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
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.
Thanks in advance,
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.
>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
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???????
Make friends in the hobby.
Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
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
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
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.
>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
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.
>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.
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
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.
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