Atlas Model Railroad Co. - Wiring turnouts for DCC, Atlas vs Peco
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 Wiring turnouts for DCC, Atlas vs Peco
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henkuk

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  02:55:49 AM  Show Profile
Hi all,
Over the next weeks I will make my choice on which track to go with, Peco C55 or Atlas C55.

Peco is readily available here, cheaper and turnout wiring is easy, just two insulating joiners and bingo, done. Also the spring mechanism keeps sufficient pressure on the frog rail to the stock rail to have no conductivity problems.

Atlas looks beautiful in pictures, never seen it for real. But I hear lots of things about the wiring that is a bit more complex as well as the control (I will not go with tortoises).

Does anyone know a good write up with photos about the Atlas turnouts?

I am prepared to pay the 2 more per turnout and 1 more for a length of flex but only if it works flawlessly (like Peco)....

Thanks,

- Henk
Slowly gathering data for my West Valley Subdivision 1977 SP Layout...

Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 171

bdennis

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  03:24:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit bdennis's Homepage
Henk,
I moved from Peco Code 80 to Atlas Code 55.
The main difference between the 2 is that that Atlas you will need something extra to hold the points against the closure rail. The Peco have a built in spring..
The Frog on the Atlas doe not need to be powered as most newer loco's have good pickup and wont need it.. But, if you do want to power the frog you will need to combine it with your mechinisum of choice to hold the points in place.
As you have stated you dont plan on using tortoise.. If this is the case what is the plan for throwning the turnouts? Manual?


http://dh2ndsub.blogspot.com.au/

Country: Australia | Posts: 179 Go to Top of Page

henkuk

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  03:59:44 AM  Show Profile
I am intending to build some manual control and have also been looking at Humpyard purveyance controls.
They look quite nice and do the power routing as well.

Or I might build something similar myself....


Slowly gathering data for my West Valley Subdivision 1977 SP Layout...

Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 171 Go to Top of Page

bdennis

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  04:12:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit bdennis's Homepage
Henk,
No problem.. If you plan on building a manual control system with power routing then I can recomend the Atlas Code 55.. As mentioned, the Atlas do not require any insulating joiners of any kind as the frog is insulated.. Then you can choose to power up the frog or not any time after the install..

I have a totoal of 55 #5 / #7's in Atlas and all are great..


http://dh2ndsub.blogspot.com.au/

Country: Australia | Posts: 179 Go to Top of Page

mmyers

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  05:04:05 AM  Show Profile
From the title of this thread, i take it you are wondering which brand works better with DCC. The answer is both. If it works with DC, it works with DCC. Both have live frogs, with Atlas you get to make the choice.

Atlas are better looking switches. If you are using Atlas code 55 track, you would want to use Atlas switches. Mating Atlas code 55 rail to Peco code 55 rail can be done. Peco code 55 is actually code special shape 80 rail with a second bottom web. It is embedded deeper in the ties so that only the code 55 part shows. Mating to Atlas code 55 would require filing the bottom web off of all 6 rail ends then shimming the Atlas 55 to match the rail tops. Similar adjustments would be needed if Atlas code 55 switches were used with Peco code 55 track.

Martin Myers




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Rob de rebel

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  05:13:47 AM  Show Profile

Peco isn't the best choice for dcc, the points are not dcc friendly, thats because they are selective control, to make em dcc friendly you have to cut the throwbars off and reinstall pc board tie throwbars, isolating both points, (not doing so invites a short if a wheel manages to contact both rails, and this does happen) then you have to cut just before the frog to isolate the frog. Then solder a connection to the frog and use a device (either manual or auto) to switch power to the frog when the points are thrown. Additionally you would need to do either: place insulated rail joiners on the two exit rails, or cut the rail just past the frog to isolate it. then the two now insulated inner exit rails will need power so you would have to solder a bridge wire to both rails. If this is too much to understand, there is a website wiring for dcc that has diagrams and explains the good and bad of all commercial turnouts. Switching the frog can be as simple as using a radio shack slide switch as the throw and electrical routing.

Rob



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

oldbill_indy

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  06:55:59 AM  Show Profile
I have a small layout with 23 Peco Electrofrog turnouts, Tortoise, and Digitrax Zephyr DCC. I have not had to do any modifications to the Peco's at all. I do use insulated joiners on all rails at the frog end and have not had any shorts or electrical problems. These have been installed for 3 years.

I insist that Victor gets his Atlantic now!

Country: USA | Posts: 1020 Go to Top of Page

Rob de rebel

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  09:09:07 AM  Show Profile
Not everyone has the same experiences as you oldbill,

careful work and checking wheel gauge, I'll grant you that. can be done.

R



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

steve turner

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  11:55:55 AM  Show Profile
http://forum.atlasrr.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=59456 .Some more info from previous topic. Seems to me though im HO and use good old reliable Peco that you have to choose between looks and reliabilty.Though code 55 not insulfrog apparemtly a couple of insulator joiners and your good to go and also if you have some finicky locos you can have the choice of electrofrog which is the way they come.Guess one shouldnt compare scales but Atlas HO switches are hit and miss to put it nicely ,how N scale ones are i dont know. For sure Atlas flex is a great product.Personally it came down to looks Vs running and reliability looks would be second. Switches or turnouts can be a nightmare. Im sure to there are other offerings than Peco or Atlas.


Country: | Posts: 4923 Go to Top of Page

henkuk

Posted - 2010 July 09 :  4:35:55 PM  Show Profile
OK, here is another stupid question, never having looked at an Atlas turnout.
Am I right in saying that in an Atlas turnout, the 2 inner rails coming off the frog are powered by default?
So does it have little connectors underneath running from the top of the switch stock rails along the points to the diverting and non diverting routes for the 2 inner rails.

So essentially what we are doing with the wiring and control to switch the point rails, we simply switch polarity of the frog part ie the little bridge in the middle?

Sorry to be so ignorant, only ever used Peco whihc just need insulating joiners and no additional wiring.

Many thanks,

- Henk


Slowly gathering data for my West Valley Subdivision 1977 SP Layout...

Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 171 Go to Top of Page

Doug Gosha

Posted - 2010 July 10 :  12:37:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit Doug Gosha's Homepage
You are correct in your thinking, Henk. All rails beyond the frog are always powered in Atlas switches (points). It doesn't matter which way the points (blades) are thrown

The little solder tab on the side is just to power the frog if desired and it needs to have its polarity changed according to the route selected.

Doug


Atlas First Generation Locomotives and Treble-O-Lectric - Click on Link
http://www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos

Country: USA | Posts: 1438 Go to Top of Page

steve turner

Posted - 2010 July 10 :  01:04:58 AM  Show Profile
Power routing in Peco switches if wired for DCC becomes redundant as ALL legs of swith should be powered.........not selective. So power feeders each leg or track feeding the leg.


Country: | Posts: 4923 Go to Top of Page

Jim-Bob

Posted - 2011 April 08 :  11:32:24 AM  Show Profile
I hope this isn't too far off topic. Newbie Question: I'm building a small N scale layout using NCE DCC and I'm about to install C55 Atlas turn-outs with tortoises. Is it good practice to wire the insulated frog to point number 4 on the tortoise? I seem to recall seing a pic of that arrangement......


Country: Canada | Posts: 6 Go to Top of Page

Rob de rebel

Posted - 2011 April 08 :  11:53:37 AM  Show Profile

Rule 1 for reliable electrical pickup:

1. Wire all frogs, even if you use manual control, slide switches can take of that.
2. Yes we have 8 wheel pickup, do all wheels pickup electric power 100 percent of the time?? I doubt it.
Wiring the frogs is your insurance to get closer to that 100 percent mark. And don't let anyone
tell You that isn't important. Most of the time, the turnout is used for industry or sidings, and
speeds are low, current pickup is very important through the turnout. Especially if you intend to
run sound someday.

Rob



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

Ken Rice

Posted - 2011 April 08 :  1:29:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ken Rice's Homepage
I'll generalize that rule Rob:

If it doesn't have a wire soldered to it, it's unpowered, or it will be at some maximally inconvenient and/or embarrassing time in the future.

And that goes for points as well as frogs. A pivoting hinge and lightly touching point are not good enough to make long term reliable contact.

Ken.


My blog: http://rices-rails.blogspot.com/

Country: USA | Posts: 1093 Go to Top of Page

Rob de rebel

Posted - 2011 April 08 :  4:44:21 PM  Show Profile

Right on Ken,
I keep forgeting that because my handlays automatically are connected through the ties, but yes, in Atlas's turnouts, a small bond wire at the heel of the points would do it.

R



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