TESTING an alterative to Tortoise switch machines

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Denyons, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    I was handed a set of switch machine servo's by an agent of a new product. He asked me if I would like to install them into my N Scale layout and test them.
    The name of the product is "ANE model".
    I installed the four servo's under the switch points of my Shinohara Sissors Crossover and now have them fully operational.
    The size of these machines are only one third of the size of a tortoise machine which makes them very useful in small tight spaces under the layout. The servo's come with a small circuit board that allows several adjustments which I found very useful.
    One of the adjustments is to choose the distance that the throw wire goes and to also throw more to one side than the other, if required.
    The installation was fairly easy as you don't have to be as precise in centering like you do with the tortoise, this is due to the adjustment board mentioned.
    The 4 servo's come with all the connecting wires (in different lengths) with attached plugs to lash them together. I found them very useful for the crossover.
    At first, I had a little problem with the positioning of the Horns (they push and pull the throw wire) but I changed the position from the one recomended in the instuctions as the wire was being pulled down and out of the turnout during the swing of the horns.
    I believe the manufacturers of the product may change the instuctions but this problem may not happen on HO turnouts.
    I hooked up the 4 turnouts into two pairs, each pair linked to a toggle switch.
    I am quite impressed with these little machines and they are working together very nicely. I am sure that I will be looking for more to install into my layout.
    There are other operations that can be done such as power routing but I have not ventured there yet.
    There is a web site for more info for anyone is interested at NEWS
  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Very interesting ,will be following this for awhile and see how they hold up. Thanks
  3. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    I took a few photos of the installation of the turnout servo's.

    Attached Files:

  4. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Dennis are these for n/z scale only? I looked at the site and it looks like it works for any scale. This tread should be moved to another location so more people can see it. Maybe general talk section or something.
  5. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    Rogerw....You are correct. The servo's will work on H.O. as well as N Scale because the horns can be adjusted through the Smart Switch Circuit Board to move more distance which would be needed for H.O.
    My train club have had trouble with Tortoise machines ripping out the throw bars of the turnouts even after changing to a thinner throw wire, but I am sure that won't happen with these servo's.
    I guess I should post this in the general talk section like you mention.
  6. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Hi Dennis. I think they have a lot of potential and not everyone will check the n/z catergory. You could either repost or have a moderator move it. I just think more people would check them out in the general talk area and benfit from it.
  7. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Allso I could not find a price on them . do you know how much they are? thanks
  8. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    The agent didn't have a price when he gave me the servo's but I will call him and see if he has one now.
    I have put the first post on the H.O. forum and I see it is already in the General one
  9. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Do you know if these are available in the states, if so where can i get one or two to try out?

    They look remarkably like the servo's i use in my r/c cars specifically my micro rc cars. I'm wondering if maybe i can retrofit some of the super submicro wing landing gear servos to be switch motors.
  10. Denyons

    Denyons Member

  11. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    Spoke to the agent and he told me that the prices are on the website.
    Click on PRICE on the left side of the page.

    By the way the set I tested is equipped to operate the switches from your DCC keypad also, if you so desire.
  12. BlueHillsCPR

    BlueHillsCPR New Member

    These look very interesting. I like the idea of a settings board allowing for some adjustment. They would probably be very useful for animations too. On the downside US$86 for the four servos and the circuit board is not exactly inexpensive...
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    How much are Tortoises this year? I think they used to sell for $15-20 Cdn.
  14. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    You can buy a 6-pack for 89.95 at Tony Trains, and probably a little less on ebay. Compared to the 89.95 for 4 of these servos.

    However, while the Tortoise may be cheaper, I do like the idea of having a single board for all the wiring of switches and LEDs of up to 4 turnouts. Seems it would make wiring control panels and what not easier. You could build the whole thing on the bench with the control board mounted right behind it. Then just simply connect the turnout cable to the signal board and be done.

    On the other hand, what I'm not 100% crazy about is the mounting options. It seems you'd have to mount it horizontally (see pic) to keep the throw rod from slipping out of the turnout hole (vertically mounted the arm swings in a downward circular motion. Think clock pendulum). But mounting horizontally requires all kinds of twists and turns of the throw wire, hole carving under the turnout to hide and give the wire throw room to swing, etc... Just sounds like a pain to mount when you have 20-30 of them to do.

    Me, I'm all for easier wiring so, so it's something I'll still keep an eye on as one of my possible turnout control methods.
  15. BlueHillsCPR

    BlueHillsCPR New Member

    I think the best online price I have seen for a Tortoise was around US$13 each. With the strong Canadian dollar they would be marginally less. I like what I see with the servos so far. It will be interesting to watch and see what they amount to over time. Maybe they will come down in price slightly if they become mainstream? I know I'm probably dreaming. :mrgreen:
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    As far as mounting the servos and the problem of wires falling out, If you simply make a loop in the wire so it goes through the throw bar and loops around the bar, it won't fall out. As far as the throw bar in the track switch goes, just put a small "eye" bolt screwed into the bottom of your layout and run the wire through the eye.
  17. Dougwysham

    Dougwysham New Member

    How about wiring?

    Hi Dennis,

    I have plan to use tortoise to control the double cross over on my layout. Have done a little research. I am not that talent to come up a home made linkage (http://forum.zealot.com/t117176/).

    I would like to know how easy is the wiring for these little servos? Can't tell from you pictures.


  18. Geoff H

    Geoff H New Member

    Geoff H

    :thumb: These units are one of the best ideas that I have seen AND USED.

    They are not only available for DCC but can be switched back for the use of DC as well as being available for the pure DC user and they are cheaper as well.

    There are three ways of mounting them: One is to mount them directly under the turnout as in the photograph or if the turnouts are already mounted and: Two you have forgotten to drill the hole underneath then you can drill a small hole a short distance from the tiebar and then make a crank shaped drive wire to drive them and: Three you can mount them on top of the board inside a building or a mountain and then run the wire straight across to the tie bar.

    If you are using N scale then you just adjust the length of throw of the Micro servo using the buttons on the motherboard. You are also able to adjust the one of nine speed settings from 20 seconds to .07 seconds.

    Each output has light outputs as well for LEDs and when the testing is completed for the Smart Frog control unit you will be able to run route control and I believe three aspect lights.

    ANE is a company to realy keep an eye on as they are giving us the modellers exactly what we want.

    To those of you that are talking about the cheapness of other motors then you should consider that each box contains the four micro servos and the four mounting brackets and all of the hardware for the mounting as well as the extension leads so that you can get to the turnout that is a bit further away and a motherboard that is fully programmable and four toggle switches and a stationary decoder. By the time you add all of these extras the Tortoise won't be as cheap as you think.

    ANE also supply full sized servos and mounting brackets for those of us that may be modelling O gauge so they are thinking of everyone aren't they.

    The other thing that they can be used for is to animate other things on your layout such as level crossing gates and semaphore signals etc.

    Keep an eye out for a few other surprises that are on the way as well from ANE Models and for those that haven't tried them I would suggest that you do and you will be sold. I am in the process of doing a Beta test on them in Australia and they work dambed fine.

  19. Dougwysham

    Dougwysham New Member

    Well i am looking for your review. I have been using tortoises. They're fine machines. But the problem is there are places you just can't get them fit. Currently i am working on using tortoises to control a double crossover. Looking for advice! Willing to try out this new product if i see more other modelers trying it out. Forgive me i am a little bit skeptical.
  20. Geoff H

    Geoff H New Member

    Smart Switch turnout machines

    It is human nature to be sceptical as change can be hard to accept.

    I can remember buying my first computer and this was before the existence of hard drives and the floppy discs were just that and 5 1/4" diameter. I handed over the money with a very shaky hand and then proceeded to find out that these things wouldn't work until you wrote the program - "WHAT IS A PROGRAM"? Now look at them, they do things before you can even think of what you want to do and they even design their own upgrades (SCARY).

    If you go to this following web address and download the instructions you can see how they use them to hook up to double slip or a pair of changeover turnouts and believe me it is as simple as they show.

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