I have finally put down a few feet of track, after about 15 feet I got to the point where I planned to have a turnout or switch.
Some time back I picked up some Shinohara switches, after I had connected it, I couldn't resist testing what I had accomplished, come on guys, you all do this, just can't wait??
I am using DC for the time being and will switch to DCC after I have all the track down.
Big disappointment, my loco goes through the switch with no problem but when I try to switch to another section of track!!! SHORT???? I noticed that the "frog" if that is the correct term? has the left rail on one section, joined to the right on the other section. BINGO, there is the problem. I have a couple of old Atlas switches, they are insulated at the frog.
Question: how does one solve this dilemma ??? bearing in mind that I will shortly go DCC.
Mac: If you are talking about the bar that is between the points and if this is the Walthers Shinohara's, then you have the old style, not DCC friendly turnouts, and is power routing (don't know anything about the strictly "Shinohara".).
One simple way to modify this turnout is to use a Dremel and cut the frog on both ends at both rails (close to the "X" but not in the frog. It should be about 1.5" between the gaps ). Place a thin strip of styrene plastic in the gaps; Glue in with Super Glue; Trim/file for smooth fit on the railhead when glue has cured.
Separately, supply power (feeders) to the inside rail of the diverging route to match the outside rail of the main. Looking across the turnout with rail 1,2,3,4: 1 and 3 should be matched with polarity, 2 and 4 should be matched.
Some may say this isn't enough, that the points still having the common bar between them will cause the wheels to short at the frog. Nope...not if your wheels are in gage. I have some modified like this that have been in operation for several years without any problems from any loco or rolling stock.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by RexHea; 03-19-2009 at 11:01 PM.
I think that what he is describing only occurs when the turnout is thrown. If this is truly the case, then the layout needs some minor re-wiring.
Shinohara turnouts, unless stated otherwise, are all live frog turnouts. Atlas and all the so called DCC friendly turnouts are dead frogs. These are really the only kind of turnouts there have ever been. Live frog and dead frog.
In the past live frogs were also known as selective control turnouts and dead frogs, non selective control turnouts. Pick up an old wiring book from the pre-DCC era and you'll see what I am talking about.
The solution is "simple", IF this is what you are talking about:
Here is a solution;
The wiring rules for DC with live frog turnouts are.
1. Do not place feeders behind the frog of a select control turnout, without isolating the frog from the feeders.
2. Always have feeders installed on the point side of the turnout, (or as it was called, "in front" of the points).
You could get away with just 2 gaps in the frog rails and just the feeders installed behind the gaps, but this was the way I've always done it.
If you are just running from a powerpack with alligator clips connected to the rails, and the 15ft of rail is not an oval, if they are connected to the right of the frog as the feeders are in the first drawing, its the same situation. Switch the clips to the other end of the track. There will be no short, unless it is an oval, which in case you will just need one gap.
Carey, yes I understand what his problem is as I ran into it with hot frogs and old style Shinohara. Many call all Shinohara turnouts "Shinohara", even the Walthers Shinohara. His description was accurate for the Old Walthers Shinohara. As I stated, I don't know which old one he has or if there is a difference. I don't know anything about the old (just) Shinohara, but the old Walthers Shinohara (800series) has a hot frog, was used for DC, and routed the power to the diverging route, call it what ever name you like. I know...that was what I ordered by mistake when I first started this layout and I am looking at one right now that I haven't converted yet. The NEW Walthers Shinohara (8800series) are all DCC friendly with a dead frog and nothing needs to be done with them.
The descriptions of work to be performed that I gave was to ready him for DCC, as well as take care of his DC problem (if his polarities are correct). Unfortunately, I see some mistakes that I made thinking of something else, but will correct and reword them. The idea of cutting both ends of the frog is to make it a dead frog with no chance of shorts in it (just as the factory made, DCC Friendly). Then all he has to do supply power with the proper polarity to his diverging route. No need for a hot frog with all wheel pickup, even with my shorty switchers.
You personally know that I have had to do this several times (about 20) and successfully when I ran short of the DCC friendly turnouts. One place was at Ashland Station on the mail car track. I cut the frog then supplied added power to the siding with feeds.
Last edited by RexHea; 03-19-2009 at 11:02 PM.
Shinohara's were always hot frogs, until the ones from Walthers starting coming with a dead frog. The other code turnouts, (100, 80, 70, & 55 in HO) from Shinohara, and from all the other companies claiming to be the sole importer BTW, are hot frogs. And yes Shinohara did have a code 80 turnout available. I'm not sure it still is however. This was imported during the time of transition between code 100 and code 83. Several companies, Peco being one, imported switches and flex track in code 80 into the US before a decision was made by the NMRA that code 83 was more accurate. Edit; Peco also imported code 75 turnouts and flex as well.
Originally Posted by RexHea
I agree. Never denied that.
Originally Posted by RexHea
Now I have a question that no one has ever answered to my satisfaction. Why, if in DCC, if its so important to have dead frogs, how have so many modelers whose layouts were wired with DC rules, using hot frogs, have had no problem connecting a DCC system to their layouts and have had to do zero rewiring?
Originally Posted by RexHea
I still say that if the layout is wired properly using DC rules regarding gaps and feeders, the transition to DCC will be seamless, involving no re-wiring or cutting up of turnouts. Scotts layout is a perfect example. Every mainline turnout, and many of his yard tracks are hot frogs. Not only are they hot frogs, but Tru-scale closing frog turnouts at that. His double crossover is a Shinohara hot frog from the 1980's. Since he has gone DCC, he has had to replace two old Shinoharas that went bad from his first days in the hobby, but none others.
To hear some folks, the only way to wire for DCC is to kill the frog on all turnouts. It just ain't so.
Last edited by Cjcrescent; 03-20-2009 at 01:47 AM.
Carey, I can't be sure, but I suspect it is because many guys can't wrap their minds around the way power routing works and why it can have conflicts that require gaps here and there. The simple solution is to isolate the frog and not have guys get frustrated with figuring out how to gap and solder feeders where hot frogs mean they'll have to be. Also, remember that decoders, and their managing systems, are highly sensitive to shorts, and will cut power to the layout at the slightest suggestion of one. When a metal wheel arcs or comes in contact, even if fleetingly, with the wrongly polarized component adjacent (doesn't matter why), the system shuts down and the formerly DC guy is left to wonder what he dun wrong.
I will say that I am not entirely comfortable with how this works, but I accepted that insulfrog turnouts were meant to make my enjoyment more of a sure thing. I can't say if that is so because I don't have any recent DC experience. All I can tell you is that they do seem to work, and where they gave them problems I knew to cut a gap right after the frog on the diverging route and to provide a new set of feeders (properly oriented) to the rails that just got severed. It seems to have worked just fine.
For me, I figured the Peco three-way was going to be a nightmare, but I had to have one...no ifs, ands, or buts. I figured, corrrectly, that if I fed the turnout from the single throat end, but had all three exits gapped at the end of the turnout as built by Peco, and then simply soldered pairs of feeders to the classification tracks beyond the gaps, I would be home free. I was correct, much to my relief. If the turnout is lined incorrectly, and an engine approaches from one of the three tracks that isn't lined, and a powered axle crosses the gap, I get the dreaded beep...beep...beep and ths system shuts down.
I also still get the odd short when one of the tires bridges the two rails in one of the tiny frogs in this otherwise marvellous turnout. I could cut gaps, and I have painted what I think are the offending surfaces, but the paint wears after a while.
A long way to provide what I think is the answer to your question.
First of all, no one that I know of has said that a "dead frog" is the only way to go for DCC and several prefer a "hot frog". Mac, does not have a DC layout he needs to make a conversion on. He statement was he connected DC to his track to temporarily watch his loco, but he will be using DCC. He simply needed to convert his turnout or change his wiring to work. I chose to convert in my post since he was going to use DCC. Its too easy not to make the conversion when all you do is make two cuts isolating the frog (one would work) and hooking power to the diverging route.
The reason for the development of the DCC friendly turnout and why people use them when building a DCC layout is perfectly clear to an open mind: you DONT have to gap...just install in place and be on with it. The jumpers are in place for proper polarity and no need for power routing when it is feed all the time and with the right polarity. Why make it difficult? It certainly doesn't make you a better modeler by sticking to traditional and dated methods.
Where did the declaration come from about conversions. There was nothing mentioned about DC layout conversion to DCC, but a person doing this could go either way. If one is wiring up DCC on a new layout, they need to forget DC and follow DCC's simple and easy wiring methods.
Yes, yes, yes! Shinohara (old style, including Walthers) had hot frogs. Don't think there was ever any dispute about it.
BTW: where is the originator of this thread?
Last edited by RexHea; 03-20-2009 at 09:31 AM.
As an electrical engineer and a very satisfied user of Marklin Digital and the center-stud contact system, I must confess to a degree of good-hearted mirth reading how much unnecessary struggle, confusion, and disagreement occurs over DC and DCC wiring, especially when it comes to turnouts.
At IEEE meetings, when hobbies come up, and model railroading becomes a topic of conversation (and it does more often than not!), we engineers marvel the very positive developments that DCC has brought to the hobby, but also continue to cast doubt on the parentage of the idiot who first decided to use two-rail direct current on any track other than an oval.
I would expect that Lionel owners would be similarly entertained.
Yes, we do give up some prototype optics - those little center studs. However, the trade-off is well worth it in the simplification of wiring.
Just enjoy the hobby, and don't get too carried away with who did what to whose frog.
David Martin, Ph.D.
You may be on to something here, Crandell. But my point was why risk the chance of mutilating an expensive hot frog turnout, in this case Shinohara, by cutting gaps to create a dead frog, when by following 2 simple rules, (making sure feeders are on point end, and always gap each rail beyond the frog) all chance of a short is gone?
Originally Posted by Selector
Yeah, David, I know that these type of discussions always bring up "controversy".
Originally Posted by dmeephd
But whereas the 3-rail, AC crowd always brag about wiring ease, I personally find that third rail system, even if just studs in each tie, to be highly distracting to the overall appearance of the layout and gives it a more toy like appearance. I know that these are all toys, but why emphasize it even more?
Well the parentage of the three rail system could also be questioned in why its still with us. There are no prototype railroad in the world that uses a middle third rail to my knowledge. While there are three rail prototypes, these are outside third rail for electrical pick up.
Originally Posted by dmeephd
IIRC two rail wiring was first developed prior to WWII, to augment a more prototypical appearance to the track. And until DCC came along, DC wiring was all we 2 railers had. The wiring to the track is the same, just gaps and feeders. It only when you want to run more than one train at a time that it can start to get complicated. But thats on the control panel side.
So yeah, there are trade offs from one system to the other, but its a personal choice. Prototype like appearance or toy like. I'll take prototype.