Re: Starting on the right foot with turnout machines

John Bishop

I use the SwitchMaster (SM) machine, controlled by the NCE Switch-It.   

I prefer the SM to the Tortoise because it is so easy to mount and the motion is rotary -- allowing the use of a crank arrangement to move the switch points, and this can be with a hidden crank cut into a recess into (in my case( the Homosote) that actually moves the throw bar. Or more simply, just use the a kind of rotating hook moving the throw bar, as the SM directions show. 
The rotary action is also good if there is a problem locating the switch machine directly under the switch points, because it is easy to use a crank to operate a push-pull rod a few inches away from the switch.  

 The lack of contacts on the SM is not a drawback in DCC operation, you want to use a Frog Juicer to control frog polarity in any case.  Lack of contacts is not hard to work around even in DC.

The Switch-It DCC controller is a snap to install. It allows one to throw the switches either using the DCC address on your DCC cab controller (in my case ProCab), or by a momentary button on the layout. Sometimes the button is quicker to use if you are nearby.  One Switch-It controls 2 switch machines, although I think a larger one is available.  It will work with the Tortoise also.

Hope this helps.

John Bishop

On Saturday, December 9, 2017 7:42 AM, "nick79ostr@... [WiringForDCC]" wrote:

I've been reading up on Tortoise et al and want to make sure I'm starting on the right foot.  I have 7 turnouts that are (mostly) out of reach and will be getting machines.  After all the reading I'm leaning toward Tortoise (without the built-in decoder) and the NCE Switch 8 Mk2 since I have an NCE cab and would like to control the machines from the cab.  That said, my track buses are all done with DCC Specialities PSX and PSX-AR  boards, so does anyone have any experience with the Hare NG or Jack Wabbit compared to the NCE product that I should consider?  Thanks!

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