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 Tortoise switchmotors and subroadbed
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slimjerkins
Fireman

USA
1320 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  11:09:00 AM  Show Profile
We're finally going to town on a layout. I'll be using pink/blue foam over 1/4" plywood and using Woodland Scenic risers/incline sets.

I'm wondering how to go about installation of Tortoise switchmotors under the track. Has anyone worked with these and the foam risers?

I'm thinking of making a gap in the foam riser/incline and gluing in a piece of 1/4" plywood to bridge the gap. Everything below that 1/4" piece of wood would have to be open for access. The Tortoise motor would be mounted to the plywood.

Okay, a picture is worth a thousand words so here:



Get the idea? Whaddaya think?

George D
Moderator

USA
15183 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  5:49:17 PM  Show Profile
Slim,

I've mounted Tortoise machines two inches below the bottom of the track without any problem. You need a slightly larger diameter piece of music wire (I use heavier wire for all applications), because the piece that comes with the machine is too flexible. You have to drill out the hole where the wire fastens to the machine so the bigger wire will fit. I'm pretty confident that it would work with a thicker piece of material between the track and the machine.

You might do a quick mock-up to test mounting the machine without recessing it to be sure it will work.

George
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George D
Moderator

USA
15183 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  5:49:17 PM  Show Profile
Slim,

I've mounted Tortoise machines two inches below the bottom of the track without any problem. You need a slightly larger diameter piece of music wire (I use heavier wire for all applications), because the piece that comes with the machine is too flexible. You have to drill out the hole where the wire fastens to the machine so the bigger wire will fit. I'm pretty confident that it would work with a thicker piece of material between the track and the machine.

You might do a quick mock-up to test mounting the machine without recessing it to be sure it will work.

George
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Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman

USA
4630 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  6:32:50 PM  Show Profile
Slim, I echo George's idea...I've mounted about 30 Tortoise machines on my layout, which is built on hollow core doors, plus at least 2 inches of foam. Larger diameter piano wire and larger holes does the trick. Also, I hot-glued my machines to the underside of the door. They will come off pretty easily for adjustment or replacements as necessary.
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Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman

USA
4630 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  6:32:50 PM  Show Profile
Slim, I echo George's idea...I've mounted about 30 Tortoise machines on my layout, which is built on hollow core doors, plus at least 2 inches of foam. Larger diameter piano wire and larger holes does the trick. Also, I hot-glued my machines to the underside of the door. They will come off pretty easily for adjustment or replacements as necessary.
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slimjerkins
Fireman

USA
1320 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  10:23:35 PM  Show Profile
Thanks guys.

I'll use the heavier wire and beef up the mounting plate. Some of the elevations on the layout max out at 7-1/4" so I figure I'll have to get the machine up into the layout somehow.
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slimjerkins
Fireman

USA
1320 Posts

Posted - 10/21/2005 :  10:23:35 PM  Show Profile
Thanks guys.

I'll use the heavier wire and beef up the mounting plate. Some of the elevations on the layout max out at 7-1/4" so I figure I'll have to get the machine up into the layout somehow.
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MP Rich
Fireman

USA
1762 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2005 :  10:05:21 AM  Show Profile
I might throw in that a simple throw rod mechanism might be needed. I would try to find a more or less "standard" distance below the track to mount the motor and then design a second rod with loops to use to do the final connection to the track. The reason for this is that the amount of throw changes as you back the motor away from the track. If it changes as the elevation changes , you will be in a constant fight to find just the right length and size wire to use. Don't want the sucker moving the whole switch over. With a second rod on a center swivel point one will have to vary the bending of the second rod to fit but that might be an easier option. Just a thought as I have found the motor to be plenty strong and will move lots of "rigging" to get to those awkward spots.
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MP Rich
Fireman

USA
1762 Posts

Posted - 10/22/2005 :  10:05:21 AM  Show Profile
I might throw in that a simple throw rod mechanism might be needed. I would try to find a more or less "standard" distance below the track to mount the motor and then design a second rod with loops to use to do the final connection to the track. The reason for this is that the amount of throw changes as you back the motor away from the track. If it changes as the elevation changes , you will be in a constant fight to find just the right length and size wire to use. Don't want the sucker moving the whole switch over. With a second rod on a center swivel point one will have to vary the bending of the second rod to fit but that might be an easier option. Just a thought as I have found the motor to be plenty strong and will move lots of "rigging" to get to those awkward spots.
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jaynjay
Fireman

USA
5687 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2005 :  07:20:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by George D

Slim,

I've mounted Tortoise machines two inches below the bottom of the track without any problem.
George




I am planning on adding a 2 x 8 foot section to my layout and am kicking around the idea of using a 2 inch thick piece of foam. I am also kicking around adding tortoise switch machines.
Two questions:
1. How do you mount the switch machine to foam..glue?
2. Doesn't the 1/2 inch diameter hole that Circutron suggests for the music wire stand out like a sore thumb? What do you use to hide the hole. I notice in a lot of model layout pictures shown in magazines that turnouts are rarely shown, probably for this reason?

John
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jaynjay
Fireman

USA
5687 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2005 :  07:20:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by George D

Slim,

I've mounted Tortoise machines two inches below the bottom of the track without any problem.
George




I am planning on adding a 2 x 8 foot section to my layout and am kicking around the idea of using a 2 inch thick piece of foam. I am also kicking around adding tortoise switch machines.
Two questions:
1. How do you mount the switch machine to foam..glue?
2. Doesn't the 1/2 inch diameter hole that Circutron suggests for the music wire stand out like a sore thumb? What do you use to hide the hole. I notice in a lot of model layout pictures shown in magazines that turnouts are rarely shown, probably for this reason?

John
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Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman

USA
4630 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2005 :  12:43:13 PM  Show Profile
John, as I said earlier, I've hot-glued the Tortoise machines to the hollow core doors I use with no problem. If you don't have something below your foam like I do, then maybe you could cut a small piece of veneer (like door skin material), say 3" square and glue it to the foam next to your hole (use Liquid Nails for Foam for one choice of glue), then hot glue the Tortoise to the veneer.

Also, when I went through the learning process for this method, I discovered it is easier to drill a larger hole through the foam, like maybe 1 or 1.5" or so, which gives you more "fiddle room" when lining up the Tortoise from underneath the benchwork. I stayed with a 1/2" hole through the roadbed, which in my case is Homabed. Then, I took some paper, spray painted it gray, and cut it into 1" squares and cut a slit in from one side for the piano wire to move through. So, you don't see the hole, all you see is some gray paper that blends in with the ballast - hardly visible.
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Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman

USA
4630 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2005 :  12:43:13 PM  Show Profile
John, as I said earlier, I've hot-glued the Tortoise machines to the hollow core doors I use with no problem. If you don't have something below your foam like I do, then maybe you could cut a small piece of veneer (like door skin material), say 3" square and glue it to the foam next to your hole (use Liquid Nails for Foam for one choice of glue), then hot glue the Tortoise to the veneer.

Also, when I went through the learning process for this method, I discovered it is easier to drill a larger hole through the foam, like maybe 1 or 1.5" or so, which gives you more "fiddle room" when lining up the Tortoise from underneath the benchwork. I stayed with a 1/2" hole through the roadbed, which in my case is Homabed. Then, I took some paper, spray painted it gray, and cut it into 1" squares and cut a slit in from one side for the piano wire to move through. So, you don't see the hole, all you see is some gray paper that blends in with the ballast - hardly visible.
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jaynjay
Fireman

USA
5687 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2005 :  6:45:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by Tabooma County Rwy

I stayed with a 1/2" hole through the roadbed, which in my case is Homabed. Then, I took some paper, spray painted it gray, and cut it into 1" squares and cut a slit in from one side for the piano wire to move through. So, you don't see the hole, all you see is some gray paper that blends in with the ballast - hardly visible.



Al:
Sometimes the obvious is the hardest thing to see. Thanks for the hints

John

John
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jaynjay
Fireman

USA
5687 Posts

Posted - 10/23/2005 :  6:45:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by Tabooma County Rwy

I stayed with a 1/2" hole through the roadbed, which in my case is Homabed. Then, I took some paper, spray painted it gray, and cut it into 1" squares and cut a slit in from one side for the piano wire to move through. So, you don't see the hole, all you see is some gray paper that blends in with the ballast - hardly visible.



Al:
Sometimes the obvious is the hardest thing to see. Thanks for the hints

John

John
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