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Peco Insulfrog Points & DCC


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Hi everyone,

I'm preparing to dip my toe into the world of DCC for the very first time.

I have one, hopefully very simple question to ask.

Can I utilise Peco insulfrog points when using a DCC system ( Bachmann Dynamis)?

I've read in the model press how to 'convert' electrofrogs, but no mention of insulfrogs.

The reason why I ask is that my intended layout has a total of 18 points, & I bought them ages ago.

I initially intended to use a traditional DC operating system, but I've been convinced that DCC is the way forward.

Obviously I can't return them to the retailer due to the time elapsed, I I'll loose too much if I put them on e-bay.

If anyone can come up with a solution I would be really grateful.

As I'm a newcomer to DCC, please keep any ideas simple.

Thanks in advance

Rob 'westcountryman' Morgan

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Hi Rob,

Absolutely no problem. I went DCC 6 years ago, and had a layout using all code 100 and insulfrog points. Over the following years, gradually, I have converted over to code 75 rail and electrofrog points....but that took 2 to 3 years to complete, and during that time, I was using a mixture of both types.

So you have no concerns in that area.

Regards......Bob.

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Hello Rob

 

I can confirm that Insulfrog and DCC work well for me, both at slow and medium speeds, and for some time. In fact I came back to Insulfrog deliberately because i got bored with attempting to solder all the droppers that are inescapable with Electrofrog. Obviously the more pick ups then the better the result. FWIW I use various decoders. ZTC, Hornby, TCS (preferred choice but only because of goof-proof guarantee) and more recently a couple of Gaugemaster for the 6 pin choice. Club controller is an Elite, home controller is ZTC 505. When all else fails I resort to reading the makers instructions.

 

Hth

 

PB

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Had a problem with a Hornby T9 where the driving wheels would clip the other rail at the frog, this was a problem I discovered someone else had encountered. The solution was to wire up the point as if it had a live frog with both rails leading from the frog bonded together.

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I've seen a photo of the new "UNIFROG" from Peco (September's Model Railroader - p.13) and wonder whether this is the way that Peco are heading? A discrete Insulfrog that is convertible to electrofrog with the polarity wire already attached.

 

Best, Pete.

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In my early days of using DCC I too had a problem with the T9 when driven slowly over an Insulfrog crossing. But then also with Hornby Q1, Bachmann 9F etc. It was a right pain and I eventually replaced it with Electofrog.

 

You can avoid this problem on Insulfrog points by fitting insulated rail joiners on the two frog rails and adding another power feed downstream of there. This resolves the shorting problem but you are then dependent on the point blades providing power to the frog: any dirt or slack contact and you can have a long dead section.

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In my early days of using DCC I too had a problem with the T9 when driven slowly over an Insulfrog crossing. But then also with Hornby Q1, Bachmann 9F etc. It was a right pain and I eventually replaced it with Electofrog.

 

You can avoid this problem on Insulfrog points by fitting insulated rail joiners on the two frog rails and adding another power feed downstream of there. This resolves the shorting problem but you are then dependent on the point blades providing power to the frog: any dirt or slack contact and you can have a long dead section.

 

I've done the same - avoids any shorts. As said the point blades need to be clean and in good condition so if you have some old points it would be wise to inspect / test them before laying them down. I have one set out of about 25 on the layout where the contact just isn't reliable enough and will need to be replaced. Also need to make sure the loco pickups are in good condition and the wheels are clean (but that's true for any layout).

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Hi Rob

 

You should encounter no problems mate

I have 21 Insulfrog points on my layout with no problems whatsoever

Nowadays, most if not all have power / pickups to all wheels therefore no current is lost as the loco's pass over the 'dead' frog.

This wasn't always the case but loco's are built so well nowadays

 

The only loco you MAY have a problem with are Class 08's due to their short wheelbases

 

John

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Thanks to everyone who have offered their knowledge & advice, you've certainly set my mind at rest, & I'm so pleased that I don't have to e-bay or car boot all of those unused insulfrog express points! Not only does the 'Olympic spirit' of help & assistance happen in East London, it's right here on RMWeb!!

Thanks again guys, it's off to the shed for me!

Rob

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Thanks to everyone who have offered their knowledge & advice, you've certainly set my mind at rest, & I'm so pleased that I don't have to e-bay or car boot all of those unused insulfrog express points! Not only does the 'Olympic spirit' of help & assistance happen in East London, it's right here on RMWeb!!

Thanks again guys, it's off to the shed for me!

Rob

 

Hi Rob,

We all learn something from each others threads....and your question was very valid.

 

Also good that you come on and thank contributors like you did too.

 

Well done mate....good luck in the shed.

 

regrds ....Bob

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