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2mm couplings, options, choices and recommendations


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Has anyone tried "The Greenwich Coupling CPL1 00/H0 NG coupling" for narrow gauge railways ?

As an alternative and at the risk of starting a spate over the various options, what is the "best" 2mm scale coupling (i.e. neat, unobtrusive, reliable, easy to fit and adjust) coupling for a beginner?

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Never tried them but I have some Greenwich couplings on there way to me as a customer wants me to fit them to some narrow gauge stock.

Having tried most of the alternatives, I would give DG's my vote for 2mm use. Follow the advice in Bryn's excellent thread and you won't go far wrong. The only variation I make is that I drill a single fixing hole to allow them to be attached with a 12BA bolt. I also make mine double ended on stock but don't put loops on locos.

 

Jerry

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Never tried the Greenwich coupling myself so can't comment on it I am afraid.

 

I use DG couplings (BB are similar I believe) and for me they are reliable, neat, but perhaps a little fiddly to assemble and install at first - it helps with a jig (Bryn did a good blog on this once) The front of locos look better with just the loop and not the hook, and depending on your shunting I have even just put the hook one end of some of my rolling stock.

 

I also use permanent hidden bar magnets ....these have been slid in and out underneath the track as and when required.

 

I think people will all have their own preferences...but you can get a trial pack of DG/BB (and Spratt and Winkle too I believe) and best thing is to give it a go and see what you get on with.

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I'm now more confused, Jerry say "don't put loops on locos" and you say "The front of locos look better with just the loop and not the hook". Is possibly one of those a typo or are there divergent views on even this aspect? !!

 

Sorry...your right....first senior moment for me....

 

On locos I just use the buffing plate assembly and leave the loop off.

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DG couplings have been around for 30 years or more and have thus stood the test of time. There is the odd individual who uses Alex Jacksons or Three links but these have never been popular.

Don

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I was very impressed with Rich's 3 links at the GJ. Ideal if you just like watching trains run without much shunting. I think it is Jim Watt who used AJs on Connerburn but I it was along time ago. I know in other scales people have found AJs need care if not to get out off line, particularly when packing stock for exhibitions.

Don

Edited by Donw
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Richard. Prototype is GWR/LSWR early 1930's so no buckeyes although I do like them on my Z gauge layout, although that's North American and RTR. I'd like to know your experience of AJs, particularly the downside as it's obvious they are not highly visible. But the difficulties I foresee are getting a long enough length of wire for flexibility, especially on locos, tanks in particular and maintaining accuracy of setup with handling of stock.

 

So you should have links then. :yes: :no: :yes: :no:

 

I prefer the look and opertation of Alex Jacksons to anything else I have seen and used. The answer to flexibility is to have a coil (look up an article by Jim Watt in the magazine archive). If you avoid lifting by the ends and pack your stock so the coulings are protected (i.e. in open space) then you shouldn't see many go wayward if they are set up properly. I have made a small pile and even fitted them to a pair of vans but have struggled with adjusting them. I actually prefer (at the moment) shunting with links :senile: and only plan on having other types of couplings on coaching stock that has gangways.

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So if an expert like you struggles to adjust AJs what hope have I.

 

I wouldn't consider myself an expert - I started with models at a very early age, and model trains 20 years ago - more well practised. I haven't tried very hard to be honest. I intend to pick someone else's brains on how to adjust them because I suspect that like most things it is not that difficult, once you know how.

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So if an expert like you struggles to adjust AJs what hope have I. I'd love links, but they're a bit of a pain in 7mm and even in 1/32 live steam although manageable and of course totally realistic and you don't do much if any shunting in 1/32, well I don't, it very much assembling a train and then watching it run and concentrating on maintaining fire and water level.

But in 2mm! Lovely to look at but using them much would for me even with glasses be a nightmare, leaning over the tracks, knocking stock and derailing things. I would like to remain hands off if possible.

2mm, 7mm and live steam are you sure you are not me?? Oh no my live steam is 16mm. I found a good answer to three links on my 0 gauge exhibitions layout I let the kids do it. Kids among the audience love to be given the shunting hook or the controller and behave very well in my experience. Oh how I envy their nibble fingers. I would love to try 3 links in 2mm but I don't think my fat fingers are up to it.

Another thought if you are going to model modern stock then the kaydee/microtrains knuckle type look reasonable. No experience myself but worth a try perhaps.

For AJs I have a jig produced by the late Martin Brent for 7mm it has a cone on the end for the angle and the correct depth holes for the bends. Producing a similar one for 2mm would make life easier.

Don

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  • 3 months later...

Is it possible to retro-fit the magnets for DG couplings after the track is laid?

I don't see why not.

 

I am intending to follow the advice in the "Beginners Guide", which suggests neodymium magnets sliding in a channel below the track, and indicates that they should also work below the baseboard.

 

I haven't looked seriously at the "conventional" implementation - using electromagnets - but I don't see why they couldn't be mounted below the baseboard after the track has been laid (as long as you don't have obstructions like crosspieces or supports in the way).

 

David

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Digging for a thread to ask a question in I found this one....sorry if its been a bit dead & buried!

 

Before I "dive into the shallow end" (thats where all the noise is! ;) ) with 2mm FS ........

Is it possible to retro-fit the magnets for DG couplings after the track is laid?

 

This paricular example is for something N gauge, but being pre warned is always a good thing :)

 

Hi. I have 10 electromagnetic uncouplers for the DGs on my layout. Holes were predrilled in the board before tracklaying for 8 of them, so the top bit is under the 3mm mdf trackbed. In my usual style, I then decided to add 2 more, so just drilled a hole from underneath to the right depth (height?), leaving the trackbed intact. The electromagnets are a push fit, so can be removed if necessary.

In answer to the original question, as a beginner I'm very happy with the DGs.......and again, thanks to Bryn for the thread of valuable tips.

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For retro fitting magnets you could try making your own - see Missy's Highclere blog. If made to fit over a suitable nail drill a hole for the nail and remove some of the ballast for the head push through and then slide the coil onto the nail from underneath. Test out before disguising.

Don

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For AJs I have a jig produced by the late Martin Brent for 7mm it has a cone on the end for the angle and the correct depth holes for the bends. Producing a similar one for 2mm would make life easier.

Don

 

I've been trying to find out what such a jig looks like. I've heard of them, but never seen one. It would make life easier.

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Just to add to the noise and confusion: I use Microtrains knuckle couplers even though I model British outline 1970s/1950s. I think they are no more and no less obstrusive than DG BB or any of the others apart from AJs which look great but I can't see me ever being skilful enough to be able to set them up to operate at all reliably. Mictrotrains are also quick and easy to install and you can use the time saved to do whatever else it is that melts your butter... I have also used Kato non-automatic knuckes which are very neat and unobtrusive on fixed rakes of wagons. The knuckles themselves are easy to find but the pockets they sit in are harder to come by. My daughter brought me a batch back from a visit to Japan with her boyfriend. She's since dumped him so I have a long term problem. More recently, I've converted one of my trains to the Mathieson Models three-links which look great but permanently couple the wagons together, so I've done them in sets of five or six, which is just about manageable, with each 'sub set' coupled using knuckles. This is a 24-vehicle train - a mix of 16T mineals and 21T hoppers - and I intend running it for a while before deciding whether to do more. I also need to find a way of storing them off the layout and transferring them to and from the stockbox - some sort of cassette looks like the best option. Incidentally, Mick Simpson is the 2FS user of AJ couplings - and his DO work - flawlessly!

 

Alan

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Incidentally, Mick Simpson is the 2FS user of AJ couplings - and his DO work - flawlessly!

 

Hope I'm not rushing in where angels fear to tread, but I thought Mick used the Electra coupling? I seem to remember him being very enthusiastic about it at a 2mm Expo and even giving me an A4 guide to making them. To me eyes they looked just as unobtrusive as the AJs Jim Watt uses, but I believe the latter have the edge for operation if traditional yard shunting is important, since vehicles can be propelled after uncoupling without recoupling?

 

I would be very intererested to hear more opinions of how hard (or not) the unobtrusive couplers are to set and maintain, I think the visual difference is very satisfying.

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I've been trying to find out what such a jig looks like. I've heard of them, but never seen one. It would make life easier.

 

It should be in the book on Alex Jackson available from the Scalefour Society. But I can't immediately lay my hands on my copy.

 

(btw. if you do get a copy, treat the last two pages as vague ideas rather than instructions on how to do it, I've changed just about every component in my models which are illustrated there ).

 

- Nigel

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Hope I'm not rushing in where angels fear to tread, but I thought Mick used the Electra coupling? I seem to remember him being very enthusiastic about it at a 2mm Expo and even giving me an A4 guide to making them. To me eyes they looked just as unobtrusive as the AJs Jim Watt uses, but I believe the latter have the edge for operation if traditional yard shunting is important, since vehicles can be propelled after uncoupling without recoupling?

 

Mick uses the "Electra" design. It is similar-ish in size to the AJ, though slightly more obtrusive due to the counterweight. It is simpler in operation and construction as it only requires a free-rotating pivot in a tube, rather than a carefully sprung wire (though AJ's can be made in a hinged manner, see book mentioned in previous message).

The Electra suffers from needing an uncoupling "shuffle" in a manner similar to Kadee/Microtrain couplers - backup to release tension, open coupling with electromagnet, pull forwards to clear coupling, then backup again, finally release electromagnet. Once uncoupled, the Electra can be propelled in its open state, and the wagon left at any location.

In contrast, an AJ can be opened without any form of "shuffle" by passing over an energised electromagnet with the couplings slack (and also can be propelled in the uncoupled state).

 

Fit the DCC controlled coupler I use onto locomotives - it can be made to work with all types. I built a coupling end which would couple with AJ,Electra and DG couplings; I checked operation on AJ's with Jim Watt's stock at an Expo.

Once the hassle of fitting is sorted, the operational fun to be had with a loco which uncouples "on command" rather than chasing buried electromagnets is wonderful !

 

 

- Nigel

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I've been trying to find out what such a jig looks like. I've heard of them, but never seen one. It would make life easier.

 

One was described in the very comprehensive articles on Alex Jackson couplings in Model Railways July and August 1977 issues. It was simply a length of 1/8" silver steel rod with a No.74 hole drilled 5mm deep at one end and 2.5mm at the other (for 4mm scale). It didn't have a guide for the angle, just the suggestion that a template could be used but with a bit of practice it was easy to judge by eye.

 

I always liked Mike Bryant's ones. I was a bit disappointed to find they aren't still around. I guess the delayed uncoupling of the DG ones won out.

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I always liked Mike Bryant's ones. I was a bit disappointed to find they aren't still around. I guess the delayed uncoupling of the DG ones won out.

I tried the Mike Bryant MBM's but they had two failings. Firstly, there was no delayed action without modification and secondly seperating them at the end of a show was like trying to unpick nitting!

 

Jerry

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Will we see DG's falling from favour with Dapol's new offering and Farish's when it comes out?

 

In my view, in a word, no. Having played with a few layouts using Kaydee's (essentialy the same thing) they are not a patch on DG's in terms of flexibility and reliability when it comes to shunting.

 

Jerry

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