Wiring Pilz switch for DCC

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Alan Gartner suggested that I submit this question here. Here is a copy of the e-mail I sent him:

I found your web page through the railserve.com page and REALLY enjoyed your pages, especially the one on DCC. I am building a new HO layout using Pilz turnouts, but they are not the Elite model you mentioned in your page. They are more like the Peco Electrofrog, but the frog and its guard rails are metal and connected to the closure rails. The points pivot independently like Atlas Custom turnouts (without rivets at pivot point, though). The frog is insulated from the frog rails, and those rails are jumpered underneath to the correcponding stock rails. I hope to add DCC to my layout (maybe next year). Based on your article, I suspect I should use the Peco Electrofrog method of wiring my turnouts for DCC. Is that correct? I don't quite understand the advantage of disconnecting the frog from the closure rails. If you do disconnect the frog, but don't jumper the closure rails to the stock rails, a train running the switch would short out through the light bulb and meet a "dead" closure rail, but then you depend on the points for powering the closure rails. Based on your article, you can't power the closure rails with only the points when using DCC?

Bob Larger

-- Robert J. Larger (blarger@ibm.net), September 27, 1998



Thanks for making your question part of the DCC Q&A Forum.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the switch you have is more like a Peco Insulfrog except that the frog rails are metal and not insulated. A matter of perspective perhaps? In any event, your switch is wired (if I am interpreting your message correctly) just like the Insulfrog. So wiring wise, you don't need to do anything.

You should cut the metal frog like shown for the Electrofrog. I believe this is all you need to do.

You are right, you do not want to disconnect the closure rails from the stock rails. As you indicated, this would cause the points to be the sole source of power for the closure and point rails. This would eventually lead to bad electrical contact and possible source of ignition. Where my page says "option," you should want to put it in if not present. If present, by all means, don't take it out!

-- Allan W. Gartner (wire4dcc@aol.com), September 28, 1998.

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