Product DescriptionPeco / SL-U8363 Code 83 Unifrog #6 Double Slip Switch Track (SCALE=HO) Part # PCO-SL-U8363
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Peco makes a very good switch. Mechanically, I rate Peco's design as solid. The electrical arrangement has a design/manufacturing flaw that requires careful installation. Three bare wires are in close proximity under the frog. Two provide the run-through connection for rails on either side of the frog. The third is the frog wire which passes down between the run-through wires. It is easy to move this wire slightly during installation to cause a short against one of the run-through wires. The cure is to add a bit of insulation. I like the Peco switches, but the shorting frog wire led to four months of frustration until I finally isolated and then identified the problem. By all means, buy the Peco switch--BUT add insulation!
I have long been a fan of PECO track and switches. They look great and are well made and reliable. But they impose an intolerable dilemma:: to insulfrog or to electro frog, neither of which is DCC friendly. With the Unifrog switch, problem solved. This is not a particularly brilliant solution. But it does take guts to replace an entire product line with something your competition has been doing for ever. The other major producers such as Atlas, Microengineering and Walthers, have been doing it this way for years. But the combination of this solution with the quality, reliability, and yes beauty of the PECO product is nothing short of an answer to our prayers. Yeah, I know, PECO ISD expensive, but the failure rate of the others may be more expensive in the long run. Of course a double slip and a simple crossing do not a layout make. So come on, PECO, get on with the rest of the product line. I have put construction of my road on pause until you do.
The POeco Double Slip Switch is a well-engineered and made product that fits well with US Code 83 track. By their nature as double slip switches, they must perform in critical, compact track arrangements. Mine is part of a yard complex that now includes five of these. The entire entrance and exit from my lower staging yard and out onto the mainline goes through at least two of these switches. The Peco switch is a bit shorter than some other double slip switches, but that just makes it easier to fit within a tight track arrangement. For me, simple two-inch filler pieces of track connect with other switches to create the track spacing I want. The Peco electrical arrangements for the switch involve four connecting wires. Two provide power to the outside stock rails. The other two provide frog power. Peco provides a simple wiring diagram for the switch that is easily accomplished with contacts on the two switch machines needed for such a switch. Wiring into the layout is very straight-forward. The Peco double slip switch has been very reliable, even with finicky (translation--derails on other switches) six-axle diesel power. This is a great drop-in solution to a complex problem!