Un-coupling

Started by mojo, June 25, 2024, 12:13:47 PM

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mojo

Is it possible to auto disconnect the Farish and Minitrix sprung type couplers either by a ramp or magnetically?
Maurice C.

ntpntpntp

Electrically actuated uncoupling ramps for Rapido couplings have been available from brands such as Minitrix, Fleischmann etc. for decades.  They're a bit large and ugly, and they work best with the heavier weighted Continental N wagons. Some British N wagons are very light and will lift off the rails :( Peco alleviated this to some extent with their Easy Lift Couplings (ELC or "Elsie") which have no spring.

There are manually actuated ramps, also a bit ugly.

You can operate Rapido couplings using an electromagnet and a metal strip glued under the coupling (Peco or Gaugemaster) but if there's other metal on the wagon (metal axle etc.) the whole wagon my be attracted by the magnet.

Personally I just use a dentist's probe tool to lift one coupling.
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

Chris Morris

#2
I use electro magnets with Peco Elsie couplings. I also have a couple of none Elsie couplings where I have merely removed the spring. In this video the toad is by Farish with the coupling spring removed. In order to make the coupling rise I drill a little hole in the coupling shank and glue a suitably re-shaped staple in place. I don't think there is any cheaper method than this and in my experience it is quite effective - so long as you bend the staple correctly. I use the trial & error method for this.

The electromagnet uncoupling can be seen in action in this video. This was just a system test to check everything worked before continuing with scenic work so it is rather crude, illustrates how it works though. When the scenic work is complete I will put a marker on the ground so I know exactly where to stop in order to uncouple wagons without reversing or a sudden jump. You have to go 30 seconds in to see the shunting .

Working doesn't seem to be the perfect thing for me so I'll continue to play.
Steve Marriott / Ronnie Lane

Steven.T

#3
So I haven't given much thought to this (which may end up being apparent!), but would it not be possible (with some accuracy in stopping stock in the right place) to just have a thin rod maybe with a small flat plate on (covered in ballast?) that could be pushed up through the baseboard (via hand, or a servo)to uncouple? Or am I oversimplifying this...
Was thinking the other day I should of included a uncoupling solution when I built the layout when this popped into my head!

ntpntpntp

@Steven.T  Yes been there done that back in the 70s. 

The Peco uncoupling ramp with lever isn't as large as some of the other ramps and probably could be modified to be actuated from under the baseboard.

https://peco-uk.com/products/manual-decoupler?variant=7435677499426

There's still the problem of avoiding lifting the entire wagon off the rails when you raise the ramp, if it's a light wagon.  Electromagnetic uncoupling tends not to do that as you're attracting the metal part of the coup[ling downward.

Despite all these clever uncoupling mechanisms I still prefer the manual approach with a tool I can uncouple any wagon anywhere :) (Within reason. Uncoupling and coupling on curves can be problematic :) )
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!
https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50050.0

emjaybee

Brookline build thread:

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=50207.msg652736#msg652736

Sometimes you bite the dog...

...sometimes the dog bites you!

----------------------------------------------------------

I can explain it to you...

...but I can't understand it for you.

Steven B

#6
Peco's manual uncoupler (SL-300) sits between the tracks with a lever off to one side to raise and lower the uncoupler.

Their PL-25 electromagnetic comes with lift arms which are made from etched steel and are fitted to the Rapido coupling. The lift arms are also available separately (NR-103).

Seep do their own version of the electromagnetic uncoupler (EM1) and lift arms (EM2). The lift arms are a little larger than the Peco version. They're more visible but probably more reliable.

The lift arm (for which you can also use staples) approach works best when they're not fighting against a spring. Peco ELSI work well. Farish sprung couplings may need a couple of turns cutting off the spring.

Then there's the Minitrix uncoupling track (#14969). At £27 they're about ten times the price of the basic manual Peco but probably more reliable.

If you've got mostly modern stock then the Dapol Easi-shunt works well. If you're shunting groups of two or three wagons at a time then only the outer ones need fitting. Conversion kits are available to allow you to fit NEM pockets to older wagons.

Then there are several systems such as B&B:
https://modelrailmusings.weebly.com/bb-couplings.html
DG:
https://www.2mm.org.uk/2FS_Manual/2fs-manual-dg-couplings-v2.pdf
and Sprat and Winkle:
https://www.wizardmodels.ltd/shop/couplings/acn_3/

These need making from etched parts which can be fiddly. When set-up properly they work very well.

Steven B

Firstone18

All very interesting, thanks for posting.
I am now thinking I will have to add some form of remote operation uncoupling to my layout; it ballasted though! I like the idea of an electro-magnet (e-m) solution as easier for me to add an on/off device rather than another servo actuated device. I remember seeing a thread on here regarding a coaling plant which used the e-m solution, and I think, home-made e-m units; I'll try and find it sometime.
As most of my stock is pre-NEM pocket, and I don't want to risk messing it up by fitting NEM pockets, the use of a staple as described is going to be my first trial I think.
Cheers :beers: 
Finally, after waiting over 55 years I am building a permanent layout in a purpose built shed!

chrism

Quote from: Steven B on June 26, 2024, 08:57:01 AMTheir PL-25 electromagnetic comes with lift arms which are made from etched steel and are fitted to the Rapido coupling. The lift arms are also available separately (NR-103).

Seep do their own version of the electromagnetic uncoupler (EM1) and lift arms (EM2). The lift arms are a little larger than the Peco version

Just a word of warning about the lift arms - the Seep/Gaugemaster one need annealing before bending, otherwise they snap almost immediately you try to bend them. Simply heating them to a dull red and letting them cool does the trick. Don't know if the Peco ones are similar.

When I tried using lift arms I had great difficulty in getting them bent just right, so that they lifted the coupling but didn't dig into the ballast or snag on sleepers when uncoupling something, so I use tiny neodymium magnets glued to the underside of the coupling shank so that the electromagnets repel them, lifting the coupling.



woodbury22uk

Sorting through some old magazines yesterday a came across a French modeller who had used magnetic repulsion for uncoupling Rapido style couplers. A 1.5mm diameter neodymium magnet was glued into a hole drilled into the underside of the shaft of the coupler immediately behind the   inboard part of the hook with the South pole on the underside. Another larger neodymium magnet was placed between the rail just below rail level with the South pole uppermost. The downside was that only one end of wagons or locos would be magnet equipped. The track magnet could be retractable to avoid any risk of unplanned uncoupling.

I used something similar for magnetic uncoupling of Fleischmann Profi couplers, and Model Rail even published my article about it. With the Profis, every coupler was magnet equipped.

 
Mike

Membre AFAN 0196

Hailstone

I have used the Gaugemaster system for a number of years on my exhibition layout Tremierten and posted a how to in the tutorial thread you can access it from here:

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=26464.msg286840#msg286840

hope this helps

Alex

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