Uncoupling

The track is now in its final position with all points laid and track cut to length, station area and goods yard laid out. Just pinned, not glued down
yet.
Incidentally, half of it is code 100 GEM Flexi-trak, which I bought as a 25-yard package in 1966. Not sure if the present owners of GEM still make it, I suspect not as it isn't advertised. The chair detail leaves something to be desired but the sleepers are wider and set further apart than Streamline, so the track looks better. Has a sort of EM look about it, which I like. The other half is code 100 Streamline. But I digress.
Before I glue down the track and points I need to think about point control and uncoupling. Point control will be wire-in-tube and no problem. As for uncoupling, I want automatic not hand in the sky. Most of my stock has tension lock couplers but they look awful and will have to be replaced. But with what? I like the look of Kadee, because most alternatives (I've looked at Dingham and Sprat & Winkle) look no more prototypical than tension lock.
Last year at Warley a couple of helpful bystanders from a club recommended the Kadee no. 308 magnetic uncoupler, so I bought one. It's designed to sit under the track. Trouble is that with the intensifier plate it's nigh on " thick. My track is laid on 4mm thick cork sheet on top of MDF so the 308 is too high even with the cork cut away. A common recommendation is to remove the top laminate of your plywood but this won't work with MDF.
Another possibility is the Kadee no. 321 "between the rails" uncoupler. I'm inclined to go for this but the two guys at Warley said the magnet wasn't as strong as the 308 and in their experience often failed to do the business.
All thoughts and suggestions, on this topic or the meaning of life, will be most welcome.
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On Sat, 4 Sep 2004 23:02:28 +0100, "Ed Callaghan"
Ed,

You might want to look at using electro-magnetic methods so that you can control when the magnet is powered to avoid unintended uncoupling. I think Kadee make an electromagnetic uncoupler which has poles which come up close to the running rails and look like check rails. In this case you would have to cut a hole in your MDF top.
Jim.
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wrote:

be
A recent article in Model Railroader added 2 thick metal plates to the KD electro magnet, increasing it's strength. Then you can hide it under the track. I have not tried this.
--
Terry Flynn

For HO scale track standards go to
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Rout it out Black and Decker would be great but a mini drill and a dramel bit will work. Or a electro magnet would just need a small hole drilling to pop up though the base board

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On Sun, 5 Sep 2004 08:29:43 +0100, "Trev" <trevbowdenATwireless.pipexDOTnet> wrote:
Trev,

From what I remember of messing about with Kadee coupling some years ago, the magnet has to have its two poles laterally orientated at track level with the trip pins being attracted to the respective pole to pull them apart.
Their permanent magnets have their NS orientation across the magnet, and their electro-magnetic uncoupler had two poles which were positioned close to each rail. And it doesn't need all that small a hole. I've got one of their No.309 H0 uncouplers beside me at the moment and it would need a hole about 2" long and 5/8" wide in the track base to accommodate it.
Jim.
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"Trev" <trevbowdenATwireless.pipexDOTnet> wrote in message
....

I love my Dremel one of the best bit's of kit I've got, but what's wrong with an old-fashioned chisel?
--

All the best,

Chris Wilson
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says...

I'm not from the UK, but if "furriners" are allowed to comment I have a suggestion.
The permanent magnets are cheaper and less complex than the electromagnets, but they do have a tendency to cause uncoupling when not wanted.
I've read of layouts where a hole was cut in the roadbed and the permanent magnet installed on a hinge. It would be controlled much like you plan to control your turnouts.
And I've also heard that one-half of a magnet works fine, you just have to position your cars (wagons?) a little more accurately.
I haven't tried these ideas. I use the "hand in the sky" method :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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"Larry Blanchard"

I hand uncouple my Kadees all the time. I use pieces of code 40 rail bent thus: -
_____________/
With a little practice, you can uncouple, using the 'glad hands', with little effort.
I don't like magnetic uncouplers. They're unrealistic in that railways uncouple where they want to uncouple, not where a magnet dictates.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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You bought a whole yard of code 40 rail just to make a little uncoupler?
--
Martin S.

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wrote:

No, I use code 40 for guard rails on bridges, plus I've two industrial spurs that have code 40 rail.
One could just as easily use code 70 rail.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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How about a piece of 14AWG household wire?
--
Martin S.

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"MartinS" <

That works as well.
I made some fancy ones with some heavy copper wire and some 1/4 or 5/16 bass wood for a handle. Drill a hole into the end of the handle and glue the wire into the hole. Actually, and stiff wire, about that gauge, would do.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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"Roger T." wrote:

The problem that I've found with making basic uncoupling tools out of odd bits of wire and the like is that they disappear when put down on the layout! You _need_ a distinctive handle - pink plastic and a screwed in eyelet for hanging it up should do the job.
Regards, Greg.P.
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"Gregory Procter" <

Mine are all bright yellow. However, it doesn't stop operators from taking them home, which I why I changed to code 70 rail and dipped in yellow paint. Not as fancy as the wooden handled ones, but a darn sight easier to make.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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"Roger T." wrote:

OK, bright yellow might work, but you could mistake them for model MOW tools - bright pink plastic handles on the other hand (old knitting needles) really don't look as though they are a part of the scenery. ;-)
Regards, Greg.P.
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"Gregory Procter"

Good one. :-)
Another advantage of bright yellow is that they do show up easily when laid across the rails. Makes finding that sudden short circuit a lot easier. The reason I also paint all my track gauges and Kadee coupler height gauges bright yellow.
-- Cheers Roger T.
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"Roger T." wrote:

That would make them look quite flash!!!
Greg.P.
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I've done exactly that - cutting away all the trackbed immediately beneath the track, leaving just the cork. As it's only a short length of "unsupported" track, I had no problems. I also fixed a microswitch to operate with the hinged magnet, so that it isolated one section of track to the side of the uncoupler, so I could separate two DMU's.
Cheers, Mick
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We did an article on the measurements of GEM sleepering in issue 3 of Model Railways online magazine (http://mrol.gppsoftware.com ). We made comparisons with Peco track and prototypical (BR) measurements.
Graham Plowman
Ed Callaghan wrote:

cut to

down
as a

make
something
it, which

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snipped-for-privacy@gppsoftware.com wrote:

Hey, that's not fair - Peco never claimed their track matched any British prototype! ;-)
How would you ever make OO track proportional to the British prototype? - If you made the sleepers to scale dimensions then proportionately there will be too much sleeper sticking out either side. - If you make the sleeper dimensions proportionate to the gauge (HO scale) then the spacing between tracks will be proportionately too great.
Regards, Greg.P. NZ
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