Jump to content

Converting PECO 009 couplers for magnetic operation

In a previous post I discussed my difficulties finding a suitable auto-coupler for early HO stock, and how I discovered DG magnetic couplers. They are excellent couplers: cheap, unobtrusive, effective. But I was very aware that any coupler that requires a jig to make it up didn't really meet my KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) criterion.


I'd often wondered about using PECO OO9 couplers, which have a hook-and-loop design similar to some continental couplers. I finally decided to buy a couple of packs of PECO's GR-102 couplers and experiment with them. 


They arrived today and I was impressed with both the simple design and the crisp moulding of the plastic. Each coupler comes in two parts that just snap together: a plastic hook, and a plastic loop with a dropper on each side which is raised when the coupler passes over a Hornby-style uncoupling ramp.




Having made a couple of sets of the couplers up, I'm sure they would work very well with an uncoupling ramp. The design appears as effective and robust as it is simple. But being completely plastic, they obviously wouldn't be any use for magnetic uncoupling.  Unless ...


My eye fell on a discarded staple lying on the desk. Well, sometime untidiness is the real mother of invention.


I cut around 6 mm from the middle of the staple using kitchen scissors and superglued it to the outside of one of the droppers. The photo below isn't great, but  the greyish bar on the right-hand coupler is the piece of staple. 




Moving the converted coupler near a magnet caused the loop to rise up just as the DG coupler  loops do.






I daresay narrow gauge modellers have known about this wheeze for years, but I was certainly delighted to have found such a cheap, quick and simple way to convert the PECO couplers to magnetic operation. I know the massive magnet in the photos makes it look as if I set my experiment up to succeed, but I have also tested the hack on smaller magnets and I've found it works with micro-magnets as well. 







  • Craftsmanship/clever 4


Recommended Comments

Excellent trick Ian!!


and good to see a new post on your blog.



  • Thanks 1

Share this comment

Link to comment

Drill across the two droppers and insert bambi staple- will prevent loop rising too far and not coming down again.

  • Craftsmanship/clever 1

Share this comment

Link to comment

That's good to know Ian, thanks for the tip.

  • Thanks 1

Share this comment

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.