Freelance 2018-1
#16
Reinhard,I used Atlas switches for years until the quality became questionable then I changed to insulfrog Peco switches and haven't regretted doing so. I never had to fix anything on these switches nor does any of my four axle locomotives stall on the insulated frog at slow speed.
Larry
Engineman
SSRy

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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#17
I looked around and Peco are the first alternative indeed.
I case of lack of reliability of the Atlas #4 switches and top mounted switch machine do I intend to replace them with Peco #5 insufrog switches and top mounted PL 11 switch machines.
Do we have some experience with that combination? Especially two questions
1. is the dead frog in the #5 insufrog short enough to cause no trouble in staging yards?
2. is the PL 11 switch machine reliable and primary intended for code 100 also useable for Peco code 83 switches? I found some discussions but no final statement of an owner of that combination.
Reinhard
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#18
2. Peco's switch machine are sold to go with turnouts from N to O gauge. The same machines.

1. debatable. Depends on how long your locos are. I wouldn't use them with 44-tonners. Also how many pickups and how flexible the trucks are. I decided that I like the looks of the all-rail frogs better, but I used insulfrogs for years. Worst problems were with steam switchers that had rigid frames and deep flanges; the flange would raise the loco at the frog and the rest of the wheels on that side would rise off the rails as well.
David
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
Most modellers can get two of them to work.
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#19
If your going to use Peco why not use the Electro-frog. Much more reliable electrical continuity.
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#20
The problem is that I must use on the top switch machines in the staging yard. Both, the Atlas and the Peco, on the top switch machines have no contacts to switch the frog.
I know very well that 0-6-0 and 44 ton switchers are highly endangered to get stuck. My smallest locomotive is currently the SW9.
Reinhard
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#21
Guys,For what its worth my Bachmann 70 Tonner did not stall on my Peco medium switches.

Again for what it may be worth I have never used powered frogs on any of my HO or N Scale ISLs nor on my N Scale door layout of the 80s and never had any issues of locomotives stalling. Even the old ugly Atlas switches with the rubber frogs worked on my ISLs.

For DCC users the need to power frogs is no longer needed with "keep alive" decoders. Another big plus for DCC. Applause
Larry
Engineman
SSRy

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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#22
I put keep alives in any of my locomotives that has the space to do it and walthers dcc friendly switches, all the work is done for you.
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#23
My layout is DC, and I've never powered the frogs in Atlas turnouts and never had an issue with them being unpowered, other than with a batch which had frogs that sat too high. These lifted the drivers of some larger brass steam locomotives high enough that they lost contact with the powered rails beyond the frog, although none of my plastic steamers were affected. A few passes with a mill file cured the problem.

On the other hand, I put a bunch of Micro Engineering turnouts on the partial second level of the layout, and while I like appearance and the spring-loaded points, they were annoying to wire (too many gaps, I'd guess to accommodate DCC operation), and I've discovered that almost all locomotives stall on them. Apparently, I've missed wiring the frog, or a portion of it. I don't feel it worth the effort, and hope to replace them with Atlas turnouts. I stayed with DC for a number of reasons, and one of them was the simpler wiring - these were not simple at all.

Wayne
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#24
doctorwayne Wrote:I stayed with DC for a number of reasons, and one of them was the simpler wiring - these were not simple at all.

Wayne
I have DCC, Atlas turn outs for the most part, non powered frogs, no keep alive circuits, and no problems with stalling, even with a Bachmann 44 tonner with the original Bachmann decoder. I must be just lucky. 357
Charlie
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#25
You're right, Charlie, the Atlas turnouts work well, and I should have stayed with them. They're cheaper than the Micro Engineering ones, too.

Wayne
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#26
My conclusion is that I am not childish if I expect the Atlas switches and switch machines will do what they are supposed to do and Peco is a valid alternative if Atlas fails. None powered frogs are not the best choice but they should be just fine. Thanks a lot for your opinions and experiences.
Reinhard
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#27
faraway Wrote:The problem is that I must use on the top switch machines in the staging yard. Both, the Atlas and the Peco, on the top switch machines have no contacts to switch the frog.
I know very well that 0-6-0 and 44 ton switchers are highly endangered to get stuck. My smallest locomotive is currently the SW9.
Ok. I understand...on my very small switching layout that I built years ago I used the Peco insulfrog switches. Generally I have no problems with them at all...but every once in a while a small wheelbase loco might stall or lose sound but honestly it doesn’t happen very often. It should be fine in your yard.
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#28
Hi Reinhard,

Hope you don't mind, but I played around with a track plan for your space just to see what I could do with the limitations you have. I like big modern industries so the plan reflects that. Of course smaller industries would probably work best, and leave more room for scenic elements, access roads, parking lots, etc. I was surprised how much could be stuffed in the space, and I also added a movable module in front of the staging yard. It would be on wheels so staging could be easily accessed. Maybe this plan will offer you some ideas for a future version.

Here's the design:

   

Take care,
Rob.
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#29
That is a nice layout plan. What program did you use?
At the staging yard (north side) is no free space for anything. The yard will be behind long tables used as (retiree) office (TV, iMac) and workshop. Four tracks and physical access only when I lean over the tables.
The south side will be mostly straight as found in US industrial areas. I want a road at the very front (probable only the east bound lanes and the yellow double center lines) followed by the main line (47cm from the wall) in parallel and a industry lead (40cm from the wall) connected at the east and west end to the main line. The industry lead provides a theoretical space for seven #6 switches permitting seven industries between the lead and the wall. But that is the max and would look rather odd.
[Image: 26390743668_6bb33778c1_c.jpg]

I have intentionally no further plans but will "play" with switches and tracks to find something I like most. This "work space" of 40cm * 420cm and max seven connecting switches can easy be reconfigured several times.

The elegant curved track look great but they become a big problem for further changes of the track plan. A straight track can easy replaced with a switch. An elegant curve can hardly become a switch without more severe redesign. I had that some years ago (I love long elegant curves of some parallel running tracks) but avoid it now for practical reasons.

ps. I will start probably with light ballast and ground cover. It is always easier to darken it later than vise versa without a complete rebuild. That sets the stage for 2018-1 in an freelance industrial area in Florida or SoCal depending on the state trooper's car markings and the CSX/NS/FEC/FCEN or UP road switcher on the tracks.
Reinhard
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#30
Hi Reinhard,

I've been using 3rd PlanIt since the mid-1990s. I find it very good for layout design, and can mock up something in 3D if needed, or even run a train thru the layout to see how it operates. Thanks for explaining what other limitations you have in the space. I guess it is lucky that you have are much room for the layout as you do, and can see why changing it up once in a while keeps it fresh. I really like your ideas, and will continue to watch your progress. If you need a track plan mocked-up (I have a library of most brands of track), please let me know.

Take care,
Rob.
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