Hunt Couplings ELITE

Nokonium
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Hunt Couplings ELITE

#1

Post by Nokonium »

I have recently added a new coal train to my layout, a total of 10 trucks and have been having some annoying decoupling problems (on top of the coupling hooks falling off previously posted about). Some occur at points, some at level crossings but most on a downhill incline with some curves, suspect that the tension lock couplings are overriding each other and unlocking. So have been looking for a solution. Bought a pack of drawbars, too short, so back to the drawing board. Have now come across the couplings in the title, Hunt Couplings ELITE. I have just purchased 3 variations to try on my coal train and elsewhere. The ELITE version has stronger magnets than the original Hunt Couplings and are not polarity sensitive. To me they look perfect for solving my problem and hopefully they will.

Has anyone here tried them and if so what do they think?
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Walkingthedog
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Re: Hunt Couplings ELITE

#2

Post by Walkingthedog »

Did think of using something similar but they can’t be uncoupled without physically pulling them apart.
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Nokonium
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Re: Hunt Couplings ELITE

#3

Post by Nokonium »

Yes , they can only be manually uncoupled and doing that appears to be easier than with tension locks. My layout only has a relatively small goods yard and I have little scope or inclination for doing shunting or using uncoupling systems. I don't intend to mix wagons much, just have complete trains. Though I have a lovely Super Claude D16/3, that has just had sound fitted, that can pull carriages or wagons.
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Walkingthedog
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Re: Hunt Couplings ELITE

#4

Post by Walkingthedog »

I always found uncoupling tension locks to be easy with the correct uncoupling tool.
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Mr Bones
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Re: Hunt Couplings ELITE

#5

Post by Mr Bones »

Not tried the Hunt couplings, but have you looked at Kedee's?
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Re: Hunt Couplings ELITE

#6

Post by Nokonium »

Have looked at KD’s several times but they haven’t ticked all my boxes yet. Haven’t ruled them out but haven’t purchased any yet.
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Re: Hunt Couplings ELITE

#7

Post by Mountain Goat »

Tell you what does work well in regards to tension lock and seemed to blend in but unfortunately were not close coupling were the metal screw on couplings from the later days of Triang going into Triang/Hornby days. I never had uncoupling issues with those couplings if they were used with other Triang/Hornby couplings. Early Triang couplings of a similar design were not so good and looked overdone. But those screw on metal wide type tension lock couplings were less noticeable to the eye then plastic narrow ones in use as they did blend in better when the trains were moving, which is wierd to say I know! It was the gap between pairs of buffers that was noticeable, but it is nothing compared to the gap I have seen between buffers of some modern nem pocket tension lock wagons I have seen!
It is most likely the vertical flex that the addition of nem pockets give that is causing those issues. When I saw this flex in the earlier days of the nem pocket and had so much issues with them, I gave up in 00 gauge becuase I saw them coming in as standard. (I also had long periods without an income which was another factor).
You see I had been modelling in the days before this when the only issue was incompatibility of coupling sizes, and my favourites were the medium sized that Mainline brought in. I bever liked the narrow ones Airfix and others used because to go that narrow the coupling has to have horizontal flex, and adding this flex causes a weak point in the coupling design if plastic is used. (If they made all metal small tension locks that were screwed on to the vehicke bodies so that they had no flex they would be ok, but I still prefer a medium size because tension locks work best when solidly fixed with the hooks on the left (Or if so designed, on the right) and not centrally mounted which was another problem with the old Airfix design, as hooks could bash into each other and fly off rather then engauge on those less common moments that did happen. Airfix couplings did self destruct on occasions like the nem pockeded ones do when they fall off the vehicles!
But those wide thin metal later Triang/Hornby types from the 1970's to very early 1980's never let me down in their reliability. Nem pocked couplings were a disaster in comparisson and needed excellent trackwork just to make them behave. In my oppinion, they were not up to the job.
I do see the advantages of nem pockets in the ability to easily change to other types, but to be frank, we already had a standard. It was the three point system where there were two raised pins and the central point was where the screw held the coupling on. As long as this three point system was adapted as standard it was very solid and never caused issues.

In 7mm narrow gauge I make my own couplings so they have to perform to my expectations and criteria. I did look at Kadee couplings but I ruled them out due to price. Actually I had been using tension lock couplings but when each coupling pack I bought happened to go up in price so one was paying out 80 pence a coupling... That means £1.60 a waggon or other vehicle (And then they went up to £1 each and probably cost even more today) things were getting silly as all they are is a little plastic loop with a fixing, and a small metal hook!
So I started to look at designing and making my own, and the first design seemed ok but the practical aspect of making them to reliably work just did not work when it came to sharp curves and heavy loads.
Going back to the drawing board and I came out with my Mk 2 coupling design. Cheap to make at around 10 pence a vehicle or less, easy to make, easy to use and they look the part, and I can't go wrong! They are manually engauged though they do allow for a distant coupling if needed in that one can manually lift a loop and drive to a parked waggon or carriage and gently bash buffers and the loop drops and couples...
I do not mind manually moving coupling loops as it is far easier to flip a loop up with a piece of stiff wire (I need to make a coupling operating tool. I just hold wore in my hand!) then it is if I was trying to work with 3 link couplings! But my couplings are for centrally mounted buffers for 7mm narrow gauge use.

For 4mm standard gauge use, I recommend a copy of a book I have if you can find one. "Modelling 4mm. Scale Rolling Stock" by Michael Longridge (Written in 1948), as he wrote it in the days before there was a standard coupling in 4mm scale so they had to come up with home made alternatives. It is still an excellent book for those who want to go into scratchbuilding, but also has details and ideas which most modellers will find useful.
Enjoying freelance modelling in 7mm narrow gauge Feel free to ask questions relating to the Mountain Goats Waggon & Carriage Works thread.
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IanS
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Re: Hunt Couplings ELITE

#8

Post by IanS »

Surprisingly, the book is currently available on Amazon from £10 (although one is £50+!)- a hardback version no less!

Only 6 available, so be quick!!
Nokonium
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Re: Hunt Couplings ELITE

#9

Post by Nokonium »

I have a set of Pullman coaches with the wide tension lock couplings attached directly to the bogie, the do work very well, what’s more the hook is securely attached and cannot fall off. Unfortunately all the trucks in my coal train have narrow tlc’s in NEM pockets. As you said the most probable cause of the problem is the vertically flexing which makes it easy for a coupling to ride up over the one it is coupled with and lift the hook. Another factor could be the mass of the hook itself, when in tension they mostly stay put, but going downhill they are in compression and even the clunk from the expansion gaps between rail sections could be enough to get them to flick up. I think that the Elite couplings should fix these problems without too much work. I have ordered all three lengths available for NEM pockets so that I can change the distance between the pairs of buffers and see what looks good and works. Should be able to get the trucks closer than the tension locks allow without having problems on curves, my tightest curves on the layout for goods traffic are R3.
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Re: Hunt Couplings ELITE

#10

Post by Mountain Goat »

I hope you get success. It is frustrating when couplings do not stay coupled or create de-railments.

For anyone wanting to know what my home made couplings look like...

How they work :- The drop loop part is simply lifted up and over the central buffer of the other item of rolling stock. Only one drop loop needs to be lifted, the other drop loop remains unused.
Note: The two locos are buffer to buffer but are not coupled as both drop loops are in the down position, but if they were coupled and the couplings are tight (As in if both locos were to pull in opposite directions) the gap between the buffers would be roughly 2mm so they are close coupling in operation. I like the way I can hear the buffers clashing if I rough shunt them.
I added the photo with the locos to show the distance between vehicle bufferbeams when they are sat next to each other. These couplings allow vehicles to turn in a diameter of less then 2ft (Less then 60cm) as long as I keep to short to medium wheelbase vehicles.
Ideal for 7mm narrow gauge use.
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Enjoying freelance modelling in 7mm narrow gauge Feel free to ask questions relating to the Mountain Goats Waggon & Carriage Works thread.
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