Tortoise Mounting My Way

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by wickman, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. wickman

    wickman Member

    Hi folks
    Here's my take on how I mounted my tortoise switch machines to the peco turnouts.
    I could have changed all the standard sized tortoise point throw wire to a heavier guage as I found with the peco springs the tortoise was not reliable so I simply removed the peco spring .
    I'll make it as step by step as possible.
    First step was to use my drill to cut a slot wide enuff for the tortoise throw wire to travel freely without being obstructed by the benchwork wood or cork roadbed,second step I lined up the tortoise switch from under the benchwork so it would throw the peco turnoutpoints then I used a marker to trace around the tortoise switch to mark its mounting location,I then moved the tortoise out of the way , I put one side of velcro on the underside of the plywood ( 2 strips wide) applied the opposite
    adjoining velcro to the tortoise switch ( 2 strips ) , mounted the toroise to the velcro , chked that the turnout would throw ok if it didn't I fine tuned by just giving a slight twist and gave the tortoise a good push upward so it was good and secure once I was happy with the point action , I used #4 x 1/2" screws (the ones that need the #zero screw driver) I
    screwed in the first screw about 3/4 the way in on the wire end corner then I went to opposite corner 3/4 screw in then the other 2 corners I seated the 4 screws evenly then double chked the throwing action of the points.If you find for some reason that it went on crooked or just bad you can turn the tortiose around coming from the opposite direction.The velcro was a bit of an added cost but this worked like a charm for me. I found the points wouldn't throw with the springs in so rather than
    stretching the spring to weaken the action I took the springs out and they worked great except for they large Y turnout at the reverse loop intersection which no matter what I did didn't seem to allow the points to hug tightly against the adjoining rail so I put that spring back in but I colapsed the spring a bit so the tortoise could throw it with the size of wire that came with it.
    Once all the tortoise switches were secure I snipped off the excess throw wire.
    If I find I'm not happy down the road with the springs out I will reinstall all the springs but collapsed a bit so there not so strong.
    If you want more info on mounting these try this link out. :)

    Just thought I would add a few more step by step pics for mounting the tortoise switches
    I used 3/4" wide strips of velcro ( sticky back )
    stick 2 strips to top of tortoise

    set the tortoise throw wire to centre
    line up the tortoise from underneath with throw wire poking through points hole making sure while holding it up in position that the peco points will indeed touch the rails when thrown and mark with pen around the tortiose where the velcro will have to be stuck on
    the pen indicates the hole in benchwork
    stick on 2 strips of velcro inside pen outline
    mount the tortoise onto the velcro and test the points to make sure they touch each rail when there thrown

    use #4 x 1/2" wood crews ( the tiny ones that use #0 robertson screw driver)
    start inserting screws while pushing up on the tortoise

    when all the screws are in test the point action again and adjust the the stength of the throw wire with the little green doohicky by sliding it downward
  2. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    That is a great idea.
    You had me somewhat confused until you got to the
    (little Green Do-hicky) sign1

    Its too late for this and another week is here.
    Be safe and have a GREAT week!:thumb:

  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi Lynn, the Velcro is a great idea. I've always found the biggest obstacle to overcome is determining the exact position the Tortoise has to be in to throw the points securely both ways. You obviously need to power up the Tortoise and be able to change the polarity to it, while holding it and observing the throwbar. Then keep it in place while you mark it. That has often been where the problem is, and the Velcro will help there. It;s the torque of the powered up Tortoise that makes holding it in place by hand difficult. I came up with a different solution. Because I use toggle switches mounted in the fascia to throw my turnouts, I use center off toggles now, rather than using alligator clips like I used to for switching the polarity while testing placement. A flip of a toggle and I can check the throw easily, and when the Tortoise is in the right position, I flip the toggle to center off, and it is then easy to keep it in place while fastening with screws.

    I'm not sure why you posted this in the DCC forum, it may have seen more hits elsewhere.
  4. wickman

    wickman Member

    I don't test them under power gary I just used the screw to push the throw wire from side to side when the points were throwing evenly I would simply push the tortoise up tight from below and put the screws in ( also in an even matter )
    As for posting here I figured it was kinda dcc related as its the way I did it for my dcc otherwise I couldn't find anyplace else to put itsign1

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