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Shorting Out on Peco Code 100 Turnout

Brian has OO gauge and has this question for knowledgeable  readers:

“When joining turnouts running with 12v DC together in a string the locos frequently short out the supply to the track. It would appear to be at the point where one or the other of the loco pick ups crosses a certain part of the turnout. Is this something that can be cured by wiring adjustments?

Add your answer using the COMMENTS link below.

7 Responses to Shorting Out on Peco Code 100 Turnout

  • Robertsays:

    If there is a short I would look at how low the wheel wiper contacts are and make sure they aren’t touching the rails as it passes through the points. Very wide wheels may contact both rails at a frog so you might have to extend the insulated area with a little paint on the rail heads. Hope that helps.

  • Don Jenningssays:

    Brian before you tear up a lot of track, Try a different locomotive. If that problem does not show up then it is the first locomotive. Good Luck Don

    • Sheldon Clarksays:

      This reply illustrates the scientific approach to problem solving, known as impyrical or “suck-it-and-see”. When testing/investigating, keep all elements of the situation the same, except for one; keep repeating, reverting all conditions to the original situation and changing another element for the next test. When you find a combination that works, you have at least an indication of what the original problem was.

  • Frank Bsays:

    There are free instruction sheet downloads on the Peco website which give advice on wiring, trouble-shooting and problem solving.


    E.g. “Some locomotives with long rigid wheelbases may experience short circuiting between the open blade and the stock rail. Should this electrical problem occur, the wiring on the underside of turnouts must be modified”

    (Basically this involves cutting links under the track and wiring in a switch to the point motor.)

  • David Stokessays:

    I know we all think we don’t need to read the instructions, but your problem might well be solved by taking Frank’s advice. As K say in Men In Black, read the literature – that includes the very excellent magazines available from your local newsagency, and of course – join the National Model Railroaders Association (NMRA) which has a large library of recommended practice and standards sheets available for members.

  • J. Macsays:

    I don’t know if you can find the short, to me that’s the first phase of solving the problem. You can take a laser thermometer where it shoots out a beam of light and records the temp and you shoot it on your wires when your train shorts out and before the wires start burning, it has to be fast but the hot wire is going to throw the temp reading way up and you can find the wire. Then you cut the wire so no more crisis and you study the schematic and think it through. Some momentary cross it happening before the disconnection occurs from the last wire break to the new live area. I found short circuits in my cars with the laser thermometer and it would work if you can risk turning it on real quick then off.

  • John Ogdensays:

    Simple question, live or dead frog.

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