Tension lock coupler problems

Okay - Track laid, well most of it, wiring in, running test trains.
The layout has ended up with effectively two ovals, an upper and lower with
a ramp down between them, the upper also has some gradients on it (very
shallow though). Minimum radius is Peco 2nd radius (which stll seems a bit
tight to my eyes).
He missus has bought him a rake of 3 coaches, 2/hand but seem to run
smoothly enough, centre coach has full couplers, outers have only the loop.
Couplings are the standard Tri-ang tension lock type, sams as I had on my
childhood set with its minumum radius curves, never had a problem with them
then.
So - Passenger train left running on upper level whilst fiddled about with
lower level tracks - Very occasionally one or other of the couplings comes
undone, leaving a coach behind.
Meanwhile on the lower level started running test trains and found the old
Tri-ang cattle wagons tended to 'lock' the couplings on some curves, leading
to derailments. Put on one side for investigation. However the new Hornby 5
plank minerals occasionally 'uncouple' for no apparent reason.
Any hints tips or suggestions for tension lock couplings?
Regards
Mike
Reply to
Mike Smith
Loading thread data ...
I replaced mine with Kadees.
Reply to
MartinS
Seems a little drastic ! Would start by cleaning the wheels, dirty wheels give bumpy ride and couplings part.
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon
A far more common reason is bumpy track. And yes, track can look OK from the usual viewing angles, and still be bumpy enough to cause uncoupling. Sight along it from a low angle, and fix any dips and hills.
Kadees can also uncouple from this cause, but they are more forgiving than t/l couplers.
HTH wolf k.
Reply to
Wolf K
Cheers, will give it a go (FYI you cannot but isopropol alcohol switch cleaner, 'cos its dangerous, but from a cake shop you can buy bottles of the stuff for cake fettling). Currently experimenting with Kadees in N - So far so good, however I want this job to be boxed off so I can get on with my own stuff. Think it may be something to do with tight radius curves as the breakaways seem to happen just after the curves on the layout (track is dead flat, no bumps and joints filed to a V on the inner faces) Those Bachmann 2-6-2s are lovely though.
Regards
Mike
Reply to
Mike Smith
Simon
No problem buying IPA, try a decent chemists, or Maplins where you can buy it by the litre.
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff
Where on earth did you get that from?
MBQ
Reply to
manatbandq
Other frequent problem with 2nd hand stuff especially on corners is couplings not straight, dont forget connecting couplings should be parallel and with opposite offsets. Slightly bent couplings big problem with those whos hands not always delicate - eg children. Enforce use of uncoupling device of some sort rather than the lift and twist method :-)
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon
Where on earth did you get that from?
MBQ
Some years ago, requisition refused on the basis that it was now illegal, ordered a box of tip-ex thinners instead (equipment with a -lot- of rotary wafer switches). Didn't bother to check at the time, never had cause to since.
Regards
Mike
Reply to
Mike Smith
Will double check, although they all looked okay when I was there. The coaches only have the hooks on one coach (the centre one) the outer two only have the loops, I have bought some tension lock couplings just in case, I'll try replacing the hook-less inner ones. The new mineral wagons all seemed fine, but again I'll check.
Does anyone do a gauge for tension lock couplers?
Regards
Mike
Reply to
Mike Smith
[...]
If you are using sectional track, that may well contribute to any carriages/wagons move in a an S-curve relative to each other where the curve and the straight join. The smaller the radius, the worse the effect, and the more important it is to insert spirals between straight and curved track. If you use flex track, there is a spiral generated automatically as you bend the track. The spiral should be longer than the longest vehicle you will operate.
I'm assuming you have also ensured that the couplers are all at exactly the same height above rail, are properly centred, and operate smoothly. None of these things can be taken for granted on ready-to-run items.
Another factor is the distance between the coupler and the wheels, ie, the overhang at each end of the vehicle. The longer this distance, the wider the chassis swing, which will exaggerate any issues with coupler mounting, etc. 0-6-0s are especially prone to this problem, especially at the cab end. You can minimise it by using spirals.
HTH wolf k.
Reply to
Wolf K
Are you sure that you have not got that the wrong way around? It was tip-ex thinners that was withdrawn not IPA!!
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff
Don't think so, that box lasted me several years! There again, as I said, I didn't bother to check (not least because new equipment introduced didn't have the rotary switches any more).
Regards
Mike
Reply to
Mike Smith
Tension-lock couplings cause problems:
a.. I like running long trains. When the train is long and heavy, as their name suggests, tension-lock couplings lock together in the vertical plane, and can cause one or more wheels to derail, particularly where the track is not perfectly flat (and remember, the track will not be perfectly flat where it changes gradient, or where it is curved on a gradient, or where the British weather has caused the track base to warp). b.. When travelling downhill it is possible for the train to try to run faster than the locomotive, so the couplings are not in tension. Sometimes when this happens, the hooks bounce up and down. If the track then levels off, or goes uphill again, and the loco starts to pull away while the hooks of the couplings are in the up position, the loco will mysteriously uncouple from the train, or the train may separate in the middle. This does not happen very often if both couplings have hooks, but some manufacturers' locomotives do not have the hook on the coupling (for example the Hornby HST). c.. Some manufacturers put swivelling couplings on long-wheelbase four-wheel vehicles. These are supposed to allow the couplings to swivel to be parallel to the track on curves. The laws of physics, however, ensure that the couplings swivel at all times, which can cause problems. In order to get over these problems, and for other reasons, I decided to fit my stock with Kadee couplings.
(The above taken from my website)
Reply to
Jane Sullivan
Tension-lock ("hook and bar") couplings are horrible. Probably the worst thing that Lines Bros did when they merged Triang with Hornby was impose the Triang coupling system on the unified range in place of the knuckle coupling previously used by Hornby Dublo. The company's subsequent dominance in the marketplace meant that all the later newcomers in the 70s (eg, Airfix, Lima, Mainline, etc) all chose to use a compatible coupler in order to maximise sales, and now we're stuck with what's often described as the "British Standard Coupling" as the normal fitting on RTR stock. Fortunately, NEM pockets are becoming more widespread which makes it easier to swap them for something better (such as Kadees), but that adds significantly to the cost and is still awkward for older stock.
Mark
Reply to
Mark Goodge
Thanks Jane, I do visit your site on occasion and had considered those potential problems, I suspect I'll just have to sit and watch carefully to see what is happening.
The Arnold type N Gauge couplers caused me a few problems over the years, ended up with a lot of fixed rakes with Mike Bryant couplers on the ends but (from memory) I never had any problems with the Triang stuff in my youth, the Hornby type was starting to get displaced by the mid 1960s so I had little experience with it.
I have already pointed him at your website - summer is coming, he loves his garden, and I fancy having a crack at an outdoor OO scale line!
Regards
Mike
Reply to
Mike Smith
Norton Security claims you have a SpyRat virus on your web site. Just FYI.
Reply to
LDosser
Does it mention any file names?
Reply to
Jane Sullivan
I've just copied my complete website into a spare directory on my computer and run it through my virus checker, and nothing was detected. This is hardly surprising as all the files are either plain text (.css, .dtd, .html, .xml and .xsl) or pictures (.jpeg) whereas according to the Symantec site the SpyRat virus is found in .exe files.
Seems to me to be a false positive.
Reply to
Jane Sullivan
I wouldn't be too surprised, I used to create our web site from Risc-OS operating system and virus checkers would often complain - I suspect they make assumptions about what software created files - headers in jpeg's being a favourite.
Cheers Richard
Reply to
beamends

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.