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Author Topic: Peco  (Read 13380 times)

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Offline longbridge

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Peco
« on: April 22, 2011, 09:37:27 AM »
Have only ever used two brands of N Gauge track, Atlas and Peco, I found the Atlas points to be the worst I have ever come across regardless of gauge, lots of derailments and poor points movement.

I now use only Peco Code 80 Flex Track and for points anything except Set Track, never any problems with derailments and use a mixture of Electrofrog and Insulfrog points still with no stalling even from small 0-6-0 locos.

If anyone asks me what brand track to use I tell them to buy Peco if they want reliability.
Keep on Smiling
Dave.

Offline Rod

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Re: Peco
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2011, 02:27:19 PM »
I though I might as well use Peco code 55 "finescale" for my first N gauge layout. I like the way the Flextrack keeps its shape when you bend it.

But "finescale" is a bit of a misnomer because it's a complete fudge, the visible part above the sleepers may be lower than code 80 but only because there's a recess either side of the rail into which part of the sleeper base slides to hide the lower part of the rail. This is to make it compatible with code 80 but I'm not sure why they bothered because the distance from ground to top of rail is just the same.

I have one set of code 80 points I bought second hand and after painting and ballasting there's no appreciable difference to my eyes.

Rod

Offline Geoff

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Re: Peco
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2011, 02:36:06 PM »
I though I might as well use Peco code 55 "finescale" for my first N gauge layout. I like the way the Flextrack keeps its shape when you bend it.

But "finescale" is a bit of a misnomer because it's a complete fudge, the visible part above the sleepers may be lower than code 80 but only because there's a recess either side of the rail into which part of the sleeper base slides to hide the lower part of the rail. This is to make it compatible with code 80 but I'm not sure why they bothered because the distance from ground to top of rail is just the same.

I have one set of code 80 points I bought second hand and after painting and ballasting there's no appreciable difference to my eyes.

Rod

I have 2 lengths of code 80 flexi track and comparing to the 55 flexi track there is a big difference, even so I had to carry on using code 55 track and not mixing to get my layout level.

I enjoy using the code 55, its been fiddly in places but that is down to how small the scale is.
Geoff

Offline Rod

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Re: Peco
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2011, 04:07:30 PM »
If you join a piece of code 55 track to a piece of code 80 track, there is a gap under the code 55 sleeper base, even though the tops of the rails are level (well, almost). You can pack it or shove more ballast under but I suppose the best thing is to stick to one type or the other.

Rod

Offline cudders

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Re: Peco
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 07:59:33 AM »
I hava always used code 80 in the past but for the new layout I'm collectig code55. Mainly for the slips etc that are not available on Code 80.

I may use code 80 in the fiddle yards though.

Cudders
Hoping to make a start on the layout before Xmas!!

Offline BlythStationLad

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Re: Peco
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2011, 09:09:29 AM »
I'm building a scale model of Blyth railway station, Northumberland, as it was in 1958. So far I've installed about 40 turnouts including two diamonds, a single slip and a scissors. About another 12 to go, including their much-awaited 3-way turnout, before trackaying is complete!

All are Peco code 55 Electrofrog, as well as some 25 yards of their flexitrack. This is my first proper layout and I want it to run reliably (I'm also using DCC). I read up alot about improving relaibility of Peco turnouts before I jumped in. Here are my recommendations for reliability, irrelevant of whether you are using DC or DCC:

1. Don't rely on fishplates for electrical connections. I solder short (about 4"/100mm) dropper wires to the base of every piece of rail, no matter how short that rail is. These in turn are soldered to my DCC busbars. I even solder droppers to the toe end of every turnout.

2. Don't use Peco Electrofrog points as supplied. To avoid the risk of metal wheel flanges shorting against the open point and stock rails (which, as supplied by Peco, are at opposite polarity) I isolate the 'frog' using a slitting disc and solder a short bonding wire to each stock rail and its adjacent closure rail. I also solder a short dropper to the base of the Vee of the 'frog', this dropper then linking up to terminal F of a SEEP point motor (I use stud and probe operation for point control).

Peco have modified their production of their OO gauge turnouts, I hope they follow suit in N soon.

If anyone's interested, I have a page on the Web, set up by well-known railway photographer David Hey, which explains my modifications in greater detail and also has photos. Link is: www.davidheyscollectionextra.com/page24

Offline MacRat

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Re: Peco
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2011, 10:33:49 AM »
Hello Ed

The correct Link would be: http://www.davidheyscollectionextra.com/page24.htm

This is going to be an impressive layout. Some nice modeling already done.
Welcome to the forum and keep us posted, will you?

Cheers
Matthias

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Peco
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2011, 10:52:47 AM »
Looking seriously good, and very informative web page. Thanks :thumbsup:

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Peco
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2011, 03:25:34 PM »

2. Don't use Peco Electrofrog points as supplied. To avoid the risk of metal wheel flanges shorting against the open point and stock rails (which, as supplied by Peco, are at opposite polarity) I isolate the 'frog' using a slitting disc and solder a short bonding wire to each stock rail and its adjacent closure rail. I also solder a short dropper to the base of the Vee of the 'frog', this dropper then linking up to terminal F of a SEEP point motor (I use stud and probe operation for point control).

1 is overkill in my experience (but probably good exhibition practice)

2 is plain wrong for Peco N (its sensible for some other finer pointwork eg some Atlas). Don't saw up and wreck Peco points. The gaps in them are so big that if you get a short your wheels are *massively* out of gauge and want fixing instead as they'll cause random derailments and other problems.

Plus if you saw up your point you just invalidated the warranty.

Alan
"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

Offline OwL

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Re: Peco
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2011, 03:28:12 PM »
PECO are good, but they are just really slow at releasing new stuff and they seem to be very biased towards the GWR of 1930's England and producing everything in connection with that era.


Proud New Owner of Old Warren Traction Maintenance Depot Layout.

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Offline BlythStationLad

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Re: Peco
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2011, 10:53:41 AM »
Thanks for the comments, gents. As I said earlier, I'm pretty new to building a layout so didn't want any long-term problems on reliability. Yes I intend this to be an exhibition layout but I'd have been as rigourous on wiring even for a small layout for home use only. I've read too many articles (both printed and on the Web) to convince me that any point straight from the box in N is electrically reliable long-term.

The Americans have much more experience of DCC than any us in the UK: I've taken alot of my advice from http://www.wiringfordcc.com, which may be overkill in some places but makes alot of sense in others. As I'm not relying on fishplates (and plenty of modellers in the UK advise not to either, even for DC), it was almost essential for every piece of track on my layout to have individual power feeds given the few long plain lengths I have.

As for my modifications to Peco points, I've had no problems with operation since modification, certainly no derailments. There's still alot of tolerance to play with in N, even with finer flanges now. I don't understand the reference to shorts and wheels going out of gauge: shorts DON'T HAPPEN, presumably BECAUSE I've bonded the stock and adjacent closure rail. Why would wheels go out of gauge?

If Peco brought their N gauge points up-to-date I'd happily use them straight from the box (although I'd still remove unwanted bits around the point throw mechanism). I'd happily pay a little more for this too. 

Yes, I've invalidated the warranty on all my Peco points (and wrecked an expensive scissors crossover in the process, but at least I'm learning to improve my skills!). I wouldn't recommend what I did to a beginner, but in many ways I was a beginner too when I started this project. In a perfect world I'd have handbuilt all the pointwork, but then I'd have wanted to move to 2mm scale and that would have taken too long. It's taking long enough as it is!

Thanks for the interest: I'm still learning alot about modelling in N and that's why it's taking me so long to get this layout built...

Offline Rod

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Re: Peco
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2011, 12:20:35 PM »
There was actually an article in the April BRM advising making these mods to Peco points to make them DCC-proof. Even though my new layout isn't DCC, I thought it would be a good idea to follow the advice to ensure reliability.
Then I thought what the heck, fiddle about with 8 brand-new points, possibly ruining one or more, and have to add changeover switches for the polarity? So I decided against it.
I have used the same HOm Peco points, unmodified, on various 3mm scale layouts for over 11 years without shorting or contact problems so I didn't see why the N gauge points should be any different. So far they are fine but it's early days.

Rod

Offline moogle

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Re: Peco
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2011, 04:36:15 PM »
I've always found that providing you feed the toe end of the point and keep the rails clean, including the sides, few problems should occur.
When they do its usually dirt on the rails or wheels.
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Offline Lawrence

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Re: Peco
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2011, 02:11:16 PM »
Does anyone have any updates on the release of the new 3 way point yet?

Offline Sprintex

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Re: Peco
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2011, 07:50:20 PM »
1. Don't rely on fishplates for electrical connections. I solder short (about 4"/100mm) dropper wires to the base of every piece of rail, no matter how short that rail is. These in turn are soldered to my DCC busbars. I even solder droppers to the toe end of every turnout.


Precisely what I've done, as can be seen in the following junction:-


I also notice on the webpage that at the baseboard edges you've soldered the rails to screws under the track for rigidity rather than use copperclad like most others - again something I've done and not had a problem yet  :thumbsup:

Quote
2. Don't use Peco Electrofrog points as supplied. To avoid the risk of metal wheel flanges shorting against the open point and stock rails (which, as supplied by Peco, are at opposite polarity) I isolate the 'frog' using a slitting disc and solder a short bonding wire to each stock rail and its adjacent closure rail. I also solder a short dropper to the base of the Vee of the 'frog', this dropper then linking up to terminal F of a SEEP point motor (I use stud and probe operation for point control)


As Alan has said above, some consider this overkill in N gauge but fair play if you took the time to do it. I left my points 'as is' and just soldered a dropper to the frog so the SEEPs could control frog-polarity better. So far only had a problem with one point and only with the Class 37 "Co-Co" - found I'd bent the point blade slightly  ::) Been OK since I 'tweaked' it and all my back-to-backs have been checked OK.  :)


Paul

 

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