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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Mirco eng turnout #5b and I have a small 2-6-2 prairie loco that stops almost every time what can I do to fix
this problem. I have other loco's and they will not stop. WHAT CAN I DO YO FIX
AL
 

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Is the frog metal on that turnout? I think it is, and probably even has a recess in it on the underside to attach a feeder wire to make it live. You'll need a frog juicing controller, something to switch between the two rail polarities depending on which way the points are thrown.

And that's only if the frog is the problem. I'm guessing it isn't because other locomotives don't have the problem. I would take a close look at the wipers on the tender and on the drivers to see if they all connect with the backs of the wheels or on the axles. Clean them. Open up the tender and the locomotive shell to see if any wires/solders are defective.
 

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Does the 2-6-2 even have tender pick-ups (are we talking about the B-mann 2-6-2)? The 0-6-0 doesn't and they are essentially the same model. If the frog is insulated, then the wheelbase might be too short...mesenteria most likely solved your problem anyway😉
 

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I agree with you USRA Guy, I have 2 of the same loco's but the other stumbles has more car behind it to push it through the frog. the turnout has some cuts in track on both side of plastic frog. This loco has no wires from tender to train.
My layout is DC only, I'm 78 and have problem trying to learn all that DCC stuff. The DC layout works find for me.
THANKS FOR HELP AL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree with you USRA Guy, I have 2 of the same loco's but the other stumbles has more car behind it to push it through the frog. the turnout has some cuts in track on both side of plastic frog. This loco has no wires from tender to train.
My layout is DC only, I'm 78 and have problem trying to learn all that DCC stuff. The DC layout works find for me.
THANKS FOR HELP AL
WOULD IT HELP IF I SCOLDERED ANY OF THE CUTS AT THE END OF FROG, I have been reading the instruction sheet with the turnout it says the frogs are metal not Plastic.
 

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WOULD IT HELP IF I SCOLDERED ANY OF THE CUTS AT THE END OF FROG, I have been reading the instruction sheet with the turnout it says the frogs are metal not Plastic.
Trainman11;

NO! Do not try to solder the cuts in your Micro Engineering turnout! Doing that would probably damage the turnout, and certainly cause a short circuit. I have some Micro Engineering turnouts and the frogs are metal and capable of being powered. Mine are N-scale but the HO-scale version is the same design, just bigger. Those cuts in the rails going into the frog are filled with plastic, and act as insulated gaps in the rail. Their purpose is to electrically isolate the frog from all the other rails of the turnout. This "isolated frog" is part of the "DCC friendly" configuration built into the turnout. You say you are using DC. That's fine, the turnout will work with either DC or DCC.

To help your 2-6-2 prairie through the turnout, you need to either power the frog, or add more electrical pickups to the 2-6-2 loco and the tender. I suspect your 2-6-2 is a Bachmann, and only has four of the six drivers on the locomotive, and none of the wheels on the tender, picking up power. That would explain why it's the only loco that stalls on the turnout, your other locomotives likely have more wheels picking up power.

To power the frog you need to first solder a wire to it. There may be a little horseshoe-shaped lug on one side of the frog that you can solder a wire to, or you can solder the wire to the outside of the frog. Once you have the wire soldered to the frog, try this experiment before going any further. Run your 2-6-2 onto the turnout until it stalls on the frog. Then hold the frog wire against one of the two running rails of the track. The loco should then go through the turnout. If it doesn't, try holding the wire against the opposite rail. If the experiment works, it means that mesenteria was correct, and the unpowered frog + the poor electrical pickup of that one locomotive, are causing it to stall. Since you probably don't want to have to hold a wire against a rail every time that loco gets to the turnout, you will need either a "frog juicer" or a micro-switch that is controlled by the movement of the turnout's throwbar. Are you using a Tortoise switch machine to throw this turnout? It has micro-switches inside it for this purpose.

If you look at the turnout, you will see that the frog is the right-hand rail for one route (mainline) and the left-hand rail for the other route. (siding) That's why the electrical polarity of the frog, needs to be changed when you switch routes through the turnout. It's also why soldering over the cuts in the frog rails will cause a short circuit. If you solder all the cuts, the frog will (electrically) be told to be both a right-hand rail, and a left-hand rail, at the same time. Electrically, soldering those cuts would be the same as connecting a wire from the frog to both the right and the left rails. This would result in a dead short between those two rails.

A micro-switch has three terminals labeled "C" (common), "NO (normally open), and "NC" (normally closed) The wire you soldered to the frog goes to the "C" common terminal The NO normally open, and NC normally closed terminals should each have a wire going to one, or the other, of the two running rails of the track approaching the turnout from the end of the turnout closest to the throwbar. Which of these two wire connects to which rail? Try it one way, if it doesn't work, reverse the two wires and it will.

The "Frog Juicer" mentioned is a sort of automatic electronic substitute for the micro-switch. It's a little circuit board which gets wired to the frog and the two running rails, in the same way the micro-switch would have been. When the a metal wheel on your little 2-6-2 spans one of those cuts on your turnout, it may cause a short, if the frog is the wrong polarity when the wheel bridges the gap. The frog juicer instantly changes the frog polarity so the locomotive can go on through the turnout. The frog juicer makes changing the polarity of the frog simpler. No micro-switch and no mechanical connection from that micro-switch to the throwbar of the turnout. The job is done electronically.

The file below has this information, and a whole lot more about turnouts.

Good Luck;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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