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What I do is drill and tap the hole for a 2-56 screw, screw it in from the bottom, and solder a wire to the screw. Works very well.
馃寛 FB, Yes, the CustomLine switches do have the metal frogs (why they put the black color on top is odd and I believe causes people to think they are plastic)...Not sure but it seems you're overlooking that at the side of the frog at bottom is a little circular piece which sticks out. This is meant to put a screw in to attach the (I believe, neutral) wire of the circuit. The only drilling you need is to run the wire up to the screw from below bench..馃洡馃寗馃洡
The hole is not pre-drilled nor pre-tapped for a 2-56 screw.
 

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I don't know where people get the idea that Atlas frogs can't be powered. They most assuredly can! I have a couple of older Atlas turnouts with riveted point rails and the frogs are metal on both of them. The frogs on the newer turnouts are black in color, but they are metal. The metal that Atlas uses for their frogs does not take solder very well, though. What I do is drill and tap the hole for a 2-56 screw, screw it in from the bottom, and solder a wire to the screw. Works very well.
Well, the idea would have occurred to me because the frogs in many Atlas turnouts (Snap Track -- which are the ones most commonly used by beginners) are plastic. Unless you have a way to make plastic conduct electricity, then I'd have to say those can't be powered.
 

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OP:

If age is gettin' to ya (as it is to me) as well as to the RR, perhaps it's time to dismantle the old [larger?] one, and replace it with something smaller, less labor and time-intensive -- enough to enjoy running frequently, but something that could be easily disassembled "when the time comes". Not looking forward to that myself...
 

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I would hope for you that when faced with this problem the answer would come to you far easier than it has for me!
I don't think the idea of tearing down a layout comes easy for anyone! When you've put so much time and effort into something, the last thing you want is to see it all go away. Plus the idea of never knowing if you'll get back to it again. My last layout was torn down 37 years ago, and I'm only now just getting back to building something despite being in this house for the past 21 years. You just never know...
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Shdwdrgn, I would guess that tearing down any layout would not be fun for anyone! I have more than 150 freight and passenger cars, all are weathered with Kadees and metal wheel sets and I remember how much I enjoyed building almost every one of them. At times I look at them like they are friends. I also have more than 20 locomotives that I feel the same way about. However, because HO has mostly become a Ready to Run scale, I would not be interested in HO anymore, as my primary enjoyment comes from building models. So, it will become a total change for me, if I do this!
 

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It seems to me that you are no longer enjoying what you have the WAY YOU HAVE IT. You're likely to live another 10-20 years, all things considered. Maybe not so long if you're depressed, unsure, undecided, demotivated, and no longer have the snap to carve out some happiness from your remaining days. If you want any of this to change, then get out a sledge hammer and start busting up what ain't workin' no more. It might be a good place to start by culling some of your possessions. If you get them down to a more manageable inventory, maybe a smaller, newer, and more meaningful layout will work for you. Sell some of your stuff, get some more kits or materials and keep doing what gave you pleasure 20 years ago.

A bit aside, but not off the topic you've introduced and fleshed out just above: How is your health? Do you walk, garden, cycle, hike...regularly? As in at least three times each week? How well do you sleep? Do you know how well, or poorly, you sleep? If you have apnea, is it treated? How is your nutrition? A sober look at what you eat may result in a necessary change for you that improves your mood and energy.
 

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馃寛 FLYBOY, I just don't get what the prob is.. At bottom side (above the ties) of all CustomLine switches is a tiny metal ring shape as part of the frog. Everyone I've owned or seen has this..If switch (TO) is in place on the layout, merely put a tiny tiny wood screw through it (from the top/not below frog). Wood screw's threads grabs the soft pot metal. Wrap the neutral wire around it and tighten the screw. No ?
 

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Except that cutting threads into pot metal with a wood screw will likely crack the pot metal.
 

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I dont worry about what鈥檚 going to happen with my layout when I鈥檓 gone. I get my fun out of it, and from an investment, it has not much valve. I told my wife she can throw it all out. Don鈥檛 get the wrong idea, I love the hobby. I think if you want, rebuild and enjoy the hobby. It beats watching tv....
 

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there are people out there that will build a custom layout for you. if your tired of your old one and don't want take the time to build a new one that may be an option.
 

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I don't think i would get as much enjoyment out of my layout knowing someone else built it.

For some it is a viable option.
 

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I think I tapped the hole in the tab on custom line turnouts for a 256 screw. The frog then needs to be powered by contacts on the turnout switch motor as it needs to change based on where the points contact - not "neutral" which does not exist.
 

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Well, I'm only 15 years into my current O-Gauge layout and I have no issues due to age. I have one section of track that has a "bobble" in it due to settling of the benchwork or the house or something that i can't quite get rid of no matter how hard I try, so I san see the trains undulate very slightly as they go over that section, but all my trains tolerate it. Other than that, no problems or complaints. I built it well with heavy lumber and rubber underlay below the track and screws every few inches, and wired the dickens out of it, with # 8 feed fires every six feet, solid track with all track section junctions soldered, etc. Although I used Atlas track I worked in Fastrak switches as I know they are bulletproof (and they have been).

But I'm constantly tearing it up and rebuilding, but that's just what I do . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Dispite some considering that I may be depressed and unable to find any good in my life, I am doing fine and simply talking about where I am in this hobby! However, at 70 years old with health issues, and the Covid 19 situation, which could very easily put an end to my life! That people are having very difficult times because of the "Stay at Home" orders and the fact that they have no reserves and no; or, very little income, does bother me immensely! There are far more pressing things in life than the fact that I have lost some enthusiasm for my hobby.

I have no control over this; but, I am no longer interested in this topic and will no longer post here.
 

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Except that cutting threads into pot metal with a wood screw will likely crack the pot metal.
No, it won't 'likely'. I have done this many times across the years and not a once did I break the ring..It's a tiny, maybe 5/16" long conical flat head wood screw. You do not tap threads into the ring. You set the wood screw up, wrap the tiny wire around it, and snug it down..
You don't kill it. You just tighten enough to hold the screw firmly...I've never broken a ring...
 

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"Dispite some considering that I may be depressed . . . .
. . . . I am no longer interested in this topic and will no longer post here."

Well, whatever the reason I hope you will re-consider in time. Things are bad for all of us now and model trains can be a comfort, or at least a distraction, in this time when we need that.

My best wishes for you . . .

Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Lee, I meant that I was no longer going to post in this thread, not that I will no longer post in the Model Train Forum! Now, I will no longer be posting in this thread.
 
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