What sort of couplers are these?

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Chops
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What sort of couplers are these?

Postby Chops » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:02 am

This one posted to Hatton's, but what the deuce are these couplers about? Are they remotely compatible with
the standard bar-and-hook couplers I know and love? Or will this require some sort of modification to join with
the average Hornby piece? Having severe Deltic withdrawl symptoms. Please advise. Thank you in advance; before
I pour another 100 quid down the drain.
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luckymucklebackit
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:34 am

Hi Chops, closer examination of the loco would suggest that the coupling has not been fitted, all the pipework has been applied instead suggesting that it has been someones display model, you would probably have to remove much of the gubbins from the bufferbeam to fit the coupling as it gets in the way. Alternative is to glue a piece of brass rod across the buffers,

Jim
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Bigmet
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby Bigmet » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:58 am

There's an NEM pocket moulded into the bogie frame end, and there should be a pair of tension lock couplers in the box. However, Heljan often mistakenly supply a stepped down coupler which won't work well, and my suggestion would be to use whatever version of the coupler is standard on your stock (I use all Bachmann for example on my freight stock) as each maker's version is somewhat different and this leads to unreliability in operation if they are mixed.

The complete bufferbeam detail is factory fitted as standard on this model, and rather good for appearance. But it will foul a tension lock, and will need at least the drawhook, and the two hoses either side removing from the recessed part of the bufferbeam to allow the tension lock to move freely.

Because these are exclusively passenger locos on my operation, I have a Kadee no18 in one end only, and this functions well with all detail in place. Second only to DP1, these EE type 2 'Baby Deltics' are real favourites among the diesels on my layout.

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D605Eagle
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby D605Eagle » Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:50 am

They are screw couplings! :lol:
And yes, they do work quite well as long as you have looooooong gentle curves
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Mountain
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby Mountain » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:06 am

I used to have to couple and uncouple the screw link couplings on the real thing and there's not much room under there! There should be a tension lock type hook and loop supplied with the model as a seperate part which will clip in.

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D605Eagle
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby D605Eagle » Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:03 pm

IIRC you will have to decide which end you want to fit the coupling to, or both because you will have to trim back the pipework as it will interfere with the movement of the coupling. There is a pocket attached to the out end of the bogie which the supplied coupling pushes into.

Mike Parkes
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby Mike Parkes » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:11 pm

I quiet like Heljans approach of factory fitting the bufferbeam details as it saves a task for the purchaser and it far easier to trim away want is needed to fit whatever coupling you want. It was quite common to find detailed model diesels with full bufferbeam details and a length of brass road fitted across the buffer heads to act as a coupling to a coach or wagon fitted with a hook coupling (i.e. a tension lock) .

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Chops
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby Chops » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:52 pm

Very useful information. By "brass strip" under the buffer beam, I am thinking of a brass wire forming a sort of broad stirrup below all the air hoses and such. Is that correct? Does the motor consist of a "Ringfield" type or a can motor? In the US the "Ringfield" looks to be synonymous with the Bachmann "Power Torque" motor. Not many good experiences with that; the pinion gear isn't matched to the task, often.
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Bigmet
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby Bigmet » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:53 am

That's the idea for a rigid coupler bar, form in plan like a football (soccer) goalpost laid flat. The easy way to get the 'bar' height correct if it is anchored in holes in the buffer beam, is to have it angled down from the fixing points

Other than in prototypes with low or narrow bonnets, Heljan's twin bogie diesels and electric locos have an 1830 size can motor. We first saw this in a UK model with their class 47 in 2001. Early versions drew rather more current than the present motor, but all perform well. 'Somebody' may have had trouble with one sometime, but it doesn't figure in problem reports to any extent. I have had one in a 47 left running regularly for eight hour sessions with no problems.

Their drive line template is pretty conventional and consistently applied in all their product I have seen so far, twin flywheels, with plastic coupler inserts in which plastic shafts engage, to couplers on the worm shafts, then plastic gears in a tower to the axles, all generally robust with smooth and quiet running. Heljan only drive two axles per bogie, so on three axle bogies the centre wheelset is idle. Traction is good because they always make the chassis casting heavy, and gear reduction is usually well chosen to produce a scale maximum speed.

Again mechanically relatively trouble free. Once in a while a drive coupler in a flywheel slips, They used to come out of the factory very 'tight', and that's why I had that example of an early class 47 model doing extended running on my test track (for a friend with an end to end layout) simply to get it to free up, which it did. That model is still going what must be 16 years later.

The mechanism assembly now. It is a Chinese puzzle of interlocking plastic parts, no screws anywhere, of the 'unclip cover A, separate parts B and C, release yoke D from pin E and slide yoke sideways to uncouple from locators F and G' and so on. We can cover that if you ever want to venture inside...

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D605Eagle
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby D605Eagle » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:00 pm

I've never heard of a baby deltic burning out it's motor yet. Good strong performers.

Mike Parkes
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby Mike Parkes » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:12 pm

The issue with Heljan locos is not the motor burning out but a DCC decoder burning out - they typically draw a high current which many cheap, or perceived as being cheap, decoders cannot handle. Decoders such as Lenz Standards work fine.

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D605Eagle
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby D605Eagle » Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:28 am

You wouldn't say that if you had an early release clayton class 17 ;)

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SRman
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby SRman » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:45 am

D605Eagle wrote:You wouldn't say that if you had an early release clayton class 17 ;)


Yes, there's always the exception to the rule! Very prototypical though. ;) :D


In all seriousness, the usual Heljan mechanisms do require a decoder with the ability to handle high power draws. As Mike said, Lenz works well, as does ESU and Zimo. Not sure about the Zimo, but both Lenz and ESU decoders have overload cutouts, meaning it is much more difficult (but not impossible) to blow them up. By all means, use the cheaper decoers, but not in Heljan diesels or electrics.

I tend to favour the ESU because it standardises the running characteristics for me between the sound and non-sound fitted locos (many of the sound ones are Heljan - the first three I ever fitted were Heljan classes 33, 35 and 47).

Bigmet
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby Bigmet » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:31 am

D605Eagle wrote:You wouldn't say that if you had an early release clayton class 17 ;)

For clarity, that's got 'the other motor' that Heljan use in some of their OO product, a smaller cylindrical three pole can. Runs very sweetly, except when it doesn't! Heljan use it in their smaller diesel models and steamers. I have examples of this motor in the BTH and NBL type 1s (classes 15, 16) and the Gresley O2 2-8-0 and all are fine to date.

There were sufficient recorded examples of these motors burning out on the Clayton type 1 (class 17) and the LMS Beyer Garratt, to show that it will not tolerate high loads caused by a stiff drive train or fighting against a second mechanism. So it's a treat with care motor. Having written that, the heavyweight O2 2-8-0s have been employed to drag 2 - 2.5kg trainloads around for a couple of years without troubles.

Suggests to me that provided the mechanism runs freely, the motor is up to the job. But if a mechanism locks up unseen and the power is left on, I wouldn't give much for its chances...

SRman wrote:...the usual Heljan mechanisms do require a decoder with the ability to handle high power draws. As Mike said, Lenz works well, as does ESU and Zimo. Not sure about the Zimo, but both Lenz and ESU decoders have overload cutouts, meaning it is much more difficult (but not impossible) to blow them up...

Zimo have overload protection on their decoders too.

The small motor mentioned above will run on cheaper decoders. At a friend's insistence I hardwired one of the Hatton's decoders into an O2 2-8-0, and it is still going after more than a year. No amount of adjustment could eliminate some 'granularity' in dead slow movement, but that excepted it runs well enough. (The same type of decoder in his old Heljan 47 - he moved to DCC quite recently - lasted about fifteen minutes, no surprises there as the motor wanted around 500mA when running, and a lot more at stall. It then got a Lenz Standard, and is fine.)
Last edited by Bigmet on Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: What sort of couplers are these?

Postby luckymucklebackit » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:37 am

When I bought my Clayton it ran like a dog, so I took the body off to have a look inside the cause was obvious, there was a piece of foam sitting on top of the motor, and when the body was in place this pressed down on the mechanism. I removed the foam and the loco has run sweetly ever since! Only other problem was the droopy couplers, which was solved by packing a small piece of plasticard in the NEM pocket under the coupler.

Jim
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