Couplings and Sprung Buffers

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doggeface
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Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby doggeface » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:09 am

Having reached a point where at least two of my locos run well enough not to pee me off and having persuaded several coaches to run smoothly it now needs a means of coupling which a) does not use the bogie and b) enables buffer to buffer propulsion.

I learned some while ago that P4 flanges do not tolerate propulsion forces on bogies but that buffer to buffer works fine.

My reading has thrown up Dingham for the couplings but which buffers are recommended?

Any remarks concerning Dingham would be very appreciated.

Peter

craig_whilding

Re: Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby craig_whilding » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:24 am

What coaches are they?

MJT do some nice Gresley and I think LMS coach buffers, Model Railway Developments may do something for GWR coaches as well as David Geen.

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby Mike Garwood » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:42 am

Coach couplings are a minefield, so many to choose from. I think you need to decide on whether or not you want to be able to uncouple, then aided by the hand in the sky or not. Once those decisions have been made, you can make an informed choice.

I don't have coach uncoupling moves on my train set so something like this is fine for me...

http://www.brassmasters.co.uk/coach_couplings.htm

http://www.scalefour.org/masokits/index.html - Mike Clarke does a range as well.

Don't forget the good ol' Spratt and Winkle, we have Dinghams fitted to our 7mm stock at the ends of fixed rakes and Kadees between coaches in the middle. Personally I think Dingham's work well but look dreadful.

Mike

nberrington
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Re: Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby nberrington » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:27 am

I think it really depends what you plan to do with the stock. If you don't imagine a good bit of shunting and uncoupling, then go with prototype lookalikes. (Brassmasters, screw inks, etc.

For shunting, I now have some experience with a variety of systems, and am moving from AJs to Dingham. They worn really well, with the great hand intervening evey 2 seconds.

Once blackened, they are fairly unobtrusive. The disadvantage is that you cannot turn the vehicle, as there is a sided-ness to the coupling.

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David Thorpe
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Re: Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby David Thorpe » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:12 pm

Having decided to go with automatic couplings, I've been considering Dinghams for my layout. I first saw them in action on the Lee-on-Solent layout at Scalefour North 2011 and was very impressed both with operation and appearance. Unlike Mike, I think that Dinghams look best of all the automatic couplings, at least on UK stock, and as far as I know they're the only automatic coupling where the hook actually comes out of the buffer beam, being fitted in the same way as 3-link or screw couplings. So I've bought a fret and have put some together (a little fiddly but not too difficult) though as yet haven't fitted any to vehicles. (They're also reasonably priced - £12 for enough for 20 vehicles)

Whether i'll in fact adopt them is still in some doubt because they are single-ended couplings - in other words, each end of the vehicle will have a different coupling, That is fine if all the vehicles face the same way, and indeed on most layouts, including mine, freight and passenger stock will seldom if ever be turned. On an end-to-end layout, however, locos will be turned and that may well cause problems. The Dingham instructions say that it may be possible to fit double ended couplers, and gives instructions as to how these can be made, but warns that these will almost certainly not work as well as in single ended mode. I really think that the only way to test this out is by trial and error, so I'll probaly fit Dinghams a to few vehicles and see how they get on.

As for coaching stock, I have dounbts as to whether Dinghams will provide appropriate close coupling. I'll probably therefore fit Kadees throughout the rake, with Dinghams, or such other auto coupling as I might choose, at the ends.

As far as buffers are concerned, sprung buffers are not recommended for use with Dinghams, but if they are they should be adjusted to 6 or 7mm projection. As the couplers must be fitted so that the hook projects the same distance from the beam as the buffers, I'm not at all sure whether contact between vehicles when being propelled is buffer to buffer, or coupling to coupling - perhaps this could be clarified by someone who uses them?

DT
Last edited by David Thorpe on Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:59 pm

As far as buffers are concerned, sprung buffers are not recommended for use with Dinghams, but if they are they should be adjusted to 6 or 7mm projection. As the couplers must be fitted so that the hook projects the same distance from the beam as the buffers, I'm not at all sure whether contact between vehicles when being propelled is buffer to buffer, or coupling to coupling - perhaps this could be clarified by someone who uses them?

I'm not a user but from my previous investigation the Dinghams push via the coupling, which is why the hook is that special shape. As such the projection of the hook relative to the buffer faces is designed to avoid contact between fixed buffers. With sprung buffers that can be adjusted to allow light contact but the buffers will have to allow the hook to engage before moving the vehicle being coupled. And the buffers will inhibit uncoupling if they are significantly compressed. This will be difficult to get right with a single light vehicle, easier as the rake being coupled to gets bigger and heavier. You will need to experiment to reach a compromise that suits you. There are similar issues with Kadees and sprung buffers.
Regards
Keith
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Keith
Grovenor Sidings

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doggeface
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Re: Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby doggeface » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:23 pm

I should have stated that my model location is GWR/MR mix as in a F-o-Dean that might have been. That involves suburban of Midland & GW together with Auto trains. Goods is mostly coal and light wagon loads for Coleford and burnt lime out. There will be excursion trains of mixed stock. All of my rolling stock is RTR of Bachmann/Hornby origin and carriages can be almost any although Airfix/Mainline are popular with me.Runaround and turning locos is involved as is push pull and plenty of shunting and train make up. There are no cassettes / fiddle yards as I wish it to be a working model warts and all!

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doggeface
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Re: Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby doggeface » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:26 pm

The Dingham option looks to be realistic. The uni direction nature of each vehicle set is not really a problem if one is happy to provide a barrier vehicle which carries the same fitting at each end. This enables each loco to carry the complementary fitting at each end and so always have a suitable connection available. In the GW case a shunters truck, a Guard/Brake carriage or even a parcels van will be suitable realistic variations. This of course does not help the large layouts with some form of reversing loop if one wishes to shunt stock to make up a different train!

David Knight
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Re: Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby David Knight » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:52 pm

The key thing with Dinghams is the setup. When properly set up buffers should be able to touch during propelling moves and there should be no trouble with coupling. Difficulties arise with some RTR stock where the distance from the buffer beam to the buffer face is less than 6mm.

Cheers,

David

Knuckles
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Re: Couplings and Sprung Buffers

Postby Knuckles » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:26 am

I've found this thread very interesting. I'm also contemplating using Dingham's and have kindly recieved advice in other threads. Could somebody clarify why sprung buffers are a bad idea with Dingham's? I've heard it a few times but not the reason. Thing is since my P4 venture I've been doing what (I guess) a lot of people do and that is making stock up for the fun of it and for preparation for a layout when the loft is renovated. So far I've nearly finished my 4th fully sprung wagon and have converted 2 RTR examples to fixed axles with just a straight swap. Only when I have something more substantial will I be really able to test and experience weather I think springing or fixed etc is needed and where. can't test much with 2 points and 1 bit of flexi track!

I really like the idea of Dinghams, visually I think they are the best auto coupler I've seen, AJ's to me have gone too far the other way and it looks like wagons are being linked and propelled by ghosts. So far I've converted all this stock with Slaters 3 links (not sprung) and also sprung the buffers but I can never make up my mind what to do. Dingham's or not. I just love the look of proper links.

Yet I want to "do a bi' a shuntin' lyke." Hard decisions indeed. :?

EDIT: I found this interesting, maybe it will help someone. http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic. ... +couplings

I am also wrenching myself to decide weather to go in for the layout I have in mind or do a mini layout (say, 1.5 feet X 6 or something) with 2 or 3 points for the experiment factor. If I do a mini one though it will have to be designed into the storage of the bigger proposed one(s). I want to design the main layout(s) to be stored within it's own baseboards, racking style so in time I can theoretically have more than one layout rather than breaking one up in favour of a new.
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