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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just need a bit of help and thoughts on autocupling and compares. I am at present got some Sprat & Winkle which seam to do the job but would like to hear from others on there thoughts on this subject any help would be great as I fine most uncupling "e g"peco locos get stuck on the ramp so a hidden one would be better such as magnet under track in S/W must be better

Noblenoel

 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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I have used tension locks and Kadees but am settling on Dingham for good looking magnetic autocoupling. Do a Google on them for more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tip on the Dinghams bit puzzled on how they fit to wagons does not show too clear in the exsamples I found
regards Noel
 

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Hi Noel
I have been using kadees for 25+ years with no problems. There is a vast range of different types to choose from, including different lenghts and heights. They also offer a variety of uncouplers, which can be fitted between the rails or underneath the track out of sight. There is even an electromagnetic one. Kadee have an excellent web site.
I have no experience with Spratt and Winkle or Dinghams, not sure what type Dinghams are actually. Then there is the question of can your coupler of choice be easily sourced.
A good idea would be to have a look at a couple of exhibitions and see how the various couplers work on in an actual working environment. Nothing like the pressure of exhibition operating to weed out the non performers.
One final thing, no matter which type you eventually decide to use, the reality is that there may/will be some degree of modification required to your models.
Until you gain experience with converting your rolling stock to a new type of coupler, I would advise using rolling stock that, if it gets damaged will not cause the same grief as a new expensive item.

Cheers Manfred
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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Manfred,

Your comments are valid however one area not touched on is that of prototype and which coupler best represents reality. To some modellers this is of no concern and is evidenced by the ongoing use of tension lock couplings as supplied by the major RTR manufacturers. However a balance between function, form and fit as it were, needs to be made hence the use of Kadees on UK stock. You can get away with it operationally for sure but perhaps not for those whose modelling driver is the attention to attempting to represent as close as possible the real thing particulalry steam era. My dislike of the S&W is the wire across the buffers. Kadees I like and I would use them if modelling more modern image but they look out of place on LMS era stock. The Dinghams are not for everybody because they require some forming, not plug and play, but when I have spent time building a chassis and building a body the time to assembly and form a coupling is of no consequence.

Noel,

This link may help explain more about how these are fitted. I don't have a photo of one of my wagons but the info here is planty enogh in my mind, particulalry if you are familiar with S&W couplers. I trust this assists. Dinghams for 4mm Stock
 

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I would not disagree with what L F has said, a modeller needs to be comfortable with their choice of coupler as they are the ones that will be using and viewing them. The original request of this thread was for a automated coupler. Unfortunately 3 link and screw link do not lend themselves to automation, so inevitably some form of compromise is required, again it is up to the individual to make that choice. There are other options available for automated couplings but I can't think of any off hand. Other forum members could enlighten us. The more choices that we come up with for Noel will mean he is not limited for choice.

PS Sorry could not resist this
, but knuckle couplers were used by the LNER as far back as the 1930's mainly on coaching stock.

PPS Look forward to meeting you L F at a BMRA meeting sometime.

Cheers Manfred
 

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Just another modeller
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***The nice thing about the Dinghams is that all you need to mount on a loco is the coupling hook, which is pretty close look-wise to a prototype hook, and that can even be dressed up properly with a dummy screw link coupler to make it look the part. That siuts me as I really dislike the look of every brand of coupler on my kit built loco's.

The coupler itself is very unobtrusive and also fits in the correct position directly into the buffer beam where it should be.

Its a far more realistic option than most of the other etched or wire couplers, and as easy to automate as Kadees as long as you take your time assembling them.

I have also very successfully used them as the basis for my experimental wagon mounted DCC automated uncoupling unit... which I demonstrated to a Perth BRMA meeting nearly 2 years ago now... Hopefully I'll find time to make it generally available in the next year or so!

regards

Richard
 

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In depth idiot
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QUOTE (Manfred Ebinger @ 29 Jan 2009, 09:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>..knuckle couplers were used by the LNER as far back as the 1930's mainly on coaching stock. ..
Actually even earlier: the East Coast Joint Stock of the GNR, NER and NBR began to be equipped with 'Gould' vestibules and knuckle couplers from 1897, following the operation of some American built Pullman coaches on the route. Gresley made its' use general on all corridor stock on joining the GNR in 1905, and this continued to be the practise of the LNER. When Mr Bulleid went South to once again apply superior Doncaster practise to the Southern, his corridor coach designs also used this system. And of course BR then adopted it for corridor coaches.
 

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HI

I was using 3-link couplers on my small test plank which I enjoyed, but I decided to show the plank and found at the end of the day I was mentally exhausted, so after doing some research I have decided to fit the Dingham couplers to all my stock.. I have ordered 2 frets so that should do my small fleet.

Stuart in OZ
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 29 Jan 2009, 21:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have also very successfully used them as the basis for my experimental wagon mounted DCC automated uncoupling unit... which I demonstrated to a Perth BRMA meeting nearly 2 years ago now... Hopefully I'll find time to make it generally available in the next year or so!

Now that's the go of course - fully flexible, no ligning up over magnet locations etc.

BTW, saw a particular layout at the Corio show on Saturday where the operators were bordering on arguing about where and how to uncouple on the layout they wer exhibiting to the public. I counted 6 times that the loco went back and fwd over the magnet location!
 

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Hello Noel

I must admit that I am somewhat obcessed with this subject as I have built many exhibition layouts in my time in many different scales and gauges and if you are operating for two days in front of the paying public then you need a very reliable coupling/uncoupling system. I am currently returning to British OO after 30 years away - I'm returning for one simple reason - Hornby and Bachmann have belatedly adopted the NEM Coupler box and this enables me to use Kadee couplers on my Britsh stock.

Having used Kadees in O, HO, O-16.5 and ON3 I would always want to use Kadees on any future project, but that's because I understand them and they suit me and the fitting of them suits my skill level. It is very difficult to advise anyone on what coupling to use without knowing something about that person and what their priorities are and what their skill level is.

I like Kadees because I am not too concerned about cost - reliability was my only concern. For example I always use Kadees electro-magnets. If cost is critical these are expensive - my last exhibition layout had 3 points and 8 electromagnets - as a result my locos didn't have to shuffle up and down to uncouple - there was always a magnet in the right place. Great - but it was expensive!

I don't like any coupling system that relies on me bending or soldering because that requires skills I don't have and also I want someting I can fit in seconds - if you have NEM boxes on your stock you can fit a kadee in under a minute. For me appearance is secondary so the fact that Kadees look a little clunky is not important to me.

Every modeller has different skills and different priorities - I don't know what your's are Noel - all I can say is buy some of each and compare - and lastly join a Club and see what they use.

Paul
 

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Dogsbody
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Knuckle / Buckeye / Kadee couplings work fine unless you have gradients with fairly quick transitions and variable wheelbase lengths. In these circumstances, my experience is, stick to tension locks and elctromagentic ramps such as those supplied by Gaugemaster. Apart from cost, the only downside is that you can not easily use a fully handheld controller such as the Dynamis because you need one hand to activate the uncoupling ramp !
 

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QUOTE (BobB @ 6 Feb 2009, 17:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Knuckle / Buckeye / Kadee couplings work fine unless you have gradients with fairly quick transitions and variable wheelbase lengths. In these circumstances, my experience is, stick to tension locks and elctromagentic ramps such as those supplied by Gaugemaster. Apart from cost, the only downside is that you can not easily use a fully handheld controller such as the Dynamis because you need one hand to activate the uncoupling ramp !

If Kadee couplers are used and the magnets set correctly when track laying, your hands will be left free for the control and any point switches etc
 

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The Kadee uncoupling by DCC was interesting, but when I looked at the second link I came across an amazing video about using DCC to uncouple Alex Jackson couplings in 4mmm - absolutely incredible!

I'm not good enough with technology to give you a link but go to youtube and search DCC AJ COUPLER
 
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