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A couple of things of back ground info, this layout will be going into a timber summer house, which could get dampish in the Scottish weather, the layout will sit on 2 x two metres by one metre boards, with 2 metre long fiddle yards, which might be one metre wide, depends on how many trains I will be running. I would quite like the fiddle yards to be on turntables, but I think lift out cartridges are more likely, no room to rotate the turntables. The actual design of the fiddle yards is on the back burner just now, I will be building the main part first and it may actually be completed before the fiddle yards are built, this may be down to financial constraints, it may also be that I won't actually need the huge fiddle yards(I tend to think BIG, instead of reasonable at times).

A question then, do I have to have electro frog points or can I recycle almost brand new peco insul frog ones?

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A couple of things of back ground info, this layout will be going into a timber summer house, which could get dampish in the Scottish weather, the layout will sit on 2 x two metres by one metre boards, with 2 metre long fiddle yards, which might be one metre wide, depends on how many trains I will be running. I would quite like the fiddle yards to be on turntables, but I think lift out cartridges are more likely, no room to rotate the turntables. The actual design of the fiddle yards is on the back burner just now, I will be building the main part first and it may actually be completed before the fiddle yards are built, this may be down to financial constraints, it may also be that I won't actually need the huge fiddle yards(I tend to think BIG, instead of reasonable at times).

A question then, do I have to have electro frog points or can I recycle almost brand new peco insul frog ones?

the system will run fine with insulfrogs , the " damp" is like to cause many more problems then track conductivity 

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I shall be adding some thermal insulation and a couple of those low powered heaters( frost free tubular things), to aim to minimize the problem without accelerating global climate change.

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2 hours ago, tigerburnie said:

A couple of things of back ground info, this layout will be going into a timber summer house, which could get dampish in the Scottish weather, the layout will sit on 2 x two metres by one metre boards, with 2 metre long fiddle yards, which might be one metre wide, depends on how many trains I will be running. I would quite like the fiddle yards to be on turntables, but I think lift out cartridges are more likely, no room to rotate the turntables. The actual design of the fiddle yards is on the back burner just now, I will be building the main part first and it may actually be completed before the fiddle yards are built, this may be down to financial constraints, it may also be that I won't actually need the huge fiddle yards(I tend to think BIG, instead of reasonable at times).

 

burnie,

 

Whatever board you use - e.g plywood, Sundeala or mdf - make sure that the surface is thoroughly sealed with vanish to prevent moisture getting in which will cause the plywood, Sundeala or mdf to expand and shrink as the moisture levels change and consequently warp.  Same goes for any wooden support structures - e.g. frames and legs.

 

Art

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On ‎26‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 12:43, tigerburnie said:

... As part of my apprenticeship I used to wire up control panels for marine radar units, so able to use a soldering iron and read wiring diagrams...

Ample qualification for the task of installing DCC on the layout and modifying points, you will pick it up very quickly. DCC is dependent for reliability on good connections. In the likely damp location that you acknowledge, solder up all the connections between system and rail, and eliminate any concern about poor conduction as a cause of any problem.

 

Now, DCC is a 'black box' system. What I did was read every available on line manual of the systems then available, and chose the one that I considered well written and laid out with a good content list, as first choice to try out. Never had a single problem, everything well explained. Same with decoders. The quality products have good manuals, that take a little time to read.

 

2 hours ago, tigerburnie said:

...do I have to have electro frog points or can I recycle almost brand new peco insul frog ones?

I would suggest based on experience that the insulfrog points not be used as supplied. My first move into DCC was on an existing reliable layout that had a few insulfrog points in yards. Metal wheels could and did occasionally bridge the rails immediately behind the plastic tip of the crossing. Faster moving trains, just a spark, slow movement could lead to a spark and system trip: and what with them being in yards that was what usually happened. Your choice of what to do, replace, or modify to make them function like live crossings; the latter by having a switched connection to the commoned rails at the crossing, and insulating breaks (by insulating rail joiners or DIY) to the next rails)

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It still sounds complicated and more than I want to spend. I only have a small N Gauge layout, put together with mostly second-hand items, and would LOVE to run it on DCC, but I'm afraid even the "cheaper" systems are beyond my meagre resources!  Ah well. I can dream!

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23 minutes ago, CLARENCE said:

It still sounds complicated and more than I want to spend. I only have a small N Gauge layout, put together with mostly second-hand items, and would LOVE to run it on DCC, but I'm afraid even the "cheaper" systems are beyond my meagre resources!  Ah well. I can dream!

look for second hand stuff. I purchased a year ago a roco system with lokmouse for 40£. Of course it is not a 2019 model, but it works. 

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2 hours ago, Art Dent said:

 

burnie,

 

Whatever board you use - e.g plywood, Sundeala or mdf - make sure that the surface is thoroughly sealed with vanish to prevent moisture getting in which will cause the plywood, Sundeala or mdf to expand and shrink as the moisture levels change and consequently warp.  Same goes for any wooden support structures - e.g. frames and legs.

 

Art

I have a sideboard out there just now that I store stuff in, the draws have swollen and I can't open them at the moment, nightmare lol.

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I endorse absolutely 34C’s recommendation to feed every single piece of rail. My DCC 16.5mm layout is in an 1850 unheated stone barn, and damp does penetrate. Stories of DCC layouts where rail-joiners happily transmit DCC signals between rail are no doubt true - but I bet they are in more cosy surroundings! 

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I'm a beginner, about to start laying track for my first layout in my loft. Not looking for anything fancy, but I do want it all run run well and just work. Originally I planned to just have basic power, 4 loops off one DCC controller (Sig-naTrak 'Ace') with Insulfrogs and no point motors.

 

Now I have moved to a stage where I would like some fiddle yards along the backs, and I would like motors to move the points as required, so I'd also install points at other areas of the layouts, but I'm planning on keeping them as traditional switches rather than DCC controlled as don't want to input addresses every time I want to throw a switch.

 

I am also thinking about upgrading to electrofrog points to allow for smoother running, however I'm still a bit lost with how (or why?) I need to solder cables onto them to allow them to work correctly.

 

Forgive my naivety, but in some simple testing I have done, I was using basic Hornby - and a few Peco insulfrog - points and I was using the small metal clips (like staples) that are fitted between the point blades and rail that Hornby provide to allow DCC operation. These seem to work quite well, and allow for me to have locomotives switch tracks and switch loops and have all my locos powered with sound emitting from them and lights on without any wiring taking place.

 

If I just keep using insulfrogs and these little metal clips in the points do i really need to do any additional wiring?

 

Thanks

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13 minutes ago, Richy59 said:

I'm a beginner, about to start laying track for my first layout in my loft. Not looking for anything fancy, but I do want it all run run well and just work. Originally I planned to just have basic power, 4 loops off one DCC controller (Sig-naTrak 'Ace') with Insulfrogs and no point motors.

 

Now I have moved to a stage where I would like some fiddle yards along the backs, and I would like motors to move the points as required, so I'd also install points at other areas of the layouts, but I'm planning on keeping them as traditional switches rather than DCC controlled as don't want to input addresses every time I want to throw a switch.

 

I am also thinking about upgrading to electrofrog points to allow for smoother running, however I'm still a bit lost with how (or why?) I need to solder cables onto them to allow them to work correctly.

 

Forgive my naivety, but in some simple testing I have done, I was using basic Hornby - and a few Peco insulfrog - points and I was using the small metal clips (like staples) that are fitted between the point blades and rail that Hornby provide to allow DCC operation. These seem to work quite well, and allow for me to have locomotives switch tracks and switch loops and have all my locos powered with sound emitting from them and lights on without any wiring taking place.

 

If I just keep using insulfrogs and these little metal clips in the points do i really need to do any additional wiring?

 

Thanks

 

Have a look at this site as it will explain why additional bonds are needed for points and there's a beginner section aswell

 http://www.wiringfordcc.com/

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23 hours ago, Crewlisle said:

It is no more difficult than wiring up a DC layout, but a lot more expensive.

 

Can you give an example of being "a lot" more expensive?

I see people write this but can't understand the definition of "a lot".

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On 27/02/2019 at 13:21, tigerburnie said:

 


22 hours ago, tigerburnie said:

 

A question then, do I have to have electro frog points or can I recycle almost brand new peco insul frog ones?

 


Some people prefer electro frogs. I use insul points.

However, I do wire up the three pieces of track so only the moving arm isn't powered by it's own dropper.  I'll take a photo later and add it in.

Not sure on the technical side of it but obviously I think many use electro frog because it looks more realistic.  There's nothing stopping you colouring in the black insulated bit silver though...

 

 

Edited by Sir TophamHatt
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One of the reasons I ask is I may dismantle most of my Great Central station layout and use those points for the Inverkeilor project, main reason is accessibility to the summerhouse is a lot easier than the current layouts position. I am planning long term here, born in 1950, loft ladders are not going to get any easier lol.

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Hi burnie,

 

For smoother and less troublesome running, I'd go electrofrog.

 

With just a bit of tweaking, they give enhanced reliability and slow-running over pointwork.  This article is well-woth reading DCCWiki Electrofrog Pointwork.

 

You can pick up electrofrog points cheaper on Ebay for example.  Also, Rails Vault (an eBay site of Rails of Sheffield) often have 'lots' of peco points - it is just a case of watching and waiting and then bagging a bargain.  Their postage rates are very reasonable too (more so than a certain well-known on-line retailer based in Widnes).

 

A couple of examples - 6x s/hand RH Points for £40 (£6.67 each) and 3x s/hand SL-E196 Electrofrog Points for £29.50 (£9.83 each rsp £11.50)

 

Hope this helps,

 

Art

 

 

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10 hours ago, tigerburnie said:

One of the reasons I ask is I may dismantle most of my Great Central station layout and use those points for the Inverkeilor project, main reason is accessibility to the summerhouse is a lot easier than the current layouts position. I am planning long term here, born in 1950, loft ladders are not going to get any easier lol.

 

The cost saving of recycling might force your hand, but electrofrog will certainly produce better running , especially with steam engines. Modern RTR diesels have all wheel pickup and therefore current collection is widely spread, but an 0-6-0 is vulnerable to dead sections

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On 27/02/2019 at 10:45, Oldddudders said:

I endorse absolutely 34C’s recommendation to feed every single piece of rail. My DCC 16.5mm layout is in an 1850 unheated stone barn, and damp does penetrate. Stories of DCC layouts where rail-joiners happily transmit DCC signals between rail are no doubt true - but I bet they are in more cosy surroundings! 

 

Hey, all my lego is done that way !

 

Feeders every 20-40 sections of track.  (2.5"/section).  I don't really recommend it though, not like anyone asked me .  For a truly modular system, it has to be done that way.  For anything else, wire each section.

 

From a practical standpoint, make sure your layout passes a short circuit test everywhere.  I know, mine doesn't always.  Result:  1 melted (!) Rapido LRC coach bogie & another one with a slightly wonky wheelset !

 

James

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15 hours ago, Sir TophamHatt said:

 

Can you give an example of being "a lot" more expensive?

I see people write this but can't understand the definition of "a lot".

 

Expensive as in Command Station, Controllers & decoders.

 

Peter

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On 27/02/2019 at 13:21, tigerburnie said:

A question then, do I have to have electro frog points or can I recycle almost brand new peco insul frog ones?

Insulfrog points should be ok.

 

I am at the start of rebuilding an older club layout. It had about 16 Insulfrog points on it which had been weathered & ballasted. I would prefer Electros but cannot justify throwing away this lot.

I am about to modify the lot to wire the switch to stock rails so I do not have to rely on point blades for contact, which will save time cleaning each one with wet & dry during a show because the layout crew are more interested in running their trains than they are with cleaning the track!

This will also require disconnecting the exit rails because loco wheels are wide enough to touch the wrong rail at the frog, then supplying power to these with a switch.

The above modifications are to add reliability. They are nothing to do with the layout now being DCC.

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This is how I wire an insul frog.

 

All but the blades are wired.  I do admit some very short wheel based locos sometimes get stuck but it's pretty rare, and is more a sign of dirty wheels.

Best to make sure the joins on the left and right hand side of the blades are very good as they should be able to help flow electricity through the blade.

 

But this is all because I'm a little cheap and didn't want to fork out for electro frogs when I have a bunch of these.

Maybe I'll switch on the next layout.

IMG_20190301_142942.jpg

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6 hours ago, Sir TophamHatt said:

This is how I wire an insul frog.

 

All but the blades are wired.  I do admit some very short wheel based locos sometimes get stuck but it's pretty rare, and is more a sign of dirty wheels.

Best to make sure the joins on the left and right hand side of the blades are very good as they should be able to help flow electricity through the blade.

 

But this is all because I'm a little cheap and didn't want to fork out for electro frogs when I have a bunch of these.

Maybe I'll switch on the next layout.

IMG_20190301_142942.jpg

 

On the underside of the blade there is a grove it is possible to solder 0.7 copper wire into it at 90 degrees to the blade. The copper wire goes through a cut out in base board. A cable is attached to the wire on run back to the appropriate side that the blade is on

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I bought a lot of track and points for the Leicester station layout and have seen little in the way of service, so these will be recycled, I do intend to add point motors, but I wasn't planning on adding then to the DCC control. 2 questions, if I decided I did want to add the points, is it a big job to convert and second what type of supply do I need for half a dozen points?

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The additional, if any, power requirement for [dcc] remote point operation depends heavily on your 'other' choices - your accessory decoder 8-)


CDU units give the kind of impulsive oomph which suits 'solenoid' motors -  and depending on the make of decoder, these may be powered from a separate power supply ( eg 12Vdc, 16Vac, or part of  your dcc bus ).  Differing makes of solenoid take different currents - the standard 'non dcc friendly' Peco taking probably the highest current [ I measured 6A compared to the physically-larger H&M's 4A, many years ago [when using zero-1 accessory decoders ] The 'dcc friendly' [ 'energy efficient' ] Peco motor takes much less, I believe. 
 

There are of course other makes of pointwork with motors which take little current and switch off after completing the movement, and avoid the frog problems by including a frog switch - but no longer an option for your layout???

 

Slow motion motors like Fulgarex/Lemanco take little current and switch themselves off at the end of travel.  These also include switches which be used for frog switching.

There are stall-type motors - which continue to take current after movement ... which will add up when large numbers are installed.  Servo motors are increasingly common - and these take large currents when they are initially powered up - and individually - draw current during the move or if obstructed...

If powered from the track via Bachmann/ESU ServoPilot decoder - then this is very noticeable with just a few servo-points whenever the dcc supply is restarted. Moral: power servos separately !

We now use the Train-Tech modules (Quad or single) on our H0 layout [40 points] and these are easy to install being compact, and powered off the dcc bus  [ I get the impression of a delay while the capacitor charges before firing ] Programming is by 'learn button, and both number and direction is freely programmed.  This also allowed us to remove the 16Vac supply completely = less to take to shows - not a problem at home. 

The Bachmann/ESU SwitchPilot has 3 choices of input power: external DC, external AC or   dcc and based on 12Vdc, 16Vac rms and 16Vdcc (ac square wave), 12Vdc has least power, dcc next, and 16Vac the most ... because the latter's peak is 1.4x 16V ...which is what the capacitors will charge to after rectification. ... which may demonstrate that 16Vac is the optimum power source for non-CDU accessory decoders.

Separated from the dcc bus is an obvious advantage for powering point ... unless off a separate power district.

 

HOWEVER THE ADVANTAGE of all points and other accessories being controlled from the same device/handset is extremely great - and if the correct controller was chosen initially, adds no further expense than the decoders .... and the ever-changeable capability of a controller's graphic display (Multimaus), phone/tablet - many makes, or 'glass screen' ....free or commercial software - note that software used just for point and signal display/operation does not need 'feedback'/train detection ... that being the extra step for 'automation'.  I wouldn't have it any other way !  Tomorrow I may be using an Android  tablet to control the points and uncouplers on our G Scale shunting puzzle - using the same controller(s) as for our H0 or 00 layouts - save remembering the numbers.

 

 

 

 

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On ‎02‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 14:27, tigerburnie said:

I bought a lot of track and points for the Leicester station layout and have seen little in the way of service, so these will be recycled, I do intend to add point motors, but I wasn't planning on adding then to the DCC control. 2 questions, if I decided I did want to add the points, is it a big job to convert and second what type of supply do I need for half a dozen points?

 

 

Supply? It depends.....

 

Lenz LS150 and MERG decoders take an auxiliary 16V AC supply. Digitrax DS64 are said to blow up if fed 16V AC - I've taken a feed off the 12V DC regulated supply to the LEDs , but if that isn't available they will take power from the track. NCE switch-its take power from the track.

 

Etc.

 

It shouldn't be a huge  job to retrofit DCC . Two accessory decoders should cover your needs

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4 minutes ago, Ravenser said:

 

Lenz LS150 and MERG decoders take an auxiliary 16V AC supply.

MERG now produce a 12v DC version. This seems to be more readily available than the 16v AC one.

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