Topics

tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

Oscar Ahumada
 

 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 

Carl
 

Hello Oscar:

I've used Peco motors on HO turnouts. We mounted them under the track and it takes a big hole in your table. We also use them with Peco track so the mounting holes were there and also the toggle spring. They worked fine, but we wanted slow motion motors and later built our own for $6 each. The usual Tortoise mount also requires a large hole for the swinging wire. Our motor use a torque wire so only require a small hole.

I don't know how many you need, but we needed a total of 150. So if mounting and controlling a Tortoise is $20 each we had a $3000 budget. I bought a small lathe / mill machine to make the parts. So not counting the machine the purchased parts came to $900 including the controls. Here are photos:

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/WiringForDCC/photos/albums/1143000264/lightbox/114161968

The real trick is to find a low price on the gear motors. These were automotive vent control motor, surplussed at $3 each. When I purchased them the company had 6000 units, all gone now.

Good luck, Carl.

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

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 




Oscar Moutinho
 

Hi Oscar,

I was a little bit confused because my name is also Oscar and I use
PECO and had the same reflection (switch machines) a few months ago.

I started to use the COBALT (similar to Tortoise but smaller), from
Australia, and I'm very happy with them.
I'm with N scale.

http://www.dccconcepts.com/index_files/Cobalt_turnout_motor.htm

I just found a better way (for me) to secure and ajust them because I
think dificult to put them (any tortoise) at the correct position
using the standard procedures.

You may see some photos in hobby.oscarmoutinho.com (the site is down
at the moment !? - please try later).

Best regards,
Oscar Moutinho
Lisbon, Portugal

David North
 

Hi Oscar,

Following on from what both the other guys have said about Peco and Tortoise, the type of electrical switches used to actuate the turnouts (if you don’t use DCC to control them) are also different.

 

For Peco you would need a momentary switch, so for a toggle it would be a single pole, double throw, centre off, momentary type.

In the static or open position the toggle sticks straight out perpendicular to the fascia.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle either up or down depending on which way you want to throw the points.

You only toggle up or down long enough for the solenoid to throw, then let go of the toggle and it will return to centre off.

(If you hold it on for more than a second or so, you risk burning out the solenoid (the CD unit mentioned below helps to obviate that problem).

 

For tortoise, you use a single pole double type.

The toggle switch only has two positions – up or down (no center position) and it is NOT momentary.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle the other way from where it is now.

(i.e., if it’s down flick it up – if it’s up flick it down)

Whichever way you throw the toggle switch it stays where you throw it.

The tortoise is a stall motor and is designed to cope with constant power when stalled.

A minor advantage is the visual clue to which way the turnout is currently thrown, identified by the position of the toggle.

This can be helpful if the turnout is further towards the backdrop, or on higher - closer to eye level - bench work.

 

As mentioned Peko solenoids work MUCH better if you use a capacitor discharge unit.

These unit have a refresh or dwell time between discharges, so each time you throw a Peko turnout the CD unit needs to at least partially recharge itself.

The bigger and more expensive the CD unit, the sooner its ready to go again.

No probs if you’re only throwing one point, but if you have a few to throw to align your path, the delay due to refresh time between throws can be annoying.

 

Tortoise and other stall motor type units require a constant power supply and you can throw a number of them at once and they will all throw when you throw the relevant switch.

In fact either using DCC or a matrix you can throw a series of turnouts to – say align a yard throat – all in the one action.

 

Both types can be mounted under moderate thickness bench work, but again as mentioned the Peko is more pedantic about alignment.

The further away vertically that the solenoid is from the throw bar the more problematic the action.

You can adjust the throw of the Tortoise to account for thicker bench work, plus you can use a bit heavier actuating wire if the vertical distance causes the supplied wire to get a bit springy.

Mounting this way, both only require about a 10mm or MAYBE a 12mm hole through normal ply bench work.

 

From a mechanical stand point, the finer the rail code you use, the more damage a Peko can do, long term.

The plastic keeper than hold larger code rails to the ties are inherently more robust so better able to cope with the bashing of the point rails against the adjacent stock rails.

Finer gauge rails (with their finer plastic keepers) are more likely to circum to the recurring hammer blows.

 

Lastly, the action and sound of the Peco is NOTHING like the prototype.

The Tortoise (and other slow motion type machines) mirror the prototype movement. That said, they can make a bit of a whirring noise (the motor spinning) as they move the blades across.

 

My son’s hobby business here in Sydney carries both system, so I have no commercial bias towards either system.

 

I personally used Peco for many years on Code100 points and have changed to Tortoises about 15 years ago.

I personally prefer the so motion type these days, but have friend who still use Peco solenoids and they work for them.

 

If I was in your shoes, I’d buy one of each motor and one of each toggle switch and try them mounted on a piece of benchwork with a pair of points.

If you have an 18V AC outlet on your power supply that should be enough to throw one Peco solenoid (to save you buying the CD unit initially).

Just use reasonable wire gauge and keep the wire length short to minimize voltage drop to the solenoid.

 

Let us know how you go.

 

Just my 10c worth.

Cheers

Dave North

colinseggie@...
 

A  100 $ worth reply Dave. Welldone.

Setteled my minds dilemma as well.

DocColin

Bill Wilken
 

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 





Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

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 









Skip Barber
 

I actually use either double sided tape or Velcro to hold the tortoise in place while I check the alignment and install the screws.  Serves as a third hand. 

Skip Barber


On Jan 8, 2014, at 11:23, "Vollrath, Don" <dvollrath@...> 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 









emrldsky
 

Hi Dave,

I would like to see how you wired the turnout actuators using DC and single pole, double throw switches. I use Double pole, double throw switches to reverse the polarity to the turnout actuators. Using only single pole switches would make the wiring less complex.

 

Thanks,

Mike G.

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of North Model Railroad Supplies
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 5:59 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 

 

Hi Oscar,

Following on from what both the other guys have said about Peco and Tortoise, the type of electrical switches used to actuate the turnouts (if you don’t use DCC to control them) are also different.

 

For Peco you would need a momentary switch, so for a toggle it would be a single pole, double throw, centre off, momentary type.

In the static or open position the toggle sticks straight out perpendicular to the fascia.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle either up or down depending on which way you want to throw the points.

You only toggle up or down long enough for the solenoid to throw, then let go of the toggle and it will return to centre off.

(If you hold it on for more than a second or so, you risk burning out the solenoid (the CD unit mentioned below helps to obviate that problem).

 

For tortoise, you use a single pole double type.

The toggle switch only has two positions – up or down (no center position) and it is NOT momentary.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle the other way from where it is now.

(i.e., if it’s down flick it up – if it’s up flick it down)

Whichever way you throw the toggle switch it stays where you throw it.

The tortoise is a stall motor and is designed to cope with constant power when stalled.

A minor advantage is the visual clue to which way the turnout is currently thrown, identified by the position of the toggle.

This can be helpful if the turnout is further towards the backdrop, or on higher - closer to eye level - bench work.

 

As mentioned Peko solenoids work MUCH better if you use a capacitor discharge unit.

These unit have a refresh or dwell time between discharges, so each time you throw a Peko turnout the CD unit needs to at least partially recharge itself.

The bigger and more expensive the CD unit, the sooner its ready to go again.

No probs if you’re only throwing one point, but if you have a few to throw to align your path, the delay due to refresh time between throws can be annoying.

 

Tortoise and other stall motor type units require a constant power supply and you can throw a number of them at once and they will all throw when you throw the relevant switch.

In fact either using DCC or a matrix you can throw a series of turnouts to – say align a yard throat – all in the one action.

 

Both types can be mounted under moderate thickness bench work, but again as mentioned the Peko is more pedantic about alignment.

The further away vertically that the solenoid is from the throw bar the more problematic the action.

You can adjust the throw of the Tortoise to account for thicker bench work, plus you can use a bit heavier actuating wire if the vertical distance causes the supplied wire to get a bit springy.

Mounting this way, both only require about a 10mm or MAYBE a 12mm hole through normal ply bench work.

 

From a mechanical stand point, the finer the rail code you use, the more damage a Peko can do, long term.

The plastic keeper than hold larger code rails to the ties are inherently more robust so better able to cope with the bashing of the point rails against the adjacent stock rails.

Finer gauge rails (with their finer plastic keepers) are more likely to circum to the recurring hammer blows.

 

Lastly, the action and sound of the Peco is NOTHING like the prototype.

The Tortoise (and other slow motion type machines) mirror the prototype movement. That said, they can make a bit of a whirring noise (the motor spinning) as they move the blades across.

 

My son’s hobby business here in Sydney carries both system, so I have no commercial bias towards either system.

 

I personally used Peco for many years on Code100 points and have changed to Tortoises about 15 years ago.

I personally prefer the so motion type these days, but have friend who still use Peco solenoids and they work for them.

 

If I was in your shoes, I’d buy one of each motor and one of each toggle switch and try them mounted on a piece of benchwork with a pair of points.

If you have an 18V AC outlet on your power supply that should be enough to throw one Peco solenoid (to save you buying the CD unit initially).

Just use reasonable wire gauge and keep the wire length short to minimize voltage drop to the solenoid.

 

Let us know how you go.

 

Just my 10c worth.

Cheers

Dave North

Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Dave probably meant to say use a DPDT toggle sw.

However it can be done with an SPDT switch if you use two 12V power supplies connected in series to yield a center tapped 24Vdc supply where the voltage from the center tap would measure +/- 12Vdc at either end by changing only one connection to the motor.

Go to http://www.wiringfordcc.com/sw_ctl.htm#a13 and scroll ½ way down the page to see other ways to get there including a single pole rotary switch and a diode matrix scheme to set up multiple path selections.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Mike
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 11:47 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 




Hi Dave,

I would like to see how you wired the turnout actuators using DC and single pole, double throw switches. I use Double pole, double throw switches to reverse the polarity to the turnout actuators. Using only single pole switches would make the wiring less complex.

 

Thanks,

Mike G.

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of North Model Railroad Supplies
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 5:59 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 

 

Hi Oscar,

Following on from what both the other guys have said about Peco and Tortoise, the type of electrical switches used to actuate the turnouts (if you don’t use DCC to control them) are also different.

 

For Peco you would need a momentary switch, so for a toggle it would be a single pole, double throw, centre off, momentary type.

In the static or open position the toggle sticks straight out perpendicular to the fascia.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle either up or down depending on which way you want to throw the points.

You only toggle up or down long enough for the solenoid to throw, then let go of the toggle and it will return to centre off.

(If you hold it on for more than a second or so, you risk burning out the solenoid (the CD unit mentioned below helps to obviate that problem).

 

For tortoise, you use a single pole double type.

The toggle switch only has two positions – up or down (no center position) and it is NOT momentary.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle the other way from where it is now.

(i.e., if it’s down flick it up – if it’s up flick it down)

Whichever way you throw the toggle switch it stays where you throw it.

The tortoise is a stall motor and is designed to cope with constant power when stalled.

A minor advantage is the visual clue to which way the turnout is currently thrown, identified by the position of the toggle.

This can be helpful if the turnout is further towards the backdrop, or on higher - closer to eye level - bench work.

 

As mentioned Peko solenoids work MUCH better if you use a capacitor discharge unit.

These unit have a refresh or dwell time between discharges, so each time you throw a Peko turnout the CD unit needs to at least partially recharge itself.

The bigger and more expensive the CD unit, the sooner its ready to go again.

No probs if you’re only throwing one point, but if you have a few to throw to align your path, the delay due to refresh time between throws can be annoying.

 

Tortoise and other stall motor type units require a constant power supply and you can throw a number of them at once and they will all throw when you throw the relevant switch.

In fact either using DCC or a matrix you can throw a series of turnouts to – say align a yard throat – all in the one action.

 

Both types can be mounted under moderate thickness bench work, but again as mentioned the Peko is more pedantic about alignment.

The further away vertically that the solenoid is from the throw bar the more problematic the action.

You can adjust the throw of the Tortoise to account for thicker bench work, plus you can use a bit heavier actuating wire if the vertical distance causes the supplied wire to get a bit springy.

Mounting this way, both only require about a 10mm or MAYBE a 12mm hole through normal ply bench work.

 

From a mechanical stand point, the finer the rail code you use, the more damage a Peko can do, long term.

The plastic keeper than hold larger code rails to the ties are inherently more robust so better able to cope with the bashing of the point rails against the adjacent stock rails.

Finer gauge rails (with their finer plastic keepers) are more likely to circum to the recurring hammer blows.

 

Lastly, the action and sound of the Peco is NOTHING like the prototype.

The Tortoise (and other slow motion type machines) mirror the prototype movement. That said, they can make a bit of a whirring noise (the motor spinning) as they move the blades across.

 

My son’s hobby business here in Sydney carries both system, so I have no commercial bias towards either system.

 

I personally used Peco for many years on Code100 points and have changed to Tortoises about 15 years ago.

I personally prefer the so motion type these days, but have friend who still use Peco solenoids and they work for them.

 

If I was in your shoes, I’d buy one of each motor and one of each toggle switch and try them mounted on a piece of benchwork with a pair of points.

If you have an 18V AC outlet on your power supply that should be enough to throw one Peco solenoid (to save you buying the CD unit initially).

Just use reasonable wire gauge and keep the wire length short to minimize voltage drop to the solenoid.

 

Let us know how you go.

 

Just my 10c worth.

Cheers

Dave North

 




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

Carl
 

Hello Mike:

You can use a spdt switch if you have two power supplies, one + and one -. It does make for less wiring, two wires from the power supplies to each switch, then only one wire from the switch to the motor. From the motors you need a common return to the power supplies.

I've built two different Slow Motion motors. One uses polarity, we use dpdt switches with red / green LEDs to show position. The other motor has limit switches that feed position back to three LEDs at the switch, red / yellow / green, where yellow indicated "in motion". I really like the feedback from the point position. The polarity style motor doesn't respond with position, so if it is stuck or the connection is broken, you don't see it at the controls.

If I were starting fresh I think one common wire and two wires to each motor could do it all. One wire out to run the motor and one back from the frog power to light up LEDs for position. I also like to wire on plugs to the motors for quick and easy replacement.

As for a hole in the table, the hole for a Peco sounds huge, and  for a torque wire style motor, I find a 0.050" hole is plenty:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/WiringForDCC/photos/albums/1143000264/lightbox/641733059

I don't know of any torque wire style motor available commercially, but I find them easy to mount and adjust. I have mounted some with 10" long torque wires to clear lower tracks, etc.

Good luck, Carl.

emrldsky
 

I was trying to keep things simple, so did not use a diode matrix / rotary switch for the yard, and only used a single power supply. If it is going to get complex, I prefer to keep the complexity at the control panel, and leave the field wiring as simple as possible, especially when thinking about trouble shooting. I think you would agree that a common wire opens up all sorts of complications when trying to debug using an ohm meter.  I would rather have to do lots of head scratching sitting down rather than on my back, reaching up! 

 

Mike G.

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Vollrath, Don
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 11:44 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 

 

Dave probably meant to say use a DPDT toggle sw.

However it can be done with an SPDT switch if you use two 12V power supplies connected in series to yield a center tapped 24Vdc supply where the voltage from the center tap would measure +/- 12Vdc at either end by changing only one connection to the motor.

Go to http://www.wiringfordcc.com/sw_ctl.htm#a13 and scroll ½ way down the page to see other ways to get there including a single pole rotary switch and a diode matrix scheme to set up multiple path selections.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Mike
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 11:47 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 





Hi Dave,

I would like to see how you wired the turnout actuators using DC and single pole, double throw switches. I use Double pole, double throw switches to reverse the polarity to the turnout actuators. Using only single pole switches would make the wiring less complex.

 

Thanks,

Mike G.

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of North Model Railroad Supplies
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 5:59 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 

 

Hi Oscar,

Following on from what both the other guys have said about Peco and Tortoise, the type of electrical switches used to actuate the turnouts (if you don’t use DCC to control them) are also different.

 

For Peco you would need a momentary switch, so for a toggle it would be a single pole, double throw, centre off, momentary type.

In the static or open position the toggle sticks straight out perpendicular to the fascia.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle either up or down depending on which way you want to throw the points.

You only toggle up or down long enough for the solenoid to throw, then let go of the toggle and it will return to centre off.

(If you hold it on for more than a second or so, you risk burning out the solenoid (the CD unit mentioned below helps to obviate that problem).

 

For tortoise, you use a single pole double type.

The toggle switch only has two positions – up or down (no center position) and it is NOT momentary.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle the other way from where it is now.

(i.e., if it’s down flick it up – if it’s up flick it down)

Whichever way you throw the toggle switch it stays where you throw it.

The tortoise is a stall motor and is designed to cope with constant power when stalled.

A minor advantage is the visual clue to which way the turnout is currently thrown, identified by the position of the toggle.

This can be helpful if the turnout is further towards the backdrop, or on higher - closer to eye level - bench work.

 

As mentioned Peko solenoids work MUCH better if you use a capacitor discharge unit.

These unit have a refresh or dwell time between discharges, so each time you throw a Peko turnout the CD unit needs to at least partially recharge itself.

The bigger and more expensive the CD unit, the sooner its ready to go again.

No probs if you’re only throwing one point, but if you have a few to throw to align your path, the delay due to refresh time between throws can be annoying.

 

Tortoise and other stall motor type units require a constant power supply and you can throw a number of them at once and they will all throw when you throw the relevant switch.

In fact either using DCC or a matrix you can throw a series of turnouts to – say align a yard throat – all in the one action.

 

Both types can be mounted under moderate thickness bench work, but again as mentioned the Peko is more pedantic about alignment.

The further away vertically that the solenoid is from the throw bar the more problematic the action.

You can adjust the throw of the Tortoise to account for thicker bench work, plus you can use a bit heavier actuating wire if the vertical distance causes the supplied wire to get a bit springy.

Mounting this way, both only require about a 10mm or MAYBE a 12mm hole through normal ply bench work.

 

From a mechanical stand point, the finer the rail code you use, the more damage a Peko can do, long term.

The plastic keeper than hold larger code rails to the ties are inherently more robust so better able to cope with the bashing of the point rails against the adjacent stock rails.

Finer gauge rails (with their finer plastic keepers) are more likely to circum to the recurring hammer blows.

 

Lastly, the action and sound of the Peco is NOTHING like the prototype.

The Tortoise (and other slow motion type machines) mirror the prototype movement. That said, they can make a bit of a whirring noise (the motor spinning) as they move the blades across.

 

My son’s hobby business here in Sydney carries both system, so I have no commercial bias towards either system.

 

I personally used Peco for many years on Code100 points and have changed to Tortoises about 15 years ago.

I personally prefer the so motion type these days, but have friend who still use Peco solenoids and they work for them.

 

If I was in your shoes, I’d buy one of each motor and one of each toggle switch and try them mounted on a piece of benchwork with a pair of points.

If you have an 18V AC outlet on your power supply that should be enough to throw one Peco solenoid (to save you buying the CD unit initially).

Just use reasonable wire gauge and keep the wire length short to minimize voltage drop to the solenoid.

 

Let us know how you go.

 

Just my 10c worth.

Cheers

Dave North

 





Carl
 

Hello Mike:

One thing I would add to my turnout motors would be an indicator lamps. First I would know if power was reaching it. Second when I asked my helper to throw the switch to move the points I could see the electrical change.

To keep wiring neater both "in the field" and inside the control panel I like to use terminal strips. Run the wires from the motors and controls all the way back to the terminals, I don't wire between them at all. Industrial DIN terminals are great for power. I like the telephone punch-down terminals for "signal" type stuff.

I never solder "in the field" or upside down.

Carl.

On 1/8/2014 4:47 PM, Mike wrote:
 

I was trying to keep things simple, so did not use a diode matrix / rotary switch for the yard, and only used a single power supply. If it is going to get complex, I prefer to keep the complexity at the control panel, and leave the field wiring as simple as possible, especially when thinking about trouble shooting. I think you would agree that a common wire opens up all sorts of complications when trying to debug using an ohm meter.  I would rather have to do lots of head scratching sitting down rather than on my back, reaching up! 

 

Mike G.

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Vollrath, Don
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 11:44 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 

 

Dave probably meant to say use a DPDT toggle sw.

However it can be done with an SPDT switch if you use two 12V power supplies connected in series to yield a center tapped 24Vdc supply where the voltage from the center tap would measure +/- 12Vdc at either end by changing only one connection to the motor.

Go to http://www.wiringfordcc.com/sw_ctl.htm#a13 and scroll ½ way down the page to see other ways to get there including a single pole rotary switch and a diode matrix scheme to set up multiple path selections.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Mike
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 11:47 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 





Hi Dave,

I would like to see how you wired the turnout actuators using DC and single pole, double throw switches. I use Double pole, double throw switches to reverse the polarity to the turnout actuators. Using only single pole switches would make the wiring less complex.

 

Thanks,

Mike G.

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of North Model Railroad Supplies
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 5:59 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 

 

Hi Oscar,

Following on from what both the other guys have said about Peco and Tortoise, the type of electrical switches used to actuate the turnouts (if you don’t use DCC to control them) are also different.

 

For Peco you would need a momentary switch, so for a toggle it would be a single pole, double throw, centre off, momentary type.

In the static or open position the toggle sticks straight out perpendicular to the fascia.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle either up or down depending on which way you want to throw the points.

You only toggle up or down long enough for the solenoid to throw, then let go of the toggle and it will return to centre off.

(If you hold it on for more than a second or so, you risk burning out the solenoid (the CD unit mentioned below helps to obviate that problem).

 

For tortoise, you use a single pole double type.

The toggle switch only has two positions – up or down (no center position) and it is NOT momentary.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle the other way from where it is now.

(i.e., if it’s down flick it up – if it’s up flick it down)

Whichever way you throw the toggle switch it stays where you throw it.

The tortoise is a stall motor and is designed to cope with constant power when stalled.

A minor advantage is the visual clue to which way the turnout is currently thrown, identified by the position of the toggle.

This can be helpful if the turnout is further towards the backdrop, or on higher - closer to eye level - bench work.

 

As mentioned Peko solenoids work MUCH better if you use a capacitor discharge unit.

These unit have a refresh or dwell time between discharges, so each time you throw a Peko turnout the CD unit needs to at least partially recharge itself.

The bigger and more expensive the CD unit, the sooner its ready to go again.

No probs if you’re only throwing one point, but if you have a few to throw to align your path, the delay due to refresh time between throws can be annoying.

 

Tortoise and other stall motor type units require a constant power supply and you can throw a number of them at once and they will all throw when you throw the relevant switch.

In fact either using DCC or a matrix you can throw a series of turnouts to – say align a yard throat – all in the one action.

 

Both types can be mounted under moderate thickness bench work, but again as mentioned the Peko is more pedantic about alignment.

The further away vertically that the solenoid is from the throw bar the more problematic the action.

You can adjust the throw of the Tortoise to account for thicker bench work, plus you can use a bit heavier actuating wire if the vertical distance causes the supplied wire to get a bit springy.

Mounting this way, both only require about a 10mm or MAYBE a 12mm hole through normal ply bench work.

 

From a mechanical stand point, the finer the rail code you use, the more damage a Peko can do, long term.

The plastic keeper than hold larger code rails to the ties are inherently more robust so better able to cope with the bashing of the point rails against the adjacent stock rails.

Finer gauge rails (with their finer plastic keepers) are more likely to circum to the recurring hammer blows.

 

Lastly, the action and sound of the Peco is NOTHING like the prototype.

The Tortoise (and other slow motion type machines) mirror the prototype movement. That said, they can make a bit of a whirring noise (the motor spinning) as they move the blades across.

 

My son’s hobby business here in Sydney carries both system, so I have no commercial bias towards either system.

 

I personally used Peco for many years on Code100 points and have changed to Tortoises about 15 years ago.

I personally prefer the so motion type these days, but have friend who still use Peco solenoids and they work for them.

 

If I was in your shoes, I’d buy one of each motor and one of each toggle switch and try them mounted on a piece of benchwork with a pair of points.

If you have an 18V AC outlet on your power supply that should be enough to throw one Peco solenoid (to save you buying the CD unit initially).

Just use reasonable wire gauge and keep the wire length short to minimize voltage drop to the solenoid.

 

Let us know how you go.

 

Just my 10c worth.

Cheers

Dave North

 






Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
 

Options for “simplicity”: 1) For manual only, Put the diode matrix wiring at the rotary switch and run only 2 control wires out to each Tortoise motor. Run 2 more wires for an LED indicator to identify which track path is selected. OR 2) Use a DCC multi-output programmable decoder like the Team Digital SRC16 or SMD84 to interface with DCC commands and/or panel pushbuttons, and do all the track path selection logic, and power the motors.

 

I have done both methods but seem to like the rotary switch for the yard throat during operations as one doesn’t need to take your eyes off the locos and track… just twist the switch until the right path indicator out at the track lights up. [Yes it is a cluster of diodes and other wires around the switch, but it is at the fascia and easily obtainable for service if necessary.] The rotary switch method is also a heck of a lot less expensive but obviously cannot be controlled by a remote computer.   

 

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Mike
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 3:47 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 




I was trying to keep things simple, so did not use a diode matrix / rotary switch for the yard, and only used a single power supply. If it is going to get complex, I prefer to keep the complexity at the control panel, and leave the field wiring as simple as possible, especially when thinking about trouble shooting. I think you would agree that a common wire opens up all sorts of complications when trying to debug using an ohm meter.  I would rather have to do lots of head scratching sitting down rather than on my back, reaching up! 

 

Mike G.

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Vollrath, Don
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 11:44 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 

 

Dave probably meant to say use a DPDT toggle sw.

However it can be done with an SPDT switch if you use two 12V power supplies connected in series to yield a center tapped 24Vdc supply where the voltage from the center tap would measure +/- 12Vdc at either end by changing only one connection to the motor.

Go to http://www.wiringfordcc.com/sw_ctl.htm#a13 and scroll ½ way down the page to see other ways to get there including a single pole rotary switch and a diode matrix scheme to set up multiple path selections.

DonV

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of Mike
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 11:47 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 




Hi Dave,

I would like to see how you wired the turnout actuators using DC and single pole, double throw switches. I use Double pole, double throw switches to reverse the polarity to the turnout actuators. Using only single pole switches would make the wiring less complex.

 

Thanks,

Mike G.

 

 

From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On Behalf Of North Model Railroad Supplies
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 5:59 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: tortoise switch machines vs peco point motors

 

 

Hi Oscar,

Following on from what both the other guys have said about Peco and Tortoise, the type of electrical switches used to actuate the turnouts (if you don’t use DCC to control them) are also different.

 

For Peco you would need a momentary switch, so for a toggle it would be a single pole, double throw, centre off, momentary type.

In the static or open position the toggle sticks straight out perpendicular to the fascia.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle either up or down depending on which way you want to throw the points.

You only toggle up or down long enough for the solenoid to throw, then let go of the toggle and it will return to centre off.

(If you hold it on for more than a second or so, you risk burning out the solenoid (the CD unit mentioned below helps to obviate that problem).

 

For tortoise, you use a single pole double type.

The toggle switch only has two positions – up or down (no center position) and it is NOT momentary.

To throw the turnout, you press the toggle the other way from where it is now.

(i.e., if it’s down flick it up – if it’s up flick it down)

Whichever way you throw the toggle switch it stays where you throw it.

The tortoise is a stall motor and is designed to cope with constant power when stalled.

A minor advantage is the visual clue to which way the turnout is currently thrown, identified by the position of the toggle.

This can be helpful if the turnout is further towards the backdrop, or on higher - closer to eye level - bench work.

 

As mentioned Peko solenoids work MUCH better if you use a capacitor discharge unit.

These unit have a refresh or dwell time between discharges, so each time you throw a Peko turnout the CD unit needs to at least partially recharge itself.

The bigger and more expensive the CD unit, the sooner its ready to go again.

No probs if you’re only throwing one point, but if you have a few to throw to align your path, the delay due to refresh time between throws can be annoying.

 

Tortoise and other stall motor type units require a constant power supply and you can throw a number of them at once and they will all throw when you throw the relevant switch.

In fact either using DCC or a matrix you can throw a series of turnouts to – say align a yard throat – all in the one action.

 

Both types can be mounted under moderate thickness bench work, but again as mentioned the Peko is more pedantic about alignment.

The further away vertically that the solenoid is from the throw bar the more problematic the action.

You can adjust the throw of the Tortoise to account for thicker bench work, plus you can use a bit heavier actuating wire if the vertical distance causes the supplied wire to get a bit springy.

Mounting this way, both only require about a 10mm or MAYBE a 12mm hole through normal ply bench work.

 

From a mechanical stand point, the finer the rail code you use, the more damage a Peko can do, long term.

The plastic keeper than hold larger code rails to the ties are inherently more robust so better able to cope with the bashing of the point rails against the adjacent stock rails.

Finer gauge rails (with their finer plastic keepers) are more likely to circum to the recurring hammer blows.

 

Lastly, the action and sound of the Peco is NOTHING like the prototype.

The Tortoise (and other slow motion type machines) mirror the prototype movement. That said, they can make a bit of a whirring noise (the motor spinning) as they move the blades across.

 

My son’s hobby business here in Sydney carries both system, so I have no commercial bias towards either system.

 

I personally used Peco for many years on Code100 points and have changed to Tortoises about 15 years ago.

I personally prefer the so motion type these days, but have friend who still use Peco solenoids and they work for them.

 

If I was in your shoes, I’d buy one of each motor and one of each toggle switch and try them mounted on a piece of benchwork with a pair of points.

If you have an 18V AC outlet on your power supply that should be enough to throw one Peco solenoid (to save you buying the CD unit initially).

Just use reasonable wire gauge and keep the wire length short to minimize voltage drop to the solenoid.

 

Let us know how you go.

 

Just my 10c worth.

Cheers

Dave North

 




 




Mark Gurries
 

One of the hidden advantages with SLOW MOTION machines like the Tortoise versus ANY type of coil machine is the reduction in stress applied to the point rails.  When a twin coil moves, it does so with a fast snap.  The point slam into the stock rails which I have observed leeds to point rail failure IF the point rail are solder to the throw bar.  Slow = gentle.

On Jan 7, 2014, at 9:26 AM, 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 andhttp://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 






Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com



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 










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

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