Author Topic: MTL coupler survey  (Read 4076 times)

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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #60 on: August 05, 2014, 11:12:03 PM »
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I would love to see a reverse draft angle Z scale coupler that fits the 1015 pocket and an underslung version that fits the 2004 box. Add a medium shank version of both and this would convert 99% of N scale models on the market today.
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ednadolski

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #61 on: August 06, 2014, 01:50:20 AM »
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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.

Joe if I may be blunt:  I do not think there is a solution to the slinky (obvious or otherwise).  Any interconnected series of masses and springs will inevitably oscillate, since the fundamental purpose of a spring is to absorb and release kinetic energy.  Within limits, one may tune the system (by varying the masses, spring strength, or damping/friction) but that cannot change its basic nature.

That said, I think the need is not for a *fix* to the slinky, but rather for an alternative that offers the features that the legacy design cannot deliver.  This could be a few simple products that do not require large R&D investment: for example, a scale/proto dummy coupler & pocket, drawbars, plus  'compatible' versions to fit existing pockets & cars.  The key idea is to coexist with current products, since they fulfill different needs.   

Anyways that is just my quick $0.02, hopefully a bit more useful then the usual griping (which BTW is really just opportunity in another guise ;) ).

Ed


GaryHinshaw

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #62 on: August 06, 2014, 03:13:34 AM »
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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 can help find the delete button if you really want that.  But consider that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

Now, could you please clarify what is meant by question 6, which has already generated much discussion here.  Questions 3 and 4 refer to manual uncoupling which I interpret to mean using a pick to spread the knuckles (as your post above suggests), while still allowing hands-free coupling.   Question 6 refers to manual coupling and uncoupling, which suggests a dummy coupler like the Unimate which requires you to lift cars to couple and uncouple.  To me there is a world of difference between the two options so I'm at a loss to know how to respond to your question, which might make it a less-than-useful survey question for you.

VonRyan

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #63 on: August 06, 2014, 12:09:41 PM »
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Not true.  And most modelers use multiple units to pull long consists anyway.  As per the prototype.

No grades were involved if it was an N-Trak layout.

But by removing weight, you get a correct length train behind those multiple units rather than having to put them on purely for pulling strength.

New Jersey Southern has an end-loop module that allows trains to climb up to the Mountain (green) Line, called the "Mountain End".
There is also a 12' module set that also allows mainline trains to climb up to the Mountain Line from the opposing direction.
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coosvalley

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #64 on: August 06, 2014, 12:44:48 PM »
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But by removing weight, you get a correct length train behind those multiple units rather than having to put them on purely for pulling strength.


I think your estimate of "a real loco can pull 50 cars" may be the cause of this puzzling sentence....A real loco can probably move 50 cars, but not many will "pull" a train somewhere....All of this depends on era of course, and locos....but  50 cars and 1 loco sounds like a bad day for the crew, unless its all downhill...or a DD40 in the late 60s!

bbussey

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #65 on: August 06, 2014, 12:53:00 PM »
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But by removing weight, you get a correct length train behind those multiple units rather than having to put them on purely for pulling strength.

New Jersey Southern has an end-loop module that allows trains to climb up to the Mountain (green) Line, called the "Mountain End".
There is also a 12' module set that also allows mainline trains to climb up to the Mountain Line from the opposing direction.

Well, technically it's not N-Trak if not built to N-Trak specifications, correct?  On an N-Trak layout that consists of modules built to spec, you can pull prototypical length consists weighted normally with a prototypical assignment of motive power.  That was a primary point — showcasing N scale's selling point of being able to run prototypical length freight and passenger consists.  Refer back to all of those N-Trak "Long Train Run" records set back in the 1970s and 1980s.



And, with models being equipped with diecast underbodies (which covers the majority of the MTL product lines as well as a number of other manufacturers' product lines), the ability to remove weight becomes moot.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 12:55:33 PM by bbussey »
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VonRyan

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #66 on: August 06, 2014, 01:47:45 PM »
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Well, technically it's not N-Trak if not built to N-Trak specifications, correct?  On an N-Trak layout that consists of modules built to spec, you can pull prototypical length consists weighted normally with a prototypical assignment of motive power.  That was a primary point — showcasing N scale's selling point of being able to run prototypical length freight and passenger consists.  Refer back to all of those N-Trak "Long Train Run" records set back in the 1970s and 1980s.



And, with models being equipped with diecast underbodies (which covers the majority of the MTL product lines as well as a number of other manufacturers' product lines), the ability to remove weight becomes moot.

There are N-Trak specs for return loops. IIRC, the NJS Mountain End is to spec.

And when the weight is integral to the car, I leave it unmodified aside from tuning the trucks.
Those cars whose weights are not required to keep the car held together and are noticeably heavy, I remove them right away. Cars like the FVM 40' rib-sides are acceptable, but the weights are held on with a strange tape of sorts, and one of the weights in both of my two came loose, so I took the opportunity to remove all the weights, and the cars run much nicer now.
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bbussey

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #67 on: August 06, 2014, 03:38:38 PM »
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Those return-loop specs are at zero-grade IIRC. It's been a number of decades since I've reviewed N-Trak specs, but I remember the reasons behind them.

Obviously you're entitled to weight your rolling stock any way you wish. But it won't affect MTL coupler operation, and lighter car weight certainly won't be beneficial in pulling consists through non-straight curved graded trackage or pushing consists through yard throat ladders.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 03:52:33 PM by bbussey »
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GN63

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2014, 03:50:14 PM »
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I think your estimate of "a real loco can pull 50 cars" may be the cause of this puzzling sentence....A real loco can probably move 50 cars, but not many will "pull" a train somewhere....All of this depends on era of course, and locos....but  50 cars and 1 loco sounds like a bad day for the crew, unless its all downhill...or a DD40 in the late 60s!
Just as information, yard engines could easily pull 50 cars, and more - In my day (60s) as a yard clerk a NW2 could pull a 80 car track for switching, and nearly the same for a drag from GN Everett Jct, to Delta Yard - mostly no grade, but depending on the engineer and switch foreman, they could be flying by Bayside at nearly 60mph. 

djconway

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #69 on: August 07, 2014, 05:15:59 PM »
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One thing not asked was the percentage of other brands on the equipment.
On over 900 pieces of equipment there are less than 30 without Micro Trains couplers.

I've been in N scale since 1972 - when you cut and fit 2025's into everything - a little sheet styrene here and there you go.
Back in the 90's I tried an experiment to eliminate the slinky effect by substituting cut up rubber bands for the springs.  My thinking was that it would give just a little bit more force against the peg and dampen the slinky.  It worked sort of - until the rubber bands crumbled away and gummed up the works.

Thanks for asking my opinion. 

nkalanaga

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Re: MTL coupler survey
« Reply #70 on: August 08, 2014, 02:58:18 AM »
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I agree that a Z-scale coupler designed to mount on N scale cars would be a good idea.  It wouldn't even have to fit a current draft gear - just make it with the mounting hole 0.125 inches from the end and a mounting height of 0.275 inches.  It would them be a direct replacement for both the 1015 and 1025 couplers. 
N Kalanaga
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