Are Shinohara turnouts no go for DCC without major modifications? : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

In the past I used on my layout Shinohara code 70 turnouts (including lots of #4s in cramped industrial trackage). Now I am building new layout and want DCC. Several articles I've read say the Shinoharas will cause shorts at the frog unless substantially modified. Someone I know said he's used them,unmodified, n his DCC layout without any problem. So, my questions: Do I really have to modify the Shinoharas if I use them with DCC? If so, then I'd rather go with some other brand. The problem there is that, even after reading everything about turnouts on the Wiring for DCC website, I do not know which is really best. (I'd like code 70 and #4s.) Tillig??

-- Howard Lloyd (, January 25, 2005


If you have used them successfully in the past you are already familiar with the need for insulated rail joiners at the diverging path frog rails. Two other problems show up with DCC. Poor electrical connections to the point rails which also power the frog. And tight clearances between point and stock rails of opposite polarity that allows some wheel/truck sets to momentarily touch both rails.

You can fix the latter problem by fine tuning metal wheel sets (expecially locos) and track alignment for impecable roll-through performance.

The electrical connection problem can be solved by supplying a micro- switch tied to the throwbar to supplement the sliding rail-rail contacts that switch polarity to the frog sections, and extra feeder wires to ensure that power always gets to all rail sections. Just make sure that the microswitch 'clicks' when the point rails are near mid-throw position.


-- Don Vollrath (, January 26, 2005.

Have been a modeler for over fifty years (Life member NMRA)and used Shinohara points for just about that long as well. On to our sixth layout using a six man crew and regular monthly operation plus recycled points and rail.

Converted to Lenz DCC three years ago and did find poor contact between point blade and stock rails was a bit of a hassel on just a few points. Ran a fine insulted wire from metal throw-bar back to frog and from then on no problems. If we have the odd jerky loco going through the points we just place a drop of "Electrolube" between blade and stock rail and the point will settle down for months. Only real probelm with Shinohara is that after such a long and active life the plastic on the throw bar will perish after say................twenty years would you believe?

-- Lawrence Woodley (, February 14, 2005.

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