Author Topic: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?  (Read 16824 times)

Tom

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #45 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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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2018, 06:17:34 AM »
Hi Tom,

Joel still hangs out here so he should be able to chime in however this should get you started as well.

When used by itself ANE's documentation states that the Smart Frog (now at version 6) requires a 12v supply connected at the terminals marked POWER, which is located away from the other terminals.  The current documentation for the Smart Frog can be found here: https://www.anemodel.com/%E4%B8%8B%E8%BC%89/SmartFrog%206%20manual%20V1.2.pdf.

The TRACK+ and TRACK- go to the turnout and FROG goes to the frog. Each Smart Frog unit can only service one frog.

Hopefully Joel will let us know what he did for the 12v power.

- Tim

Alan

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2018, 06:53:20 AM »
Wow, those directions are tough to read. No wonder you are asking for help.

These are especially curious statements. Odd that a specific current is called out.
Quote
Limited to DC Controller Features, Auto switch turnout position function will not working well in
DC control environment. We recommend that you carefully
to install SmartFrog V5 in DCC control
will be better for this special function.
In DCC control, Auto Switch function perfectly within the following conditions of operation.
Locomotive running current over 400mA and track voltage higher than 2.5V.
Alan

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G8B4Life

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2018, 07:25:55 AM »
Wow, those directions are tough to read. No wonder you are asking for help.

Just remember, English is not these guys primary language. At least they do better than some of my works Chinese suppliers!

Quote
These are especially curious statements. Odd that a specific current is called out.
Quote
Limited to DC Controller Features, Auto switch turnout position function will not working well in
DC control environment. We recommend that you carefully
to install SmartFrog V5 in DCC control
will be better for this special function.
In DCC control, Auto Switch function perfectly within the following conditions of operation.
Locomotive running current over 400mA and track voltage higher than 2.5V.

This is in relation to the new feature in the V6 revision, If you have the Smart Frog hooked up to the Smart Switch system, if you run through the turnout from the trailing direction the Smart Frog in conjunction with the Smart Switch can realise if the points are set correctly or not and throw them automatically for you. Why this apparently doesn't work well for DC track but does for DCC track and why the minimum current I don't know but there must be something to it.  It does not matter anyway if your using just the Smart Frog by itself as the Smart Frog can not throw points.

Oh, Points = Switch for anyone unfamiliar with the term.

- Tim

Tom

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2018, 07:58:52 AM »
Tim,

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.

Alan

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2018, 08:14:22 AM »
...
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.

Applies only to the old, out-of-production, pre-DCC, 3 digit pt# Shinohara switches. Current production 4 digit pt# DCC-friendly Shinohara switches have an isolated frog that is dead unless you route power to it via a feeder. My layout has 72 of these each with a feeder to the frog with polarity controlled by a Tortoise.

Notice the insulated gaps on the ends of the frog and the feeder soldered to it:

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« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 08:21:35 AM by Alan »
Alan

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2018, 08:24:29 AM »
Your welcome Tom.

It took me a while to remember where the ANE docs were it's been so long since I've visited their site. All their docs can be found here for anyone looking: https://www.anemodel.com/DL1.html.

What brand of frog juicer do you currently have? From previous discussions here the line from frog juicer manufacturers seems to be "Nope DCC only" or "It might work on DC but we don't know or care to find out for you" so it'd be interesting to know.

Alan would know better than I on the electrical side of this so perhaps he knows if this is the answer or not but from your description of your current arrangement with the PWR-56 and the frog juicer it sounds like the PWR-56 is detecting the short quicker than the juicer is changing the polarity hence the shutdown and all is good once it comes back on.

I read back a few posts and it seems that Joel just used the PWR-56 to power the Smart Frog and didn't use another power supply thus:

The wiring is the same as a Mono Frog Juicer (left rail, right rail and frog) but it must also be powered by a separate set of wires. Since my turnout was already wired for the Mono Frog Juicer, I've added two additional feeder wires (16 gauge) from the bus (14 gauge) to power the SmartFrog.


- Tim

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #52 on: July 17, 2018, 08:55:29 AM »
...
Alan would know better than I on the electrical side of this so perhaps he knows if this is the answer or not but from your description of your current arrangement with the PWR-56 and the frog juicer it sounds like the PWR-56 is detecting the short quicker than the juicer is changing the polarity hence the shutdown and all is good once it comes back on.
...
- Tim

I agree the PWR56 is detecting faster. Really the only possible explanation other than the juicer is faulty.

My layout uses homemade circuit breakers for power districts. I discovered while prototyping the circuit breaker design that modern power supplies have a very very fast trip response time. It was quite challenging to build a circuit breaker that was faster than the power supply yet didn't nuisance trip. I had to dial in the component values to a very narrow range to get it to work as expected. Since frog juicers work on essentially the same principle I am not surprised to see them less than 100% reliable.

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Alan

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TwinStar

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #53 on: July 17, 2018, 10:57:36 AM »

...Shinohara turnouts are wired to power the frogs for whichever way the turnout is aligned. 

Can you explain how this works? The Free-mo standard has a prohibition that reads:

S4.10 All turnout frogs shall be powered. Turnouts shall not rely on switch points to power the frog.

I'm wondering if these two are related.
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Alan

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #54 on: July 17, 2018, 11:40:16 AM »

...Shinohara turnouts are wired to power the frogs for whichever way the turnout is aligned. 

Can you explain how this works? The Free-mo standard has a prohibition that reads:

S4.10 All turnout frogs shall be powered. Turnouts shall not rely on switch points to power the frog.

I'm wondering if these two are related.

Shinohara wiring aside, the prohibition may be because switch points are notoriously poor contacts.

You read a lot about people experiencing connectivity issues with points. The usual fix goes something like solder a jumper across the hinge joiner. If they have problems with the points then they automatically have problems with the frog if it is powered from the points.

How about more pictures?  ;D
Why treat points differently than any other piece of track? Drop a feeder through the same hole used for whatever point mover mechanism you have or for point flickers, drill a hole near the hinges and use sufficiently long flexible feeders. Problem solved permanently, no hardware, near zero cost.

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Alan

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Tom

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #55 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.

Tom

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #56 on: July 17, 2018, 03:33:06 PM »
You pretty much covered your options - keep-alive, DCC on the rails, hard wiring.

Keep-Alive is probably the best option if your fleet is relatively small and there is sufficient space in the equipment. The Keep-Alive fix comes with the caveat that every electricity using rolling stock needs one - locos, lighted cars, sound cars, etc. The benefit is no hardware and no layout wiring.

DCC on the rails will make frog juicers work but you need more than just the power supply. A booster of some sort is needed to put the square wave on the rails so there is the cost of the extra equipment (that serves no other useful purpose). And you will be locked into the effective rectified voltage of the DCC system instead of having the option of selecting any rail voltage you wish. 14v DCC square wave is not the direct power equivalent of 14V DC. The effective voltage is slightly less from DCC due to the momentary zero volt crossing and the packet shape of the DCC waveform. Not a deal breaker but something to be aware of especially if combined with Keep-Alive.

Hard wiring feeders and a direct wire method of switching frog polarity is the best option in the long run but does require the upfront effort to put it into place. It has the advantages of absolute lowest cost, no concerns of potential hardware failures in the future, and no space utilization inside locos. It also affords you the option of using any voltage power supply you wish which is extremely useful on a large layout (overcoming buss and rail resistance) or when adding occupancy detection for signaling (diode drop sensing).

Of the above three, only Keep-Alive somewhat compensates for dirty track. The analysis then becomes how much cost and effort are you willing to expend so you don't have to clean track so often.
Alan

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Tom

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #57 on: July 17, 2018, 04:59:53 PM »
Alan,

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.

Tom

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #58 on: July 17, 2018, 05:32:33 PM »
There are oodles of ways to switch frog polarity. Any sort of SPDT or DPDT switch attached to the thowbar linkage will suffice. Your imagination is the limit.

RP AR-1 is a frog polarity solution but it gets real expensive real fast. $30 each (at pdc.ca) for the ability to control a single frog is out of range unless you need only a couple or have money to burn. I have not used an AR-1 as a frog juicer because I have no need but I do have one on a reversing loop. For frog juicing I believe you would connect either RT1 or RT2 to the frog leaving the other RT unused. No frog I know of has two electrical connection points or two isolated metal parts for that matter. Think of it this way - if you had a reversing loop where the insulated rail joiners are staggered then an approaching train would short only one RT terminal as it crosses the first insulated joiner. The AR-1 flips polarity even though the train never crossed the second insulated rail joiner. The frog arrangement is effectively the same as crossing one insulated rail joiner with the unconnected RT being another insulated rail joiner an infinite distance away.
Alan

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JJ Crooke

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #59 on: July 17, 2018, 08:58:59 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?

Tom,

What you described here is a Tam Valley Hex Frog Juicer, which powers 6 turnouts. The ANE v5 AP003 SmartFrog is similar to the Mono Frog Juicer as it powers only one turnout. I have no issues at all using 30 SmartFrogs on my layout, all powered by the PWR-56. Here's a picture of a SmartFrog under my layout (see below).



Tam Valley's Mono Frog Juicer is only DCC compatible and will not work with DC (like the PWR-56). ANE Model's v5 SmartFrog is both DC and DCC compatible. If I understand correctly, the SmartFrog can work around the DC vs DCC issue by powering the SmartFrog circuitry (POWER connections) separately from the turnout polarity (TRACK+, TRACK- and FROG connections), hence the extra two wires (total of 5) compared to the Mono Frog Juicer (3 wires).

The SmartFrog device feeds to the frog (via FROG connection) whatever current (DC or DCC) that is coming in from the TRACK+ or TRACK- connections (main Bus). This incoming current bypass any circuitry and goes straight to the frog.

The SmartFrog circuitry (POWER connections; what makes the device detect a short and trigger the change of polarity) can be powered by either DC or DCC (in this case by the main Bus with a PWR-56).

Not sure if it makes any sense but all I know is that it works with the PWR-56.
~ Joel

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