Date   
Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

Bill Wilken
 

Don,

I know the procedure you've outlined works, but when you're working alone, having to crawl underneath benchwork that is only 48" high, and have to deal with occasional bounds of positional vertigo, installing switch machines is not exactly one of the most enjoyable parts of model railroading.  Thankfully, I'm just about done with turnouts and can turn my attention to what I really like -- scratch building structures.

Bill

On 01/08/2014 11:23 AM, Vollrath, Don wrote:
 

Bill,

 

I don’t remember the wire gauge for the standard tortoise, but you can measure it with a micrometer and then purchase larger gauge ‘piano’ wire at the hardware store. Carefully use a pin vise to re-drill the hole in the Tortoise mechanism and/or throwbar to fit larger diameter wire if necessary.

 

To mount the tortoise 1) Tape a right angled wire at the correct location to the supplied paper template; 2) make sure the hole in the roadbed is aligned with the throwbar access space with plenty of room for movement; 3) Draw a pencil line under the roadbed in line with the turnout at a right angle with the throwbar; 4) Use masking tape or a block to temporarily fix the throwbar to mid throw position; 5) Add temporary tape tabs to the template and from underneath poke the wire from the template up through the throwbar and adjust position so that the wire is vertical and the template is aligned per the track center line from step 3 and tape it in that position; 6) Use a nail to mark the mounting screw locations from the template. Pre-drill and start screw holes; 7) Release the throwbar, replace template with the tortoise and add screws. Use a 9V battery and clip leads to verify operation, then secure all screws and cut off excess actuating wire.

 

I goes much faster if you have an attentive helper that understands the needs of the process step 5. An angled extension to your power screwdriver/drill is also handy for working in tight quarters.

 

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Bill Wiken
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 9:37 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: Re: [WiringForDCC] tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 




Don,

I agree with your assessment of Tortoise reliability.  Getting them properly aligned under a thick roadbed, however, is another matter, although I will admit that I have not tried the thicker wire that you suggest.  What would help enormously is an off-the-shelf mounting bracket that would make it easy to adjust the position of the motor without having to move all four mounting screws.  I've also noticed that the performance of the units varies at least a bit with the design of the turnout.  While I like the appearance of my #10 Shinohara units, getting them to work smoothly with Tortoise motors often takes a bit more work than, say, my Atlas #8's.

Bill



On 01/07/2014 12:26 PM, Vollrath, Don wrote:

 

The Peco point motor is a snap-action  twin coil machine that requires a momentary (pulse) of high current to flip the turnout points. It can be wired for AC or DC activation and is similar to the Atlas twin-coil unit. The electric control mechanism and switch must be able to supply relatively high current (an amp or so) and must be momentary or the coil will burn out. Most folks would use a CD (capacitive discharge) type control unit… either home-made or commercially available.  The Peco motor is not very friendly with thick sub-roadbeds as the mounting alignment of the actuating rod is fairly critical for reliable operation. See http://www.mrol.com.au/Articles/Electrical/PecoPointMotorsAndSwitches.aspx and http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/744/t/171710.aspx.

 

The tortoise machine is a slow motion motor requiring DC current of only 8-10 milliamps of current for operation. One simply changes the polarity of DC motor power with a simple low cost electric switch and wait for a few seconds for the turnout position to change. It is a fairly bulky unit to fit under the layout roadbed but alignment is not overly critical. A simple elongated hole under the throwbar is all you need. However, you may need to remove the throwbar spring on Peco turnouts to work with Tortoise motors, even after replacing the actuating wire with a stronger larger diameter wire from the hardware store. Tortoise machines are very reliable. And as you point out below, it already contains an internal DPDT switch to use for frog power or other signaling.

 

Either type can be activated with a DCC accessory decoder… but it takes a different style decoder/controller to work with the two different point motor types. The Team Digital SMD82 is capable of individually controlling either type of up to 8 turnouts.

IMHO You get what you pay for.

 

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of bubzrulz@...
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 2:07 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 



 hi i wantaed to know the pros and cons of tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors ( besides price and i know that that you have to buy a separate acc switch for peco motor) 

cheers  Oscar

Australia 










Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

Thomas
 

The Tortoise can be controlled with a SPDT toggle switch.
The Tortoise instructions show how to do it using an AC supply, two diodes and a SPDT toggle switch.
The following web page shows several ways to control a Tortoise with a SPDT toggle switch.
Tom

Tortoise SPDT

Thomas
 

I have tried to respond to the messages about Tortoise switch machines.

They do not show2 up. I will try a new message.


 
The Tortoise can be controlled with a SPDT toggle switch.
The Tortoise instructions show how to do it using an AC supply, two diodes and a SPDT toggle switch.
The following web page shows several ways to control a Tortoise with a SPDT toggle switch.
Tom

HO Double X-Overs

George Galyon
 

Our club has two older Shinohara C100  #6 double crossovers with the metal throw bar and metal pivot ba plus insulfrogs.  We have some newer Shinohara C100 #6 double x-overs with the single metal throw bar and insulfrogs and we have a Walthers C83#6  DCC friendly double x-over with electrofrogs on the 4 turnouts and insulfrogs on the diamonds. 

The C100s look like the point-stock rail gaps might still be a problem with wheels shorting and the C83 looks like it might not short out but older engines may "bottom out" due to larger flanges.  Any experience with these x-overs?   Walthers says there are no plans for either Shinohara or Walthers to make truly DCC friendly code 100 double x-overs.  And we don't want to buy all the Fast Track equipment necessary to custom build DCC friendly C100 #6 (or #8) x-overs. 

Thanks for any advice. 
George T. Galyon
Olde Newburgh Model RR Club
Walden, New York

Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

Bernie Halloran
 

Gents,
I should be made clear that installing Peco switch motors calls for a very large hole, a rectangular one at that, under the track, whereas a Tortoise only needs an easy-to-drill ~.5” hole. 
 
Tortoise motors can power Peco switches without removing the spring in them.  I love Pecos, wish they were price competitive, but they aren’t. 
 
I have discovered the sanest installation is the finger flicking Micro Engineering switch. Fallback position is the Atlas Superswitch, throw in a Caboose switch stand and the finger-flicker costs the same as the Atlas + Caboose thingie.
 
However, when it comes to hidden yards, slyly transitioning from Code 83 to Atlas flex and less expensive Peco code 100 switches makes perfect sense.  Why are Peco code 100 switches so much less expensive than their code 83?
 
Bernie Halloran
NYK&W 

Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

Jim
 

Hi Bernie

 

I should be made clear that installing Peco switch motors calls for a very large hole, a rectangular one at that, under the track, whereas a Tortoise only needs an easy-to-drill ~.5” hole. 

 

Have you thought of using the adaptor base – you can use a ~0.375” hole.  This is what I use.

Re: HO Double X-Overs

Bill Wilken
 

I attempted to install two different Shinohara double crossovers, but abandoned them after encountering two problems.  First, my long wheelbase 4-8-4 locomotives didn't like the tight #6 configuration:  too much non-prototypical "jitterbugging" when crossing over.   Second, I learned the hard way that they must be installed perfectly level in all planes to avoid embarrassing power interruptions, especially to steam locomotives.

On 01/09/2014 04:55 PM, Redvdub1@... wrote:
 

Our club has two older Shinohara C100  #6 double crossovers with the metal throw bar and metal pivot ba plus insulfrogs.  We have some newer Shinohara C100 #6 double x-overs with the single metal throw bar and insulfrogs and we have a Walthers C83#6  DCC friendly double x-over with electrofrogs on the 4 turnouts and insulfrogs on the diamonds. 

The C100s look like the point-stock rail gaps might still be a problem with wheels shorting and the C83 looks like it might not short out but older engines may "bottom out" due to larger flanges.  Any experience with these x-overs?   Walthers says there are no plans for either Shinohara or Walthers to make truly DCC friendly code 100 double x-overs.  And we don't want to buy all the Fast Track equipment necessary to custom build DCC friendly C100 #6 (or #8) x-overs. 

Thanks for any advice. 
George T. Galyon
Olde Newburgh Model RR Club
Walden, New York


Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

Carl
 

If you use a torque wire you only need a 0.050" hole. And if you miss you can try again and don't have a 0.375" hole to fill in.

On 1/9/2014 7:07 PM, Jim Gifford wrote:
 

Hi Bernie

 

I should be made clear that installing Peco switch motors calls for a very large hole, a rectangular one at that, under the track, whereas a Tortoise only needs an easy-to-drill ~.5” hole. 

 

Have you thought of using the adaptor base – you can use a ~0.375” hole.  This is what I use.


Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

wirefordcc
 

Various methods of controlling a Tortoise, including using a SPDT switch is at:



http://www.wiringfordcc.com/sw_ctl.htm#a15



Allan

Wiring For DCC

Re: DCS System ?

wirefordcc
 

It doesn't appear that anyone here is using the MTH DCS system


 I do use the MTH locomotives with DCC and they work fine.


I don't recommend mixing DCS and DCC on the same layout like we also don't recommend mixing DCC and DC on the same layout. It is doable.  But I suspect you could smoke something if a loco bridges the two systems if in use at the same time.


Allan

Wiring For DCC

Re: DCS System ?

Paul <summermanva@...>
 

I think that it is generally a bad idea to use a proprietary system. I would stick to systems that adhere to the DCC standards. MTH locomotives have gotten better about working with DCC and they are great machines. I love mine, but I only use it with DCC.
 
Paul
 
Live Simply, Laugh Often


On Saturday, January 11, 2014 11:16 AM, "bigboy@..." <bigboy@...> wrote:


It doesn't appear that anyone here is using the MTH DCS system

 I do use the MTH locomotives with DCC and they work fine.

I don't recommend mixing DCS and DCC on the same layout like we also don't recommend mixing DCC and DC on the same layout. It is doable.  But I suspect you could smoke something if a loco bridges the two systems if in use at the same time.

Allan
Wiring For DCC




Re: HO Double X-Overs

George Galyon
 

Thanks Bill for that advice.  Our club Shinohara double x-overs work fairly well but do have stop and go problems with some locos and they are not technically DCC friendly.  I am going to follow up on your comment about "leveling" and check our doubles tomorrow for planarity. 

Re: HO Double X-Overs

Bill Wilken
 

What's really "fun" is installing four Tortoise switch machines underneath one of these beasts.  I finally resorted to bunches of #10 turnouts to achieve the same effect functionally.


On 01/12/2014 02:46 PM, Redvdub1@... wrote:
 

Thanks Bill for that advice.  Our club Shinohara double x-overs work fairly well but do have stop and go problems with some locos and they are not technically DCC friendly.  I am going to follow up on your comment about "leveling" and check our doubles tomorrow for planarity. 


Soundtraxx LC series again

asychis@...
 

Well I have solved my lighting issues, and have everything working the way it needs to on two LifeLike PAs.  One remaining problem.  The sound does not work on one locomotive.  The wiring, capacitor and speaker are  identical to the first locomotive.  Is there a way to test the green/brown leads to test to tell if there is a signal going tot he speaker when the sound, such as the bell is turned on? 
 
 I am guessing that the audio portion of the decoder is blown, but would like to confirm that.  I have changed out the speaker with the same result. Will you damage the decoder or speaker by leaving the capacitor out?  I have not done this, but perhaps the cap is bad?
 
Thanks,
 
Jerry Michels

Re: HO Double X-Overs

Gregory Latiak
 

If using the Tortoise remote operator it is possible to use two motors to operate the complete double crossover. Each remote has two flexible connectors -- the tricky part is setting them up so the throwbars move in opposite directions. And acceptance that the cross-over really has two states -- straight thru and crossed, so for all intents it is really just a very messy simple turnout. So both motors are driven from the same DS64 port.

Greg Latiak

Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

Paul O
 

Jerry, that is a ‘bipolar’ electrolytic capacitor; meaning it has no specific + or – lead.

If you want to use a replacement to test the original, get two electrolytics of twice the capacitance of the original and wire them in series, that is, + to +, or, - to -.

Voltage rating of the new caps can be the same or higher.

 

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of asychis@...
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 8:52 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Soundtraxx LC series again

 

 

Well I have solved my lighting issues, and have everything working the way it needs to on two LifeLike PAs.  One remaining problem.  The sound does not work on one locomotive.  The wiring, capacitor and speaker are  identical to the first locomotive.  Is there a way to test the green/brown leads to test to tell if there is a signal going tot he speaker when the sound, such as the bell is turned on? 

 

 I am guessing that the audio portion of the decoder is blown, but would like to confirm that.  I have changed out the speaker with the same result. Will you damage the decoder or speaker by leaving the capacitor out?  I have not done this, but perhaps the cap is bad?

 

Thanks,

 

Jerry Michels

Custom length RJ cables ++

Glenn
 

I previously made the assumption the reference to RJ cables mean network patch cables. AKA RJ45. I am unfamiliar with the NCE wired setup.

 

The RJ12 – 6P6C system is used in telephone networking known commonly as the Key System. This may help in locating suitable cables.

 

On a slightly different thought, assuming you are doing a custom installation, you might be able to skip the plug portion of the cable and go with a Keystone Jack.

http://www.cablestogo.com/product/03800

It requires stabbing the wire into a vise like jaw, preferably with a specialized tool, but I have successfully used a 1/8” flat screw driver.

 

Depending on cost you may want to look into using another component of the Keystone system, the coupler.

http://www.cablestogo.com/product/03673

 

Either of the two fit into the Keystone wall plates which have up to six ports.

http://www.cablestogo.com/product/03410

These are available most anywhere.

 

The total Keystone system is represented at:

http://search.cablestogo.com/?vno=50&p=e&N=0&Ntt=keystone

 

I the references are from a previous vendor/manufacturer that I worked with for 12 years. Use the information as a reference. I have seen their products in many stores including the home centers.

 

It is possible to purchase just the mounting plate and attach it to the fascia board. You can also purchase a surface mount box which is similar to the retro fit modular telephone connections.

 

Glenn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of george hohon3
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2014 13:26
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Custom length RJ cables

 




Does anyone know of a supplier that makes custom length RJ cables for connecting UTP panels on a NCE system?  Thanks.

George


Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

asychis@...
 

Jerry, that is a 'bipolar&#39; electrolytic capacitor; meaning it has no
specific + or - lead.

If you want to use a replacement to test the original, get two electrolytics
of twice the capacitance of the original and wire them in series, that is, +
to +, or, - to -.

Voltage rating of the new caps can be the same or higher.

Paul O
Thanks Paul.  I will give that a try, but isn't + to + and - to - parallel wiring? I thought series wiring would be + to - to + to -
 
Jerry Michels

Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

Paul O
 

Jerry, NO, I said plus to plus OR minus to minus.

You want both eletorlytics in SERIES with OPPOSITE POLARITY.

Ex:  DECODER -à+CAP-à-CAP+àSPKRàDECODER

Paul O

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of asychis@...
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 12:31 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

 

 

Jerry, that is a 'bipolar&#39; electrolytic capacitor; meaning it has no
specific + or - lead.

If you want to use a replacement to test the original, get two electrolytics
of twice the capacitance of the original and wire them in series, that is, +
to +, or, - to -.

Voltage rating of the new caps can be the same or higher.

Paul O

Thanks Paul.  I will give that a try, but isn't + to + and - to - parallel wiring? I thought series wiring would be + to - to + to -

 

Jerry Michels

Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Jerry,

It’s NOT + to + AND – to – (which would be connected in parallel). It is + to +  OR – to - then connect each of the other ends as if it is a single capacitor component into the circuit. Note that no matter which way the current flows one of the polarized capacitors will see the correct voltage polarity. Hence the term… non-polarized capacitor. When AC voltage and current is applied eventually each capacitor will end up charging and holding some DC voltage and acting as two capacitors in series. This why each capacitor needs 2X the capacitance to yield the desired value. 1/Ctotal = 1/C1 + 1/C2

DonV  

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of asychis@...
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 11:31 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Soundtraxx LC series again

 




Jerry, that is a 'bipolar&#39; electrolytic capacitor; meaning it has no
specific + or - lead.

If you want to use a replacement to test the original, get two electrolytics
of twice the capacitance of the original and wire them in series, that is, +
to +, or, - to -.

Voltage rating of the new caps can be the same or higher.

Paul O

Thanks Paul.  I will give that a try, but isn't + to + and - to - parallel wiring? I thought series wiring would be + to - to + to -

 

Jerry Michels