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Author Topic: Rapido Uncoupling  (Read 9018 times)

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Offline Rod

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Rapido Uncoupling
« on: May 27, 2011, 05:02:44 pm »
Here's my stab at making an uncoupler, I hope it's of interest.

Rod

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/newsforyou/rapidouncoupling.htm


Offline poliss

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 05:10:39 pm »

Offline upnick

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 05:57:34 pm »
Greas  em is  a great product   help  with couplers etc another option is to add more weight to stock especially in  box vans  Peco  &   G/F  stock  is too  light & needs it, then   the loco   has something to  push  against as they are out of the box  it ends up chasing  stock as you have probably found. 

Offline Rod

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 10:24:11 am »
Is this stuff different from general loco grease or a spot of loco oil?

Still on the subject of uncoupling, I presume some of you have converted from Rapido to Micro-Trains couplings. I'm not sure I'll ever try this myself, but what does it entail for Peco and Farish locos and stock?

Rod

Offline poliss

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 01:00:39 pm »
Despite the name, Greas-em isn't grease at all, it's graphite powder. Because it's dry dust etc. doesn't stick to it. It's also useful if your door lock's are sticking. :-)

Upnick has done some Rapido to Micro-Trains conversions for Peco trucks.
There's a guide here for which Micro-Trains coupler replacement you will need for some Farish stock.
http://www.southdownsrailway.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20:using-micro-trains-couplings&catid=52:couplings&Itemid=55

Offline upnick

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 02:33:12 pm »
Hi Rod, 

As Poliss has said i have changed some Peco /  Graham  farish  wagonsto microtrains  both types require surgery  to  the chassis  using the MT  height gauge as you  convert  but make a nice easy no  hands uncoupling rake  ;)

Some Farish  wagons  i  bought s/h  then  removed the  farish  chassis bought a  basic van kit from  peco   &  also  used  Kato   knuckle couplers which   fit directly into the  peco   coupler pocket  giving a closer coupling,  so they where a more involved  conversion .

Offline Rod

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 04:43:12 pm »
Thanks for the replies. I doubt whether I'll be converting any stock to Micro-Trains couplings, one reason I started dabbling in N gauge is that it seemed less hard work than 3mm...except for uncoupling, it would seem! I fitted all my 3mm kit-built stock with Tri-ang style metal tension lock couplings and used acetate uncoupling ramps, but of course that isn't an option with N gauge.

Meanwhile, I knew I should have installed my uncouplers after ballasting...despite being very careful, I got some of them glued up and I'm having to redo them. While I'm at it, I'll use thicker wire and metal ramps for robustness instead of plastic, soldered onto the top of the wire.

Rod

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 11:15:32 pm »
Except for Peco the easy alternative is the Fleischmann Profi couplers as they come in NEM form (straight swap for the Rapido) and box form (designed for Minitrix etc but with a tiny spot of filing also fit into Farish pockets).

The downside is they don't look any better than Rapido, the upside is that they do reliable couple/uncouple and also do delayed uncoupling.
"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

Offline oscar

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2011, 03:28:28 pm »
I've managed to use magnets to uncouple:-
http://www.first4magnets.com/adhesive-magnets-31-c.asp

The 1mm dia one glues nicely to the bottom of the rapido and the 20mm x 5mm x 1.5mm stick nicely between the rails.

Only one coupling per truck/carriage and link them with magnet to non-magnet, otherwise both couplings go up and won't uncouple.

They're VERY strong and the 1mm ones are fiddly but a touch of araldite keeps them in place. The trickiest part is getting the polarity right!

Just pause over the magnet with a bit of slack in the rake and watch the coupling pop up. The tension of the 'pull' of the load stops uncoupling as you drive over the magnet. I don't know if sitting the loco over the magnet for any period of time would cause any harm to the motor, but I'm not going to try it! :smiley-laughing:

PS, they have smaller ones than the 20mm x 5mm ones  since I bought mine. Experiments called for!!!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 03:34:03 pm by oscar »

Offline Bob(K)

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2011, 09:26:52 pm »
Oscar

That is a neat solution. It would be good to see a picture of the two magnets in place to see you actually attached the small one to the coupler. Clever idea though.

Bob

Offline Rod

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2011, 11:34:09 am »
I agree a picture would be nice if possible, it looks like a great solution - and they're cheap! Think I'll have to give them a try, they would certainly eliminate my Heath Robinson rods and wires.
Do they work equally well with sprung couplings?
You say undesired uncoupling is prevented by the pull of the load - have you found a limit to this - e.g. say a loco was pulling just a couple of wagons very slowly?
Presumably, if this was a problem, a strong electromagnet could always be used on the track instead of the permanent magnet, this would also avoid any possible damage to the loco motor.

Rod

Offline poliss

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2011, 12:38:44 pm »
If your Rapido's don't have springs you could use the Peco Elsie electromagnetic uncoupling.
http://www.gosfordhobbies.com.au/shop/product.php?productid=4859

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2011, 08:35:31 pm »
You say undesired uncoupling is prevented by the pull of the load - have you found a limit to this - e.g. say a loco was pulling just a couple of wagons very slowly?
Presumably, if this was a problem, a strong electromagnet could always be used on the track instead of the permanent magnet, this would also avoid any possible damage to the loco motor

The usual US practice with permanent magnets is to hinge them so that they can be dropped down or raised to the surface as required.

A lot of sprung couplers won't work well with any lift arm - the NEM rapdio couplers are particularly bad and you'll often lift the wagon before the coupling. This is one reason most good coupler designs don't use the box spring for coupling/uncoupling. Profi uses a small vertical riser which doesn't need the whole coupling deflected, Microtrains style US couplers move parts of the arm etc.
"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

Offline Rod

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2011, 11:31:30 pm »
It beats me why manufacturers make Rapido couplings with springs in, without also providing a decent way to uncouple them. Shouldn't they have made this a priority?

Has anyone tried taking the springs out and then compensating in some way for the resulting sag? It struck me that an appropriately fixed piece of metal or plastic under the coupling arm and into the pocket might do the job, though it would have to be very small and very precise.

I got as far as taking the spring out of a Farish wagon coupling, lost it four times on the floor, then put it back...

Rod

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Rapido Uncoupling
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2011, 12:10:43 pm »
The springs are not the problem the mounts and buffer beams are.

If you take continental stock where this is done properly they use mechanical lift arms and it works. A lot of the UK stock there isn't clearance for the lift arm and the NEM pockets on later stock are too stiff.

To make some of them work for example you need to file a slot into the bufferbeam. That becomes a whole other trade off in terms of look.


"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

 

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