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  • Tortoise switch machine help

    I'm sure I should post this somewhere else, and I'm sure the subject has been covered before, but I don't know where on both counts so here goes.

    I would like to mount some tortoises in areas of the layout where the turnout is some 4 inches above the benchwork where the tortoise is mounted. I had purchased some long lengths of piano wire (or whatever you want to call it).

    The problem is when the tortoise moves the actuator rod does not move the turnout. I'm guessing it's just bending and is not strong enough to move the turnout. Is the solution as simple as getting thicker wire or is it something more complicated?

    Any help would be wonderful...pictures of anything complicated would be great.

    Thanks,

    Dave :erm:
    "there\'s something happening here, what it is ain\'t exactly clear"

  • #2
    Dave, you could improve the rod behavior by swapping it for a stronger one (larger diameter), and particularly by setting the green guide that is on top of the tortoise box when you buy it to a lower position. This way the rotation center is closer from the motorized end and this increases the movement of the other end of the rod.

    Hope this helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, Thicker wire would do the trick.

      BUT - with 4" of leverage to account for - you may be stretching reality for a 'necessary' thick wire. You may need to construct a solid fixed lever fulcrum to cover the distance and use a smaller wire as a connection to the new fulcrum over a much shorter distance. This could entail even mounting the Tortoise machine in a horizontal mounting to make the connection function.

      What's your scale? What size wire are you now using? Can you describe the sub-roadbed and configuration that drives your 4" distance?

      -ed-

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:


        Originally posted by emccamey


        Yes, Thicker wire would do the trick.

        BUT - with 4" of leverage to account for - you may be stretching reality for a 'necessary' thick wire. You may need to construct a solid fixed lever fulcrum to cover the distance and use a smaller wire as a connection to the new fulcrum over a much shorter distance. This could entail even mounting the Tortoise machine in a horizontal mounting to make the connection function.

        What's your scale? What size wire are you now using? Can you describe the sub-roadbed and configuration that drives your 4" distance?

        -ed-


        HO/.025

        3/8 inch plywood...4 inch WS risers.

        Dave :erm:
        "there\'s something happening here, what it is ain\'t exactly clear"

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:


          Originally posted by mainetrains


          HO/.025

          3/8 inch plywood...4 inch WS risers.

          Dave :erm:


          Dave,

          0.025 will NOT do. Give .032 or even .047 a try. Any larger and the Tortoise can not be readily modified. .032 will be a good start.

          -ed-

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm also using Woodland Scenic risers and have several turnouts to throw from at least 4-5 inches below the track surface. Did heavier wire work for you? Or did you come up with other solutions?

            Dave.
            Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.

            Comment


            • #7
              Dave, An old RC aircraft trick was to "stiffen" linkage with a dowel rod or square piece of 1/2" balsa. If you have the room, just leave about 3/4" of wire out at each end' You can tie the too flexible wire along several places on the dowel/square rod and CA glue the wire to the stiffener rod. 3/4" should give you enough wire to connect the Tortoise to the turnout.

              Bass wood might be preferable to Balsa for your application.

              Wow, this thread is 9 years old.

              Jim
              Take the red pill

              Comment


              • #8
                Old threads never die. They just fray away.
                _________________________________________________

                Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jim, ow about slipping a piece of brass tubing over the vertical wire?
                  Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dave,

                    That will work too! Keeping it rigid is what it's all about. A drop of CA to keep it from sliding around. Good thought!

                    Jim
                    Take the red pill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      An odd thing I have noticed is when the offset holes in the Tortoise green guide are used, the rod doesn't just go side to side, it raises and lowers as well.

                      This is an issue.

                      As it unit moves from side to side, you can watch the rod move up and down. At it's lowest point, you want it to stay in the hole of the turnout, and not fall out below it. The problem is that when it traverses to the other side of the throw, the rod rod now sticks up about a quarter inch, above the rails, interfering with couplers and train movement in general.

                      Amoung my slot racing junk I found some eyelets about a quarter inch long. I intend to replace the eyelet holding the rail to the throwout bar, Hopefully the rod will ride up and down in the tube of the eyelet, without falling out at the bottom of the stroke, nor sticking up to high at the top of the stroke.

                      It is unfortunate, but in a situation of closely stacked yard turnouts the offset guide hole had to be used. it would seem that Minimizing the off by drilling new holes in the green guide would will help lessen the vertical movement, but it gets pretty crowded under the table regardless.


                      Wondering if anyone else had this problem and how they solved it?
                      Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        David,

                        Can you move the sliding adjustment upward? That would reduce the vertical movement.

                        Mike
                        _________________________________________________

                        Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

                        Comment

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