N gauge auto uncouplers

N gauge auto uncouplers

Postby Ruston » Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:00 pm

I've been putting this off for as long as possible but I've had to face it.

A large part of my layout will involve shunting and so I would like some form of remote uncoupling. I experimented with one of those PECO ramp things but all that did was derail wagons!

I bought a trial pack of those Sprat & Winkle things from MSE and after much faffing aout and swearing I managed to fit a couple of old wagons with them. I couldn't get the damned things to line up or work properly and the thought of hacking perfectly good and new wagons (and converting all my existing stock) and and the fiddly construction of the things put me right off and I chucked the rest of the brass fret in the bin in frustration!

I have recently bought a PECO electromagnetic uncoupler. It doesn't work very well - if there is the slightest tension on the couplings the arm won't lift. If there is the slightest compression on the couplings the arm won't lift. You need to get the wagon positioned literally with millimetre perfection to get it to work at all!

So... I'm assuming that I'm doing something wrong here, after all PECO wouldn't still be making these things if they didn't work would they? Has anyone used these things to good effect and can they give me some clues please? But... assuming I can ever get it to work it is designed to work only with PECO couplings and not those with a spring in them such as the Farish ones - so what do you do with those? All farish stuff has couplings with springs so when they designed and put these couplings on their stock all those years ago what equipment was available to uncouple them?

Alternatively, is there any other method of remote uncoulping that doesn't require pratting about with tiny bits of brass or hacking perfectly good wagons (and locos!) up?

HELP! :?
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Postby 54Strat » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:22 pm

In the Grafar 04 thread, PaulCheffus mentioned microtrains uncouplers. Maybe worth a look.

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=88205&highlight=#88205
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Postby Bob » Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:12 am

Hi Dave

Why not give the Fleischmann Profi Couplings a try. I use them on two N gauge layouts and they work beautifully.

They cost about 80p each and fit an NEM coupling socket. The uncoupling track is just over a fiver for the manual version or ?‚??11 for the electric one.

PM me if you need any further details.
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Postby Ruston » Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:28 am

54Strat wrote:In the Grafar 04 thread, PaulCheffus mentioned microtrains uncouplers. Maybe worth a look.

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=88205&highlight=#88205


OK thanks. I've copied the quote below from that so as not to hijack that thread:

PaulCheffus wrote:
Doncaster Enterprise wrote:
Pete Piszczek wrote:Bachmann, Dapol, or Peco really need to have the balls to introduce a new N scale coupler. That's an really nice model, but that 50 year old Arnold Rapido N scale coupler just has to go...


Now that many models are fully- DCC compatible, the coupler is the thing that puts me off British 'N'.

How easy are they to replace with Kadee- type? Anyone know?


Hi

Depends on the model but very easy.

Farish / Dapol usually direct replacement of the Rapido with either Microtrains 1129 or 1130 (beauty here is that you can change it back if you want to sell it later).

Peco need the coupler pocket removing then either 1015 or 1025 glued and / or screwed to the underframe.

Cheers

Paul


Any chance of some pictures please?


Bob wrote:Hi Dave

Why not give the Fleischmann Profi Couplings a try. I use them on two N gauge layouts and they work beautifully.

They cost about 80p each and fit an NEM coupling socket. The uncoupling track is just over a fiver for the manual version or ?‚??11 for the electric one.

PM me if you need any further details.


I have put this here and not in a PM so that more people can see - again, any pictures?
Dave

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Postby Frutigen » Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:35 am

Farish / Dapol usually direct replacement of the Rapido with either Microtrains 1129 or 1130 (beauty here is that you can change it back if you want to sell it later).

Peco need the coupler pocket removing then either 1015 or 1025 glued and / or screwed to the underframe.


Does anyone know if the same is true for older continental stuff without the NEM pocket? I'm thinking of Minitrix, Fleischmann, Lima, Arnold here.
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Postby frobisher » Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:01 am

Frutigen wrote:
Farish / Dapol usually direct replacement of the Rapido with either Microtrains 1129 or 1130 (beauty here is that you can change it back if you want to sell it later).

Peco need the coupler pocket removing then either 1015 or 1025 glued and / or screwed to the underframe.


Does anyone know if the same is true for older continental stuff without the NEM pocket? I'm thinking of Minitrix, Fleischmann, Lima, Arnold here.


The reference was to the stuff without NEM pockets, so you're in luck :)
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Postby Mike Parkes » Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:30 pm

frobisher wrote:
Frutigen wrote:
Farish / Dapol usually direct replacement of the Rapido with either Microtrains 1129 or 1130 (beauty here is that you can change it back if you want to sell it later).

Peco need the coupler pocket removing then either 1015 or 1025 glued and / or screwed to the underframe.


Does anyone know if the same is true for older continental stuff without the NEM pocket? I'm thinking of Minitrix, Fleischmann, Lima, Arnold here.


The reference was to the stuff without NEM pockets, so you're in luck :)


Some more recent Farish models (eg the VGA and varius 4 wheel wagons) have had a slightly different mount although not NEM. Apparentely for these 1133 and 1134 are suitable.
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Postby Bob » Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:50 pm

Fleischmann have a range of couplers for older style mechanisms plus standard and close coupling units that may be attached to stock without NEM pockets.

Unfortunately their website, although displaying the range of couplings, doesn't give any details of their capabilities. Their printed catalogue does and has a few pages dedicated to this subject.

Image

This is the best photo I can find of the coupling itself but they are available with several mounting options as well as the one shown here.

The Fleischmann website:-
http://www.fleischmann.de

If you navigate to the English pages, N gauge, you'll find the couplings in the accessories section around page 5 or so.
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Postby PLD » Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:51 pm

See 54SWB's workbench topic here:

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5873

He is currently playing with several different types!
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Postby Samuel Bennett » Sat Jul 28, 2007 3:32 pm

micro trains couplings are available at model junction
http://www.modeljunction.info
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Postby PaulCheffus » Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:05 pm

Mike Parkes wrote:
frobisher wrote:
Frutigen wrote:
Farish / Dapol usually direct replacement of the Rapido with either Microtrains 1129 or 1130 (beauty here is that you can change it back if you want to sell it later).

Peco need the coupler pocket removing then either 1015 or 1025 glued and / or screwed to the underframe.


Does anyone know if the same is true for older continental stuff without the NEM pocket? I'm thinking of Minitrix, Fleischmann, Lima, Arnold here.


The reference was to the stuff without NEM pockets, so you're in luck :)


Some more recent Farish models (eg the VGA and varius 4 wheel wagons) have had a slightly different mount although not NEM. Apparentely for these 1133 and 1134 are suitable.


Hi

I've also used 1129 & 1130 in these newer wagons.

Cheers

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Postby Ruston » Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:59 pm

Thanks for the replies so far.

I have looked into the microtrains couplers but the price put me off and the fact that all my rolling stock would need a lot of modification and even then there's no guarantee that I could fit them well enough to be reliable. I understand that some people fit them as they don't like the look of the standard coupling but that's not really an issue to me so I'd rather keep the standard couplings.

I have come up with my own solution to this problem. The steel attachments that came with the PECO electromagnetic uncoupler have been fitted to a mixture of wagons, both PECO and Farish the ones with a spring in the coupling). I am trialling the use of these with a much more powerful magnet than the PECO electromagnet. I am using a 15mm dia. x 5mm deep permanent magnet mounted as shown in the diagram.

Image

This has involved some butchery of the baseboard. Basically the magnet is moved on a dowel so that it is placed under the wagon to be uncoupled as needed. Being more powerful and a lot wider then the electromagnet, the positioning isn't so critical and it will lift the arm easily. The tests so far have proved a success and so I will use this system. The area of the works yard that is in reach will have this dowel system but for those sidings out of reach I may have a go with a magnet on the arm of a servo from a radio controlled car that will push the magnet up in an arc rather than move is from side to side with the dowel.

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Postby Mike Parkes » Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:15 pm

PaulCheffus wrote:I've also used 1129 & 1130 in these newer wagons.


Presumably you had to modify the farish mount. For an extra 11/12p per coupling I think its worth buying the 1133 / 1134 for the new mount, that way the farish mount and coupling can be refitted.
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Postby PaulCheffus » Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:13 pm

Mike Parkes wrote:
PaulCheffus wrote:I've also used 1129 & 1130 in these newer wagons.


Presumably you had to modify the farish mount. For an extra 11/12p per coupling I think its worth buying the 1133 / 1134 for the new mount, that way the farish mount and coupling can be refitted.


Hi

No changes were made to the Farish mounts so the original couplings can be refitted but it is probably easier to use the 1133 /1134 type.

Cheers

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Postby Mike Parkes » Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:08 pm

PaulCheffus wrote:No changes were made to the Farish mounts so the original couplings can be refitted but it is probably easier to use the 1133 /1134 type.

Now you have confused me - the only different between the 1133/1134 and the 1129/1130 appears to be the provision of the replacement mount in the former. I tried the cast adaptor in the farish mount but it seemed far too deep.

As an aside has anyone found an alternative to grease-em as I seem to get more of the stuff on the working surface than the tiny bits of the coupling.
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Postby PaulCheffus » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:26 am

Mike Parkes wrote:
PaulCheffus wrote:No changes were made to the Farish mounts so the original couplings can be refitted but it is probably easier to use the 1133 /1134 type.

Now you have confused me - the only different between the 1133/1134 and the 1129/1130 appears to be the provision of the replacement mount in the former. I tried the cast adaptor in the farish mount but it seemed far too deep.

As an aside has anyone found an alternative to grease-em as I seem to get more of the stuff on the working surface than the tiny bits of the coupling.


Hi

What I forgot to mention when posting was the fact that I had filed the Microtrains cast adaptor down to fit which I completely forgot about until I started to do another one last night. I didn't know of the 1133/1134 at the time but I think I will use those in future.

Cheers

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