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Turnout swtich machines

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  • Member since
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Turnout swtich machines
Posted by New Salem on Friday, January 26, 2018 2:36 PM

Hello everyone.  Just getting back into modeling, haven't been running the layout in a few years, but getting back into and building a staging yard.  Would like to put in a turnout for entering the yard and have it controlled like all the other layout turnouts, with a automatic switch machine, and can't locate Rix Machines anywhere.....are they no longer producing these machines and if not does anyone have a good recommendation on a "like" under the layout machine similar to the Rix.  Thanks

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 9:36 AM

Welcome

 

Tortoise is the "New Standard", I have been using them for over 30 years now. They are a 'stall' type machine. Unlike twin coil machines, the power is always on. +12v dc moves the points one way, -12v dc moves the points the other way.

 

They are easy and very forgiving to install once you crumple up and throw away the directions.

 

The LION uses a 3/8th or 1/2" hole under the throwbar, manually and cearfully moves the actuator to the center position.

Next, him puts galb of silicone caulk on the face plate, being careful to keep it away from the actuator.

Thread the actuator wire up through the hole and throuch the throwbar, and then slide the Tortoise until it is aligned correctly under the table and the switch points are centered neither one way or the other, with no tension on the actuator wire in any direction.

Once the caulk sets you have a very wonderful secure switch motor.

LION uses a COMMON GROUND, which muct be connected to a hard building ground, the ground pin from your electrical outlet will be perfect. This will keep stray voltages off of your ground circuit which will drive you crazy.

 

CLICK ON DIAGRAMS TO ENLARGE OR COPY

 

 

My power supply:

 

A simple supply that you can make from a 12v AC wallwart:

A simple switch manel (Interlocking Tower):

So you want to build a ladder off of the mane lion?

You build it upside down... : )

suppose ML + tks 1, 2, 3, and 4.

With all switches down (Normal) position you access the Mane lion.

Reverse switch 1 and the train will go to TRACK 4

Reverse switch 1 and 4 and the train will go to track 3

Reverse switch 1 and 3 and the train will go to track 2

Reverse switch 1 and 2 and the train will go to track 1

 

So simple a LION could do it.

 

As a matter of fact, him *did* do it.

This little panel controls a two track mane lion plus four station tracks. One of the turnuts is a double slip switch.

LION uses nails as binding points. Him laid out a row of naild for each tortoise, a pair for the power and two sets of three for the built in dpdt switches. The pins on the right are for the track power for each of the tracks.

Logic wired into this switch panel controls the slip switch turnouts, and the track power. And the LION does not have to crawl under the table to do anything. LIONS are too old to crawl under tables, and object to having hot solder fall down onto the nice soft fur of him.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 11:38 AM

New Salem
have it controlled like all the other layout turnouts, with a automatic switch machine



Atlas still makes double coil under table switch machine mounts.

But what do you mean "automatic switch"  Do you mean

1.  Just "powered"

OR 

2.  Some sort of throw logic added (If car is approaching against the points, throw switch)

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by richg1998 on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 11:40 AM

Atlas is the only twin coil machine I know of.

The Tortoise would be a better solution.

Our club set up in the 1980's with PFM machines and eventually started using the Tortoise when a new turnout was installed. Same plus/minus twelve volts.

The Tortoise draws about 20 ma with points closed so a two lead red/green bipolar LED is used for direction selected. No resistor needed.

Rich

N

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 12:19 PM

Is this a hidden staging yard?

I ask because, while I love my Tortoise machines and now use them for all my prominently-displayed turnouts, they are definitely more expensive than the venerable Atlas twin-coils.  If you're looking to cut corners, using cheaper machines in a hidden staging yard might be one way to go.

Peco also makes twin-coil machines, but as I recall they are imported from Great Britain and cost more than Atlas, which are imported from China via New Jersey.  Peco machines are designed for use with Peco turnouts, and won't work well with most others.

And don't throw away the Tortoise instructions!  The templates for mounting them and for bending longer throw wires are useful!

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 12:50 PM

Model Train Stuff has the Rix in stock.
 
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by richg1998 on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 4:20 PM

RR_Mel

Model Train Stuff has the Rix in stock.
 
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 

Link shows out of stock. I found that this morning but never said anything.

Rich

N

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 5:26 PM

I think I have a couple Rix machines.  Maybe I should put them on ebay.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 5:29 PM

richg1998

 

 
RR_Mel

Model Train Stuff has the Rix in stock.
 
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 

 

 

Link shows out of stock. I found that this morning but never said anything.

Rich

 

Sorry, I missed the Out of Stock.
 
Here is an eBay search with several Rix switch machines
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
  
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by New Salem on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 7:28 PM

Must the Tortoises (and Cobalts) use only a DC power supply to power them, or can they be powered with AC supply like the Rix Machines and Atlas?....trying to figure out why this would be DC only, since I recall all the accessories on the layout are running off AC power supplies including the Rix machines for all the turnouts.

Moderator
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Posted by Steven Otte on Thursday, February 01, 2018 8:41 AM

New Salem

Must the Tortoises (and Cobalts) use only a DC power supply to power them, or can they be powered with AC supply like the Rix Machines and Atlas?....trying to figure out why this would be DC only, since I recall all the accessories on the layout are running off AC power supplies including the Rix machines for all the turnouts.

I haven't used a Cobalt machine, but I think they work the same as Tortoises. Tortoises are "stall motors," meaning they rely on a continuous flow of electricity to keep the points pushed in one direction or the other. Reversing the polarity of the DC current throws the points in the other direction. They wouldn't work under AC because the points would be trying to switch back and forth 60 times a second, probably burning out the motor.

--
Steven Otte, Model Railroader associate editor
sotte@kalmbach.com

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Saturday, February 03, 2018 10:06 AM

MisterBeasley
And don't throw away the Tortoise instructions! The templates for mounting them and for bending longer throw wires are useful!

 

LION has NEVER used those templates. They assume that you are able and willing to crawl under the table and are able to use a little screw driver in their arthritic paws at a focallength that I do not have on my quadrafocals.

Nope, The silicone caulk lets you move the machine until it is in place purrfectly.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by PennsyNut on Saturday, February 03, 2018 3:36 PM

I find this forum interesting. I prefer manual, but there are places where a machine is necessary. On the back of the layout. So, why Tortoise? They are slow action and IMHO that means the front of the layout. But you can reach the front.??? Then, I went online to find prices.Kato $13.50,Atlas $13.95,Peco $15.99 and tortoise $21.95. All retail. Then, you shop for the best prices. So, this may help some. It sure helped me. Use the cheapest on the back and manual in front. In a yard, say on a lower level, then again, the cheaper would do fine. Another factor is current draw. And if tortoise uses DC, then why not use DC for all. Any old DC power pack would do. Of course, I can be wrong. But this is only info for thought.

A SPF,Nuts about Pennsy,what else is there?
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Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, February 03, 2018 3:58 PM

PennsyNut

I find this forum interesting. I prefer manual, but there are places where a machine is necessary. On the back of the layout. So, why Tortoise? They are slow action and IMHO that means the front of the layout. But you can reach the front.??? Then, I went online to find prices.Kato $13.50,Atlas $13.95,Peco $15.99 and tortoise $21.95. All retail. Then, you shop for the best prices. So, this may help some. It sure helped me. Use the cheapest on the back and manual in front. In a yard, say on a lower level, then again, the cheaper would do fine. Another factor is current draw. And if tortoise uses DC, then why not use DC for all. Any old DC power pack would do. Of course, I can be wrong. But this is only info for thought.

 

I have had very little issues with tortoise motors, all have been operator error, or physical damage caused by outside forces, which could happen to any switch machine.  My club has some that have been in service for 10+ years.  They draw very little power, and are very straight forward to hook up.   

I would not use the cheapest thing possible at the back.  I would use the most reliable, so I only have to make the journey to the location twice, once when I install it, once when I tear the layout down.

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, February 03, 2018 5:15 PM

PennsyNut
And if tortoise uses DC, then why not use DC for all.

You should use a capacitive discharge circuit for all twin-coil machines.  It makes them throw more reliably and protects them from burnout due to stuck toggles.

Most people use DC for Tortoises.  I like to run mine around 9-10 volts, which gives a slower motion than the "recommended" 16 volts.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, February 05, 2018 8:28 AM

My first layout had Atlas switches with T/C motors above the layout (ugly but reliable). I had to file down the steam cylinders on my 4-8-4 to clear them.

.

My "dream house" layout used Scale Shops screw drive stall motors. Keeping these adjusted was a full time job.

.

Since then I have used only Tortoises. I love them.

.

However, the new Walthers system has me curious.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by richg1998 on Monday, February 05, 2018 9:23 AM

 

I have been into model railroading for many years and have lost count of how many times I have heard of a burnt out coil on twin coil machines.With the amount of current they pass, sometimes a contact sticks.

Usually a stuck switch or someone did not know that holding down the switch does no good if the points are out of adjustment or the turnout is not installed correctly. A Snapper uses AC or DC to make a DC output to fire the machine. You can make your own and they can fire a yard ladder set. A bridge rectifier, couple resistors, capacitor.

Rich

 

 

N

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 05, 2018 1:08 PM

 I used servos on my last layout, and I will keep using servos. CHeaper, smaller, and every bit as reliable as the other options. That's all the new Walthers system is. Though putting the electroncis on the point motor part instead of on the fascia controller  makes them nearly as alrge as a Tortoise.

 CHeck out Tam Valley - they have all sorts of servo controllers. I used the Singlets (kit version - kit means you solder on 2 LEDs and 2 pushbuttons - saves a couple bucks) on my layout but I also have an original Quad and relay module I picked up before settlign on mounting Singlets in my fascia. 

 I'm building my own controllers for the new layout, since it's insanely simple to drive a servo from an Arduino. Mine will have the local control lockout like the Walthers. Mostly designed, I just need to finish the software, and it will all be freely published for anyone to copy.

                                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, February 05, 2018 1:21 PM

rrinker
 I used servos on my last layout, and I will keep using servos. CHeaper, smaller, and every bit as reliable as the other options.

You had me at cheap. I'm assuming that you are planning to use just the servo and skip the decoder, or were you talking about using the decoder?

If the former, what would it take to wire it?

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 05, 2018 2:01 PM

 You need something to control that servo. Article in MR that turned them into stall motors notwithstanding, they will sooner rather than later burn out if you use them that way - plus they draw too much power if stalled.

 Assuming not inclided to DIY (complete instructions in an article, with accompanying video and downloads, in a Geoff Bunza article in MRH a year or so ago), the Tam Valley Octopus is the cheapest option on a per-turnout basis. A servo and a Singlet cost about the same as a Tortoise, but includes the pushbuttons, indicators, and is a DCC stationary decode to boot. The Octopus by itself is simply a servo driver, you can use toggle switches, or one of the Tam Valley fascia controllers with buttons and LEDs to drive it, and there is an optional DCC decoder add-on that makes it also act as a stationary decoder. You can start basic and add on the extras later - only reason I have any turnouts controlled by a DCC decoder is for dispatcher control. Stuff in the yard, not on the main line - only local manual control. There's no reason to put that on a decoder.

 My DIY ones - if you only need a couple, and hand wire them on a perf board, maybe $10 in parts to control 2 servos, with buttons and lights. I need enough to make that not practical, so I'm also having boards made. The Geoff Bunza ones probably work out to something like $2/turnout, servo included. Arduinos are cheap, each one controls many servos.

                                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by BRVRR on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 9:12 PM

I use the Atlas twin coil switch machines. When I started my layout, the Tortoise machines were out of reach financially and the Rix machines looked to be too complex.

When I decided I wanted 'undertable' swich machines I converted the old surface machines to 'undertable.'

A simple process. The machines have proven to be very reliable. I've only replaced one in 13-years and that was because my grandson, 5-years-old at the time, held the slide switch too long.

I have a short "How Too" photo sequence on my website that shows how I converted the surface mount machines to undertable machines.

Here's the link: http://www.brvrr.com/SWM.html

Tags: BRVRR

Remember its your railroad

Allan

  Track to the BRVRR Website:  http://www.brvrr.com/

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Posted by hobo9941 on Sunday, February 11, 2018 9:45 PM

I have over 40 Atlas twin coil machines, both above and below table, and never had a problem. I do have to replace one that burned out when I leaned across the control panel too far and my belt buckle held the push button down too long, until I smelled smoke. The above table machines actually look similar to the powered switches on the prototype railroads.

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