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Walthers vs. Tortise

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Walthers vs. Tortise
Posted by ndbprr on Thursday, December 31, 2020 5:27 PM

Assume tortoise is more common. Is one easier to install? Can they be mixed and matched from a control standpoint? Any advantage to walthers vertical or horizontal installation. Any difference in Wiring? 

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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, December 31, 2020 11:37 PM

 Physically they both install the same, for the most part. Hole under the throwbar, run the wire up, screw the machine to the underside of the layout.

 Walthers plugs in. Like the far cheaper Tam Valley servos which also mount the same way, and take up less space. Everything pretty much links up with 3 wire cables, standard servo attachment cables you can find at any hobby shop or online - even places that don't sell trains.

 Tortoises use simple DC, change the polarity with a DPDT toggle, change the position of the switch motor. 2 wires to the Tortoise, from your toggle switch, adn 2 wires from the toggle to a DC power supply.

                                           --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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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, December 31, 2020 11:47 PM

Assume tortoise is more common. Is one easier to install?

Tortoise has been around about 20 years longer and has a long and true proven track record. They install almost exactly the same.

 

Can they be mixed and matched from a control standpoint?

Not sure what you mean by this.

 

Any advantage to walthers vertical or horizontal installation?

Vertical is easier. Horizontal is an option of there are obstructions under the layout. Tortoise offers some creative options for difficult installations.

 

Any difference in Wiring?

Yes, as covered in Randy's previous response.

 

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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  • From: Ridgeville,South Carolina
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Posted by willy6 on Friday, January 1, 2021 9:27 AM

I am contemplating the same scenario about what switch machines to use. I am also looking at Micro-Mark Switch Tenders machines. Most of my turnouts are already installed on roadbed so I am trying to figure out the easiest one of the 3 to use.

Being old is when you didn't loose it, it's that you just can't remember where you put it.
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 1, 2021 12:39 PM

 Of all the choices, if there's any I'd avoid it's those Sqitch Tenders. Priced the same as a Tortoise, they have no contacts for switching frog polarity and they draw 4x the current of a Tortoise (ok, that's relative, it makes the Switch Tender draw 60ma stalled - but that prevents you from using simple series LEDs for indicators like you can with a Tortoise).

 Also look at Tam Valley Depot. they have various servo options that plug together like the Walthers system for a lot less money than Walthers charges. ANd depending on your needs, they have options that cost less than a Tortoise or the same as a Tortoise yet inclide the operating buttons and LEDs position indicators, and even a DCC accessory decoder. Even the lowest cost option has the ability to add a DCC decoder later if you change your mind and want to go that way, but it's completely optional.

 Yes, I always mention them - I have no connection other than a satisfied customer. After the first articles on using small RC plane servos appeared, I tried them out and I am convinced this is the way to go. Obviously Walthers is, but decided to come up with a rather complex looking system to mount them and all sorts of fancy buttom options. This is definitely a case where the fallout from another hobby with a larger following helps reduce prices in model railroading. 

                                   --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
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Posted by Matt'sdad on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 1:23 PM

Love the Walthers, using them for all main-line turnouts, manual for the rest.  I have 13 vertical and 6 horizontal on my N-Scale layout. I did a fair amount of research before choosing Walthers.  I looked at price, ease of installation, flexibilty of install, and features. The fact they were new was my only draw back.  

The Walthers comes standard with DCC capability and 2 micro-switches which are switched by the servo, directing power from an outside source.  I'm using them for some indicator LEDs.  Power hook-up is a breeze, multiple units can be linked for both power and control from the facia controls. Turnout indicator lights are available which I'm using a couple to indicate mainline turnout positions.

They work out of the box with 1" foam on 1/2" ply, PECO turnouts with spring removed. 

When factoring in all of above - the value was in the Walthers.

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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7:49 PM

 What is it with these companies today, Walthers and Bachmann seem to be the biggest perpetrators, with list prices that make the product look ricidulously priced, but then when you buy it from a dealer you get a greater than 25% discount?

 At Walther's list price of $100 for a 5 pack of their switch machiens, it's not a great deal. Tam Valley does everythign they do, for less. Bu I looked on Modeltrainstuff - they sell the 5 pack for $74. That's nearly a 26% discount. At that price, they are a good deal. Obviously the wholesale price is lower still, MTS isn't losing money on every unit sold. What's really bad are those poor su, err souls who buy direct and pay the full MSRP.

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
    January 2013
  • 16 posts
Posted by Matt'sdad on Thursday, January 14, 2021 8:23 AM

Failed to mention I purchased my Walthers system at MTS. Randy is correct, great prices at Modeltrainstuff.  Their original store was in Baltimore, a few blocks from Inner Harbor and Camden Yard.  Classic old time train store, narrow isles packed with stuff.  It was called MB Klein.  Strictly internet presence now.  

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