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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Near the end of my thread about installing sound in my newly acquired Hornby class 101 DMU I said that the only thing left to do was to do something about the horrible couplings. Well I have tackled that in the last few days.

I first cut off the large bar and pulled off the hook. I then thought about how to fit close coupling that would be a lot less obtrusive. (Of course if it had had NEM couplings it would have been easy.) I decided to make a coupling from copper wire. I would never want to uncouple the cars so it could be a permanent fitting. My first idea was to hook it over the slots to which the original hooks had been attached. This caused derailments and I worked out that it was possibly because the 'pull' was not fore-and-aft but skewed because the hooks had been offset. Here is a picture. (Unfortunately the bogies moved as I was taking it and so the copper wire looks to be in line but I hope you can see that this is because the bogies are offset.

Rectangle Electric blue Composite material Fashion accessory Electronic component


I then tried a longer wire going into the larger slots that were further back as shown here.

Circuit component Electric blue Electronic component Cable Fashion accessory


This worked in that it didn't cause derailments but it was difficult to fit. I finally decided to drill 2mm holes as close to the centre line as possible and near the end of the bogie frame.

Circuit component Electronic component Rectangle Electric blue Composite material


These were easier to fit. The length has to be adjusted according to your minimum radius. Mine are made for 24" radius. This is the result.

Train Plant Vehicle Sky Natural environment


It still leaves a small gap which I may fill with some foam rubber painted black or some folded black paper. But compare it to the original.

Train Plant Rolling stock Railway Mode of transport


After perhaps adjusting the length a little I will paint the copper wire black.
 

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C55
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Hi Robert,
your idea got me thinking, {Probably not a good idea for an ancient ret'd teach... } anyway, it occurs to me that it might be possible to secure chain into the holes you drilled, which might improve the look of the links. I remembered that various items can be fixed to the scenery with a thin wire passed through the end and then twisted to form a bracket{?} which can then be secured. Perhaps it might improve the look of the connectors if chain ends had a thin wire passed through the end links, bent and the ends twisted together, so they could be inserted into the holes you drilled in the bogies.
 

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In depth idiot
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Great many ways to 'play tunes' with this method. Making the holes in the 'floor' of the gangways can offer easier access to the coupling link on gangwayed bogie coaches. Vehicle end mounting of magnetic couplers is the direction I am now going for fitted stock, Added convenience the main motivation, the benefit of the closest possible coupling and no slack in the train (other than in the pivots) is shared with the bent wire fixed link. (I have developed quite a dislike over the years to trains which should be 'tight coupled' and therefore move as one piece, which are actually 'loose coupled' in model form.)
 

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C55
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Thanks for the comments.

Julian, it sounds as though we were in the same game before retirement.
I think so, am I right in thinking you might have taught Maths? My lot was PE and Maths, main, with ICT by default later, I even managed to teach some pupils occasionally {Grief, that's so old, it probably goes back to Socrates :unsure: }.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Julian, I've only just seen your reply.

Yes, I was a mathematics teacher with a bit of Physics in the my earlier years. I put this information on my profile page when I first joined this forum but it seems to have disappeared now.
 

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C55
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[QUOTE} Julian, I've only just seen your reply.

Yes, I was a mathematics teacher with a bit of Physics in the my earlier years. I put this information on my profile page when I first joined this forum but it seems to have disappeared now.
[/QUOTE]
I used to enjoy taking classes of PE, to let them discover ways that would provide exercise in ways that they would enjoy whatever their own style. However, nothing can beat watching their faces, when they see the plain logic steps to Maths and ICT solutions, to something that was previously unfathomable and see the growth in their confidence to deal with the world as a consequence. That is such a privilege to be able to share.

Good to know. The next time some knowlessman comes along proposing ideas that conflict with empirically proven science we can apply the boot in stereo.
..... perhaps more of a Triprod... :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It may do so but I never intend to do that. On my layout trains only ever go one way. (I have express passenger, local stopping passenger, and three or four goods trains for each of the up and down lines.) This means that the driving car will always be pulling the others. However you have made an interesting point, but I think that the copper wire is thick enough and short enough not to be too flexible. I will certainly put it into reverse next time I have a running session (if I can remember to do so) and see what happens.
 

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If the copper wire does flex, 'Florist's wire' which is iron is sufficiently stiff and forms sharp bends very neatly. Advantage, it can be lifted out by a magnet on a short stick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There is no problem reversing. I stopped the DMU at the end of the scenic part of the layout and put it into reverse at a reasonable speed. It travelled the whole of the scenic part, i.e. three long straights and two 180 degree curves of 24" radius, with no problem.
 

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There is no problem reversing. I stopped the DMU at the end of the scenic part of the layout and put it into reverse at a reasonable speed. It travelled the whole of the scenic part, i.e. three long straights and two 180 degree curves of 24" radius, with no problem.
Thats good, I wanted to know to save me having problems on my end to end layout if I did the same thing! :) Otherwise it was a case of installing Keen Systems Close Couplers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I used the Keen system many years ago. It did the job well but on some coaches (at that time) you had to cut away part of the bogie frame which made the wheels fall out at the drop of a hat. If you don't need to cut the frames then yes it is a good system.
 

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I used the Keen system many years ago. It did the job well but on some coaches (at that time) you had to cut away part of the bogie frame which made the wheels fall out at the drop of a hat...
Interesting. (I would have given your post an 'informative' rather than a 'like' if such an option was available. Perhaps we could agree a code meaning for the smilies: 'informative and useful', 'inventive', 'impressively skillful', 'improbable', 'I really think not' ?)

Whatever, I have seen it claimed that Bachmann didn't put a close coupling system on their BR pilot scheme DMU's for much the same reason, because it was awkward to implement on the power bogie. (That's the one missing feature I would have liked on these models, with underside access to a DCC decoder socket as next request.) Whether true or not, it is a fact that Hornby's class 30/31 does have a close coupling system installed, and in my experience the outside end of the bogies tends to splay out over time, until a wheelset drops out; unless adjustments are made when first received, based on havin had the experience ....
 
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