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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having finished my baseboards I am getting ready to lay track. I have the daunting task of modifying around 80 electrofrog points.
I have had a trial on old small radius 100 code points. With a disc cutter I notice it is easy to cut into the fixed rail. Also when starting to cut it is easy to have the disc slide and have an untidy cut/damage before and after the isolating cut. A track cutter does a quick cut but does stress the rail.
Removing the links underneath also seems to be a skill as my finest tip for the soldering iron doesn't fit in to heat remove the links. Cutters have no chance of fitting in to back a cut. When adding the new links it is easy to burn the sleeper. So far the damage cannot be seen from above it is only the underneath.

What is the best solutions and what tips do you all have?

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, I have been through these and it is exactly what I am trying to achieve but gives no tips on cutting the track and problems with disconnecting the links etc. Having had a go and seen the likely pitfuls I was hoping for the how to do it that may speed up the task and also stop damaging and having to replace any points. I may just have to do the full learning experience.
Ian
 

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I don't remove the links with the soldering iron, but instead prise them out with a pair of tweezers or a narrow screwdriver. Most seem to come out quite easily. I'm using code 75 elctrofrog points and have the same number as you - so far none have required the soldering iron to get the links out. These under-the-track links on code 75 points eliminate the need to cut the rail - it's only on code 100 where you have to cut the rail as they don't appear to have these links.
 

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Hi Ian,

I don't use a disk cutter for cutting rails as the abrasive sides of the disc leave you with a much wider gap than is either necessary or visibly acceptable. Instead I use a very fine 12mm dia. circular saw blade which I purchased from Expo tools. Here is the link to the web page. http://www.expotools.com/ The blades are on Page 21.

A WORD OF CAUTION THOUGH Expo say these blades SHOULD NOT BE USED WITH METAL but I have found that, by being very careful not to put too much pressure on them and allowing plenty of time for them to cool down between cuts, they work fine. You should, however, always wear safety goggles and heavy duty gloves when using them as, if it does shatter, you could do yourself some serious damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RFS, thanks for this. Interestingly I have a mix of a number of code 100 points purchased from the mid sixties to the 80's. Rest are purchased in the last year. Some of the code 100 have the insulation in the closure rails and the links underneath. When I first saw them I thought I must have some code 75 in the blue peco box instead of the yellow but no they are code 100.
For the new links the space for soldering them in place leaves little space and the heat from the soldering iron can start the plastic to melt.

Expat thanks for the link. will look at this but if something is likely to shatter it will with me and do maximum damage so will don an armour suit!!

Ian
 

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I've had a couple of slightly melted sleepers doing the bonding but nothing that shows after the ballasting. An alternative is to just solder a single dropper wire onto the outside of the blade rail and connect directly to the bus - something I've had to do a couple of times after a point was laid when the bonding had appeared to fail.

The gap that you cut - either here or elsewhere for insulation - needs to be large enough as the rail can expand. Yesterday I was watching a single loco on an open stretch of line when it suddenly stopped with the command station saying a short circuit had occurred. Took a while to find that the sun shining through the roof window had heated up a rail gap in the storage yard enough for it to close.
Normally I now only lay track when the temperature is a good medium - ie at least 21C or thereabouts. Then medium-sized gaps should tolerate hot and cold, as long as I remember to draw the blinds! This one was a bit thin so has now been opened up a bit.
 

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*** a few tips.

Use a tip appropriate - no more than say a 2.5mm chisel tip. Do not use a low power Iron - 25 watts or more is needed.

clean the rail with a needle file where you want to solder, even on new points.

Use a flux like my "DCCconcepts sapphire flux" which is non corrosive, applying a little then tinning the area first with solder

pre-tin the wire and bend the end at 90 degrees, cut of the leg of the L to about 2.5mm

apply more flux, add a wee bit of solder to the iron, hold wire in place and touch with Iron.

If your tip is clean and your Iron hot the iron will never be on the joint for more than 2 seconds and the rail will not get hot.

regards

Richard

PS: BTW - sorry if I'm a bit slow replying to posts or PMs for the next fortnight... I have moved house and apart from being buried under a mountain of modeling stuff I didn't realise I had and no modelling area yet set up...we have no intenet access in the eveing for about a fortnight....
 

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QUOTE (wolverton bloomer @ 31 Mar 2009, 14:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Have a look here

http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical.htm#Points

Steve
Cheque in the post Steve


QUOTE (enM @ 31 Mar 2009, 13:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>thanks, I have been through these and it is exactly what I am trying to achieve but gives no tips on cutting the track and problems with disconnecting the links etc. Having had a go and seen the likely pitfuls I was hoping for the how to do it that may speed up the task and also stop damaging and having to replace any points. I may just have to do the full learning experience.
Ian

There are three sections on page two of my Electrical pages web site that deal with live frog points and if wished how to make them so called "DCC Friendly" - Peco Electrofrog Code 100 Streamline Points, "New and not yet laid points" and "Points that are already laid" and the "Peco Code 75 Live frog points" Which would also cover any other type of point where manufacture fitted IRJs are included.
The sections deal with how to cut the rails, where to cut them and how to wire once the cut has been made. The Code 75 text references the fact that these points have factory fitted IRJs in the closure rails and wire links underneath and how to deal with that style
"http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical-2.htm"

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Richard once again many thanks for your reply. Brian I had studied your site on many occaisions but failed to find the Electric 2 page, it is just what was needed. I think my main problem was the disc I was using was not man enough to cut so will try your suggested tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just received a new batch of points from Totally Trains and most of the Code 100 electro frog points have the guide rails cut, links to remove for the isolation and space for fitting the new links to the guide rail. Not quite as neat as the code 75 as there is no filling of the cut rails but a minor issue with the effort saved on a latrge quantity of points.
 
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