!!

Not Registered?

Welcome!  Please register to view all of the new posts and forum boards - some of which are hidden to guests.  After registering and gaining 10 posts you will be able to sell and buy items on our N'porium.

If you have any problems registering, then please check your spam filter before emailing us.  Hotmail users seem to find their emails in the Junk folder.


Thanks for reading,
The NGF Staff.

Author Topic: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog  (Read 929 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online njee20

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 22598
  • Posts: 3336
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2018, 01:51:50 pm »
If they genuinely considered this a regression in any way that would jeopardise what some would suggest was a risky market to enter they'd have gone with electrofrog.

Unfortunately not - there's no competing track systems at all, so there is no real credible alternative - thus they can change things and there's relatively little risk as there is little option for most to switch to (not to mention the legacy issues which see systems like code 80 also still exist).

"High fidelity" is a completely subjective term - your "High fidelity" could be completely different to mine. I'm simply looking at the factual evidence of the apparent new construction of the code 55 turnout.

Ultimately, whilst this is not the end of the world by any means, I find it disappointing that we have not instead transitioned to electrofrog being the standard and insulfrog being a historical standard of the past. That's a shame.

Pretty sure you're intentionally missing the point now. I put "high fidelity" in air quotes for that exact reason. What would you call the bullhead OO entry, at more than double the price of the Streamline range? Quite whether you think it's "good enough" is irrelevant - my point (for the last time now) is that they've still chosen unifrog for their high ticket product. This is unrelated to multiple toolings or anything else. New item, no toolings exist, no need to offer insulfrog for the target market, but they've backed unifrog over electrofrog. I agree this is better.

I just don't see the wear being an issue. What would the mechanism be for that wear? The wheels rolling over a gap enclosed by the rail? Once it wears to a few thou and the wheels/track rubber/whatever no longer touch it then you have no further issues. That's the same as saying IRJs will wear.

Respectfully, whilst you don't; I do as I've seen it on turnouts that will ultimately have to be retired because of it (despite being completely otherwise ok). The mechanism is primarily track cleaning.

No, they won't. Categorically. Becuase of where the plastic bits are. Even if you choose to clean your track with 100 grit sandpaper what will happen is that the plastic bits may wear quicker than the metal bits. The plastic bits serve to keep the metal bits from touching. They would accomplish this just as well if they were thin air. Ergo, wear to the rail surface of the plastic insulation gaps will have precisely zero impact on the function of the turnout, rather at worst you'll have a very small gap, just like with electrofrog currently. Unifrog should perform better in this respect because there is no physical gap by design. They've filled it with plastic. It's ironic that if they've left it as a gap you'd be happier, and it would be a worse solution.

What it does highlight, is that now more than ever, we could do with a new state of the art track RTR system in N, with better rail heights (compatable only with the newer RP25 standards), finer frogs, better rail spacing, etc - after all Peco's code 55 flexi first came out in the mid 1980s, and the turnouts in the early 1990s, so it's been around a fair length of time. There is Finetrax, but for me this is too big an investment in time to be realistic - I know that's very much a personal thing though.

I'm not sure it does highlight that. But you could pay someone to build Finetrax for you? Or do you mean you want something better than Peco, with the same level of effort involved, and no extra expense?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 01:53:35 pm by njee20 »

Offline Dr Al

  • Trade Count: (+49)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4154
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2018, 02:10:01 pm »
Pretty sure you're intentionally missing the point now.

No - my points are based on the facts so far, together with 21 years experience of the existing code 55 range, and a decade prior to that in OO, so I'm not sure why you need to say this....

What would you call the bullhead OO entry, at more than double the price of the Streamline range? Quite whether you think it's "good enough" is irrelevant - my point (for the last time now) is that they've still chosen unifrog for their high ticket product.

Just because they've backed unifrog for this system, doesn't actually make it a functionally superior turnout than if they'd done it using the electrofrog technique....what they call it is irrelevant, as I already said.

No, they won't.

Sorry, but you assert that; while I've seen otherwise. In science and engineering it only takes one counterexample to disprove a theory ;) .

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

Online njee20

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 22598
  • Posts: 3336
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2018, 02:17:09 pm »
But you don't have an example...  :hmmm: Let's expand this - through overly aggressive track cleaning how would the plastic insulation gaps wearing affect use? The clue really is in the name; "gaps".

Wear you've seen on existing turnouts is irrelevant, because the plastic components are different.

Offline Dr Al

  • Trade Count: (+49)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4154
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2018, 02:30:14 pm »
But you don't have an example...

I do - my double slip! Track cleaning has been completely normal, not excessive, and wear on it as well as crossing and check rails on other turnouts is notable when compared with the adjacent nickel silver.

Wear creates drops and therefore bumps - the first thing I look to eliminate if I want superior running - I guess many don't actually care about this.

Wear you've seen on existing turnouts is irrelevant, because the plastic components are different.

No, they are conceptually identical, unless you have evidence showing the plastics in use will be different, which I suspect you do not.

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

Online njee20

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 22598
  • Posts: 3336
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2018, 02:35:47 pm »
But you have a physical gap on electrofrog turnouts, which you're declaring to be better...?

So, when your unifrog points are heavily worn you'll have something akin to the electrofrog point...

Offline NinOz

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: Ex3504
  • Posts: 607
  • Country: au
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2018, 02:53:47 pm »
I just don't see the wear being an issue. What would the mechanism be for that wear? The wheels rolling over a gap enclosed by the rail? Once it wears to a few thou and the wheels/track rubber/whatever no longer touch it then you have no further issues. That's the same as saying IRJs will wear.
Agree. :thumbsup:

If the size of the gap is a worry then it looks like a quick zip with an appropriate razor saw on the plastic bit to reduce the size, insert a piece of metal shim for a tight fit, file and there you have a smaller gap (paper thin if you wish).
PECO IRJ gaps aren't exactly micro either and don't fill the gap completely.

PECO have gone DCC friendly to suit their major market.  Looks like they could have made the plastic bits at least half the size without worry.
To be called pompous and arrogant - hell of a come down.
I tried so hard to be snobbish and haughty.

Offline Dr Al

  • Trade Count: (+49)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4154
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2018, 04:11:13 pm »
But you have a physical gap on electrofrog turnouts, which you're declaring to be better...?

No they don't - your understanding of electrofrogs seems wayward - out of the box electrofrogs have no such gaps!

Overall, none of this debate changes the facts, which concisely seem to be (unless more information surfaces):
a. Unifrogs will be dead unless wired, forcing use of switching to power them (unnecessary on electrofrogs), meaning more expense, and in some situations more difficulty
b. the dead section is notably longer than a standard insulfrog
c. plastic parts in turnouts do wear

For me the combination of the above makes it likely that this won't be an improvement. Fortunately I already have a substantial stash of electrofrogs, but the news means I'll be looking to add to it.

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

Offline Fardap

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 26027
  • Posts: 62
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Twitter
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2018, 04:17:44 pm »
Anyone thought of asking PECO for a comment on the whys and wherefores?


Online njee20

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 22598
  • Posts: 3336
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2018, 04:20:07 pm »
And what do you put on the rails at the toe of the frog on electrofrog points? IRJs. What do they create (in order to work)? All together now... Gaps.

Offline Dr Al

  • Trade Count: (+49)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4154
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2018, 04:26:45 pm »
And what do you put on the rails at the toe of the frog on electrofrog points?

Nothing. Your understanding of IRJs is completely wrong.

They are only necessary at the heel of the point; not the toe and then only needed where that is in a loop; crossing where two heels are connected. If it's a siding, no IRJs are needed at all. Where they are needed they can be carefully employed to concur with cab control sections, and staggered and narrowed to minimise bumps.

Most of my e-frogs have no IRJs in play - only those in loops as described, and I can choose more fluidly where they go, and actively minimise any gap. With unifrog I can't do any of that.

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

Online njee20

  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 22598
  • Posts: 3336
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2018, 04:37:00 pm »
Sorry, that's just me being a muppet, heel not toe, always think that's the wrong way around. Rails coming from the frog.

I'll wager more people have points set up in crossovers than on sidings with no further feeds, you can't ignore a very common use case to suit your point. If you feed power downstream of the frog you still need IRJs even with a siding, that's best practice.

But yes, if you have a single track loop with short spur sidings with no further feeds then you do not need IRJs.

I know I've installed them on every single pair I've got, because I want to have feeds beyond the point, and I don't have many short sidings anyway, far more crossovers and loops.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 04:38:07 pm by njee20 »

Online RailGooner

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 17356
  • Posts: 1489
  • Country: gb
    • Ebay
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2018, 05:10:53 pm »
Anyone thought of asking PECO for a comment on the whys and wherefores?

I bet the motivation is value engineering, i.e. these cost less to manufacture. They (like many companies,) are unlikely to admit to that though.
Per Ardua ad Astra | Mens Agitat Molem | Victoria Concordia Crescit

I'm supporting Project Railway Honour

Online bluedepot

  • Trade Count: (+7)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2448
  • Country: 00
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2018, 05:30:51 pm »
I looked at a oo one

I think it looks worse

irj gaps at the v are not as noticeable as the plastic insulation pieces before the frog and the cuts filled with plastic after it.

anyway I'm not that bothered about it as I should imagine there are plenty of electrofrogs still knocking around for sale.  also once weathered the plastic insulators are probably not quite as noticeable. it does seem a shame that peco changed it though.


Tim

Offline Dr Al

  • Trade Count: (+49)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4154
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2018, 05:36:07 pm »
I'll wager more people have points set up in crossovers than on sidings with no further feeds, you can't ignore a very common use case to suit your point.

That's an invalid accusation. I'm thinking of my own system. Electrofrog is superior, quite simply - if I was forced to change my system to unifrog, the wiring would be more complex, all turnouts would have to be switched (unnecessary with my current e-frogs), and the IRJs would all need to remain (cab control), so reflecting in that manner, it's plainly inferior and would be more costly in terms of implementing reliable switching.

Of course different situations will be different - but my trackplan is nothing out of the ordinary, station, fiddle yard, sidings and loco shed all on a double track loop. I've found little need for additional feeds unless a dedicated isolating section is in play, but did go over each turnout during installation to improve conductivity etc.

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

Offline ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1784
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2018, 05:53:28 pm »

[IRJs] are only necessary at the heel of the point; not the toe and then only needed where that is in a loop; crossing where two heels are connected. If it's a siding, no IRJs are needed at all. Where they are needed they can be carefully employed to concur with cab control sections, and staggered and narrowed to minimise bumps.

Ah "cab control" - so you're thinking DC.  Do remember that under DCC even stub sidings really need to have their own feed to maintain live power, and therefore need an IRJ on the frog V.  Peco are probably considering DCC as the future so IRJs or the equivalent isolation gap of the Unifrog become pretty much mandatory at each frog.

Earlier today I played around with matching photos of the size of the frog/dead spots of unpowered Unifrog and Insulfrog, I don't think there's much in it. For one thing the wing rails of Unifrog are metal rather than plastic, I reckon this reduces the dead area given the width of typical wheels.

I think I do kind of understand your concern if you're using Electrofrog with purely blade contact and no polarity feed: with Unifrog you're losing the continuity all the way through the frog and you are forced into polarity switching the frog if you want the best possible continuity.  Also I may be wrong but from the look of the underside wiring I don't think the Unifrog points are "power routing" so both routes are live unless you cut some wires and reconfigure power through the point blades Insulfrog style.


[edit]
I'm running DC in N with 3-controller cab-control so I'm well versed with IRJs etc. I've always fitted frog polarity changeover to my electrofrogs, code 55 since the mid 90s (layout still going strong) and code 80 before that on my previous layout.  So for me personally Unifrog is a welcome step forward.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 06:05:44 pm by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

 

Please Support Us!
June Goal: £55.00
Due Date: Jun 30
Total Receipts: £60.00
Above Goal: £5.00
Site Currency: GBP
109% 
June Donations


Advertise Here