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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I popped into my local Model Shop to pick up yet another pair of Peco Electrofrog points for my slowly growing layout. After laying dozens of these, imagine my surprise when I got home and opened the first packet and found thin wire wrapped around the lines. My first reaction was that someone hadn't cut off the wire. But on examining the other point, it was the same. It was a case of RTFM (read the flipping manual). From the new instruction sheet, it appears the wire is the connection from the frog to a polarity switch for code 75 or DCC users.
I must have been asleep/abroad when Peco decided to revamp their points. When did this happen? I noted also that the old lugs that made contact with the underside have gone and the hinges have been replaced by thin wire. I will be interested to see how these compare with the old style of point.
By the way the shop was the Great Eastern Railway Co in Norwich and has undergone a re-vamp. I did not recognise the inside as now it is totally devoted to Model Railways on the ground floor with an extensive range of goodies. If you are in the area it is worth a visit, but beware of the problem of parking.
 

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There are no contacts lugs on my code 75 points and some of them go back about 3 years. I can't remember whether there is wire permanently attached for the frogs but all my code 75 electrofrog crossings / slips have the extra wire.

David
 

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I read with interest, references to the Peco points.
Are the points in question gauge 00? what are the wires used for? or do the wires replace the metal contacts located beneath the rail blades and to where wires connect too?
I still use the ST.... rail and accessories. Has Peco now replaced with new rail and points.
 

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All the code 75 electrofrog single and double slips I've purchased, and the aysmmetric 3-way, had these wires for connecting the frogs to switches and, on the slips, additional power feed wires for the outside rails. These points always require polarity switches. On the simple points, wiring a polarity switch is optional and these only had a wire buried in the sleeper which you had to bend down and attach your own wire to if you chose to use polarity switches, as recommended for DCC.

However I've just purchased 4 more points for my final section and the two LH ones had the wires wrapped round, whereas the two RH ones were as before so I suspect Peco have changed the process to have the exended wire on all points.

Despite this I've found this wire a bit flimsy and easily comes adrift when you thread it through the baseboard if you are careleess and give it a tug. So now I carefully cut it back - or leave in situ if the short one - and solder a good, solid dropper on the plain track just past the frog to give better reliability. I don't use the plastic rail joiners - I cut a gap a few inches away to provide the isolation. This also gives a longer stopping distance for locos approaching wrongly-set points...
 

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QUOTE Are the points in question gauge 00?
Yes.

QUOTE what are the wires used for?
Providing a ready made connection to the point frog so you don't have to solder in this tricky to reach area.

QUOTE or do the wires replace the metal contacts located beneath the rail blades and to where wires connect too?
No. Out of the packet, these points rely on surface pressure against the outer rail to provide the contact. There is a gap in the webbing underneath which makes adding bonding wires for the side outside rails to the adjacent switch blade relatively straight forward and there are links which are easily broken to isolate the switch blades from the frog.

HTH

David
 

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I cant comment on code 75 points but my code 83 Peco points i have just laid all have the wire attached to the underside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I forgot to mention that the points I referred to were Code 100 and both left hand medium radius. I think that I shall tuck the extra length of wire underneath the baseboard for the time being. It was nice to know that I was not alone in meeting these wires for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I now know why the new Peco Code 100 Electrofrog points need the wire joined to the frog as in Code 75. The gap between the stock rail and the switch rail is discernably narrower than on the original form of point. I first noticed that long wheelbase locos were stalling on the curve of a facing point as their wheels filled the gap causing a short or spark. The switch rail also tends to lean in towards the stock rail in order to make better contact persumably.
So the solution seems to be rewire a la code 75 or replace with an Insulfrog (shock horror)?
 

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Best solution is to manage frog polarity by the PL13 accessory switch. This means cutting a gap in the blade rail so that it's insulated from the frog, and then bonding it to the stock rail. When this is done the stock rail and blade will always be live (so no stalling) and always the same polarity (so no short circuits). Insulfrog points have the same problem that stock rail and open blade are opposite polarity unless you put insulated rail joiners on the other side of the frog.

See Brian Lambert's page - http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/DCC.htm where he explains how to do it.

Also Wiring for DCC - http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches.htm which has a good explanation.
 

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QUOTE This means cutting a gap in the blade rail so that it's insulated from the frog,

Before you get the cutting equipment out, check to see if Peco adding the wire from the frog also means they have added the "easily removed" connections from the switch blades to frog section. Check the underside of the point, and maybe even check the instruction sheet?


I'm not saying that the things are there, but it would be logical to include them as part of this design change.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The deed has be done. I converted the Code 100 2 left-hand points so that the frog's polarity is switched as suggested with Peco PL10 point motors and PL13 switches. My 2-8-0 and 4-6-0's now negotiate the points without a problem. Many thanks for the help.
One thing I did was to connect the two points together with motors, switches and associated wiring on my work bench, then lowered motors etc through the base board holes. The thought of scrabbling under the base board with all that wiring and a soldering iron left me cold!
By the way, I ran out of my old solder (older than most readers) and had to use this lead free stuff. I got the impression that it did not run so freely as the old. Perhaps it was my old soldering iron (see other threads).
 

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*** Hi

Yesm the lead free solder is much less able to flow and is more difficult for many to solder with. Lead bearings solder is still available though, try either Bromsgrove models or C&L finescale in UK, DCCconcepts in AU. (the ROHS lead free thing is really targeted at production soldering, many things such as military, aircraft electronics and medical equipment are exempt and hobby use is still OK with leaded solder - its just that fewer places stock it)

regards

Richard
 
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