Controls for Tortoise and Stall Motors

Many modern switch machines use a small motor powered constantly by a small DC current. Reversing the power moves the motor from one end of travel to the other. When the motor reaches the end of travel it “stalls”, stopping any motion but still powered up.


Most of the bold faced texts below are links to resources

We created our Direct Base controls to let you power these machines as simply as possible, with just two screw type output terminals that connect to each motor. Direct Bases come in 2, 4, or 8 output sizes.

Get started with a Direct Base Package which includes a Base and all the Touch Toggle controls you need for that size Base.

Dont forget a 12v power supply for the complete system. All the details on providing power is available here: About Power For Touch Toggles 

Common low power stall machines

Each of these machines can be controlled by a Direct base. If a dropping resistor is supplied (like Switch Master and Mole) it must be installed in one of the supply wires. Our Direct Bases have a 60ma protected output, so they can be shorted out indefinitely without overloading or damaging the Base. Each of the machines above draws less than 30ma, so two machines can be connected to a single output for crossovers or other parallel operating machines.

*** Note that Circuitron Small, and DCC Concepts IP Digital machines have only DCC inputs, and so cannot be controlled by our Direct Bases. Our upcoming Universal Translator Base will allow a full interface to most DCC controllers, including these machines.

Read about high power stall machines below.


  • Use our Tortoise Easy-Wire Adapters to make wiring Tortoise machines easier. Eliminate soldering to the Tortoise!
  • Use an Input Splitter to operate two or three outputs together. You can operate a second input on the Direct base, a Relay Base or a Servo Base at the same time for signals, frog power, or anything you might think of.
  • Use a 3-1 Multi-Input Adapter to control any output from two or three Touch Toggles in different locations. Great for two sided operation on peninsulas and modules. All the attached Toggles show the same indication at all times.
  • Use our Toggle Cups to conveniently place single light Touch Toggles in the fascia just below turnouts or controlled accessories. Use these instead of a control panel, or use with  a 3-1 Multi-Input Adapter to offer a second alternative local control.
  • Use 3-Pin Extension Cables to extend your Toggles 20 feet or more. Plug extensions end to end for longer runs runs.
  • Use our 12v DC Power Supply to power your system. All of our 12v Bases have power sharing pins that let each one plug into the next, so you’ll need only one supply at each Base location).
  • Connect your own power supply connections with our DC Input Terminal Adapters.
  • Extend your plug in power supply, or start a power buss with our DC Output Terminal Adapters.

Higher current reversing current motors

  • Switch Tender machines by Micro Mark
  • Fulgurex machines by Fulgurex
  • Older linear action machines

Each of these machines can be operated using our Relay Bases, and separate power supply(s) as shown in the two circuits below.

These machines use more current than our Direct Base outputs allow. The Micro Mark uses about 65ma and the Fulgurex 200ma (which is only needed during operation).

(We are currently testing a 100ma output Direct Base which will drive a Switch Tender directly)

Reversing Relay Switch Twin-supply

Powering high power switch machines with two DC power supplies

Reversing Relay Switch AC-supply

Powering high power switch machines with an AC power supply


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