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Author Topic: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?  (Read 414 times)

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Online Paul-H

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What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« on: October 12, 2018, 10:47:29 PM »
Hi all

What is the most reliable NEM compatible coupling, by reliable I mean that they stay coupled with minimal random uncoupling.

I have tried standard Farish/Dapol Rapido, Farish Short Rapido, Dapol Nemcoup and Dapol Easi Shunt.

Of those I fine the easi shunt offer the most reliability, but they are very expensive to use on my whole fleet and they are rather prone to losing the little spring, which is a right PITA to replace.

Are there any other types of NEM couplings I could try that offer more consistent and reliable coupling.

Actually the most reliable coupling is to use two Dapol Nemcoups held together with a small bit of heat shrink, turning them into a sort of drawbar, it works well but is best used on wagons and coaches with bogies or on large radius curves.

I was also thinking about chopping the hook of the Rapido coupling and gluing on a small magnet, although that would have the same issues as the drawbar method above.

Thanks for your recommendations.

Paul
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Offline PostModN66

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 07:07:45 AM »
Paul,

I have used for some applications a pair of NEM Rapidos with the heads chopped off, holes drilled in the remaining stub and a staple made up of thin wire through the holes.

The purpose of this is to be able to take awkward stock round a tight radius, but it has the bonus of very low visual impact and 100% reliability.  The only drawback is it is a bit fiddly to hook them up.

Cheers Jon 😊
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 07:09:33 AM by PostModN66 »
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Offline DCCDave

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2018, 07:28:57 AM »
I've found Flieshmann Profi couplings to be very reliable.

Cheers
Dave

Online Bob Tidbury

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2018, 09:05:01 AM »
Standard Rapido with a dab of TACKY WAX never failed yet ,but you can still manually pull the couplings apart.
Bob Tidbury

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2018, 09:08:10 AM »
Yeah Fleischmann Profi, but they are ugly.     

I've stuck with Rapidos for maximum compatibility with whatever I buy (old or new) and with other people's stock running on my layout at shows.  Hardly ever get any uncoupling problems, if something repeatedly misbehaves it's usually just down to two different brands having height issues so I move the wagon somewhere else in the train.   Copydex can help with semi-permanently fixed rakes.
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Offline PLD

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2018, 09:13:33 AM »
Actually the most reliable coupling is to use two Dapol Nemcoups held together with a small bit of heat shrink, turning them into a sort of drawbar, it works well but is best used on wagons and coaches with bogies or on large radius curves.

I was also thinking about chopping the hook of the Rapido coupling and gluing on a small magnet, although that would have the same issues as the drawbar method above.
There are 3 or 4 suppliers of 3-D printed drawbars with a NEM fitting at both ends - do a search on Shapeways. Probably your simplest option for the internal couplings within fixed rakes that you don't need to uncouple in service.

Offline kirky

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2018, 09:30:29 AM »
Its worth finding @belstone 's thread on developing his tension lock coupler and reading through it. The most pertinent finding I think is that Dapol and Farish NEM pockets and couplings are NOT the same. This obviously causes some headaches in trying to get a coupling perfected that works in both pockets. From what I understand he has just about perfected his tension lock coupling and its about 100% reliable for shunting, therefore it has a delayed action auto uncoupling capability. And it fits in an NEM pocket. Im really looking forward to these becoming available and will be buying several.
However, the most reliable coupling that I have found is the most awkward to fit, and that is the drawbar(s) from Shapeways. On another thread Ive asked if the drawbar which comes with the Revolutions IZAs can be made available. Ben Ando says its a possibility.

Cheers
Kirky
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Offline geoffc

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2018, 09:47:56 AM »
I use the Liliput drawbars L949112 on several fixed rakes of bogie stock and find they are fine. They are made of plastic and not brittle like some of the 3D ones.

Geoff

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2018, 11:42:15 AM »
Thanks for all the replies guys

I have ordered some of the Dapol Drawbars from shapeways (As all my NEM Pockets are Dapols) will report back with an update when they arrive in a month or so.

Paul
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Offline Newportnobby

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2018, 12:37:36 PM »
Standard Rapido with a dab of TACKY WAX never failed yet ,but you can still manually pull the couplings apart.
Bob Tidbury

Seconded - especially with Peco Elsie couplings

Online railsquid

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2018, 01:25:09 PM »
Standard Rapido with a dab of TACKY WAX never failed yet ,but you can still manually pull the couplings apart.
Bob Tidbury

Seconded - especially with Peco Elsie couplings

The Rapido is an excellent standard and works surprisingly well between both old and new stock from a wide range of manufacturers and countries... Except if you're trying to assemble a mixed rake of Mk1/Mk2/Mk3 stock (as typical for the WCML in the BR blue/intercity era) as the rake will disassemble itself along the Farish/Dapol "transition" at the slightest vertical provocation.  :veryangry:

When I get round to it, the plan is to convert the couplings within the rake to Fleischmann Profi couplings (leaving the ends of the carriages, which will be brakes of some variety with Rapidos). I had a similar issue with a particular (second-hand) Fleischmann coach, where the NEM pocket appears to be slightly out-of-whack (and not responsive to adjustments), replacing it with Profi couplings neatly resolved the issue.
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Offline kirky

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2018, 02:48:13 PM »
I've not seen the Fleishmann profi couplings before. They look very good. There is a video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K6FBR5wRWU which some people might find interesting, Seventy quid for 50 of them - hmmm  :hmmm:

Kirky
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Offline tutenkhamunsleeping

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2018, 04:44:55 PM »
which some people might find interesting, Seventy quid for 50 of them - hmmm  :hmmm:

Hmm indeed, I might have to try some of those. Substantially cheaper then the Dapol magnetics, looking on the bright side 8)

Online woodbury22uk

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2018, 04:47:55 PM »
I've not seen the Fleishmann profi couplings before. They look very good. There is a video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K6FBR5wRWU which some people might find interesting, Seventy quid for 50 of them - hmmm  :hmmm:

Kirky


I found that the Profi delayed uncoupling feature worked well. About 10 years ago when I was using these regularly I perfected a means of magnetic uncoupling. A 1mm diameter x 1 mm deep neodymium magnet was placed in a hole drilled in the mobile latch which sits on top of the coupler. These were repelled upwards and sideways by a pair of permanent magnets set in the sleeper spaces with a vacant space between the magnets.

I found that I could propel a pair of pre-uncoupled wagons round the whole of the main run on my then layout without recoupling occurring. This was 8 metres in total and included S curves through facing and trailing pointwork. The one downside was that after 5 years the magnet in the couplers needed to be replaced as they almost completely dissolved due to corrosion! Replacement was not difficult but I now only use the Profis in fixed rakes of continental grain wagons, which come from 4 or 5 manufacturers and are reluctant to stay fully coupled.


"Model Rail" published an article based on this method in early 2009. You can just about make out the magnet at the extreme left of the left hand coupler in this photo.



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Offline roundhouse

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Re: What's the most reliable NEM coupling ?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 05:18:15 PM »
On Banbury I have used the Rapido, Profi, Dapol fixed knuckle and the Easi Shunt couplings. The Profi type works on dome Dapol mk 3's but on some rakes they droop too low and catch turnouts causing derailments so I have removed them from most sets and gone back to the fixed knuckle for intermediate coaches but you have to be careful that when coupling they font force the close coupling system to spring apart.

The best are the Easi Shunt but to avoid the spring from falling out I apply a tiny stop of canopy ue to one end of the spring before fitting them.. The fixed knuckle is used on intermediate wagons where they are in rakes but do require a drop of canopy glue to stop them bouncing and uncoupling.
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