Author Topic: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts  (Read 3619 times)

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chuck geiger

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Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« on: June 25, 2018, 01:22:13 PM »
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As a Atlas only user until now, laid down turnouts, ran test - Stall at turnouts. I was not aware of on DC power, that they need
to have feeder power to stock rails and frog rails. Power through stock is through rail joiners to turnout, Where do I need feeders
on the turnouts for power and how many? Instructions a tad vague. I have never done this before and need to step up my knowledge.
Any visual tutorials? I keep seeing how to power frog, not the rails.
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

OldEastRR

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 01:28:41 PM »
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I've never heard of unpowered frogs on ME turnouts. I have ones from all stages they ran thru, from gaps with the rails at the end of the frog (not the points side) to soldered-together non-gaps at the frogs. Stalling usually happens because the points don't make good contact against the rails, so that needs to be kept pretty clean. But if there are gaps between the short ME rails of the switch legs and the frog and you're putting gaps between your flex track and the end of the ME track that's a dead spot.

chuck geiger

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 01:39:43 PM »
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Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

mmagliaro

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 01:45:35 PM »
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Are these the current generation ME turnouts with the isolated frogs that are DCC friendly?
Unless you bought them years ago, they are. 

The frogs and the frog rails (the rails going out from the frog) will be dead unless you power them
(with something like a microswitch attached to the throwbar).

I found a web page that diagrams this pretty well:
http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches_ME_BK.htm


chuck geiger

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 01:51:16 PM »
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Brand new (at least in package) from N Scale Supply.
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

OldEastRR

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 01:57:07 PM »
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The old ME turnouts still work with DCC, no shorting. But the rails need to be gapped accordingly.

chuck geiger

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 02:00:24 PM »
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I am running DC. Took out of the package, only power (at this point) is DC through rail joiners. Close up!







« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 02:02:55 PM by chuck geiger »
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

Lemosteam

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 02:16:16 PM »
+1
Always a healthy habit to drop feeders from each section of flex track, so those routes would be powered.

chuck geiger

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 03:58:19 PM »
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So four feeder wires per turnout from the next section of track? Power the rails in 4 places?, main and diverging route rail?
Not the frog (it's metal and powered right?). Not using DCC and not using switch machines or turnout controls.



Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

jdcolombo

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 04:21:49 PM »
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Hi Chuck.

The fact the frog is metal does NOT mean that it is powered.  My understanding is that the frog is NOT powered in the latest generations of ME turnouts (which would be yours, since you indicated they were brand new from N Scale Supply).  You can verify this by looking at the frog - it should have gaps between it and both the entry rails and exit rails.  If those gaps exist, then the frog is not powered.  You can also check this by using a multimeter that has a continuity test mode.  Test to see if you have electrical continuity between the frog and approach and exit rails.  If not, the frog is not powered.

If the frog is not powered and insulated from the exit rails, then the exit rails on the turnout probably are not powered either.  That means that the exit rails can only get power from the track that is connected to them, and that means this track must have feeders.  If I had to guess from your photo, I'd guess that the spurs on the outside of the track that works don't have power feeders, and that is why these tracks are dead: they aren't getting power through the turnout and need their own set of feeders.

However, just feeding power to these two spurs will not itself power the frog.  For that, you will need to separately wire the frog to some sort of switch that will change polarity depending on how the points are set.  This can be a Tortoise or other turnout motor, or some kind of ground throw with an SPDT switch attached.  You can choose not to power the frog, but in my view that is asking for operational trouble in N scale.

John C.

chuck geiger

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2018, 04:43:34 PM »
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John and folks thank you for the return on this. This is getting way more complicated than my level of model railroading. I got these turnouts because of the look and very dependable. Atlas C-55, I never had a problem. I wanted a spring loaded turnout control instead of using Atlas with no control or having to use oversized Caboose Industries GT's. What is the simplest form of rectifying before I punt and trade these for Atlas C-55's?
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

jdcolombo

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2018, 05:18:49 PM »
+3
John and folks thank you for the return on this. This is getting way more complicated than my level of model railroading. I got these turnouts because of the look and very dependable. Atlas C-55, I never had a problem. I wanted a spring loaded turnout control instead of using Atlas with no control or having to use oversized Caboose Industries GT's. What is the simplest form of rectifying before I punt and trade these for Atlas C-55's?

Hi Chuck.

Don't get overwhelmed; this isn't a big problem.  Honest!

Simplest solution is the following: attach power feeders to your two dead spurs anywhere past the turnout.  If what we all have guessed is true, then doing this should cause these tracks to be powered and should NOT cause any shorts at the turnout.

If this works, you will not have a powered frog; but the frogs on Atlas Code 55 aren't powered, either, unless you power them.  I gather from your messages that you have NOT been attaching power wires to the frogs of your Atlas switches, and if they have worked fine for you, then you are done.  No need to get new turnouts or worry about powering the frog.

The reason you have never noticed this problem with the Atlas turnouts is that even though the Atlas Code 55 turnouts have a dead frog, they are constructed so that the exit rails from the frog ARE powered.  If you turn an Atlas Code 55 turnout over and look at the bottom, you will see small copper strips just past the frog that connect the outside rails to the frog exit rails.  So even though the frog is dead, the next section of rail past the frog will be powered if the turnout itself is getting power (e.g., power is fed to the track entering the turnout) and you use metal rail joiners with good contact.  I suspect that the problem is that ME's turnouts do NOT power the exit rails from the frog - ME just assumes that you will drop feeders to any track past the turnout - and in fact, this is best wiring practice anyway.

In any event, try this before getting exasperated.  Just attach power feeders to the two dead sections of track, and see if everything works.

John C.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 05:24:19 PM by jdcolombo »

mark.hinds

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2018, 05:30:30 PM »
+2
Quote
The reason you have never noticed this problem with the Atlas turnouts is that even though the Atlas Code 55 turnouts have a dead frog, they are constructed so that the exit rails from the frog ARE powered. 

This.  The Atlas code 55 turnouts have a hidden jumper from each closure rail, jumping around the frog, and connecting to the corresponding "frog rail" on the other side of the frog.  Thus if the "frog rail" is connected to a piece of flex track, the flex track will be powered through the turnout.  To get the equivalent operation with ME, you could either add your own jumpers, or run feeders to the track beyond the switch, as advised by previous posters. 

Both the Atlas and the ME have an isolated frog, which will be electrically dead unless you power it via an electrical switch.  However, since the frog is only about an inch long, your equipment presumably doesn't notice that it's dead. 

Per an earlier poster, you can see this for this yourself using a multimeter, in continuity-check mode. 

MH
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 05:38:40 PM by mark.hinds »

chuck geiger

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2018, 05:46:58 PM »
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Going for it - Thanks!
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

robert3985

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Re: Help with ME #6 Code 55 Turnouts
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2018, 07:12:17 PM »
+3
Good advice here.  And as has been said, it ain't complicated...

New ME turnouts have an isolated frog, that can be either powered or left dead.  My experience is that everything I have runs through the dead frogs on ME #6's without hesitation.

If you simply want to use the over-center switch throwing mechanism without installing any power routing underneath, the turnout should work just fine because closure rails are electrically connected to their adjacent stock rails...which means, they receive their power and their polarity from the stock rails of the turnout they're adjacent to, and to which the toes of the points come in contact with...so no shorting.

However, the two "frog rails" coming off the other side of the frog gaps (opposite the closure rail/point/switch side) have to be powered by the rails they're connected to...or by feeders...depending on your wiring and block placement, they they are entirely isolated from each other.

If you are not soldering your rail joiners to your rails, this practice only encourages random electrical problems, especially after painting/weathering and ballasting your track. 

Best practice is to solder a feeder to the middle of each and every piece of rail on your layout...which gets rid of a multitude of potential electrical problems, in both DC and DCC powered layouts.  Never trust rail joiners to conduct electricity effectively...especially if they're not soldered to both rails at a joint.

Okay, that said, to get your new spurs up and powered quickly, and your turnouts functional, the simplest way to do it is to run feeders from your powered trackage to the respective rails on both spurs. 

To keep things straight, color code the wires you use.  I use red 22AWG solid-core copper wire for the track nearest the edge of the layout, and black 22AWG solid-core copper wire for the other track.  As Peter ( @peteski ) has mentioned numerous times, you can use finer wire just as effectively...but solid-core is easiest to use.

After you've run feeders to your dead spurs and you've tested them and they run okay, your turnouts should be okay...without having to run any feeders at all to them.

Photo (1) Reading is harder than looking at a picture, so here's a quick diagram of feeders (red and blue) and rail joiners (yellow):


Although running feeders to your main power buses is preferable, running them from live rail will get you up and going quickly...

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 07:24:50 PM by robert3985 »