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Author Topic: Unreliable Easi-Shunts  (Read 302 times)

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Offline Stuart Down Under

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Unreliable Easi-Shunts
« on: September 23, 2017, 04:51:00 am »
 ??? I AM SO FED UP WITH EASI-SHUNT!!! I have a test rake of steam era short wheelbase wagons. Fitting couplers is a pain, because virtually no steam era wagons are yet fitted with NEM sockets, so every one is a hack and glue job. On the plus side, they couple well and even with the short shaft couplings they are fine on my smallest radius curves. But, even with added ballast, a Farish wagon at the front of a rake being pushed across a magnet always pulls sideways and derails. the metal axle doesn't help things, as it is also drawn to the magnet. Perhaps if I fill them with lead, they may be OK, but will the locos be able to pull them up my 1 in 50 grades? The Farish 4F already struggles with 5 coaches. If the remote function worked reliably, it might have some benefit, but I am lucky if they stay uncoupled in the "push" mode one time in 10. So I will have to fit magnets at every place I want to spot a wagon. It shouldn't be this hard! Am I the only person encountering this frustration?
:confusedsign:

Offline BobB

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Re: Unreliable Easi-Shunts
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 06:56:38 am »
Hello Stuart Down Under.

The first thing to do is cut the uncoupling magnets into two equal lengths so that only one magnet can act upon the end of a short wheelbase wagon. (I use side cutters for this but I'm told a saw also works.) This allows almost all of the wagons to run over the magnets without being pulled downwards (or sideways). Make sure they are embedded to be no more than the height of the sleepers. On the club layout we raised the magnets to just below rail height so that they also operated American style couplers and this was extremely difficult for the short wheelbase British wagons.

Adding a load will almost always cure down and sideways pulling but it doesn't have to be to much to work. The worst offenders in my experience are the "con-flat" wagons from Farish, for them to run without any visible load (no container on top) I ended up removing the underfloor detail and adding weight in the form of brass strips. The extra weight added will for a long rake make climbing the slope more difficult but no more than using the heavier wagons anyway.

I agree that it is frustrating having to modify the wagons to fit the couplers but having done quite a few now I just set up an assembly line approach and cant do about ten wagons in an hour. It becomes expensive though !

Delayed uncoupling is hit and miss if there is a curve in the track or if you are pushing a few wagons at the same time. But having said that a very slow movement of the locomotive (with no 'stutter') does work after practice almost all of the time.

Incidentally, there are some Farish short wheelbase wagons with NEM sockets such as the Southern covered vans. They normally cost more than the older stock though ! The on-line shops still don't think it worthwhile telling potential buyers if the stock has NEM sockets so careful examination of enlarged pictures is the best bet.

I hope this helps a bit !

Offline Stuart Down Under

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Re: Unreliable Easi-Shunts
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 08:55:25 am »
Hi BobB, Thank you for the encouragement! I do really want them to work, as I have plans for quite an extensive dockside scene. Shunting will be an important part of the fun. I will try the half-length magnets, although I guess that spotting will be much more of a challenge! The magnets are currently a little higher than the sleepers, but I can cut them into the cork underlay for another couple of mm. Have you tried experimenting with the metal hook angle to force the coupling wider? Some people say that works for them. Regards, Stuart

Offline BobB

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Re: Unreliable Easi-Shunts
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 12:19:43 pm »
Hi Stuart. If the magnets are just slightly higher than the sleepers then I would tend to leave well alone after halving them. The hook angle can be adjusted but I tend to find the original factory setting is about right to balance reliable working and no unwanted uncoupling when pulling a light load (say one short wheel base wagon) over them. Also the height of the hook is adjustable and I have found just a smidgen above the rail height is best. I use a bit of card as a gauge for this.

Spotting is OK if you just dab a dot of paint on the outer ends of the sleepers or platform edge where the magnets are. Any colour that differs from the surrounds works so (say) light brown is not to noticeable unless you are looking for it.

One of the disappointments that I have had is the performance of the Farish class 08 shunter. I paid a lot of money to get it fitted with a chip but it has indifferent performance over points, (insulfrog and electrofrog). 2 Farish panniers, also 0-6-0's, work fine so my next layout's shunting area will use steam for old time running and Farish class 20's for Corporate blue era work.

At the club we run n and OO/HO. The disappointing Farish 08 has been eclipsed by the bigger Bachmann 08 with their version of Kadee couplers. We are formulating some plans to let us shunt to our hearts are content !

Offline Stuart Down Under

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Re: Unreliable Easi-Shunts
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 06:53:29 am »
Hi BobB, So I have tested a half magnet, and I have sunk it into the cork underlay - Success! The nasty twisting action on the wagon is now gone, so no more derailing, but the uncoupling action is still fine. The attraction to the metal axles is almost eliminated.I have also started adjusting the metal hook height using a piece of card on the rails, and that has been great too. I think I will be now be able to lay dummy sleepers over the magnet to conceal it altogether, so that is another positive. Still trying to make the push work, but worst case is a few more magnets at critical spotting points. Thanks for getting me back on track. Any further advice on fixing NEM sockets to the wagons? It is a little tedious hacking every one, and the plastics involved appear to be glue-resistant! I am currently roughing up both surfaces and using a thin film of epoxy with some success. Regards, Stuart
 :thankyousign:

Offline longbow

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Re: Unreliable Easi-Shunts
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2017, 07:36:18 am »
There is a lengthy thread about Easi-Shunts and improving their performance, including the use of rare-earth magnets, over at RMWeb:

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/48728-dapol-easi-shunt-magnetic-couplings-in-n/page-1



Offline BobB

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Re: Unreliable Easi-Shunts
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2017, 08:05:05 am »
Hi Stuart

The following assumes you are going to have the wagon upside down and will follow the pictures provided by Dapol's instructions for the coupler and the conversion kit.. The outer box is thinner one side than the other so use it as shown and it becomes the correct height.

For Farish wagons it is really easy. The coupling box is glued and clipped in so a thin blade gently wiggled underneath prizes it off just leaving two lugs. Cut those off using a really sharp blade to have a smooth flat base. I use superglue to fix the easi-shunt outer box in but be careful to get it square and central (by eye is accurate enough). No need to roughen.  If you use to much glue (which allows time to adjust) then on the little insert you can chop off the pin that locates into the glued side because the outer pin is enough. Then just clip in the coupler. Definitely easy!

On older Farish and Peco the height needs to be determined and you use the shims supplied in the conversion kit. It seems to vary for each wagon (no pattern discernible) and you can use the height gauge if you bought one but a fitted locomotive / wagon works as well. When experimenting with the height I temporarily glue with wood glue (PVA) and wash it all off to refit with superglue. Messy and time consuming but it works !

 I don't know about converting Dapol rolling stock - everything of theirs that I have got was already fitted with NEM sockets !

Glad you are are having success. Hands off shunting is great.

 

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