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Complete lack of instruction on how to wire Peco code 55 frogs.

11664 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Vulcan
So I'm looking over the new points I've just received, as this time I intend to wire up the frogs and improve running.

The instruction sheet supplied with all of my new points gives absolutely no information on how to wire the frogs at all. Can anyone point me in the direction of an article or tell me what I should be doing (for DC running)? I'm using PM1 point motors.

I have some junk points to experiment on...
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Hi James,

Yes I had exactly the same problem until Richard Johnson came to my rescue. Not sure how you intend to control your points but I'm attaching a couple of wiring diagrams, which, although they are for DCC might help. The first is for a simple stud & probe type of control and the second is an "all bells and whistles" option using Richard's famous Masterswitches, DPDT switches and bi-colour LEDs to indicate 'Open' and 'Closed' routes.

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Diagram

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Schematic

Please note that the order of the PM1 connection tags is not correct in Option 1 but is correct in Option 2.

Hope they help.


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Hi James,

This is how I wired up my n gauge turnouts, you may find it useful
QUOTE (BobC @ 6 Nov 2008, 15:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi James,

This is how I wired up my n gauge turnouts, you may find it useful

Hi Bob,

Unfortunately Peco Code 55 turnouts do not have the link wire that is referred to in those instructions. It is, in any case, far better practice to completely separate the electrofrog from the rest of the point and wire it up as a separate section by bridging across between the outside rails and the stock rails as shown in my diagram. That way you avoid the risk of shorts when the wheels pass through the vee.
Hi James,

I have just checked an unused code 55 electrofrog point and the link wire is there.
As the photos show I have removed the link wire from the main turnout to isolate the frog.
The frog polarity is switched by the point motor. The switch rails are bonded to the
appropriate outside rail. All rails at the frog end have insulated connectors. I have no trouble with short circuits.


Bob Clay
Sorry to disagree Bob but cutting the wire you are referring to serves no useful purpose as it does not separate the frog from the rest of the point. This link wire merely connects the frog rails to the frog itself. Cutting this wire is actually detrimental to the electrical continuity of the point. On Peco Code 100 points there is a link wire which, when cut, will separate the frog from the rest of the point, hence my earlier statement that the Peco Code 55 points do not have the link wire referred to in the referenced instructions.

There have been many postings on this forum regarding the wiring of electrofrog points and the general consensus is that the method which gives the optimum benefits is to cut the rails in the position I have shown in order to completely separate the frog from the rest of the point and then bond the closure rails to the stock rails as I have shown. The frog is then controlled independantly of the stock rails. It is not necessary to cut the link wire underneath the point.

See the following link
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Hi James,

It seems to me that like all things there is more than one way to
wire a turnout for dcc. If it works reliably then that method is OK.
All I can say is that the way I prepare a turnout works
for me without causing any problems. Each to his own.


Bob Clay
My thanks to both of you.

Expat - thank you for the helpful diagrams, I'm afraid I'm in need of even more simplistic help though. My points have this arrangement at the frog...

...and I don't understand what to do with the actual wiring. Bob's pictures seem to be pretty close to the arrangement of my own points, if I use that arrangement is it going to work?

I control the points with PM1 motors connected to a Gaugemaster PCU.
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Hi James,

Is that a Code 55 point or a Code 75? If Code 75, is it Electrofrog or Insulfrog?

I might be wrong but, as near as I can tell, those jumper wires are still only connecting the frog to the frog rails. You still need to cut the closure rails where shown in order to create a separate frog section which is then connected to terminal F of the PMI. Then bond the stock rails to the closure rails on the blade side of the cuts as shown. That way the blades are fed from the stock rail without relying solely on the contact between the blade and the stock rail.

Did you have a look at the link I provided as this may be clearer than my sketch.

I only just looked at the second of your diagrams and so didn't see the little picture of the point at the bottom. That's much clearer now thank you.

The picture of the point I posted is a code 55 medium radius point - my shorts and longs for some reason have a different looking arrangement - that shown in Bob's instructions.

Are you saying I should leave all the wires on the underside of the turnout alone? That suits me fine, they're damn hard to do anything with without melting or cutting plastic! It looks to me as if the cut happen further back than these wires.

Can I solder my 'frog wire' (the one from the switch...) to this wire? If not, where does it go?

I need to get a much smaller cutting blade for my mini drill as well. First attempt at slicing through I almost chopped the point in two!

Bob - I tried your method but couldn't detach the 'link' wire from one of its set of contacts without damaging the point.

I think I'm finally getting my head around this - I apologise if you're sitting thinking 'he really should have got this by now'!
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Sol, thank you very much - I had actually just come across the topmost of your links as I was experimenting and it's help me get there, phew!

Dumb dumb here wasn't using the D and E contacts on the point motors for anything - although I was wondering what they were for all along, I assumed it was some high tech DCC thing. As soon as I figured out how to put those in the equation, all is well.

Right, now to convert 20 or so points on the layout.

I think as I do my first one I shall document it and put it somewhere as 'a completely electronically challenged idiot's guide to wiring live frog code 55 points'.
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QUOTE (N Gauge James @ 9 Nov 2008, 23:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Can I solder my 'frog wire' (the one from the switch...) to this wire? If not, where does it go?

Hi James.

Yes that's exactly what I do. If you lift the wire away from the point a little you should be able to solder a connection to it without damaging the sleepers etc. This then becomes the connection to the frog which goes to terminal F on the Seep PM1 point motor.

QUOTE I need to get a much smaller cutting blade for my mini drill as well. First attempt at slicing through I almost chopped the point in two!

The best thing to use is a small circular saw blade in a Dremel. Have a look on the Expo Tools web site for them. They are on page 21 of the Miniature Power Tools section. Expo do warn that these saw blades are for use only on wood and plastic and should NEVER be used on metals, However, in my experience they can, with care, be used to cut Code 55 rails and they give a very fine cut through the rail which is ideal for N Gauge.

Remember to wear safety goggles and gloves when cutting as blades can shatter and the consequences could be severe.
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Thanks Trevor - seeing that page reminded me that I have some of those and they're much smaller (20mm) than my cut-off discs. I think they should do the job nicely, and I have loads of them it seems. Thanks also for the safety reminder - I'm always very careful.
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