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Thread: Another Peco Electrofrog question

  1. #1
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    Default Another Peco Electrofrog question

    I am still in the process of building my new layout and while most of track is going to be atlas code 55, I am looking to use Peco switchs and Peco (code 55) in my staging.

    I am running DCC and have been reading up on possible issues using the electrofrogs (and my understanind is code 55 peco is all electric frogs). One of my reasons for looking to peco is I like the spring action that holds the switch, as well as the solenoid, as this are is staging and not worth putting the extra work in for a tortoise. I have read a lot of all threads and attempted to watch some youtube videos about ways around this. My question is how often do people have trouble with the electrofrogs and DCC. One idea I have is putting the staging area on its on breaker so if a something happens it can shut down that area not reguire so much prep work, since as stated earlier I am trying to avoid.

  2. #2
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    Hello, I am currently using Peco switches with electrofrogs, Peco code 55 track on my layout. Even though I like the way the Peco turnouts work, I have some issues with the switch points making a good contact with the stock rail. I have exhibited this issue with many of the switches. I was thinking of wiring a small feeder before the frog, on the straight and curve closure rails to stop locomotive stalling. If I wire this feeder after the frog, this causes a short. Yup, tried it. Anyways, I do not regret using Peco, I just have to do a better job of turnout and track cleaning.

  3. #3
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    I use Peco c55s and ME c55 flex track, for about 20 years now.

    Please be advised that the combination is not fun at all. One of the reasons the Peco are so robust is because half the rail is buried in the ties, while Atlas, ME, and the rest of the world use less substantial actual c55-high rail. The Peco rail is more like c80 and joining it normally to c55 the rail tops end up at different heights which does not work. I grind out the bottom part of the rail ends, maybe 5 minutes to grind down all 6 without melting the ties in the process. I use a Dremel with a cutoff disk to grind and finish off with a file. You also need a slightly different height in road bed - I use cork under the flex and 1/8 balsa under the turnouts to get the rail tops even. It is a pita, and if I were to do it over again I would go with Peco flex.

    The Peco ties are not the same as Atlas or ME, being thicker and farther apart. I don't find this a big problem, especially after ballasting.

    I originally threw all the turnouts with my finger (thanks to the springs) - no machine or mechanical except for 2 remote turnouts where I used tortoises. I did have to slightly bend a few points toward the stock rail to avoid derails.

    As far as contact goes, I had no failures until I ballasted the track. At that point some piece of ballast would always come loose, inveigle itself between stock and point, and break the circuit. After ballasting one of my 30+ turnouts would fail every month or so of running trains. Having said that, the failures only took about 15 seconds to fix. Nevertheless reliability is my top priority and I now throw the turnouts with SPDT slide switches which power the frog. Note most switch machines also have one or two SPDTs that you can use for the same purpose.

    The unifrogs are easier to install if you are going to wire the frog because they have already soldered the lead for you.

    I too do not regret going with the Peco. If they came up with a line with US tie spacing they would blow away the competition.

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