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An Alternative to ordinary couplings?


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Hello all

I'm putting this forward as an idea that may work but which I would like some views on.

I've been testing Roco couplings with the close coupling mechanism mentioned earlier, in my case on 85 foot UIC passenger stock . I'm not keen on the fact that they need a good thump sometimes to get them to fully engage and note that they sometimes let go on curves but am aware that the almost rigid bar they form is required for the CCM to work properly. I came up with the idea of replacing the couplings within rakes with a small bar that engages in the NEM pocket and has a 5mmx4mmx1mm neodymium magnet glued on its end. If the bar is the right length the magnets should snap together thereby coupling the vehicles. I haven't tried this yet but the theory is sound (I think!) but given the potential brittleness of these magnets it might be and idea to glue a 5 thou sliver of plasticard to each of their mating faces, to act as a shock absorber. The outer ends of the rake could have a Kadee or some such for coupling and uncoupling capability although I did have the idea of creating a scissors sort of tool for separating the magnets. It would be like a pair of anvil secaturs in which the anvil section is placed below the joined magnets and a non magnetic blade could be brought down from above to go between the magnets and separate them.

Workable notion??

 

Alan McMillan

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Alan,

 

You could save yourself the grief and use the Fleischmann 'Profi' coupler. It has the same (rigid) effect of the Roco one, but the head uses a mechanical location rather than relying upon a long vulnerable bit of whippy plastic. I use these Fleischmann couplers to join all the vehicles in my close coupled sets (yes - even the ones formed of Roco coaches).

 

Steph

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Alan,

 

You could save yourself the grief and use the Fleischmann 'Profi' coupler. It has the same (rigid) effect of the Roco one, but the head uses a mechanical location rather than relying upon a long vulnerable bit of whippy plastic. I use these Fleischmann couplers to join all the vehicles in my close coupled sets (yes - even the ones formed of Roco coaches).

 

Steph

 

 

Hi Steph

Are the Fleischmann couplings unobtrusive? One of the advantages of the magnet idea was that the "couplings" are no more than a small rigid bar between vehicles.

Alan

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Alan,

 

Here, you can judge for yourself. I must confess that because of their superbly reliable operation I put up with any appearance worries - the effect on the full train of these (that's 14 vehicles) is more than enough...

 

The vehicles by the way are the Sachsenmodelle 'Type Y' coaches in City Express livery. In the case of the set here they're a full set on a Berlin-Dresden working. I really ought to get around to sorting the wheels out on these; most of my stock is RP25-88 but this is a popular guest set on another layout.

 

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I also use Kadees on the ends of my sets (in that case I lock the KKK with a pin to get them to pull down the centre of the coach). There are other thoughts for KKs: Fleischmann do a rigid coupler bar for their ICE set. I have historically used these to semi-permanently couple vehicles. Piko also make a very simple, neat coupler; the only problem with those is that they require the stock to be lifted to couple or uncouple. But they can never come apart on bends!

 

In fact most of major European manufacturers make a KK. The Maerklin one having a useful trick of being able to couple up to the standard NEM coupler. But it has some other problems, being a tight squeeze under some coaches' gangways.

 

As you can probably tell, I really don't think it's worth considering making couplers; you need to be able to guarantee consistency as you make them and I'd need so many that I'd drive myself nuts before I'd produced enough to be worthwhile.

 

YMMV, of course ;-)

 

Steph

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Guest jim s-w

Hi Alan

 

the thing with magnets is everything has to be the right way round or the vehicles will repel each other. However you could use electro magnets on certain vehicles controlled via a function on a dcc decoder to have ucoupling at any time. The other thing with magnets is if you are shunting the vehicles will snatch when they get close and the magnets 'pull' - this will look a bit odd.

 

This is a serious suggestion BTW but get some Brio and do some experiments.

 

HTH

 

Jim

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Thanks chaps for all the advice. I think I'll try the Fleischmann couplings since there's no point in reinventing the wheel. I hadn't thought about the problem of the vehicles "snatching" as they came together although I hadn't really considered this as a solution for vehicles that would be shunted. I was more concerned with getting something that would be rigid enought to allow me to propel up to 15 coach fixed rake passenger trains at speed in the fashion of the SBB's single and double deck Inter City ones. Will the Profi couplings allow me to do this? Profi couplings could certaily be the way forward for goods trains that have to be shunted in my main station's yard...the Roco ones are too apt to let go of each other if they haven't been thumped together fully...something to be avoided in shunting I think!

Regards

 

Alan

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