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This is one thing that always has me guessing with digital control.

Should I use insulfrog points that only send the power to the track in the direction of the point and insulate the dead section of track?

Or should I use electrofrog points that always permit power to both sections of track no matter which direction the point is facing?

Or can I use both types depending on circumstances?

And if so what are the circumstances?

A definitive answer would be useful as I don't want to blow anything up with any ultimate layout design!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Gary

You really didn't want to start the insulfrog - electro frog for dcc debate here!

The following is just my humble practice not expert opinion.

I use peco code 75 electro frog for my main line and staging, it works fantastically. All points are isolated at all six entrance/exits and each point (14 of them)has its own bus supply, two wires.

I also use old peco code 100 insulfrog for the seven road MPD and its five road yard. It is wired the old fashioned way with just two bus wires to the middle track. To get insulfrog to work happily I have soldered all joints and have a set of long nose piers on hand to adust the blades as and when the switch fails to make good contact. As these yards are under my nose and open/closed manually I am quite happy with their less than perfect blade connections.

As suggested above use code 75 and buy lots of plastic isolating joiners rather than metal ones for your important main lines; and use code 100 insulfrog points for yards if you have them already.

A liberal stance

P.s. You cannot blow up anything! With code 75 electro frog wired as suggested above. A wrongly set point simply trips the dcc system to shut down. As suggested in Railway Modeller recently a real bonus for diagnostics. Why has train x stopped is it on a point - yes - silly me.

TVBG
 

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Apart from a few dead frogs left over from my very earliest days, before finding out the truth, I would not use anything but live frogs.

This is obviously a very personal decision, but for me, the improved appearance and operational reliability absolutely overwhelms the slight extra wiring complexity.

If digital demanded use of dead frogs, I would rule out digital at a stroke.

Luckily it doesn't, so I won't.
 

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Apart from a few live frogs left over from my very earliest days, before finding out the truth, I would not use anything but dead frogs.

This is obviously a very personal decision, but for me, the ease of wiring absolutely overwhelms the slightly improved appearance.

If digital demanded use of live frogs, I would rule out digital at a stroke.

Luckily it doesn't, so I won't.
 

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Oh dear. Totally confused. I don't want to use any wiring at all with DCC to keep it all simple. However it sounds as if you cannot avoid wiring. However to be fair I am not as confused as I was 3-4 hours ago so I am making progress.

It does seem that both types can be used together or one type to the exclusion of the other entirely.

Now I have used insulfrog (Hornby type points) in a very simple oval circuit with sidings. This does mean that when the loco is parked it can be isolated from the power. This strikes me as being a good thing as it gives the loco a rest. Am I right in my thinking?

I can see that with electrofrog points you can seperately isolate sections of track and provide them with their own control. This seems complicated and is a seperate topic in its own right. And then there is the mention of insulated fishplates!


So tell me in simple language (if possible) what are the benefits of all electrofrog from a DCC point of view?


And what are the benefits of all insulfrog from a DCC point of view?


Which requires less wiring?


What type of ciruit would require absolutely no wiring?


What are the benefits of wiring with each type of point and are any seperate switches required for this wiring and if so how is it controlled?


I don't really want to start a debate but I would like to know the facts. I can however see the potential for a debate!


If we can keep to insulfrog and electrofrog points. It could well be that other issues arrise and if they do we could start a seperate topic. In fact I probably will in due course.

I suspect that this is possibly the most frightening aspect of DCC for newcomers.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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No problem Gary.

Just get your old Hornby layout out.

Call it 'Hornby test track 1'.

Buy the new Hornby Dcc controller.

Throw away the old transformer and connector.

Attach a red wire to one track and a Black wire to the other track in exactly the same place you had the old connector and call these two wires your 'bus' (and never change colours!).

Put a loco with a decoder in on the track and call up 03 and press forward

Fantastic ---and welcome to the amazing world of dcc.

Your Hornby sidings will still be isolated until you change them. Just like the old days.

Play with this for six months and ask about electro frog then!

TVBG
 

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Thats exactly the answer I was hoping for!


I now even now understand what a bus is!


Wow!

Happy modelling
Gary

PS Now if the experts wish to continue feel free to carry on! I won't say another word in this thread!
 

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Gary,

Glad to have cleared things up for you. It is always nice to have the answer we hoped for. Just master the dcc basics in the first instance with Hornby. It wont take long.Remember, even in our Nintendo age you have to walk before you are able to run.

p.s.
this is your thread it ended, if it has, because you have a satisfactory answer.

Oh yes, one final thing, I am not an 'expert' I am the volebender general!
 

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TVBG brings up an important point. Some of us like to make things more complicated than they really need to be simply because it's in our nature to. Just because someone like myself is looking into using multiple cabs, boosters, chipped points, train detection, etc doesn't mean you need to. Take things at your own pace but by all means make the jump to DCC.

Then as you get your sea legs add what, for you will bring the biggest bang for the buck.
 
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