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Mixing Peco Code 55 Track With Peco Code 80 Points?


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I am in the process of starting a new N scale layout, which will be DCC operated. I am planning to use Peco code 55 track for the better looks of it, but don´t want to indulge in the extra wiring effort to make Electrofrog points operable for DCC.

 

Can I use code 80 Insulfrog points without problems and how do I join them to code 55 track?

 

Thanks for your help!

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Ulrich,

 

They just fit together with the normal rail joiners. Code 55 is the same height as code 80, but has a small 'flange' part way up the web of the rail that sits at the top of sleeper level. The real flange is embedded within the sleepers.

 

You can see the profiles in this image: http://www.spurstow.com/daniel/images/code55-code80.jpg

 

 

Mike

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It's a while since I have joined Peco code 80 - code 55 but it's no problem to do. It is also possible to use n gauge Peco electro frog points on DCC without modification. 

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Code 55 and 80 track have the same rail height (The extra 25 is burried in the sleeper on code 55) and so will join together without any problems; However, the sleepers are of slightly different thickness and the code 55 will need packing to raise the rail-head to the same height (something like the thickness of a cereal packet).

 

What is the extra wiring you think is needed for Electro-frog points and DCC? I've used unmodified Peco code 55 electro-frog points with DCC without any problems. The basic rules for wiring for DCC are no different to wiring for DC.

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

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Steven,

 

Although you can use the points unmodified there is a risk of momentary shorting as wheels pass the blades. For DC this isn't usually an issue, but for DCC it can mean that the system trips.

 

The N gauge electrofrogs points need a bit of work to convert, requiring a cut in each closure rail just before the frog and a bonding strip between the closure rail and the adjacent stock rail. This ensures that the polarity of the blades is always the same as the stock rail, avoiding any shorting.

 

The frog does, however, need to be wired up via a switch which is usually part of the point motor. Again this adds complexity but does mean that the point blades are never relied upon for electrical connection.

 

If you are going to wire like this do it before you put any of the track down. I know from bitter experience that, although possible, it's not a very nice job to do once the track is in place...

 

 

Mike

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I don't doubt that all that work leads to a more reliable system; It is however a myth that it MUST be done. There are plenty of layouts in use that haven't made the changes and work reliably - it's certainly not an essential modification.

 

I'd suggest that making sure the back-to-back's of each wheelset would give better results in the long-run (i.e. less chance of de-railment as well as less chance of short-circuits).

 

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

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I've not bonded the stock rails on my N gauge DCC layout without any problems. I have used a peco switch to change the frog polarity. I think in N gauge the gaps are so over scale that the risk of modern stock touching both rails and shorting is very low. Switching the frog polarity means you are not relying on blade contact for current and makes a big improvement. If you don't want to wire point switches you can even use a frog juicer

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Thanks for all the replies.

 

I know I am a little late in responding, but my Internet connection was down for the past two days.

 

There is so much confusing information on the web about wiring Peco Electrofrog points for DCC. If I don´t have to do all that, I´d be happy to use codee 55 points as well.

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  • 6 years later...

This is very useful, as I am just starting to build a new N gauge layout. The above has made my life a lot easier.

 

I have previously ran an 00 gauge layout over the last 25 years, always using DCC and used electrofrog points from the beginning. I have never modified any of them, but used them out of the packet, simply adding insulated rail joiners at both frog rails in each case. Never had a problem. I do understand why the recommended mods will work and make them even more reliable, but look at them as the icing on the cake.

 

I am now looking at the Unifrog points, which seem to be ideal, but am frustrated that only the medium code 55 points are available in Unifrog as yet. I will use the code 55 electrofrog large radius points to get the basic layout running in the mean time. I will make the extra effort to do the modifications, as I am sure they are worthwhile. I probably will not replace them either, but will use the unifrogs when I need more, if available by then.

 

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6 year old resurrection, impressive.

 

The rail is not the same FWIW, code 55 is actually 0.083”, so you’ll end up with a small step in the railhead which you can mitigate by squashing the joiner slightly. You will need to shim the code 55 to match the height of the code 80 too, about 1mm. 
 

If you really wanted to then I’d consider having code 80 in the fiddle yard and code 55 on the scenic side (for example), but I wouldn’t just insert bits of code 80 into an otherwise code 55 layout.


I’d also reiterate that you absolutely don’t need to make any concessions to DCC operation. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/04/2021 at 10:00, meatloaf said:

So there would be no isssue using code 55 points with code 80 set track curves?

Correct. 

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