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Uncoupling Refined


RedgateModels

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One thing that has been evident from operating my O guage layout Fourgig East at shows is that my makeshift uncoupling hook for 3-link couplings is a bit, well, poor, and I only have one of them so operators have to share!

 

Having seen 3 Link of this parish's "key idea" ( http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/50279-o-gauge-auto-couplings/&do=findComment&comment=579380) I thought I'd have a go. I first made a plastic mock-up with 1mm sheet and a bit of tube that I squirreled away ages ago. This proved the concept so I went all out in brass to arrive at this:

 

blogentry-6717-0-19697200-1427405221_thumb.jpg

 

The fancy end is the "3 Link key"

 

blogentry-6717-0-97018200-1427405229_thumb.jpg

 

You will see that I have cranked the end so that hopefully I can get in from above when trains are in the station etc ....

 

The other is a normal hook for those who prefer it (a hook still works better with screw links in my experience)

 

blogentry-6717-0-39126300-1427405238_thumb.jpg

 

A bit of heat shrink makes for a handle and we are away. I have enough spare material to make another, so next time out with Fourgig will be uncoupling heaven (yeah right!)

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I have used one before but found that it needed access from the side. Your crank should help with that.

My preference is to use a bit of the wire in coper tube supplied to operate signals etc. The steel wire is strong enough to hold the hook shape while being thinner than brass would need to be. That reduces the problem of it jamming in the hook with the loop. I make a suitable steel hook and then clamp it in a length of the copper tube which is easier to hold.

 

I know one well known modeller used to cheat a little by making the bottom loop slightly wider than scale to make them easier to use.

I also recommend filling the edges of the hooks on the wagon to make it easier to slde the loops over.

 

The other thing you can do is hand the uncoupling hooks to children viewers. I found small girls would make it look so much easier than me.

 

Don

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