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Author Topic: INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?  (Read 4098 times)

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Offline Newportnobby

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INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?
« on: June 25, 2011, 11:02:29 AM »
My preference is for electrofrog. There have been posts scattered round the forum about derailment, unplanned uncoupling etc. and I would ask whether anyone has tried this suggestion - when using electrofrog points there is an enormous use of plastic rail joiners. I tend to find these can leave far too much of a gap and some of my locos pony trucks just do not like this. How about doing away with the plastic joiner and carefully positioning the connecting rail without a fishplate providing the track is laid precisely? All the wiring is the same so no special need there, but would the lack of insulated joiner allow the power to arc across and make this suggestion complete nonsense. I'm no electrician and model as basically as I can :-[

Offline MJKERR

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Re: INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2011, 12:35:13 PM »
when using electrofrog points there is an enormous use of plastic rail joiners. I tend to find these can leave far too much of a gap and some of my locos pony trucks just do not like this
You typically only need to two of the insulated rail joiners, unless in the rare occasions they are back to back (of which I have two of these)
I agree there is concern over a gap, but it is required
Once the track is laid, I then used pliers to force the track as close as possible
I've not had any derailments at these points

The usual issue is stalling, caused by the switching metal joiner being slightly loose
Simply adjust and tighten

Offline BlythStationLad

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Re: INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 11:02:26 AM »
I guess the biggest potential problem with not having an insulated fishplate is the risk of track movement causing the to rails to touch. Expansion is particularly a concern in warmer temperatures if you originally laid your track in winter.

I've read about Araldite being used as an insulated gap filler - perhaps this would cure the problem with pony trucks derailing? How about trying to glue a little weight on top of the pony truck? I think these are too light as they come and would derail if you sneezed 10 feet way!

Offline jonclox

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Re: INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2011, 11:17:10 AM »
I guess the biggest potential problem with not having an insulated fishplate is the risk of track movement causing the to rails to touch. Expansion is particularly a concern in warmer temperatures if you originally laid your track in winter.

I've read about Araldite being used as an insulated gap filler - perhaps this would cure the problem with pony trucks derailing?
As much as I lke Araldite as a glue I woul be loath to use it for this purpose. Cant give a reason for that it just seems wrong to me

Quote
How about trying to glue a little weight on top of the pony truck? I think these are too light as they come and would derail if you sneezed 10 feet way!
I tend to do this to all pony trucks.......a small slither of lead Araldited to the truck works for me in 9 out 10 instances
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Offline Newportnobby

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Re: INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2011, 11:43:00 AM »
Good point regarding the pony trucks, gentlemen. Mine tend to wander around like I do after a night on the ale :-[

Offline kirky

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Re: INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 01:18:51 PM »
I have to say I agree whole heartedly that the plastic insulated rail connector leave a gap that is far too big. Its both unsightly and can cause problems.
I'm wondering what 2mm finescale modellers use, as presumably they have to leave gaps too?

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Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2011, 01:33:32 PM »
Just leaving a gap doesn't always work out - the rail expands and contracts, the boards expand and contract and eventually Murphy's law says the rail will move enough to close a gap somewhere, at which point it is a pig to debug.

You only need a tiny spec of something between the two just to keep them apart however.
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Offline poliss

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Re: INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2011, 01:48:56 PM »
Upnick should post how he does it with pieces of plasticard.

Offline upnick

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Re: INSUL OR ELECTROFROG?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2011, 04:18:11 PM »
Hi  Poliss yes another good option how to  insulate  but fill  the gap   normal insulating joiners  leave,  i  use plasticard  small   pieces on  all  4 rails of  the  although only the 'V'  needs to   be done if you prefer.
 
I  use  30-40   thou  plasticard lay  your track  as normal push up  the  point  to the rail  ajoining  trapping a piece  of plasticard after gluing the track  down  go back  and  mix  up  a batch  of epoxy enough to do a few  joins  remove the plastic &  with a toothpick apply a  little glue to the plastic insert in the  gap  allow it to go off overnight.

Fit a  new blade  into  your favorite craft knife a round  blade does work  well for this operation  now carefully pare   away the plastic to  match  the profile of the rails ensure especially the top & inner   surfaces are even   keep  trimming & testing with a piece of rolling stock   until  satisfied  :) weather  /match   to  surrounnding rails & your done   ;)   a word on SAFETY  though while  trimming  the  plastic  wear eye protection  as a precaution if the blade is under pressure &  snaps  they are a dangerous missile.

Please dont think  about sanding the join  as you will  end up with  thousands of scratches on the rails &   a dirt trap   causing problems in future.  

Picture  below shows  before trimming  hope it  conveys the method,   the inner point half  of the rails have been done  the outer point  the white of the plastic  can just be seen  if you look carefully  awaiting weathering. 

« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 04:20:56 PM by upnick »

 

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