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Author Topic: New to electrofrog.  (Read 574 times)

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Offline Old Crow

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New to electrofrog.
« on: December 08, 2017, 01:12:00 am »
New to all this and finding out the hard way what works best. Thought Set track would be a good way in - too many joints. Thought insulfrog Streamline points would save me hassle but I've had to work on them all - specifically levelling the frog and so now I want to go electrofrog but I'm concerned by wiring issues.

I can see isolating the live frog runouts ok but I've seen it suggested that you also need a break elsewhere if it's part of a loop? And crossovers and passing loops seem very complex.  Can I take it though that if one is making a large shunting/ fiddle yard with only a single outlet. you don't need the isolation? What about headshunts?

Online jpendle

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 01:46:35 am »
It’s best to try and get your head around the principles of Electrofrogs.

They work by switching both rails of the route NOT selected to the same voltage. So because there is no voltage difference across the rails a loco won’t move.

So either both rails are positive or both are negative. This means if you connect power to the none selected route you’ll get a short.

For a fan of sidings no isolation is necessary, but for a loop or headshunt ir anything more complex you’ll need to isolate all 4 rails coming off the point. The 2 rails at the toe end won’t need isolating.

Regards,

John P

Offline njee20

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 08:28:55 am »
You’ll only ever need to insulate the rails to the frog. The outer two can still have metal joiners.

Only different if its a crossover, when you need to insulate both rails on both frogs, so you need 4 IRJs and two metal joiners on the two pairs of points. Plus whatever is appropriate at the heel.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 08:30:37 am by njee20 »

Offline newportnobby

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 10:03:36 am »
The level of wiring complication (feeds/joiners) depends whether you are using the 'Hand of God' to change the points or point motors.

Offline terrysoham

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 10:35:49 am »
Message to the original poster.   If you have any more questions in particular about points, it will be useful to know whether you are proposing dc (analogue) or dcc (digital) as your power source.
As it stands at the moment the answer you received that only the two rails leading from the frog need to be fitted with insulated rail joiners (IRJ) is correct.  If you stick to that rule then there shouldn’t be any problems for either dc or Dcc. 
For completeness, you MAY omit the IRJs on points which only serve sidings when using dc but I wouldn’t advise it.
Terry Metcalfe
Ely and District Model Railway Club
Owner of Neely, modern N scale representation of Ely, available for exhibitions

Offline njee20

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 10:37:05 am »
The level of wiring complication (feeds/joiners) depends whether you are using the 'Hand of God' to change the points or point motors.

Not really, you still need the same joiners and feeds regardless. You can obviously add polarity switching more easily if you’re using motors, but no other difference.

Offline newportnobby

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 11:02:20 am »
Sorry but I can't agree. I have been using this system for years as I have operated points by hand and it works......................



However, it is only now I intend to motorise my points with Seep PM1s that I find things are slightly different

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 11:32:47 am »
@newportnobby

... but how you operate the points has no bearing on the electrical connection requirements to the track. It's the same whether you operate by hand or by point motor.  @njee20   is correct.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline newportnobby

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 11:45:52 am »
@ntpntpntp

That sounds like I don't need IRJs on the frog 'V's for motorising ???

only the two rails leading from the frog need to be fitted with insulated rail joiners (IRJ) is correct.  If you stick to that rule then there shouldn’t be any problems for either dc or Dcc. 
For completeness, you MAY omit the IRJs on points which only serve sidings when using dc but I wouldn’t advise it.


In the example of the crossover I only have IRJs between the points and not on the other half of the 'V'
In the example of the headshunt the same applies, and on the loop the IRJs are not on both rails of the frog.
Am I just confusing myself (again)?

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 12:48:48 pm »
If you need IRJs on the frog V for an electrofrog point that's manually operated, you need the same IRJs when the point is motorised - regardless of whether the frog is powered by a changeover switch or is powered just by the point blades.   Adding the frog-dropper and polarity change is "belt and braces" to back up the point blade contact. 

If your point is (or has been modded) to be "DCC friendly" then the frog definitely requires polarity changeover as it has to be isolated from the blades.    I think that's what these new Peco "unifrog" points are about?

As has been commented, for DC you don't need an IRJ on a V rail which just leads to a dead-end siding, or anything which has no further power feed to that rail beyond the frog.  If you have a power feed beyond the frog, the IRJ is required.   For DCC you're probably going to have such a power feed because usually want to keep that siding track live - hence the IRJ is mandatory.

Personally, I usually IRJ all four rails beyond the point because I use DC cab-control and I prefer to double-isolate all sections rather than use common return.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 12:57:08 pm by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline newportnobby

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 03:28:57 pm »

As has been commented, for DC you don't need an IRJ on a V rail which just leads to a dead-end siding, or anything which has no further power feed to that rail beyond the frog.  If you have a power feed beyond the frog, the IRJ is required.



Thanks for the clarification. I am not going DCC and none of my electrofrogs have been modified in any way. The examples I showed above are exactly as I use them, and with feeds where shown with an 'F', hence the ladder of sidings having no IRJs whatsoever.
The part of your quote I have highlighted is where confusion has reigned in my brain cell as, far too often, I have been instructed I must have IRJs on the two 'V' rails regardless. (Not by you, I hasten to add)

@terrysoham


For completeness, you MAY omit the IRJs on points which only serve sidings when using dc but I wouldn’t advise it.



Terry - see my diagram above of a ladder of points. I have never used IRJs in such a situation and nothing has blown up, so why wouldn't you advise it please? (My bold)


Offline terrysoham

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 05:56:11 pm »
newportnobby,

I have no problem with your sketch for a fan of sidings in dc.  I agree it saves a lot of wiring and switches for sections.   But remember you might want to convert it to dcc one day which is exactly what happened to our club layout - hence my comment I wouldn’t advise it.

Kind regards
Terry Metcalfe
Ely and District Model Railway Club
Owner of Neely, modern N scale representation of Ely, available for exhibitions

Offline newportnobby

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 08:20:16 pm »
No chance of that, Terry. 100+ locos + chips + fitting costs :no: :no:

Offline Old Crow

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 12:00:28 am »
Well, thanks for this guys. I'm quite happy with analogue dc and, testing out points it does seem that electrofrog run more smoothly without having to work on them.
Thanks for the diagram Newportnobby - much appreciated as there does seem to be a lot more complication on stuff I've gleaned from the web.

So! having both rails same polarity still gives the isolation you get with insulfrog then?

So! Sidings from sidings don't necessarily need irj ...but... if you did start putting these into each point, surely you'd need a lot of extra feeds?

Operation of points will be part manual, part electrical - how does electrifying change things? Yes, you could do polarity changing but if it's working why?

Online Lindi

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Re: New to electrofrog.
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2017, 12:32:24 am »
There is an excellent article on wiring layouts on Brian Lamberts web site. This section deals with live (electrofrog) points http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical.html#live

 

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