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Author Topic: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)  (Read 29651 times)

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Offline belstone

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #270 on: May 02, 2018, 08:10:05 am »
A reminder last night of how important the loop bending jig is. Having equipped one cattle van with production-spec couplers (blackened, 4.5mm loop height) I did a second one.  I then found that my couplers had mysteriously become unreliable, sometimes refusing to couple up.  I hadn't changed the design apart from the height setting which shouldn't have caused any problems, and I had been really careful in forming the loops, so what could be wrong?

That last bit provides the answer.  On close inspection my loop bending jig (knocked up in a hurry months ago) had a slope along one face, around 0.3mm from front to back.  For the prototypes I had bent the loops fairly loosely around the jig and tended to form them round the outer end where the jig was widest.  For these latest couplers the loops were wound more tightly due to me taking much more care with the assembly process, and I had formed them around the narrow end.  The result being loops which were fractionally too short to drop over the hooks.

Lesson learned, I will make up a new, more accurate jig and bend some more loops which is no big deal.  There is a range of acceptable lengths for the loops if they are to work, and I hadn't realised how close I was to the bottom of that range.

Richard

Offline Izzy

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #271 on: May 03, 2018, 11:05:13 am »

Like probably many others I have been following your developments with interest. The only thing is I am not quite sure how the delayed action part works. Is this the same as DG's with the latch raising up to stop the loop falling down again? Sorry to ask, I have no doubt missed something somewhere

I presume it does, and I ask because with the DG's I have found this won't work with coaches with corridor connections, my latest spec Blue Riband MK 1's, because they stop the latch raising up, which hit the underside of the connections. This isn't a complete disaster for me as I run the coaches in rakes anyway, and so just leave the latches off. Non-corridor coaches are of course fine. My locos only have the latches and no loops so they can still un-couple from them. But I just wondered if you had hit this issue, or whether your design works slightly differently in this respect and the problem doesn't arise.

Just thought I would raise this as you are currently test fitting the latest design to various rolling stock items to find any probs.

cheers,

Izzy

Offline belstone

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #272 on: May 03, 2018, 05:49:04 pm »

Like probably many others I have been following your developments with interest. The only thing is I am not quite sure how the delayed action part works. Is this the same as DG's with the latch raising up to stop the loop falling down again? Sorry to ask, I have no doubt missed something somewhere

I presume it does, and I ask because with the DG's I have found this won't work with coaches with corridor connections, my latest spec Blue Riband MK 1's, because they stop the latch raising up, which hit the underside of the connections. This isn't a complete disaster for me as I run the coaches in rakes anyway, and so just leave the latches off. Non-corridor coaches are of course fine. My locos only have the latches and no loops so they can still un-couple from them. But I just wondered if you had hit this issue, or whether your design works slightly differently in this respect and the problem doesn't arise.

Just thought I would raise this as you are currently test fitting the latest design to various rolling stock items to find any probs.

cheers,

Izzy

The delayed action system uses a fixed bar above the hook - when the vehicles are drawn apart a couple of millimetres and pushed back together, the fixed bars prevent the loops dropping back over the hooks.  It's simpler than the DG system but not quite as smooth in operation since you need to do a Kadee-style shuffle to set the couplers to the delayed position.

As it happens I fitted the latest spec couplers to a Blue Riband Mk1 last night, along with a Dapol Gresley corridor coach. The only problem I had was that the bottom of the corridor connector on the Gresley prevented the loop from lifting fully.  I was able to shave a small amount off which solved the problem without spoiling the appearance.  The couplers sit a bit lower than DGs which means they can be bogie-mounted which is what I did, removing the complete body-mount coupler assembly, the only problem is that if you install them for close coupling the buffers limit the amount of side to side clearance, which means Setrack curves are out. (I tried.)

Richard

Online stephen lewis

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #273 on: May 03, 2018, 06:00:06 pm »
Hello Richard,

Beginners question on coupling; I have Farish Panniers with original couplers and Farish/Dapol freight box vans and coal trucks which refuse to couple on the slightest of curves, is this the norm? It also happens with locos and coaches.

Thank you
Steve

Offline belstone

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #274 on: May 03, 2018, 08:24:07 pm »
Hello Richard,

Beginners question on coupling; I have Farish Panniers with original couplers and Farish/Dapol freight box vans and coal trucks which refuse to couple on the slightest of curves, is this the norm? It also happens with locos and coaches.

Thank you
Steve

Standard N Gauge couplers are getting shockingly bad, I'm sure they never used to be as hopeless back in the "bad old days". Older vehicles with spring loaded couplers are usually OK and the Peco "Elsie" is as nice as it ever was, but I haven't yet seen an NEM-type coupler that actually works properly.  Heights are all over the place and a lot of them will barely lift at all, or else they waggle about in every direction except straight. The Rapido coupler has served us well enough for 50 years but you would have thought the manufacturers would have come up with something better by now.

Richard

Offline SheldonC

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #275 on: May 04, 2018, 03:48:23 pm »
As far as coupling/uncoupling on a curve is concerned, my brother (who models in 00, poor dab) reckons the problems are not limited to N Gauge.

Offline PLD

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #276 on: May 08, 2018, 02:25:46 pm »
As far as coupling/uncoupling on a curve is concerned, my brother (who models in 00, poor dab) reckons the problems are not limited to N Gauge.
If the prototype had corners as ridiculously sharp as R1 & R2 set-track equivalent, they would also have issues coupling up on curves!

Offline Black Sheep

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #277 on: May 08, 2018, 04:14:35 pm »
As far as coupling/uncoupling on a curve is concerned, my brother (who models in 00, poor dab) reckons the problems are not limited to N Gauge.
If the prototype had corners as ridiculously sharp as R1 & R2 set-track equivalent, they would also have issues coupling up on curves!

dockyards managed it :D

The whole reason behind the L&Y class 21 (pug) is tight dock yards and industrial environments - something for which ST-5 & ST-6 set track points are ideal!

but otherwise, I completely agree!

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #278 on: May 08, 2018, 08:27:38 pm »
As far as coupling/uncoupling on a curve is concerned, my brother (who models in 00, poor dab) reckons the problems are not limited to N Gauge.
If the prototype had corners as ridiculously sharp as R1 & R2 set-track equivalent, they would also have issues coupling up on curves!

dockyards managed it :D

The whole reason behind the L&Y class 21 (pug) is tight dock yards and industrial environments - something for which ST-5 & ST-6 set track points are ideal!

but otherwise, I completely agree!

Trouble is, said Pug will probably stall on the set track points :uneasy:

Offline Black Sheep

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #279 on: May 08, 2018, 08:29:59 pm »


dockyards managed it :D

The whole reason behind the L&Y class 21 (pug) is tight dock yards and industrial environments - something for which ST-5 & ST-6 set track points are ideal!

but otherwise, I completely agree!

Trouble is, said Pug will probably stall on the set track points :uneasy:

You have to drive it like you stole it so that it slides through :D

I recall being told that many 08 shunters were missing second gear and had a fair bit of slop in some of their controls due to people being paid per wagon shunted so would hoof it down the siding, stand on the brakes, skid to a stop and so on

Offline belstone

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #280 on: May 09, 2018, 11:20:55 pm »
Only slow progress the last week or so but I have learned a few things:

1. The cranked drop arms don't work as well as straight ones. Basically you can have close coupling, or couplers that fit to unmodified coupler pockets, but for most coaches and wagons you can't have both.  For locos (which don't have the lifting loop) there is no problem.

2. The optimum size for the lifting loop is an internal dimension of 1/4" x 1/8".  That is a standard size for rectangular brass tube in the KS Metals range which is handy.

3. Having assembled and fitted a few couplers to the new specification (blackened, long loops, 4.5mm loop height) I did a bit of testing and found I had a major "loop clash" issue which hadn't been a problem before.  The cause was the chemically blackened loops which had a matt finish and tended to "pick up" on each other. I used a soft polishing wheel in a minidrill to buff up the front face of the loops and the problem went away. In fact reliability is now better than ever.



This evening I had an intensive 30 minute shunting session (12 wagons and two coaches) without having to touch any item of rolling stock.  On the rare occasions where two vehicles did not couple up first time, they always worked on the second attempt.  Delayed uncoupling was 100% reliable throughout. I think I'm about done on development work now.

I thought I might make some short videos showing various aspects of the assembly process, but my camera is totally rubbish (you can barely see the couplers in the test video I made) so this will have to wait until I can afford a better one.  Instructions are still in progress but coming along.



I found this while looking for something else.  It is the very first prototype coupler I made, with hand-filed brass hook, seen here with a final-spec coupler for comparison.  There is a lot wrong with it but you can see most of the basic design elements were there right from the start - heavy open-ended loop, fixed square shank, delay bar and magnet-operated drop arm. How it took so long to get from this to the final design I have no idea.

Richard

Offline AlexanderJesse

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #281 on: May 10, 2018, 12:15:55 am »
 :NGaugersRule:
CONGRATULATIONS and a big thank you for the work you have put into this.5
=================
have a disney day
vapour is just water and therefor clean

Offline kirky

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #282 on: May 10, 2018, 09:32:00 am »
Only slow progress the last week or so but I have learned a few things:

1. The cranked drop arms don't work as well as straight ones. Basically you can have close coupling, or couplers that fit to unmodified coupler pockets, but for most coaches and wagons you can't have both.  For locos (which don't have the lifting loop) there is no problem.

Hi Richard, brilliant work as ever.
When you say that you can either have close coupling or couplers that fit in unmodified pockets - is the top down photo in post #261 showing coupling in an unmodified pocket, but still has closER coupling than standard couplers? Because if this is your compromise then it is still a significant improvement and we should all be happy with that - I certainly will be.
Thanks again
Kirky
Northallerton is in the August 2018 edition of Raiway Modeller

and in real life at the Normanton and Pontefract exhibition. New College, Park Lane, Pontefract. 26/27th January 2019



Layout: Northallerton: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1671.msg16930#msg16930

www.northallertonngauge.co.uk

Cleveland Model Railway club website: www.clevelandmrc.club

Offline belstone

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #283 on: May 10, 2018, 10:11:26 am »

When you say that you can either have close coupling or couplers that fit in unmodified pockets - is the top down photo in post #261 showing coupling in an unmodified pocket, but still has closER coupling than standard couplers? Because if this is your compromise then it is still a significant improvement and we should all be happy with that - I certainly will be.
Thanks again
Kirky

Those two vehicles have cranked drop arms to clear the front of the coupler box, and I found that the cranked arm didn't uncouple as reliably as a straight one. I ended up cutting a notch in the bottom of the coupler box to clear the drop arm, which still allows the original couplers to be refitted but is obviously a non-reversible modification. With four wheeled wagons, in almost every case it will be easier to remove the coupler boxes altogether (they usually unclip on recent production models) and attach the couplers direct to the underframe.  In the end a true "plug and play" coupler design proved impossible to achieve, but plain hooks (no loop) can be fitted to most locos without modification which is I think the main area of concern.

Richard

Offline AlexanderJesse

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Re: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)
« Reply #284 on: August 08, 2018, 10:40:09 am »
Some progress?

When do you expect to open the order-book?
=================
have a disney day
vapour is just water and therefor clean

 

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