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Discussion Starter #1
I am a beginner who is trying to build my first DCC layout.

I have a simple oval of Atlas code 83 HO track and an NCE Power Cab which works fine. My first problem occurred when I added an Atlas code 83 #6 remote turnout (I also tried a #4 because it had a smaller frog).

My loco is a Broadway Limited SW-1500. It will not go through the plastic frog without sputtering or stalling at slow speeds. Since my plan is to have this engine stationed most of the time in a yard classifying trains, moving slowly through many turnouts, I need to learn how to fix this.

I am not married to the small amount of track I've purchased so far so I am open to all suggestions including going with another manufacture of turnouts.

Thanks
 

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Atlas turnouts are not very good.

You might take a look at Peco Code 83 Streamline products.

I used them on my layout and they have proven to be very good.

If you don't mind dealing with the wiring for a powered frog you can use the ElectroFrog version which has metal frog and thus very little in the way of dead spots.

Frederick
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Atlas turnouts are not very good.

You might take a look at Peco Code 83 Streamline products.

I used them on my layout and they have proven to be very good.

If you don't mind dealing with the wiring for a powered frog you can use the ElectroFrog version which has metal frog and thus very little in the way of dead spots.

Frederick

Thanks for the info, Frederick. I don't know what is involved in wiring a powered frog but I'll find out! I gotta have the switcher crawling smoothly in the yard :)

Thanks again!
 

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Second the Peco, I have both the Electrofrog, as well as the Insufrog, and my track mobile's, go through with no problems. I also have some Fast Tracks that I built, and these work just as well.
 

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+3 for the Peco turnouts. You don't need the electrofrog, a Insulfrog will work fine. The only thing you need to remember is the Insulfrog is 'power routed' which means power is transferred just to the direction it is set. If you want to use the yard when the supplying turnout is set to the main line you need to have additional feed, it will also mean the lights will stay on.
 

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I am a beginner who is trying to build my first DCC layout.

I have a simple oval of Atlas code 83 HO track and an NCE Power Cab which works fine. My first problem occurred when I added an Atlas code 83 #6 remote turnout (I also tried a #4 because it had a smaller frog).

My loco is a Broadway Limited SW-1500. It will not go through the plastic frog without sputtering or stalling at slow speeds. Since my plan is to have this engine stationed most of the time in a yard classifying trains, moving slowly through many turnouts, I need to learn how to fix this.

I am not married to the small amount of track I've purchased so far so I am open to all suggestions including going with another manufacture of turnouts.

Thanks
I just recently got back into the hobby after a 15 year hiatus and I am working on a 4x8 layout with Atlas track. In spite of the recommendations here I did go with Atlas turnout as well. As I expand I will also use Peco turnouts.

I have found several Atlas turnouts to be quite finicky and decided to power all of the frogs (I have 9 turnouts). I am using Tam Valley Frog Juicers and they cleared up most of the issues with stalling and dropped sound. 2 of the turnouts required some filing as I believe the wheels on the front truck was lifting up a bit losing contact. I filed between the guard rails and stock rails. Now the flange won't lift the wheels off the track.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the feedback, guys. Looks like I'm off to replace that Atlas turnout with a Peco!

I'll let you know how it works.
 

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While I most certainly agree that Peco Insulfrog
turnouts are leagues better than Atlas, I just
wonder if your Loco has lost all wheel power
pickup.

You can check that. Use your multimeter set
to ohms. Place one probe on the right front
wheel. Touch each wheel of both trucks on
that side. You should get a reading.

Then Put the probe on the left front wheel
and repeat.

If you don't get a reading on any one wheel
check the wipers and the wire from the truck
to the decoder.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Don. I will check that out to be sure I don't have a problem there in addition to going with Peco turnouts (or anything that works well).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
HI, guys. I have a question for all of you who suggested Peco over Atlas. While I'm sure you're right about the overall quality, can anyone explain why locos run over these turnouts better than Atlas?

I am asking because my Atlas turnout has inexplicably worked so much better today but still having more stuttering and stalling than I want (I don't want any). I only have one set of feeders. It's a very small layout at present but would another set of feeders help... or do I just need a different turnout, and if so, why?

Thanks guys
 

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Atlas vs Peco

HI, guys. I have a question for all of you who suggested Peco over Atlas. While I'm sure you're right about the overall quality, can anyone explain why locos run over these turnouts better than Atlas?

I am asking because my Atlas turnout has inexplicably worked so much better today but still having more stuttering and stalling than I want (I don't want any). I only have one set of feeders. It's a very small layout at present but would another set of feeders help... or do I just need a different turnout, and if so, why?

Thanks guys
paulrail;

The Peco turnouts have several advantages.

1) A spring that holds the points against the stock rail.

2) A notch in each stock rail that allows the point rail to fit into the stock rail. The combination of items #1 & 2 practically
eliminates "picking the points", a common derailment issue where some wheels take the straight route and other wheels try to take the diverging route.

3) Fairly forgiving dimensions for the guard rails. A strictly accurate turnout works well with accurately gauged wheels, ONLY! Any wheel set that is out of gauge will likely derail.
Peco's system includes some slack. They will accept slightly out of gauge wheels and not derail them.

4) Rail joiners instead of rivets as point hinges. The rail joiners help keep the point rails lined up, unlike the open air gap between Atlas's moving points and their adjacent rails.

5) unlike the Atlas "Snap Track", turnout; Pecos don't attempt to include the geometry of a tight 18" radius curve in their design. Pecos are laid out closer to full size turnouts. They have, essentially, Two straight routes set at an angle. They don't substitute directly for a "Snap Track" turnout because they don' have a curved route. This means Peco is not trying to force wheels into an un-eased, tight curve, across an angled, open, gap in the rails.

6) Everything is built strong in a Peco turnout. Good materials assembled properly.


This may sound like I'm condemning Atlas and exalting Peco. Well, I started with Atlas, brass rail, "Snap Track", just like nearly every model railroader. Then I switched to N scale, and tried Peco. They worked better; and I liked them. Later, I switched to code 55 rail. Back then, there were no code 55,
N scale turnouts available commercially. I started scratch building my own turnouts; and have been ever since. For this reason, I have no axe to grind with Atlas, and I don't get any kickback from Peco. I haven't used either brand for years.
Most of the problems with Atlas can be remedied, and many folks use, and like them. In my opinion, and that of many others; Peco is just more reliable. Trains seldom derail on Peco turnouts.;)

Regards;
Traction Fan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Awesome info, Traction Fan. I love learning more and more about everything I can.

However, my problem is one of a switcher stalling or sputtering over the insufrogs of an Atlas turnout. I am being told that Peco will solve that problem and I'm not arguing... I would just like to understand why that is.

You made some excellent points, but they explain more about why rolling stock doesn't derail and don't seem to explain why locos run more reliably over them.

I will probably just buy a Peco and see what happens because I see on youtube (and other places) that experienced modelers use them...but I would like to know why

Thanks, everybody
 

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but I would like to know why
Buy two Peco Code 83 Streamline #5 turnouts.

One ElectroFrog.

One InsulFrog.

Once you have them in hand it will be easier to point out why they work better when you can compare them side by side with an Atlas.

You can also test your locos on the InsulFrog turnout. If it works without issue then you may want to use them as you don't have to bother with powering the frog.

Just FYI, powering the frog on an ElectroFrog turnout is NOT hard just a little more work

Frederick
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, Frederick. I have a simple oval of track at this point and am just trying to add a dead end spur. Even my Atlas Insufrog is working pretty well (but not as well as I would like)

I think I will buy a Peco Insufrog first and see how it works. If I can't see the reason for the improvement maybe I'll ask you again when I have the Peco and Atlas to compare

Thanks (wish me luck)
Paul
 

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Hi Paul, if the Atlas frog is a little high, it can lift the wheels off the track. They can be filed down to be flush with the rails if necessary. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Interesting, Cid. I never considered that.

For some reason my loco went through several times at slow and fast speeds but after a while the problems of stalling and sputtering started again. Could this still be frog too high. My frog is plastic...can I still file it down if necessary?

Thanks for the input.
 

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Sure, Paul, I'm not saying that has to be your problem, but I've had to file down a couple of Atlas Customline metal frogs to prevent short locos from stalling like that. You can lay a straightedge or small rule across the frog and rails to check if the frog is high.
 

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If your switcher has only 4 wheel power pickup
you could have problems on any turnout with
plastic frogs. Any loco with 8 (or more) wheel
pickup should have no difficulty at all with them.

If your loco has 8 or more power pickup wheels
and is pausing or stalling on a plastic frog you
may want to check that the wipers and wires
to the motor are working.

If your switcher is 4 wheel pickup the Peco
Electrofrog would solve the problem.

An important point; Peco turnouts use a
different geometry and dimensions than
Atlas and are not a direct replacement. You
may have to realign your track to accomodate
the Pecos.

Don
 
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