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Auto uncoupling in N gauge


TomJ

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As I am contemplating making a small N gauge plank I have been wondering if I might try some form of auto uncoupling. It's not the appearance of the rapido that bothers me much (Im well aware the rest of my trainset is not fine scale!) but I quite like the idea of a tank engine running round it's train without my involvement.

The simplest option seems to be the Dapol couplers when they introduce their new conversion pack for non NEM-stock (most of my steam fleet). But what concerns me is the size of the magnet. It looks rather intrusive. Also a lot of my layout will be points or curves so finding a spot for them might be difficult. Has anyone any experience of disguising them or even using something under the track instead?

 

A search on here suggests a lot of the 2fs people are using DG Couplings. These look good but fiddly. Can anyone tell me realistically how hard they are to get to work? Do they require fiddly 2mm soldering?

 

Is their any other option I could consider? It's got to be fairly idiot proof!!

 

Finally given most of my stock will work in fairly fixed rakes I was only going to have uncoupling on the ends of rakes. What's the best way to keep the wagons/coaches in the middle together? Stick with the rapido? Some form of fixed coupling?

 

Thanks for all your help

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Thanks for the advice - plenty of food for thought. The rare earth magnets look interesting, certainally gets round one of the major drawbacks of the Dapol system for me. Mind you the B&B couplings seem worth a look. And a set of 10 costs less than a single pair of the Dapol ones. I might just get a back an experiment on some half built wagon kits, nothing to lose really.

Progress will not be fast (not even built the baseboards yet so by then Dapol might have realeased their non-NEM conversion kit so I can make a decision there.

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  • 2 years later...

As I am contemplating making a small N gauge plank I have been wondering if I might try some form of auto uncoupling. It's not the appearance of the rapido that bothers me much (Im well aware the rest of my trainset is not fine scale!) but I quite like the idea of a tank engine running round it's train without my involvement.

The simplest option seems to be the Dapol couplers when they introduce their new conversion pack for non NEM-stock (most of my steam fleet). But what concerns me is the size of the magnet. It looks rather intrusive. Also a lot of my layout will be points or curves so finding a spot for them might be difficult. Has anyone any experience of disguising them or even using something under the track instead?

 

A search on here suggests a lot of the 2fs people are using DG Couplings. These look good but fiddly. Can anyone tell me realistically how hard they are to get to work? Do they require fiddly 2mm soldering?

 

Is their any other option I could consider? It's got to be fairly idiot proof!!

 

Finally given most of my stock will work in fairly fixed rakes I was only going to have uncoupling on the ends of rakes. What's the best way to keep the wagons/coaches in the middle together? Stick with the rapido? Some form of fixed coupling?

 

Thanks for all your help

HI Tomj    I have fitted auto uncoupling to N gauge standard R T R rolling stock. I used the standard Peco LC coupling(Elsie). I converted brake end coaches and full parcel

                brakes for fixed rakes. I have just posted a blog on RM Web outlining my methods. It works quite well using both electro and permanent magnets. Find the blog at

                N gauge auto uncoupling.  Regards Phil Anderer

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Hi Tom

 

Many years ago we used the DG couplings but found that it was difficult to keep the wire loops from losing their shape and level.  Asbestos fingers were also required for making them up.

 

The B&B type was not available then but would be preferable as the loops are etched and so would hold their shape.  If possible fit the loops to only one end of a vehicle as this makes for more reliable coupling.  If both vehicles are fitted with loops then often the loops interfere with each other and do not drop over the "pin" on the face of the coupling.

 

Both types have the advantage of being much less conspicuous than the standard N gauge coupler but be aware that in order to fit them the underside of the vehicle must be level under the buffer beam.  This usually means removing the existing coupler pocket so it's a bit of a one way conversion.  Some locos are not easy to convert!

 

Electromagnets are the best way to go for uncoupling as only the end of the core needs to come through the baseboard to top of sleeper level.  This means that they are very unobtrusive.  We used old H&M solenoid coils from point motors with a bit of 4" nail as the core.  There are commercially available electromagnets from several sources.

 

Regards.

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