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pauldshaw

Posted - 2011 January 15 :  1:06:59 PM  Show Profile
This may have been discussed before, and if so, I apologize. I am having some trouble with peco turnouts shorting at the frog where both rails come close together. It happens with locos equipped with QSI, Soundtrax tsunami, and digitrax decoders. Very annoying. Wheels on all offending units are in guage and the turnouts are within the tolerances of the NMRA guage.

I have heard that some use super glue and/or fingernail polish placed onto the frog to alleviate this proglem.

Thoughts?
Paul Shaw

Country: USA | Posts: 138

Rob de rebel

Posted - 2011 January 15 :  1:19:46 PM  Show Profile
Are these the newer line Peco's "the scale US track" or the older standard line.

R



Country: USA | Posts: 5025 Go to Top of Page

pauldshaw

Posted - 2011 January 15 :  1:26:09 PM  Show Profile
These are the older standard insul frog turnouts.

Paul Shaw

Country: USA | Posts: 138 Go to Top of Page

Selector

Posted - 2011 January 15 :  3:38:02 PM  Show Profile
Do you have two identical locomotives with two different decoders, and only the QSI and Digitrax are doing this? Could it be something about the locomotive's wheels, or electricals inside the wheels, that are causing this if the locomotives are different?


Country: | Posts: 931 Go to Top of Page

pauldshaw

Posted - 2011 January 15 :  4:26:04 PM  Show Profile
The shorting is not unique to type of loco or decoder. Note that it does not happen 100% of the time, although a given loco/decoder will almost always short. At times, it is directional - shorting going forward but not backwards.

Paul Shaw

Country: USA | Posts: 138 Go to Top of Page

jalajoie

Posted - 2011 January 15 :  5:35:06 PM  Show Profile
I use the fingernail polish method applied at the point of the frog. This is frequent with medium and large radius switches, less so with short ones. The polish will wear off after some time, I simply reapply.

Jack W.

Country: Canada | Posts: 493 Go to Top of Page

steve turner

Posted - 2011 January 16 :  11:11:23 PM  Show Profile
I use the nail polish plus shim the guard rails with styrene strip to keep wheelsets close to stock rails that way wheels dont pick at the frog point.


Country: | Posts: 4923 Go to Top of Page

basementdweller

Posted - 2011 January 17 :  10:04:17 PM  Show Profile
I am having the same problem on SOME of my Peco's. I was considering the same solution of using clear finger nail polish. BUT what good does it do to put nail polish on the plastic frog?
I think i am missing something here.


It's all scenery.

Country: USA | Posts: 2672 Go to Top of Page

jalajoie

Posted - 2011 January 18 :  08:28:18 AM  Show Profile
You apply the finger nail polish on the 2 diverging nickel silver rails. Where they almost touch, just past the plastic tip of the frog.

Hope I am clear enough.


Jack W.

Country: Canada | Posts: 493 Go to Top of Page

steve turner

Posted - 2011 January 19 :  2:53:57 PM  Show Profile
Now no bright colors on the finger nail polish !. Actually i use a translucent pearly clear the wife gave me ! I have not had it wear off but no biggy if you hear the zappy noise from metal wheels just a dab again will fix you up.The shim especially on curved turnouts is a plus. All in all its sometimes probably what your running and the length of individual cars.Pecos are great even the older stuff from train shows still is top notch in terms of performance. Sometimes you find nice Pecos intermingled with garbage turnouts at tables going for 4 or 5 dollars. You never have enough turnouts a few extra doesnt hurt it beats waiting for them to come in on an order


Country: | Posts: 4923 Go to Top of Page

DJCONWAY

Posted - 2011 January 19 :  3:13:41 PM  Show Profile
Get the black polish right after halloween, when it hits the discount rack. Been doing it for N scale turnouts since I went DCC.

Do your part buy stuff!

Country: USA | Posts: 2536 Go to Top of Page

peteski

Posted - 2011 January 19 :  5:14:05 PM  Show Profile
Here are some photos demonstrating what needs to be done. It is not the specific Peco frog but it is very similar.

Here is the unmodified turnout. As you can see the rails diverging from the frog are very close to each other. Electrically those rails are opposite polarity. Certain locos have wheels with straight (not tapered or conical) wheel thread which is wide enough to touch both rails as it crosses from the frog to the diverging rails. That causes a short.



The fix is to increase the distance between those rails enough that a wheel with widest thread can no longer contact both rails. This can be done couple of ways.

1. Paint the green areas with some sort of insulating paint (like nail polish). Good solution but not permanent as the paint will wear down from the traffic and from rail cleanings.
2. take a Dremel tool and grind out the green areas to about a depth of 0.010". Then take pieces of 0.010" styrene and super glue them on top of the ground down areas (to sit flush with the top of the rails. Then using a hobby knife trim the plastic to the width of the railhead then take a file and gently file down the plastic to be perfectly flush with the railhead. This works just like applying paint but it is permanent since 0.010" plastic will not wear out for a long time.



Last alternative is to grind out the outside of each rail as shown in this photo. This increases distance between the rails so that the wheel thread will not touch both rails and cause a short.


Peteski

Country: USA | Posts: 3324 Go to Top of Page

jalajoie

Posted - 2011 January 19 :  6:53:22 PM  Show Profile
Very good explanation Peteski.

Jack W.

Country: Canada | Posts: 493 Go to Top of Page

basementdweller

Posted - 2011 January 19 :  8:29:41 PM  Show Profile
Peteski, thanks so much for that explaination now I can see what is going on and what everone is talking about, a big help.

It's all scenery.

Country: USA | Posts: 2672 Go to Top of Page

darrel480

Posted - 2011 February 08 :  8:48:19 PM  Show Profile
I had the same problem with Peco Insul- frogs. I tried everything but finally replaced all my insulfrog with Peco Electrofrogs. Now all my sound engines work great.


Country: USA | Posts: 149 Go to Top of Page

GTIRR

Posted - 2011 February 13 :  3:34:06 PM  Show Profile
I was actually having the same problem with just one Atlas Code 83 turnout up until the other night.
I finally dug out my volt/Ohm meter and checked the frog to see if it was truly insulated.
I found that the the frog was NOT insulated with 1 rail. So I had 2 choices; either rip out the
offending switch which is already glued to the layout with ballast and Elmer's Glue, OR
cut the 2 closure rails just short of the frog. I figured what the hell? I either solve the problem,
or I don't. This seemed easier than tearing out the switch. So I dug out my trusty Dremel Tool with a cut-off
disc and sliced a gap in the 2 rails. Wala!!!! it fixed the problem. No more stalls or shorts!!!
I don't know why this problem just surfaced once in a while, but it sure was a royal pain....
But now it's fixed!!!
gtirr



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