Atlas Turnouts and Dead Mice : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I'm feeling pretty smart this morning because I followed Alan's advice and started retro-wiring my small layout according to his instructions. I have Atlas code 83 turnouts and it was only when I studied them closely that I realized every frog has a ring terminal attached to it, on top of the ties. My track is painted and ballasted and I never noticed these until last night. I was getting ready to drill through my frogs when I found these puppies. According to my DMM, they are frog lugs.

Also, Dead Mice are very handy beasts. Microsoft "dove bar" mice yield 4 conductors of about 6 feet of very fine, high quality stranded wire. I'm using it for combination point-rail to closure rail bonds / and feeders. Each mouse has enough wire for frog and point rail leads for 2 or 3 turnouts. Also, those two buttons that you click thousands of times every day have high quality spdt micro switches under them. No need to de-solder, just trim away the circuit board to match the dimensions of the switch case and solder to the existing pads. I'm using these to power route frogs on manually actuated turnouts.

I work at a large university and it's not hard to put my hands on a couple of dozen dead mice every year. Now let's figure out an occupancy detector based on the optical components.

Thanks for the truuuuly excellent web site.

-- Kerry T. Pokorny (, April 23, 2004


I too use mostly Atlas switches and since I am building new I have used 1.6mm screws 12mm long bolted through the hole. and solder a wire to the screw. Unfortunetely the only dead mice I have access to have been contributed by my cats, I tried opening one but did not find the neat parts Kerry is talking about.

-- Bill Kirk (, July 20, 2004.

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