Newbie with Coupler problems

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by dturnerfish, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. dturnerfish

    dturnerfish New Member

    I finally have my track down for my first layout. It took 6 weeks. I think it takes me 3-4 tries and an hour to put one piece of flex track down... :> I also built and painted my first building (Cornerstones Coal Mine), That was about 20 hours. Am I the only one this slow? It's great fun anyway. Need to do switch machines next... that will take a month.... lol

    I do have one problem though....

    I purchased a New Atlas Train with 3 New Atlas cars. I was told the couplers were micro-train compatible, so I also bought a micro-train uncoupler (the one that is all ready installed on the track). The wire hangs just above the uncoupler, and does not touch. The uncoupler is part of a straight-a-way.

    The cars do not uncouple? Any ideas?

    Will I need to get micro-train couplers? ack!

    One other question, does anyone have a solution to keeping there cat of the table (without resorting to extreme violence)?

    Thank you,

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I had to put a door at the top of the basement stairs because of what the new kitten was doing. (see my thread "Meet Monty") The previous owner had taken the door to use as a table in the shed. It took him a full week to learn how to open it.
    MicroTrains couplings are uncoupled magneticly.The wire dropper should not touch the uncoupling magnet; it should be just high enough to clear the rails in a switch. The magnet should pull the dropper sideways when the cars are pushed together.
    Someone who's currently in N will help you further.
  3. siderod

    siderod Member

    What you have are accumates. Or, as i call them, Crapumates. What you need is Micro-Trains. If you want to uncouple magnetically, you really need the M/T couplers. Crapumates, for some reason, don't work as well, even with more powerful magnets. Micro-trains, however will work with a M/T magnet. Rare-earth magnets will make the process easier though.

    Any more questions, feel free to ask
  4. CAS

    CAS Member

    I'm also having the same problem. But i bought a couple of micro-train cars with MT couplers, and the the MT magnet track with the magnet glued to the track. I pull my train over the magnet, stop, reverse alittle bit to get some slack, and pull forward . But my train does not uncouple. Do i need to get the the coupling gauge to set the couplers?

    Thanks, Cliff
  5. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    Even MT couplers will only just work with the MT magnet in perfect conditions. Yes, check with the coupler gauge (particularly the pin height), and dry-lubricate the couplers. I find they sometimes have to be opened up a fraction (i.e. bend the flat section away slightly) -- careful here though.

    All rapidos and Accumates have to be binned and replaced -- I also replace MT truck-mounted couplers with body-mount ones as they're much more reliable. To their eternal credit, most Atlas locos and rolling stock have removable accumates and a hole ready-made for a body-mounted MT. For this reason, Atlas tend to be better value than MT rolling stock, which you have to change out anyway. Stronger magnets, although more reliable, can pull down on truck-mounted and not-perfectly-set body-mounted couplers, which affects how well they work.

    The most reliable uncoupling I've found to date (once you've done all the above), is to use two rare-earth magnets (10mm diameter) mounted immediately under the track (i.e. cut into the cork or foam roadbed), about quarter of an inch separating them, with the left-hand one (as you're driving along the track) about a quarter of an inch before the right-hand one. This asymmetrical layout stops the first pin that arrives over the magnet from dragging both couplers to one side -- it makes sure that both pins hit their respective magnets at the same time. The centres of these two magnets end up just about on the outside spike of the tracks. With this setup, I get absolutely reliable uncoupling every time, and no unwanted uncoupling.

    Picture below showing the setup on my workbench (two 10mm holes drilled in the top with magnets glued in flush with the top), and to check rolling stock I just slide a piece of flextrack over the magnets (RH picture) and can test uncoupling right here, without going to the layout. Of course, on the layout, they're just slid into gaps in the roadbed and completely hidden by ballast.


    The manufacturers and hobby stores don't tell you any of this, of course.

  6. hswn

    hswn Member

    I have an old Kadee (prior to Micro trains) coupler gauge and it came with a .010 shime to use to set the coupler trip pin hieght. I don't have but did use a Micro Trains coupler pin pliers borrowed from a friend to set the trip pin (thanks side rod). I'm going to purchase a pair of the pliers they make the job of setting the trip pins much easier.
    The shime is set on the rails the pin should just clear it. You should be able to role the car up to it with out the pin moving it.

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