Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
Here's my method of automating Bachmann Blue Riband Couplings, i hope it may be of interest. Basically, it uses re-shaped steel office staples and pairs of magnets buried under the track. The staple tails are attracted down by the magnets, the hooks rise, but only when the hooks are unlocked.
By all means try the idea for yourself.
Cheers, Brian.

Two wagons coupled away from magnets, magnets located as shown. Two spare magnets in front to show size.

The two wagons coupled in tension, over the magnets, remain coupled.

The "train" reverses slightly, unlocking the couplings, the hooks rise.

One van is drawn away.

To recouple, the vans are pushed backwards over and away from the magnets, they recouple.

Plain ballasted track, magnets not visible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Chaps,
I actually thought this up about ten years ago, just after Bachmann introduced their narrow Blue Riband couplings and i was having no end of trouble with the dreaded plastic uncoupling ramps. Apologies for sitting on this for so long, some of the RTR manufacturers have been shown this and liked it, we'll see if they decide to use it.

It works best on these Bachmann couplings, because luckily, they use hooks made from non-ferrous alloy. All the other makes of tension-lock coupling (i.e. Hornby, Dapol, Airfix, Lima and even Heljan) use steel hooks that can become magnetized and then stick together. The principle will work on these other types, but is not quite as effective. The "tails" or "actuactors" (!) are simply made from old or new steel office staples, re-shaped, then crimped and glued to the coupling droppers. The magnets (extracted from magnetic door catches) are used in pairs, buried under the track. These were bought quite cheaply from Screwfix (Ref:14897) -32mm White Door Catches at £1.95 for ten (If you have the catalogue, look under "Bolts and Catches").

I must admit that i've already published this idea, on a certain "other forum", which some of you may have already seen, so this is for anyone who has missed it. Feel free to try the idea, any problems, just ask.
Cheers, Brian.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Paul, Mark and Blue Sky,
Firstly to answer Paul's loco query. The short answer is that locos don't even need a working coupling, a simple wire bar will suffice, using the single hook from a coach or wagon to couple. A thin wire bar looks better anyway. The only problem would be if you wanted to doublehead your locos. With the majority of my steam and diesel locos, i favour a fully working Bachmann coupling on the rear and a thin wire bar on the front for the sake of appearance.
You are absolutely right, fitting a working coupling to either or both ends of some diesels, for example a BR Western or Warship is difficult. Maybe, if appearance is paramount, the best option here is to use dummy screw couplings for loco-to-loco.
Blue Sky is absolutely spot on about fixing the magnets. In one direction the magnets will repel eachother, turn around one magnet and then the two or more magnets will happily stick together. I've never found the need to glue or fix the magnets in place, they just sit in the recess made in the underlay or cork,etc. As already said the glued ballast does the rest.
Cheers, Brian.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Mike,
Yes that should eliminate the magnetized hook problem on steel couplings, like Hornby, etc. I was thinking of black rubber/pvc (steady chaps) sleeving, rather like when you strip the appropriate thickness of electrical wire. The round wire insulation should stretch around the flat dropper shape. Then crimp and glue the staple to the insulation. Use black insulation, so as to make it as inconspicuous as possible.
Another little tip, straighten the Bachmann dropper (they are kinked, so as to be on the centre line for the dreaded plastic ramps), otherwise the applied pair of staples may be too close to eachother, where fixed to the droppers (magnetism again). Using two pairs of pliers is the easiest method i've found.
Cheers, Brian.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Keith,
Glad you like it. You've had to move the magnets further apart, because the Hornby narrow couplings have a longer reach, than the Bachmann type. Have you tried Bachmann couplings on the wider magnet spacing ? With a mixture of couplings there will always have to be an element of compromise. If using both coupling types, you could add a third magnet, to increase the uncoupling area.
Cheers, Brian.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top