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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having turnout problems, I have 2 turnouts that will short out the trains when they go by. I tryed fingernail polish
but they still ground out. I used pink nailpolish on the turnout that is not working good it still stops1out of 3 times by.
Is there any difference in using pink polish. wife has no clear so will try clear when I get some.
AL
 

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Color makes no difference. A colored nail polish will be easier to see where you've applied it.

Where on the turnout are you using it?
 

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Check the rails opposite of the v, there should be a small piece of insulation there. Mine were worn down, so I put a little polish on both. I think that also depends on the type of turn out.

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I'm having turnout problems, I have 2 turnouts that will short out the trains when they go by. I tryed fingernail polish
but they still ground out. I used pink nailpolish on the turnout that is not working good it still stops1out of 3 times by.
Is there any difference in using pink polish. wife has no clear so will try clear when I get some.
AL
,TRAINMAN;

First of all, what brand, and type, of turnouts are you using? Atlas snap switch,? Atlas custom line?, Peco Insulfrog,? Peco Electrofrog?, Peco Unifrog?, Micro Engineering?, Walthers/Shinohara?

Second, can you post a photo of the turnout, with indicators of where the locomotive's lead wheels are when the short occurs?

Third, no, the color of nail polish doesn't make any practical difference. It's just being used as an electrical insulator. Most guys prefer clear/invisible, to passionate pink or purple, simply for appearance reasons. It's a guy thing.

Do you have any derailment problems on the turnout, or just the intermittent short circuit?
Have you checked the gauge of the locomotive's wheels, and all the variables on the turnout, with an NMRA standards gauge? (see photo) If you don't have this type of gauge, I recommend you order one. It can help with many problems on turnouts and elsewhere too. The gauge costs $12 and you can order one from www.modeltrainstuff.com The gauge may, or may not, help with your present problem,depending on where the short is. However, it certainly will help with other potential problems.

I suspect you may be dealing with an Atlas "Snap Switch." A photo can confirm this. The nail polish fix only works on the "frog" which you called a "v". The short may be happening on another part of the turnout, like between the point rail and stock rail. We really need a photo, and more information, to help you effectively.

One test you can try is to run the locomotive slowly through the turnout with the room lights off, or dim, and look for sparks on the turnout. The sparks may help you to find where the short is happening.

Good Luck;
Traction Fan
 

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The most likely place the short is happening is when one of the several metal tires bridges the two frog rails. "Frog rails" means the tines going away from the V. As vette kid says, as the V-separates, there should be two black insulators there, or else the entire frog is plastic. Whatever the case, the two tines are separated from each other because they have opposing phase/polarity. One or more metal tires runs over one, but just briefly covers the other rail as well and the shorts detection circuitry in your base station instantly protects itself and your costly decoders...if you have DCC. So, you technically only need to cover each tine for about 1/4" beyond the frog/insulator on the two leaving routes, meaning those inside 'frog rails'.
 

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You might try insulating the rail joints "behind" the frog on both rails (main route and diverging route).

This may also necessitate adding power leads to the section of track "behind" the frog.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
THANKS FOR THE HELP
Micro Engineering #5 frog--standard frog. The loco that stops most is a 0-6-0 but I have a desical that stops also.
I didn't know if color would make a diffence and not insulate the frog. My layout is a DC layout. this short is not new to this turnout the old turnout was doing it to. some trains go thru OK then the next stops. I just bought 3 new turnouts thinking it would be better but no way . I will take your advice and check were it stop and were the sparks is. I'm
not very good on computer so no pictures and don't know old turnouts. I will check were the spark is when I go to shed this afternoon. AL
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I checked were the wheel stoped on the frog, the middle wheel stoped in the middle of the frog it stopped right at the point of the middle V and there was no spark I could see.
THANKS AL
 

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Is it possible your turnout is not lying on a plane throughout its routes? Could it be twisted slightly, or humped in the middle? If there is no short, then it must either be a gauge problem for one or more axles or too many of the electrical pickup tires are being lifted clear of any contact with powered rails.
 

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THANKS FOR THE HELP
Micro Engineering #5 frog--standard frog. The loco that stops most is a 0-6-0 but I have a desical that stops also.
I didn't know if color would make a diffence and not insulate the frog. My layout is a DC layout. this short is not new to this turnout the old turnout was doing it to. some trains go thru OK then the next stops. I just bought 3 new turnouts thinking it would be better but no way . I will take your advice and check were it stop and were the sparks is. I'm
not very good on computer so no pictures and don't know old turnouts. I will check were the spark is when I go to shed this afternoon. AL
TRAINMAN 11;

OK. If you're using Micro Engineering turnouts (excellent choice) they have an "Isolated frog." This means the frog ("V") is electrically insulated from all the other rails on the turnout. Unless you have hooked it up with a feeder wire, and either a micro-switch or a "Frog Juicer" commercial circuit board, the frog will be "dead" with no electricity in it.

Now a longer loco, with all-wheel electrical pickup will generally breeze right through a turnout with a plastic frog or, as in this case, a metal frog that is not hooked up to power. This is because while the front wheels are on the dead frog, the rear wheels are still on powered track.
Your 0-6-0, and possibly your one diesel loco that "shorts", (or maybe just stalls for lack of power) probably do not pick up power on all their wheels.
A lot of older diesel locomotive models picked up power from one rail only with their front wheels, and got power from the other rail only with their rear wheels. If your model is like that, then it might stall on a dead frog.
Is there any indication that you have a real short circuit on your turnout, beyond the fact that the locomotive stops there? Does the overload light on your DC power pack light up to indicate a short? Have you done any electrical testing with a multimeter?

Here are some tests you can do to find out if you really have a "short circuit", or an "open circuit" (no power) at the frog.
Run your 0-6-0 through the turnout until it stops. Leave the 0-6-0 stopped on the turnout, and the power turned on. Put another locomotive on the track further back. Does the other loco run? If it doesn't, you may indeed have a short circuit. If the other locomotive does run, then you don't have a short, you have an open circuit instead.
If the second loco runs, pick it up off the track, and concentrate on the 0-6-0.
Take a piece of wire and hold one end on the frog, and the other end on the same rail, but back a ways from the frog.

(What your doing in this test is temporarily bypassing the insulated gap between the frog and the rest of that rail.)

Does the 0-6-0 run when you hold the wire on the frog? If it does, the problem is the dead frog. You will need to buy a "frog juicer" and hook it up to the frog and both rails according to the directions that come with the frog juicer.

What brand was your old turnout? The one the present Micro Engineering turnout replaced? The file below explains a lot about various types of turnouts, including isolated frogs. Look through it if you want.

Good Luck;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tracton fan
You are right the frog is dead, and I only have 1 0-6-0 that stops at the frog it pulls up on it everytime and stops. the other same loco I have, studer there some time but does not stop. I don't know what old turnout was.
 

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tracton fan
You are right the frog is dead, and I only have 1 0-6-0 that stops at the frog it pulls up on it everytime and stops. the other same loco I have, studer there some time but does not stop. I don't know what old turnout was.
TRAINMAN;

Congratulations! You have found out that you don't really have a short circuit at all, only an "open circuit", (meaning no power) at the frog. You can order a "Frog Juicer" from www.modeltrainstuff.com or www,trainworld.com You may wonder why you can't just connect a wire from that dead frog to one of the rails and leave it connected. The reason that will be a problem is that the frog needs to be the right-hand rail for one route through the turnout and be the left-hand rail for the other route. The frog juicer works like this. When the train first comes into the turnout, the frog juicer will already have the frog set up for one, or the other route. This might be either the right or the left route, but it doesn't matter. When the first metal wheel of the locomotive gets to the insulating gap between the frog, and the rest of the turnout's rails, one of two things will happen. If the loco is going onto the left route, and the frog juicer had the frog set for the left-hand route, then the loco will just run smoothly through the frog, and onto the left track. But, if the frog juicer had the frog set for the right-hand route, there will be a short circuit. The frog juicer senses this short circuit and instantly switches the electrical polarity of the frog over to the right-hand route, automatically and the loco runs smoothly through the frog, and onto the right-hand track. You don't have to do anything, the frog juicer does it all instantly and automatically, so your 0-6-0 should run smoothly through the frog onto either track, with no more stopping! 🙂

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Traction Fan
Thanks for the help, I don't which way I will go I'll probley just use that train on another rail. I have been playing with trains now in my shed since Nov, and I have learned a lot. Right now I want to extend my track a little, I want a track to store cars and loco's but have run out of room on the layout I have the answer is to extend the wood a little more.
AL
 

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Traction Fan
Thanks for the help, I don't which way I will go I'll probley just use that train on another rail. I have been playing with trains now in my shed since Nov, and I have learned a lot. Right now I want to extend my track a little, I want a track to store cars and loco's but have run out of room on the layout I have the answer is to extend the wood a little more.
AL
Understood. Good luck with your layout extension. You might print out & save my last response. That way, if you later want to use that 0-6-0, plus whatever diesel was stopping there, on the track with Micro Engineering turnouts, you will know what to do.

Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 
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