Date   

Re: Magnets instead of balls

George
 

Could you use two of the magnets stacked?


On Nov 3, 2021, at 6:02 PM, Steve Wintner via groups.io <steve_wintner@...> wrote:

Makes me wonder if a magnet that was, say, 1 mm Dua and 3 mm long would work. You'd have to deepen the hole in the coupler, not sure if there's 3 mm of space there...

Very interesting, thanks George!

Steve


On Wed, Nov 3, 2021 at 14:28, George Hofmann
<george.hofmann@...> wrote:
A little while ago there was some discussion here of remote uncoupling for Sergents. Replacing the ball bearing with a magnetic cylinder was mentioned. This modification would allow an electromagnet under the track to push the cylinder upwards thru magnetic repulsion, something that can't be done with the nonmagnetized ball. One end of the wand could still be used to attract the cylinder up just like the ball. Possibly the other end of the wand could be used to push it up as well, which could be useful if a diaphragm was in the way above the coupler, for example.

The concept was intriguing to me although I expected it not to work. I expected the magnet to be attracted to ferrous parts within the car and thus bind in its bore hole. I had to try it however. I ordered some 1mm diameter cylindrical magnets which were also advertised to be 1mm in length. Here's a picture of what I received. One of the stock ball bearings is stuck to the end of this stack of magnets.

<IMG_20211103_135605657_HDR.jpg>


The magnet nicely fit in the hole where the ball normally goes. The coupler parts assembled as usual. I was excited.

But then my hopes were dashed. While it seemed to work normally thru a few cycles it began to lockup. Investigation revealed that the cylinder actually was able to tumble within its space such that it got crossways. I'll leave it to others to prove geometrically how this is possible. This phenomenon seemed to be worsened by trying to use the other end of the wand to push the cylinder up. Rather than moving up smoothly, the cylinder attempted to swap ends just as a magnet in free space would do. 

So, I give up on this project. The concept seems great but I don't see how it can be accomplished without some kind of modification to the coupler assembly itself.

George
Edgewood, WA
<IMG_20211103_135605657_HDR.jpg>


Re: Magnets instead of balls

Steve Wintner
 

Makes me wonder if a magnet that was, say, 1 mm Dua and 3 mm long would work. You'd have to deepen the hole in the coupler, not sure if there's 3 mm of space there...

Very interesting, thanks George!

Steve


On Wed, Nov 3, 2021 at 14:28, George Hofmann
<george.hofmann@...> wrote:
A little while ago there was some discussion here of remote uncoupling for Sergents. Replacing the ball bearing with a magnetic cylinder was mentioned. This modification would allow an electromagnet under the track to push the cylinder upwards thru magnetic repulsion, something that can't be done with the nonmagnetized ball. One end of the wand could still be used to attract the cylinder up just like the ball. Possibly the other end of the wand could be used to push it up as well, which could be useful if a diaphragm was in the way above the coupler, for example.

The concept was intriguing to me although I expected it not to work. I expected the magnet to be attracted to ferrous parts within the car and thus bind in its bore hole. I had to try it however. I ordered some 1mm diameter cylindrical magnets which were also advertised to be 1mm in length. Here's a picture of what I received. One of the stock ball bearings is stuck to the end of this stack of magnets.



The magnet nicely fit in the hole where the ball normally goes. The coupler parts assembled as usual. I was excited.

But then my hopes were dashed. While it seemed to work normally thru a few cycles it began to lockup. Investigation revealed that the cylinder actually was able to tumble within its space such that it got crossways. I'll leave it to others to prove geometrically how this is possible. This phenomenon seemed to be worsened by trying to use the other end of the wand to push the cylinder up. Rather than moving up smoothly, the cylinder attempted to swap ends just as a magnet in free space would do. 

So, I give up on this project. The concept seems great but I don't see how it can be accomplished without some kind of modification to the coupler assembly itself.

George
Edgewood, WA


Magnets instead of balls

George Hofmann
 

A little while ago there was some discussion here of remote uncoupling for Sergents. Replacing the ball bearing with a magnetic cylinder was mentioned. This modification would allow an electromagnet under the track to push the cylinder upwards thru magnetic repulsion, something that can't be done with the nonmagnetized ball. One end of the wand could still be used to attract the cylinder up just like the ball. Possibly the other end of the wand could be used to push it up as well, which could be useful if a diaphragm was in the way above the coupler, for example.

The concept was intriguing to me although I expected it not to work. I expected the magnet to be attracted to ferrous parts within the car and thus bind in its bore hole. I had to try it however. I ordered some 1mm diameter cylindrical magnets which were also advertised to be 1mm in length. Here's a picture of what I received. One of the stock ball bearings is stuck to the end of this stack of magnets.



The magnet nicely fit in the hole where the ball normally goes. The coupler parts assembled as usual. I was excited.

But then my hopes were dashed. While it seemed to work normally thru a few cycles it began to lockup. Investigation revealed that the cylinder actually was able to tumble within its space such that it got crossways. I'll leave it to others to prove geometrically how this is possible. This phenomenon seemed to be worsened by trying to use the other end of the wand to push the cylinder up. Rather than moving up smoothly, the cylinder attempted to swap ends just as a magnet in free space would do. 

So, I give up on this project. The concept seems great but I don't see how it can be accomplished without some kind of modification to the coupler assembly itself.

George
Edgewood, WA


Re: Drilled Top Option

Tim Weller
 

Thanks Dave. So is the drilled hole closer to the shank? I was thinking the eye bolt would slide up and down the same shaft as the ball bearing does.
Still looking for ways to operate the coupler from below instead of above.


Re: Drilled Top Option

David Olsen
 

Tim, the drilled top option is purely cosmetic to allow you to model the linkage to a diesel or other top-mounted uncoupling lever. It does not operate the Sergent coupler’s ball bearing to uncouple. I think I recall someone rigging up a magnetic uncoupling lever, but I don’t recall how it was done. I just use the wand for everything.

On freight cars, I like adding the bottom-mounted etched coupler linkage that Sergent sells (at the bottom of the coupler pages). It’s a nice added detail, and you can theoretically connect it to an uncoupling lever, but you have to make sure it doesn’t affect the swing of the coupler.

Dave Olsen
Macomb, MI


Drilled Top Option

Tim Weller
 

Is anyone running the drilled top option? How do you add a cut lever to cars without the assembly? Do they actually decouple via the cut lever or do you still use the magnet? 
Thanks!


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

George Hofmann
 

Here's one more technique. This one is for increasing friction rather than self centering. I found that Kadee 209 fiber washers can be used as friction inducing shims in both the Accumate/narrow shank and the wide box/standard shank versions. They fit right over the pivot post in both cases. For the former I add one washer under the coupler. For the latter I need two on top of the shank as well for a total of three. We just need enough washers to remove all of the slack. When the lid is tightened down the washers squeeze on the shank. The beauty of this scheme is that the amount of friction that results is a function of the torque applied to the screw. Make it as little or as much as you like. The washers are a little too wide for the narrow box but can be easily trimmed to fit with a hobby knife.



George
Edgewood, WA


Re: Looking for Long Shank Compatible Type E

RJ Dial
 

I've been using these long shank dummy couplers from HO3DIM.com on my interurbans for the wide swing. Of course they are not being coupled and uncoupled all the time like a freight car would.
--
RJ Dial
Mendocino, CA


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

Dale Buxton <dbtuathaddana@...>
 

I really like your solution George. Very elegant, simple and to the point.

I know a lot of our older eyes find Segent's more than a bit fiddly to operate. I have found that a physician's pen light attached to the uncoupling wand works rather well without any modification to the coupler at all. It puts the right light on the subject so I can see what I am doing.

However, I mostly model in HOn3. So I need the full swing of couplers to negotiate 20" radius or tighter curves. Second, I can not use the Accumate coupler box on HOn3 equipment as the width of the box obstructs the rotation of the HOn3 trucks on those same 20" radius or tighter curves.

Dale Buxton


On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 10:12 AM George Hofmann <george.hofmann@...> wrote:
Thanks for all the comments.

Here's the picture for Bill et. al. I believe the shrink tubing that I am using is 1/16" that I probably got from Litchfield Station, although it should be available anywhere. The length of segment (thickness of donut) is about 1/16". It must be slightly less than the height of the coupler box cavity. As Jon described, the donuts are placed so that the donut axis is vertical. In the picture you can see that they are pretty squished even when the coupler is in the centered position. They have to be placed far enough to the left to leave space for the part of the cover that extends down around the pins. Sorry that the picture is a little fuzzy around the edges. Depth of field is thin at this mag.



Regarding Andy's comment, Frank certainly made an absolutely magnificent product. But I and I think many others found them to be so cantankerous to work with that we were ready to give up.  The possibility for them to be set off center does not add to my enjoyment. Self centering helps in most circumstances and for me it's the difference between go and no go. I'll deal with the coupling on a curve issue should I encounter it.

So use this idea if you want to. It does no harm. My next quest will be to find a similar technique for the standard shank version. Others have shown various techniques for SC there but I'm hoping that this simple donut method can be adapted.

George


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

George Hofmann
 

Thanks for all the comments.

Here's the picture for Bill et. al. I believe the shrink tubing that I am using is 1/16" that I probably got from Litchfield Station, although it should be available anywhere. The length of segment (thickness of donut) is about 1/16". It must be slightly less than the height of the coupler box cavity. As Jon described, the donuts are placed so that the donut axis is vertical. In the picture you can see that they are pretty squished even when the coupler is in the centered position. They have to be placed far enough to the left to leave space for the part of the cover that extends down around the pins. Sorry that the picture is a little fuzzy around the edges. Depth of field is thin at this mag.



Regarding Andy's comment, Frank certainly made an absolutely magnificent product. But I and I think many others found them to be so cantankerous to work with that we were ready to give up.  The possibility for them to be set off center does not add to my enjoyment. Self centering helps in most circumstances and for me it's the difference between go and no go. I'll deal with the coupling on a curve issue should I encounter it.

So use this idea if you want to. It does no harm. My next quest will be to find a similar technique for the standard shank version. Others have shown various techniques for SC there but I'm hoping that this simple donut method can be adapted.

George


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

Andy Reichert
 

IIRC, Frank deliberately avoided making the couplers self-centering in order to make them as true scale and prototypical as possible.

Andy

On 9/18/2021 10:11 AM, Donald B. Pirkey via groups.io wrote:
How long of a segment of tubing are you using? How big is the "donut"?

On Thursday, September 16, 2021, 09:56:44 PM CDT, George Hofmann <george.hofmann@gmail.com> wrote:


I discovered how to put springy material in the Accumate narrow coupler box to provide self centering. I found that I could use shrink tubing cut into short lengths to create donuts. These are then placed one on either side of the rear end of the shank between it and the box wall. When the coupler moves side to side it squeezes the donut which provides the springiness. The tubing I'm using looks like it is about 1.5 mm in outer diameter. I tried a bigger size but it was too stiff. I also tried using insulation stripped from 24 awg silicone wire and that worked but was also quite stiff. It seems that the tubing used must have a relatively thin wall.

This solution is quick, easy, inexpensive and reversible. It works perfectly for self centering. It will be what I use going forward.

George
--
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
https://www.avg.com


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

Donald B. Pirkey
 

How long of a segment of tubing are you using? How big is the "donut"?

On Thursday, September 16, 2021, 09:56:44 PM CDT, George Hofmann <george.hofmann@...> wrote:


I discovered how to put springy material in the Accumate narrow coupler box to provide self centering. I found that I could use shrink tubing cut into short lengths to create donuts. These are then placed one on either side of the rear end of the shank between it and the box wall. When the coupler moves side to side it squeezes the donut which provides the springiness. The tubing I'm using looks like it is about 1.5 mm in outer diameter. I tried a bigger size but it was too stiff. I also tried using insulation stripped from 24 awg silicone wire and that worked but was also quite stiff. It seems that the tubing used must have a relatively thin wall.

This solution is quick, easy, inexpensive and reversible. It works perfectly for self centering. It will be what I use going forward.

George


Looking for Long Shank Compatible Type E

Christian
 

Group, I am in search of long compatible shank standard type E couplers. Please let me know if have any extras.

Thanks!
Christian Hostetler


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

Jonathon Hedtke
 

Great idea George.  I put very short lengths cut as long as the Accumate box is thick and put them so that the open end of the tube is visible.  They are placed like you said on each side of the back end of the coupler.  Seems to work very well.  Thanks for the idea.  

Jon

On Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 10:56 PM George Hofmann <george.hofmann@...> wrote:
I discovered how to put springy material in the Accumate narrow coupler box to provide self centering. I found that I could use shrink tubing cut into short lengths to create donuts. These are then placed one on either side of the rear end of the shank between it and the box wall. When the coupler moves side to side it squeezes the donut which provides the springiness. The tubing I'm using looks like it is about 1.5 mm in outer diameter. I tried a bigger size but it was too stiff. I also tried using insulation stripped from 24 awg silicone wire and that worked but was also quite stiff. It seems that the tubing used must have a relatively thin wall.

This solution is quick, easy, inexpensive and reversible. It works perfectly for self centering. It will be what I use going forward.

George


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

Bill Keene
 

George…

Pictures? 

This old dog thinks … and learns ... more as a graphic experience. 

Thanks & Cheers,
Bill Keene
Irvine, CA
 

On Sep 16, 2021, at 7:56 PM, George Hofmann <george.hofmann@...> wrote:

I discovered how to put springy material in the Accumate narrow coupler box to provide self centering. I found that I could use shrink tubing cut into short lengths to create donuts. These are then placed one on either side of the rear end of the shank between it and the box wall. When the coupler moves side to side it squeezes the donut which provides the springiness. The tubing I'm using looks like it is about 1.5 mm in outer diameter. I tried a bigger size but it was too stiff. I also tried using insulation stripped from 24 awg silicone wire and that worked but was also quite stiff. It seems that the tubing used must have a relatively thin wall.

This solution is quick, easy, inexpensive and reversible. It works perfectly for self centering. It will be what I use going forward.

George


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

Mike Conder
 

That's brilliant!  Thanks for all the research ....

Mike C

On Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 8:56 PM George Hofmann <george.hofmann@...> wrote:
I discovered how to put springy material in the Accumate narrow coupler box to provide self centering. I found that I could use shrink tubing cut into short lengths to create donuts. These are then placed one on either side of the rear end of the shank between it and the box wall. When the coupler moves side to side it squeezes the donut which provides the springiness. The tubing I'm using looks like it is about 1.5 mm in outer diameter. I tried a bigger size but it was too stiff. I also tried using insulation stripped from 24 awg silicone wire and that worked but was also quite stiff. It seems that the tubing used must have a relatively thin wall.

This solution is quick, easy, inexpensive and reversible. It works perfectly for self centering. It will be what I use going forward.

George


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

Greg Amer
 

Interesting. I gave up on Sergent couplers because they were too easy to uncenter and too hard to see to get them back to center. I’m glad you are finding solutions to make them more modeler friendly.
--
Greg Amer
https://www.gregamer.com
Kent, WA


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

George Hofmann
 

I discovered how to put springy material in the Accumate narrow coupler box to provide self centering. I found that I could use shrink tubing cut into short lengths to create donuts. These are then placed one on either side of the rear end of the shank between it and the box wall. When the coupler moves side to side it squeezes the donut which provides the springiness. The tubing I'm using looks like it is about 1.5 mm in outer diameter. I tried a bigger size but it was too stiff. I also tried using insulation stripped from 24 awg silicone wire and that worked but was also quite stiff. It seems that the tubing used must have a relatively thin wall.

This solution is quick, easy, inexpensive and reversible. It works perfectly for self centering. It will be what I use going forward.

George


Re: Added friction for Accumate box

George Hofmann
 

A further experiment I tried was to cut through the end web of the shank such that the two prongs remaining could be squeezed together to create more friction. I expected the prongs to snap off but they did not. I was able to get satisfactory friction this way without using any tape. The resulting motion was a little smoother too. Of course this is an irreversible modification to the shank and may easily result in it's destruction especially if you try to pry the prongs apart again.

The next thing that I want to try is to take a stock coupler in Accumate box and add some springy material on either side of the prongs. This would be to provide self-centering, not added friction and I'm good with that. I'm thinking the material could be a bit of foam rubber or something similar. There's not a lot of space there for a real spring.

George
Edgewood, WA


Couplers

Karen Diebold
 

I'm interested in purchasing a few pairs of .130 extended shank type e's if anyone would like to sell any

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