DCC control for Tortoise motors

Post all your DCC only problems, solutions and discoverys here.
User avatar
tom_tom_go
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:47 pm
Location: Kent, UK
Contact:

DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby tom_tom_go » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:47 am

I recently purchased the ESU SwitchPilot 4 output accessory decoder with the extension module, however, after doing some more reading it seems that this can only control up to four slow action point motors whereas the Lenz LS150 can do six?

The ESU option is much more expensive so is it worth me paying the restocking fees and going for the Lenz option?

I am using Hornby Select controllers as this is a small layout for children so can the Lenz work in this set up?

DCC for point/signal control is new for me :)

Cheers,

Tom
The Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm:
(1) Write down the problem
(2) Think very hard
(3) Write down the answer


16mm Robin Wood Light Railway - http://tinyurl.com/16mmNGM-rwlr
Scale Model Technical Services - www.smtsmodels.com

RFS
Posts: 887
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:09 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby RFS » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:14 am

The best accessory decoder for Tortoises is the NCE Switch-8 decoder, available from the likes of Bromsgrove Models and others for around £39. As its name implies, it has 8 outputs compared to 6 for the LS150, and is specifically designed for Tortoises unlike the LS150 and SMD82. Also it's capable of driving two motors on one output for a crossover, for example. It doesn't need a separate power supply like the LS150. The LS150 is designed for solenoids and needs diodes to convert its AC output to DC for slow-action motors. It will only operate one output at a time (due to its design for solenoids) which could be a problem with route setting as Tortoises need 3+ seconds switch time. I have 50+ Tortoises connected to 6 Switch-8s and they are 100% reliable. My DCC system is Lenz.

See documentation here - http://www.ncedcc.com/pdf/Switch-8.pdf
Robert Smith

Gronk
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:50 am

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby Gronk » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:20 pm

Don't know about any others but I have personal expereince of the SMD82s. I would be interested to hear why they aren't considered as good as other suggestions...

http://www.digitrains.co.uk/ecommerce/s ... coder.aspx

Very good indeed. Supports solenoids, slow action and servos... Route selection is heavily used on my layout.
Last edited by Gronk on Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Jim S-W
Posts: 1318
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:38 pm

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby Jim S-W » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:06 pm

RFS wrote:The best accessory decoder for Tortoises is the NCE Switch-8 decoder, available from the likes of Bromsgrove Models and others for around £39. As its name implies, it has 8 outputs compared to 6 for the LS150, and is specifically designed for Tortoises unlike the LS150 and SMD82. Also it's capable of driving two motors on one output for a crossover, for example. It doesn't need a separate power supply like the LS150. The LS150 is designed for solenoids and needs diodes to convert its AC output to DC for slow-action motors. It will only operate one output at a time (due to its design for solenoids) which could be a problem with route setting as Tortoises need 3+ seconds switch time. I have 50+ Tortoises connected to 6 Switch-8s and they are 100% reliable. My DCC system is Lenz.

See documentation here - http://www.ncedcc.com/pdf/Switch-8.pdf


Indeed but the drain the amps out of your dcc system. Make sure they are on their own bus and you will be fine. I started with them but switched to LS150 in the end

Cheers

Jim

User avatar
tom_tom_go
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:47 pm
Location: Kent, UK
Contact:

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby tom_tom_go » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:05 pm

Thanks for the info on the NCE Switch-8 decoder, this is exactly what I need :)

Bit annoyed with the supplier as they did not advise me correctly.

Anyway, will ask for this to be swapped and will provide the Switch-8 with it's only power supply so not to drain the main layout.

Cheers!

Tom
The Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm:
(1) Write down the problem
(2) Think very hard
(3) Write down the answer


16mm Robin Wood Light Railway - http://tinyurl.com/16mmNGM-rwlr
Scale Model Technical Services - www.smtsmodels.com

RFS
Posts: 887
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:09 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby RFS » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:14 pm

You can't use a separate power supply for NCE Switch-8s other than providing a separate bus with its own booster, which is of course very expensive. It's not worth considering unless you have a very large layout. The rated comsumption of a Tortoise in "stall" mode is 10 milliamps and they take up to 40 ma when they switch. A single Hornby Pullman with lights takes up to 70 ma which puts things into perspective. I've got 57 Tortoises on my bus which equates to 0.57 amps from my 5 amp booster. I'm happy with that and don't have any problems with power shortages for running trains.

Mod Edit: Misuse of Quote Button.
Robert Smith

User avatar
tom_tom_go
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:47 pm
Location: Kent, UK
Contact:

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby tom_tom_go » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:24 pm

Ok so a booster is about £100 or so quid so worth the investment in the long term as I will no doubt build a bigger layout in the future?

Even on my small layout I am going to be using at least six Tortoise motors plus will need power for lighting, etc.

Cheers,

Tom
RWLR
The Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm:
(1) Write down the problem
(2) Think very hard
(3) Write down the answer


16mm Robin Wood Light Railway - http://tinyurl.com/16mmNGM-rwlr
Scale Model Technical Services - www.smtsmodels.com

RFS
Posts: 887
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:09 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby RFS » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:33 pm

6 Tortoises will use less power in stall mode than one Hornby Pullman, a coach that uses rather more than it should. Efficient coach lighting shouldn't really use more than 20 ma. All depends on how many trains you want to run simultaneously. The average modern OO gauge loco will rarely draw more than 0.5 amps under full power, although Heljans can draw up to 1 amp. I'm using automation on my layout so I'm able to run 8-9 trains simultaneously if I start all schedules. Even with 57 tortoises and 11 Hornby Pullmans I still don't exceed my single 5 amp booster's available power. If I were you I'd wait and see how things progress before spending on a new booster.

Mod Edit: Misuse of Quote Button.
Robert Smith

User avatar
tom_tom_go
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:47 pm
Location: Kent, UK
Contact:

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby tom_tom_go » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:52 pm

RFS thank you very much for your advice.

I currently have a 4 amp power supply running the layout so I will see how we go. The small layout I am building will only run a max of two loco's at one time, however, they will have sound/lighting so will still draw power when not moving.

Hornby do a cheaper booster than the likes of NCE, Bachmann, etc I see for about £70 which would provide the additional power I need if required?

Cheers,

Tom
The Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm:
(1) Write down the problem
(2) Think very hard
(3) Write down the answer


16mm Robin Wood Light Railway - http://tinyurl.com/16mmNGM-rwlr
Scale Model Technical Services - www.smtsmodels.com

RFS
Posts: 887
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:09 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby RFS » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:01 am

Hornby's booster will also need a suitable transformer which will add to the cost. To use it to increase power to the track you would need to divide your layout into two power districts with your existing booster powering one and the new booster powering the other district. Hornby say this booster will add power to any DCC system but I believe that has to be qualified as meaning any Xpressnet system such as theirs, or Lenz etc.

But if you're only having two trains running at once then I doubt you'll be able to exceed one amp by very much, so that leaves 3 amps available for the rest which should be more than ample, especially as you're not planning to drive solenoid point motors from the DCC bus.
Robert Smith

User avatar
tom_tom_go
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:47 pm
Location: Kent, UK
Contact:

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby tom_tom_go » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:05 am

Finally got the NCE Switch-8 over the weekend, however, I am having problems trying to get it to work with the Hornby Select.

I have wired one point motor up for testing according to the instructions and when I power the Select which is wired to the track outputs of the Switch-8 the motor just moves on it's own one complete throw and then keeps trying a few times and then just stops (I have tried other motors and they do the same thing). Switching the wires around on the motor causes it to throw the opposite direction in the same manner.

Using the default address 1 for the point motor I can't seem to throw it with any of the commands the Hornby Select offers. When I try and program the motor to address 60 (60 to 99 is the range the Select recognises accessories) using the LA function like you would with a loco decoder it seems to accept the address, however, trying to move the motor using the < and > keys does not work even though the Select displays commands 'P5' and 'P6' which is normal.

I have not read anywhere that you can't use the Hornby Select?

Cheers,

Tom
The Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm:
(1) Write down the problem
(2) Think very hard
(3) Write down the answer


16mm Robin Wood Light Railway - http://tinyurl.com/16mmNGM-rwlr
Scale Model Technical Services - www.smtsmodels.com

locoworks
Posts: 842
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:00 pm
Location: isle of man

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby locoworks » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:28 pm

is the decoder set to the correct type of point motor?

User avatar
tom_tom_go
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:47 pm
Location: Kent, UK
Contact:

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby tom_tom_go » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:47 am

Looking at the Switch-8 manual it can only operate stall motor switch machines so there is no setting to change the type of point you are operating?
The Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm:
(1) Write down the problem
(2) Think very hard
(3) Write down the answer


16mm Robin Wood Light Railway - http://tinyurl.com/16mmNGM-rwlr
Scale Model Technical Services - www.smtsmodels.com

User avatar
Silver Surfer
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:05 pm
Location: 16A

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby Silver Surfer » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:50 am

You seem more than willing to spend some money investing for the future (£100 for a booster) so why not invest in a half decent dcc control set up to eradicate the 'it won't do this or that' problems.

In my experience (about 50 years) most problems with electronic equipment is caused by substandard or inferior (crap in simple terms) control gear. Bin any 'H' electronics which are manufactured for the train set market and put your money into a decent dcc control set up - a Powercab could be an ideal choice which wouldn't cost much more than your booster.....and should work the switch 8 nicely.
Image
Hawkers Bridge - A work in progress
__________________________________
'A Diesel engine is a machine - A Steam engine is a living being, almost human'

RFS
Posts: 887
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:09 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: DCC control for Tortoise motors

Postby RFS » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:27 am

You program the addresses into the Switch-8 using the main track and not the programming track. There's a jumper on the NCE which you set to program on the A pins. Then you operate a point as you would normally from the Select (say 60) and the first address is set to 60. You can repeat the process for the other 7 outputs by changing the dial on the NCE. In that way you can address the NCE to 60-67, for example. Once done you must remove the setup jumper from the NCE or else it won't operate correctly. I'm not familiar with the Select but it sounds to me that if you select an address below 60 it thinks it's a loco rather than an accessory.

When receiving a command to change a point all the NCE does is reverse the polarity on the output: if the motor is already in the correct position then nothing happens. Otherwise it moves over until such time as it encounters resistance and then will stop in "stall" mode. This way a small amount of power is used to hold the blades in position (hence you don't need the springs on the points).
Robert Smith


Return to “DCC Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests