Hog Waller Junction

John Moore Mar 11, 2015

  1. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Postman delivered today so two new 44 tonners are doing their break in running before being lettered for the Turtle Creek. Had electrical issues on the outer main which for now serves as a passing siding and a spur on either end. When the other sections get built this will become the main from Friday Harbor. Found the issue after breaking out the meter and testing. Seems I managed to get some scenic material between the contacts at the rail end where the power leads connect. Back in operation now. Still trying to master the Peco power routing with their turnouts. When the outer main is powered up the locos run the opposite direction. And reversing the leads from the power source only creates a short. I am fine with the operation as it is now but it is something I have to keep in mind for future modeling. A short video illustrates the issue and keep in mind this is DC not DCC.
     
  2. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    John, keep in mind that with Peco turnouts, at least the normal code 55 elctrofrog medium radius ones I have, the two rails of the route not chosen are at the same polarity, not at zero voltage. That's not a problem if the turnout is used as an access to a stub siding but if it's in a loop, you will get shorts when it's thrown against the route taken.

    I guess I would have to see exactly how you have the wiring to be able to tell why the outer route is reverse of the other one. I think it's because the trains aren't going the same direction, however. :D

    Doug
     
  3. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    And that is probably my issue. I have four ST-5s which are the cross overs for the passing area in front of the station. You can see at least one cross over in the video or probably both in the previous videos. Current is routed in the direction of the turnout thus there are two pairs facing each other. Probably need to go back and separate those pairs with an insulated rail joiner and it will solve the problem. Although right now I just have to make sure the points are not aligned to the current main when I am operating and the outer main has it on power routing switch from the control panel. Right now I can have locos sitting at either end of the outer track, one sitting at the front of the station, while yet another snakes around it on the passing track portion and none will move until I either throw a turnout or activate a power feed switch on the selector panel at the power pack which is fine for me in the current configuration. But I will have to take my time in how I have the turnouts located for the rest of the later portions of the turnout.

    I do have some more work to do on the tunnel accesses since I had a major derailment in the tunnel while testing my newer stuff with a consist. Figured out the problem in that two things happened. The new 44 tonners come with a small package of headlights to be added to give two different versions of an extended headlight housing. They are supposed to be a press fit but alas one came off in the tunnel, they are now glued on. And the old ore cars which have been giving me fits with the trucks staying on because of age cracked truck pin posts so I had one also lose it's truck in the tunnel. Came up short on having enough access on the right corner so Monday out come the drill and Jig saw to remedy that. Hopefully I will find a missing truck and a headlight assembly in there somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  4. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    John, you must gap at least one rail (preferably both) of each of the outbound routes from a Peco Electrofrog, or you will backfeed an opposite voltage causing a short as Doug describes.

    Since you have a passing siding with switches at both ends, you only need to gap the output of one of the switches. The beauty of this is that when you run an engine onto the siding, then throw both switches, that engine will be dead because both rails will have the same polarity, while the passing train runs around on the other track.

    With the "confusion" you describe with crossovers, just visualize it as paths to flow water. Gaps block water, but Electrofrogs allow water to flow from the other side or end.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Fascinating how these things happened in the tunnel... Is Murphy watching you?
     
  6. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think I had the whole Murphy clan. Murphy as engineer, brother Amos Murphy as fireman, head brakeman was cousin Billy Bob Murphy, conductor was Silas Murphy, and the rear brakeman was Bubba Murphy.
    My Woodland Scenics' wheel cleaner was also in the engine order and looks like a nice unit with the ability to either set it directly on the rails or simply hook up to the power pack terminals. So with this and hopefully another track cleaning car, plus the Ultra sound bath for the mechanisms, I should be in good shape to keep the fleet running and the rails clean.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  7. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    The ST5 and ST6 are not listed as Electrofrogs and looking at an Electrofrog versus those series they have a plastic frog rather than the full metal of the Electrofrog models I have.
     
  8. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Mr. Moore, I believe you have a problem that is above my pay grade......:eek:

    Sorry Guy, but I doubt that your Spousal Unit would appreciate a house guest while I was diagnosing your problem hands on. :whistle:
     
  9. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wesa aka the Big Guy would be upset at having to give up his bed.
    This is the only place on the layout where I have a set of the ST series turnouts facing each other. From the upper main to the Mine spur and down to the small yard all have the same orientation coming off the main. The power routing works fine on those tracks. Just a quirk with the way those turnouts work although it does actually work to my advantage in that I can do a switching move or two while a train runs through the station. I will just need to keep this in mind when I get to other sections of the layout eventually.
    The aerial view I had posted earlier gives a great shot of the opposing ST5 turnouts at the bottom on either end of the station.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I assume the ST-5s are on the track next to the station...y/n?
    If so:
    1) Have you gapped both rails between the ST-5s and their opposing Electrofrogs next to the table edge?
    2) Is the yard lead switch right of the station an Electrofrog? If so, it may be giving a sneak circuit short.
    3) Try moving the points of all 5 switches in sequence to isolate which combination(s) causes a short. Suggest using a very low power setting on your supply and some way to determine when a short occurs as you move each point.

    This is the best I can suggest without having a schematic of your switch types, gaps, and power feeds. This would help me analyze if you could draw and post it.
     
  11. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    There is only one electrofrog on the entire layout and that is the one that comes off of the main to the right of the station from the station track to the lower bottom track in front that serves as the passing track around the station plus the two end spurs. And that just may be where the issue is coming to a head with the power feed since it works differently than the ST turnouts. Since I am going to slide the layout out tomorrow and cut another access port in the back and a small one in the right side, and make a mess anyway I may just go whole hog and take out that one electrofrog and replace it with another ST series. That may be where the sneak short circuit is coming in. Yah made me go back and look and yes by danged that was an electrofrog and why I used it is beyond me at this time. So I have three STs and one electrofrog which may be not playing together well in my set up.

    I only have four power feeds each through the Atlas selector switch that all feed from the right side. One feed takes care of the upper main, the next the lower main, followed by the 3rd one to the incline and the last to that lower outside track. The mine spur is fed through the power routing ST-5 turnout that routes the power from the upper main. I could do away with the power feed to the incline since and ST-5 also routes power from the main to the incline track, but since that is the area where I am operating double or triple headed power under load thought it best to have a ample power feed there.
     
  12. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I believe that, even though the STs are not electrofrog, as far as power routing, they may function the same. The way to find out is measure the voltage on each rail of the unselected route referenced to ground. If there's zero , they are NOT the same. If the voltage on both rails is whatever the power pack is set to, they are the same as the electrofrogs.

    Doug
     
  13. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    What I do know with the ST series is that when the rails are not aligned to the siding the power is absent and is only there when the rails are physically aligned to that track. But since I will be messing around with it tomorrow I will put a meter on the turnouts just to see what does happen. Up until now I have never used anything Peco as all my turnouts have been Atlas or some now defunct brand of smaller tighter radius turnout. And my main reason for using Peco is the smaller radius and size of their turnouts that make it possible for my tighter radiuses and more stuff in smaller spaces. So the Peco line has been a learning curve for me in finding out what it does. I was not aware of the power routing function of the ST series until I installed a few on my new test track and discovered that feature quite by accident. So that is saving me a lot of block wiring and switches on a control panel. I can have four locos each setting on a different track in the small yard and not have any move until I align the turnout off the main and then the turnout for the siding it is on. Nice feature.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  14. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    John, I've just reviewed the wiring schematic for the Peco ST style switches. ST switches do provide power-routing, but not in the same manner as an Electrofrog. The ST design will feed your various sidings and branches based on point rail position the way you want. The ST will not produce a short circuit on either outbound track regardless of point rail position. An Electrofrog by its design will produce a short circuit across both rails of the outbound track NOT selected by the point rail position. I believe the one Electrofrog is where your sneak path is occurring.

    Replacing that Electrofrog with an ST will be your simplest option for correcting the problem. We all will keep our fingers crossed...Good Luck. (y)
     
  15. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    That what I get for having too much fermented Ovaltine when I was track laying. I got my electrons routed against my positrons and mixed up with my neutrinos. So looks like tomorrow I will be back to rousting the track gang out of bed early and relay that cross over. Fortunately with the water based glue I used for the ballast and little pre-wetting and everything comes up easy.
     
  16. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    OK cool. The STs just basically disconnect the unused route then instead of making both rails the same voltage. That's handy for avoiding shorts. I agree with Hank then that the electrofrog is prolly the culprit.

    Doug
     
  17. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well tomorrow will be the test when I rip that frog out and send him hopping back into the storage box. I think at this point that I will most likely stay away from any electrofrogs in any future track laying projects since I want things to be as simple as possible and the ST series of turnouts do that for me.
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I love their Electrofrogs and use them exclusively. But agree that for what you are doing, the Insulfrogs make the best sense.
     
  19. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    I've used Electrofrogs exclusively for over 20 years. Though wish that ST technology had been around back then, it would have made DC blocking much simpler. OTOH, I wonder why Peco is producing ST switches only as Code-80 and #4s. Is ST a new product line, and this is just the initial run?????

    Ken, I think ST is a different wiring design from Insulfrog, but haven't located an Insulfrog schematic yet to verify this.
     
  20. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    The ST series has been in my track assortment box now for about ten years at least maybe more. I was looking for very short turnouts like the old Jeof brand and a few others that took less space and allowed a sharper radius for tight spots like a dockside. They are very close to the old 7 and 5/8ths ones of another brand in terms of space taken and sharp departure from the main.
     

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