Wiring Tortoise switch machines

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by ebaines, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. ebaines

    ebaines New Member

    Greetings from a newbie to model railroading. I am beginning construction of my first layout (N gauge), and based on recommendations in this forum decided to go with Circuitron Tortoise switch machines and Atlas custom turnouts. I'm pretty handy with wiring and electronics, but I do have a question about wiring the switch machines. The instructions provide a method for using either DC wiring or AC (rectified through a set of diodes). I think the AC wiring solution has some nice advantages - only two wires need to be run to each machine, while still being able to have a pair of indicator LEDs on the control panel, and also on the layout to signal the state of the turnout. The instructions say that the machine will work a bit slower in this method compared to wiring with DC. Anyone have any practical experience with this? Any advice to share?

  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    While I have a bunch of these machines it's been a long time since I read the instruction sheet. They may say the machine will run slower with the rectified AC assuming that the AC and DC output voltages were the same, and the AC's voltage will drop after the diodes. Lower voltage will make the machine run slower. I use a 12v transformer rectified to 10 1/2 volts DC for all my switch machines, both slow motion motors and twin coil solenoid types, with no problems.
  3. Urloony

    Urloony New Member

    I have an old Lionel transformer that is also running through a rectifier to the switches. The nice thing about it is I can lower the voltage on the transformer so the switch machines can pretty much run at any speed I want.

Share This Page