'll keep them just as they are and simplify my wiring by using a Hex Frog Juicer, as advertised by Digitrains, a very good model railway retailer near Lincoln, I think.

I purchased a Universal-type Hex Frog Juicer, connected it up exactly as the supplied wiring diagram shows, and it is just BRILLIANT! It does exactly what it says on the tin (or would, if it were IN a tin!), with no problems with any of my sound-equipped diesel locos, even my very short wheelbase Class Bachmann Class 03 diesel, which now just runs through Peco assymetric 3-way points and double slips with no hesitations. My 03 is my 'track tester', because if there is any problem with my track, this locomotive is sure to find it!

Anyway, decided to purchase another Hex Frog Juicer from Digitrains, and it was duly sent out to me, but IT'S A DIFFERENT TYPE - it is a POWER-CAB version for the NCE PowerCab controller.

What I want to know is:
(1) What is the difference?
(2) Will the PowerCab version work with my Gaugemaster Prodigy 2 controller?

I tried telephoning Digitrains, but they closed for the New Year celebrations on New Year's Eve, and won't be open again until the 4th January, and I would like to wire up my new Frog Juicer as soon as possible so that I can then continue with the ballasting of my boards.

Has anyone else used these devices, and if so, have they had any problems with them?

I've got to say that the 'Universal' Hex Frog Juicer is just fantastic, but I am reluctant to fit the Power Cab Hex Frog Juicer until I am assured that it will work with my DCC controller.

If anyone can help me, I would be very, very glad and thankful,
All the best,
Bill

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#2 amdaley

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:16

Hi Bill.
Sorry can't help with the frog juicer but regarding the DCC Concepts Cobalt point motors, contact Richard Johnson (Dcc Concepts) who is a member here & he will sort it out for you.

#3 griffgriff

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:25

I have a 'Powercab' juicer and I've had no problems but I have a Powercab - I believe it does make a difference but I have no idea to precisely why. I'd suggest a call to Digitrains once they reopen, I think you may need to swap them over. I shouldn't attempt to use the unit you have - DCC doesn't need an invitation to sizzle a chip.

#4 Removed a/c_Natalie Graham

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 13:15

Here's a nice frog juicer. :)

#5 Ron Ron Ron

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 13:59

Bill, there is a special version of all three models of Frog Juicer for the NCE PowerCab (Mono, Dual and Hex).

I think it's because the NCE PowerCab is just too underpowered to operate the Frog Juicers reliably.
This special version may be needed for other low power output systems (below 3 amps) as well. It might be best to check with Tam Valley Depot, the manufacturer.

The special version PowerCab Frog Juicers are not required for the full NCE PowerPro system, which only needs the standard universal version.
There is no price difference between the standard universal models and the special PowerCab versions.

I think that the PowerCab versions of the various Frog Juicer's, can be used with other more powerful systems, so your MRC /Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance2 should be OK.

If you are not sure, Tam Valley Depot are the ones to ask.
Their Technical Support may be reached by emailing....... dmcree@tamvalleyrr.com.

I hope that's of use?

Ron


.

Edited by Ron Ron Ron, 02 January 2012 - 14:02 .


#6 Danemouth

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 13:59

Bill,

There are two versions of the frog juicer, I understand that the current settings are different on the Powercab version; have a look at the Bromsgrove Models site.

I have ten Cobalt motors on my layout and had no problems with the internal switches. However as I am about to relay the sidings I will be switching to a frog juicer to minimise the wiring. Have a Powercab so I will use the Powercab version - just ordered from Bromsgrove!

Dave

#7 BromsMods

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 14:44

The PowerCab versions of the Hex and Dual Frog Juicers should work fine with any DCC system up to 10 amps. The Mono Frog Juicer is limited to systems up to 5 amps.

Happy New Year to all...........!!

#8 billtee

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 23:20

Thank you Ron for The email address of Tam Valley models - I've just sent off an ail!

The problem with the internal switches of my Cobalt point motors is, I think, caused by me having to store my layout in my rather cold (freezing!) and damp garage - not my garage which keeps my car snug and dry, but the one which is now my workshop and storage area (it's the only storage space I have available!).
I have had three Cobalt motors 'fail' their switches - six if I count each motor as two switches, because all three have been tried on both switches, if you follow me.
It was suggested that I adjust the throw of the spring wire by moving the pivot point closer to the tie rod of the point, but I can't go any 'higher' without the point motor not moving the blades far enough across in each direction. I have also had problems with the limit switches (if there are any!) within the motor. Several motors click loudly when the blades have been thrown over, and this worries me because the clicks are the plastic gears jumping teeth. When the points were installed, I tested each one using a 9 volt battery, and everything was fine, but on the layout I am using 12 volts DC to drive the point motors (a Maplins 12volt plug-in transformer supplies the power for the point motors), and on some (not all) motors this clicking occurred. Solved it by putting in a couple of resistors into the affected point motor feeds, which solved the problem, and slowed the movement of the point at the same time.
Thank you all for your help,
Bill

#9 amdaley

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 00:08

Hi Bill.
It might say 12volts on the label but that doesn't mean it puts out 12 volts. If you have a meter measure the voltage it is putting out. You might be surprised by the result. 9 volts is more than enough for these type of motors as you found out by fitting resistors.
You might remove some of the dampness where the layout is stored by using a small dehumidifier.

#10 billtee

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 06:10

I've checked the output of Maplin's 12 volt transformer, and it's 12.2v. It is a regulated supply.
I could use a dehumidifier in my rather cold and damp workshop, but I am a pensioner on a very limited income, so I can't afford to do that. Used to build 3.5" steam locos years ago, and kept a small thermostatic fan heater permanently on, but can't stand at a lathe or milling machine any more, so all workshop tools except a few handtools now sold. Now I do my modelling in the house which is warmer and I can sit down!
Bill

#11 amdaley

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:41

I've checked the output of Maplin's 12 volt transformer, and it's 12.2v. It is a regulated supply.
I could use a dehumidifier in my rather cold and damp workshop, but I am a pensioner on a very limited income, so I can't afford to do that. Used to build 3.5" steam locos years ago, and kept a small thermostatic fan heater permanently on, but can't stand at a lathe or milling machine any more, so all workshop tools except a few handtools now sold. Now I do my modelling in the house which is warmer and I can sit down!
Bill


Hi Bill.
I understand what you mean to be getting old. Spent a couple of hours in my layout room yesterday afternoon sorting out a points problem under the baseboard. Room is well insulated & warm but the floor is bloody hard. Stiff as a board this morning :yes:
Interesting about those Cobalt switches packing in. Have you contacted Richard Johnson ? I have some of their Masterswitches & a switch on one of them packed in on me.I was switching frog polarity as well ?

#12 artizen

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:23

Does this answer the question?

http://www.handlaidt...ab-p/hfj002.htm

#13 billtee

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 00:49

I finally contacted Digitrains, and they told me that there would be no NOTICEABLE difference between the two models of Hex Frog Juicer, so I installed it and guess what? It works perfectly, even allowing my little Class 03 to tootle over the most complex pointwork without any problems whatsoever. What a wonderful invention, and I only wish I had discovered them before I began wiring my layout - it would have saved me a lot of work and anxiety!
All the best,
Bill
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#14 Ron Ron Ron

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 08:59

Bill, out of interest, did you receive a reply from Tam Valley Depot ?

.

#15 locoworks

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 23:44

is the switching issue the actual switch or the funny little spring loaded connections they use on the cobalts?? if you have thin wires the contact isn't always 100%, try soldering the wires to the back of the PCB where the pins from the quick connect block come through and see if that helps 'mend' the switching?

#16 griffgriff

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:49

Glad everything has turned out well :)

is the switching issue the actual switch or the funny little spring loaded connections they use on the cobalts?? if you have thin wires the contact isn't always 100%, try soldering the wires to the back of the PCB where the pins from the quick connect block come through and see if that helps 'mend' the switching?


... it's the 'frogjuicer' that does the switching - a very clever piece of kit.

#17 250BOB

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 09:46

I was asking some questions on this subject on a very similar long running thread entitled HEX FROG JUICER, originally started by Bromsgrove Models, however, last week it was locked as it was beginning to go a little off topic.

Does anyone know if the frog juicers are definitley suitable for the Lenz system, I have the LZV100 with a 5 amp transformer.

I would like to introduce at least one double slip and one 3 way point in a slight redesign of the station throat and depot on my model railway. But not having any motorised points, I cannot use point motor switches to automatically change the polarity. A pal of mine wired a manual change double slip up so as to change the polarity, I think it used 3 or 4 switches in all sorts of combinations.....a nightmare in wiring, but it worked......but I'm afraid I would do without the slip first, that method is not for me.

I know some people take the view you are introducing a short to solve a problem.....but todays electronics are so sophisticated that it would appear this device completely masks the problem, it doesnt cure a fault, it uses the fault to cure a problem.

So a few of you seem to be using these devices already, do they continue to work "faultlessly", and provide the answer you were looking for.?

Bob

Edited by 250BOB, 29 January 2012 - 10:25 .


#18 andyrush

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:58

SNIPPED

So a few of you seem to be using these devices already, do they continue to work "faultlessly", and provide the answer you were looking for.?

Bob


In a word, YES!

With an ESU ECoS system and Loksound chips, anyway.

Andy

#19 250BOB

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 13:58

Hi Andy,
Thanks.........your clearly very happy with these devices. And it is a no brainer for me, this is what I need to be doing.......I have built this layout without slips or 3 ways because I wasnt going to use point motors......however, the juicer sheds new light on the subject, I can see the permanent way gang being readied as we speak.
My first job is to do a double slip....I use Peco electrofrog code 75.......can you tell me if there is a wiring diagram somewhere that I can find, to help me understand what I need to do to the wires on the slip. Which need cutting, what rails need isolating etc., I have my layout with all code 75 electrofrog points, but no point motors, so I am fairly well up to speed......but want to know the detail about the slip wiring.
Bob

Edited by 250BOB, 29 January 2012 - 13:59 .


#20 Danemouth

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 18:58

I have a Peco Code 75 Double Slip working with a Hex Frog Juicer. Basically:
  • Insulated rail joiners on all rails as per Peco instruction leaflet,
  • The two wires coming from the frogs go to the juicer,
  • The other two wires from the centre of the slip to the power bus - make sure you get them the right way round, and
  • No need for any switches on the point motors,
Job done :)

Dave
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#21 HealeyMills

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 19:03

I was asking some questions on this subject on a very similar long running thread entitled HEX FROG JUICER, originally started by Bromsgrove Models, however, last week it was locked as it was beginning to go a little off topic.

Does anyone know if the frog juicers are definitley suitable for the Lenz system, I have the LZV100 with a 5 amp transformer.


Bob,

I have the same Lenz system as you and I have several Hex Frog Juicers on my layout and they work flawlessly.

Cheers
Lee

#22 250BOB

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 19:10

Bob,

I have the same Lenz system as you and I have several Hex Frog Juicers on my layout and they work flawlessly.

Cheers
Lee

Thanks Lee,
Have you any double slips wired in.?
Bob

#23 HealeyMills

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 19:17

Thanks Lee,
Have you any double slips wired in.?
Bob


Yes I do, Peco code 55, and their frogs are controlled perfectly with the Frog Juicers.

Cheers
Lee

#24 250BOB

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 20:32

I have a Peco Code 75 Double Slip working with a Hex Frog Juicer. Basically:

  • Insulated rail joiners on all rails as per Peco instruction leaflet,
  • The two wires coming from the frogs go to the juicer,
  • The other two wires from the centre of the slip to the power bus - make sure you get them the right way round, and
  • No need for any switches on the point motors,
Job done :)

Dave


Thanks Dave,
Thats what I was looking for.................that appears to be quite straight forward then......I'll go through it again later in the week when I purchase my Code 75 electrofrog double slip..
Cheers mate.
Bob

Edited by 250BOB, 29 January 2012 - 20:33 .


#25 250BOB

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 22:22

Can any one tell me exactly what I have to do with a Peco code 75 electrofrog double slip please, in order to make it suitable for the frog juicer.?
Bob







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