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Friday, February 11, 2011

Peco 0n30

For On30 track there are basically four options. One take Atlas flex track and cut every other tie out. This makes it tough to use Atlas switches. Second you can hand lay track. Third use Micro Engineering On30 Flex Track. This track looks good, has a lighter rail and can be orders pre-weathered. The flex track itself kind of stays bent when you bend it which can be good and bad. Its hard to unbend but if you bend it right the first time it stays put. The fourth option is Peco On30 flex track and On30 Electro Frog switches. The Peco On30 is also known as crazy track, it is code 100 and has short fat ties with random lengths(Micro Engineering track is code 80 I believe and has long skinny ties).

I've been using the Peco track and switches the mountainous side of my layout. On the lower part I'm using the Peco switches with Blue Point manual turnout controls. I had them from my last layout and I wanted this lower area for kids to be able to help out with the controls. I can't say that using the Peco switches with the Blue Points is a good idea. You have to modify the switches by taking out the spring so the Blue Points can move the turnouts.

One good thing about the Blue Points is that they provide contacts for frog power routing and for indicator lights. I also used on LIT On30 switch on the lower level which works better than the Peco but looks more like the Micro Engineering track. I think I might end up using Micro Engineering rail on the other side of my layout with a few LIT switches I have from my last layout. I think I'll also use slow motion Tortoise motors because I think at this point I'm convinced that the Blue Point controls after buying all the parts are about the same price.

On the top of my mountain area I have two hard to reach switches. I'm using the Peco On30 switches here. One is a turn around loop that I'm auto reversing the power using the DigiTrack AR1 auto reversing circuit. This is a very simple device and its only about $25. I have on the turntable at the loco service area also.

I automated the reversing turnout using and automatic circuit that is triggered by infrared reflection. When a train approaches the switch, it triggers automatically.

One major boo boo on my part was installing the upper switches with out thinking about frog polarity. I used Peco PL-10 switch motors and they don't come with any accessory contacts. Out of the package you can't attach indicator lights or change the polarity. You have to purchase their PL-13 switch to the bottom and wire it to control your LED indicators or use it to change the frog polarity. The pin of the motor extends upward (to move the turnout points) and downward (allowing it to move the PL-13 switch).

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