Author Topic: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation  (Read 1612 times)

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kelleywpns

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Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« on: March 17, 2015, 04:42:10 PM »
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All

I use Peco ElectroFrog turnouts on my layout (only about 20% of track laid, but includes the main modeled yard ... so higher % of turnouts).  No special wiring, hand-thrown ... I just added insulated joiners after the frog. 

No operational issues yet.  If I haven't run anything in a while, I need to clean the track, but that's expected.  I come across as many multi-year success stories about Peco turnout power reliability (coming from the point rails only) as I do stories saying that they eventually fail over time.

If I wanted to go back and add Frog Juicers to the yard area (track laid, soldered, wired, spot glued down with caulk ... no ballast or scenery yet) is it possible without cutting through the factory jumpers and soldering the stock rail and closure rail on their respective sides?  i.e. is it worth just trying to power the frog with a juicer and not execute the other modifications since I can't easily access the bottom of the turnout without prying up the yard tracks/ladder?

Again, no failures yet, just want to look at options before I go back to paint the rails/ballast and weather the yard.

Mike

 
Modeling the New Haven and Boston & Maine

MVW

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2015, 05:43:30 PM »
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I'm in nearly exactly the same position. I'll be interested in seeing the responses.

My current strategy is "hope for the best."

Jim

Chinapig

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2015, 04:59:49 AM »
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I'm using Juicers with my Peco Electrofrogs and all I do is drop a soldered wire from the frog and attach it to the Juicer.  It works fine.  It seems to me that soldering a jumper between closure and stock rails in order to make them the same polarity is overkill with Peco turnouts as the rails are so far apart they are unlikely, never in my case, going to be shorted by a wheelset.

Ted
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modelling oNeTrack modules.

bobthebear

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2015, 06:48:58 AM »
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I have been adding Frog Juicers to my 20 year old Peco Electrofrog turnouts lately after suggestion from the above "Chinapig". Total reliability now instead of cleaning points regularly.  Just drill a hole in your baseboard and solder a wire to either of the rails coming out of the frog. Job Done. Only proviso: Doesn't work with the 3-way point!
Cheers.

tehachapifan

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2015, 02:13:13 PM »
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I constantly forget to realign a (hand-thrown) Electrofrog switch back to the main after pulling an engine out of the barn. I then get the DCC death screech when the loco comes full circle back to the switch on the frog side, so I'm very interested in this product.

Question though....If the polarity is wrong for the approaching train, doesn't that mean the switch is thrown in the wrong direction and problems are still coming anyway, even if the polarity is corrected? I must be missing or misunderstanding something. If it kills the frog, that might be more helpful.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 02:17:54 PM by tehachapifan »
Russ

Joetrain59

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2015, 02:21:55 PM »
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Went to Fastracks site, and says Juicer won't work with DC only layouts. Or, are there different versions of Juicer?
 Joe D

peteski

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2015, 03:38:07 PM »
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I constantly forget to realign a (hand-thrown) Electrofrog switch back to the main after pulling an engine out of the barn. I then get the DCC death screech when the loco comes full circle back to the switch on the frog side, so I'm very interested in this product.

Question though....If the polarity is wrong for the approaching train, doesn't that mean the switch is thrown in the wrong direction and problems are still coming anyway, even if the polarity is corrected? I must be missing or misunderstanding something. If it kills the frog, that might be more helpful.

Russ,  if you go through a turnout where the switch is set against you then your loco will derail and you will also end up with electrical short at some point of traveling through the turnout.  The item described here simply aligns the polarity of the frog to be in line with the train traveling through the turnout.  The switch has to be correctly lined up for proper operation.

For what you describe, you would want to invest in a switch machine and an electronic sensor which would automatically throw the switch to whatever side the train is approaching from.
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tehachapifan

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2015, 03:44:52 PM »
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Russ,  if you go through a turnout where the switch is set against you then your loco will derail and you will also end up with electrical short at some point of traveling through the turnout.  The item described here simply aligns the polarity of the frog to be in line with the train traveling through the turnout.  The switch has to be correctly lined up for proper operation....

Right, hence my question. I guess I don't understand exactly how an Electrofrog works as I'm still obviously missing something. At any rate, I see that they have a "circuit breaker" version too, which kills the rail instead of reversing the polarity. This might be better in my application.
Russ

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2015, 10:42:33 PM »
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Russ, the Peco Electrofrog turnouts are power-routed as per the diagram below (from this page):



Here red and blue are fixed polarity while the polarity of the green section is set by the point-stock rail contact, and hence by how the switch is thrown.  For example, if the switch is aligned for the diverging route, the point/closure/frog rails will all be blue.  If you then drive a loco in from the straight route (while the turnout is lined for the diverging route) you will get a short when the loco truck bridges the gap where the straight frog rail meets the red A rail of the straight route.  (But as Peteski says, you would simply derail at the points if the short didn't get you.)

The other potential DCC gotcha with this scheme is that both points always have the same polarity, and there is the potential for a wheel-set to bridge the gap between a stock rail and a thrown point, causing a short.  As noted above, this is rarely a problem with Peco turnouts because the point-stock rail gap is large.

Attaching a frog juicer directly to the frog does not change the diagram at all.  It just adds an extra electrical path so that you needn't rely only on point-stock rail contact to power the green section.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 10:44:52 PM by GaryHinshaw »

nkalanaga

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2015, 12:39:44 AM »
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Peco makes an accessory switch that attaches to the underside of turnout motor to power the frog.  It should be possible to attach it directly to the turnout, and if so, it might be cheaper than a Frog Juicer (I have no idea what either costs), but you would have to cut the roadbed to install it.
N Kalanaga
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peteski

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2015, 02:53:19 AM »
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Using the earlier diagram, here is the specific example of what happens when you run into a switch that is against you.  Your locomotive will travel from right to left on the straight (bottom) track.

When powering the electro-frog through a switch mechanically tied to the throw-bar (or even if depending on the points to power the frog).  Once the loco's wheel cross the gap at the frog, you have a short (as shown by blue and red).  You're done - loco stalls.

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If using a juicer, the frog polarity will be switched to whatever polarity of the gaped track the loco wheels cross. So at first when entering the frog, it will become red polarity. Then as the loco travels further across the gap between the frog and closure rails, juicer will flip the frog polarity to blue. But then (since the loco's wheelbase is long enough to span between the frog and closure rails, you end up with a dead short again.  As you can see, the closure rails are blue and frog rail is red. The juicer will not be able to do anything to cut the power since the short is going through the locomotive (internal wiring between the trucks).

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Jim Costello

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2015, 03:02:32 AM »
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You have not stated,but the Frog Juicers from Tam Valley  Depot are designed for DCC use only and not suitable for DC. Best to use a switch as noted above to power the frog if on DC,if needed.
Jim

peteski

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2015, 03:15:06 AM »
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You have not stated,but the Frog Juicers from Tam Valley  Depot are designed for DCC use only and not suitable for DC. Best to use a switch as noted above to power the frog if on DC,if needed.
Jim

It was stated earlier in the thread.
Went to Fastracks site, and says Juicer won't work with DC only layouts. Or, are there different versions of Juicer?
 Joe D


But it doesn't hurt to mention that again.
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OHCR 4218

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2015, 07:23:56 AM »
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I can tell you that some Bachman and Broadway limited equipment will short on a peco turnount from time to time.
Your layouts nice, but it needs more Conrail !

bobthebear

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Re: Adding HexFrog Juicers After Installation
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2015, 07:14:09 AM »
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That shorting can be cured with a dab of nail varnish on the very end of the frog rails where they enter the frog.