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Author Topic: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog  (Read 1714 times)

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Offline Dr Al

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2018, 06:29:12 pm »
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.

Going by the pics, it's ~4.5 sleepers on the Unifrog, precisely 3 on an insulfrog, so about 30-50% larger (and of course that's infinitely larger than an e-frog...  ;) ), as I guesstimated before. But sleeper spacings are different, so:

Rough picture analysis via pixel counting, gives a minimum of 37% larger:


(and that's favourable to the u-frog as the i-frog is slightly oversize, so it'll be at least 40% in reality)

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. 

Indeed, for me this is a negative - I'm very much from the Tony Wright school of trackwork - namely it needs to be as clean, flowing, reliable and simple as possible, and using this to facilitate impeccable running is everything. I don't mind unifrog if it replaced insulfrog only as it's better than i-frog, but losing e-frogs is disappointing.

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

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2018, 06:55:07 pm »
[

Now that's interesting, in your photo of an actual point there appear to be isolating gaps in the wing rails?  The images I looked at today don't have those gaps
(image from Rails Of Sheffield)
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2018, 07:18:36 pm »
Now that's interesting, in your photo of an actual point there appear to be isolating gaps in the wing rails?  The images I looked at today don't have those gaps
(image from Rails Of Sheffield)


Looks like CAD - the photo is from the OP's original post, and I presume that to be real production items.

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

Online Roy L S

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2018, 07:27:04 pm »
I have to say that when I first discovered that N Gauge live frog points were to be replaced by "Unifrog" ones, I saw it as a hugely regressive step and I still do. It is surely driven by nothing more that cost - being able to produce a cheaper and less effective product (out of the box) in  knowledge that there is currently no comparable alternative track system.

It is hardly progress to be forced to wire the frog yourself to make it "live" but will surely do wonders for the sale of their microswitches!

Some would go as far as to call the decision cynical and complacent, I am hugely disappointed with Peco's decision to go down this route.


Roy


 

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2018, 07:56:55 pm »
I have to say that when I first discovered that N Gauge live frog points were to be replaced by "Unifrog" ones, I saw it as a hugely regressive step and I still do.

I find this a very interesting comment from (IIRC) a DCC user, who these seem most aimed at.

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

Online Roy L S

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2018, 08:17:26 pm »
I have to say that when I first discovered that N Gauge live frog points were to be replaced by "Unifrog" ones, I saw it as a hugely regressive step and I still do.

I find this a very interesting comment from (IIRC) a DCC user, who these seem most aimed at.

Cheers,
Alan

Hi Alan

Well as I see it whether one favours DCC or Analogue the same basic issue arises with these Unifrog points and that is reliable pickup.

A Unifrog point as bought seems to have a worse dead section across the frog than even an old insulfrog Code 80 point, so my tank locos and 08 shunter would be at far more risk of stalling or even just losing power momentarily, and if that happens with a sound fitted loco like my 4MT Tank (which only picks up off the 6 driving wheels) it kills the sound until I can press F1 twice to reset it - a real pain.


Regards


Roy

Offline Vonzack

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #36 on: June 12, 2018, 08:49:51 pm »
Well at least this design will end the 'should you / shouldn't you' modify the point for DCC/DC running as it's all done for you.

I've chosen to modify my points in the past, but this design would be straight out of the box and onto the layout for me now.

I saw a picture of the underside, they can easily be modified to work as an e-frog picking up power from the closing rails if that's what your happy with. There is a certain irony to that though :-)

Cheers, Mark.

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2018, 09:41:48 am »
I saw a picture of the underside, they can easily be modified to work as an e-frog picking up power from the closing rails if that's what your happy with. There is a certain irony to that though :-)

The only way to make this e-frog is through active switching of the power to the frog wire, latched to the blade switching, as previously discussed.

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

Offline Vonzack

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2018, 10:05:44 am »
I saw a picture of the underside, they can easily be modified to work as an e-frog picking up power from the closing rails if that's what your happy with. There is a certain irony to that though :-)

The only way to make this e-frog is through active switching of the power to the frog wire, latched to the blade switching, as previously discussed.

Cheers,
Alan

Hi Alan,

Not sure that's the case, follow my thinking here.

You can cut the links between the stock rails and closing rails, making it pickup a track feed from the closing rails, then link the frog to the closing rails and it should work exactly like an e-frog without any need for switching. You could even cut the links from the stock rails at the heel of the point as well and wire them to the frog and closing rails, but I would personally leave those as they are.

Unless I've missed something?

Cheers, Mark.

Offline Izzy

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2018, 11:29:03 am »

I don't think you can blame Peco for wanting to simplify production so that only one type of point is made. This not only helps them with production and stock level costs but means retailers only need to hold stocks of one type as well. And it is obvious that those using DCC sound have been seen as the way the hobby might go for the majority of new track users in the future.

But the big downside in all of this to me is the loss of easily laid points that need no extra switches or wiring to work ' out of the box' for those both new to the hobby or wanting to keep things as simple/cheap as possible. Simple DC use with more than one loco now means extra switches and wiring, the self-isolating nature of the designs up to now, whether insulfrog or electrofrog, meant easy use for those with sidings or using DC.

Izzy


Online talisman56

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2018, 02:12:49 pm »
I use Electrofrog points on a DC-powered layout, and have always powered the frog polarity from the accessory switch on Seep PM-1 motors (with IRJs on every V-rail), to avoid worrying about dicky connection from relying on blade to stock rail contact. I see no difference to the way I work using the new Unifrog points, from the pictures and discussions up to now.

But from an appearance point of view, that plastic insert bit is a retrograde step...  :uneasy:
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Online joe cassidy

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2018, 08:31:25 pm »
Does this mean that the value of second hand electrofrog points is likely to go up ?

Best regards,


Joe

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2018, 08:27:37 pm »
Interesting further discussion on the NGF Facebook page today, to the effect that Unifrog takes away the simple ability to use points as "power routing" - ie. only the selected route through the point is live.   

With Insulfrog you get an isolated rail on the other route, and on Electrofrog you get both rails at the same polarity on the other route. In both cases this means a loco can be isolated on a stub / dead-end siding.  This simple ability to turn off a siding by switching the point against it is used by many people. 

With Unifrog you can't achieve "power routing" without cutting the provided bonding wiring at the heel of the point and then adding further wiring/switching to the siding. That's going to upset a lot of DC users who just want the simple approach.  Whilst it doesn't bother me as I'm happy with frog switching and cab control switching etc, I'm beginning to change my opinion as to whether Unifrog is a step forward for the general user, it just seems too biased in favour of DCC layouts.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2018, 08:49:22 pm »
As a DC dinosaur that does sound a bit of a bummer and not something I'd want to tackle for a simple dead end siding :hmmm:

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #44 on: July 01, 2018, 07:58:26 am »
Interesting further discussion on the NGF Facebook page today, to the effect that Unifrog takes away the simple ability to use points as "power routing" - ie. only the selected route through the point is live.   

With Insulfrog you get an isolated rail on the other route, and on Electrofrog you get both rails at the same polarity on the other route. In both cases this means a loco can be isolated on a stub / dead-end siding.  This simple ability to turn off a siding by switching the point against it is used by many people. 

With Unifrog you can't achieve "power routing" without cutting the provided bonding wiring at the heel of the point and then adding further wiring/switching to the siding. That's going to upset a lot of DC users who just want the simple approach.  Whilst it doesn't bother me as I'm happy with frog switching and cab control switching etc, I'm beginning to change my opinion as to whether Unifrog is a step forward for the general user, it just seems too biased in favour of DCC layouts.


KAto Unitrack points can be converted from power / non power switching by moving 2 small screws in the base of the point. Simples??
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