Is there a clear cut definition of how to do this?
I'm guessing that I will not be able to use one of the "switch" connection banks to do this. I will probably have to use a simple two contact accesory connection thereby treating the switch as either off or on.
I'll try to contact MTH as well...but figure that the knowledge here will be much more in depth than the script they'll be reading from.
The alternative I've been thinking about is replacing all of the tortoise switch machines with DZ-1000 remote control switches.
All of my turnouts are using Ross Custom Switches and...if it means an easy hook-up to the AIU, I'll replace them with DZ-1000's from Gar-Graves. But...if I have the same problem (i.e. not able to use the "switch" connection banks, it's probably not worth my effort). Anyone currently running an operation anywhere near resembling mine, your input is desired.
Each built in switch in the tortoise is a changeover contact, used with two wire, one to the centre and the other to one side it will operate as an 'off-on switch. This should be OK for any feedback situation.
Perhaps if you expanded your acronyms we could help better. What are DCS and AIU???????
Keith Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Of course...so sorry. Also might bear noting that I'm working on an O-96 layout.
DCS is the MTH brand Digital Command System (equivalent...but better than?...TMCC on the Lionel side of the house).
AIU is their Accesory Interface Unit. It allows operation of 10 switches and 10 accessories when used in conjunction with the digital controller.
To operate the switches, one would see either a "straight ahead" arrow or a "crooked arrow" on the digital control pad when controlling a switch. Tortoise switches aren't that smart. It would seem that only a switch controller that knows the difference between the two options can accurately report that information. Naturally, MTH's booklet pictures their "Rite-Trax" switch in the wiring diagram. I'm not willing to replace all my Ross Custom Switches, and I'd like to work with the Tortoises...but, unless there's someone out there to give me some pointers, I may just upgrade the switch machine to the Gar-Graves model which will work on the Ross hardware. That's not TOO costly, I suppose.
I moved about 2 years ago. Packed up a perfectly working layout that was running off of 2 KW's, a boatload of Tortoises and more Relays and insulated track than you could shake a fist at. Nothing digital, though. Now, I'm finally getting around to the layout in the new house. Much bigger (of course!) and today's technology will allow me to vastly simplify the "under table" mechanics AND be more realistic up-top thanks to DCS. So...while it's been about 5 years since I actively worked on a layout from scratch, I still feel like a total newbie thanks to all the new gizmos.
OK I found the MTH website, it is singularly devoid of information. I don't see any mention of feedback from switch to DCS. But I think perhaps that is not what you meant and I was just assuming you meant the contacts on the tortoise when you really meant the connection blocks on the AIU.
I think this is somewhat confusing, there is no sign on the MTH site that this info is fedback from the switch, the only drawings there show a normal three wire output circuit operating a twin coil switch machine.
If the AIU can be programmed for Tortoise/Stall motor designs like most DCC accessory decoders can then yoiu can just do that. If not then an external adapter is needed to change the pulses from the AIU to the polarity change needed by the Tortoise. This could be a simple electronic circuit, I'm sure a bit of looking round the web would find one, or a relay. For example the Hosfelt relay shown here
or even an Atlas snap relay would do. Connect the relay to the AIU instead of the switchmotor and use the output contacts of the relay to operate the tortoise. If the switch goes curved when you operate the straight command just reverse the wires.
Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
Both the DCS and TMCC system use a similar method for controlling switches and accessories. They just send the signal in a different way. TMCC sends the signal to either an Accessory Switch Controller or to a Lionel SC2 switch contoller. The DCS system sends the signal to the AIU. Unfortunately both companies designed there respective controllers for their own switches and never took into account the use of different machines like the Tortise.
I would guess that on your previous none electronic controlled layout you used switching diodes or a separate DC power source to control the Tortise machines and then just used simple switch to reverse the polarity.
Having said that, what you might consider is using a controller produced by Depotronics. It is their Control 1A. What it is an electronic relay that includes the switching diodes to power the Tortise machine. You just need to provide AC power to the controller and wire it to both the switch machines and the AIU. Then the signal from the AIU would be received by the Depotronics device and the switch position would be controlled by the DCS handheld. They sell for $19.75 each and can also be set up to provide a non-derailing feature.
I bought six of them at York several years ago and never installed them. If you are interested go to the Depotronics web site and look at the specifications for the 1A controller. I am not planning on using them and would like to sell them. If you are interested let me know. I'll make you a nice deal on all of them.
very easy hook up use a atlas snap relay. wire the top 4 posts of the rely as follows , the left side top post to the right side bottom post, the right side top post to the t left side to bottom post then splice the 2 wires in the center and connect one each to the tortoise switch motor. the other 2 posts below are to be connected to a dc transformer hot and common the bottom 3 posts go to the aiu or sc 2 the 2 out side posts got the # 1 & # 2 of the aiu or sc 2. the center post goes to the common of the ac transformer the in post on the aiu goes to the ac transformers hot post google wiring atlas switch motor s with mth aiu ( a atlas switch motor is the same as a atlas snap relay but with out the tracks )
replying to DJV, Peter Godden wrote: Hi Jeff, I know it is many years since you made this post... and you will have a solution by now. The simple reversing switch you used to use is in fact 2x switches in one, with cross-over wires. 2x of the DCS-AIU terminals can be used to create the same as the simple reversing switch. Use the common terminals and connect the RED (hot or +) wire to one and the BLACK (cold or -) wire to the other. Connect the cross-over wires across the 2x AIU terminals and connect them to the tortoise motor. When setting up the AIU just make the 2x relay terminals act as a single switch. I have done it over both my AIUs and it works great. Cheers Pete - Sydney, Australia
replying to DJV, Peter Godden wrote: Hi Jeff, I know it is many years since you made this post... and you will have a solution by now. The simple reversing switch you used to use is in fact 2x switches in one, with cross-over wires. 2x of the DCS-AIU terminals can be used to create the same as the simple reversing switch. Use the common terminals and connect the RED (hot or +) wire to one and the BLACK (cold or -) wire to the other. Connect the cross-over wires across the 2x AIU terminals and connect them to the tortoise motor. When setting up the AIU just make the
2x relay terminals act as a single switch. I have done it over both my AIUs and it works great. Cheers Pete - Sydney, Australia