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Author Topic: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog  (Read 2484 times)

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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #45 on: July 01, 2018, 10:52:12 am »
KAto Unitrack points can be converted from power / non power switching by moving 2 small screws in the base of the point. Simples??

Yes, but they also have frog switching built-in which Peco points have never had, and thus don't rely on blade contact as Peco do to implement power routing.  With Unifrog, Peco are clearly moving away from reliance on blade contact as they've bonded the blades "DCC friendly" style, but as I've mentioned this then requires an alternative switching mechanism for both frog switching and power routing. To build this into the point would require rather more drastic re-design of the pointwork.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 10:55:11 am by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Izzy

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #46 on: July 01, 2018, 11:08:29 am »
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.

Just add an insulated rail joiner after the frog and a switch to power/isolate the siding

Yes, exactly, that is just what is being said. Extra wiring/extra switches/more cost/less simple. I stated it in my previous post #39 and there is now more appreciation about it - that the points are no longer 'self-isolating' as they were before. Power routing/isolating sidings was easy this way.

Now it's extra faffing around with switches and remembering to switch them on/off. Quite okay for many of us who always used live frogs and switches/micro-switches to change polarity because power routing is still easy this way, but added complication for those seeking simple and easy out-of-the-packet DC use.

Izzy

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #47 on: July 09, 2018, 11:55:31 pm »
So... with all this recent discussion about Peco Unifrog points I thought I'd better buy one just to see what they're about.

The first thing is to look at the wiring underneath: as previously discussed it has wire links C & D to bond the closure rails and blades to the stock rails (ie. "DCC friendly"), and it has wiring links A & B to power the rails beyond the isolated frog. The frog dropper wire F is pretty self-explanatory - note that it connects the wing rails as well as the frog tip.  (My labelling by the way, not Peco's)

Now... the thing that I was concerned about is Peco's own statement on their website: "If the turnout is being used as a switch to isolate a section of track then it is simple job to remove the wire that joins the centre-rail and stock-rail and it will work like a current Insulfrog."

Not entirely true!
If you cut link D then link B makes the straight route "power routing" because it connects to a switched closure rail.
However if you cut link C then it won't make the diverging route "power routing" because link A is bonded to a stock rail not the closure rail. You would also need to cut link A and reconnect the frog rail end to the closure rail end of link C as shown by the red dotted line.



« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 12:01:33 am by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Portpatrick

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #48 on: July 10, 2018, 11:10:30 am »
Yes there has been a lot about these new points on the Facebook pages.  What we have above is the clearest description I have seen of how they work and what needs to be done, especially if like me you want all the functionality which is on an Electro frog straight-out of its box.  While I appreciate this new one may be good got DCC users, for the rest of us Peco have given us, sorry sold us, a pup..  Below is what I said earlier today on Facebook.

"My goodness what horrendous complication just to get something which does what the electrofrog does so simply. This is far worse than what I had hoped from previous posts. As one who has increasing difficulty with soldering this is the worst of all worlds - I can see myself wrecking a proportion of points in the process of this needless extra work. And there is further expense in adding a changeover switch. Puts me off building more layouts or at least using Peco pointwork whose simplicity has served me so well for decades. What are the alternatives?"

How do Kato points work? MY current 2 layouts have electro frogs which straight out of the box have continuity through the frog and are self isolating - easy for sidings and terminal platforms where only an isolating section has to be added.  And yes I do rely on continuity between blade and stockrail.  In 35 years of exhibiting I only occasionally have to use a little 600 grade emery to clean them out.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #49 on: July 10, 2018, 11:19:20 am »
Me too! Well, almost.  ;)

I have relied on blade contact with live frogs and have had the odd issue, but nothing that ain't fixable.

However, reading this thread is making more and more attracted to Kato stuff.

Main problem is that it's code 80, and if I was to change, it should be to something finer.  :beers:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline njee20

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #50 on: July 10, 2018, 11:22:17 am »
How do Kato points work?

Based on NewportNobby's experiments I think 'badly' is the best way to put it in the case of the number 4 points.

Whilst I can see the appeal in Unitrack the points look awful to my eye, and they're not a viable alternative to Peco whatsoever IMO. Not least you've got very limited geometry, no curved points etc, leaving aside the poor performance of a lot of stock on the smaller radius points.

We need Tillig or someone to do N gauge - their OO gauge stuff looks nice as an alternative to Peco.

Offline Portpatrick

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2018, 11:44:12 am »
Or even better Peco to see sense and continue a basice range  of electro frog in code 80 and 55.  I too am less thanow happy with the looks of Kato.  But if Peco carry on with Unifrog only it may be  the only way.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 12:03:33 pm by Portpatrick »

Offline Bealman

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2018, 11:49:21 am »
Yes, the Kato points look rubbish. But they work, apparently, without all the modifications and fiddle faderling on, which in my advancing years, I'm  getting  fed up with.  ;)
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2018, 12:03:44 pm »
How do Kato points work? MY current 2 layouts have electro frogs which straight out of the box have continuity through the frog and are self isolating

They have a polarity changeover switch built-in with the point motor gubbins.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2018, 12:19:28 pm »
In defence of Kato points, (and Unitrack in general), I agree that straight out of the packet, they do not look as good as Peco, but with a bit of imagination, (and ballast, washes etc.), they can look good in my opinion.  As has been said many times on the forum, no. 4 points can be troublesome, but in my experience, most of the problems involve UK rolling stock. And as for adding/cutting wires on Peco points, Unitrack points need nothing doing to them, in either DC or DCC operation.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline Portpatrick

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2018, 12:21:39 pm »
Yes, the Kato points look rubbish. But they work, apparently, without all the modifications and fiddle faderling on, which in my advancing years, I'm  getting  fed up with.  ;)

I have no immediate plans to start another layout.  Allanbrae hits the circuit in 3 months and has 2 firm and a 3rd probable booking in 2019.  Although my 50s/60s Portpatrick Town is now 12 years old , it is still being asked for and I still enjoy showing it.  But I am trying to get my mind around an eventual replacement for my extensive steam/green diesel interests.  Simplicity in electrics has always been my watchword.  Cyril Freezer very basics being as much as I can get my head around.  Advancing years and worsening Essential Tremor mean that soldering is at best a challenge to be minimnised (I have managed this well on Allanbrae using peco pre wired droppers where possible , their point motor wiring looms with slide on plugs and those screw terminal chocolate strip style plugs and sockets for connecting the panel to the layout.)  Fine work on an expensive point a very definite no no.  Especially galling when the current  product is "not broken" and did not need fixing. 

By all means offer unifrog for DCC users if it is better for them.  AS to maintaining another range. Apart from Setrack they offer Insulfrog and Electrofrog in Code 80 and Electrofrog in Code 55.  That is 3 ranges.  If they need to drop one, while I love the better appearance of Code 55, I would sacrifice this for reverting to the code 80 Electrofrog if necessary for another layout. 

Offline Bealman

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2018, 12:28:39 pm »
Hornby mag's project layout a couple of years ago used Peco code 80.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Portpatrick

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #57 on: July 10, 2018, 12:49:41 pm »
Can easi shunt magnets be fitted to Kato track.  If I do replace Portpatrick Town  I need them for handling terminating locals and shunting freight.

Offline talisman56

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2018, 01:15:17 pm »
These are available? I can't find them listed on the PECO website...  ???

I searched for 'Unifrog' and got two hits on SL-1551 and SL-1552 HOn3 LH and RH turnouts...
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 01:26:23 pm by talisman56 »
My inspiration - never let a setback get you down...

My layout thread - Hambleside East: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=18364.0
My workbench thread: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=19037

Offline njee20

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Re: Peco Unifrog to REPLACE Electrofrog and Insulfrog
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2018, 01:28:52 pm »
They seem to be replacing the range piecemeal. So far we've got code 55 medium radius points, plus a few in 009, the OO gauge bullhead ones and some O gauge offerings.

 

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