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
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I replaced mine with Kadees.
--
Martin S.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Seems a little drastic ! Would start by cleaning the wheels, dirty wheels give bumpy ride and couplings part.
Cheers, Simon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 19/04/2010 17:49, simon wrote:

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

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
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Simon

No problem buying IPA, try a decent chemists, or Maplins where you can buy it by the litre.
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Where on earth did you get that from?
MBQ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

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
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Are you sure that you have not got that the wrong way around? It was tip-ex thinners that was withdrawn not IPA!!
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

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
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

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
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 20/04/2010 05:12, Mike Smith wrote:

[...]
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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks Wolf, been on-site for a few days sorting an installation but I should get back to the lad sometime this week. Have been experimenting with Kadees for N Gauge, so far they seem rather good but I haven't had time to experiment much with the magnet side of things as yet (I am hoping to use permanent magnets in a sliding guide under the tracks, as recommended via this group). Not least because they are an easier option than winding a load of electro magnets.
Regards
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hi Mike, Can I pick your brain about Kadees for N gauge. I assume that they replace the original Arnold Rapido thingummys? Can you tell me what type they are and where to get them as I would like to give them a go. I have tried various methods for uncoupling the standard ones and the only success of any worth I have had is with the Fleischman ones that are built into the track.
--
Tinkerer



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Early days on this one for me, so far I have purchased a couple of locomotives and some rolling stock all pre fitted with Kadee or Lifelike couplers, which work well together. I also bought some truck-mounted Kadees to make up mixed rakes with Rapido's in the centre. I have a couple of (cheap) locos with Rapido couplers, one being a Bachman that runs well and would be worth fiddling with. Kadee offer a range of couplers to replace Rapido types in locomotives, but it's not just plug and play yet and I haven't bought a set for the engine so I have no experience. I haven't yet tried mating Kadees onto UK outline stock but one or other of the 'loco' couplers might work as these are designed to replace Rapidos. As far as I know (and I could be wrong) no one offers swap-in replacements to fit Rapido sockets, yet. Bachmann have been producing an HO Kadee style coupler for their US outline which I understand they plan to offer as a NEM plug-in for N, possibly this year. The only N Rapido type coupler system I have had success with was Fleishmann, very reliable but does not work with other makes (not at all with my old Lima and Hornby Minitrix stock). I had success with the old MBM coupler, which worked fine but lacked the delayed uncoupling of the Kadee type. I had a quick go with the Peco magnetic type (actually using a bent track pin as per the orginal article in the N Gauge Journal) but this requires either electro magnets or sliding permanent magnets (and I didn't think of the latter idea until it got a mention in this group for Kadees). From my limited experience the MBM was a better option.
Sorry I'm not of much use - Been a bit busy so things progressing painfully slowly this end.
Regards
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is all food for thought - many thanks. During my searches I did come across this: http://www.micro-trains.com/ConversionsN.php but so far have not really looked into it. You may find it of interest though.
--
Tinkerer



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks, I had seen that, took a while but I have identified the couplers I need for the Bachmann engine, although I get the impression some 'fettling' may be required. If I get time to have a proper go I'll post the results to this group.
Regards
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks, I'll look forward to it. I am less likely to get the time these days due to increasing young grandchildren duties. Who said retirement was easy ;o)
--
Tinkerer



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Smith wrote:

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)
--
Jane
OO/HO and DCC in the garden
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.