Author Topic: MTL coupler survey  (Read 4428 times)

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bbussey

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #45 on: August 05, 2014, 10:12:31 AM »
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I just take weight out. Then the slinky effect goes away.

Um, no.

You can't eliminate it fully, no matter what.  But you can lessen it.  Reduce the friction in the wheels to lessen the effect by switching to metal wheels/axles.

And heavier is better.  The ESM Keyser Valley caboose weighs nearly a full ounce when assembled.  After being equipped with metal wheels, it barely oscillates when being pushed.  You can see proof of this in the latest GSC well car testing video.
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2014, 01:11:06 PM »
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No heads exploded, but several brains pondered about this.

 And on a serious note, I don't think that it isn't very professional for a "real" model RR company (not some schmuck in a basement running a 1-man shop) to make "typos" like that.  To me typo means a spelling error.  The "hydraulic line" statement seems to indicate that the person who typed up the survey is not very well informed about how the railroad brakes work. 

Not to pile on, but I completely agree.

Shipsure

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #47 on: August 05, 2014, 01:25:47 PM »
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Maybe the person was juggling a lot of other things on deadline that were far more immediate and important?  Ever considered that?  Has absolutely nothing to do with our professionalism or being "real".  It was a mistake and it indicates we are human.

Joe


No heads exploded, but several brains pondered about this.

 And on a serious note, I don't think that it isn't very professional for a "real" model RR company (not some schmuck in a basement running a 1-man shop) to make "typos" like that.  To me typo means a spelling error.  The "hydraulic line" statement seems to indicate that the person who typed up the survey is not very well informed about how the railroad brakes work.  Don't worry, I'm not singling out Micro Trains - I would have made the same comment no matter what model RR company posted that survey.

Don't worry, I'm not losing any sleep over this - just bitching (since this is what forums are for).  :D

ednadolski

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #48 on: August 05, 2014, 01:31:24 PM »
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But I did keep the slinky effect from happening. That's all that really matters.

As I've said, you've made the symptom go away.    If that works for you, then more power to you.   Personally, I would think it less radical to install reasonably-designed couplers that don't have the issue, rather than have to remove the weights from all my cars as the price to pay for making the slinky go away  (which FWIW isn't even possible to do for some of them -- have you ever tried to take an IM 5161 hopper apart without damaging it?).


Sooooo...a car on the weaw of the twain that would wesonate in an equal but opposite mannuh fwom the west of the twain would cancel out the wesonations??

Woww Wobewt you weewy have a wemawkabw way wiff words....  :D

Here is a link for the benefit of anyone who actually cares to know what is happening: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/shm2.html  (Note, every MT coupler in a train is a spring, and each car is a mass.  They are all connected in series.   VonRyan - by removing the weights, you change the masses, but you still have the springs.)


(And here is a link for those who do not care to know:  http://www.museumofplay.org/online-collections/images/Z001/Z00105/Z0010546.jpg    :trollface:  :D )

Ed
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 01:40:35 PM by ednadolski »

VonRyan

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #49 on: August 05, 2014, 02:09:02 PM »
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Um, no.

You can't eliminate it fully, no matter what.  But you can lessen it.  Reduce the friction in the wheels to lessen the effect by switching to metal wheels/axles.

And heavier is better.  The ESM Keyser Valley caboose weighs nearly a full ounce when assembled.  After being equipped with metal wheels, it barely oscillates when being pushed.  You can see proof of this in the latest GSC well car testing video.

Tuning the trucks works wonders too. I don't know specifics exactly, but the tool I used was a drill bit with a re-ground point that removes a slight amount of delrin from the trucks. This makes the point at which the axle contacts the trucks far smaller and results in a better rolling car.
I have wanted to compare the rolling capabilities of a common car, each time with a different modification. Using something like a 3' stretch of 2% grade and a long stretch of level track to record distances.

The idea being to take an Atlas 40' wood reefer, and convert it to stock MT trucks. Test and record.
Tune the trucks. Test. Swap in metal wheels. Test.
Then repeat the same tests, but this time with the weight removed and starting with a new pair of stock MT trucks.


As I've said, you've made the symptom go away.    If that works for you, then more power to you.   Personally, I would think it less radical to install reasonably-designed couplers that don't have the issue, rather than have to remove the weights from all my cars as the price to pay for making the slinky go away  (which FWIW isn't even possible to do for some of them -- have you ever tried to take an IM 5161 hopper apart without damaging it?).

Even without the slinky effect, I'd still take excess weight out.
I do agree there are those cars that are just impossible to take the weights out of. The only IM cars I own started as kits and I simply excluded the weights.
Luckily MT cars have an acceptable weight.
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peteski

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #50 on: August 05, 2014, 02:28:31 PM »
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Maybe the person was juggling a lot of other things on deadline that were far more immediate and important?  Ever considered that?  Has absolutely nothing to do with our professionalism or being "real".  It was a mistake and it indicates we are human.

Joe

Joe, I won't keep on harping in this anymore.  But your explanation doesn't make sense to me.  Again, if the person who wrote the survey questions (about a possible future model RR product) was familiar with railroad cars (after all, MT is a model RR company) , I would have expected them to be more knowledgeable.  It seems to me that the survey was written by a member of the front office staff who id not directly involved in the production or R&D.

I can only base my opinion on my own experience, but I can tell you that having a basic knowledge of how the RR brakes operate, no matter how busy (or preoccupied with other things or deadlines) I was, I would never ever confuse them with hydraulic brakes.  That just wouldn't enter my mind.  But that's just me.

However I could much easier dismiss the "manual coupling" thing.  Even while knowing how knuckle couplers work (1:1 and model versions), I could easily have made a similar "typo" if under stress of a deadline and doing few things at one.

Anyways, I'm done harping on this.  It is what it is. Carry on.  :D  The important thing is that I completed the survey and I hope that lots of others have done it too.
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bbussey

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #51 on: August 05, 2014, 03:08:08 PM »
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Tuning the trucks works wonders too. I don't know specifics exactly, but the tool I used was a drill bit with a re-ground point that removes a slight amount of delrin from the trucks. This makes the point at which the axle contacts the trucks far smaller and results in a better rolling car.
I have wanted to compare the rolling capabilities of a common car, each time with a different modification. Using something like a 3' stretch of 2% grade and a long stretch of level track to record distances.

The idea being to take an Atlas 40' wood reefer, and convert it to stock MT trucks. Test and record.
Tune the trucks. Test. Swap in metal wheels. Test.
Then repeat the same tests, but this time with the weight removed and starting with a new pair of stock MT trucks.


Even without the slinky effect, I'd still take excess weight out.
I do agree there are those cars that are just impossible to take the weights out of. The only IM cars I own started as kits and I simply excluded the weights.
Luckily MT cars have an acceptable weight.

There is no way I would remove weight from a car.  I want to maintain as low a center of gravity as possible in order to run long consists on trackage that isn't straight or flat.  If the train is too heavy, follow prototype practice and add a unit on the point.

Regarding the trucks, friction always is lessened when the materials are different.  You never will get plastic MTL wheels in MTL frames to work as well as metal wheels in MTL frames because the material is the same, no matter how slippery it is.  MTL uses Celcon plastic now for the stirrups and brakewheels (as opposed to Delrin).  I don't know if they are using it for the couplers, trucks and wheels, but it could be the case because the pigment is the same.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 03:11:50 PM by bbussey »
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peteski

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #52 on: August 05, 2014, 03:30:13 PM »
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  MTL uses Celcon plastic now for the stirrups and brakewheels (as opposed to Delrin). 

Um, that is the same material (just different brand names) for Polyoxymethylene.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyoxymethylene
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ednadolski

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2014, 04:09:57 PM »
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Luckily MT cars have an acceptable weight.

That does not compute.  I see the slinky as much with MT cars as with others that are just equipped with MT couplers, and there isn't much difference in the mass AFAICT (esp. compared to an unweighted car).   I guess you must be getting the "magic" ones that don't slinky?   :? :? :?

(So much for NMRA weighting recommendations)

Ed

VonRyan

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2014, 04:55:50 PM »
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That does not compute.  I see the slinky as much with MT cars as with others that are just equipped with MT couplers, and there isn't much difference in the mass AFAICT (esp. compared to an unweighted car).   I guess you must be getting the "magic" ones that don't slinky?   :? :? :?

(So much for NMRA weighting recommendations)

Ed

Meaning that I don't need to modify them for an acceptable weight. Especially since doing so requires either milling or resin casting. By tuning the trucks to lower the friction between the axles and the truck frames, less tension is put on the coupler springs, which ultimately eliminates the slinky effect. But like you said, the "cause" of the slinky effect is still there.

The NMRA's weigth standards are unrealistic because they greatly limit the length of trains. Where a prototype locomotive could pull say 50 cars, the model may only be able to pull 15 if the cars are weighted down per NMRA recommended practices.


There is no way I would remove weight from a car.  I want to maintain as low a center of gravity as possible in order to run long consists on trackage that isn't straight or flat.  If the train is too heavy, follow prototype practice and add a unit on the point.

Regarding the trucks, friction always is lessened when the materials are different.  You never will get plastic MTL wheels in MTL frames to work as well as metal wheels in MTL frames because the material is the same, no matter how slippery it is.  MTL uses Celcon plastic now for the stirrups and brakewheels (as opposed to Delrin).  I don't know if they are using it for the couplers, trucks and wheels, but it could be the case because the pigment is the same.


I've seen trains of 80 hoppers, all with their weights removed and trucks tuned, that could be pulled by a pair of switchers. And this is on an N-Trak layout, and one particular instance I recall, there were changes grade, and also S-curves involved. Of course, part of it is that all the cars were all equipped with MT trucks with truck-mounted couplers.
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #55 on: August 05, 2014, 05:33:13 PM »
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OK... sort of a serious question. Are we TRYING to alienate Joe and MTL here? I thought we WANTED to have manufacturers on this site. We all know what they were trying to say on the survey. CMW has had similar terminology mis-steps on their surveys and we never harped on them like this.

What I read from the survey was that they were considering a draw-bar similar to the one used on their civil war era couplers. I can see this as useful for unit train operations that rarely uncouple, and for links between cars such as their Southern hopper set they put out a few years ago and a TTX long runner style car. I assume the cars would snap together at the draw bar pins, and to uncouple you would need to pull them apart. This does not mean you would need to take them off the track.

Now, I still want to see a non-slinky scale sized coupler. But the idea is options here. We run switch and uncouple. Guys running long strings of coal may want close coupling and reliable operation. Isn't there room for both?
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bbussey

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2014, 06:18:30 PM »
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... The NMRA's weigth standards are unrealistic because they greatly limit the length of trains. Where a prototype locomotive could pull say 50 cars, the model may only be able to pull 15 if the cars are weighted down per NMRA recommended practices.

Not true.  And most modelers use multiple units to pull long consists anyway.  As per the prototype.

I've seen trains of 80 hoppers, all with their weights removed and trucks tuned, that could be pulled by a pair of switchers. And this is on an N-Trak layout, and one particular instance I recall, there were changes grade, and also S-curves involved. Of course, part of it is that all the cars were all equipped with MT trucks with truck-mounted couplers.

No grades were involved if it was an N-Trak layout.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 06:20:02 PM by bbussey »
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Shipsure

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2014, 06:40:25 PM »
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I think so Daniel, ten minutes ago I was looking for the button that would delete my account but can't find it. :x

  We are just asking simple questions to get a feel for what different segments of the market are looking at.  It's still the wild west out there and we completely understand the advantages and drawbacks of current (ours included) coupler systems.  No one is talking getting rid of the current system we have, just looking at what the market may want beyond what we have.  We have been working on getting rid of the slinky and to be truthful I am starting to think it's one of those design issues that will continue to stump us.  I have a drawer full of samples and tests and to be frank, none of them work as well given the basic perimeters of the coupler.  Maybe, as some have inferred, I'm just not smart enough to see the obvious solution...who knows...but I am still plugging away at it.

As for a draw bar style...yes, I can see plenty of applications for something that can snap in and snap out to create unit trains, passenger car consists....mow trains...who knows.  We have had a large number of folks request something like this.  While it may not suite proto types, not everyone counts the blades of grass on any given scene to be sure it's absolutely right.  I think you make the point that there are folks who may not see the wisdom in choice and can only tolerate what they consider meets their needs.  I still get emails requesting hook and horn coupler conversions.  Still!  Am I going to drop them because in my mind they want an inferior system on their layout? 

My personal preference...I would love a scale coupler, that looks like one and it doesn't have to work with a magnet.  I don't do enough switching on my own layout to require that nor in all my years and travels ever operated on a home layout with magnets in the track.  A pick gets me in the middle of the action and it suites me just fine.  All of my stuff is set up with 905's and lowered as necessary.  I generally clip off the trip pin as well.  I would love to have something that allows me the ability to slide the shank in and out to adjust the length to suit the minimum radius and car separation I need.  I can see a dozen or more products that would allow modelers to choose what is right for them, not what a small group of people deem acceptable. 

So it seems that given the usual thread drift and the heart burn that follows, one has to wonder about the value of simply asking an honest question sometimes? 

Joe




OK... sort of a serious question. Are we TRYING to alienate Joe and MTL here? I thought we WANTED to have manufacturers on this site. We all know what they were trying to say on the survey. CMW has had similar terminology mis-steps on their surveys and we never harped on them like this.

What I read from the survey was that they were considering a draw-bar similar to the one used on their civil war era couplers. I can see this as useful for unit train operations that rarely uncouple, and for links between cars such as their Southern hopper set they put out a few years ago and a TTX long runner style car. I assume the cars would snap together at the draw bar pins, and to uncouple you would need to pull them apart. This does not mean you would need to take them off the track.

Now, I still want to see a non-slinky scale sized coupler. But the idea is options here. We run switch and uncouple. Guys running long strings of coal may want close coupling and reliable operation. Isn't there room for both?

Wardie

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #58 on: August 05, 2014, 06:52:20 PM »
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I think so Daniel, ten minutes ago I was looking for the button that would delete my account but can't find it. :x

  We are just asking simple questions to get a feel for what different segments of the market are looking at.  It's still the wild west out there and we completely understand the advantages and drawbacks of current (ours included) coupler systems.  No one is talking getting rid of the current system we have, just looking at what the market may want beyond what we have.  We have been working on getting rid of the slinky and to be truthful I am starting to think it's one of those design issues that will continue to stump us.  I have a drawer full of samples and tests and to be frank, none of them work as well given the basic perimeters of the coupler.  Maybe, as some have inferred, I'm just not smart enough to see the obvious solution...who knows...but I am still plugging away at it.

As for a draw bar style...yes, I can see plenty of applications for something that can snap in and snap out to create unit trains, passenger car consists....mow trains...who knows.  We have had a large number of folks request something like this.  While it may not suite proto types, not everyone counts the blades of grass on any given scene to be sure it's absolutely right.  I think you make the point that there are folks who may not see the wisdom in choice and can only tolerate what they consider meets their needs.  I still get emails requesting hook and horn coupler conversions.  Still!  Am I going to drop them because in my mind they want an inferior system on their layout? 

My personal preference...I would love a scale coupler, that looks like one and it doesn't have to work with a magnet.  I don't do enough switching on my own layout to require that nor in all my years and travels ever operated on a home layout with magnets in the track.  A pick gets me in the middle of the action and it suites me just fine.  All of my stuff is set up with 905's and lowered as necessary.  I generally clip off the trip pin as well.  I would love to have something that allows me the ability to slide the shank in and out to adjust the length to suit the minimum radius and car separation I need.  I can see a dozen or more products that would allow modelers to choose what is right for them, not what a small group of people deem acceptable. 

So it seems that given the usual thread drift and the heart burn that follows, one has to wonder about the value of simply asking an honest question sometimes? 

Joe

Don't get discouraged Joe, I took and appreciate the survey and understood the intent behind the questions. Personally I want a coupler that is more to scale if not completely scale sized and allows a much closer coupling. And while I would like automatic coupling, I prefer uncoupling with a pic myself. I wouldn't mind assisting in lining up couplers for coupling if it eliminated the slinky.

Keep trying. 8)

robert3985

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #59 on: August 05, 2014, 08:05:45 PM »
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I don't have time to go back through all the posts, but I, for one, am grateful that Joe is here asking questions.  So, somebody at the office typed "hydraulic" rather than something more correct.  I knew what was meant, and since there's no air or brakes on model train cars (at least in N-scale)...beeg deal.

However, there's a real need for scale sized dummy couplers...that need to be manually coupled and uncoupled, and are simple one-piece injection moldings and are not compatible with anything other than your Z scale couplers.

Make 'em so they mount (without any springs or centering protocol) in a slip-fit over the center pins on present MTL coupler pockets.  Make 'em with multiple mounting holes in the coupler shaft...or three types (1) Short (2) Medium (3) Long.

If you get really ambitious, an externally prototypical looking coupler pocket with adapters for mounting on several styles of cars would be a good addition.

Mold the dummy couplers in a medium-dark warm gray.

Another product you could make that wouldn't involve a lot of design would be to treat your Z-scale couplers as scale-sized N-scale couplers...with its own different coupler pockets for mounting on various types of cars.  Not counting the slinky effect, the biggest problem with these is there's only one mounting protocol.  Since these are scale sized in 5 of 6 dimensions, you could probably market them as "scale-sized 1:160 couplers".  Yeah, I know they don't look much like prototype couplers, but they make a huge difference in the appearance of both cars and engines when used in place of "N-scale" couplers.

Mold these in the same medium-dark warm gray engineering plastic.

Here's a photo of MT Z-scale couplers on the rear of one of my brass light Mikes, coupled to the scale brass dummy coupler on the pilot of another brass light Mike:


Here's another visual comparo.  Wouldn't it be great if the dummy coupler was an MTL product???


Just to emphasize the point, here's a photo of a stock MTL "Wooden Caboose" with "N-scale" couplers, next to one of my kitbashed UP CA-3's with Z-scale couplers.
 

Once again Joe...thanks for being here and putting up with what is just normal at TRW.   :D