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O Gauge Auto Couplings

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Here are my Spratt and Winkles at work:

 

 

Only on a model railway forum!  :O

 

Ed

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Only on a model railway forum!  :O

 

Ed

This is a safe environment where we can share our feelings without guilt, recrimination and exclusion from normal society.  Right on RMWeb! You are my spiritual home.

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Hi Guys,

 

Personally I think if you are talking 7mm you have to go with 3 link couplings because of the size of 7mm all the detail stands out a mile, and there's nothing worse than some alien looking object sticking out the end of a wagon or loco. Now I know it's awkward if the eyesight is not that good and my eyesight is getting worse as the years go by, but my main problem is that I have hands like a bunch of bananas, I have always had trouble with fiddly little things hence one of the reasons I went up to 7mm from EM. Now what I have made below is like a glorified shunters pole, it only takes a few minutes to knock up and has always worked fine for me as it's so simplistic .

 

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gifP1060104-1.JPG

 

 

Right as you can see it just looks like a key with the slot in it, this will be a bit awkward to explian so I hope the photos will help. You offer the slot up to the middle link of your coupling and only the middle link and slide the slot into the link. Sod's law at this stage is the fact that I only have a wagon with instanter couplings fitted laying about, but it shows it also works with these's and screwlinks as well.

 

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gifP1060107-1.JPG

 

 

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gifP1060109-1.JPG

 

 

Then just twist the pole clockwise or anti-clockwise depending which way the wagons facing and you will see the end link will lift up into position to couple up with the next wagon, might sound fiddly but it is a piece of cake.

 

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gifP1060111-1.JPG

 

 

This method might not suit everyone, but it doesn't cost anything to make so give it a go.

 

ATB, Martyn.

Such a good-looking idea. Thanks very much!

 

Ian

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Hi everyone.

Earlier in the topic, a number of members talked about their success using adapted Bachmann tension lock couplings on their O gauge wagons, and there is an excellent video by Orford showing them working on Cratchett's Yard. As a fairly new recruit to O gauge, I have tried the Lincs coupling with underwhelming results, mainly due to my own lack of skills with fiddly things, and have come to the conclusion that adapting TLs for my shunting layout would place less demands on my low level fine motor skills. Can I ask which Bachmann couplings you are all using? My points are 1 : 5 ( don't know what this is in terms of radius) and are soldered using OO code 100 track rescued from my 4mm layout, another reason why the Lincs do not suit - when I do manage to get them working, they get stuck into the sleepers and need further fiddling to avoid this happening.

I would be really grateful to know which code number of Bachmann TLs are considered best for this purpose.

 

 

 

John

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Hello John.

I model in 7mm and I've spent some time setting up the Links coupling and finally ended up using a modified version of it as per Sandy Harper of this parish.   I also had a go with tension lock as used by others on here.  This modified version of the Links doesn't need any soldering just glue the pivot tube to the wagon base add the weight, shape the hook job done.

 

I'll dig out the details from my posts on here tomorrow if nobody has updated you by then.

 

On the point of the Links stabbing into the ground you can adjust the weighted tail so it limits the hook travel which will stop your problem straight off.

 

 

 

Regards  

Edited by Barnaby
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Since first I started experimenting with Bachmann 00 mini-couplings and our subsequent adoption of them for Ramchester I have discovered that Hornby also do their own version which has a longer shank and hook and is therefore easier to adapt for 0.

 

post-12623-0-26910400-1505171362_thumb.jpg

 

post-12623-0-54397900-1505171386_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

 

I use Bachmann 36-026 TLs and IIRC Hornby X9072s (for a semi flexible coupling). They can both be a little fiddly but not too much of a chore.

 

Im not sure if the Hornby version Howard mentions is a little longer than the 36-206s or not. I extend mine with a small piece of brass K&S strip and anchor it all down with No1 self tappers of varying lengths.

 

Any chance of a product number Howard? As that sounds like another useful coupling. My challenge with such things is that my - relatively - local model shops dont stock couplings, so mail order is my only option.

 

Kindest regards to all,

 

CME

Edited by CME and Bottlewasher

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  This modified version of the Links doesn't need any soldering just glue the pivot tube to the wagon base add the weight, shape the hook job done.

 

 

 

Thank you for helping. I did try - briefly - your modified coupling with materials at hand, but the smallest bore tube I had available was way too big for the piano wire I gauge, so too much slop altogether. Today I intend visiting a fairly local model shop to see if I can get a smaller bore suitable, and try it again. I am annoyed with myself because the Lincs appear to be foolproof, but in my case, they have met their match!

My thanks also to HSB and CME - if my last attempts defeat me, I will experiment with the TL using the 36-026 as suggested.

John

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Thank you for helping. I did try - briefly - your modified coupling with materials at hand, but the smallest bore tube I had available was way too big for the piano wire I gauge, so too much slop altogether. Today I intend visiting a fairly local model shop to see if I can get a smaller bore suitable, and try it again. I am annoyed with myself because the Lincs appear to be foolproof, but in my case, they have met their match!

My thanks also to HSB and CME - if my last attempts defeat me, I will experiment with the TL using the 36-026 as suggested.

John

Hi John,

 

Please post photos of your work on Lincs. Ive always liked the Lincs system and have seen it work well, I also liked Winterleys (but theyre ended), yet the former seemed fiddly to set up and the latter-as well as being ended-best suited earlier locos, ie steam outline and not crowded or deep diesel bufferbeams...

 

Good luck with whatever you choose.

 

ATVB

 

CME.

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Just for info John.

If you intend to go down the Lincs route I would purchase some of them as it gives you all you need in bits plus a well written "how to do" showing all the necessary angles and bend lengths.

Pic 1] shows all the separate parts as well as a made up one.  NB I didn't need/use the brass etch.

post-1159-0-83454500-1505217206_thumb.jpg

 

Pic 2]   The beauty of this is it only requires you to glue it in place.

post-1159-0-99785500-1505217252.jpg

 

 

Best

 

EDIT.   the address showing in Pic 1 is incorrect.  Richard has moved to :>>>

 

43 Highlands Cresent

Kinson

Bournemouth

Dorset

BH10 5JR

His email address is as shown and has not changed.

Thanks to Lofty.Ian for the heads up.

Edited by Barnaby
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Such a good-looking idea. Thanks very much!Ian

Hi Ian,

 

I remember writing that 5 years ago, I wonder just how many have made one?

 

There's all these highly technical ideas floating around, but I find keeping it simple works. Oh well their loss.

 

Cheers,

 

Martyn.

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Just for info John.

If you intend to go down the Lincs route I would purchase some of them as it gives you all you need in bits plus a well written "how to do" showing all the necessary angles and bend lengths.

Pic 1] shows all the separate parts as well as a made up one.  NB I didn't need/use the brass etch.

attachicon.gifLincs coupling.jpg

 

Pic 2]   The beauty of this is it only requires you to glue it in place.

attachicon.giflincs style 1 Sandy Harper.jpg

 

 

Best

Regarding the photo of the Lincs components, Richard Syms moved to Bournemouth at the beginning of this year, so the address is not as in the photo.

His email address is still the same: [email protected]

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Just for info John.

If you intend to go down the Lincs route I would purchase some of them as it gives you all you need in bits plus a well written "how to do" showing all the necessary angles and bend lengths.

Pic 1] shows all the separate parts as well as a made up one.  NB I didn't need/use the brass etch.

attachicon.gifLincs coupling.jpg

 

Pic 2]   The beauty of this is it only requires you to glue it in place.

attachicon.giflincs style 1 Sandy Harper.jpg

 

 

Best

 

Please pardon my ignorance I don't quite follow the photo. They hook should pivot down and to the side but the weight seems too close to the floor. any chance of a shot from the side.  I assume the pivot is glued to packing.

Thanks Don

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Regarding the photo of the Lincs components, Richard Syms moved to Bournemouth at the beginning of this year, so the address is not as in the photo.

His email address is still the same: [email protected]

His new address is:

43 Highlands Crescent
Kinson
BOURNEMOUTH
Dorset, BH10 5JR

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Just for info John.

If you intend to go down the Lincs route I would purchase some of them as it gives you all you need in bits plus a well written "how to do" showing all the necessary angles and bend lengths.

Pic 1] shows all the separate parts as well as a made up one.  NB I didn't need/use the brass etch.

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.gifLincs coupling.jpg

 

Pic 2]   The beauty of this is it only requires you to glue it in place.

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/public/style_images/master/attachicon.giflincs style 1 Sandy Harper.jpg

 

 

Best

Hi,

 

Thanks for the photos, I would say that the Lincs system may not be easy to fit to the newer Dapol wagons and vans? And...  

Please pardon my ignorance I don't quite follow the photo. They hook should pivot down and to the side but the weight seems too close to the floor. any chance of a shot from the side.  I assume the pivot is glued to packing.

Thanks Don

....As Don has said, I was pondering the same.

 

Kindest to all,

 

CME

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Hi Don.

 

The  photo in P 335 shows the underside of the van. 

1]  The weight position is set so it causes the hook to raise to stop on the cross member just below buffer height. 

2]  Then when the hook gets pulled down by the track magnet the base floor stops the hook movement when the weighted end hits it. 

3]  You can then adjust how far the hook travels down by bending the wire up towards the base on the weighted end to limit movement.

 

Simples

 

Best is to get a paper clip or some rod and pass it through a tube then bend it to shape and you will see what is happening.  It will take too long to explain it clearly but it is simple to work.

Basically because of the angle of pivot tube and wire the vertical hook bit actually moves L to R when actuated and viewed on the buffers.

 

I'll see if I can do a phone-vid tomorrow on how it works.......................

 

Best

Edited by Barnaby
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Barnaby  thanks for the explanation. If the weight meeting the floor restricts the movement of the hook it would be close to the floor. What I viewed as a potential problem has been used as an advantage to control the hook movement.

 

Don

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Hi everyone.

 

After sitting and gazing at the five wagons I have applied Lincs couplings too, I have come to the conclusion that it is a lack of consistency in my fitting, and specifically, failing to take account of the different longitudinal chassis members behind the buffer beam which has resulted in different heights for the hooks. My working practice has been to fit one end of wagon A, and one end of Wagon B, test, and then fit both other ends. However, I then put wagon A back into the shed, and fiddled about with wagon C - which had a different underfloor space beneath the buffer beam. This resulted in much tweaking and bending to get B and C to mate properly. Basically, the errors were passed on and accumulated down the line.

 

Hi,

Thanks for the photos, I would say that the Lincs system may not be easy to fit to the newer Dapol wagons and vans.

CME

And I think that may have been one of my problems. My stock so far consists of 2 Dapol wagons, 2 second hand of unknown origin, a Slaters wagon and 2 scratch built card wagons. All have different height arrangements behind the buffer beams and I now realise that if I ensure that all the Lincs armatures are fitted at the same height using judicious packing, they should work. Some more tweaking and then, trying to fit a fixed hook to my Dapol 08! I would like to thank everyone again for their encouragement and advice - I now feel far more confident and less likely to throw the towel in. Attached, some pics of progress so far.

John

post-3582-0-63536800-1505328233_thumb.jpg

post-3582-0-32647200-1505328267_thumb.jpg

post-3582-0-51155200-1505328297_thumb.jpg

post-3582-0-47471400-1505328316_thumb.jpg

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I have made a jig for the TLs and IIRC Howard & Rod has too, wondering if a jig for the Lincs, would be useful ie to set a standard for an individuals own stock/layout?

Edited by CME and Bottlewasher

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Fantastic Jinty3f John, with effort, commitment and knowledge you have overcome your challenges.

Another big plus with the Links is that you can pick any wagon in the line and lift it up out without ending up with a daisy chain of interlocked wagons. For me it worth the little extra effort to get the links correct.

 

Jigs are always good CME best performed after copious amounts of Guinness and a backgrounds of DID-IL-LEE music. 

 

Seriously Jigs save you a lot of work and worry and allow for accurate repeatable building.

 

Best

Edited by Barnaby
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When I started this post way back in January 2012 I had no idea where it would go. However I am still very happy with my Bachmann tension lock couplers which I can just about manage to fit with my limited vision. After six years of operation on Ramchester I have had very little trouble with these couplers and intend to carry on with them for the rest of Ramchester's life (many years - I hope). While I accept that they are a compromise they are easy to use and they do not look obtrusive when operating the layout. The only slight problem is with the slop in the wheel/track gauge dimensions which can sometimes throw the couplings slightly out of line so that they do not couple as they should. This seems to be quite a rare occurrence on Ramchester but I have eliminated all unnecessary side play in the wheel bearings to minimise this.

 

I agree that nothing looks better than the proper 3 links as on the prototype but when the layout is at about 4 feet above the floor and the baseboard is in excess of 3 feet wide in places it becomes very, very difficult to reach across the layout (with the risk of damage to the scenery) to couple up small loops and hooks - let alone see what you are doing.

 

So for me TL couplers are fine and dandy.

 

Rod

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When I started this post way back in January 2012 I had no idea where it would go. However I am still very happy with my Bachmann tension lock couplers which I can just about manage to fit with my limited vision. After six years of operation on Ramchester I have had very little trouble with these couplers and intend to carry on with them for the rest of Ramchester's life (many years - I hope). While I accept that they are a compromise they are easy to use and they do not look obtrusive when operating the layout. The only slight problem is with the slop in the wheel/track gauge dimensions which can sometimes throw the couplings slightly out of line so that they do not couple as they should. This seems to be quite a rare occurrence on Ramchester but I have eliminated all unnecessary side play in the wheel bearings to minimise this.

 

I agree that nothing looks better than the proper 3 links as on the prototype but when the layout is at about 4 feet above the floor and the baseboard is in excess of 3 feet wide in places it becomes very, very difficult to reach across the layout (with the risk of damage to the scenery) to couple up small loops and hooks - let alone see what you are doing.

 

So for me TL couplers are fine and dandy.

 

Rod

I agree Rod,

 

Having seen Ramchester in operation, and such was faultless I might add, like you I shall use a home made uncoupler as well as magnets in various formats/strategic places.

 

Wheel 'slop' on 7mm FS can be much worse for many other coupling systems, so the TLs are a good compromise.

 

I shall also use magnetic couplings on my fixed rake coaching stock and likewise with FRs of Dogfish and Grampus - like the real railway I shall have to use several types of coupling AND the wagons in the centre of Cuts will retain their 3 links.

 

There is no fix all, off of the shelf, solution that works for everyone, some are happy with 'the hand of god', some prefer hands-free uncoupling and three links can be a challenge to manually operate for young and old alike.

 

ATVB

 

CME

Edited by CME and Bottlewasher
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I agree Rod,

 

Having seen Ramchester in operation, and such was faultless I might add, like you I shall use a home made uncoupler as well as magnets in various formats/strategic places.

 

Wheel 'slop' on 7mm FS can be much worse for many other coupling systems, so the TLs are a good compromise.

 

I shall also use magnetic couplings on my fixed rake coaching stock and likewise with FRs of Dogfish and Grampus - like the real railway I shall have to use several types of coupling AND the wagons in the centre of Cuts will retain their 3 links.

 

There is no fix all, off of the shelf, solution that works for everyone, some are happy with 'the hand of god', some prefer hands-free uncoupling and three links can be a challenge to manually operate for young and old alike.

 

ATVB

 

CME

Hello folks.  If you would like more details of the Lincs AutoCoupler, please email me at [email protected].

 

Richard

Edited by Aire Main

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Hi everyone.

 

After sitting and gazing at the five wagons I have applied Lincs couplings too, I have come to the conclusion that it is a lack of consistency in my fitting, and specifically, failing to take account of the different longitudinal chassis members behind the buffer beam which has resulted in different heights for the hooks. My working practice has been to fit one end of wagon A, and one end of Wagon B, test, and then fit both other ends. However, I then put wagon A back into the shed, and fiddled about with wagon C - which had a different underfloor space beneath the buffer beam. This resulted in much tweaking and bending to get B and C to mate properly. Basically, the errors were passed on and accumulated down the line.

 

And I think that may have been one of my problems. My stock so far consists of 2 Dapol wagons, 2 second hand of unknown origin, a Slaters wagon and 2 scratch built card wagons. All have different height arrangements behind the buffer beams and I now realise that if I ensure that all the Lincs armatures are fitted at the same height using judicious packing, they should work. Some more tweaking and then, trying to fit a fixed hook to my Dapol 08! I would like to thank everyone again for their encouragement and advice - I now feel far more confident and less likely to throw the towel in. Attached, some pics of progress so far.

John

It is important to ensure that all your Lincs couplers are at the same height. In the "rest" position, they should be in contact with the bottom of the buffer beam (assuming a "normal" height beam) and the bit that projects outside the buffer beam must be horizontal with the hook end at 45 degrees to the vertical. To achieve this, the armature can be bent or parts of the underframe trussing can be removed, depending upon the configuration of your wagon underframe (see attached photos, which are of 4mm scale wagons, but the principle applies in all scales),

 

If anyone has problems fitting or operating the Lincs AutoCoupler, DO feel free to email me for advice. [email protected]

 

Richard Syms, Lincs AutoCouplers

post-14290-0-15621800-1512820613_thumb.jpg

post-14290-0-95574500-1512820617_thumb.jpg

post-14290-0-21077800-1512820624_thumb.jpg

post-14290-0-28515800-1512820629_thumb.jpg

post-14290-0-58040900-1512820638_thumb.jpg

Edited by Aire Main
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On 13/01/2012 at 09:47, 3 link said:

Hi Guys,

 

Personally I think if you are talking 7mm you have to go with 3 link couplings because of the size of 7mm all the detail stands out a mile, and there's nothing worse than some alien looking object sticking out the end of a wagon or loco. Now I know it's awkward if the eyesight is not that good and my eyesight is getting worse as the years go by, but my main problem is that I have hands like a bunch of bananas, I have always had trouble with fiddly little things hence one of the reasons I went up to 7mm from EM. Now what I have made below is like a glorified shunters pole, it only takes a few minutes to knock up and has always worked fine for me as it's so simplistic .

 

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_01_2012/post-7101-0-94488400-1326447209.jpg

 

 

Right as you can see it just looks like a key with the slot in it, this will be a bit awkward to explian so I hope the photos will help. You offer the slot up to the middle link of your coupling and only the middle link and slide the slot into the link. Sod's law at this stage is the fact that I only have a wagon with instanter couplings fitted laying about, but it shows it also works with these's and screwlinks as well.

 

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_01_2012/post-7101-0-08744500-1326447626.jpg

 

 

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_01_2012/post-7101-0-85959800-1326447666.jpg

 

 

Then just twist the pole clockwise or anti-clockwise depending which way the wagons facing and you will see the end link will lift up into position to couple up with the next wagon, might sound fiddly but it is a piece of cake.

 

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_01_2012/post-7101-0-05773900-1326447920.jpg

 

 

This method might not suit everyone, but it doesn't cost anything to make so give it a go.

 

ATB, Martyn.

That looks like a superb solution Martyn.  Well done.

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