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Author Topic: remote uncoupling  (Read 894 times)
KDALLONHO

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« on: April 01, 2007, 10:41:18 AM »

I'm new at the hobby.  Would the "vets" share any ideas for remote uncoupling. I've had very little success with the Bachmann magnet sets.
Thanks.
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CAB_IV

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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2007, 11:57:08 AM »

There is a particular way you need to go about uncoupling, and alot of things need to be fine tuned.

the idea is when you ack a knuckle style coupler (Kadee, McHenry, EZ-mate, Accu-mate) over the magnet, it will pull the coupler trip pins (the wire that looks like a hose)  to the side. you then just need to pull your locomotive out slightly, and the cars should disconnect.  if you push back on the cars after moving away, you should be able to push your cars down a siding without coupling.

the magnets themselves are not "remote".  they are just magnets.

You can get remotely controlled magnets that work the same way as the usual ones, only they have to be turned on or off, which is useful if you would have to stop the train over an uncoupling magnet, but did not want to uncouple just then. 

the usual problems with the magnets is either

1. The Magnet is not strong enough
2. The coupler pins are not spaced right
3. You are using couplers that do not work well together
4. You did not situate the train over the magnet correctly/ ypu installed the magnet wrong.

It can be any number of these problems that creates issues.

the first problem is common.  often times the under track magnets loose their power once buried under track and scenery.   they do sell extra powerful magnets for the job, but i have yet to try them out.  I had a bachmann magnet, and i tried to mount it on my layout.  its buried now, with no effect on the cars on that siding.  also rememberto put the magnet on the right way. test it and mark it so that you know which way is right.

secondly, some times the wires need to badjust properly. ideall, they will  be as low as possible without getting stuck on turnouts or crossings.  they will have a bend on the bottom of them as well.   if you look straight down at the coupler (with the knuckle being "12" and the shank being "6", like a clock), the wire should point to the "1 o'clock"  position, not straight ahead.

thirdly, some knuckle couplers hate eachother.  Atlas has big clunk Accu-mates, and they don't always uncouple well with the kadee style knuckles. Athearn has started to use scale couplers that are much smaller than the kadees, and they are pain as well, so you should make sure you couplers work well together. X2F /horn hook couplers will not work, period.

finally, it is sometimes tough to learn how to get it to uncouple smoothly.  you need to have a good locomotive that can creep at a reasonable speed, (no "Pancake" motored units), and you need to practice.  You also need to know where the magnet is under the track and ballast, which is why you get the little plastic figure with the bachmann magnet.    if you mover the train to quickly, you can pass over the ideal spot where the knuckles are most open. if you are pulling the train over magnet, you may need to give the couplers some slack so that the knuckles can open.  Also, unless you have VERY broad curves, you probably cannot uncouple in a turn by way of magnet.  you'll need to find a tangent ( straight) track, or atleast a place where both couplers are centered to install the magnet.  otherwise, the couplers are pulled off center ( and away from the right poles) of the magnet.

If you consider these things, it might help you get better operations from your magnet.

keep me updated.
Chris




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atan5543

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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 04:04:29 PM »

Chris,
 Thank you for taking the time and reviewing the detail that you did. I really appreciate it. It is helpful.

Al T,  Bow, NH
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rogertra


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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 06:08:01 PM »

Uncouple by hand, it's by far the easiest and "best" system if you are an "operator" rather then a runner of trains.


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Roger T.

Home of the late Great Eastern Railway
http://greateasternrailway.com

More photos of the late GER at: -
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utdave

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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 07:00:01 PM »

yes roger  when running your trains  you are the uncoupler man and thats how i do it.   in a real railroad their is someone pulling the latch pin anyways  so its a hands on operation   somebody has to get work dirty on the job.  Wink
dave
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rogertra


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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 10:42:03 PM »

yes roger  when running your trains  you are the uncoupler man and thats how i do it.   in a real railroad their is someone pulling the latch pin anyways  so its a hands on operation   somebody has to get work dirty on the job.  Wink
dave

You and me both Dave, except I use a skewer so I don't get quite as dirty.  Smiley
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Roger T.

Home of the late Great Eastern Railway
http://greateasternrailway.com

More photos of the late GER at: -
http://s94.photobucket.com/albums/l99/rogertra/Great_Eastern/
jbrock27

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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 12:19:23 PM »

KDALLONHO,

I have had good luck using a Kadee magnet for uncoupling.  They sell them in packs of 2 and are specific to the track code you are using such as  Code 100, Code 83 etc.
I don't know what kind or style of track you use, but I had success with the Code 100 magnet, mounted in the roadbed of a piece of old style Atlas decoupler track.  I found that the trip pins (air hoses) had to be full length and not cut in order for them to "stick" to the magnet and uncouple the cars.

I hope this helps you,

-jb
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electrical whiz kid

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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 08:46:53 AM »

Lots of good information.  There is a product that looks a little like a tuning fork with two perm. magnets on the tines.  You put tue tine end down to either side of the coupers, and you will uncuople the cars.  I have one, but i also have some delayed action setups-I am very lazy, and cannot see myself running around mylayout chasing a train with a barbeque skewer.  Food yes, trains no.
Rich C.
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jbrock27

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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 09:53:52 AM »

Now I am hungry.  Come to think if it, I'm having BBQ ribs tonight.  Yum!
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RAM

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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 01:17:36 PM »

Rich C.  You know you might be better off running around your layout  than sitting in a chair like I am in front of this computer.  The two perm. magnets uncoupler tool works great on plastic cars.  I do not like it when you have metal cars.  Some people can get the skewer to work 100 % I can only get it to work about 75%.  The other 25% I just pick the car up to uncouple.on the tines.  While I got to get off of this and out of the chair.
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electrical whiz kid

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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 05:47:45 PM »

RAM; You have your thoughts, I have mine, eh?  (urp)...
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