Author Topic: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.  (Read 2217 times)

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Shipsure

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MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« on: February 08, 2017, 04:44:34 PM »
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I haven't picked one up yet as it will blow a giant hole in my budget at the moment...but getting requests for MTL conversions.  Anyone done it, have an idea what will work?  1015-1025 etc?  I am hoping this isn't like the Bachmann DD loco that was almost impossible to convert.

Thanks in advance

Joe

peteski

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 05:04:24 PM »
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Funny that you've asked.  They use a type of McHenry (clone?) coupler with whisker springs in the back but the exploded diagram shows that the coupler pockets have openings molded in them to allow the standard MTL couplers to be fitted directly.  I was very impressed by that.   The booklet which is included with the model has a section on converting to MTL couplers.  Here is a quote of the manual:

USE OF MICROTRAINS COUPLERS ON SCALETRAINS.COM EQUIPMENT
All Scaletrains.com N-Scale Equipment is designed to accept Microtrains couplers in the Scaletrains.com coupler boxes. You will need to use the replacement supplied Scaletrains.com coupler centering springs instead of the ones supplied with the Microtrains couplers. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.


They do not mention which MTL coupler assembly to use and I haven't had a chance to mess around with my set.  Like mentioned, there is a bag with several gold-colored springs which are stiffer then the MTL coupler springs. Someone earlier thought that those were included to replace any lost McHenry-style coupler springs but after reading the manual it appears that those springs are for use in MTL couplers. Not sure why they specifically need the stiffer spring in the MTL couplers.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 06:03:24 PM by peteski »
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Shipsure

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 05:30:21 PM »
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thanks a ton!

C855B

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 05:51:01 PM »
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Yes, the springs were/are intended to be used to retrofit MTL shanks in the box that came on the loco, but strangely enough they're the same or nearly the same as the McHenry knuckle coupler springs. They were a perfect fit replacing a lost knuckle spring, so my reaction was, "Well, then... OK!" I have a pile of 1015s sitting on the bench, so I will verify the fit tonight.

Thinking ahead, however... the ScaleTrains box height is 0.030" shorter overall than the 1015 (and TSC) box. So I was thwarted in my attempt to easily retrofit TSCs, "easily" meaning not carving on the locomotive pilots and then ending up with the coupler 0.015" too low anyway. Any chance of a thinner top for the TCS box, even if it means trimming the alignment pins? You can always shim down, you can never shim up.

EDIT: Corrected measurements.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 10:21:47 PM by C855B »
...mike

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jagged ben

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 05:53:55 PM »
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So are the MTL springs too tall for the scale trains box?  Otherwise makes very little sense that the couplers would need a different spring.

C855B

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 10:29:18 PM »
+1
1015 is the proper fit in the ScaleTrains box:



Comparison of the ScaleTrains box and spring versus the MTL counterparts:



I used the MTL spring in the retrofit. The springs supplied in the little baggie with the loco would absolutely not stay put while reassembling the box. Too long, and too springy. I didn't notice any problems with coupler operation with the stock 1015 spring. Maybe one of the ScaleTrains guys can shed some light on this.
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peteski

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 10:56:23 PM »
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I used the MTL spring in the retrofit. The springs supplied in the little baggie with the loco would absolutely not stay put while reassembling the box. Too long, and too springy. I didn't notice any problems with coupler operation with the stock 1015 spring. Maybe one of the ScaleTrains guys can shed some light on this.

Good idea.  Calling @scaletrains !
 :)
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sundowner

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 11:42:57 PM »
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1015 is the proper fit in the ScaleTrains box:



Comparison of the ScaleTrains box and spring versus the MTL counterparts:



I used the MTL spring in the retrofit. The springs supplied in the little baggie with the loco would absolutely not stay put while reassembling the box. Too long, and too springy. I didn't notice any problems with coupler operation with the stock 1015 spring. Maybe one of the ScaleTrains guys can shed some light on this.

Thanks, Does it match the MT height gauge?
Which ever side of the track I am on is the right side.

C855B

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 11:48:47 PM »
+1
Thanks, Does it match the MT height gauge?

Spot-on. :)
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C855B

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2017, 11:58:20 AM »
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Good idea.  Calling @scaletrains !
 :)

Had to resort to e-mail. Multiple tries this morning went straight to voicemail. I'll post after they respond.
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C855B

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2017, 01:39:32 PM »
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Response from ScaleTrains:

Quote
Thanks for your email in regard to the conversion of your turbine to MT couplers.  You are correct that the intention was to use the 1015/1016 couplers. They are to be installed in our coupler box.  As  for the spring, that was a recommendation of the factory. They had indicated that using the standard spring from MT would not allow proper centering action.  If you find that the stock ones work well for you then by all means please use them and you can disregard the ones that we have included.

And there you have it.
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bobthebear

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2017, 03:29:53 PM »
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Most of the supplied springs are "somewhere" in my layout room! I gave up after fitting 2, so I then Fitted MTL z scale 905 couplers.
Work a treat, and will also couple with the McHenrys.

sundowner

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2017, 04:16:11 PM »
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Cool, I should have enough unassemble 1015 in my train part box to do both of my units.
Which ever side of the track I am on is the right side.

peteski

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2017, 04:40:38 PM »
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Had to resort to e-mail. Multiple tries this morning went straight to voicemail. I'll post after they respond.

The "calling @ scalertains" statement was actually automatically notifying them (via  email)  that they have been mentioned. I never intended to call them.  I was hoping that they would simply reply to this thread.

But you got the info we were wondering about - thanks. I wonder why they felt at the factory that the MTL spring is too soft?  They seem to work just fine in the millions of MTL couplers out there. Maybe the Scaletrains coupler pocket surface is not as smooth as MTL one?  Using a stiffer spring would also most likely mean no automatic-magnetic uncoupling (spring too stiff for the magnet to deflect the coupler).
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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C855B

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Re: MTL coupler conversion for Scale Trains Turbine.
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2017, 04:57:08 PM »
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No, I caught the '@'. They could easily have the e-mail notifications for mentions turned off. Anyway, I didn't get the impression from their activity here that they monitored the forum beyond being prepared for Q&A after posting an announcement.

I strongly suspect what happened at the factory is in their unfamiliarity with the MTL design, somebody decided the action was not firm enough for their tastes. Since they had the similarly-sized but heavier knuckle springs on hand, somebody (a better person than I, evidently) tried one with the MTL shanks and felt they "solved a problem". I suspect that's the connection - those are McHenry knuckle springs in the bag, repurposed.
...mike

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We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross