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There is a reason that you do not see these being used on O gauge layouts

We used them on about 30 turnouts, first with DCS and MTH products. Ross track and turnouts and Tortoise switch machines. They were fabulous/fantastic/easy to install/and they worked! We were sold.

Enter Lionel and, when connected, you never saw so many flashing lights and noise of turnouts changing. I talked to the Kevin Hunter, the owner numerous times, installed a ground rod thru the train room floor, nothing worked. He is very nice and tried to help.

Kevin sent us a ground connector. No help.

Then one day we held the wire we had attached to the Touch Toggle control ground and touched the toggle with our other hand. It worked perfectly.

So we took a piece of aluminum, attached the wire to it and screwed it to the Benchwork. Most of the time when you press the aluminum plate and the touch toggle at the same time, it works. Not always. Then you wet your fingers, touch and hold, and it may work.

We left them installed on the freight and passenger yards for the present but we are still building the layout and seldom use those turnouts. We do not have time to try and figure this out despite the significant $$$ invested.

Our other turnouts are now controlled by the MTH AIU and require separate relays because Tortoise require a longer time to throw than the momentary AIU provides. They work perfectly.


I searched here and found someone else who had tried Touch Toggles. He could not get them to work either.

If you want to know more, I will be glad to talk with you. My advice is, if you use or intend to use Lionel command control, stay away. E-mail address is under my personal info.

Note that Lionel has some other control methods such as Bluetooth, etc. We have not tried that. Our layout is fairly large and we need the broader systems.

Good luck..if by some chance you find an answer, please let me know what it is. We would like to use these in yards and the engine service area. What we are doing now is not a satisfactory answer.

Well!!!  As I run only Legacy (occasionally, conventional)... looks like I'm back to searching for the elusive toggle that does not exist for my Tortoise Machines.

I did see another post from 2019 concerning the issue you described... so, thank you Bill for your thoughtful and considered response!  No point in beating a dead horse.

Last edited by Dennis-LaRock

Dennis, you mentioned in your post you were looking for a toggle for a Tortoise. I use ones I purchased from All Electronics. I’m sure they are available elsewhere. It’s basically a DPDT toggle that simply reverses the polarity to run a Tortoise. Instructions I believe come with the Tortoise.  The good feature is that  it operates just like a regular on off switch. No center position. Cheap and simple.

In about five minutes I found 12mm lighted industrial switches on Aliexpress. Another three minutes I found 10mm, at about $2/switch, in five LED colors and voltages. Then 8mm. Each of these are round/circular.

Just take mm, multiply by 25.4, takes you to inches, that is the size hole you will need to drill.

Obviously they are made in China. Biggest issue with AliExpress is you will have to wait up to a month before they show up.

You might have to figure out how to go from AC to DC. Might be issues with say K-Line switches if the LED and the contacts share a pin. So you buy two switches, get them, try them out. If it doesn't work, you wasted a Starbucks.

Thanks Guys!!!

I'm going to run the tortoises with a wall-wart... less wiring/components.  My question is now maintain vs momentary... my understanding or what I don't understand is how to incorporate a momentary toggle without having to add additional component(s)... that the tortoise has a chance to finish its throw and maintain stall tension thereafter.  I get DPDT Maintain On/On or On/Off/On and attaching the led(s)... but I cannot wrap my head around DPDT Momentary (on) Off (on) using one toggle and attaching the led(s) without adding a myriad of other components.  Then of course, I have to find a toggle I like.  I'll get it... I'm just dense.  It's been about 30 years since my last build... and boy, have things changed!!!!

Oh Boy!!!!  Next question... routes.  I know that I have to get asc/sc2 or whatever controllers at some point to control the turnouts... if I set up tortoises with the wall-wart can I use those controllers or do I have to use ac power to power the turnouts at that point?

John, how did you find that post that fast?????  The big DOG's from 2012... John, Matt & Dale!!!

Update:  Now... it makes sense ...better than Circuitron's instructions...

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER

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