N scale uncoupling magnets placement

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Anachron, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. Anachron

    Anachron Member

    I have just started on this small N scale Timesaver, and I have no experince from MT magnematic couplers.
    So my question to you guys is: Where do I install uncpupling magnets? :confused:
    and if dousent the cars uncouple everytime I drive over the magnet?

    Here is a pic of my layout:

    Attached Files:

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Don't do it!

    Ok, that's maybe a little dramatic, but our local club is in the process of removing all the magnets from our HO Timesaver display module.

    They seem to be more trouble than they are worth. The only time they do not uncouple cars is when you need them too. With all the back-and-forth switching moves, you will have cars coming undone at the worst time. The magnets are ok for sidings or yards where you are really only moving in once to drop stuff, but on the Timesaver they are a nuisance.

    If there is a more reliable way to uncouple in N scale (using a bamboo skewer works for HO) I would highly recommend that instead.


  3. well, with Rapido's I use a toothpick.
  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Ahhhhh so a toothpick is actually an N scale bamboo skewer :D :D :D

    I saw a MR article recently touting a Radio Shack pack of magnets that's supposed to work better for N scale decoupling magnets. I wrote the RS# down somewhere.... :rolleyes: Check last couple months of MR if you want to see.
  5. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Andrew, were you using permenant magnets or electro? I am going to end up with a yard that is a little hard to reach and was hoping to be able to uncouple cars remotly.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    One trick to uncouple with magnets remotely without problems is to mount the magnet on a bell crank that is operated by a choke cable. When you don't need to uncouple, the magnet is swung down out of the way. When you want to uncouple, spot the car over the magnet, and swing it up with the cable. After the car is uncoupled, and the train pulls away, the magnet can be swung down out of the way again.
  7. Davgb

    Davgb New Member

    We have used the KayDee HO electromagnets (stronger field) on two N layouts. On the first the operation has been excellent and the layout is a joy to use. On the second, the magnets have not been so effective. Placed in the same way on both layouts, the only difference has been in the use of code 80 Peco track and code 55 Peco respectively. However, we cannot account for why the track should make any difference. Certainly the electromagnets are mounted the same distance from the top of the rail and so field strength is in the same place. I havent tried the nonelectros swung in and out of position as suggested by Russ but have heard this to be just as effective (and cheaper).
  8. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Davgb, is it possable that the first track was NS and the second one steel? If so the steel could become magnetized and caused problems. :confused: :( :eek:
  9. Davgb

    Davgb New Member

    As far as I'm aware all the Peco track is NS, not steel, but its an interesting theory. Does someone know for sure? If so, I'd recommend the electromagnets with the heavier code 80. The finer code 55 isnt really any better looking than the 80. Don't know how Atlas or Microengineering track fares with electros. Any one else tried?
  10. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    if you still have access to the track, a magnet will tell you. NS will ignore it.
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    The magnets we are doing away with are the permanent-between-the-rails type. Electro-magnets and/or Russ' suggestion for swing-away magnets will solve the unwanted uncoupling problems, but you are still restricted as to where the cars can be uncoupled. This is still potentially a problem on a small switching layout such as the Timesaver.

  12. Davgb

    Davgb New Member

    Andrew, granted thats a problem with 'puzzle' layouts where positioning is quite important, but not normally so.

    Wild ideas time then, I recall those old childrens magnetic hockey game (or was it football... obviously I dont remember them as well as all that!:confused: ) where a kind of stick was moved under the table - shaped a bit like a hockey stick with a magnet on the upper end i.e. ___I , with which you moved the 'player' around frantically on top of the table against an opponent doing the same, to get control of a puck and goal it. Maybe a more restricted version of that, whcih could drop up and down for the uncoupling and also left/right to alter position along the track, might work. If I ever find the time to do more than maintain the present layout, I'll try it...unless of course you wish to??
  13. Davgb

    Davgb New Member

    ...or, the conventional hinged down magnet, on a slider to move it an inch or two sideways.....
  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Anachron's original question was about magnetic uncoupling on an Nscale Timesaver - I stick to my original answer, and say uncouple manually.

    For Clark's application in a hard-to-reach yard, I would say - try it and see. I think that the electro- or permanent magnets are much better suited for this type of application where predictable uncoupling in the same spot is required over and over. Well, you'll get "the same spot" part, but the predictability is still up in the air in my experience ;) :D

  15. Anachron

    Anachron Member

    Thx guys for the input!
    I have already tried to operate the layout with just a wooden barbeque stick to uncouple the cars and woorks just fine for me :)

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