I recently  visited a rather large layout under construction.  It had under platform mounted tortoise machines operated by toggles.  Needless to say,they were very impressive to watch and operate.  Now,I am thinking of converting from Z Stuff,even though it would be costly. I am wondering if anyone would comment on tortoise switch machines and operations.  I use Atlas 3 rail track and switches.

Norm

Original Post

The only downside of Tortoise is they aren't well suited for anti derailing unless you place the trigger point at least 12", maybe more, from the points. Otherwise I think they are superior to most all other machines for positive closure. Also the addtional switch contacts are useful for signaling. Easy to power as they use continous DC. No need for special pulse power supplies. As long as you use the specified voltage they should last forever.

Pete

 

I use Tortoise Machines to operate my car-stoppers:

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...g-with-claw-couplers

 

                      IMG_3436

You can power Tortoises from your 14VAC accessory power as shown in the pic. An SPDT toggle switch with rectifiers providing alternate polarity to the legs of the switch as shown does it. The center post of the switch goes to the Tortoise motor and the other side of the motor goes to the other side the 14VAC. This is one of the methods recommended by Circuitron.

The Tortoise machines work quite nicely and instead of snapping they move in slow motion. It takes about three seconds for them to cycle.

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

Norton posted:

The only downside of Tortoise is they aren't well suited for anti derailing unless you place the trigger point at least 12", maybe more, from the points. Otherwise I think they are superior to most all other machines for positive closure. Also the addtional switch contacts are useful for signaling. Easy to power as they use continous DC. No need for special pulse power supplies. As long as you use the specified voltage they should last forever.

Pete

 

What he said!! Tortoise is my first choice.

davidbross posted:

I am about to have to wire all my switches for operations.  Does anyone have a wiring and mounting diagram for tortoise.  I am debating Z stuff and tortoise or manual.  LOl  Each has some appeal.

I have one somewhere. Will try to post it this evening.

I have had a derailment from trailing through an improperly-lined Tortoise-controlled switch.  The engine truck of a Lionel hybrid brass 2-8-2 jumped the rail and derailed, as the single axle was not heavy enough to spring the points open.  However that's the only derailment I have ever experienced from a continuous movement.  On a couple of occasions I have accidentally trailed through an improperly-lined Tortoise switch and then reversed direction before pulling the entire train through the switch.  It did what any prototype spring switch would do -- returned to the normal switch point position -- and a derailment resulted.

But I am quite satisfied with the Tortoise motors.  The springs require periodic adjustment to make sure the point rail is snug against the stock rail, as do all under the table, spring wire activated switch machines.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

Lone Star Hi-Railers

Santa Fe, All the Way

I installed 20 Tortoise machines on the layout at my previous home in 1992.  The buyer kept the layout and is still using it today and there have been no failures in these 27 years.  I have installed over 100 since then and I cannot say enough good thing about them.  I do not believe you could ever go wrong using the Tortoise switch machines!

Happy railroading,

Don

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