N scale turnouts

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

Hi there. Fabulous site by the way. ...but of course creates as many new questions for me as it answered... :-)

I'm (planning) setting up a DCC N-gauge layout from scratch. I quite like the look of the Peco 55 track. You state that the Peco switches are fairly DCC-friendly (although it seems to me that having to do considerable work soldering each one doesn't sound *that* friendly to me). But I believe that you are mainly referring to HO items. Further down on the site you state that in N-gauge the soldering may be too fiddly to do properly. And in another part of the site you mention (admittedly unrelated) that N and HO can be different in the same manufacturer. In addition, Peco only do a very limited number of insulfrogs in 55 (but a wide range of electro). They do more in the 80 gauge. This (and other information) leads me to believe that electrofrogs are the way to do things "properly". Is this true?

So, here's the question already. Do you (or anyone) know if the N-gauge Peco 55 switches are either DCC-ready, DCC-friendly (as described on this site), possible or tricky to convert to either of these. Or, is there a preferred manufacturer of at least DCC--relatively-amiable 55 scale N turnouts?

And in addition, let's start kicking these manufacturers to tell us in their websites. Not one of them I've seen mentions DCC or wiring details *at all*, except for the reference back here from the Pilz/Tillig page (no N-gauge stuff though).

Best regards


-- Charles Steadman (charlessteadman@hotmail.com), January 14, 2004


You have to power the frog on an electrofrog turnout. However, many, if not most, modelers opt for electrofrogs. This is because some locomotives will stall on insulfrogs. Peco has made the dead spot on the insulfrog about as small as they can. So you might want to try an insulfrog if you really don't want to power your frog. In short, they no doubt make more electrofrogs in 55 than insulfrogs because, while a little more work, electrofrogs will always work for all modelers.

Since this site is free and I do it in my spare time, I don't have any additional information regarding N scale turnouts other than what is in my site. Peco does make a pretty good HO turnout. Assuming their N is the same as HO (not true of all manufacturers), their N turnout should be pretty good, too.

While you won't expect a manufacturer to advertise "our turnouts are not DCC friendly," you would hope that if they were, they might want to tell the world about it. That may be coming. Due out 1/18/04, Walthers is coming out with a turnout they are calling DCC Compatible. Go to their website and look at item number 8801. I don't know how DCC compatible/friendly it is. Hopefully it is what we are looking for. Unfortunately for you, it only shows as code 83. Have you considered HO? :)


-- Allan Gartner (bigboy@wiringfordcc.com), January 16, 2004.

Thanks very much for your comments... I will go for the Peco turnouts, and I'll investigate them thoroughly and report back here how they are wired...

-- Charles Steadman (charlessteadman@hotmail.com), February 01, 2004.

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