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Unifrog?

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Has anyone had any experience with new Unifrog for Peco Turnouts?  What would the impact be on track wiring for DC and DCC? Will it remove the necessity for frog juicers?  I understand that the Code 75 Bullhead turnouts will have the Unifrog and that it will be extended to the whole range of streamline code 100, US code 83, and possibly code 75.. 

Edited by autocoach

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Peco's range of code 70 HOn3  points have unifrogs

I have a Peco code83 double slip, I have tossed the packaging but I am sure that it has unifrogs

I still cant fine the code83 double slips on Peco' website

 

Here is the frog from a Code83 double slip

post-28417-0-73158200-1492127068_thumb.jpg

 

Out of the box it acts like an insulfrog

If you connect the wire from the unifrog to a aux switch on a point motor or to a frog juicer then that short bit of the frog will be live

I cant see much point in doing that because the piece of frog is very short & only locos with very short wheelbases may be affected

 

Hope this helps

 

John

 

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When you say rolled out to the whole range, I hope that doesn't mean replace electrofrog?

 

Also, unlike John, I believe not powering that small part leaves s significant unpowered section when the other insulated section is taken into account.

 

Roy

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I am sure that it is indeed Peco's intention to use "unifrog" across the whole range. A huge benefit to them, and even more to retailers, to eliminate the duplication in the range caused by having both "insulfrog" and "electrofrog" . They should have done it years ago.

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On the slip in post 2 the unpowered section of the frog is about 20mm long

 

The unifrog is about 8mm long

 

Powering the unifrog reduces the dead section to about 12mm

 

My layout is mostly complete track wise.

Any additions or alterations, I will be happy with unifrogs

For me I probably wont power up the unifrogs

Most if not all of my locos have enough pickups so that running over a 20mm dead section(frog) wont be a problem

 

If your locos have 2 wheel pick up per side and a wheelbase less than 20mm then powering the unifrog is essential otherwise I stand by my statements in post 2

 

 

John

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 It can only be taken as a serious retrograde step to move away from all metal rail construction to introduce the gaps in the rails and fill with plastic.

 

Whilst it may be taken as an advance on a set track type with an insulted frog, for anybody who has bothered to learn a bit more about wiring, and uses conventional live frogs, this is a very retrograde step.

 

There is no need to have any insulation apart from the exiting track from the point, and the frog can be switched by the action of the point, or by an auxiliary switch.

 

Mention was made of the new scale bullhead points and if after a very long time Peco introduce such an arrangement to the new points I for one will not be buying them. Such tricks and methods are just not needed in point design, what is need is a more away from dead frogs altogether, there is no earthly reason for using them, they belong to a bygone era.

 

Stephen

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I can't see them replacing Electrofrog, would be utterly pointless. Replacing Insulfrog maybe...

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Has anyone had any experience with new Unifrog for Peco Turnouts?  What would the impact be on track wiring for DC and DCC? Will it remove the necessity for frog juicers?  I understand that the Code 75 Bullhead turnouts will have the Unifrog and that it will be extended to the whole range of streamline code 100, US code 83, and possibly code 75.. 

I dearly hope that you are wrong as it will undermine the efforts of Peco to improve standards for many years. What is missing in a lot of cases is user knowledge of wiring the track, it makes no difference to DC or DCC, except you must not have shorted section beyond a point set away from the feed. The Electrofrog works 100%, why take a backward step?

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Looking into this more closely it seems the Unifrog just shifts the plastic frog further down the track into the blades, leaving two ghastly plastic areas of rail where there should be solid metal. I do not want points with plastic blade parts thank you!!!

 

The current live frog elecrofrogs are bad enough with plastic check rails, at least the photographed one has metal check rails.

 

I repeat, and this will be queried with Peco after the Easter brake, we do not need a retrograde step back to earlier days, we need advances to a more scale look with all metal rails. I just cannot believe that Peco can be considering the step backwards. What would you want them to do next, return to Wrenn closing frogs? The design is slipping towards points for a train set rather than scale uses.

 

Stephen

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Concernigly, this thread suggests they are used on the new bullhead turnouts. No idea of their source though.

 

Certainly a visual improvement on insulfrog, but a backward step against electrofrog.

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I too would be extremely disappointed if the new Bull head track features the plastic knuckle in the picture above, if there is no full metal option.

 

If that were the case I would also see it as a backward step and avoid purchasing it.

 

The running I have with no stutter with all metal rail and live frogs and blades electrically bonded to stock rails (both Peco and hand built) is so much better than what I had before that I am sure I would not give it up.  Switching frog polarity is much easier than I used to think. There are lots of easy options now, micro switches, hex frog juicers, slow acting motors with switches built in, accessory decoders with switches built in etc.  I use all of these methods in my fiddle yards and all work very reliably and were not difficult to set up.

 

I really hope Peco makes all metal railed Bullhead turnouts, and if they will do I am planning on buying a lot from them.  If not, my choice will be DCC concepts or hand built.

 

Tom

Edited by Dominion
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Concernigly, this thread suggests they are used on the new bullhead turnouts. No idea of their source though.

 

Certainly a visual improvement on insulfrog, but a backward step against electrofrog.

There's posts on other forums like New Railway Modellers, who even have a poll on the adoption of Unifrogs, but it masks the source of the Bullhead code 75 being involved. Hopefully a miss understanding, along with a lack of knowledge on wiring up points. Dead frogs being replaced by Unifrogs is acceptable, but a retrograde step of ghastly consequences from electrofrogs.

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The use of Unifrog is Peco wishing to make all of their turnouts DCC friendly and provide users with a choice of whether to power the frog or not. A similar method is used by some other track producers for the USA market such as Shinohara / Walthers and Atlas on their code 83 range. Interestingly I have an O gauge threeway turnout produced by Peco for Lenz and although that has Unifrogs, it doesn't have any plastic in the frog / crossing, just small gaps in the rails leading to the frog and from the switch rails. All the insulated rails are linked underneath electrically, so if you power the frog, you also power the isolated part of the crossing as well.

 

I thought this was the arrangement they were using on the new OO bulhead turnouts.

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There's posts on other forums like New Railway Modellers, who even have a poll on the adoption of Unifrogs, but it masks the source of the Bullhead code 75 being involved. Hopefully a miss understanding, along with a lack of knowledge on wiring up points. Dead frogs being replaced by Unifrogs is acceptable, but a retrograde step of ghastly consequences from electrofrogs.

My understanding, gleaned from Peco's own announcements on the subject and talking to them at exhibitions, the intention behind Unifrogs is to produce items that can fulfil the functions of both Insulfrog and Electrofrog points and thereby slim down the range on offer. That implies the loss of the present Electrofrog products in OO and N. 

 

Hopefully, if the current duplication disappears, it will also open the door to filling some gaps, like making a Code 75 tandem in the other hand.

 

The process is supposedly going to be gradual, as and when tooling needs renewing in the case of existing products, but presumably from the get-go with all-new items such as the OO bullhead points.

 

Peco's reputation was earned by making products that fulfil the requirements of the "mainstream" customers for whom they primarily cater. They won't have taken such a decision lightly or without ensuring the new items perform well in that context.

 

Most people who enjoy modelling track for its own sake, build it themselves already and the ones who really care have long since abandoned OO anyway.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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The use of Unifrog is Peco wishing to make all of their turnouts DCC friendly and provide users with a choice of whether to power the frog or not. A similar method is used by some other track producers for the USA market such as Shinohara / Walthers and Atlas on their code 83 range. Interestingly I have an O gauge threeway turnout produced by Peco for Lenz and although that has Unifrogs, it doesn't have any plastic in the frog / crossing, just small gaps in the rails leading to the frog and from the switch rails. All the insulated rails are linked underneath electrically, so if you power the frog, you also power the isolated part of the crossing as well.

 

I thought this was the arrangement they were using on the new OO bulhead turnouts.

 

Any chance of a picture the one you describe above ? If the unifrog execution is with small gaps or even "wafer thin" plastic sections as Graeme described on the bullhead thread, then that sounds Ok to me.  If the execution is with plastic knuckles as above then that would make them a no go for me.

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Keep Alive/Stay Alive or capacitor may become standard to get through the frog rather than optional for decoders at least for DCC.  10 years from now I would expect dead rail to dominate the hobby internationally and Peco may be looking at that future.

Edited by autocoach

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I'm concerned that the the two vee rails are very close together where they form the frog.  Will this not lead to problems with momentary DCC shorts just as happens today with Insulfrog ones, when metal wheels manage to touch both rails?

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All to suit DCC ???, then why not use the stay alive and have plastic points!  DC is perfectly all right for most users, DCC is fine at present but is altering and developing, but frankly is wasted on most peoples layouts.

The track and points can be completely identical for both systems, it is the feeds and isolation that alters, nothing else.

Unifrog has a place in replacing dead frogs, but not replacing proper live frogs.

 

Stephen

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post-6784-0-99563100-1492188407_thumb.jpg

 

Here is a picture of one of the pre production Bullhead points displayed at Model Rail Scotland. I was very impressed.

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 Well the picture confirms the breaks in the solid rails, I suppose acceptable, especially as it shows metal check rails as well.

Hopefully the production ones will be the same.

Stephen

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I'm concerned that the the two vee rails are very close together where they form the frog.  Will this not lead to problems with momentary DCC shorts just as happens today with Insulfrog ones, when metal wheels manage to touch both rails?

May I say that is a problem with the wheels being out of adjustment or not standard, as no modern pattern wheels should short out a point, unless they are old types or long gone makers. By old I would say pre 1980 or so, 40years old in some cases. All current makers will not short, unless out of standard and simply need adjusting to cure.

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Well the picture confirms the breaks in the solid rails, I suppose acceptable, especially as it shows metal check rails as well.

Hopefully the production ones will be the same.

Stephen

That break is little different in size to those on an electofrog point and, as you say, acceptable. To my mind breaks as shown earlier are not.

 

Roy

Edited by Roy Langridge
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attachicon.gifNew Peco Bullhead Point.jpg

 

Here is a picture of one of the pre production Bullhead points displayed at Model Rail Scotland. I was very impressed.

Much better. Not the Unifrog as feared. Again though this is pre-production.

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May I say that is a problem with the wheels being out of adjustment or not standard, as no modern pattern wheels should short out a point, unless they are old types or long gone makers. By old I would say pre 1980 or so, 40years old in some cases. All current makers will not short, unless out of standard and simply need adjusting to cure.

 

That's true in an ideal world.  My layout once had a couple of code 75 Insulfrog diamond crossings - long and short variety - and numerous modern locos would trip the DCC system with a momentary short if driven slowly over.  By modern I mean Hornby T9s, Bachmann 9Fs etc. 

 

The picture posted by Peter above seems quite different from the code 83 example.  Looks like the vee rails are not isolated from each other, for example, so I can't work out from the picture how power is routed. Looks like an Electrofrog point where using a switch for frog polarity is mandatory. 

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Much better. Not the Unifrog as feared. Again though this is pre-production.

Well it could well be, but the gaps are vastly smaller than the one above.

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