Friday, October 31, 2014

A Sledgehammer to Crack an Egg?

Maybe, you decide.
I've been having trouble with my Bullfrogs. The devices that I use to control my turnouts. Mechanically they're delightful. It's the micro-switches for frog polarity that are giving me a rash. They keep going out of trim. A week before the last ops session I went around and adjusted everyone of the little devils to make sure all was well.
On the day, 6 of the little beggars were out of alignment and interfering with reliable operations.
Enough I said, time for the big guns.
Time to go shopping with Tam Valley Depot. They make this delightful bit of electronic wizardry called the Frog Juicer which will automatically correct the polarity of the frog as a train crosses the gaps. Ya gotta love DCC. The stuff you can do.
I ordered enough Frog Juicers to do the entire layout.
This is what $580.00 worth of Frog Juicers look like.
Today, my pal Trevor came to town and we installed them all. Took us 5 hours to upgrade the whole layout.
One of the reasons for doing this work is that I'm getting to the point where I don't want to be doing this anymore. Getting a little old and cranky for the crawling around on the floor thing.
Everything now works as it should. Little blinky LEDs under the layout.
And of course Poo, our guard cat, had to make sure that the box of Supertree armatures didn't blow away in the frenzy.
He likes boxes and helping in the layout room when visitors are present.
For some the investment in the electronics maybe overkill. For me it was something I had considered at the outset when I started this layout. Should have listened to my instincts.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

Always a fun time, Pierre, and I'm glad we were able to solve the microswitch problem. You didn't mention that we also found - and corrected! - a few other problems (missing drop feeders on some frogs, for example), so it was doubly worth the time and investment.
As for the question of overkill - I'd argue that you just can't put a price on knowing that the layout will work well when operators arrive. Definitely the right call.
Love the cat photo...
- Trevor
Port Rowan in 1:64