Close coupling of coaches

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby grovenor-2685 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:15 pm

Has anyone tried using the Sergent Engineering Buckeye couplings?


I did have a couple of samples of his earlier version. They are fine on US freight cars. The problem comes with passenger cars, you can't get the uncoupling magnet in place because of the gangways, so Ok if you only run fixed rakes.
Keith

John Fitton

Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby John Fitton » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:22 pm

Well I know this is a personal choice hobby, but I really have to agree with Keith: as close together as possible, with some equalization on the bogies, and I think, some form of compliance arrangement on the curves. Our American cousins have some very nice gangway arrangements btw. Re the bogie treatment. Even with MJT units there is a bit of brass showing, especially on the B4 bogies, but the road holding can't be beaten.

Philip Hall
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby Philip Hall » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:32 am

I've been following this thread for a while and been interested in the many solutions. Mine comes from the days (25 or more years ago) when I dabbled in European HO. The Austrian firm of Roco had a close coupler (which I think they got from Rowa, via a takeover) and this enabled long corridor vehicles, with rigid gangways, to be coupled, touching, and work around 15 to 18 inch radius curves. They looked ridiculous going around such bends but it worked, perfectly, always. Now I mention this because that basic mechanism is the same as Hornby now use, and, I think, Bachmann. I only have experience of Hornby so far. I presume patents have expired, because the Hornby close coupling heads are almost identical to the Roco ones. Indeed, they're interchangeable.

I have them on the Hornby Maunsells which run with the gangways - with the end boards removed and any rough edges smoothed off - touching on straight track and gently opening out as they go around curves. As supplied the Hornby couplers still leave a slight gap, which you can cure either by replacing the heads with Roco, or by slightly shortening the end of the coupler pocket and gluing and pinning the heads in. The most important thing is that the actual coupling between vehicles must be a rigid bar or the expanding mechanism will not work properly, as it relies on the bar moving from side to side to open up the gap. Substituting a Kadee gives a flexible bar which counteracts the mechanism to a degree. Tim's pictures of the Keen mechanism shows a very similar principle, although it isn't lightly sprung as with Hornby. The great thing I've found is that with the gangways lightly touching - the light springing enables this - the whole train moves as one; the bogies go their own way and seem to stay on the rails very well.

I have yet, however, to try them on superelevated curves, but so long as there's enough weight to keep the bogies down on the track, I don't think there would be problems. I have had a test rake literally hurtling through the crossovers on 'St Merryn' with no problems. As for appearance, Tim's comments apply, and it's not too good an idea to turn the coupler heads upside down, as they can foul the buffer beams. I shall have a go at thinning them down a bit to see if this can be done, but this might make them prone to coming apart inadvertently. Alternatively, some dummy pipes either side of them should lead the eye away.

Philip

martin goodall
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby martin goodall » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:46 pm

Regarding the query about drop-in wheel replacements, I have resorted in some cases (mainly with Hornby coaches) to using the original axles, not only becuase of the length but also because of different coning, and in order to avoid the 26mm pin-points cutting into the plastic inside the axle-box. Getting the 00 wheels off the axles and finescale wheels on and set to gauge is no problem. All you need is a hammer and a vice and a back-to-back gauge (oh, and a brass pin point bearing to go over the end of the axle to protect it from damage when you bash it with the hammer). Real precision engineering, this!

As for the actual replacement wheels I use, that's another story - Look out for an article in MRJ some time next year.

martin goodall
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby martin goodall » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:53 pm

Re the corridor connections. I forgot to mention that I use foam plastic to fill the slight gap between the vehicles, plus a bit of paper over the top to represent the tarpaulin or whatever it is that they used to use on the prototype - both items painted black and stuck to only one coach ofthe pair. The gap shouldn't really be there, but this very quick method effectively disguises it unless you examine it very closely.

martin goodall
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby martin goodall » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:25 pm

Me, again (sorry)! I have just realised that in my original contribution I may inadvertently have given the impression that you just drop the replacement wheels in. You do, of course, have to remove some plastic from the insides of the bogie frames. (As regards brake-shoes, I just snip them off. Who needs brake shoes on coaches?) Sorry for any confusion if I gave the impression that the new wheels are just a straight drop in -there isn't enough room between the bogie frames in 18.83mm gauge, so some plastic surgery is unavoidable.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby grovenor-2685 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:08 pm

I did not remember having to file plastic from the rear of Bachmann B1 bogie frames with the possible exception of brake shoes, so I have collected a few from the layout and checked. P4 wheels do fit between the side frames of all the Bachmann B1 and Commonwealth bogies that I have. Putting the calipers to them gave a between frames figure of 22.14 mm for the Commonwealth and from 22.2 to 22.44 for the B1, there seem to be several tools for the B1s which vary slightly. In some cases and especially for the Commonwealth putting a V notch in the bottom of the axlebox makes it much easier to fit the wheelset without risk of upsetting the BB in the process.
With the calipers I also checked the width over tyres of the wheelsets. Amongst those checked were Branchlines (Steam era), Maygib and Studiolith varying from 21.59 to 21.8 mm. All giving a running clearance inside the frames.
I also checked the Hornby Stanier and Pullman bogies, these had a inside frame width of 22.13 and 22.14 respectively but the frames are much more flexible than the Bachmann version and there was no need to notch the axleboxes.
Pictures follow.
Bogie-B1-1.jpg
Bogie-B1-1.jpg (114.44 KiB) Viewed 8266 times

Bogie-B1-2.jpg
Bogie-B1-2.jpg (101.87 KiB) Viewed 8266 times

Bogie-Commonweath-1.jpg
Bogie-Commonweath-1.jpg (102.63 KiB) Viewed 8266 times

Bogie-LMS-1.jpg
Bogie-LMS-1.jpg (94.86 KiB) Viewed 8266 times

Bogie-Pullman-1.jpg
Bogie-Pullman-1.jpg (107.98 KiB) Viewed 8266 times


Regards

Keith

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby grovenor-2685 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:56 pm

I have managed to dig out a pair of the older Bachmann bogies as fitted to the suburban coaches. These ones are much narrower than those from the Mk1 corridor stock and won't take a P4 wheelset without significant thinning. I just replaced them which is why I now find them rattling around in the box.
Comparing the two I also noticed that the wheelbases were not quite the same, measurement says that it is the old ones that are the correct 34 mm with the new ones at 34.6 mm.

To get back on topic here is a pic of coupled ends, I'll dig out my test reverse curve over the weekend and see if I can get a pic off that, otherwise I can use the B6 crossover on the layout.
Coupling.jpg
Coupling.jpg (72.24 KiB) Viewed 8260 times

Regards
Keith

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:36 pm

Here you can see a short train running through a B6 crossover.

Regards
Keith

Bilton Junction
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby Bilton Junction » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:39 pm

I have tried the Sergeants' couplings. They look very good and work well. I have fitted up an engine and the ends of a fixed nine coach rake. I know a deltic may look odd with a buckeye coupling but at least it looks structural and in scale even if non-prototypical! My curves are too sharp for AJ's and to my mind they look odd as well and a bit fiddly. I have not tried uncoupling between coaches with corridor connections yet as the connections are still to be fitted. I have used the much cheaper Glatzl dummy buckeye couplings that Sergeants also supply between coaches in a fixed rake. Earlier attempts to run a nine coach rake with the Bachmann mechanism close coupling in conjunction with dummy vacuum pipes were not successful. They look very good but are a devil to couple and uncouple and I found they interfered with the movement of the bogies and caused derailments. With the Glatzl couplings it is fairly easy to lift coaches out of the rake. I found that they worked better with a dab of carrs microgrease on the couplings.

The main problem is that Sergeant dutifully quote the full price on the package including postal charges so you get an unwelcome summons to contribute £7 to the Post Office for recouping thirty bobs worth of VAT. I emailed Sergeant about this because it is not really to anyones advantage, other than the Post Office but didn't get a reply. In future I will take care to order small batches, it is cheaper to keep the order below the VAT threshold even if the postal costs are increased.
Carl

Bilton Junction
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby Bilton Junction » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:42 pm

Sorry that should read Sergent, at least I managed to spell Glatzl correctly

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:03 pm

For Sergent couplers, I suggest you buy from Andy Reichert at P87 stores, he has, I think, a more realistic view of post office requirements. http://www.proto87stores.com/
Regards
Keith

Bilton Junction
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby Bilton Junction » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:49 pm

Many thanks Keith. The unexpected supplement was quite a disincentive to buy more.
Carl

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iak
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby iak » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:21 pm

Having just checked the link out to Andy R's site...
Which ones have you used?
I want to try these with the Hornby's, Bachmanns and Kit Builds I have.
Screw couplings look great but trying to do them and deal with the corridor connector is tae much aggro... :?
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Bilton Junction
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby Bilton Junction » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:35 am

I have tried both the Sergents compatible shank and the narrow shank types. The narrow shank come ready with scale draft boxes and the compatible shank fit into Kadee type boxes which are a bit bigger. The compatible shank couplers are longer so I changed the initial coupling on the deltic to a narrow shank and it looks a lot less obtrusive. The narrower draft boxes also seem to give more clearance with the coach bogie though the bogies still needed some modification with a sharp knife to clear the boxes on curves. The disadvantage is that the narrow shank variety are dearer. For coupling fixed rakes the Glatzl plastic non-functional buckeye coupling are cheap and very good. I just screwed them directly to the floor of Bachmann Mark 1 coaches with a self tapping screw and a small washer. The whole train moves as one unit and the coaches don't bounce which looks good.

The magnetic coupling pole is very easy to use for uncoupling but for coupling the jaw needs to be opened with the fine wire on the pole and aligned carefully. It is important to break in the functional couplings in with graphite from a pencil as explained on the website. It is easy between a locomotive and the coaches but I think it may also present problems under a corridor connection if used between coaches. The website says that a new version of the coupling will be introduced that is compatible with diaphragms, I presume corridor connections. I have really only started tinkering with these couplings so far. The problem is that I couldn't fancy the look of buckeye couplings on goods stock and having separate coupling systems for goods and passenger stock seems a disadvantage. I am definitely sold on the Glazl couplings between coaches but was wondering about trying Dinghams for the ends of the rakes and locomotives. Has anyone any experience of Dinghams? Perhaps I should just take the plunge and fit AJs but the more I read about all of the bending and fitting jigs the more I wonder if they are not a bit of a fiddle to keep in alignment?

Carl

David Knight
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby David Knight » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:46 am

Carl,

I use Dinghams on my goods stock and suburban coaches but they are a PITA on coaches with corridor connections. I have them on a few Mk1s, generally at the end of a rake, and they do work but are fussy to work with as the loop hits the underside of the connection. As for the closeness of the coaches that is still a work in progress as a certain amount of slack is needed to perform the uncoupling. OTOH I do like them for goods work, but that is another topic.

HTH

David

John Fitton

Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby John Fitton » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:16 pm

Keith,

Do you have a set of personal standards for the height of Kadee couplers (above, say, rail), and how far back you set them from buffer faces? Also, have you standardized on a type ?

Thanks in advance
John Fitton

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:40 pm

Yes to the height bit, no to the second part, its a bit suck it and see. I do have it written up somewhere, I'll try and find it, otherwise I'll recreate it in the next day or so.
Regards
Keith

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David Thorpe
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby David Thorpe » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:01 am

Very informative thanks, Keith. How about a demo on it all at Scalefour North next April? :?:

DT

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:52 pm

Ok the height, on BR stock the buckeye couplers are set just a few inches below the buffer centres, close enough to 13mm in our scale. Initially I tried using that height and while it looks good I had difficulties with the KD couplers which are a bit overscale vertically (see this table) This excess height caused interference between the coupler and the bottom of the gangway buffing plate, especially on bends. One option would have been to use smaller heads but I did not like the H0n3 version then available (the KD 58 etc. came later) so I chose to lower the height by 1mm and have used the resulting 12mm height since. Seems a good compromise to me. I think using the H0 height of 10.5mm looks wrong on 4mm models.
Excess spacing between vehicles is one of my pet dislikes as is loose coupled passenger stock, I would much sooner have a KD holding my buffers in contact than an AJ with the coaches behaving like loose coupled wagons. This does mean that sprung buffers are needed, otherwise the train won't go round curves. Stock fitted with buckeyes have the buffers retracted and the couplers set so that the gangway buffing plates are just held in light contact. Other passenger stock have the buffers sprung and the couplers set so that the buffers are just a touch apart in tension, in contact when pushing. Where used on loose coupled stock a slightly bigger gap can be allowed and if you need to fit the Kadees to a vehicle with unsprung buffers you have to check they don't make contact on your sharpest curve.
Hope this helps.
Keith
See also http://www.norgrove.me.uk/Bach-van.htm

John Fitton

Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby John Fitton » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:28 pm

Keith,

Just one more question: the 12 mm; is that to the centre line of the Kadee?

John

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:41 pm

Yes, sorry should have made that clear.
Regards
Keith

John Fitton

Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby John Fitton » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:02 am

Thanks Keith.

Regards, JF

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David Thorpe
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby David Thorpe » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:10 am

John Bateson asked earlier about the Masokits unit, but doesn't seem to have received a reply, and I too wonder if anyone has tried them? Item 10.09 from Michael Clark's catalogue: "Gangway Coach Coupling Unit": An eccentric clip-in device for coupling coaches together in sets and also gives an impression of vacuum pipes being connected. The fret also contains two sets of screw couplings for the train ends". Clearly these are intended for use along with his Gangway kits and on the face of it it seems fine long as coaches are kept together in sets, but it does look as though it requires a bit of work to put these together. However, at £5 for sufficient for 8 coaches it seems cheaper than the others.

DT

craig_whilding
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Re: Close coupling of coaches

Postby craig_whilding » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:10 pm

DaveyTee wrote:John Bateson asked earlier about the Masokits unit, but doesn't seem to have received a reply, and I too wonder if anyone has tried them? Item 10.09 from Michael Clark's catalogue: "Gangway Coach Coupling Unit": An eccentric clip-in device for coupling coaches together in sets and also gives an impression of vacuum pipes being connected. The fret also contains two sets of screw couplings for the train ends". Clearly these are intended for use along with his Gangway kits and on the face of it it seems fine long as coaches are kept together in sets, but it does look as though it requires a bit of work to put these together. However, at £5 for sufficient for 8 coaches it seems cheaper than the others.

DT

This is probably the system Chris Pendlenton built and described in MRJ 200.

Morgan Gilbert has a nice pdf that i've seen describing the Kadee fitted rake he had in the display case at S4um. That rake uses the Masokits gangways as do the mk1s i've converted so far. You do need to remove the step above the gangway and replace it though as it makes the replacement gangway sit too low otherwise.


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