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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the gauge I have my first loco (a GW Railcar) on test on a test track. I note the Graham Farish couplers are of the 'swing nuckle' type. Do all U/K manufacturers use the same type, if so, what are the snags and/or advantages? Are uncouplers available, and do they work satisfactorily? Does Dalpol and Graham Farrish stock mix? I am awaiting a delivery of Kato track which is temporarily out of stock, and meanwhile using Peco for tests.
 

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Hi Stirling,

Obviously you are another fan of Gods Wonderful Railway so I though I would pass on my experiences with couplers. The standard Rapido type couplers are grossly over scale for N Gauge and are, in my opinion, absolutely hideous so I've been doing some trials of various types of couplers over the past few months and eventually whittled it down to 2 possibilities. The Micro-trains (Kadee type) couplers and the DG Couplers.

While the Micro-trains knuckle couplers are very nice they are not easy to install and usually require some pretty drastic surgery to locos, wagons and carriages. They come either in kit form or ready assembled with the ready assembled ones working out quite expensive. Having tried to assemble some from the kits I can, however, understand why. They are, quite frankly, little b*****s to put together. Overall conclusion was very nice but also very expensive and difficult to install in N gauge.

Which brings me to the DG Couplers (available from Model Signal Engineering).

These come in kit form comprising a brass etch with 16 couplers on, a small roll of phosphor bronze wire and a small roll of steel wire. The instructions that come with them are adequate but a much better set of instructions, complete with photographs is available here

http://models.dreamgenius.me.uk/chagrin/coupling1.htm

A word of caution though, the instructions and illustrations are for 00 gauge and the demonstrator has opted to use a single piece of steel wire to form both the loop and dropper. For N Gauge it is best to stick with the materials supplied as it is very difficult to find steel wire which is 'in scale' but still sufficiently strong. I could't find anything which met all my criteria.

They are, at first, a bit fiddly to assemble but, like everything else, practice makes perfect and I was soon able to set up a mass production sequence. The only really tricky bit is soldering the steel dropper wire to the phosphor bronse loop. Solder does not take easily to steel but, by using a liquid flux and 'tinning' the two wires before bringing them together I eventually cracked it. The end result is a very neat, fully functional auto-coupler with a delayed action facility. Once blackened up and fitted they are almost invisible. Although some modifications are necessary to adapt the Rapido sockets (scalpel + epoxy filler) they do not require anything like the same level of surgery as the Micro-trains ones.

In conclusion, although I originally extolled the virtues of the Micro-trains couplers elswewhere on this forum, cost and ease of assembly have resulted in me now standardising with the DG Couplers.

Hope you find this of some help.

Happy modelling,

Expat.
 

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The DG couplings look excellent there expat, if only microtrains made truck replacements for Knuckle type wagons they would have cracked it as i replace trucks on my American stock and have a convert a wagon in minutes, just needing to change the centre pin and keep the originals in the appropriate box so they can be converted back at a later date if needs be.
The replacement trucks come ready assembled and make changing stock a breeze.

There is a huge market for this type of conversion and it suprises me they havnt made a move to produce them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the information. One important point I failed to mention was that I have Parkinson's Disease and suffer continuoous tremor so intricate adaptions and soldering are beyond my capabilities. I asked the question originally because I don't want to buy unsuitable stock for my projected layout. I have had problems mixing Bachmann and Hornby on my 00 gauge layout.
 

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Hi Stirling,

Sorry to hear that. It must be very frustrating.

On the basis that self assembly couplers are out I will go back to your original question then.

I have a mix of Graham Farish, Dapol and Peco rolling stock and locos and the factory installed couplers, which are all derivatives of the Rapido Coupler, are all compatible with each other though Dapol and Peco tend to provide slightly closer coupling than GF.

As regards uncoupling, Peco make a mechanical un-coupler track which, when the centre ramp is raised, lifts a pin on the underside of the couplers to disengage them.

Hope this helps this time,

Expat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (Expat @ 4 Sep 2008, 12:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Stirling,

Sorry to hear that. It must be very frustrating.

On the basis that self assembly couplers are out I will go back to your original question then.

I have a mix of Graham Farish, Dapol and Peco rolling stock and locos and the factory installed couplers, which are all derivatives of the Rapido Coupler, are all compatible with each other though Dapol and Peco tend to provide slightly closer coupling than GF.

As regards uncoupling, Peco make a mechanical un-coupler track which, when the centre ramp is raised, lifts a pin on the underside of the couplers to disengage them.

Hope this helps this time,

Expat.

Thanks, Expat, My question is answered! Regrds, Stirling.
 
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