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MTL uncouplers

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  • de Champeaux Dominique
    Hi all! On the small layout I m workin on, I deliberately wanted to insert MTL uncouplers on my main line. Result, I m removing them due to too many unwanted
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 5, 2008
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      Hi all!

      On the small layout I'm workin' on, I deliberately wanted to insert MTL uncouplers on my main line. Result, I'm removing them due to too many unwanted uncoupling issues.

      But if it's necessary for flawlessly running operations, it's an issue as it prevents me from performing switching operations.

      So today my question is: are there any electromagnetic uncouplers available "ready to run", although a few years ZTrack as well as Model Railroader wrote articles about scratchbuilding of electro-magnets.

      Furthermore, my goal should be putting the electromagnets about 3/4 inches lower than my track as itself is fairly higher than the benchwork at the requested location.

      Thanks for any help,

      Dom
    • Joe DAmato
      Dom, Sorry to hear you are having problems. I m a bit short of time right now, but will get back to you on Monday from the office where I can give you some
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 5, 2008
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        Dom,

        Sorry to hear you are having problems. I'm a bit short of time right
        now, but will get back to you on Monday from the office where I can
        give you some ideas on how to correct the issues you are having.

        Cheers

        Joe
        MTL

        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, de Champeaux Dominique
        <ddechamp71@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hi all!
        >
        > On the small layout I'm workin' on, I deliberately wanted to insert
        MTL uncouplers on my main line. Result, I'm removing them due to too
        many unwanted uncoupling issues.
        >
        > But if it's necessary for flawlessly running operations, it's an
        issue as it prevents me from performing switching operations.
        >
        > So today my question is: are there any electromagnetic uncouplers
        available "ready to run", although a few years ZTrack as well as
        Model Railroader wrote articles about scratchbuilding of electro-
        magnets.
        >
        > Furthermore, my goal should be putting the electromagnets about 3/4
        inches lower than my track as itself is fairly higher than the
        benchwork at the requested location.
        >
        > Thanks for any help,
        >
        > Dom
        >
      • Ellsworth Geib
        Joe, Are these ideas worth sharing with the group? Ell Geib
        Message 3 of 14 , Oct 5, 2008
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          Joe,

          Are these ideas worth sharing with the group?

          Ell Geib

          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Joe DAmato" <shipsure2003@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dom,
          >
          > Sorry to hear you are having problems. I'm a bit short of time right
          > now, but will get back to you on Monday from the office where I can
          > give you some ideas on how to correct the issues you are having.
          >
          > Cheers
          >
          > Joe
          > MTL
          >
          > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, de Champeaux Dominique
          > <ddechamp71@> wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > > Hi all!
          > >
          > > On the small layout I'm workin' on, I deliberately wanted to insert
          > MTL uncouplers on my main line. Result, I'm removing them due to too
          > many unwanted uncoupling issues.
          > >
          > > But if it's necessary for flawlessly running operations, it's an
          > issue as it prevents me from performing switching operations.
          > >
          > > So today my question is: are there any electromagnetic uncouplers
          > available "ready to run", although a few years ZTrack as well as
          > Model Railroader wrote articles about scratchbuilding of electro-
          > magnets.
          > >
          > > Furthermore, my goal should be putting the electromagnets about 3/4
          > inches lower than my track as itself is fairly higher than the
          > benchwork at the requested location.
          > >
          > > Thanks for any help,
          > >
          > > Dom
          > >
          >
        • Alex
          Joe, Please share with the group... Alex in Tokyo, Japan ... right
          Message 4 of 14 , Oct 5, 2008
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            Joe,

            Please share with the group...

            Alex in Tokyo, Japan

            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Joe DAmato" <shipsure2003@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dom,
            >
            > Sorry to hear you are having problems. I'm a bit short of time
            right
            > now, but will get back to you on Monday from the office where I can
            > give you some ideas on how to correct the issues you are having.
            >
            > Cheers
            >
            > Joe
            > MTL
          • Garth Hamilton
            There are a couple of things that can cause uncoupling over the magnets when it is not desired. Z-scale cars are quite light and the magnet is strong so it is
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 5, 2008
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              There are a couple of things that can cause uncoupling over the
              magnets when it is not desired.

              Z-scale cars are quite light and the magnet is strong so it is not
              unusual to pop the end car off if there is not enough drag to keep
              them coupled. Retarder springs in the axle cones are one way to put
              drag on the cars so that they stay coupled over the magnet. While I
              leave magnets in the track on sidings on the main line I hinge them
              and when I want them I put them up with a string and I put a pair of
              markers at either end of the magnet when lifted under the track and
              roadbed. You can also cut the magnet in half so they are shorter and
              get less false uncoupling but then you have to be right on the money
              for uncoupling.

              Poor track work can also cause it if you have a high point in the
              rail which keeps the car on the hump high while the car ahead is low
              and they will separate. I used to routinely pop the caboose off a
              string going over a magnet on the main line at slow speeds until I
              installed retarder springs on one axle only of the caboose.
              Another thing to check is the glad hand or trip pin that extends down
              from the coupler as most cars when delivered are set too low and
              snags anything between the rails particularly on switches. So each
              car as it comes in needs to run over a trip pin height gauge to
              ensure they are not too low. Now to get better operation I removed
              the magnets on the main line and install them just inside the turnout
              on sidings. In the throat of the yard where I am pulling long trains
              and short trains out of or running them into the yard I use a magnet
              that I pull up with a string. There is an eye on the end of the
              string and a hook to hold the magnet in place when I want also.

              I am sure Joe will get you sorted out as he is the guru at MTL in all
              things Z.

              At 09:20 PM 10/5/2008, you wrote:
              >Hi all!
              >
              >On the small layout I'm workin' on, I deliberately wanted to insert
              >MTL uncouplers on my main line. Result, I'm removing them due to too
              >many unwanted uncoupling issues.
              >
              >But if it's necessary for flawlessly running operations, it's an
              >issue as it prevents me from performing switching operations.
              >
              >So today my question is: are there any electromagnetic uncouplers
              >available "ready to run", although a few years ZTrack as well as
              >Model Railroader wrote articles about scratchbuilding of electro-magnets.
              >
              >Furthermore, my goal should be putting the electromagnets about 3/4
              >inches lower than my track as itself is fairly higher than the
              >benchwork at the requested location.
              >
              >Thanks for any help,
              >
              >Dom
            • Alex
              Garth, Thank you for the detailed info. Do you have any photos or drawings of what you are decribing... about the use of the string, hook and eye? Do you have
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 5, 2008
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                Garth,

                Thank you for the detailed info.
                Do you have any photos or drawings of what you are decribing... about
                the use of the string, hook and eye?
                Do you have any photos of the placement of the magnets?

                Alex
                Tokyo, Japan

                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Garth Hamilton <garthah@...> wrote:
                >
                > There are a couple of things that can cause uncoupling over the
                > magnets when it is not desired.
                >
                > Z-scale cars are quite light and the magnet is strong so it is not
                > unusual to pop the end car off if there is not enough drag to keep
                > them coupled. Retarder springs in the axle cones are one way to put
                > drag on the cars so that they stay coupled over the magnet. While I
                > leave magnets in the track on sidings on the main line I hinge them
                > and when I want them I put them up with a string and I put a pair
                of
                > markers at either end of the magnet when lifted under the track and
                > roadbed. You can also cut the magnet in half so they are shorter
                and
                > get less false uncoupling but then you have to be right on the
                money
                > for uncoupling.
                >
                > Poor track work can also cause it if you have a high point in the
                > rail which keeps the car on the hump high while the car ahead is
                low
                > and they will separate. I used to routinely pop the caboose off a
                > string going over a magnet on the main line at slow speeds until I
                > installed retarder springs on one axle only of the caboose.
                > Another thing to check is the glad hand or trip pin that extends
                down
                > from the coupler as most cars when delivered are set too low and
                > snags anything between the rails particularly on switches. So each
                > car as it comes in needs to run over a trip pin height gauge to
                > ensure they are not too low. Now to get better operation I removed
                > the magnets on the main line and install them just inside the
                turnout
                > on sidings. In the throat of the yard where I am pulling long
                trains
                > and short trains out of or running them into the yard I use a
                magnet
                > that I pull up with a string. There is an eye on the end of the
                > string and a hook to hold the magnet in place when I want also.
                >
                > I am sure Joe will get you sorted out as he is the guru at MTL in
                all
                > things Z.
              • David K. Smith
                Dom-- If you re handy, you might consider the drop-down uncoupler described near the end of this article: http://whiteriverandnorthern.net/clinic_30.htm The
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 6, 2008
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                  Dom--

                  If you're handy, you might consider the drop-down uncoupler described
                  near the end of this article:

                  http://whiteriverandnorthern.net/clinic_30.htm

                  The article is about N scale uncouplers, but I have every reason to
                  believe they should work in Z scale as well.

                  --David

                  http://jamesriverbranch.net/
                  http://1-220.blogspot.com/


                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, de Champeaux Dominique
                  <ddechamp71@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Hi all!
                  >
                  > On the small layout I'm workin' on, I deliberately wanted to insert
                  MTL uncouplers on my main line. Result, I'm removing them due to too
                  many unwanted uncoupling issues.
                  >
                  > But if it's necessary for flawlessly running operations, it's an
                  issue as it prevents me from performing switching operations.
                  >
                  > So today my question is: are there any electromagnetic uncouplers
                  available "ready to run", although a few years ZTrack as well as
                  Model Railroader wrote articles about scratchbuilding of electro-
                  magnets.
                  >
                  > Furthermore, my goal should be putting the electromagnets about 3/4
                  inches lower than my track as itself is fairly higher than the
                  benchwork at the requested location.
                  >
                  > Thanks for any help,
                  >
                  > Dom
                  >
                • Garth Hamilton
                  Hi ALex; David s message to Dom says it all. While mine is not exactly the same this is where the idea came from. The unit in use here is the N-scale under
                  Message 8 of 14 , Oct 6, 2008
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                    Hi ALex;

                    David's message to Dom says it all. While mine is not exactly the
                    same this is where the idea came from. The unit in use here is the
                    N-scale under track unit and I find they work even when cut in half.
                    But you have to be careful that you don't cut the magnet the wrong
                    way. N and S are cross track alignment not in line with the track. I
                    have even found the regular N-scale magnet cut in half works fine
                    under the roadbed in Z and N. In Z I usually have just 1/8 plywood
                    and cork between rail and magnet when raised into position and with
                    road bed track just 1/8 ply between that roadbed and the magnet.

                    To set it up I usually build the trap first and attach it to the
                    layout and when it is working then I add the magnet making sure it is
                    properly aligned with the track. If it off to one side they do not
                    work very well or reliably. Once I have found the spot I use contact
                    cement to hold it in place.

                    cheers
                    Garth


                    At 02:25 PM 10/6/2008, "David K. Smith" david@... wrote:

                    >Dom--
                    >
                    >If you're handy, you might consider the drop-down uncoupler described
                    >near the end of this article:
                    >
                    >http://whiteriverandnorthern.net/clinic_30.htm
                    >
                    >The article is about N scale uncouplers, but I have every reason to
                    >believe they should work in Z scale as well.
                    >
                    >--David
                  • de Champeaux Dominique
                    Thanks David! But it won t work for me as at the location where I planned to put the uncouplers the benchwork and the subroadbed are linked together with a
                    Message 9 of 14 , Oct 6, 2008
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                      Thanks David! But it won't work for me as at the location where I planned to put the uncouplers the benchwork and the subroadbed are linked together with a full depth piece of wood, approximatively 1 inch high. So I must comply with electromagnet technology as the devices will be put underthe benchwork, more than 1 inch below rails...
                       
                      Dom 

                      --- En date de : Lun 6.10.08, David K. Smith <david@...> a écrit :

                      De: David K. Smith <david@...>
                      Objet: [Z_Scale] Re: MTL uncouplers
                      À: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: Lundi 6 Octobre 2008, 13h42






                      Dom--

                      If you're handy, you might consider the drop-down uncoupler described
                      near the end of this article:

                      http://whiteriveran dnorthern. net/clinic_ 30.htm

                      The article is about N scale uncouplers, but I have every reason to
                      believe they should work in Z scale as well.

                      --David

                      http://jamesriverbr anch.net/
                      http://1-220. blogspot. com/

                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups .com, de Champeaux Dominique
                      <ddechamp71@ ...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Hi all!
                      >
                      > On the small layout I'm workin' on, I deliberately wanted to insert
                      MTL uncouplers on my main line. Result, I'm removing them due to too
                      many unwanted uncoupling issues.
                      >
                      > But if it's necessary for flawlessly running operations, it's an
                      issue as it prevents me from performing switching operations.
                      >
                      > So today my question is: are there any electromagnetic uncouplers
                      available "ready to run", although a few years ZTrack as well as
                      Model Railroader wrote articles about scratchbuilding of electro-
                      magnets.
                      >
                      > Furthermore, my goal should be putting the electromagnets about 3/4
                      inches lower than my track as itself is fairly higher than the
                      benchwork at the requested location.
                      >
                      > Thanks for any help,
                      >
                      > Dom
                      >


















                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Ellsworth Geib
                      Thanks for the site reference David. That s an interesting solution. The sketches are pretty clear. Ell Geib
                      Message 10 of 14 , Oct 6, 2008
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                        Thanks for the site reference David. That's an interesting solution. The sketches are pretty
                        clear.

                        Ell Geib

                        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "David K. Smith" <david@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Dom--
                        >
                        > If you're handy, you might consider the drop-down uncoupler described
                        > near the end of this article:
                        >
                        > http://whiteriverandnorthern.net/clinic_30.htm
                        >
                        > The article is about N scale uncouplers, but I have every reason to
                        > believe they should work in Z scale as well.
                        >
                        > --David
                        >
                        > http://jamesriverbranch.net/
                        > http://1-220.blogspot.com/
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, de Champeaux Dominique
                        > <ddechamp71@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Hi all!
                        > >
                        > > On the small layout I'm workin' on, I deliberately wanted to insert
                        > MTL uncouplers on my main line. Result, I'm removing them due to too
                        > many unwanted uncoupling issues.
                        > >
                        > > But if it's necessary for flawlessly running operations, it's an
                        > issue as it prevents me from performing switching operations.
                        > >
                        > > So today my question is: are there any electromagnetic uncouplers
                        > available "ready to run", although a few years ZTrack as well as
                        > Model Railroader wrote articles about scratchbuilding of electro-
                        > magnets.
                        > >
                        > > Furthermore, my goal should be putting the electromagnets about 3/4
                        > inches lower than my track as itself is fairly higher than the
                        > benchwork at the requested location.
                        > >
                        > > Thanks for any help,
                        > >
                        > > Dom
                        > >
                        >
                      • Glen Chenier
                        ... I remember reading this article in MR magazine, and thought at the time what a great idea. On re-reading, I still think what a great idea. Unwanted
                        Message 11 of 14 , Oct 6, 2008
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                          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "David K. Smith" <david@...> wrote:

                          > If you're handy, you might consider the drop-down uncoupler described
                          > near the end of this article:
                          >
                          > http://whiteriverandnorthern.net/clinic_30.htm
                          >
                          > The article is about N scale uncouplers, but I have every reason to
                          > believe they should work in Z scale as well.
                          >

                          I remember reading this article in MR magazine, and thought at the time
                          what a great idea.

                          On re-reading, I still think what a great idea.

                          Unwanted uncoupling over the magnet can be caused by accordianing,
                          where the rear of the train jitters back and forth and slackens
                          couplers. If slackened over the magnet they will incouple. Before
                          going to electromagnets, try the MTL retarding springs on 1 or 2 axles
                          of the last car. These add just enough drag to keep the train
                          stretched out and couplers tight. Tight couplers should ignore the
                          magnet.
                        • de Champeaux Dominique
                          ... Thank you to all of you who gave me replies guys! Indeed I believe one of the keys is not to insert magnets on main line. As my trackwork doesn t allow me
                          Message 12 of 14 , Oct 8, 2008
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                            >Now to get better operation I removed
                            >the magnets on the main line and install them just inside the turnout
                            >on sidings.

                            Thank you to all of you who gave me replies guys! Indeed I believe one of the keys is not to insert magnets on main line. As my trackwork doesn't allow me to install rocking magnets (ie around an horizontal axle oriented like the track), I will try electro-magnets. Now as a standby back-up method I have a toothpick that works well!

                            Dom
                          • Alex
                            Joe, I never saw your reply to Dom about offering the official MTL ideas about uncoupling. Alex Tokyo, Japan
                            Message 13 of 14 , Oct 10, 2008
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                              Joe,

                              I never saw your reply to Dom about offering the official MTL ideas
                              about uncoupling.

                              Alex
                              Tokyo, Japan

                              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Joe DAmato" <shipsure2003@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Dom,
                              >
                              > Sorry to hear you are having problems. I'm a bit short of time right
                              > now, but will get back to you on Monday from the office where I can
                              > give you some ideas on how to correct the issues you are having.
                              >
                              > Cheers
                              >
                              > Joe
                              > MTL
                            • Alex
                              Joe DAmato, Unless I missed it... I never saw any reply with your ideas about this issue Dominique was having. I know you are busy, but please share any
                              Message 14 of 14 , Oct 20, 2008
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                                Joe DAmato,

                                Unless I missed it... I never saw any reply with your ideas about
                                this issue Dominique was having.

                                I know you are busy, but please share any solutions.

                                Thank you,

                                Alex
                                Tokyo, Japan

                                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Joe DAmato" <shipsure2003@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Sorry to hear you are having problems. I'm a bit short of time
                                right
                                > now, but will get back to you on Monday from the office where I can
                                > give you some ideas on how to correct the issues you are having.
                                >
                                > Cheers
                                >
                                > Joe
                                > MTL
                                >
                                > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, de Champeaux Dominique
                                > <ddechamp71@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Hi all!
                                > >
                                > > On the small layout I'm workin' on, I deliberately wanted to
                                insert
                                > MTL uncouplers on my main line. Result, I'm removing them due to
                                too
                                > many unwanted uncoupling issues.
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