View Full Version : Do Tortoise Motors warm up when power is on?

Jason Smith
19th Sep 2010, 08:44 PM
I have a basic question about how I had planned to mount my Tortoise motors.

Basically my track sits on a couple inches of extruded foam with paneling under that. I was going to cut a square out of the foam and the paneling, let the bottom of the Tortoise poke out the paneling for access to wiring, then just double stick tape, or hot glue the Tortoise into the foam.

But I got to thinking about it, Tortoises, by design, have power applied to the motor at all times, will they get too hot with basically insulation around 4 of the 6 sides of the Tortoise housing?

If I need to mount the tortoise motors under the paneling, will the throw still work through several inches of foam? Or will I need the remote mount kit?

Hmm, would it be a bad idea to wire them up so that I could kill power to the tortoise motor when not in use? Of course this defeats the purpose of my DS64 as I would still need some switches somewhere, and my goal here was to control everything with the digitrax remote.

I wonder how much heat we are talking about though? Isn't the current draw to the tune of milliamps when the motor is in a stalled position?

I need expert advice lol, having never done this type of install before, I believe I might be a bit lost at the moment. Darn me and trying to switch from manual insulfrog to DCC controlled electrofrog! I trust you guys to come up with some extra stellar ideas that have escaped me though.

19th Sep 2010, 09:15 PM
I don't think they put out much if any heat, I forget to turn off the main power on mine all the time.

I installed two turnouts similar to what you describe, except I made a small 3/16" plywood panel to mount the turnout on one side and the Tortoise on the other. I cut a hole for the Tortoise to go through the foam and table (about 3 3/8" of thickness), there's plenty of room for air in the hole.

I used double sided tape to install and adjust all my Tortoises, then shot a couple of screws to secure them.

Jason Smith
19th Sep 2010, 09:32 PM
That's a good idea. I may do just that, then liquid nail the wood to the foam. In fact, I may be required to do this in one spot, I'll be controlling a pair of turnovers in a crossover by the same Tortoise using the remote mount and extra cable. Mounting everything and routing all the cable sure would be easier if done to a piece of wood, then mounted after the fact. Hmm.

Thanks for your input. I'm considering 1/8 paneling because I have an abundance of it, it's only 1/16th thinner than the wood you had used, I suppose it will work sufficiently.

19th Sep 2010, 10:13 PM
My main power as been on for nearly an hour and the Tortoises are still room temperature.

1/8" would be fine.. I counter sunk the panes into the foam and used clear caulk adhesive to secure it.

20th Sep 2010, 09:08 AM
From a purely electrical view I would not worry about the motors Thermal/Heat causing any issue whatsoever. What I would suggest is a Single Power Strip that you get into the habit of turning off as you leave the layout, put it someplace where you can't help but look at it, then you can get into the habit of always turning it off. Your controller has Internal Memory to remember all of it's settings with the power on or off. I use power-strips all over my home that's why I only have $65 dollar electric bills:)