Author Topic: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool  (Read 1613 times)

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C855B

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MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« on: July 30, 2019, 03:24:28 PM »
+2
One of the criticisms I keep getting of (my use of) True Scale Couplers is "but... but... but... they make 'operations' nearly impossible". I heard it again this past weekend (...Glenn... ;) ).

Au contraire. You just have to think a little bit finer than shish-kabob skewers (or cattle prods :D ) for manual uncoupling. (Does anybody into ops really use magnetic uncoupling? I gave up on that idea in the '80s.)

My wife has been collecting discarded probes ("explorers") from our dentist for working with her jewelry and other art projects. I "borrowed" this explorer to see if it was the right size to wedge between the couplers:



It worked great. It's not "borrowed" any more, the purple tape means it now lives in my toolkit. (Thank you, dear.)

A very light touch is all it takes. Sometimes the softest nudge will open a knuckle and separate the cars. I like it even better than skewers with Magne-Matics, which (in my experience) frequently get hung-up in the knuckle and derail the car. If there's a downside, I needed an Optivisor to see where I was going.

Usual rule-of-thumb applies here re. TSC - long-shank versions are preferable since the coupling (and now, uncoupling) forces are lighter. Properly-centered long-shank TSCs will kiss-couple nearly as well as Magne-Matics. Now if we can just get Joe @Shipsure and his friends to add box configurations for easier retrofits to stuff like hoppers and tank cars, and drop-in for cast-in 1015 boxes, we will be golden.
...mike

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Jbub

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2019, 05:00:27 PM »
+1
Another CHEAP tool that works well at uncoupling tsc's is a micro brush with brush portion removed leaving a fine flexible point. I really like the tsc but since the only train running I get is on a modular club layout where "humping" between modules is too common a problem to allow smooth running with them.
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Darth Vader

Rossford Yard

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2019, 07:08:16 PM »
0
No pick pics to post, but I recently upgraded my uncoupling picks (Rix N scale) by inserting them into an LED precision screwdriver with pen light, where the bits normally fit.  Happens to be a perfect, tight fit. 

The extra light and length, not to mention those sort of encourage holding the pick straight up and down, work like a dream.  At first glance, it looks like those dental tool handles would fit, too, so that will be my next experiment in uncoupling. 

Besides the look of the ramps, there is the unwanted uncoupling, etc. if you are running a serious op session of switching.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 11:09:36 PM by Rossford Yard »

ednadolski

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2019, 10:22:32 PM »
0
Might be helpful to tape one of those small penlights onto it, to help see in between the two cars.

Ed

Rossford Yard

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2019, 11:50:00 AM »
0


Here is a pic of my lighted uncoupling tool.  Granted, only been in service a few weeks, but so far, very happy with it.  As mentioned, its a Rix N scale pick force fit into the LED flashlight where the magnetic screwdriver bits would normally go.

I was considering magnets based on an op session (and participants comments) but think this makes the hand work a lot easier.

And no, I am not planning on using to separate my buildings, LOL. Just best place to place it for easy viewing.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 11:59:54 AM by Rossford Yard »

Bendtracker1

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2019, 12:27:59 PM »
0
I tried out one of these, the idea is good, but it was a bit too big for N scale so I filed the point down to fit.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lighted-Uncoupling-Tool-1-ea-for-Multi-Scale-Couplers-from-HobbyAdvisors/122758561537?hash=item1c94faff01:g:3YAAAOSwldRaFHfp

Maletrain

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2019, 01:51:12 PM »
0
I tried out one of these, the idea is good, but it was a bit too big for N scale so I filed the point down to fit.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lighted-Uncoupling-Tool-1-ea-for-Multi-Scale-Couplers-from-HobbyAdvisors/122758561537?hash=item1c94faff01:g:3YAAAOSwldRaFHfp

Strange.  One of the photos of the gizmo in that link has "HobbyAdvisors.com" written on the tool labled "Lighted Uncoupling Tool".  But neither comes up in my Internet search.

Rossford Yard

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2019, 05:34:46 PM »
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They came up on eBay, and I will try one out in addition to my home made model.

Bendtracker1

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2019, 05:39:29 PM »
0
They came up on eBay, and I will try one out in addition to my home made model.
If you get one, like I said they are a little wide on the tip, just file it narrower.
The thing I noticed if you're use to the rix pix, the length of these are quite long, I thinking for HO purposes, I would think you could cut them down and refile a tip to them?

Rossford Yard

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2019, 06:04:07 PM »
0
If you get one, like I said they are a little wide on the tip, just file it narrower.
The thing I noticed if you're use to the rix pix, the length of these are quite long, I thinking for HO purposes, I would think you could cut them down and refile a tip to them?


Yes, my home made one is long, and seems about the same as the other one.  I don't mind it, but think I will have some guys over for an op session and let them decide....or have both, plus plain Rix pics, micro brushes without paint tips, etc. and let them just choose what they want.  It would be easy to cut down my Rix pick and put it back in the pen light/screwdriver.

Will keep you posted when it arrives.

nkalanaga

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2019, 02:26:49 AM »
0
I make my own "picks" by flattening the end of a 1/32 inch brass rod and gluing that into a wooden dowel.  And, yes, mine are longer than needed, so they'll clear the overhead wire at the MILW interchange. 
N Kalanaga
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Rossford Yard

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2019, 10:20:42 AM »
+1
I ordered and received my Lighted Uncoupling Tool from Hobby Advisors over the weekend.  This unit is slightly longer than my "home made" one. Both take a bit of getting used to, i.e., if you use your hand to separate cars, with the tool still in hand, you can knock over adjacent cars, unsecured bridges, etc.  Overall, the length and light force you to use the tool straight vertically, which I have found works better, and was one reason the straight Rix uncoupling too didn't work.

As to filing the edge, I haven't (yet) but this pick seems to work more quickly than the beveled edge of the Rix, although both work 5 out of 6 times, with random stubbornness.  Haven't figured out the cause yet, my technique, couple mfg differences (my Atlas Corn Syrup tankers separated seemingly when the coupler tool just got close, LOL, MT took actual contact and a bit of a twist.)  Since I bought 2, I will try Bendtrackers file down technique on one to see if that makes it easier with all couplers.

The light extending all the way down the shaft of the Hobby Advisors Tool was a bit better than my home made version, as you might expect with how its made.

Overall, very nice.  I had thought about adding some magnets (and still may in any hard to reach places) but these make unpling nice, so no real need to, providing the length doesn't bother you much more than it bothers me.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 10:22:17 AM by Rossford Yard »

C855B

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2019, 10:51:06 AM »
0
I ordered and received my Lighted Uncoupling Tool from Hobby Advisors over the weekend.  This unit is slightly longer than my "home made" one. Both take a bit of getting used to, i.e., if you use your hand to separate cars, with the tool still in hand, you can knock over adjacent cars, unsecured bridges, etc.  Overall, the length and light force you to use the tool straight vertically, which I have found works better, and was one reason the straight Rix uncoupling too didn't work.

As to filing the edge, I haven't (yet) but this pick seems to work more quickly than the beveled edge of the Rix, ...

Worth trying for the TSC, but may require modification. The wedge tip you showed in your home-brew with the lighted flashlight would not necessarily work for the TSC, or would be a challenge. My observation, underscored by the dental tool, is a needle point is required to truly get into the very small gap to push them apart. Bear in mind the TSC couple tightly, which (to me) is one of their advantages. Very little force is needed (like your "just got close"), but with the short-shank versions the pressure from the needle taper is needed for positive separation.

I'll try this new tool, mod if necessary, and if I don't favor it I'll keep it around for other operators who may. What I enjoyed with the dental pick was the extreme lightness and natural "to hand" feeling. It may have even been designed that way.  :D  It was interesting if not even a little fun to go down a row of cars and "touch" with the pick to uncouple each one, snick snick snick snick. Point taken, though, about top-down orientation, so modding the dental tool might be my next step. The angled approach may be OK in the open, but getting in between structures, etc., would be the scenario you mentioned.
...mike

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Jbub

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2019, 11:06:47 AM »
0
Mike, are you converting all your rolling stock to TSC? If so how do you feel about them being used in operations?
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Darth Vader

C855B

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Re: MTL True Scale Couplers - E-Z Uncoupling Tool
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2019, 12:04:30 PM »
0
That's the goal. Scale appearance, close coupling and elimination of the dreaded slinky effect are all factors in the conversion. Of course at the moment there are practical considerations with difficult-to-convert situations like hoppers, tank cars and, my special bugaboo, the new-guys-on-the-block who insist on molded-in 1015-compatible boxes.

I started this thread prompted by the epiphany that TSC with the right uncoupling tool are as good or even better than traditional MTL couplers ("Magne-Matics", technically) in ease of manual uncoupling. So, yes, I am very comfortable with the concept at this point. I guess we'll see for sure in a few months when I get the refinery scene finished and guest operators are blessing me out about being expected to switch the near-hidden tracks without breaking off piping and other fiddly-bits in the close quarters.  :trollface:
...mike

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