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Uncoupling in N Gauge





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#1 Mutley

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 14:08

Good afternoon all, well after a bit of upheaval in the old home life and a few months in the modelling wilderness, my interest has been re-ignited again and this is my first post on the new Forum.

The cause? Those new Farish Class 47??™s! N Gauge suddenly seems to make sense and having sold off a good deal of my OO Gauge stock over the last few months, maybe that??™s the direction I should head in?

I often see it said that N Gauge is good for watching the trains just running through the landscape, which I??™m not sure would suit me, although that??™s ok from time to time. I??™m more interested in operation and that means uncoupling ??“ I??™ve seen something advertised by Peco in the past for automatically uncoupling with Rapido couplings, but does it work? If not, what are my options? I??™m thinking more of Terminus type operations, so running fixed rakes of coaches with the odd loose vehicle being added / removed.

Thanks in advance from a nearly convert!
Mike.


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#2 Mike W

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 14:39

Hi Mike,

Earlier this year, Farish announced that they are developing a replacement for the Rapido, which should help. If I remember correctly, it is due for release next year.

More info here: GF Website News Item

Cheers

Mike

#3 Anglian

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 15:13

Sorry the brand names escape me at the moment but there are two types that can be folded up from brass etches that the 2mm F/S people use. They de-couple using electro magnets placed under the track. I've seen this system in operation on Chipping Norton and it worked faultlessly with very many shunting movements.

Perhaps somebody would remind me of the name of the company who supplies them??¦

#4 Karhedron

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 15:29

Perhaps somebody would remind me of the name of the company who supplies them??¦

D&G and B&B are probably the ones you are thinking of. They are certainly cost effective as they just fold up from brass etches. I am seriously contemplating the B&Bs (they seem slightly easier as they can be glued rather than soldered together). However I am waiting until I have seen the new Farish coupler. It seems like the Microtrains coupler with the advatage that it will fit NEM pockets (something MT currently do not support).

I am not too fussed about different designs but the following features are important to me.

1) Reliable coupling up, staying coupled and uncoupling remotely.

2) The ability to fit it without having to hack up stock so that I can revert to rapidos if I ever want to sell something.

3) Look less visually obtrusive than the Rapido (nice to have but not essential)

Farish's announcement is very timely. Also MT have hinted that they may have an NEM version in the works. Ideally I would like coupler produced in 2 versions. An NEM version for new stock and a Rapido box version for older stuff. At the moment I am holding off on making any changes but it may be a case of "watch this space"!

#5 Campaman

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 15:31

I think may be you mean the MBM couplings, available from the N gauge society.

#6 Mutley

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 20:05

Thanks for your replies all, a few things for me to think about and research a bit further.

As far as NEM's are concerned, I assume that these are a recent thing? I remember seeing a review of the new Farish 37's in one of the mags which showed it had a pocket and I remember making a mental note of that.

This is quite a dilemma: I've disposed of most of my Heljan 47's and was about to order the three new Bachmann locos as a compromise in terms of quantity and now am not sure whether or not to buy the Farish ones instead!

#7 Karhedron

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 21:29

This is quite a dilemma: I've disposed of most of my Heljan 47's and was about to order the three new Bachmann locos as a compromise in terms of quantity and now am not sure whether or not to buy the Farish ones instead!

I may be biased but the new Farish 47s do look very smart. My hunch would be to go for them in the knowledge that there will soon be 1 (if not 2) easy plug in replacement couplers.

And if you do not mind a little fettling, B&B couplings can be fitted into NEM pockets, see this thread from the old RMweb.

http://www.rmweb.co.....php?f=8&t=7374

#8 Mutley

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 21:56

I've added them and taken them out of my basket on the Hattons website a couple of times now! I've actually got a load of Kato Unitrack in the loft as well as a couple of Shinkansen booksets that I'd totally forgotten about so would at least have something to run them on!

I may be biased but the new Farish 47s do look very smart. My hunch would be to go for them in the knowledge that there will soon be 1 (if not 2) easy plug in replacement couplers.

And if you do not mind a little fettling, B&B couplings can be fitted into NEM pockets, see this thread from the old RMweb.

http://www.rmweb.co.....php?f=8&t=7374



#9 mikes rail

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 22:22

Being playing around with some of the after market couplings on some N gauge stock over last few weeks. Most older items of rolling stock will have to have the coupling box cut away to fit replacment. I found the MBM ones the easiest to fit once old coupling and box has been removed but it all goes down to personal choice. With some of the new locos that are around having a shunting layout in N gauge is much more workable than it used to be.

#10 grahame

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 22:34

There's a whole gambit of coupling options in N gauge. Here's my simplistic synopsis of them;

Main N Gauge coupler types

Arnold Rapido - a chunky squared-off knuckle style hook coupler usually moulded in strong plastic and offering push together coupling. Uncoupling requires that one of the couplers is raised up either by ramp or by adapting the coupler with a small piece of metal (such as a track pin or the Peco coupler lift arms Ref NR-103) which is then attracted by magnet to make the coupler move/pivot. The stock end of the coupler is usually housed in a largish rectangular box, that also often includes a spring, and which is attached to either a bogie or directly under the chassis.

Kadee/MictroTrains - sophisticated working miniature buck-eye style coupler that offers automatic functionality for coupling and un-coupling making it suitable for shunting, and is commonly found/used on American N scale trains. Atlas also produce an MT compatible version known as Accurail.

Fleischmann Profi - is designed for reliable auto-coupling and delayed uncoupling, rather than aesthetics, and is consequently almost as ugly and as bulky as the Arnold Rapido.

Tomix TN - is a range of well regarded couplers from Tomix that includes a buck-eye style version and a miniature working Scharfenberg/BSI type prototype coupler in a range of mounts more suited for close coupling of fixed rakes rather than for shunting. The Scharfenbergs clip-couple up when pushed together, but require significantly more force to separate. The new Dapol Class 156 Sprinter and Class 153 DMU railcar are fitted with these type of couplers on the outer ends. However, they offer realistic looks and close scale coupling.

Generic buck-eyes (see 2.2, 3.1 and 3.2) - are relatively neat and small, but usually limited in functionality, although some provide for a closer to scale coupling gap.

Specialist ???home made??™ types (see 4.2 to 4.7) - usually of a swinging hook/latch design that are assembled from etched brass/wire, and need accuracy to install and align, However, when set up they can provide reliable automatic coupling and uncoupling functionality, although uncoupling is usually limited to occur at a line-side located magnets or electro-magnets.

1.0 Options for adapting existing fitted Arnold Rapido style couplers

1.1 N Brass etched brass hook. Requires Rapido coupling hook head to be trimmed and etched hook to be folded and glued to coupler. Simple, cheap and reduces coupling gap,
1.2 Bespoke adaptation of existing Rapido coupler by making and locating a new spring forward on the part of the shank within the pocket (see article in NGS journal 5/04). This helps reduce the coupling distance without adulterating the coupling hook/head.

2.0 Options to fit NEM sockets

NEM standard coupling pockets offer simple push in - pull out installation. Most new stock is now fitted with this style of coupler socket.

2.1 Shorter shank Rapido couplers are now available from Farish/Bachmann (ref 379-402 NEM short couplings).
2.2 Manufacturers (i.e. Dapol) own buck-eye knuckle style coupler (usually supplied as alternatives to Rapidos with NEM socket fitted stock).
2.3 Profi coupler from Fleischmann. Bulky/large coupler that offers full auto coupling/uncoupling functionality.
2.4 Kadee/MicroTrains buck-eye style knuckle couplers offering magnetically operated full function coupling/uncoupling. Unfortunately despite a promise for development this is still awaiting production.

3.0 Options to fit Rapido box pockets

Traditionally just abut all stock was fitted with this type of pocket to accept the standard Arnold Rapido coupler. However, there are many subtly different types of pocket and style of coupler operation. They broadly fall in to two camps; those fitted with a spring and those without such as the Peco ELSIE type. Although the alternative style of coupler options to fit the pocket are claimed to be twist and push in, they are generally more fiddly to install than NEM types, may require trimming to fit particular socket boxes and will not fit the ELSIE pocket without significant alteration.

3.1 Two part buck-eye style knuckle coupler from Kato (ref 11-702 JR JNR coupling replacement). Although this provides just a small coupling distance improvement it is a smaller and neater looking coupler with push together coupling but no auto-uncoupling functionality.
3.2 One piece buck-eye style knuckle coupler called Unimate from Red Caboose. Smaller and simpler than the Kato and offered in a range of short, medium and long shank lengths to significantly improve coupling distance although no auto-coupling/un-coupling functionality.
3.3 A limited range of short, medium and long shank length fully functioning buck-eye style knuckle couplers from MicroTrains (ref 1128/1129/1130).
3.4 A limited range of Tomix TN couplings that fit the Rapido pocket box (ref 0381 which is a Sharfenberg style coupler and ref 0391 which is a buck-eye type)

4.0 Options not using existing mounts

Generally these are the most fiddly and difficult solutions that require a decent level of skill, and often including soldering, to assemble and install. Plus the mounting of them is usually more critical and can require significant butchery to the model including cutting away the Rapido socket box..

4.1 Fit yourself Tomix TN Scharfenburg style couplers complete with articulated close coupling swing housing for installation in place of Rapido box. .
4.2 Assemble and fit yourself MT coupling.
4.3 Assemble and fit yourself DG coupling.
4.4 Assemble and fit yourself B&B coupling.
4.5 Assemble and fit yourself MBM coupling.
4.6 Assemble and fit yourself MBD coupling. No soldering required, although fiddly, and works with some of the other types (see article in NGS journal 3/07).
4.7 Assemble and fit yourself Sprat and Winkle coupling.
4.8 Make and fit yourself Alex Jackson style coupling
4.9 Make and fit yourself hook and eye/bar style coupler
4.10 Make and fit yourself three link and hook style coupler

HTH.

G.
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#11 Mutley

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 22:53

Thanks Mike / Grahame. Crikey there's a lot to think about!

#12 Etched Pixels

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 00:47

Two quite updates to that

Profi couplers fit the Farish "box" design (as it is based on the continental coupler box). If you want functionality as a priority they are superb couplers, they don't tend to randomly come apart on uneven track like the microtrains ones, they delayed uncouple and they are reliable. They are however no more visually pretty than rapido, but they do autocouple/uncouple etc excellently - great for little shunting planks. There is also a profi "close coupler" unit which is brilliant for sorting out the Farish long wheelbase vans and making them close couple and although intended for a Profi coupler head can of course be abused for other things.

Several of the Scharfenberg type designs will fit Farish coupling pockets. They are great for DMUs as you can 'prune' the plumbing each side easily to get a BSI style coupler that works for DMUs and is very realistic looking.



Personally I mix and match. The fixed coach rakes I run have unimate buckeyes internally along with TPM retracted buffers so that they really close couple, ditto fixed wagon block trains that don't get uncoupled on the layout and the DMU stock has "pruned" kato scharfenbergs. Farish now sell multiple lengths of rapido which is also progress.

It is possible to do uncoupling with rapido couplers - there is a peco thing and a better seep one for magnetic uncoupling of modified couplers while several mainland european vendors sell rapido uncouplers that are mechanical (lift arm) style, or you can knock them up out of bits of plasticard pretty easily if you don't need a fancy long range operating function.
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#13 Mutley

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:26

Thanks for that, all useful info. I think I might buy one loco and a rake of coaches to be going on with and take it from there.

Two quite updates to that

Profi couplers fit the Farish "box" design (as it is based on the continental coupler box). If you want functionality as a priority they are superb couplers, they don't tend to randomly come apart on uneven track like the microtrains ones, they delayed uncouple and they are reliable. They are however no more visually pretty than rapido, but they do autocouple/uncouple etc excellently - great for little shunting planks. There is also a profi "close coupler" unit which is brilliant for sorting out the Farish long wheelbase vans and making them close couple and although intended for a Profi coupler head can of course be abused for other things.

Several of the Scharfenberg type designs will fit Farish coupling pockets. They are great for DMUs as you can 'prune' the plumbing each side easily to get a BSI style coupler that works for DMUs and is very realistic looking.



Personally I mix and match. The fixed coach rakes I run have unimate buckeyes internally along with TPM retracted buffers so that they really close couple, ditto fixed wagon block trains that don't get uncoupled on the layout and the DMU stock has "pruned" kato scharfenbergs. Farish now sell multiple lengths of rapido which is also progress.

It is possible to do uncoupling with rapido couplers - there is a peco thing and a better seep one for magnetic uncoupling of modified couplers while several mainland european vendors sell rapido uncouplers that are mechanical (lift arm) style, or you can knock them up out of bits of plasticard pretty easily if you don't need a fancy long range operating function.









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