Making a Peco 3-Way DCC Friendly : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

Is there any advice on how to make a Peco Code 100 Insulfrog 3-way turnout DCC friendly? I ask because all my other Peco turnouts work out just fine (save for one with a pesky thin plastic frog). I have this one 3-way switch. Only the center portion gives me the problem. If I run a locomotive through the left or right side, all is well. Send it through the center and I get those motor "singing" moments. Oddly enough my Digitrax PM42 doesn't shut down the sub-district. But that's another story.


-- Doug Fraser (, January 13, 2003


Hi, I've run into this problem recently too, albeit with an electrfrog point. I considered creating a set of relays to control polarity to each section of the point but abandoned that as too complex, after all I want to use DCC partially to simplify things!. The only other idea I've had would be to make the point an isolated section & feed it from an automatic reverse loop controller, not ideal but it should work.

-- Russ Milton (, January 14, 2003.

I have solved my situation (may not be appropriate for others mind you.

The 3 spurs all had power feeders. I removed the feeders form the centre spur and I removed the "inner" feeders (the rails closest to the centre spur of the left and right spurs. This causes the point rails to set up a type of power-routing. Since the spurs are so short and I plan the shunt small coal hoppers with q 44-tonner, I will probably never have a loco on more than one spur at any one time.

Cheers, Doug

-- Doug Fraser (, January 25, 2003.

I recently purchased one of these and found the same problem you are. The directions which came with the 3-way explained how to connect two SPDT switches to control power, as someone said in response, DCC is to simplyfy not enhance complexity. Using an ohm-meter to check for shorts and a power source as well I isolated each leg by triming the wire leads and testing the unit with a proto-2000 S7 loco. Yes I did short out a few times, I eventually isolated and powered the 3 sets of rail after the turnout as well. I'm happy now but will probably find a better way to do 3-way turnouts in the future.


-- Andrew Carlson (, March 14, 2003.

The problem you are having with the 3-way is similar to other power routing switches. If you use the built-in point switches to do the power routing it will work on DC as well as DCC. But eventually you will experience contact failures and lose connections with age and oxidation. [This is not peculiar to, but is more noticable with DCC.] The fix is to come up with an external electrical switch that operates in parallel with those built into the throw-bar rails. It must switch rail power when the throw-bar crosses the center to avoid electrical shorts. Operating an under the table micro-switch(es) from a stiff wire up through the throw-bar(s) is one good way to do it.

-- Don Vollrath (, March 18, 2003.

I am going to add a 3 way turnout to my layout. I decided not to go with the Peco 3 way turnout. I decided to get a Walthers Shinohara 3 way. There arnt to many options out there as far as this turnout goes. I will let you know how it works.


-- Gary Sika (, January 20, 2004.

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