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Discussion Starter #1
I know this should be simple, but I have become confused by reading too many articles. All I want to know, is how to wire up a simple x-crossing for DCC. Picture two ovals, one inside the other, and this crossing connecting the two ovals on a straight stretch. No turnout, just a plain crossing. I am using a Peco Electrofrog crossing.
The idea is just to have the engine go around the two ovals, no reversing. The confusion for me, is I keep seeing references to frog juicers, insulated frogs, etc.
Would it be correct to use insulated rail joiners where I have indicated with red lines in the photo? And where do the 4 attached wires go? I have read many threads on this but for some reason I am not grasping it.....Thanks 20200717_082213.jpg 20200717_082222.jpg
 

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If I were you, I’d exchange your crossover to an insulfrog version. You could then just drop it into your layout with no wiring additions. The only change you might need is to switch the polarity of the inner circle if doesn’t match the outer circle. That’s an easy wire swap if needed.

Is there a good reason you need or want the electrofrog version?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If I were you, I’d exchange your crossover to an insulfrog version. You could then just drop it into your layout with no wiring additions. The only change you might need is to switch the polarity of the inner circle if doesn’t match the outer circle. That’s an easy wire swap if needed.

Is there a good reason you need or want the electrofrog version?
I bought the electrofrog basically because it was all that was available to me at the time of purchase. I couldn't find any insulfrog, or even unifrog, from online sources (particularly in Canada) due to Peco being shutdown I believe because of Covid. So I just ordered what was available, thinking that "hey, I can figure it all out". And really, it should be quite simple, but for some reason I'm blanking on it. I have to get this straight, in my head, because I also purchased quite a few electrofrog turnouts as well. I thought the crossing was the best place to start. Returning the turnouts and exchanging them for insulfrog would be easy if it was from an actually brick and mortar shop, but online just presents too many problems. I will get this figured out, just need a little push in the right direction. Thanks for the reply.
 

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I can only speak for myself, but it seems to me a "crossing" is not what you want there.

Instead, I think 2 single crossovers (one left-hand, one right-hand, back to back) would do the job better, and be easier to wire up...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I can only speak for myself, but it seems to me a "crossing" is not what you want there.

Instead, I think 2 single crossovers (one left-hand, one right-hand, back to back) would do the job better, and be easier to wire up...
[/Qyou m
I can only speak for myself, but it seems to me a "crossing" is not what you want there.

Instead, I think 2 single crossovers (one left-hand, one right-hand, back to back) would do the job better, and be easier to wire up...
If I understand what you are saying, you mean put 2 turnouts end to end, between the outer and inner loop? Would I not also have to put another 2 turnouts a bit further down the track to effectively bring the train back to the outer loop? What I had intended, was to have the capability of a train running continually, say moving east, around the outer loop, cross over to the inner loop, also heading east, run through that inner loop and cross back to the outer loop again. The train is always heading in the same direction. If you are saying what I thought you were saying, I did originally think of doing it that way. But that entails 4 turnouts, and 4 turnout motors, doesn't it? At least to my way of thinking. That's why I thought to use a crossing piece of track instead. However, this electrofrog/insullfrog/unifrog stuff has me confused. But I admit this is all new to me. I'm back into model trains after many years of being away, and in reality, I had never progressed very far with wiring in the past. Now I've switched to N scale, and DCC these many years later. It's a brand new start. But this time...I am determined.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
See https://dccwiki.com/Wiring_Crossings and look specifically at the section on using an auto reverser to power your live frogs. Looks like that is a relatively easy way to go.
I have bookmarked that site, and will take a real good look at it. As much as I am anxious to get my track down and running, I have learned in the past that it's better to stop/slow down and make certain I have what I want. If that means making changes to my plan, then so be it. Thanks for the link!
 

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One thing you should consider with your layout is if you ever want to run multiple trains simultaneously. If you keep the 2 circles independent with turnouts to connect them, then you can easily allow 2 trains to run on the 2 circles without ever interfering. If you go that route, then, yes, you would need 4 turnouts and the motors to drive them. If you use just the crossing, then you can still run multiple trains, but you’ll need to take care to be sure they don’t collide at the crossing.
 

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I'm not familiar with the Peco Electrofrog CROSSING, however,
after viewing pics of one, it is obvious that, like the Peco Electrofrog
turnouts, you MUST use insulated joiners in all FROG rails.

Here is a video showing how to wire the Pecos: Stay with the
video thru a blank and you'll be shown how to wire and power
the frogs.


However, I agree, these complications actually offer
little value. As others have suggested simply use
2 pair of ordinary Peco INSULFROG turnouts that
will accomplish the same train operations and require
NO special wiring, insulated joiners or auto powering devices.

ELECTROFROG devices are usually unnecessary.
Most modern locos have sufficient power pickup wheels
and can smoothly negotiate plastic frogs in turnouts and crossings
without pause. However, you would use these if you
have a very short 4 wheel loco or locos that do not
have all wheel power pickup.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Mark and Don, both of you make some important points and you have me leaning toward using the 4 turnouts instead of the x-crossing. However, I should make sure my locos can roll through. My NW 2 switcher might have a short wheelbase. I will have to investigate to see if it has all wheel pickup.
 

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What you suggest would work, although not the way you have laid it out in SCARM because the two oval tracks would have to approach at an angle, not come straight in as you have drawn. The simplest solution would be a double crossover. Although pricey, and still requiring 4 turnout motors, it is a much more elegant solution, allowing you to chose any of four possible route combinations.
 

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I know that 4 #6 Atlas turnouts (2 right, two left) and a 19 degree crossing will make a double crossover with 3" track spacing. The frogs diverge at an angle of about 9.5 degrees, so the 19 degree crossover will work. From what I have been able to determine, all Peco code 100 turnouts have a diverging angle of 12 degrees, so a Peco crossing should work to create a double crossover. The short crossing lists a frog angle of 24 degrees, the long crossover lists a frog angle of 12 degrees. I have never tried to make a double crossover with Peco products, so I can't offer firsthand help there.
 

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If you're sticking with this track plan, just put in a passive diamond such as an Insulfrog, Atlas or Walthers diamond of the the same angle. If you go ahead and replace the diamond with 4 switches you wind up with the very same routing as the diamond but have increased the cost from some $25 to $100-$125.00 (+-)..to do the very same thing... And you will always have to throw 2 switches each time you want to to change from outside to inside oval & vice versa !!
Personally, I'd look for a completely different track plan; one without the redundancy of the the 2 parallel mains; a simpler single main line with a passing siding and a few industry spurs off it. Also, a single main line tends to to appear longer than a double main....M
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A lot to digest here, from all these posts. I think I will have to sit down and re-think the whole thing. As in, how badly do I want the two loops? Eliminating the inner loop would open up more space for industrial switching, a yard, etc. Funny how one forum question can evolve into something completely different. That's the nature of this beast though, isn't it. And that's the value that a forum like this provides. All good responses....thanks!
 

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Two single crossovers will be the easiest to get installed and running, particularly if you're using dcc.

Now you can run TWO trains at once, one on each "loop", and they won't interfere with one another.

One can do switching (on the inside), while the other runs continuously (on the outside).

You might consider adding an industry or tow (or three) on the outside loop, down at the lower right in your track plan.

Then, have the trains "swap loops" -- and in doing so, they can re-switch the industries.

Another thought:
Put a yard, perhaps 4 tracks, on the lower right (have the switch off the main from upper right).
Now, your "outside engine" builds the train (you have multiple cars for each customer in your yard).
Then it either "swaps" with the inside engine, or, "hands off" the outbound cars and picks up the inbound cars and brings them back to the yard...

You could "space out" the single crossovers -- have one at each end of the "straightaway" in the center of the picture. Now you have a "runaround" as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm liking this idea. It's actually closer to what I wanted to do in the first place...but does it better. My intent was to do either a small industry or a town section in that area down at the lower right. Industries were also in the plan for the area inside that inner loop. A riverbed will also cut through from north to south about 3/4 of the way from the left of the layout. Canadian National mainline, with TH& B serving the industries, 1950's thru 1970ish. That's my general thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update......I was able to purchase 4 "Unifrog" turnouts ( 2 left, and 2 right ). I assembled them temporarily in the configuration needed, along with some some straight track. Hooked up some DCC power to one end of the straight piece and successfully ran a loco thru each turnout, in every possible position, backward, and forward, without any problems. The Unifrog also comes with a wire attached to power the frog, if necessary, which I will do for added reliability. All in all, this doesn't allow for a continuous run thru one loop and thru the other, on and on. Switches need to be open and closed each time to crossover, but...I can live with this. My original idea wasn't a dealbreaker. This will provide for better operation. Thanks all for your help and suggestions.
 
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