Topics

Starting on the right foot with turnout machines

Nick Ostrosky
 

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!

 

wirefordcc
 

The Tortoises with the built-in decoders, SMAILS I believe they are called,
are using built-in NCE electronics.



Allan Gartner WiringForDCC.com <http://www.wiringfordcc.com/>

Nick Ostrosky
 

Thanks, Allan, that was not an option I explored at first, but cost wise it looks about the same once you add in the cost of terminal blocks.  I'll take a closer look.  Follow-up question, is getting two machines to act concert a simple matter of giving both machines the same address (I'm thinking of a cross-over situation)?

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!
 


dvollrath@...
 

I use the Team Digital SMD84 to operate up to 8 tortoise motors and/or twin-coil switch machines. Has programmable push button inputs, or can be operated from NCE DCC (or Loco-Net) commands. It is powered and takes commands from the DCC buss. Easily programmed by NCE, including multiple path selection macros from a single PB.


For a crossover, I simply wire the two motors in series (truly slow motion) or parallel. You can do that also with the NCE SW 8 MK2.  


DonV

---In WiringForDCC@..., <nick79ostr@...> 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!

 

wirefordcc
 

You could set two of them to the same address. But as Don says, you can put
two Tortoises in series with each other. That would be cheaper as you would
only need to spend money on one turnout controller or if you have a
multi-turnout controller, you'd have an output left over to control another
turnout.



Allan Gartner WiringForDCC.com <http://www.wiringfordcc.com/>