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Messages - Tom

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Just curious as to why you need to see a “a working layout using RailPro.”  Anyone with a Ring HC-2 controller or CI-1 and a locomotive or two with a ring modules installed (minimum investment of about $125.00) and access to a DCC HO layout would be the same thing except for the power supply.

I started with HO after a very long hiatus and had no qualms about jumping onto RailPro vs. the obsolete DCC technology.  Someone on this site posted that the worst that could happen if RailPro went belly up is that you may eventually have to buy a DCC power supply and controller if you RailPro devices ever failed.


« on: July 29, 2018, 11:13:54 AM »
A while back I saw a large layout with well-organized and very neat wiring underneath.  They used a round plastic cable bundling device, maybe about the size of a little finger curled up, with a slightly flat surface on the back side with a small screw hole in it.  The front ring like part could be opened and then shut with a catch built into the thing so wires could be run through it (them).  It could be opened up and then closed again for added wires.

Does anyone know what these are called and/or where they can be found?


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« on: July 26, 2018, 07:56:22 AM »

Thank you for running the experiment, greatly appreciated.  Ring just sold another AR-1.  I have several Caboose 220S throws so my options to fix frog problems are essentially unlimited.


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« on: July 23, 2018, 07:31:10 AM »

Have you tried connecting RT1 & RT2 from same AR-1 to two different frogs which would never be crossed simultaneously?  Or for that matter splitting RT1 & RT2 with each output going to two or more frogs all of which would never be crossed simultaneously.  If this is possible and all runs are shorter than 10 feet from AR-1 the cost per frog would be cut drastically.  In any event, what would happen if two connected frogs were touch simultaneously: maybe the PWR-56 would just cut off power for 2 seconds and then one would move on?

Also there would be less wiring more like the Frog Juicer, rather than having 5 wires connected for each SmartFrog V5 which also looks like less expensive decent option.  Though retrofitting a Caboose 220S proved more messy for me than the SmartFrog V5 would be (I wired a SmartFrog V4, but it did not work).


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« on: July 20, 2018, 12:37:30 PM »
Well, this discussion has rocketed way past my level of electrical competence.  But it raises the question of “why does not Ring fix the PWR-56 to be the more DCC friendly type of output.”  The modules run on DCC anyway and it seems that Ring is trying to make RailPro more accessible to DCC enthusiasts (DCC Enabled) so why not allow potential RailPro users access to more stuff made for DCC?  Maybe Ring could just update the software running the PWR-56.

I think I will go with the SmartFrog V5 or the Caboose 220S ground throws.  Have not found anyone other than ANE website selling the SmartFrog.


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« on: July 20, 2018, 09:00:02 AM »

Got it, with one exception: I was unaware that the PWR-56 is DC since Ring is pretty emphatic that their modules should not to be used with a power pack set to full throttle.

Based on your description and picture of the SmartFrog, what do you think about powering my Tam Valley Hex Frog Juicer with a separate DCC power supply and then running the single wires to the frogs?  It seems like the Frog Juicer might line up the polarity of the frog with whatever it detects.  If that is something that would work the next question is: is there a very inexpensive DCC power supply out there somewhere?


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« on: July 17, 2018, 04:59:53 PM »

Thanks for the reply.   Based on your comments I will probably go with the hard wiring one way or the other.  I think I have heard of hand switch throws that have a way to run a wire from the throw to the frog such that the polarity is changed when the switch is manually thrown.  I hope this is not exactly the same, or as precarious as, the contact method of the old Shinohara turnouts which is not advised.

In the mean time I asked Ring about this and he wants me to buy an AR-1 to power as well as change the polarity on a frog.  I cannot understand how this would work.  From Ring: “There should be two connection points to power the frog.  You would simply connect RT1 to one of them and RT2 to the other (makes no difference which one is connected to RT1 or RT2).”  But there is only one place to power a frog, at least Atlas anyway.  That would mean one has to combine the RT1 and RT2 wires and run them both to the frog connection point which does not sound right.


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« on: July 17, 2018, 01:30:06 PM »
I stand corrected: Shinohara turnouts do not have frogs powered by switch point contact.

I have a very small all Ring layout.  I can reach all turnouts to operate them manually.  Several locomotives stall for a split second on #6 turnouts.  A couple of locos/tenders have 6 wheel trucks and one has room for a TCS Keep-Alive so no problems with these.  Thinking novice, what might be a couple of the least cumbersome simpler options available to keep locomotives running over these turnouts? 

I thought I had hit the jackpot with the Tam Valley Frog Juicer, but it only partially works with Ring PWR-56.  Maybe an easy option is just to switch to a DCC power supply that works with the Juicer.  Ring LM-2S/3S modules work with DCC power.


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« on: July 17, 2018, 07:58:52 AM »

I appreciate the information, hard to find ANE documentation.

My Frog Juicer works as described with a PWR-56 earlier in this string whereby the polarity reversal works well in one direction, but shorts out the PWR-56 in the other direction.  But when the power supply comes back on after having been shorted out the polarity has been correctly reversed and locomotive run well in that direction from then on.

The ANE Smartfrog requires another power supply and more wiring than the Frog Juicer.  So, to avoid that, I willing to accept the one-in-so-many hiccups as long as PWR-56 lasts, at least I have a spare one of those.

Also, it would have been nice to have known sooner that Shinohara turnouts are wired to power the frogs for whichever way the turnout is aligned.  It is almost worth considering pulling a few Atlas turnouts and replacing with Shinohara to solve the problem the way it should have been solved in the first place.  They can still be found, and rumor is that Walthers will reconstitute the Shinohara line.

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« on: July 16, 2018, 09:20:30 PM »
Can someone explain how to wire an ANE v5 AP003 Smartfrog?  I am not certain I understood the wiring explanation by Joel on August 7, 2016.  My frame of reference is frog juicer where a + and – from the power buss goes into the frog juicer and then up to 6 individual wires are each run from the frog juicer to up to six individual frogs - simple enough.  But where does the power go into on the ANE v5 Smartfrog: the “TRACK+”, the “TRACK-“, or somewhere else?  If it either one or the other, is there anything else besides connecting the actual frog to “FROG” on the Smartfrog?

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