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Old 13-09-2018, 01:54 PM   #131
Mountain Goat
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I'm enjoying your experiments as it reminds me of the various trials I did with 7mm narrow gauge.
I wasn't so bothered about automated coupling. However I wanted to have relatively close coupling with aa semi -realistic look and a budget price.
The one thing I didnt like when I was into 009/H0e was the large distance between vehicles when coupled.
OK, tension locks do this as well and there are different couplings like the S&W which can remedy this. Never thought the close coupling idea with tension lock coaches worked that well and is why I gave up buying new 00 gauge coaches, apart from the price!
I do love watching various ideas tried out. If one doesn't experiment one has nothing to gain. Even if experiments dont work, what one has learnt from them is valuable in itself so nothing is wasted.
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Old 13-09-2018, 02:19 PM   #132
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Thank you MG. I am quite prepared to document the things that don’t work as well as the bits that do. It may inspire others to try something different for a change.
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Old 13-09-2018, 05:50 PM   #133
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Yes. The more we experiment the more we get to know how we can adapt and improve ideas.
I think in 00 gauge that one of the issues is that the best couplings operational wize tend to cost the most which can certainly combine to accumulate into a hefty bill. I did look at kadees for 0-16.5 use as they looked the part until I saw the prices! Lovely things though.
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Old 14-09-2018, 12:54 PM   #134
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I think I have mastered these brass hooks.

I ended up soldering a small brass tag to close up the pivot hole and make it a snug fit (but still able to pivot freely). I also soldered a staple to the tail which just increases the leverage available.
The bottom photo only has a glued staple but the one on the wagon is the final version.

These are a lot more work to produce but they do allow me to fit these hooks to the old design of clip in couplings used before NEMs became more popular.

20180914_123528 by Steve Mumford, on Flickr
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Old 14-09-2018, 01:23 PM   #135
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Very interesting Steve. It is quite a common thing to squeeze the pivot hook to stop it dropping off. Done it lots of times.
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Old 16-09-2018, 12:56 PM   #136
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Hello Steve, I have been watching this long running experiment develop with interest. I use 22 underboard (cheap rectangular) magnets from China, along with these brass tension-lock replacement hooks from P.H. Designs. The majority of my rolling stock being Bachmann, followed by Hornby, with a few old Lima wagons, and a couple from Dapol.
Like you, I found that the pivot hook was too slack on the mounting bar and they kept falling off...and like Walking the Dog I have resorted to closing the gap with a pair of small thin pliers.
The results are somewhat mixed,
Some work fine, some do not always rise over the magnets, and sometimes they fail to drop when clear... The magnets are underneath the top layer of the baseboard (closest to the track above) which is made from two flush panelled wooden doors.

The magnets are probably not powerful enough - ( they are meant for kitchen cabinet doors to hold them closed) they are mounted in pairs below the centre of the track - Peco code 100 streamline layed on 1mm cork underlay. All my locos have the hook removed at both ends, just leaving a bar.

Have noticed that these replacement hooks have a thinner cross section than the originals, and after painting them black and fitting staple tails - which are fitted using superglue and left as per your post 129 (at right angles to the hook ) they tend to sometimes hang lop-sided with a lot of 'slop' in the mounting.

Have also had trouble with them fouling on the pointwork and derailing wagons due to hanging too low. I am impressed by your work, - though have not got any electromagnet uncouplers fitted, nor have I fitted any 'decoupling bars' to these hooks - (yet!).
I have fitted nearly all my stock (50 items) with these replacement hooks and think some of the problem is the accuracy of alignment of the underboard magnets, this seems to necessitate the arrangement of the 'crossbar' on the tail of the hook, I did try the original B.K. method of the tail mounted in line with the hook but this was not always 'finding' and operating over the magnet reliably.

Unsure exactly what to do next, the alternatives are: change to stronger magnets/mount them above the board in the track/use 'seep' motors cut in half and fit electromagnets.
It will be interested to see how your new hooks perform, once painted and installed on wagons on your layout.
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Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF0795 (600 x 450).jpg (61.6 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF0812 (600 x 450).jpg (50.1 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF0823 (600 x 450).jpg (52.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 013 (600 x 450).jpg (91.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF0814 (600 x 450).jpg (46.2 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by SIGTECH; 16-09-2018 at 01:18 PM. Reason: adding photos
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Old 16-09-2018, 01:12 PM   #137
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Stephen, thanks for your comments. Seems you beat me to it with this method of uncoupling.

I too read the original theory of using door magnets - probably all that was available at the time Brian Kirby first published this method. I do have a few neodymium magnets in the fiddleyard but if Iím honest they are probably a little too strong and need to be set a bit lower in the baseboard.
As you have seen my electromagnets are flush with the sleeper tops and that seems to give just the right amount of attraction. Best to fit them on straight sections then the staple tails fall inline.

I wasnít happy with squeezing the pivots - I found that the hole closed up giving exactly the results you describe. I have perfected the ability to solder a very small tab on the opening of the pivot using lowmelt solder paste and a cocktail stick to hold the tab and stop it floating away.
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Old 16-09-2018, 01:51 PM   #138
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Hi again Steve, I decided to try this system on my layout (Sproston) about two years ago, after reading the articles from Brian Kirby on RMWEB. Made a bulk purchase of these brass replacements from Phil Harvey and bought the magnets on Ebay.

I did wonder if the problems I was experiencing were due to the original hooks being manufactured with a smooth anti- friction sort of finish and also being much stronger material- less liable to being bent or twisted.

Unsure what to try next, as some of the magnets are located on curved sections of track- the problem with small layouts being you nearly always want to uncouple something there!
I will ad a couple more pics so you see what I mean-and will keep following your developements on this.

Regards
Steve
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Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF0811 (600 x 450).jpg (44.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Sproston signalling (600 x 461).jpg (48.5 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF0886 (600 x 450).jpg (98.9 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 009 (600 x 450).jpg (60.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF0813 (600 x 450).jpg (44.7 KB, 9 views)

Last edited by SIGTECH; 16-09-2018 at 02:15 PM. Reason: duplicated photo
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Old 16-09-2018, 02:38 PM   #139
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I’m not a fan of having the iron tail at right angles, as you say it tends to pull the coupling to one side. But as I said, having the tail inline means it can miss narrow magnets - that’s why I replaced the electromagnet cores with a nail where the head ‘fills’ the gap between the rails.
On my original efforts I found that some snagging on points was cured by some extra bending of the staple and the recoupling wire. Your couplings in the last photo seem to hang too low - could the nem pocket be sagging slightly?
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Old 16-09-2018, 04:12 PM   #140
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Yes Steve, I have found some of the nem pockets do hang low- have tried to raise them up using small slivers of plastic pushed into pockets below the actual fish tail of the coupling, seems to help, but does not solve problem of low hangers, especially as the part that is to blame is usually the bit the nem pocket is fixed to and allows it to swing or pivot.
No real idea of how to cure that problem...
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