Wolf said the following on 08/02/2007 19:30:
I think that's what Paul is asking.
Off-hand, there's DG Couplings available from Model Signal Engineering,
Dingham Couplings available from Trevor Shaw, B&B Couplings available
from, er, somewhere and Alex Jackson couplings that you make yourself.
Those are the four most popular, but I'm sure someone will pop up with
I like the Dingham couplings, but be aware that these aren't so good if
your stock is turned - most people's isn't, or doesn't need to be. B&B
are next in line in the preference stakes as they don't have the fiddly
assembly that DG needs, but are compatible with DG. Alex Jackson's are
only for the hardcore nutters :-) DG and BB both rely on the coupling
itself to keep vehicles apart, whilst AJ and Dingham rely on the
vehicles buffers, prototypically.
I should also add that I don't think AJs would be suitable for 00
because they rely on a more accurate stock/track relationship. Standard
00 has too much sideways slop, so the couplings wouldn't align reliably.
All of the kit-based, UK manufactured magnetic couplings I've seen (with the
exception of the ancient Alex Jackson variety) are in my opinion unsightly.
If you're intent on going down that route then you might consider using
Kadees, which although typical USA-style knuckle couplers do have the
advantage of working pretty well.
The Alex Jackson coupling was based on a piece of twisted wire and was both
critical in its adjustment and less unsightly. This is described in useful
detail (with drawings) on the Manchester Model Railway Society website at
Thanks Paul for your help.
I have just been onto the Dingham site.
Would you get the buffer lock problem, what magnets do you use.
Have ever combined the two systems as shown on the web site, a hook and loop
Sorry about all the questions.
Without wanting to either hijack or re-direct the entire topic, can any
suggest anywhere that supplies any of these auto-couplers ready
assembled? I can't be alone in not wanting to have to all the fiddly
stuff in assembling them?
Why this is I can't say, as scratch built buildings, wagon/coach kits
etc I enjoy with relish, and (I believe/am told) with good results, but
couplings, it's just not to be. Of course I accept they still need to
be set up once fitted, it's just the bending, shaping & soldering before
it even gets fitted that I can't really get on with!
I might otherwise end with Kadees - which are no less prototypical of
1950's Britain than any of the others!
(with apologies to the OP)
Not automatic, but magnetically controlled. Should be possible to scale
them up to larger sizes.
(sorry about the URL, couldn't be bothered to find the translation, pictures
explain the concept).
My personal preference is the B&B - particularly for prototype stuff
that isn't fitted with knuckle couplers. The main thing I like about
them is that you can uncouple "on the fly", jut as if a shunter has
unhooked the wagon with a pole while the train is still moving.
There's no need for an unprototypical stop/reverse/go to uncouple
Kadee or Sprat & Winkle.
Admittedly, I do fit Kadees to modern DMU stock.
Paul said the following on 09/02/2007 20:13:
In standard gauge, I only have a test track now - a house moved forced
my then layout into hibernation then scrapping (14ft layout 8ft
room). The magnet to use is the one Dingham sell. Yes, you will get
buffer locking if you have tight reverse curves, or just tight curves
following a straight without a transition. Only when pushing, of course.
I've never tried that, although it should work in theory. I do know
that DG and B&B are compatible.
Steve Banfield said the following on 09/02/2007 22:30:
For my narrow gauge stuff, I use B&B couplings because they are much
less of a fiddle to assemble than DG. The loop is etched, for a start,
so you're not fiddling about forming that from springy wire then trying
to solder droppers onto it.
Quite understandable. I enjoy building a model of a prototype loco or
coach or whatever. Assembling couplings (of the type we're talking
about) has no correlation to any know prototype and is just a chore, and
the finished result will detract from any model it's fitted to. I tend
to sit down and build a batch of them in one hit rather than as they're