Don, now that I'm workin, make that slaving, again, I was thinkin about switch machines instead of my homemade cable and sheath switch throwers. I'm guessin you already did your homework on switch machines. Would you mind enlightening a newbie on why you chose the tortoise switch machine over the other available machines? The only thing I know about switch machines is I don't want to hear the switch snapping. I'm sure there's more important stuff to consider but I'd rather use my stoneage method than hear the snap.
I started out planning to throw the turnouts by hand, this works quite well with peco turnouts as there is a spring that holds them either one way or the other, but there can be a problem with the electrical contacts. At times the contact did not work, thus problem #1.
Then I installed Peco solenoid switch motors thinking that would solve the contact issue but the noise was extreme and I still had the contact issue. The noise thing can be controlled by adding a CDU to the power input, or so I am told but this does nothing for the electrical contact. #2
It was about this time that I visited a freinds layout that was running Tortoise switch motors. I came away impressed. The choice was made.
The tortoise not only runs quite but allows you to have power routing as a second means of changing the polarity ( Belts and Braces ). Also gives a means of running route indicating LEDs.
By reducing the voltage the swicth will run quiter and slower if thats what is required.
Unfortunately I had about 20 turnouts installed on the layout, this meant lifting the turnouts and some of the track, it is very hard to do it leaving them in place. In most cases this required the wiring to those sections to be removed. all in all a pain in the butt, but it gave me a chance to revisit some of my soldering and tidy it up.
On the upside, they work great.
On the downside they require quite an amont of wiring and soldering and they can be a bitch to install when retro fitting. Also they operate on dc power except for the power routing that is run from the ac power directly from the rails
I am sure the tortoise is the way for me to go, sure they cost more , but THEY WORK
Last edited on Wed Sep 16th, 2009 01:15 am by Paladin