South Downs Railway

Modern image N scale, DCC and computer control

Point Control

Tortoise point motors

In some places I've chosen to use "Tortoise" point motors. These are quite different from solenoid ones: they are constantly powered, and operate by running a motor one way or the other until it stalls. The motor drives a moving arm, from which a spring wire operates the point itself. The motor includes two SPDT switches for frog power etc. I have followed advice elsewhere and used stiffer wire: I used 0.8mm piano wire.

The Tortoise is a "slow motion" motor: it will move the point blades across slowly, as would happen on a "real" railway. For that to happen, the over-centre spring on the Peco points needs to be removed. With Peco N gauge points (mine are code 55) this is particularly important because the tiebar is quite stiff to move. It is far easier to remove the spring before mounting the points - but as I discovered not impossible afterwards!

tortoise_prepared

The DAC20 accessory decoders drive the Tortoise motor directly. Two wires from the output connector go to the motor - ignore the third central terminal. The same DAC20 also drives Seep motors - each output is individually programmed. Best of all the programming was done through a PC & LocoNet - reprogramming 5 outputs to Tortoise type took maybe 2 minutes. Finally the output jumpers on the DAC20 need to be swapped over to the "constantly powered" position.

I use 2.8x0.8mm "tab" connectors for the point motor connections. A simple solder tab is added to the motor, and crimp connectors are used on the wires. The result is a simple but reliable process with all joints connectorised for testing etc.

Once the point has been installed, the motor needs to be added underneath. There is a template marked for this on the instruction leaflet; cut it out and laminate it, and puncture the holes to be able to mark through with a pen. To get the position right, I put the tortoise upside down with its wire through the tiebar (photo).

tortoise_marking

Finally offer up the template from underneath, and mark the 4 mounting holes. Remove the template and spot drill the 4 holes. The motor can then simply be screwed on; the excess actuating rod can be cut afterwards with strong, sharp cutters.

tortoise_installed 

Visitors Counter

108347
TodayToday75
YesterdayYesterday192
This_WeekThis_Week781
This_MonthThis_Month75
All_DaysAll_Days108347

Photograph Browser

Using this Site

Searching

The web site can be searched: type a search term (e.g. "DAC10") into the search box on the right hand side of the header, and hit enter. the search engine will find words matching the search string in the main body of the site, but it won't search attached documents (e.g. the product manuals).

"Read More"

Many articles are displayed one after the other. some are quite short, and say "read more" at the bottom. Click that to read the remainder of the article.

Model Railways Live News

Model Railways Live: News

These are the latest news items from Model Railways Live.