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Peco Bullhead Points: in the flesh

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21 hours ago, Merfyn Jones said:

Anyone heard anything yet ?

 

Full page advert for the bullhead system in April edition of Railway Modeller. Slips and long crossing labelled "coming soon".

 

Martin.

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*dribble*

 

I've ordered a pair of points to play with and a piece of flexi. Mainly to ensure anything I do manage to build runs over them.

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14 hours ago, martin_wynne said:

 

Full page advert for the bullhead system in April edition of Railway Modeller. Slips and long crossing labelled "coming soon".

 

Martin.

 

And on the review of new product page it has "still under development"

So do we believe Peco the advertiser or Peco the magazine producer ?

 

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2 hours ago, Merfyn Jones said:

 

And on the review of new product page it has "still under development"

So do we believe Peco the advertiser or Peco the magazine producer ?

 

 

Have you muddled up two different issues of RM? I think the review page was in the March issue. The new advert is in the April issue.

 

Martin.

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On ‎15‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 01:07, martin_wynne said:

 

Have you muddled up two different issues of RM? I think the review page was in the March issue. The new advert is in the April issue.

 

Martin.

You are probably right Martin, I was reading one quote in somebody's copy that I saw at the club and another on here.  Still not much help in knowing when we may see them. Even less help than Peco at the last Warley show saying just after Xmas !

When we first were told of the new slips having the same dimensions as the old Code 100, I made one in bullhead /copper clad to complete our layout (about 12 months ago) . Good job I did as we would still have rail replacement busses running.

Merf.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Merfyn Jones said:

You are probably right Martin, I was reading one quote in somebody's copy that I saw at the club and another on here.  Still not much help in knowing when we may see them. Even less help than Peco at the last Warley show saying just after Xmas !

When we first were told of the new slips having the same dimensions as the old Code 100, I made one in bullhead /copper clad to complete our layout (about 12 months ago) . Good job I did as we would still have rail replacement busses running.

 

Hi Merf,

 

It's a shame the Peco toolmakers don't get to post here to moderate the excesses of the Peco advertising department. smile.gif

 

You can't just conjure up a mould tool overnight, however nice the CAD looks on a computer screen. Especially if the trial shots throw up some issues.

 

But I think the official Peco line is that if you need something urgently, you can use the existing Code75 Streamline item instead. That after all was the reason for staying with the traditional Peco geometry.

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

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As no doubt others have done or going to do, I've purchased a turnout and a length of track to do some tests.  I also ordered some of the new fishplates, and it's only when you open the packet you realize just how small they are. I know they're to the proper scale but it will take more time to fit them. I have found them extremely fiddly to say the least - supple fingers and good eyesight essential!  Just for reference here's a comparison picture:

 

Joiners.jpg.8c77ba992a4a4fde32c592364c08de40.jpg

 

New one versus the current code 75 version, and an old SMP/Scaleway joiner on the right. It's said they are conductive but I wouldn't trust them and will continue putting a dropper on every piece of my DCC track. 

 

First loco I tested was an early China-built Horny Bulleid - 34067 Tangmere. This I know had the older 14.2mm back-to-back and I had to fettle it to get this nearer 14.5mm. It was alright on plain turnouts but kept shorting on slips at the frog nose. That was several years ago but with this new turnout it's shorting again on the frog. Not just driving wheels but front bogie too and tender wheels. So it's going to need a bit more attention.

 

Other locos I've tested, including a slightly later 34078 222 Squadron are fine. Still quite a few to test though.

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8 hours ago, RFS said:

......It's said they are conductive but I wouldn't trust them and will continue putting a dropper on every piece of my DCC track. 

 

....but with this new turnout it's shorting again on the frog. Not just driving wheels but front bogie too and tender wheels. So it's going to need a bit more attention....

 

I can vouch that the tiny connectors are just as good as the larger ones in terms of conductivity.  Just open them up slightly with a Stanley knife blade and they slip onto the rails much more easily.   But droppers on every length of rail is always good practise with DCC.

 

The shorting issue... welcome to the unifrog.  As well as checking the back-to-backs, you’ll have difficulties with ‘double pivot’ pony trucks, and those wide, flangeless trailing bogie wheels that Hornby are so fond of, and some longer wheelbase locomotives when taking the curved road.  I have ended up modifying all my unifrog points, relocating all the electrical breaks further away from the frog (at both ends).  If you have a large roster of motive power that you don’t want to extensively modify, or you want to run guest stock on your layout, this is the only way to eradicate it.  

 

And it is much easier to modify the turnout before it is laid!

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Concerned about the shorting issue as I am currently laying bullhead turnouts but testing on DC as I have yet to decide on a DCC system.

 

How did you do the modification? apologies if I have missed it somewhere else.

 

Tony

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3 hours ago, Chamby said:

 

I can vouch that the tiny connectors are just as good as the larger ones in terms of conductivity. 

 

The shorting issue... welcome to the unifrog.  As well as checking the back-to-backs, you’ll have difficulties with ‘double pivot’ pony trucks, and those wide, flangeless trailing bogie wheels that Hornby are so fond of, and some longer wheelbase locomotives when taking the curved road. 

 

The tiny connectors do work in my test set up, but that's with new track. My point is more about the longer term situation, especially once the track has been ballasted and painted.

 

And I've now tested a relatively new Hornby rebuilt West Country with the fixed rear pony truck. Guess what, it shorts the DCC system every time it takes the curved route. Time for a rethink ….

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9 hours ago, TonyW said:

Concerned about the shorting issue as I am currently laying bullhead turnouts but testing on DC as I have yet to decide on a DCC system.

 

How did you do the modification? apologies if I have missed it somewhere else.

 

Tony

 

Hi Tony.  

 

Unfortunately I had already laid most of the unifrog points before I realised the scale of the issue, so I had to alter them in situ.  The following photo's show how it was done:

 

IMG_2809.jpg.b5823c1a36042576830625c040807bda.jpg

 

(1) above, shows the underside of the turnout where the switch rails are bonded to the stock rail.  These two bonds both need to be cut.  If you have already laid the track, like I had....

 

IMG_2830.jpg.9c5d6172818fd203f059f58ce905bec4.jpg

 

(2) drill a hole through the top of the sleepers to reveal the bonds underneath.  Break them... I used a small screwdriver and just pushed down until they gave way.

 

IMG_2835.jpg.07fc91482f158da603bdbf426d55a2e0.jpg

 

(3) shows the next steps.  The holes in the sleepers are repaired with hot-glue-gun glue, then trimmed flat.  The rails are cut with a slitting disc, to create new electrical breaks further away from the frog.  Droppers are soldered to the severed rail (left hand side of the break above) and wired into the frog... both rails are connected this way.  Another pair of droppers are added to the blade rail (to the right of the cut above) and wired directly into the bus wires, essentially replacing the bonds that were cut, but re-siting them further down the blade rail.

 

IMG_2836.jpg.9dbc27fd52dc95c36d5b123d854ba17f.jpg

 

(4) shows the finished article.  The paint is still wet where I painted over the glue-gun plugs.  When dry, the only obvious difference is the extra cut in the rails... painting the soldered droppers the same colour as the rails, and replacing the ballast makes them all but disappear visually.

 

You can do the same modification with the rails on the far side of the frog as well, if necessary... if you also get shorting problems where the frog's check rails extend beyond the insulated rail break.  I find this can happen at some locations, but not others.  You don't need to cut the rails though, just add insulating joiners when connecting to the next section of track.

 

It's a faff, but it fixes the problem and still looks good.  It would have been a much more customer friendly product if PECO had just made it electro-frog in the first place!  I am not surprised that the EMGS haven't specified unifrog for their version...

 

Good luck with your own conversions,

 

Phil.

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Thanks for the explanation and your pictures. I think I had worked out what needed doing but so much easier to see with the turnout on the workbench! Just wondering what the slips and crossings will be like as I can see them having the exact same problem. 

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Hi Phil,

 

Thanks, a good clear explanation, I have not ballasted yet so easy to lift the 5 turnouts I have laid so far.  I may buy a cheap used DCC controller for testing before I go any further.  Track laying currently held up waiting for slips and crossings.

 

Tony

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Thanks Phil ('Chamby') that is really useful.  I would in any case be 'altering' Peco's built in wiring to connect the splice rails to the crossing (frog) instead instead of the running rail in order to create a fully 'live frog' point as that simplifies wiring in various track formations.

 

Great shame really that Electrofrog wasn't carried on in these points but there you are - it wasn't so end of.

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On 31/03/2019 at 08:41, Chamby said:

 

I can vouch that the tiny connectors are just as good as the larger ones in terms of conductivity.  Just open them up slightly with a Stanley knife blade and they slip onto the rails much more easily.   But droppers on every length of rail is always good practise with DCC.

 

The shorting issue... welcome to the unifrog.  As well as checking the back-to-backs, you’ll have difficulties with ‘double pivot’ pony trucks, and those wide, flangeless trailing bogie wheels that Hornby are so fond of, and some longer wheelbase locomotives when taking the curved road.  I have ended up modifying all my unifrog points, relocating all the electrical breaks further away from the frog (at both ends).  If you have a large roster of motive power that you don’t want to extensively modify, or you want to run guest stock on your layout, this is the only way to eradicate it.  

 

And it is much easier to modify the turnout before it is laid!

 

Interesting - what sort of locomotives have the double pivot pony truck? My planned layout will use Peco Bullhead and steam locomotives, but will not use any pacific types; are the Bachmann atlantics or Hornby 4-6-0s susceptible to this?

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3 minutes ago, jamespetts said:

 

Interesting - what sort of locomotives have the double pivot pony truck? My planned layout will use Peco Bullhead and steam locomotives, but will not use any pacific types; are the Bachmann atlantics or Hornby 4-6-0s susceptible to this?

 

My (not touched in ages, still to be built) Jamieson A3 has. I don't know if it's a common thing or not as the Jamieson is quite niche of course.

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11 hours ago, jamespetts said:

 

Interesting - what sort of locomotives have the double pivot pony truck? My planned layout will use Peco Bullhead and steam locomotives, but will not use any pacific types; are the Bachmann atlantics or Hornby 4-6-0s susceptible to this?

 

Its mostly Hornby loco's with a 2-wheel leading pony truck.  The front pony wheels crab at an unnatural angle when negotiating curves, with the double-pivot:  The L1 and P2 have this, among others I believe.

 

IMG_2900.jpg.11e5613c4ef9b8bc4985440dea3c89d8.jpg

 

The exaggerated angle causes the inside edge of the flanges to effectively reduce the back-to-back clearances on curves.  Plays havoc running through the check rails/across the insulating breaks of unifrog points, shorting out nearly every time.  Its one of those situations where the design tolerances of the two manufacturers, Hornby and Peco, are probably OK in most circumstances, but put them together and...

 

Phil

 

 

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Posted (edited)

That is very useful - thank you.

 

I am just conducting an audit in my head as to whether any of the locomotives that I am likely to want to use on my planned layout fall into this category. The layout is intended to be a multi-guise layout that can run either as a Southern or Great Western/LMS layout by changing some details (signalboxes, nameboards, etc.).

 

For Hornby Southern locomotives, I think that all should be well: there are 4-6-0s (Lord Nelson, King Arthur), 4-4-0s (Schools, T9), 0-4-4Ts (M7),  possibly 0-6-0s (700, A1). The N class is a 2-4-0 and this may be used, but this is a Bachmann model, and likewise the E4 0-6-2T.

 

For Hornby GWR locomotives, there are again 4-6-0s (Castle, Star, Grange). The Prairie may be useful, but I can use the Dapol Prairie when that is released. Other locomotives (Mogul, Hall, 57xx, 56xx, 64xx) are likely to be from other manufacturers.

 

For Hornby LMS, one possible issue may be the Fowler 4P. (other locomotives would be 0-6-0T and the 0-6-2T coal tank). Does anyone know whether the Hornby Fowler 4p has a double pivot leading pony truck?

 

Also, does anyone know whether any of the other listed locomotives exhibit this problem?

 

Perhaps it might be worthwhile to have a database of locomotives that are known to have this problem. So far, we have the Hornby L1 and P2 that are known to have this issue.

Edited by jamespetts

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15 hours ago, Chamby said:

 

Its mostly Hornby loco's with a 2-wheel leading pony truck.  The front pony wheels crab at an unnatural angle when negotiating curves, with the double-pivot:  The L1 and P2 have this, among others I believe.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_04/IMG_2900.jpg.11e5613c4ef9b8bc4985440dea3c89d8.jpg

 

The exaggerated angle causes the inside edge of the flanges to effectively reduce the back-to-back clearances on curves.  Plays havoc running through the check rails/across the insulating breaks of unifrog points, shorting out nearly every time.  Its one of those situations where the design tolerances of the two manufacturers, Hornby and Peco, are probably OK in most circumstances, but put them together and...

 

Phil

 

 

 

This is a great example of a picture being "worth a thousand words". Nicely done!

 

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May I ask whether this is an example of a double pivot pony? This is the pony truck from the Hornby Fowler 4P.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, jamespetts said:

May I ask whether this is an example of a double pivot pony? This is the pony truck from the Hornby Fowler 4P.

 

No. It's the four-wheel ponies that have two pivots (to get the loco round R2 curves).

 

Ah. Let's have another go at that - having seen the photo of the L1. I don't know how it can be possible to double-pivot a single axle pony without it going all over the place. For a pony to do its work properly, it needs to be taking some weight. Most models are constructed so that it is just hanging there.

On that L1, it seems to me that a lot of the problem is too much play on the leading driver i.e. too small a B2B measurement on the axle by comparison with the gauge of the track. So the loco is trying to go straight ahead rather than round the curve. The pony is acting like a trailer behind a car and over-steering. To prevent that needs some sort of lateral springing on the pony but that might compromise the ability to go round "trainset" curves.

Edited by Joseph_Pestell
Correction

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4 minutes ago, mark axlecounter said:

Hornby 8F, stanier 2-6-4t, fowler 4p 2-6-4 t keep doing that on my layout

 

We were posting at the same time. As I said above, this is really about one of those compromises involved in making models go round "trainset" curves. Indeed two compromises really, no weight on the pony and under-gauge wheelsets.

 

On a loco with outside cylinders (as all of those you have listed), I think you might be able to provide some lateral springing to the pony with bent strips of phosphor bronze stuck to the inner face of the cylinders.

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Its this new thing called tinterweb :jester:

 

My locos have been modified to have lateral springing and I have put Gibson wheels on mine plus I know the back to backs are ok its the way they are designed what is the problem on peco track. Just trying to get them right is the problem but what I have noticed is the way they are the locos I mentioned have like a tear drop on both sides.

I know what your saying and I agree with you sir  

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