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Author Topic: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)  (Read 30046 times)

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Offline belstone

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #90 on: August 12, 2014, 06:34:11 pm »


T-shank variant, fitted to a couple of older Farish coaches.



Popped straight in, with a sliver of plastic at the back to hold them in place.  I had to shave a bit off the corner of the pocket to clear the drop arm - Farish Rapido pockets are quite wide. But the original couplers can still be refitted if required.

I think clearance between the buffers is going to be very tight on Setrack curves, but 12 inch radius should be fine. I've also fitted a coupler to one end of a J39, so off home now to have a play.

Offline belstone

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #91 on: August 15, 2014, 02:21:54 pm »
A word of advice: if anyone else out there is thinking of designing an N gauge coupling, get hold of a plank of wood. Then hit yourself over the head repeatedly, until the thought goes away.   :D

I have run into a couple (ho ho) of problems.  The first is easy to fix: I got the dimensions wrong on the fold-up channel which attaches the hook to the shank. So I had to file down the shank on three sides, and that makes it too weak to stand up to rough handling. I now have a small pile of broken couplings.

The second is trickier. It's the same problem I ran into with the Micro Trains knuckle couplers: light, free-rolling four-wheeled vehicles tend to be pulled towards the magnet by the drop arm, slackening the tension on the coupling just as it passes over the magnet and causing the last wagon in the train to uncouple.  I tried extending the end of the hook backwards with a small piece of wire which helps (and I can incorporate this into the etch) but doesn't entirely solve the problem. I have a couple of other ideas to try, otherwise I will have to resort to increasing the rolling resistance of my wagons which isn't really ideal.

It doesn't help that the neodymium magnets I bought are very powerful, possibly a little too powerful when fitted between the rails. On the plus side, this means the delayed uncoupling feature works 100%. I'll carry on fiddling over the weekend. I'm still finding out which dimensions are critical and which are less important. Slight height mismatch isn't an issue, but the distance from the front of the loop to the pivot point has to be spot on, likewise the shape of the magnetic drop arm.

It might be that electromagnets are the way forward, but I bought a Peco PL-10 uncoupler and it isn't nearly powerful enough: with it energised, the drop arm has to be practically touching the end of the uncoupler before it moves.

Offline Caz

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #92 on: August 15, 2014, 02:32:52 pm »
Have you tried either the Dapol or Microtrains bar magnets, maybe being slightly less powerful it may work better.  Keep trying, I'm sure you'll crack it in the end, either that or your head if you keep hitting yourself on the head like that.   :)

Offline PostModN66

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #93 on: August 15, 2014, 03:34:00 pm »

It might be that electromagnets are the way forward, but I bought a Peco PL-10 uncoupler and it isn't nearly powerful enough: with it energised, the drop arm has to be practically touching the end of the uncoupler before it moves.

You might consider vertically sliding magnets rather than electro-magnets.  I use this approach on "Lofthole" and it works very reliably, and is easy to set up.   Note: this is just for modified Rapidos, nothing fancy like delayed action, but the principle should still apply.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_IF-CPyeI0 illustrates.

Cheers

Jon  :)
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

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Offline Dock Shunter

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #94 on: August 15, 2014, 10:03:39 pm »

It might be that electromagnets are the way forward, but I bought a Peco PL-10 uncoupler and it isn't nearly powerful enough: with it energised, the drop arm has to be practically touching the end of the uncoupler before it moves.



If you plan to use electromagnets then i would recommend either Gaugemater EM 1s
or the DG electromagnets.
They are not cheap but do the job.

 :beers:.....Ste...... :NGaugersRule:

Offline kardkits

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #95 on: August 15, 2014, 10:59:25 pm »

You might consider vertically sliding magnets rather than electro-magnets.  I use this approach on "Lofthole" and it works very reliably, and is easy to set up.   Note: this is just for modified Rapidos, nothing fancy like delayed action, but the principle should still apply.

Cheers

Jon  :)

I like the look of that Jon, where can I get more information about these?

Thanks
Andi

Offline PostModN66

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #96 on: August 17, 2014, 02:17:47 pm »
These (rather dull, sorry) shots should illustrate:






It.s worth saying that I have only so far used this system on Kato Unitrack.  If using it on Peco track I would do a test to see if the magnets coming up to the bottom of the sleepers would provide enough flux, or whether you would need to use smaller magnets to come up between the sleepers, to say, level with the sleeper tops.

Ask if you need any more,

Cheers

Jon
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

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Offline GavinD

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #97 on: August 17, 2014, 04:03:09 pm »

It's worth saying that I have only so far used this system on Kato Unitrack.  If using it on Peco track I would do a test to see if the magnets coming up to the bottom of the sleepers would provide enough flux, or whether you would need to use smaller magnets to come up between the sleepers, to say, level with the sleeper tops.

Hi John

Excellent idea this. I am just wondering how to "switch" on/off  a niobium disc magnet on the hidden sidings of a small shunting puzzle layout that I have just about completed. On one siding ( near rear edge ) I managed to excavate a channel to allow a magnet to be buried in a plasti-card holder so it can be manually slid from under the track. But also want to do the same on a parallel line behind it, so drilling a hole through base will be easier than trying to excavate a longer channel. My alternate was to cut out a section of both tracks and fit two slides. So I will give this a try.

I have fitted modified DG couplings to all my wagons now - loop one end - hook the other - as I don't mind them being uni-directional  :D  and they are very reliable this way, and unobtrusive.
The magnets work fine on these with the top of the niobium disc magnet level with the underside of the Peco 55 track.

Apart from only fitting hook/loop to one end only I have developed a variation on the actuating dropper by combining it as an extension of the loop and fitting wrapping some soft iron wire around a horizontal bend at the end of the dropper. I find this makes assembly much easier, as no need to solder the dropper to the loop { I could never get the two materials to bond  :( } and also easier to fit to the fret.
If anyone is interested I could take a few macro photos and do a diagram.

Cheers
    Gavin

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #98 on: August 17, 2014, 04:27:06 pm »

The magnets work fine on these with the top of the niobium disc magnet level with the underside of the Peco 55 track.


Sorry to be a bit thick, Gavin, but when you say the 'underside' of the track do you mean above sleeper height but level with the base of the rail, or level with the base of the sleeper? Thanks.

Offline GavinD

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #99 on: August 17, 2014, 04:41:36 pm »

The magnets work fine on these with the top of the niobium disc magnet level with the underside of the Peco 55 track.


Sorry to be a bit thick, Gavin, but when you say the 'underside' of the track do you mean above sleeper height but level with the base of the rail, or level with the base of the sleeper? Thanks.

Sorry! should have made myself clearer;
 Top of disc magnet ( 5mm diam x 3mm thick ) level with underside of sleeper.
Cheers
 Gavin

Offline belstone

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #100 on: August 18, 2014, 01:03:43 pm »
Neodymium magnets are starting to look a bit like a dead end.  They don't just attract the dropper bars on the couplings, but also the steel weights in Peco wagons... Next stage is to get some Mk2 test etches (reshaped hook, deeper side members where the hook attaches to the shank) and some conventional ferrite magnets, then have another go.  The Dapol and MT magnets are polarised to pull sideways, not down, so they will probably not work with this design. I briefly tried an MT magnet but it didn't work very well. I'm not disheartened yet, but glad I'm not relying on this project to pay the household bills.

Incidentally I also tried a couple of neodymium bar magnets on the outside of the rails to see if they would operate the MT couplers (and Dapol which uses the same basic principle).  They worked all right: they pulled the entire wagon sideways off the rails....

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #101 on: August 18, 2014, 02:39:25 pm »
  The Dapol and MT magnets are polarised to pull sideways, not down, so they will probably not work with this design.

Try putting them on their side.....?

Offline GavinD

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #102 on: August 18, 2014, 03:11:10 pm »
Neodymium magnets are starting to look a bit like a dead end.  They don't just attract the dropper bars on the couplings, but also the steel weights in Peco wagons...

Hi Jon

Any magnet will do this!  I have taken out the steel weights and replaced with lead - problem solved.
But wash your hands well and KEEP the magnets away from children and animals; there have been cases of them being swallowed and clumping together in the stomach  - nasty  :o

Cheers
    Gavin

Offline PostModN66

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #103 on: August 18, 2014, 03:44:36 pm »
Neodymium magnets are starting to look a bit like a dead end.  They don't just attract the dropper bars on the couplings, but also the steel weights in Peco wagons...

Hmmm....I haven't noticed this issue with my set up.....maybe because I don't use many Peco wagons, (although my TEAs are weighted with big steel nails) but in my "Lofthole Part 1" video the lead wagon on the ballast train is a Peco wagon with standard weight..

see 1:40  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRa9gqsSMp4

Is there a problem when you bring the magnet to a static wagon...or is it just when a wagon is moved across the magnet?

Cheers Jon  :)
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

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Lofthole http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14792.msg147178#msg147178

Deansmoor http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14741.msg146381#msg146381

Offline N Gauge Bob

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Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #104 on: August 18, 2014, 04:32:45 pm »

It's worth saying that I have only so far used this system on Kato Unitrack.  If using it on Peco track I would do a test to see if the magnets coming up to the bottom of the sleepers would provide enough flux, or whether you would need to use smaller magnets to come up between the sleepers, to say, level with the sleeper tops.

Hi John

Excellent idea this. I am just wondering how to "switch" on/off  a niobium disc magnet on the hidden sidings of a small shunting puzzle layout that I have just about completed. On one siding ( near rear edge ) I managed to excavate a channel to allow a magnet to be buried in a plasti-card holder so it can be manually slid from under the track. But also want to do the same on a parallel line behind it, so drilling a hole through base will be easier than trying to excavate a longer channel. My alternate was to cut out a section of both tracks and fit two slides. So I will give this a try.

I have fitted modified DG couplings to all my wagons now - loop one end - hook the other - as I don't mind them being uni-directional  :D  and they are very reliable this way, and unobtrusive.
The magnets work fine on these with the top of the niobium disc magnet level with the underside of the Peco 55 track.

Apart from only fitting hook/loop to one end only I have developed a variation on the actuating dropper by combining it as an extension of the loop and fitting wrapping some soft iron wire around a horizontal bend at the end of the dropper. I find this makes assembly much easier, as no need to solder the dropper to the loop { I could never get the two materials to bond  :( } and also easier to fit to the fret.
If anyone is interested I could take a few macro photos and do a diagram.

Cheers
    Gavin

I took my lead from the N Gauge Society book where a chap had made the whole loop and dropper from one piece of iron wire...works fine for me but I still have 350 of my 800 odd wagons to do. (I use long and short modified rapidos for carriages with decent size bellows and the cuncoupliong pip removed).

On the new layout I have to consider wagons being reversed so I have to retrospectively fit loops to both ends, but damned if I can get them to work properly.

Just a tip for those with DGs who store in foam trays...cut a small piece of card and insert in the ends of each compartment...stops them snagging.

Cheers
Bob
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