Frog juicers.

Discussion in 'Other Electronic Interfaces' started by jakesdad13, Aug 25, 2022.

  1. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Does anyone here have experience of frog juicers?
    I am looking at using them on my layout rather than the micro switches I originally planned as they wouldn't work in my case. Has anyone any preference on the different products? The Tam Valley Hex unit has 6 outputs where I only need 4, The Gaugemaster type is a single output per unit but 4 would be considerably less cost. Is one better than the other?

    Thanks in advance. Pete.
     
  2. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Tam Valley also do single units Pete, not just the 'Hex'. I've both on my garage layout and they work well with my Lenz system, whereas the Gaugemaster relay operated ones don't work fast enough and result in the Lenz control unit tripping out. Coastal DCC in Ipswich and the Lincoln shop (who's name I can't remember presently) stock them though there may be other stockists. As I understand it, the Gaugemaster units work ok with other DCC control systems than Lenz, but personally am unable to confirm either way.
    Keith.
     
  3. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    I've ordered 3 singles from Digitrains, hope they do the job!

    Pete.
     
  4. Sol

    Sol Full Member

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    I use the Hex model with NCE DCC & it works a treat.

    My mate has 3 of the Tam valley duel version, used for reverse loops on LENZ & they too work perfectly
     
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  5. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I wasn't aware that they do a dual version Sol, I've used several of the singles and one of the Hex versions. The singles are on a tiny PCB not much bigger than a postage stamp so they're easy to hide on a layout.
    Keith.
     
  6. Sol

    Sol Full Member

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  7. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    Nuff said Pete ... always here to help ... ? ... can't believe I jusy spent 10 minutes of my life posting this :facepalm:
    IMG20220827134439.jpg
     
  8. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    :facepalm::avatar::avatar:
     
  9. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    My juicers arrived on Saturday, really pleased with the service from Digitrains!
    Just need to sort out the servos. The double slip and one point are built from Waverley kits, now long since gone as the owner passed away some years ago. They are a lovely kit to build, however, the point switch blade tie bar has two hollow rivets for soldering to the blades, this gives very little movement. Using slide switches and wire in tube it wasn't such a problem. If I had decided to use servos at the start things wouldn't be a problem as they are now. With slide switches I could use an omega loop in the connection to the points, the connection to the servos is very tight with little movement with the servo arm, consequently I am struggling to use micro switches which is the reason I have gone with the juicers, though I still have to find some method to give the servo arm more movement and that is the next project.

    Cheers, Pete.
     
  10. David Mitchell-Todd

    David Mitchell-Todd Full Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but I almost bought a Gaugemaster frog juicer last week, this was intended for use on my pending O gauge layout. I decided against it as I had planned to isolate the frogs and rely on the keep alive on the Lenz Köf II. Now I wonder if that is short term planning and should consider the future the use of less 'resilient' locos. In which case, what would be the frog juicer of choice in 2024? I will be using a Lenz LH101 controller.
     
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  11. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I would definitely stick with the 'Tam Valley' frog juicers if you are using Lenz equipment as the Gaugemaster units using relays don't switch quickly enough and the Lenz unit will trip out. Wether there are any other manufacturers of frog juicers apart from the "MERG'" ones (only available as kits, and for sale to "MERG" members only) I'm not sure but I'd avoid any using relays to switch the frog polarity.
    Keith.
     
  12. David Mitchell-Todd

    David Mitchell-Todd Full Member

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    I didn't realise the Gaugemaster units used relays until I saw one 'in person'. It seems a very old hat way of doing things. I have a train occupancy detector on order from BLOCKsignalling and they also do a frog juicer. So I may order one of those to try out if the detector works out ok. It is about the same price as the Tam Valley, but the PCB has mounting holes. Don't get me started on manufacturers who don't put mounting holes on their PCBs!

    https://blocksignalling.co.uk/DCC-Products/FROGmini
     
  13. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Double sided sticky pads will fix PCB's without mounting holes David, handy as you can then stick the PCB's inside buildings or other lineside stuff.
    Keith.
     
  14. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    MERG do a Servo1R Kit 77R £6.65 - for points and Servo1 Kit 77 for signals £4.43, you need to Setting box to set the end points of the servo travel Kit number 77S £10.87

    Not a frog juicer, but the Servo1R has a relay which changes over at the mid point of travel, so the blades are not in contact with the stock rails when the changeover happens.

    The servo1 has builting bounce for semaphore signals.

    Paul
     
  15. David Mitchell-Todd

    David Mitchell-Todd Full Member

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    Not had a lot of luck with sticky pads, I bought a load of cable ties with sticky pads and it didn't go well! That is one of the reasons I invested in a glue gun.
     
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  16. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a hot glue gun too David, also could use silicone sealant or various other mastic gun applied glues/sealants such as Evostik's "Sticks Like Sh*t" (Yes, that's the correct name!) or Everbuild's "Stixall" adhesive. I'd be wary of using a hot glue gun to fix PCB's to any plastic buildings in case of melting risk though. My most used glue is the "Uhu" clear, normally from the pound shops.
     
  17. David Mitchell-Todd

    David Mitchell-Todd Full Member

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    This is going to be mounted on a board next to my train detection PCB, this will then be mounted under the baseboard. So hotmelt should be ok on this occasion, but I take your point about melting buildings.

    The PCB in question is the one supplied with the Gaugemaster GMC-WM1 power supply. It is a nice little option as it gives the choice of 16VAC or 12VDC. However, considering the RRP is a £25 (though I payed £12.50 on eBay) I think they could have invested a little more in the PCB. Firstly the inputs and outputs are on the same side, which I think is bad practice. Secondly, the outputs are not identified on the PCB, though they are on the instruction sheet. Finally, the lack of mounting holes which may well result in some users just letting it dangle loose.
    Gaugemaster GMC-WM1.jpg
     
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  18. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Hope there is more on the otherside
    A plug, resistor Cap and a bridge rectifier for £25 seems a bit high

    Paul
     
  19. David Mitchell-Todd

    David Mitchell-Todd Full Member

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    That does include the wall transformer and the lead.
     

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