New Server: Thank you for your patience. We moved to our new server. Everything should be back to normal EXCEPT for the Gallery. We will have that restored shortly and will make an announcement. If you see something that is not working please report it here: Server Upgrade.

!!

Not Registered?

Welcome!  Please register to view all of the new posts and forum boards - some of which are hidden to guests.  After registering and gaining 10 posts you will be able to sell and buy items on our N'porium.

If you have any problems registering, then please check your spam filter before emailing us.  Hotmail users seem to find their emails in the Junk folder.


Thanks for reading,
The NGF Staff.

Author Topic: New coupler development (was Coupling survey)  (Read 30348 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline belstone

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 891
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Belstone blog
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #105 on: August 21, 2014, 11:58:35 AM »

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  :)

The problem is when the wagon is moved across the magnet.  As soon as the steel weight is within range of the magnetic field it pulls the wagon forward.  I now have some ferrite magnets to play with - a lot less powerful, but will still attract a Peco wagon weight when fitted between the rails.  An under-track magnet might be OK, but I don't want to end up with a coupling system that needs me to dig up my ballasted and painted track to install it.

I don't know if anyone other than Peco uses steel weights. Their wagons are a bit on the light side anyway, and some thin lead strip in place of the steel might not be a bad idea.  Steel axles and wheels (e.g. older Farish, Parkside-Dundas) will cause the same problem.

Anyway, Mk2 coupling etches are now on order and I'll see if they work better than the first design.  It is a bit frustrating - these couplings are easy to make and fit, they work perfectly on larger, heavier vehicles but the reliability on short wheelbase wagons just isn't good enough at the moment, and the need to shunt such wagons on my layout is the whole reason I started developing a new coupler design in the first place.

Richard

Offline Rabs

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #106 on: August 21, 2014, 01:39:12 PM »
Steel axles and wheels (e.g. older Farish, Parkside-Dundas) will cause the same problem.

Unfortunately I don't think that it's just older wheels - the Farish wagon wheelsets I bought a few weeks ago have steel axles.

Offline PostModN66

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 17980
  • Posts: 1946
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • YouTube
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #107 on: August 21, 2014, 06:55:44 PM »
With careful work you could use my system without digging up the track - drill a small pilot hole between the sleepers, then very carefully drill upwards with a larger drill to make a hole to install the tube, stopping when you get to the bottom of the sleepers!

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

My Postmodern Image Layouts

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 belstone

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 891
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Belstone blog
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #108 on: August 22, 2014, 09:22:41 AM »

Unfortunately I don't think that it's just older wheels - the Farish wagon wheelsets I bought a few weeks ago have steel axles.

I hadn't noticed any problems with the Farish vehicles I was testing but you are right, they have steel axles.  I tried a cattle van with the couplings removed and there is a slight tendency to be pulled towards the centre of the magnet, but I don't think it is strong enough to be a problem, unlike the Peco wagons.

Offline belstone

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 891
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Belstone blog
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #109 on: August 22, 2014, 09:26:25 AM »
With careful work you could use my system without digging up the track - drill a small pilot hole between the sleepers, then very carefully drill upwards with a larger drill to make a hole to install the tube, stopping when you get to the bottom of the sleepers!

Cheers Jon  :)

I like your system a lot, but I want to keep experimenting with fixed magnets for now due to their sheer simplicity. By the end of next week I should be a bit further forward with the testing - aiming to equip two locos and about a dozen assorted coaches and wagons once the new etches arrive.

Offline belstone

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 891
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Belstone blog
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #110 on: September 03, 2014, 10:31:48 PM »
Edging towards a successful coupling design... The Mk 2 couplings are a lot more robust than the first version and less prone to self uncoupling. Short wheelbase wagons, even lightweight Peco ones, work fine provided there is no steel content.  That includes wheelsets, ballast weights, the nuts that Peco use to secure the body to the chassis and even the steel bracing wires on Peco 10' tank wagons. Peco nylon wheelsets will fit Farish wagons but need the axleboxes drilling out as the Peco axles are longer than the Farish ones.

I am now confident enough to have dug up all the Microtrains magnets on my layout and replaced them with small neodymium bar magnets which sit about level with the top of the sleepers.  After experimenting with increasingly ornate and hard to bend bar designs I have found that a simple 'U' shape works best. Why didn't I try that at the start? Having ordered some 'copper' pins that turned out to be plated steel I tried using them to make the loops.  I won't be doing that again. The loops have to be non-magnetic.

A few issues still to overcome, not least that my layout has taken offence at being ignored for three months and developed a whole bundle of running problems, much finger poking required to get any of my locos to run. So it is a bit hard to assess reliability of the couplings until I sort that out.  I'm probably getting about 90% reliability in coupling, 75% in uncoupling and delayed uncoupling. Not good enough but I'm working on it.

I also have a problem on some vehicles with the loop dropping over the back of the delay bar and locking vehicles together.  Looks like I might need to fit a buffer pad under the coupling shank, still trying to work out the best way to build that into the etch.

And sadly it looks like all my Parkwood kit built wagons are scrap.  They have steel weights, and the Peco chassis are firmly Superglued to the bodies and won't separate whatever I try.


Offline belstone

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 891
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Belstone blog
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #111 on: September 03, 2014, 11:38:27 PM »
A short video showing the couplings in operation - jerky hesitant running and all.  For the cynics among you - this was the first take.

http://youtu.be/pIofK1GQNGM

Offline Caz

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 23044
  • Posts: 5251
  • Country: es
  • Gender: Female
  • Fairford Branch ticket 1958
    • Twitter
    • YouTube
    • Skype
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #112 on: September 04, 2014, 08:15:50 AM »
Regrettably that's me out of this coupling as I converted all my plastic wheel stock to metal wheels to get rid of the horrible crud that nylon wheels generate on the the track.  I also need metal wheels as I use them for pickups for track detection and to power things light coach and guards van lights etc :sorrysign:

Offline Rabs

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 380
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #113 on: September 04, 2014, 08:18:58 AM »
Regrettably that's me out of this coupling as I converted all my plastic wheel stock to metal wheels to get rid of the horrible crud that nylon wheels generate on the the track.  I also need metal wheels as I use them for pickups for track detection and to power things light coach and guards van lights etc :sorrysign:

Sadly I'm in the same boat.  Using metal wheels is more important to me than having better couplings.

Offline talisman56

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 23209
  • Posts: 1291
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #114 on: September 04, 2014, 08:52:40 AM »
A short video showing the couplings in operation - jerky hesitant running and all.  For the cynics among you - this was the first take.

http://youtu.be/pIofK1GQNGM


Looking good - as one becomes used to operating them, the short trip backwards to uncouple before shunting forward will become an imperceptable movement...
My inspiration - never let a setback get you down...

My layout thread - Hambleside East: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=18364.0
My workbench thread: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=19037

Offline Newportnobby

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+63)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 21962
  • Posts: 29974
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #115 on: September 04, 2014, 10:05:35 AM »
For a first take it looks pretty damned good :thumbsup:

Offline NeilWhite

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
  • Country: au
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #116 on: September 04, 2014, 10:09:11 AM »

Hi

There are a couple of things from MicroTrains that can be useful for other types of delayed uncouplers.

On the subject of uncoupler magnets, on my shunting plank layout I use MicroTrains couplers, and use their under-track magnets in a set up something like that displayed here: http://whiteriverandnorthern.net/clinic_30.htm
It's a bit 'Heath Robinson', but it is easy to set up and does work, and deals with the uncoupling-at-the-wrong-time issue effectively.

Also MicroTrains sell little springs that you put on the end of one or two axles (i.e. between the wheel and the wagon frame) which help with the wagon being pulled toward the uncoupler magnet. They don't seem to add a lot of drag in normal running.  A lot of the wagons on my shunting plank are Peco, and I've replaced the steel weights with other material - brass, lead, or the tungsten putty that fishermen use these days use instead of lead. I think the springs are included in some of the Microtrains coupler packets and were once (I haven't bought any of this stuff for a while) available separately as well.

Neil


 

Offline belstone

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 891
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Belstone blog
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #117 on: September 04, 2014, 11:53:35 AM »
Regrettably that's me out of this coupling as I converted all my plastic wheel stock to metal wheels to get rid of the horrible crud that nylon wheels generate on the the track.  I also need metal wheels as I use them for pickups for track detection and to power things light coach and guards van lights etc :sorrysign:

I'd rather have metal wheels myself. I'm wondering how much it would cost to have replacement axles for Farish wheelsets made in brass or stainless. Always assuming the wheels come off the old axles easily enough of course.  Could be done in two lengths, Farish axles being a bit shorter than Peco. A CNC lathe could probably knock them out by the thousand - maybe even with a step to ensure accurate back to back and axle centring without needing a gauge.

Offline belstone

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 891
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Belstone blog
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #118 on: September 04, 2014, 10:59:32 PM »
I might have been wrong about Farish steel axles.  As an experiment I just fitted the couplings to a Farish cattle van. I replaced the steel ballast weight with lead but kept the Farish metal wheels.  It works fine, no tendency to self-uncouple or otherwise misbehave. No different to my other cattle van which has Peco plastic wheels. I've noticed the current Farish wagons don't seem as free-running as the old Peco ones, which helps when you are using permanent magnets.

Now I just need to buy a few more new Farish wagons to replace my Parkwood/Peco ones, and see if the cattle van was just a fluke. And do something about the loops over-riding the delay bars, which I've found is a much bigger problem with NEM side-sprung coupler pockets than fixed ones. I know why it is happening, just need a neat, simple fix for it.

Richard

Offline Newportnobby

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+63)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 21962
  • Posts: 29974
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Coupling survey
« Reply #119 on: September 05, 2014, 10:00:23 AM »
The work you are putting into this is much appreciated, Richard.
OK, it's mainly for your own reward but potentially many of us could gain from it so......
 :thankyousign:

 

Please Support Us!
December Goal: £55.00
Due Date: Dec 31
Total Receipts: £120.00
Above Goal: £65.00
Site Currency: GBP
218% 
December Donations


Advertise Here
anything