Monday, September 17, 2012

Wiring Peco Electrofrog code 55 turnouts

First of all let me remind you again the fantastic page "Wiring for DCC", here you will find all the information you need. But I'm using a simplified wiring version in my layout that doesn't need cuts nor jumpers in the turnout.

This simplified versions is thanks to the modules I'm using to drive the servos and feed the turnout frog. A typical problem is when polarity is switched when servo movement starts but point rails hadn't enough time to move away of the curren side. This provoques a short circuit, and the same short circuit is produced when polarity is changed at the end of the movement.

I tried also some turnout control modules changing polarity in the middle of the movement (Uhlenbrock), but unless you fix the servo perfectly centered (quite difficult in our scale and the size of servos and turnouts) you will provoque again more shortcircuits.

Finally, Peter Giling servo modules with frog feeders implement a really smart behavior: switches off frog feeder, makes the movement, and switches on the frog feeder when movement is completed with the switched polarity. It also provides an input for each turnout that remains high (on) while is doing the movement and can be used by train software control to block trains from passing through that turnout until movement is completed.

This also affects in the way turnouts are wired simplifying installation, and it's as simple as using isolated joiners in the frog rails and wiring the frog feeder under the turnout.

Peco code 55 turnouts have a frog jumper (the wire you see embedded in a rectangular shape) that you can lift easily from the side, solder the frog feeder in the edge (there is a bit more of room) and embed again in place.
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