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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to buid a puzzle switching layout 6'x1' in Ho using Fleischmann stock. But I am having trouble with the Fleischmann uncoupler track and Profi couplings - working is erratic, so am I doing something wrong, and could operation be improved? Is it possible to successfully change Fleischmann couplings with Nem362 sockets for Kadee couplings - has anyone tried this with a degree of success. If it is workable, which Kadee fittings should I use? Help and advice appreciated.
 

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QUOTE (Optimist @ 30 Dec 2006, 15:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would like to buid a puzzle switching layout 6'x1' in Ho using Fleischmann stock. But I am having trouble with the Fleischmann uncoupler track and Profi couplings - working is erratic, so am I doing something wrong, and could operation be improved? Is it possible to successfully change Fleischmann couplings with Nem362 sockets for Kadee couplings - has anyone tried this with a degree of success. If it is workable, which Kadee fittings should I use? Help and advice appreciated.

The FLM profi-couplings although a good coupling (they are my coupling of choice) they often need a "good nudge" to couple up & occasionally a little reluctant to uncouple.

You could use Kadee's but they can be a little tricky to set up. If operation is more important than close coupling and/or looks the older style FLM coupling (6509) may be a better bet. I have about 18 if you cannot obtain them locally - if any good to you, then join the group & send me a PM.
 
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Thanks for info - I think the problem with 6509 coupling may be the need for stock without the slot guide mechanism, shown as designation 'k' in the catalogue. Most of my stuff has 'k' so I could try 6510, but would these couplers allow a push pre-uncouple, which is a basic manoeuvre on a puzzle shunting layout? Any other comments on puzzle shunting/switching layouts appreciated.
 

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QUOTE (Guest_charles_* @ 31 Dec 2006, 09:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for info - I think the problem with 6509 coupling may be the need for stock without the slot guide mechanism, shown as designation 'k' in the catalogue. Most of my stuff has 'k' so I could try 6510, but would these couplers allow a push pre-uncouple, which is a basic manoeuvre on a puzzle shunting layout? Any other comments on puzzle shunting/switching layouts appreciated.

If you have to "pre-uncouple" the only FLM ones that have that facility are the "profis".

Have you looked at the Roco DCC operated couplings (or the Krois) ones at all ? - these give you the facility to uncouple anywher on the layout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought that might be the case. I am proposing to build the layout using old-style electronics as I haven't made the leap to DCC. This is actually a part of the hobby which I enjoy, plus the fact my locos are all old-style and converting would be quite expensive. Another way to go would be to buy new Kadee rolling stock plus a switcher loco and keep the puzzle layout exclusively to an American style operation. Hugely expensive to do this of course, but our hobby is always throwing up this type of dilemma - I suppose that's what makes it interesting.
My other plan is to build an FLM layout based around their turntable and to create a loco repair depot - I have all the bits to hand, plus some completed Faller kits, but I don't really have the space I want at the moment.
 

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A cost effective option may be to look one eBay for the Roco starter set that had the DCC controller,loco with remote couplings, 3 wagons & track. I bought a loco & the wagons for about £40 recently & it all worked very well - I use it to demonstrate DCC.

Food for thought.
 

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>Another way to go would be to buy new Kadee rolling stock plus a switcher loco and keep the puzzle layout exclusively to an American style operation

Or you could make up some Parkside kits and fit Kadees to them. A reasonable number of British outline models now come with NEM coupler pockets at the correct height and have good running qualities which would allow you to make a British based switching puzzle.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, David, I'll have a look at the kit option. I assume that DCC uncoupling only works between the loco and the first wagon, leaving the same problem for wagons further down the string i.e. track uncouplers. Can you recommend any track based uncoupling system. I have FLM, which seems electrically efficient, and I haven't managed to burn any out yet.
 

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QUOTE (Optimist @ 31 Dec 2006, 14:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I assume that DCC uncoupling only works between the loco and the first wagon, leaving the same problem for wagons further down the string i.e. track uncouplers.

That is correct - maybe still go for the Kadee's then - you may be able to use them with the FLM uncoupling ramps. Maybe try getting a few Kadee's to see how you get on with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That seems the way forward - a trial with Kadees to see if they work with the FLM uncoupler ramp. Actually, I was just running a prototype puzzle shunting layout with one uncoupler ramp and conventional FLM Profi couplers this afternoon. I think the problem is friction in the release of the coupler, but this could be overcome with perhaps a graphite paste or similar. Anything to make the couplings a bit more slippery on release - any ideas for this type of compound, somebody probably sells the ideal thing? Also, I find heavier rolling stock seems to uncouple (both in the push and pull position) reasonably well, so a little weight added under wagon loads may also be an answer.
 

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>perhaps a graphite paste or similar
Kadee do a tube of something which I think is like that.

>so a little weight added under wagon loads
The NMRA recommend 1oz + 0.5oz per inch of wagon length. I've been using this as a guide for weighting my Parkside wagons. Each 10ft wagon or van ends up being between 50 to 60 grams. So far, so good. I can run the wagons at reasonably high speed through my Peco code 75 double slips.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm pleased there is an NMRA standard for the weights as this confirms my thinking was going in the right direction - this is not always the case for me! I have some old lead flashing which I can trim to fit into the wagons, so I'll try that next. One other line of action occured to me - I will try some couplings which I have for the FLM climbing engines. These run over a rack track cog and are slightly shorter in height than the standard ones and may not require such a high lift to uncouple. I'll try to track down the graphite lube, or perhaps grind up an old pencil to produce some powder.
Charles
 

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I wouldn't recommend grinding up a pencil - the 'lead' in pencils is a mixture of graphite and clay - the more clay the harder the pencil. Pure graphite powder is sold in ironmongers, DIY stores and locksmiths for lubricating locks. I've got a small bottle (designed for puffing the powder into locks) which has lasted me for about 15 years so far - a little goes a long way! Graphite is conductive (being a form of carbon) so keep it away from the track.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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>I have some old lead flashing
I got a packet of "liquid lead" from Eileen's Emporium at Railex in Aylesbury last year (yes I really do mean 2006!). I follow the instructions on the packet and set it with slightly diluted PVA. The one precaution you must take is to ensure that your wagons and vans are watertight before you start. Even tiny gaps provide an escape route. Fortunately any spills can be peeled off without leaving any marks.

David
 

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In my experience graphite is a good lubricant for metals - as the FLM profi's are plastic it may be better to try a silicon type lubricant - even a spray polish may do the trick.

Some weight in the wagons will help as well - also, if you are using "dedecated" wagons how about "braking" them so that they are not so free running ?

At least there are plenty of suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to David and Brian for suggestions. Yes, silicone sounds better and a furniture polish would do the trick - I'll try some. I had some stuff which I used to spray on the sliding patio door runners which used to make them really glide - if only I could remember where I put it. The liquid lead looks interesting, so I'll follow that one up as well.
Thanks
Charles
 

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>how about "braking" them so that they are not so free running ?
One of the features I like about the Parkside kits is that you get some choice about where the brake shoes go. This means for my "narrow" i.e. 16.5 mm 00 track, I can place them in line with the wheels. On a couple of occasions I have had to scrape a little bit extra off the brake shoes to remove the slight rubbing effect. If you want a braking effect, then don't do the scraping!

David
 
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Rather than hope that the brake shoes on a wagon kit will rub against the wheels in an attempt to stop them "bouncing off" when coupling up, if you have a problem with wagons that are "Too" free running just try running a flat needle file over the pin point ends of the axle's - that should do the trick.
 

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>if you have a problem with wagons that are "Too" free running just try running a flat needle file over the pin point ends of the axle's

Good tip


I have literally just sat down after more or less solving the opposite problem - wheels that barely turn at all. A little heat with a fine tipped soldering iron on the brass bearing cup has created just enough extra play for the wheels to turn freely.

David
 
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