tortoise switch

First installation - seems to work great, but are they supposed to hum indefinitely, only one attached so far ?
Currently it's wired to the variable DC of one powerpack, will probably get
a AC-DC converter thru circuitron, or is there an ideal way to run them ? Is there any danger by using a power converter that plugs into 120v wall receptacle. )(Like from an old walkman)
Thanks
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tex shalter wrote:

Tex, They shouldn't hum. I suspect the variable DC you're using either isn't filtered well, or is some form of "pulse power".
A wall wart, such as the one you mention, should work fine (much, much better than the variable DC) as long as it's DC current, and rated at no more than 12 volts. Lower voltages, down to about 6 volts, will also work but of course the Tortoise will run slower.
You will also want to be aware of how many Tortii your wall wart is capable of handling. A single Tortoise uses about 30ma when running and 15ma when stalled at the end of it's travel. So if that Walkman supply is rated at let's say 100ma, it would handle a max of about 5 Tortii as long as only one at a time was moving.
HTH, Stevert
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Actually, the Tortoise uses LESS current when it is running that when it is stalled. If you put a bicolour LED in series with the tortoise, it will dim as the tortoise moves (less current), then brighten when the tortoise stops (more current). It will also change colour!
Mark
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Mark Johnson wrote:

[...]
Hi, Mark!
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Mark Johnson wrote:

Oops, yeah, you're right Mark. Don't know where my head was when I wrote that. Thanks for the correction.
I just checked Circuitron's Web site to be sure I had it right this time. They say 4ma in motion and 15ma stalled.
Stevert
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Mark Johnson ( snipped-for-privacy@infoharvest.ca) said...

This is not unique to the Tortoise, but is common to most motors.
Think of it this way: a motor requres power to move a load; the greater the load, the more power it will draw; the worst-case load for a motor is when it is stalled.
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tex shalter wrote:

No, you are either usisng AC, or spiky DC. You need smooth DC.

Wall transformers can be used for any purpose, just check the output voltage and amperage. You may have to change the plug, too.
The one intended for a Walkman is probably rated 6V or 9V DC and 500 milliamps (1/2 amp.) That's enough to power up to 20 Tortoise switch machines, which are rated at 6-7 V DC, 25 milliamps "stalled" (completely thrown.)
HTH
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Thanks everyone

get
? Is

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On 3/18/2008 1:53 PM tex shalter spake thus:

Just curious about something: is your name Tex Shalter or Tax Shelter?
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It's "Double Entendre".
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Alias, neither. I started posting on a tax newsgroup several years ago and kept the name. Tex sounded like a real person.

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got a 9v 500mAmp - works great.
Wish I didn't have something else to remember to unplug, though.
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I have a question of my own.
I use one DPDT toggle with each Tortoise but I want want to link two Tortoise together and I want to be able to control both units from two different locations using a DPDT switch at each location. How would I wire that? (and I need simple Dummy instructions please)
Thanks/Carter

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Carter Braxton skriver:

You can't
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On 3/19/2008 11:14 AM Carter Braxton spake thus:

I was starting to draw a diagram for you when I stopped and realized that this will simply not work. At least not easily.
Think about it: you're essentially talking about a "3-way" set of switches, similar to lights switches in a house, where two switches in different places control one device (say a light), except that in your case you're controlling two devices in different places. Is this correct? In other words, as I read your question, you want to be able to throw two switches *together* from two different switches.
If you have two switches, then consider the case when they're set to opposite directions. If they're wired together and you push the button to activate the Tortoises, then you're going to have a direct short which will result in smoke, burning wires, etc.
You *could* wire the switches as a true set of "3-way" switches (simply by wiring them in series), in which case each switch would reverse the setting of the other switch (think again of the house example, where flipping one switch, say at the bottom of the stairs, reverses the other switch at the top of the stairs). But this would be confusing, as you'd never know which way each switch was set for, unless you could see both of the switches at once.
Maybe you need to clarify your question a little.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

It IS possible to control a Tortoise (or several wired through the same dpdt)from more than one location IF only one location is powered at a given time. I do this in several locations on my layout where for switching operations I need to be at the site to couple, uncouple, see better, etc. I use a dpdt to route the dc power to either the main panel dpdt switch or the remote dpdt switch. You do need to decide which location will be operational and route the power accordingly. It takes one more dpdt switch and additional wire. The power routing switch can be placed where ever you think it's most convenient.
If that's what you had in mind, it's not complicated, just a bit more work.
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Carter Braxton wrote:

Hi Carter: The next question, is one of INTENT.
Are you intending to be able to glance at the control panel, and KNOW the position of the turnout?
YES --- can't be done for any reasonable cost!!!
NO --- Just run the 'controlled DC' (after the toggle) to the 'power in' on the second toggle. {flipping either toggle will reverse the polarity at the 'tortoise', but the resultant toggle positions will have NO relationship to turnout 'position'.}
Chuck D.
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Carter Braxton wrote:

Two tortoises together? - you would wire those in parallel.
Two switches to control from different locations? - The first DPDT switch outputs will go to the inputs of the second DPDT switch. The problem with that is that the switch lever positions will no longer indicate the actual turnout position, rather each will just swap the position of the turnout points. - pushbuttons at each control position could throw an (Atlas) relay, the switches of which become the DPDT switch to control your tortoises. The only problem there would be if operators at each control position simultaniously attempted to change the turnouts in conflict. That's not a problem worth any real concern.
Regards, Greg.P.
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Carter Braxton wrote:

Use "common return" and "parallel" wiring.
First: use a separate power pack for the Tortoise switch machines. Make sure it has enough capacity to power all Tortoises at once. Do not connect them to the track power pack. Label one output Control, and the other Return. Use two different coloured wires for these, say yellow for Control and black for Return.
Second: for each Tortoise you need one SPDT switch (single pole, dpouble throw). Connect all single pole (input) sides of these switches to the yellow Control wire. Connect the black wire to all the return or ground terminals on the Tortoise. You now have a "common return", but of course you now have to connect each Tortoise to its switch.
Third: use green wire to connect one of the two throws (outputs) of the SPDT switch to one side of the Tortoise that it controls. Use a red wire for the other side. Test it. Be consistent: make sure that when the switch is flipped to "normal" the Tortoise moves the turnout correctly. ("Normal" is usually straight through, but can be the curved side _if_ the curved side is the main route through the turnout.) If the turnout moves the wrong way, change the connections at the Tortoise, not at the switch. Repeat for every Tortoise.
Fourth: you can use a DPDT switch to control two Tortoises at the same time. Just think of it as two SPDT switches mounted side by side. When you flip the DPDT switch, it's the same as flipping two SPDT switches at once.     Connect the yellow wire to the two centre terminals, two red wires to one end, and two green wires to other. Run the red and green wires from one side of the switch to one Tortoise, and the red and green wires from the other side to the other Tortoise. As before, if a turnout moves the wrong way, change the connection at the Tortoise, not the switch.
Fifth: to control a Tortoise from two different locations (A and B) you need two SPDT switches. First, connect the Tortoise to A as above. Then connect the yellow wire to B as above. Now run another red and another green wire from A, this time to connect to the switch at B. Don't solder yet. Test B. If the turnout moves the wrong way, change the connections at B. Does it work correctly now? Congrats, you've just wired A and B "in parallel".
Sixth: to control two turnouts from two locations, use a DPDT switch at both locations.
Seventh: when operating two Tortoises in parallel (ie, both at the same time) make sure that the power supply can handle the double load. IIRC, your wall-wart supplies 9V DC at 500 milliamps. That should do.
HTH
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wolf k.

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Carter Braxton wrote:

[...]
Sorry, I forgot that the Tortoise works by reversing the motor. Common return ans SPDT will NOT work, IGNORE my previous post.
Am I ever red in the face. You could use me for Distant Signal....
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