Tortoise over foam MR article

April MR did a piece about mounting Tortoise machines on foamboard. The author (Mike Berger) makes a 2.25 * 1.75 square hole clean thru the
foamboard and sets the tortoise in from the top. He fastens a piece of perfboard to the top of the Tortoise to keep it from falling thru the hole onto the floor. Looks neat and bypasses the problem of fasteners don't hold in foam. But thinking about it, you have to locate that hole pretty accurately BEFORE you lay the track. The usual undertable machine is installed AFTER the track is laid and is aligned to fit the turnout. This way the tortoise goes in first and I guess you align the turnout to fit the immovable Tortoise? At a guess you have to get the throwbar of the turnout aligned plus/minus 1/8" with the Tortoise operating rod for things to work properly. Does this really work? Anyone tried it?
David Starr
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David Starr wrote:

I think his method makes sense, because you should locate the turnouts before laying the rest of the track in any case. So locating the Tortoise at the same time as you locate the turnout should work just fine.
-- Wolf
"Don't believe everything you think." (Maxine)
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I really liked that way it was done too until I realized something. It appears after the tortoise is installed underneath the track you would have to remove the turnout to replace the tortoise if it ever failed. Now I know the failure rate is low but they do fail sometimes. Pete

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in article snipped-for-privacy@s48g2000cws.googlegroups.com, PeteC at snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote on 3/3/07 7:13 AM:

...stuff deleted.

Right you are: I installed mine over foam, but using a 1/2" wooden block as the stable piece onto which the Tortoise was mounted. The perf board is a good ideal if it is rigid enough that the Tortoise doesn't move or flex while moving the turnout rails. I especially like that the Tortoise spring wire will be shorter, hence stiffer.
But any changes to the motor, the spring wire, etc. require that the turnout be removed since everything is hidden below the foam and scenery , etc. With some more thought (not by me, mine is done) there may be a way of installing these in such a way as to provide a "quick release" of the machine from above and have it removed from below via a hole cut in the layout structure from below. Mine are two-sided-foam taped on, so it is a problem for me, even where I cut a hole for clearance.
--
Ed Oates
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Dont do this the machine will not hold in the foam over time and in a few months wont work. You will have to rip them out. This method has been generally retracted by layout builders.

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