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Author Topic: rapido question  (Read 1161 times)

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Offline bluedepot

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rapido question
« on: May 31, 2014, 11:34:56 pm »
so what is the vertical 'pole' bit for?  I have some couplers without this and notice that they are less reliable than those with the vertical 'pole'.

you can see what I mean on the Re460 coupling...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kato_13709-2_SBB_Re_460.jpg


cheers


tim

Offline Sprintex

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Re: rapido question
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 11:42:51 pm »
Presumably there to facilitate some form of uncoupling using a ramp, bit like the 00 tension lock uncouplers?


Paul

Offline bluedepot

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Re: rapido question
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 11:45:55 pm »
they are on farish rapidos as well

not sure why...?

yes maybe for some uncoupling device...?


tim



Offline Jools

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Re: rapido question
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 12:12:22 am »
Uncoupling device makes sense to me!

Though I think their true purpose in life is find and then catch on that one track pin you missed pulling out or pushing in all the way and so derail your prized possession at the most award to reach part of the layout  :D

Offline swisstrains

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Re: rapido question
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2014, 09:54:38 am »
Yes, they are definitely for use with uncoupling devices such as the Peco SL330. Most Rapido type couplings have them.....unless they have been chopped off. ;)
John

Offline Komata

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Re: rapido question
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2014, 08:43:38 pm »
FWIW, my few cents worth:

Within the model railway world, realism is very important. As part of this, some deem that it is crucial that trains must be able to uncouple 'automatically' (aka 'hands off') with no human intervention in the process.  That is, according to some, the 'ultimate test' of a good model railway layout.

As part of this in the 1950's and 60's there was a concerted effort by model train manufacturers' (of all scales)  to create a simple but effective method of 'automatic' uncoupling.  To this end, Arnold (the 'inventors' of commercial N scale) came up with the 'Rapido' (as in 'Rapid / automatic') coupler.  As they were the inventors of the scale, their creation became the standard for what followed.

With that in mind, the 'hanging down bit' below the Rapido coupler does have a purpose.  The intention is that if you should be able to 'automatically' (without using your hands) uncouple the wagon from that in front-of or behind it.

To do this you would have previously placed an 'uncoupler' at some point (I know, bad pun) on your railway, and ensured that this was sitting snugly below rail level.  The uncoupler (aka 'an uncoupling ramp') is a flat piece of plastic (or sometime metal or wood), usually attached to a lever of some sort. By using the lever, the uncoupler can be made to 'rise up' above the top of the rails and connect with the 'pole'/ hanging down bit' below the Rapido unit.  When this has been done, the uncoupler is raised-up a little bit more and (in theory) it lifts the coupler 'head' above that of the one beside it and the two coupler's separate.

With that accomplished, you can then 'theoretically' move your 'uncoupled' wagons into whatever siding you want to.

Note that I say 'theoretically'.  The reality is that as soon as you start to reverse the 'uncoupled' wagon back into the siding where it is to be placed , it automatically re-couples with the one it had been uncoupled from and completely negates the whole exercise.

After trying unsuccessfully to repeat the exercise with the self-same result most of us tend to abandon 'automatic uncoupling' using such methods and use other means to achieve the same result..  And, to further complicate matters, the 'hanging down bit / pole' can also jam on the frog (the pointy bit) of a point / turnout and cause a derailment.

Again, after this latter action has happened numerous times, many modellers trim the  'hanging down bit / pole' and don't worry about the 'lack' of automatic uncoupling.

BTW: So far the only really successful 'automatic' coupler in our scale has been the 'Microtrains' (MTL)-type, much-loved by American modellers. However, the MTL coupler  is 'relatively' expensive and in some instances requires considerable work to install.  The 'Rapido'-type coupler  comes with the wagon when you buy it (in other words it's 'free') and actually (usually) works quite well; just don't try to 'automatically' uncouple it...

As I said, my few cents worth.  Inevitably some modellers have amazing success with Automatic uncoupling using the Rapido coupler and uncoupling ramps.  Based on conversations I've had over the years, I would suggest that they may well be in the minority...

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2014, 08:55:05 pm by Komata »
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Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: rapido question
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2014, 10:29:56 pm »
As part of this in the 1950's and 60's there was a concerted effort by model train manufacturers' (of all scales)  to create a simple but effective method of 'automatic' uncoupling.  To this end, Arnold (the 'inventors' of commercial N scale) came up with the 'Rapido' (as in 'Rapid / automatic') coupler.  As they were the inventors of the scale, their creation became the standard for what followed.

They didn't exactly invent N, 2mm was around long before. Also a lot of the early N/2mm stuff in the UK used a mini hornby type coupler. Arnold actually filed patents on elements of their couplers so it's a miracle it did become a standard. Fortunately Peco realised you could avoid the spring and dodge the patent, Farish used a 'U' shape bend and Fleischmann and co used a square springy bit which neatly dodged the patent details. (Which btw is why to this day most Fleischmann couplers have such strange springing).

Quote
BTW: So far the only really successful 'automatic' coupler in our scale has been the 'Microtrains' (MTL)-type, much-loved by American modellers.

That would be news to the many users of other coupling systems. I think the MTL is probably the only successful *RTR* coupler of this type, or RTRish given you usually have to fiddle and tweak a little them to get it really reliable.

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

Offline Komata

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Re: rapido question
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2014, 12:07:30 am »
EP

Thank you for your response, and for your details concerning Arnold's early couplers; something that I wasn't aware of. Do you have any images to show us what we escaped from?

In respect of N's origin's.  Although, as you say, 2mm pre-dates what we now know as 'N' ,  I very carefully used the word 'commercial', and no, Lone Star is not, IMHO in contention for that title, especially as it used 'Treble O' as its selling point.  Out of curiousity, in your opinion, which company would be the 'commercial' originators of 'N'?

Microtrains (MTL) as the only successful 'automatic' coupler?  Granted, i should possibly have qualified the statement by using the term R-T-R, but I stand by that assertion, as for many years they WERE  the only manufacturers who were able to produce a viable 'automatic coupler, and then only because their parent (Kadee) saw an opportunity and took it.  Not unreasonably Microtrains also made very sure that their patents were wide-ranging and secure.

As a result, MTL had a monopoly, with any challengers not being anywhere  as good and limited by patents. Because of this, the hobby always seemed to return to MTL as a result (and still seems to BTW).   Atlas, B'mann, McHenry et al  followed quite a bit later (20 years or so?) , and from what I can determine, B'mann and Atlas only became involved when they saw that there was a large amount of 'market share' that they were missing out on.  They have only 'recently' (say, the last 10-15 years or so) started to make a concerted effort to go the 'automatic' way, and their couplers are still not as good as the MTL originals.

The whole 'automatic coupler' story is quite an interesting one, and worth some investigation..
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