Couplers & Remote Operation

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Bongo Boy, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. Bongo Boy

    Bongo Boy Member

    So with my vast new-found knowledge, I imagine that I pull my train off the main line onto some arrival side line. The little switcher comes out to take my caboose over and out of the way to some caboose place.

    Already I'm baffled. Assuming I already have the tech needed to operate two locomotives at once, how does my switcher uncouple the caboose? How do it works? Are these little details actually documented anywhere, or do I simply need to get old and gray and learn it all the hard way?

    Oh wait, I'm ALREADY old and gray--yet I don't feel I have a head start. :D
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    What kind of couplers are you using? In HO, the horn/hooks have a ramp that pinches them open. It would be a simple matter of locating them at the desired industry. I've even made them with wire for appearances sake. If you model in N scale there are selenoid operated ramps for the Rapido type couplers. In both scales, retrofitting them with Kadees and their knockoffs gives you the ability to use fewer and easier to hide magnetic ramps.

    Kadee link>>>

    Coupler tutorial>>>

    Sorry I couldn't find anything on horn hook or Rapido couplers.
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    A lot of folks, myself included, uncouple manually. Magnetic couplers are easily separated by one of those wooden shishkabob skewers you can buy at the grocery store in packages of 100 or so. Cheap technology. I still have some horn hook coupled equipment and found that a mini three sided file is just the tool for inserting and twisting between couplers to get them to part. I like doing this manually because it simulates the hands on work of railroading. I would use magnetic ramps hidden beneath the track if I wanted to uncouple trains out of easy reach though.
  4. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Indeed, the latest trend, since the introduction of walkaround throttles, tends to be manually operating couplers and switches. Older model railroaders depended more heavily on automatic switch machines and uncoupling ramps or magnets because the control panel typically didn't move--or they'd have a friend working as a "brakeman" uncoupling the cars at the site while the "engineer" sat at the panel. I like working cars manually, although since I want to install overhead wire I am locating a couple of uncoupling magnets to allow on-site uncoupling while lowering the risk of lancing my hand open on trolley wire.
  5. bobaloo000

    bobaloo000 New Member

    Last month I read a review of new tool available for uncoupling. It looked like a stick with a magnet; I also think it had a screwdriver. It sold in the

    $6-$7 range.

    Long story short, I can no longer find the magazine. Did anyone else see this and can you tell me who makes it. The review was very positive.
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    If it is the RIX PIC, I have two of them. They have a tendancy to grab the metal details on my cars. I've found the sandwich toothpick, the long kind with the celophane hairdo, works much better and hundreds can be had for the same price as one of those magnetic ones.
  7. bobaloo000

    bobaloo000 New Member

    Not the Rix Pic, looked like a long thin screwdriver.
  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I'm familiar with that one. There also was one that extended from the end of a penlight. I feel these are much more reliable and easier to use then the RIX unit.
  9. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I use a small flat tip screw driver.I place the screw driver between the couplers and lightly turn the screw driver and the couplers open.I been using this method since the days of the old X2F(horn hook) couplers. :D
  10. E Mo Ry

    E Mo Ry New Member

    It's called the Knuckle Buster, looks a bit like a dentist's mirror and has a small circular magnet at the end that you hold next to the outside of the rail and it pulls kadees (and other magnetic couplers i guess) apart....most of the time. I have one and like it enough, but i still use wooden shishkabob skewers most of the time...reliable and cheap.

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