Switch Machines???

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by pennman, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. pennman

    pennman Member

    Hey Guys,
    Decided to go with PECO switches and need to know about TORTIOSE switch machines.
    1. Hows the best way to mount them?
    2. there will be a few spots I'm going to be going thru about an 11/2" of foam can this be done?
    3. Whats the best power sorce to use for these machines?
    BTW the layout is in Nscale?hamr
    Thanks for yalls input
  2. wickman

    wickman Member

  3. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member


    Put them under the table with fulcrum side parallel to the ties. Drill a little bigger hole that recommended. I use 5/8".

    Make sure the turnout is exactly were it will be for the permanent installation, and mark the center hole of the turnout sliding bar. Be sure the points are neither thrown nor closed, but in the middle when you mark it. Drill it. The tortoise should work through a pretty deep hole, > 1.5 inches certainly, as the fulcrums are adjustable and you can always use a longer piano wire from your LHS or hardware store.

    I have found it is easier NOT to try to bend or preshape the wire. Instead, put the wire through the center fulcrum hole, then put one end in the tortoise armature itself, use the fulcrum as a handle/lever to push the wire up and into place. It will bend just right.

    A far a power goes...

    Most people have wall transformers laying around the house, I have about 6 or so myself... you know, for various battery chargers, clippers, toys, etc... most have an output of 12vdc which works good for stall motors, Canabilize one of these and you can daisychain power from it to all your tortoises.

    Use a DPDT switch from radio shack to control them. One switch can contol multiple turnouts, no problem. I have even heard of guys that use one switch machine for multiple turnouts... they achieve this economical method using some kind of linkage.
  4. Southern RR

    Southern RR New Member

    Build-your-own plans ?

    Does anyone have plans to build your own switch motor, an electo-magnet operation shouldn't be hard to build ?
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Pennman: when I'm adding switvh machines to Pecos I mark the spot where the center of the throw is by moving the points to one side and marking through the hole in the tie rod (pencil or pin), then moving them the other way and marking that point. The marks are only 1/8" apart or so, and I guess where the middle is. I've always used Homasote and I next take the Tortoise template, align it with the marks and drill down where the screws have to go. Then I drill down through the middle for the operating rod.
    Don't forget to remove the spring in the turnout, or the points will still snap over.
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Famous last words of various occupations:

    Pilot - Oh $hit!

    redneck - Hey Bubba, watch this!

    engineer - This should be a piece of cake!

    Actually, you'd be hard put to do it for much less cost by the time you added the cost of all the little pieces in; your home-made version would probably be physically larger, and it would be a labor of love. Doable? Yes. An exercise for the student in engineering and mechanics? Yes.

  7. pennman

    pennman Member

    Hey Southern, I have to agree and this is from someone who is cheap!! But all joking aside it would cost you more in time,parts and labor that a factory built unit. Besides all the time you save building machines can go into detailing!!

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