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On 21/12/2020 at 16:01, Chris Chewter said:

Pretty much. It was converted to DCC by its previous owner, but that affected its running ability, so instead it just sits on the shelf, waiting to take the express.



Try turning off the BEMF on the decoder if it has it. I have some locos that run like jumpy dogs with it on and like silk with it off. 

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I’ve been giving the manor a bit of running on and off over Christmas, as well as a bit of an oil.

The mechanism got stuck earlier today. I put it in reverse, it gave a click, and now is running as good as gold!



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  • 2 weeks later...

In an attempt to give a more hands free operation,  I’ve been thinking about uncoupling locos from the service train to run around and couple onto the other end.


Ive been trialling A few ideas, non of which really work satisfactorily at the moment.


The first attempt was a Peco uncoupling ramp, which was awkward to install, so it was quickly removed.


I’ve moved onto the Gaugemaster GMC-TLU, which sort of works, but is honestly extremely noisy as the video below shows.


I’m going to swap the noisy seep electromagnet and fit a servo to operate the ramp to see how that goes. I also have to decide if I’m happy with that massive uncoupling ramp which looks a bit unsightly.


I have a horrible feeling that I might just have to change across to kadees!

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It did indeed. I think I disturbed the track by fitting the ramp. I’ll sort that out once I’ve got a solution I’m happy with.

Edited by Chris Chewter
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Have you considered the 'Brian Kirby' modification to T/L couplings, effected by adding a horizontal staple to the coupling dropper and installing visually undetectable magnets under the ballast?  Plenty of stuff on this forum about it, but here's a short video clip of the system in action as 5557 arrives at Stoke Courtenay from Earlsbridge with the branch B-set.



And here's a pic of the section of track under which the magnets are fitted. 


John C.



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Whilst the ramp does look a bit more inconspicuous once it’s been painted black and weathered, the idea of hidden magnets really does appeal on so many levels.



They’ll be significantly quieter for a start, and a lot more unobtrusive.


I’ll have to put an order in for a few and give it a go.

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Automatic uncoupling attempt 2 - Neodymium magnets.


Whilst having a rummage in my model box, turned out that I had already purchased 25 small neodymium magnets to hide between the sleepers, ordered from spider magnets on eBay.  I’ve dotted a line of them to accommodate different length of coaches but no matter how I tried to persevere with the staples on the couplings, I couldn’t get it to work reliably. I was about to order a bigger magnet to go under the track, when I tried to fit a magnet mounted on the staple to repel each other. That seemed to work a lot better!




With the two magnets repelling each other, it seems to work great with the auto coach, and it’s certainly a lot less visible than an uncoupling ramp! It’s also a lot quieter!




I just need to fit the same arrangement of magnets on the end coach of each set. The only worry is knocking them off, and I’m hoping they’ll still work when painted black. However the glue needs to cure before I give that a go!

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Far better solution to my eyes if it works satisfactorily.

I would consider using a thin smear of epoxy to ensure the magnets stay in place but I wouldn't see a problem with painting them.



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No reason why painted magnets will not work in the same way unless the paint stick the coupler together. Seems like a great solution you’ve come up with. 

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Whilst testing the magnetic uncoupler today, I found that the self centering couplings on the 14xx were not working well. So I’ve taken the plunge to remove the tension locks for a pair of wire goal posts. It seems to improve the locos appearance quite nicely!


I also grabbed a video to show both the wire goal posts on the 14xx and the uncoupler in action.



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A few photos of the adjusted coupling bars to the 14xx





The bar is just bent brass wire from Albion alloys glued into position and painted Railmatch roof grey.



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I felt the collett pair was a bit flat post weathering, so a very thin coat of gloss cote has been applied.




And a close up for comparison



Unfortunately one of the coach numbers rubbed off, so that’ll need reapplying. I now have to find the correct fox decal set and do something about it.

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