Uncoupler

Discussion of N gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (Graham Farish, Dapol, Peco)
Steve59
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Uncoupler

Postby Steve59 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:52 pm

What is the best uncouper and the easiest to fit

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Mountain
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Re: Uncoupler

Postby Mountain » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:06 pm

[Dual post. See post below this one].
Last edited by Mountain on Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Mountain
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Re: Uncoupler

Postby Mountain » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:07 pm

00 gauge or another gauge or scale? All depends what couplings you are using. For standard 00 gauge couplings the problem is that the uncoupling ramps that work well dont really look the part. If you have code 100 track, the Hornby uncoupling ramp works OK mounted on Hornby straight track. However it looks a bit in prototypical. Dont forget,most uncoupling is done the manual method on the real railways (Excuse for the "Hand of god" method!) unless one has a modern DMU with couplings which part or are locked together from the cab controls. (With couplings like the BSI used with the class 142, 143, 150, 153, 155, 156, 158, 159 etc, there are also 40 (Or just over) electrical connections to come together along with the air brake system to seal together. Other modern couplings have something similar). Hornby also did an R620 uncoupling ramp with a handy re-railing device built in.

Now one could make ones own uncoupler via a piece of clear springy plastic, or even use a metal plate which pushes up. I seem to remember someone makes one of these which works from a solenoid. Never tried one... I think I've seen it on the Gaugemaster advertisment?
Another method is to adapt the bottom of the plunger of the coupling hooks to have a piece of metal glued or soldered onto it and it faces backwards to go further then the coupling hook pivot. Then the hooks can be operated from a magnet (Or magnets) under the track.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Uncoupler

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:03 am

Assuming you are talking 00 and Tensionlock the simplest is a length of clear plastic pinned to the sleepers so that it bows upwards raising the couplers when they are pushed across it, but not that stiff that it won't bow downwards when they are pulled across.
Better is a method using magnets that Mountain referred to, it's known as the Brian Kirby mod after its inventor, it involves attaching a small horizontal tail to the bottom of the couplers "foot" so that it points back towards the wheels. a small magnet burried in the track will pull down on the tail lifting the hook unless it is engaged in the lip on the couplings loop.
Neither cost much to implement and work well most of the time. Ramps lifted by a solenoid work 100% of the time but are quite expensive. Take your pick
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Steve59
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Re: Uncoupler

Postby Steve59 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:04 am

Thanks for your replies but this is for N Gauge.

Byegad
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Re: Uncoupler

Postby Byegad » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:34 am

I've a shunting layout that uses Dapol easi-shunt couplers. They're NEM compatible so if you have none NEM stock you'll need to convert them to NEM with the Dapol kit.

They work quite well and I only fit the magnetic uncouplers to each end of a rake of wagons, and both ends of brake vans.

Steve59
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Re: Uncoupler

Postby Steve59 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:32 pm

Thanks for that Bygad.
I am returning to modelling after a 15 year gap, how do I know what a NEM coupeler looks like?

Bramshot
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Re: Uncoupler

Postby Bramshot » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:03 pm

I also use the Dapol magnetic couplings. They usually work ok, but do need some mass in the vehicle or rake you are coupling to. Coupling to a single light goods waggon, e.g. a guards van can be tricky and sometimes the same can become inadvertently detached as it runs over the magnet when you don’t want it to, especially if there is any jerkiness to the motion.

Take a look at the images of the Dapol couplings to see what the NEM style interface looks like at the coupling end. On the loco / vehicle it is a small box with a slot that the coupling can be pulled out of. Other types have the coupler permanently fastened in, usually with an internal spring.

Most locos seem to be supplied with NEM sockets, but not all coaches or wagons, the Farish catalogue tells you which of their range is so fitted.

They are a stupid price and the springs pop out far too easily. That’s why they include spares with the 10 packs. I have only now after a couple of years nearly got the hang of replacing them, which requires a cocktail stick and much dexterity / patience / luck. Tip, before use, put a tiny dab of superglue or paint on one end of the spring where it connects to coupler ( I do the claw end) to help keep it in.

Like Bygad, I use them on rake ends.

I also sometimes find that the actuating arm that hangs down contacts the plastic guard rails in Peco setrack points, and I have to push them up through the coupler just a bit. I also find that the actuating arm sometimes gets turned to a non-ideal angle and needs resetting, they become too loose after much of this treatment.

Paul-H
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Re: Uncoupler

Postby Paul-H » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:52 pm

The other problem with the Dapol couplings is not only are the couplings expensive at around £25 for 10 but the magnets are also a silly price at £8.50 for 2, given that similar magnets are about 10p each from the usual magnet suppliers, although they are a non standard size so finding an exact replacement takes some looking. I found that neodymium magnets work well and are strong enough to work when buried under the track, so no cutting out sleepers to fit, and you get a better result using magnets that are wider than the track, but this is not a problem as they are buried.

One word of caution is don't use too strong or big a magnet as the aforementioned springs can be pulled out if the magnet is too powerful, (don't ask how I know) but it does turn you into a dab hand at fitting them back, just wish Dapol would change the way they pack their springs, as 4 in a bag soon find themselves all screwed together and they are impossible to get apart. The ones supplied with the couplings are usually ok as they are in a small bag which limits movement, but if you buy the springs on their own they come in a larger bag and can freely move about.

Other than that they work well.

Paul

Steve59
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Re: Uncoupler

Postby Steve59 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:22 pm

Thanks for your help guys.


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