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Old 09-04-2018, 10:55 PM   #1
Pompeydave
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Question Use of Gaugemaster DCC80 Autofrog

As a new member who is making hard work of getting a layout up and running my latest problem relates to the use of DCC80 with adapted electrofrog points.
As other members have discussed on various threads using a Seep PM! cannot always be relied upon to change the polarity at the frog. Having had the same experience with some of my fitted PM1s I purchased some DCC80s
On a test bench (as distinct from the baseboard) I wired a DCC80 to an unadapted Peco electrofrog point powered by my Digitrax unit. Using a 12v bulb across each respective path all worked well.

When I carried the same test with an adapted electrofrog it did not give me the expected tidy result. I have to ask the question - should I expect the DCC80 to work as required with an adapted point?
By "adapted" I mean removing the manufacturer`s wire links under the rails, thus leaving a gap, and wiring together the stock rail to its respective switch rail.
Having had many a setback over a long period of build my morale could do with a boost with some words of wisdom. Can any member put me straight, please?
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:14 PM   #2
Steve M
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All my electrofrog points are 'adapted' and use the DCC80 with no issue at all.
The DCC80 works by detecting the short created by the loco wheel connecting the frog with the rail when it bridges the IRJ and switches the polarity faster than the control unit can trip. You won't get that result by just touching the rails with a test lamp.
My advice would be to ditch the lamp and run a loco on it.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:59 AM   #3
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Thanks Steve for confirming that it SHOULD work if I change my testing method. Will give it a go.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:51 AM   #4
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You could try a Cobalt Point Motor, has several built in switches plus other options, cost might go up a little but nice slow point changes no clunky switching.....this is the surface mounted type....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD4fCNIf1aI

Last edited by Tinker; 10-04-2018 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:25 PM   #5
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Thank you Steve and Tinker for coming to my aid.
i did as Steve suggested and ran a loco in a real situation and it worked like a dream. Well done, Steve

Having read some threads that mention Cobalts I did have in mind purchasing a nominal number to see how I got on. Tinker`s suggestion, for which I am grateful, has reinforced my view so I will be ordering some.
Several years ago I bought some Conrad point motors and set one up "on the bench". I concluded that they would be tricky to set up under a fixed baseboard so I never gave another thought to motors with slow action. Now that I am going for some Cobalts perhaps I am growing up!

My grateful thanks for both your contributions.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:03 PM   #6
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If you go for the surface mounted get some piano wire and make your own link, have them as long or as short as you like, the under layout type are very easy to fit...i think i have close to 60 of them.....all digital.....
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:31 PM   #7
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Hello Tinker
Thank you for your further comment.
My favoured position for any Cobalt would be under the baseboard so my first fix will be an interesting experience.

60 fitted by you - wow.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:34 PM   #8
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Fixing under the baseboard is quite easy centre the points, piece of wire either side of the point blade, drill a hole through the hole where the PM switching wire would come up through the what will be a slot, mount the PM with its wire attached down through the hole line the PM up and then drill the 4 holes, remove the PM and drill the 4 holes right through from the top with a pilot drill so the PM holding screws can be screwed in from underneath when you attach the PM, make a slot and that's it. Youtube video ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzT5v9NeSBk
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for the further info. now copied for further reference.
Have only a few more points to install . Although I still have plenty of PM1s on hand I have ordered 3 Cobalts from Hattons.
Have never seen a Cobalt "in the flesh" so exciting times ahead!
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:37 PM   #10
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Think Thinker is describing a fitting a solenoid underneath. Cobalts are very easy to fit underneath as the operating rod comes (or can be set to a ) central position. Drill the hole under the point as described. Use some thin card/plastic strip to pack the point so that the blades are equally set away from the stock rail. Hold the Cobalt underneath with the operating rod straight up into the tie bar and then stick in place with the supplied self adhesive pad. Then use the supplied screws to fix positively in place.
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