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Offline Ace Wickwire  
#1 Posted : 20 April 2021 18:10:49(UTC)
Ace Wickwire

United States   
Joined: 20/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 15
Location: Colorado, Fruita
Can Tortoise Switch Machines be used with C-track? Are there any resources out there explaining how to do this? I've seen a number of You-Tube videos about wiring and installing on other types of track. Just wondering what would be required to modify the c-track turnout for this operation. Would it be worthwhile to attempt? I have a small 4'x8' layout with 5 turnouts. Is it really worth my effort to automate? Or should I just bite the bullet and install the Marklin stuff?

As always comments and sharing of your experience is greatly appreciated.

BigGrin BigGrin BigGrin
Offline JohnjeanB  
#2 Posted : 20 April 2021 18:46:20(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,518
Location: Paris, France
Hi
Surely you can adapt a tortoise installed under the track and with a steel wire terminating with the loop C switches expect.
There are many risks and drawbacks IMO:
  • Tortoise is so large that you can't make it attached to the switch especially in visible areas. The result is each time your tracks move (repair, wiring change) then the adjustment needs redoing.

  • The driving loop you need to create goes very close to the C switch bottom cover: the risk of jamming is important

  • In a multi level layout (I have 3 levels), then accessibility is very poor and space constrains a pain in the neck.


Why not use the Viessmann 4560 slow motion motor? It fits inside the C switch or double slip. There is also a spare position report (not fully insulated but by transistor output).
I used the previous version 4554 which turned out to be noisy and unreliable. This new version is big improvement (reliable, includes the DCC / MM decoder) BUT you cannot use anymore the switch's manual lever.
Just my opinion: I would not recommend to use the Tortoise but rather the Märklin or Viessmann switch motor.
Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by JohnjeanB
Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#3 Posted : 20 April 2021 21:19:15(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,074
Location: CA, USA
This is a rare moment where the marklin solution is cheaper!

I don't think its worth the hassle- especially since with the tortoise you lose the ability to go through the fork in the switch from either side (with a tortoise you have a wire holding the frog in a fixed position. With marklin a spring will allow a train through which is going the "wrong way")
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by 5HorizonsRR
Offline JohnjeanB  
#4 Posted : 21 April 2021 00:05:26(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,518
Location: Paris, France
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
This is a rare moment where the marklin solution is cheaper!

Hi
Not really (at least in Europe) as you have to compare the Viessmann 4560 (41€) with Märklin 74462 (Decoder 30€) and 74491 (Motor 20€).
This is because Viessmann includes an MM/DCC decoder. The situation is different when using a K83 (60832 quadruple decoder 44€ which makes only 11€ per switch)
Cheers
Jean

My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
Offline Minok  
#5 Posted : 21 April 2021 23:29:36(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,211
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: 5HorizonsRR Go to Quoted Post
This is a rare moment where the marklin solution is cheaper!

Hi
Not really (at least in Europe) as you have to compare the Viessmann 4560 (41€) with Märklin 74462 (Decoder 30€) and 74491 (Motor 20€).
This is because Viessmann includes an MM/DCC decoder. The situation is different when using a K83 (60832 quadruple decoder 44€ which makes only 11€ per switch)
Cheers
Jean



But the Tortoise switch machine, isn't a digital product - it is driven by analogue switches, so decoder costs in the comparison should be removed.

I would expect that if you can uses servos on the switch, you can use a tortoise as well, its just a matter of interfacing the spring wire interface and accounting for the needed extra height below the baseboard the track sits on.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
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