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Author Topic: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my  (Read 432 times)

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Offline Corbie

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Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« on: January 24, 2020, 10:46:51 AM »
I'm getting my head in a muddle over this. Can someone help me with where I should put insulating joiners on this wye loop? All the points are Peco Unifrog with the frog wired, and they will all be operated via Cobalt IP digital motors. The track is Peco code 55. All sections of the track and all points have feeder wires from the main bus.
Pre-grouping steam / LNER / early BR.

Online Bealman

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 11:08:52 AM »
There are folks here who have the answers.

I just wonder why that reversing loop is necessary on your layout?

They are fiendish difficult to deal with electrically.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Snowwolflair

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 11:15:20 AM »
DC or DCC?

If dc break track on both sides just beyond the points to the mainline so the two track sides for the triangle are one circuit and completely separated from the mainline.  Use a twin changeover switch to create a reversing circuit with input from the mainline and output to the triangle.  To operate use the switch - one way will be polarity correct for one point and the other way will be polarity correct for the other point.

For DCC isolate the track the same way but fit a reverse loop unit for the brand of DCC system you have.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 11:31:17 PM by Snowwolflair »

Offline Corbie

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 12:05:01 PM »
Thanks, that's great. That's what I've done- isolated both sides just where the wye comes off the main line (i.e. two sets of insulators). I got confused reading other posts as to whether I needed a third break.
DC while I'm setting up and testing, but will be DCC, though I don't have equipment yet, planning on Z21.
Sadly while faffing about I broke one of the frog wires! Wish they had made them a bit stronger.

In answer to why it is there- because I want to climb it  ;D Never one to shirk from a challenge. It's the only means of reversing on the layout and is the entrance and exit for the distillery.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 12:12:19 PM by Corbie »
Pre-grouping steam / LNER / early BR.

Online njee20

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 01:14:13 PM »
I just wonder why that reversing loop is necessary on your layout?

They are fiendish difficult to deal with electrically.

They're not really, you just need to ensure you've wired for it, no more complex than an isolating section on a DC layout, particularly if you buy an electronic module to handle it for you.

I'm assuming DCC as it's Cobalt digital motors, so yes, reverse loop module, no specific need to use the same brand as your base station. Avoid the Digitrax AR-1. I like the Block Signalling offering.

Offline jpendle

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 03:16:53 PM »
And do remember that a reverse loop module is the same as two frog juicers wired one to each track.

I used a 6 way (Hex) Frog Juicer on my last layout to deal with 2 diamond crossings and one reverse loop.

Regards,

John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Offline Snowwolflair

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2020, 05:06:05 PM »
And do remember that a reverse loop module is the same as two frog juicers wired one to each track.

I used a 6 way (Hex) Frog Juicer on my last layout to deal with 2 diamond crossings and one reverse loop.

Regards,

John P

Functionally they are, but if they are not faster than the automatic cutout of the DCC system they wont work well and a poor alternative.  Essentially they are detecting a track short and instantaneously reversing the track voltage.

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2020, 05:48:55 PM »
And do remember that a reverse loop module is the same as two frog juicers wired one to each track.

I used a 6 way (Hex) Frog Juicer on my last layout to deal with 2 diamond crossings and one reverse loop.

Regards,

John P

Functionally they are, but if they are not faster than the automatic cutout of the DCC system they wont work well and a poor alternative.  Essentially they are detecting a track short and instantaneously reversing the track voltage.

Surely a reverse loop module has potentially the exact same issue?

John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Offline Snowwolflair

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2020, 05:52:44 PM »
And do remember that a reverse loop module is the same as two frog juicers wired one to each track.

I used a 6 way (Hex) Frog Juicer on my last layout to deal with 2 diamond crossings and one reverse loop.

Regards,

John P

Functionally they are, but if they are not faster than the automatic cutout of the DCC system they wont work well and a poor alternative.  Essentially they are detecting a track short and instantaneously reversing the track voltage.

Surely a reverse loop module has potentially the exact same issue?

John P

They are designed not to be slower, and this is why using the unit made by and matched to your DCC controller manufacturer gives the best results.

Offline Corbie

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2020, 06:49:15 PM »

They are designed not to be slower, and this is why using the unit made by and matched to your DCC controller manufacturer gives the best results.

Thanks all for your advice.
So for the Z21 controller I guess that means the Z21 multi LOOP.
The PSX-AR was also recommended to me, but I'm not clear on the difference between the 4 versions of this. Not sure what "network feedback" means, or "integrated snap coil decoder" means :confused2:
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 07:01:50 PM by Corbie »
Pre-grouping steam / LNER / early BR.

Offline Snowwolflair

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2020, 07:29:03 PM »

They are designed not to be slower, and this is why using the unit made by and matched to your DCC controller manufacturer gives the best results.

Thanks all for your advice.
So for the Z21 controller I guess that means the Z21 multi LOOP.
The PSX-AR was also recommended to me, but I'm not clear on the difference between the 4 versions of this. Not sure what "network feedback" means, or "integrated snap coil decoder" means :confused2:

At a guess 

Network Feedback is that it sends a signal back to the controller for display use or computer control.
Snap Coil means it will control a Seep or Peco type point motor directly.

Offline jpendle

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2020, 08:17:18 PM »
I used 2 outputs of a Tam Valley Hex Frog juicer on my layout for my reversing loop.
No issues with my Z21.

Regards,

John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2020, 08:21:29 PM »
It’s true that some controllers have a rather rapid cutout, which can ‘beat’ some reverse modules (particularly relays rather than solid state ones), but I’d argue that choosing that same brand as your controller gives a higher likelihood of it working, not that it’s the best option. As I said above I’d counsel against the Digitrax, for example, I had one not working out of the box, another lasted about 6 months. Being relays they were quite slow to change too.

All the PSX-ARs will control a turnout too IIRC (eg at the entrance to the loop), they do either stall motors (Tortoise or Cobalt etc) or “snap coil” aka solenoids (Peco, Seep). As said there’s a version of each which can also feedback for occupancy detection.

I deemed the PSX-AR overkill, although I do use the PSX circuit breakers.


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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2020, 09:43:33 PM »
Brilliant, thanks all!
All much clearer.
Pre-grouping steam / LNER / early BR.

Offline Corbie

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Re: Unifrogs, cobalts and wyes oh my
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2020, 08:20:04 PM »
Have I got this right?
The wye insulated from the main line at both sides (and so not receiving power from the main bus);
The PSX-AR receiving input power from the main line, and output going to the wye.
Have I missed something?


Pre-grouping steam / LNER / early BR.

 

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