Coupling system discussion

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lu4472ke
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Coupling system discussion

Post by lu4472ke » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:48 pm

I'm slowly building up stock for my new layout, and have taken the tension lock couplings off because I don't like them. So I've been looking at alternatives. I want to use something that can be operated with electromagnets.

Kadees: I like them, but they can look a bit out of place on UK stock, easy to fit. Can be operated with electromagnets

Spratt and Winkles: They look easy to assemble and I don't see why they can't be operated with electromagnets

DG's: These look a little more difficult to assemble but they can be operated with electromagnets

Dinghams: Look quite difficult to assemble, and can be operated with electromagnets. As a bonus they can be used with stock fitted with scale couplings

I did play with the couplings that are found on European HO stock, but they didn't work that well.

I did think about creating my own, but I couldn't think of something that hadn't been done already or would've did what I wanted.

I'm open for other suggestions if I've missed any

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kimballthurlow
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by kimballthurlow » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:38 pm

Hi,
There is the Alex Jackson coupling electromagnet useable - and a very old design.
I have used this on a display layout, it can be quite successful.
See this descriptive link http://www.mmrs.co.uk/technical-article ... -coupling/

Having used Kadee for many years, I can surely recommend them being robust and practical so long as you have the height above rail correctly positioned. These have the advantage of being able to use a plain magnet (not electrically activated).

I believe the layout Grantham - the Streamliner Years, and others of this parish use Kadees successfully.

As for the tension-lock, well they may look odd, but in running a layout they never give trouble.

Kimball

lu4472ke
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by lu4472ke » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:09 am

Those Alex Jackson couplings look very fragile, but I like the idea.

Kadees I have considered using on the passenger stock, but I'm not sure about those yet

jwealleans
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by jwealleans » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:54 am

My advice is to find a way to try them all. I've used S & Ws and like them, but Kadees, which should work in the same way, I can't really get on with. AJs I also have my reservations about. Paul Gallon gets on very will with Dinghams on his layouts, but I haven't tried them.
Last edited by jwealleans on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

mick b
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by mick b » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:43 am

I tried Dinghams , I coudnt get them to go round any type of curve without derailing the stock no matter what length.

Kadees are plain ugly and nothing like Briish practise, therfore ignored.

I now use suppled tension lock on passenger stock (due to lengths involved and again curves) and and Smiths 3 link/screw for wagons , a pain to couple up but look much better than anything else.

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Atlantic 3279
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by Atlantic 3279 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:17 am

My experience of the Kadees on Grantham has been mixed, and they are certainly not cheap. Not all stock from the pre-coupling-pocket era (nor most things with proper finescale features under bufferbeams / headstocks) can be readily fitted with Kadees unless hacked about. If the right degree of centring action in the spring isn't present they don't behave properly. Which ever way they are mounted, even in factory fitted coupling pockets, you can have problems with uncoupling under tension if the things deflect up or down under load, something likely to happen if the coupling itself has a stepped or cranked stem, putting the head at a different height to the fixing.
Most subjects, models and techniques covered in this thread are now listed in various categories on page1

Dec. 2018: Almost all images that disappeared from my own thread following loss of free remote hosting are now restored.

lu4472ke
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by lu4472ke » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:41 am

From what Atlantic 3279 has said I'm probably not going to use Kadees.

I have seen Dinghams modified so they can go around radius curves

The thing I don't like about 3/Screw links is that you have to reach over the backscene and couple/uncouple them, which I'm not very good at.

For me its now between DG's, S&W's, and Dinghams.

I don't think I'd be very good at assembling Dinghams, so advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by drmditch » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:01 pm

For what it's worth, for my railway with 24" radius curves in the storage sidings and remote uncoupling required in said sidings, I have not found any sensible functional alternatives to the 'new style' small tension-lock couplings.

They may look clunky, but if they are properly mounted as regards height they work well. I can reverse a 16 vehicle goods train over a junction without buffer locking. It helps if all vehicles are suitably weighted.

I also use these for non-vestibuled coaching stock. For vestibuled stock I use Keen Systems buck-eye system which looks right to my eyes and also works well. The outer vehicles and locomotive tenders need tension-locks.

lu4472ke
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by lu4472ke » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:37 pm

Theres something to consider

I've seen that tension locks can be uncoupled with magnets, they have to be Bachmann ones but its something to consider

drmditch
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by drmditch » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:02 pm

For remote uncoupling I just use a pre-installed flexible plastic ramp.
Works very well.

lu4472ke
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by lu4472ke » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:25 pm

I'm not a big fan of the uncoupling ramps, I don't like they way they look. I'd prefer if I can to have magnets/electromagnets buried in the trackbed.

Does anyone know if DG's have delayed uncoupling?

Hatfield Shed
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by Hatfield Shed » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:57 pm

I have settled on Bachmann's miniature tension lock, with selective application of the Brian Kirby modification for magnetic uncoupling, for all my unfitted goods stock. Assets: it works, is reliable and robust, will propel up to sixty wagons on plain track curves > 30" radius and any point network using Peco medium, SMP or copperclad, points of nominal 36" and greater radius; for curves of 24"+ radius can be positioned for realistic spacing for loose coupled stock, so that the wagons buffer up when pushed, open out to about 2mm between bufferheads when pulled.

I would prefer an autocoupler that looks more like 3 link, that will do all this, but haven't found it yet.

My fitted freights currently have this coupler, but I do want to move to an all buffered-up system, with as close a resemblance to screwlinks between vehicles as possible. No solution yet. Anyone?
Atlantic 3279 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:17 am
My experience of the Kadees on Grantham has been mixed, and they are certainly not cheap. Not all stock from the pre-coupling-pocket era (nor most things with proper finescale features under bufferbeams / headstocks) can be readily fitted with Kadees unless hacked about. If the right degree of centring action in the spring isn't present they don't behave properly. Which ever way they are mounted, even in factory fitted coupling pockets, you can have problems with uncoupling under tension if the things deflect up or down under load, something likely to happen if the coupling itself has a stepped or cranked stem, putting the head at a different height to the fixing.
I have nothing but good to say of the Kadee; and since it actually resembles the buckeye coupler, it's a perfect fit for the LNER that continued implementing this coupler as standard on gangwayed passenger vehicles, following the GNR's lead. (The buckeye or knuckle coupler and Pullman gangway system combination entered GNR service in the 1890s, it's hardly a newcomer to the UK...)

BUT! Like so much else in RTR kit suited for use in 4mm, the Kadee was developed for HO. The individual user needs to decide whether to go with HO system settings - that includes the NEM coupler pocket - or to strike out on a path they feel appropriate. Install the Kadee coupler securely body mounted with the shaft through the bottom edge of the bufferbeam - pretty much where the coupler should be - and unsurprisingly the problems melt away, and the appearance is improved. The magnetic actuation 'tail' will then be above Kadee's gauge height, but their magnetic uncouplers still work in my experience, and the tail can be straightened slightly to come 'in range' should that prove necessary.

RTR Coach stock with close coupling NEM pocket systems can use clip in bars, Keen mouldings, or Roco or Fleischmann design couplers to produce the optimal rigid links. I use these within all RTR fixed formation gangwayed passenger sets. Once set up reliability is fine and the effect very good. (Someone's chance discovery that the Roco pattern with the uncoupling loop removed is fully effective inverted and confers superior appearance was a welcome fairly recent add.) Body mounted Kadees on set ends enable reliable auto coupling and uncoupling.

lu4472ke
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by lu4472ke » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:38 pm

I'm not ruling out tension lock couplings as I could make them work with some fettling.

My original thought was to have Kadees on the passenger stock and then something else on the freight stock, but what has been said about Kadees I have now moved away from this.

I'm still thinking about using DG's or S&W's.

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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by PGBerrie » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:35 pm

I've used DGs on my N gauge layout. I cannot say how they behave as I have not done much uncoupling yet, but I have seen them in action on other layouts.

The coupler body comes in two parts on an etch and is easily made up. The fiddly part is the coupling loops which are made from phosphor-bronze wire bent tightly around a former - needs a little care to get all about the same size. Perhaps it's easier in OO. The actual magnetic part is a piece of iron wire bent to shape around round-ended pliers and soldered to the phosphor-bronze loop. The pieces really need to be chemically blackened before mounting. I mount (glue) mine on packing, flush with the bottom of the buffer beams.
WP_20191017_001[1].jpg
N Gauge DG couplings
As with all coupling systems, it's important that they are all mounted at the same height.

Graeme Leary
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Re: Coupling system discussion

Post by Graeme Leary » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:17 am

I too am going through this exercise and have more or less decided on Smith's (I think it is) product 'Instanter' couplings which apparently imitate the close couplings as used in unfitted goods wagons, but in my case on my 7 and 8 carriage expresses.

The downside is apparently that when fitted they become permanent so, if as I planned, to use them on a rake of 7 or 8 coaches, it is impossible to handle them all altogether if eg removing a set of this number from the layout, they are best fitted to coaches in pairs (or, if goods wagons, say 4, maybe 5 - also manageable by hand) with some other coupling make between them.

My original plan was to use these these 'Instanters' on expresses (to get rid of the - I agree - 'ugly' standard tension couplings) and my thinking now is to use Kadee between these pairs and also on each loco, particularly in the front where any type of tension couplings look far too heavy.

I have 'experimented' with Kadee and whilst maybe not UK prototypical they look vastly better than any variation of tension couplings and seem to be performing well between my express locos and the first carriage in the sets. I am pleased to read Hatfield Shed's comments - it does suggest I'm doing the right thing and even now considering to fix Kadee to my goods wagons as well.

With this in mind my dilemma is how to fit Kadees to some of the many older wagons such as Lima, Mainline, Triang that do not have the NEM 362 'slot' so cannot take the Kadee product. These have a multitude of coupling types, most of which are a 'one-piece' block (which includes the coupling) screwed underneath and just behind the buffer beam. I think it is likely I will have to cobble something together as I cannot locate a ready made block with the NEM362 slot that can be screwed/glued underneath in place of the original - mainly wider 'hook' - tension couplings but if anybody is aware of such a product I'd be one very happy little modeller.

Graeme Leary
New Zealand

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