Author Topic: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?  (Read 16828 times)

Tom

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #60 on: July 20, 2018, 09:00:02 AM »
Joel,

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?

Tom

JJ Crooke

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #61 on: July 20, 2018, 10:05:10 AM »
The PWR-56 is not your conventional DC power pack where you increase/decrease the throttle to regulate the current/speed of a DC engine. The PWR-56 regulates the power to provide a steady current output. I'm no expert when it comes to this so others may chime in to give you a better explanation.

You could definitely power your Tam Valley Hex Frog Juicer with a separate DCC power supply but the rest of your layout would also need to be powered by DCC and not DC (like the PWR-56). Tam Valley Frog Juicer will only detect DCC current. DC current will not damage the Frog Juicer (as per their website and I've tried it) but will simply pass-through the juicer and it will not detect a DC short (will not change the polarity). RailPro decoders (like the LM-3S) do support both DC or DCC power but I'm pretty sure that you can't mix both. Again, I'm not an expert on the subject so please correct me if I'm wrong.
~ Joel

Modeling the Ottawa Central Railway in HO

G8B4Life

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #62 on: July 20, 2018, 10:50:10 AM »
...since Ring is pretty emphatic that their modules should not to be used with a power pack set to full throttle.

What Ring means is that you should not use a variable voltage power pack, ie typical train set type of controller as the power source. These can easily output more than the safe voltage than what the LM can take because the voltage is unregulated. The PWR-56 is regulated so it's outputting 14.2v no matter what (within reason). You can even use other regulated power supplies instead of the PWR-56, as long as they are regulated and output between the minimum and maximum voltage of RailPro.

Quote
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?

I think I get what your suggesting but I'm not 100% sure so I'll try to cover all bases. To use the Tam Valley frog juicers without the shutdown problems described previously you'll have to have DCC as the track power, not just the frog. If you tried to have the track DC (as you do currently) and the frog DCC then you'd likely get all sorts of problems when a locomotive runs though the frog as the frog would be alternating between +/- while the closure rails would be a constant + or 0v.

Now, as far as I know DCC and "inexpensive" are words that don't belong in the same sentence. For DCC what you'll need along with the power supply is something to generate the DCC waveform to the track. This something according to my current knowledge of what's out there in the world would be a proper standalone DCC command station (not cheap). If one was smart with electronics (which I am not) it might be possible to design and build a basic DCC waveform generator which should be quite cheap to do but I have never seen one.

- Tim

JJ Crooke

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #63 on: July 20, 2018, 11:01:59 AM »
Yep... what Tim said.  ;D
~ Joel

Modeling the Ottawa Central Railway in HO

Alan

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #64 on: July 20, 2018, 11:20:37 AM »
Hey Bill,

This discussion sparks a suggestion for a new PDC product - DC to emulated DCC track power converter. There is a simple common circuit called a relaxation oscillator which does exactly that. 24 volts DC in = 12 volts AC square wave out. Add a couple transistors on the output to get whatever current output desired. Presto, PDC has a low cost accessory for people wanting to run on DCC power without having a DCC system!

The basic circuit:

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Read all about them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relaxation_oscillator
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

G8B4Life

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #65 on: July 20, 2018, 11:45:33 AM »
I did some searching after replying earlier and found this waveform generator circuit from Rob Paisley. With some component value changes to get to generate the correct duty cycle (it generates a zero stretched waveform, which probably can be used as is for out application anyway) it should be able to be fed into a commercial booster (cheaper than a command station) or build you own booster (he has a circuit for that too!).

http://www.circuitous.ca/xZeroStretch.html

- Tim

Alan

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #66 on: July 20, 2018, 12:01:46 PM »
Tim, there is no need for zero stretching (with a booster or with the new PDC converter) unless you are operating DC locos. RP modules rectify the track power so all AC frequencies and duty cycles produce the same result inside the LM.
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

Tom

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #67 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.

Tom

Alan

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #68 on: July 20, 2018, 02:09:28 PM »
...  But it raises the question of “why does not Ring fix the PWR-56 to be the more DCC friendly type of output.” ...

Tom

Adds unnecessary cost to the PWR56 and potentially detracts from AR1 sales. Ring is sensitive to his power supply price as evidenced by the replacement of the PWR75 with the PWR56 sometime back. The PWR75 was a more robust unit  than the PWR56 (barring the occasional PWR75 China-made fan problems). The PWR56's big advantage was much lower cost. Adding DCC output would defeat the purpose of moving to the PWR56.

I'd suggest Ring seriously consider offering a juicer for 6-8 frogs. And while he is at, also offer an occupancy detector. As it is now, the RailPro-supplied solution for frog juicing is very expensive and there is no RailPro-supplied solution for controlling signals or crossings. Juicing and detection both work on the same fundamental principle (detecting current flow) as the AR1 so its not like he would be starting from scratch.
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

TwinStar

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #69 on: July 20, 2018, 03:09:43 PM »
Hey Bill,

This discussion sparks a suggestion for a new PDC product - DC to emulated DCC track power converter. There is a simple common circuit called a relaxation oscillator which does exactly that. 24 volts DC in = 12 volts AC square wave out. Add a couple transistors on the output to get whatever current output desired. Presto, PDC has a low cost accessory for people wanting to run on DCC power without having a DCC system!

The basic circuit:

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Read all about them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relaxation_oscillator

Alan:

Is this a new product that is available or are you pitching the idea for a new product?

This could be HUGE for some of us. My Free-mo modules are required to be able to work with the Modular Signal System which has current detection as one of the layers. However, there are only two known current detectors that work with both DC and DCC. The RR Cirkit BOD-1 is a good $12 option but it will not work for Free-mo due to the reversible nature of the modules and the polarity sensitivity of the BOD-1 in DC mode. The Dallee DT is a perfect solution but at $30 a piece gets cost prohibitive for small modules.

If DC could be put on the rails that looked like DCC and worked with the near endless supply of DCC products that would be wonderful.
Jacob Damron
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Alan

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #70 on: July 20, 2018, 03:31:29 PM »
Alan:

Is this a new product that is available or are you pitching the idea for a new product?

This could be HUGE for some of us. My Free-mo modules are required to be able to work with the Modular Signal System which has current detection as one of the layers. However, there are only two known current detectors that work with both DC and DCC. The RR Cirkit BOD-1 is a good $12 option but it will not work for Free-mo due to the reversible nature of the modules and the polarity sensitivity of the BOD-1 in DC mode. The Dallee DT is a perfect solution but at $30 a piece gets cost prohibitive for small modules.

If DC could be put on the rails that looked like DCC and worked with the near endless supply of DCC products that would be wonderful.

It is nothing more than an idea suggestion to Bill. My point is electrically speaking it would be relatively easy to do. Getting UL and CE approvals for commercial sale of a device is an entirely different matter. That's where PDC comes in.

Yeah, I too think it could be HUGE.

 
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

William Brillinger

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #71 on: July 20, 2018, 04:01:44 PM »
Quote
It is nothing more than an idea suggestion to Bill. My point is electrically speaking it would be relatively easy to do. Getting UL and CE approvals for commercial sale of a device is an entirely different matter. That's where PDC comes in.

Yeah, I too think it could be HUGE.

If somebody builds it I'll sell it. Getting it certified, that's not my cup of tea.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


Alan

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #72 on: July 20, 2018, 04:39:09 PM »

If somebody builds it I'll sell it. Getting it certified, that's not my cup of tea.

It won't be me! I am within spitting distance of retirement. After working my entire life retirement means retirement.
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

JJ Crooke

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #73 on: July 20, 2018, 05:14:01 PM »
Tom,

I've also ordered my SmartFrog v5 (AP003) (30 of them) directly from ANE Model and it took 3 weeks to receive (Taiwan to Canada). I would suggest buying an extra unit or two while you're at it since ordering only one unit from Taiwan is not very cost efficient in case you need to replace one (which I didn't have to yet).
~ Joel

Modeling the Ottawa Central Railway in HO

Dean

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Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« Reply #74 on: July 20, 2018, 09:21:05 PM »
Why can't you use something like this to power your frogs?   http://www.cabooseind.com/product-page/220s-sprung-w-contacts-165-travel-for-ho-and-n
Dean