Remote Decoupling


Tim Weller
 

I’m curious to know if anyone has modified their Sergent couplers for remote operations?
I have two ideas, but unsure if they will work. One is to replace the ball bearing with a magnetic cylinder. The other is to mount the coupler upside down and put a spring in with the ball bearing to push it up. Both ideas may require a slightly larger or deeper hole. It will probably be easier to 3D print a custom piece vs modifying what’s available.
Thoughts or other ideas?


Timothy Cann <tcann@...>
 

In June 2019 I posted description and 3d model files (in the files section) using a car's cut bar to uncouple Sergent couplers. The project has been more complex than I could ever have imagined, but to summarize what has been going on for nearly two years:

     1. I'm now 3D printing my rolling stock with integrated draft gear boxes and operating cut bars with a magnet attached.


Timothy Cann <tcann@...>
 

(OOPS, previous reply wasn't completed

In June 2019 I posted description and 3d model files (in the files section) using a car's cut bar to uncouple Sergent couplers. The project has been more complex than I could ever have imagined, but to summarize what has been going on for nearly two years:

     1. I'm now 3D printing my rolling stock with integrated draft gear boxes and operating cut bars with a magnet attached.
     2. It was too hard to custom modify purchased rolling stock to accept the cut bar operating hardware and electronics.
     3. My design at least doubles the cost of acquiring an additional car which may be more that most would want to spend.
     4. I'm in final stages of producing ten cars: six box cars, two refers and two gondolas that will offer remote uncoupling using DCC.
     5. The original mechanical design referred to in the files was cumbersome and now uses a monofilament to operate the cut bar.
     6. Once the cars are assembled they'll be painted and aged when I plan to post updated design details along with a video showing the remote uncoupling... hopefully this summer.
     7. In the process I had to purchase a second 3D printer and then become a 3D print designer and printer operator.
     8. Being able to uncouple using DCC has been a passion for me for all of this time and I will ultimately be able to do it, even if it kills me first. (:>)
Tim


andyr@...
 

I did this when I was distributing Sergent couplers on www.proto87.com. I still recommend them there

http://www.proto87.com/media/serge.gif

I can easily make this generally available in kit form if anyone is interested. I have definte plans for fully remote at any location, but have been far to busy so far, to finish the system.

Andy


Stuart Shef
 

That is TOTALLY COOL and very innovative.


Brian
 

Tim as an alternative, you could consider getting in contact with this company [https://supermagnetman.com/collections/neo-cylinders] from what I understand they will do custom magnets to suit requirements, if get a cylinder magnet that is the same diameter as the steel ball and is of such length that it can move up and down within the cavity of the Sergent coupling head and allow clearance for the knuckle to swing open when the magnet is up at it’s highest point, by placing the magnets in the couplings with the same orientation ie: south pole facing down, you can then use a another magnet under the track as either a permanent magnet or use a electro magnet that can be activated when needed and use the repelling of the magnetic force to uncouple, and you can still use a magic wand to manually uncouple where you want to.
 
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 

Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 4:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
(OOPS, previous reply wasn't completed

In June 2019 I posted description and 3d model files (in the files section) using a car's cut bar to uncouple Sergent couplers. The project has been more complex than I could ever have imagined, but to summarize what has been going on for nearly two years:

     1. I'm now 3D printing my rolling stock with integrated draft gear boxes and operating cut bars with a magnet attached.
     2. It was too hard to custom modify purchased rolling stock to accept the cut bar operating hardware and electronics.
     3. My design at least doubles the cost of acquiring an additional car which may be more that most would want to spend.
     4. I'm in final stages of producing ten cars: six box cars, two refers and two gondolas that will offer remote uncoupling using DCC.
     5. The original mechanical design referred to in the files was cumbersome and now uses a monofilament to operate the cut bar.
     6. Once the cars are assembled they'll be painted and aged when I plan to post updated design details along with a video showing the remote uncoupling... hopefully this summer.
     7. In the process I had to purchase a second 3D printer and then become a 3D print designer and printer operator.
     8. Being able to uncouple using DCC has been a passion for me for all of this time and I will ultimately be able to do it, even if it kills me first. (:>)
Tim

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Timothy Cann <tcann@...>
 

Thank you Brian. I use a 1/16” dia x 1/16” long magnet that fits inside the cut bar which mimics the actual prototype operation. Works quite well.
No Sergent modification needed; no wand needed.
Tim


On Feb 28, 2021, at 1:31 PM, Brian <rallim56@...> wrote:


Tim as an alternative, you could consider getting in contact with this company [https://supermagnetman.com/collections/neo-cylinders] from what I understand they will do custom magnets to suit requirements, if get a cylinder magnet that is the same diameter as the steel ball and is of such length that it can move up and down within the cavity of the Sergent coupling head and allow clearance for the knuckle to swing open when the magnet is up at it’s highest point, by placing the magnets in the couplings with the same orientation ie: south pole facing down, you can then use a another magnet under the track as either a permanent magnet or use a electro magnet that can be activated when needed and use the repelling of the magnetic force to uncouple, and you can still use a magic wand to manually uncouple where you want to.
 
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 4:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
(OOPS, previous reply wasn't completed

In June 2019 I posted description and 3d model files (in the files section) using a car's cut bar to uncouple Sergent couplers. The project has been more complex than I could ever have imagined, but to summarize what has been going on for nearly two years:

     1. I'm now 3D printing my rolling stock with integrated draft gear boxes and operating cut bars with a magnet attached.
     2. It was too hard to custom modify purchased rolling stock to accept the cut bar operating hardware and electronics.
     3. My design at least doubles the cost of acquiring an additional car which may be more that most would want to spend.
     4. I'm in final stages of producing ten cars: six box cars, two refers and two gondolas that will offer remote uncoupling using DCC.
     5. The original mechanical design referred to in the files was cumbersome and now uses a monofilament to operate the cut bar.
     6. Once the cars are assembled they'll be painted and aged when I plan to post updated design details along with a video showing the remote uncoupling... hopefully this summer.
     7. In the process I had to purchase a second 3D printer and then become a 3D print designer and printer operator.
     8. Being able to uncouple using DCC has been a passion for me for all of this time and I will ultimately be able to do it, even if it kills me first. (:>)
Tim

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Brian
 

How do you mean “inside the cut bar”?
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 

Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
Thank you Brian. I use a 1/16” dia x 1/16” long magnet that fits inside the cut bar which mimics the actual prototype operation. Works quite well.
No Sergent modification needed; no wand needed.
Tim


On Feb 28, 2021, at 1:31 PM, Brian <rallim56@...> wrote:


Tim as an alternative, you could consider getting in contact with this company [https://supermagnetman.com/collections/neo-cylinders] from what I understand they will do custom magnets to suit requirements, if get a cylinder magnet that is the same diameter as the steel ball and is of such length that it can move up and down within the cavity of the Sergent coupling head and allow clearance for the knuckle to swing open when the magnet is up at it’s highest point, by placing the magnets in the couplings with the same orientation ie: south pole facing down, you can then use a another magnet under the track as either a permanent magnet or use a electro magnet that can be activated when needed and use the repelling of the magnetic force to uncouple, and you can still use a magic wand to manually uncouple where you want to.
 
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 4:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
(OOPS, previous reply wasn't completed

In June 2019 I posted description and 3d model files (in the files section) using a car's cut bar to uncouple Sergent couplers. The project has been more complex than I could ever have imagined, but to summarize what has been going on for nearly two years:

     1. I'm now 3D printing my rolling stock with integrated draft gear boxes and operating cut bars with a magnet attached.
     2. It was too hard to custom modify purchased rolling stock to accept the cut bar operating hardware and electronics.
     3. My design at least doubles the cost of acquiring an additional car which may be more that most would want to spend.
     4. I'm in final stages of producing ten cars: six box cars, two refers and two gondolas that will offer remote uncoupling using DCC.
     5. The original mechanical design referred to in the files was cumbersome and now uses a monofilament to operate the cut bar.
     6. Once the cars are assembled they'll be painted and aged when I plan to post updated design details along with a video showing the remote uncoupling... hopefully this summer.
     7. In the process I had to purchase a second 3D printer and then become a 3D print designer and printer operator.
     8. Being able to uncouple using DCC has been a passion for me for all of this time and I will ultimately be able to do it, even if it kills me first. (:>)
Tim

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Timothy Cann <tcann@...>
 

My cut bar has a cavity that holds the magnet. When the cut bar rotates like the prototype the magnet aligns above the Sergent ball raising the ball inside allowing the engine to pull away uncoupling the two cars. Look at the files in the Files section of the Sergent user group’s website.
Tim


On Feb 28, 2021, at 3:12 PM, Brian <rallim56@...> wrote:


How do you mean “inside the cut bar”?
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
Thank you Brian. I use a 1/16” dia x 1/16” long magnet that fits inside the cut bar which mimics the actual prototype operation. Works quite well.
No Sergent modification needed; no wand needed.
Tim


On Feb 28, 2021, at 1:31 PM, Brian <rallim56@...> wrote:


Tim as an alternative, you could consider getting in contact with this company [https://supermagnetman.com/collections/neo-cylinders] from what I understand they will do custom magnets to suit requirements, if get a cylinder magnet that is the same diameter as the steel ball and is of such length that it can move up and down within the cavity of the Sergent coupling head and allow clearance for the knuckle to swing open when the magnet is up at it’s highest point, by placing the magnets in the couplings with the same orientation ie: south pole facing down, you can then use a another magnet under the track as either a permanent magnet or use a electro magnet that can be activated when needed and use the repelling of the magnetic force to uncouple, and you can still use a magic wand to manually uncouple where you want to.
 
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 4:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
(OOPS, previous reply wasn't completed

In June 2019 I posted description and 3d model files (in the files section) using a car's cut bar to uncouple Sergent couplers. The project has been more complex than I could ever have imagined, but to summarize what has been going on for nearly two years:

     1. I'm now 3D printing my rolling stock with integrated draft gear boxes and operating cut bars with a magnet attached.
     2. It was too hard to custom modify purchased rolling stock to accept the cut bar operating hardware and electronics.
     3. My design at least doubles the cost of acquiring an additional car which may be more that most would want to spend.
     4. I'm in final stages of producing ten cars: six box cars, two refers and two gondolas that will offer remote uncoupling using DCC.
     5. The original mechanical design referred to in the files was cumbersome and now uses a monofilament to operate the cut bar.
     6. Once the cars are assembled they'll be painted and aged when I plan to post updated design details along with a video showing the remote uncoupling... hopefully this summer.
     7. In the process I had to purchase a second 3D printer and then become a 3D print designer and printer operator.
     8. Being able to uncouple using DCC has been a passion for me for all of this time and I will ultimately be able to do it, even if it kills me first. (:>)
Tim

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Timothy Cann <tcann@...>
 


Brian
 

They’re no use they’re some sort of weird file type that won’t open.
 
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 

Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 9:36 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 


Brian
 

You’re obviously missing the whole point of what I was saying with using a suitable cylinder magnet inside the coupling, you don’t need any cut bar, you only need a magnet under the track to uncouple which is a whole lot more simple then trying to fit cut bars etc. to every wagon.
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 

Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
My cut bar has a cavity that holds the magnet. When the cut bar rotates like the prototype the magnet aligns above the Sergent ball raising the ball inside allowing the engine to pull away uncoupling the two cars. Look at the files in the Files section of the Sergent user group’s website.
Tim


On Feb 28, 2021, at 3:12 PM, Brian <rallim56@...> wrote:


How do you mean “inside the cut bar”?
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
Thank you Brian. I use a 1/16” dia x 1/16” long magnet that fits inside the cut bar which mimics the actual prototype operation. Works quite well.
No Sergent modification needed; no wand needed.
Tim


On Feb 28, 2021, at 1:31 PM, Brian <rallim56@...> wrote:


Tim as an alternative, you could consider getting in contact with this company [https://supermagnetman.com/collections/neo-cylinders] from what I understand they will do custom magnets to suit requirements, if get a cylinder magnet that is the same diameter as the steel ball and is of such length that it can move up and down within the cavity of the Sergent coupling head and allow clearance for the knuckle to swing open when the magnet is up at it’s highest point, by placing the magnets in the couplings with the same orientation ie: south pole facing down, you can then use a another magnet under the track as either a permanent magnet or use a electro magnet that can be activated when needed and use the repelling of the magnetic force to uncouple, and you can still use a magic wand to manually uncouple where you want to.
 
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 4:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
(OOPS, previous reply wasn't completed

In June 2019 I posted description and 3d model files (in the files section) using a car's cut bar to uncouple Sergent couplers. The project has been more complex than I could ever have imagined, but to summarize what has been going on for nearly two years:

     1. I'm now 3D printing my rolling stock with integrated draft gear boxes and operating cut bars with a magnet attached.
     2. It was too hard to custom modify purchased rolling stock to accept the cut bar operating hardware and electronics.
     3. My design at least doubles the cost of acquiring an additional car which may be more that most would want to spend.
     4. I'm in final stages of producing ten cars: six box cars, two refers and two gondolas that will offer remote uncoupling using DCC.
     5. The original mechanical design referred to in the files was cumbersome and now uses a monofilament to operate the cut bar.
     6. Once the cars are assembled they'll be painted and aged when I plan to post updated design details along with a video showing the remote uncoupling... hopefully this summer.
     7. In the process I had to purchase a second 3D printer and then become a 3D print designer and printer operator.
     8. Being able to uncouple using DCC has been a passion for me for all of this time and I will ultimately be able to do it, even if it kills me first. (:>)
Tim

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Timothy Cann <tcann@...>
 

The subject is remote uncoupling. My design uncouples using DCC, no hands or wands necessary and it works anywhere on the layout. I’m sorry, but I was just trying to help.
Tim


On Feb 28, 2021, at 3:42 PM, Brian <rallim56@...> wrote:


You’re obviously missing the whole point of what I was saying with using a suitable cylinder magnet inside the coupling, you don’t need any cut bar, you only need a magnet under the track to uncouple which is a whole lot more simple then trying to fit cut bars etc. to every wagon.
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
My cut bar has a cavity that holds the magnet. When the cut bar rotates like the prototype the magnet aligns above the Sergent ball raising the ball inside allowing the engine to pull away uncoupling the two cars. Look at the files in the Files section of the Sergent user group’s website.
Tim


On Feb 28, 2021, at 3:12 PM, Brian <rallim56@...> wrote:


How do you mean “inside the cut bar”?
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 9:08 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
Thank you Brian. I use a 1/16” dia x 1/16” long magnet that fits inside the cut bar which mimics the actual prototype operation. Works quite well.
No Sergent modification needed; no wand needed.
Tim


On Feb 28, 2021, at 1:31 PM, Brian <rallim56@...> wrote:


Tim as an alternative, you could consider getting in contact with this company [https://supermagnetman.com/collections/neo-cylinders] from what I understand they will do custom magnets to suit requirements, if get a cylinder magnet that is the same diameter as the steel ball and is of such length that it can move up and down within the cavity of the Sergent coupling head and allow clearance for the knuckle to swing open when the magnet is up at it’s highest point, by placing the magnets in the couplings with the same orientation ie: south pole facing down, you can then use a another magnet under the track as either a permanent magnet or use a electro magnet that can be activated when needed and use the repelling of the magnetic force to uncouple, and you can still use a magic wand to manually uncouple where you want to.
 
 
Brian
Rawbelle County Workshops
Qld. Aust.
 
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2021 4:56 AM
Subject: Re: [Sergent Engineering] Remote Decoupling
 
(OOPS, previous reply wasn't completed

In June 2019 I posted description and 3d model files (in the files section) using a car's cut bar to uncouple Sergent couplers. The project has been more complex than I could ever have imagined, but to summarize what has been going on for nearly two years:

     1. I'm now 3D printing my rolling stock with integrated draft gear boxes and operating cut bars with a magnet attached.
     2. It was too hard to custom modify purchased rolling stock to accept the cut bar operating hardware and electronics.
     3. My design at least doubles the cost of acquiring an additional car which may be more that most would want to spend.
     4. I'm in final stages of producing ten cars: six box cars, two refers and two gondolas that will offer remote uncoupling using DCC.
     5. The original mechanical design referred to in the files was cumbersome and now uses a monofilament to operate the cut bar.
     6. Once the cars are assembled they'll be painted and aged when I plan to post updated design details along with a video showing the remote uncoupling... hopefully this summer.
     7. In the process I had to purchase a second 3D printer and then become a 3D print designer and printer operator.
     8. Being able to uncouple using DCC has been a passion for me for all of this time and I will ultimately be able to do it, even if it kills me first. (:>)
Tim

Virus-free. www.avg.com


Neil Erickson
 

Tim;

I like the idea of the operating cut lever, even DCC operated, but would want to see a more prototypical motion.

Have you considered drilling a hole to replace the ball with a rod? It would be lifted with the cut lever and skip the magnet altogether. Not sure how you would add DCC control to that though.

Neil Erickson


Dale Buxton
 

I’ve been playing with an idea similar to Andy’s design. It uses a mini servo and aTam Valley turnout control. I cut a hole in the 1/2” thick homosote the same shape as the servo. The servo is also 1/2” inch thick. I place the servo in the hole and the actuator arm has a piece of piano wire with a right angle bend in it and a circular magnet on the business end that looks like a turnout or derail target. The actuator arm rotates up out of the ground and places the magnet over the couplers.

My idea is to use these in locations that are too far away to reach with the wand. Only I call the wands “brake clubs”. Real Trainmen used to use their brake clubs to align couplers just about as often as they used them to tie down the brakes.

In testing this design has worked pretty well. Though, I do anticipate having a little trouble always aligning a train exactly at the uncouple point. Mostly a DCC momentum issue I figure.

Dale Buxton







On Sunday, February 28, 2021, 11:18, Tim Weller <Tim.m.weller@...> wrote:

I’m curious to know if anyone has modified their Sergent couplers for remote operations?
I have two ideas, but unsure if they will work. One is to replace the ball bearing with a magnetic cylinder. The other is to mount the coupler upside down and put a spring in with the ball bearing to push it up. Both ideas may require a slightly larger or deeper hole. It will probably be easier to 3D print a custom piece vs modifying what’s available.
Thoughts or other ideas?


andyr@...
 

Tim,


I agree with your goal. But I'm more interested in developing a system capable of bypassing the DCC addressing, as you need a matching huge number of addresses if you have a huge number of cars. Plus many different and/or inexperienced operators need to be able to easily figure out the address of each car, even from a distance.

Andy


Tim Weller
 

Brian, yes this is what I had in mind. I found K&J Magnetics sells a 1/16x1/16 (even a 1/16x1/32 cylinder) very reasonably priced. My hope is that I could substitute the ball for a cylinder. Although I wonder if the magnets might react with each other and not let the cars go even though the coupler is open. 

Andy, I like your idea very much. I imagine it takes some practice to stop in the right place. Looks great and effective!


George Hofmann
 

Anybody know the diameter of the ball in Sergent couplers? The magnetic cylinder idea might actually work.

George


Rob Barker
 

i'm pretty sure they are 1mm (about 3/64")


On Mon, Mar 1, 2021 at 3:40 PM George Hofmann <george.hofmann@...> wrote:
Anybody know the diameter of the ball in Sergent couplers? The magnetic cylinder idea might actually work.

George


George Hofmann
 

A few years ago I fiddled around with a concept for remote uncoupling. The idea was to have a dedicated DCC decoder in the locomotive that would send a variable length pulse train down the string of cars through metal couplers. The number of pulses would correspond to the number of cars back where the action would take place. That is, to uncouple the third car back, send three pulses. I suppose that being DCC the operator would have to choose a function to select the car count. Electronics in each car would subtract one pulse and send the rest on down the line. The car receiving only one pulse would activate it's decoupling mechanism. Of course each car needs power from the track and some way to physically cause the coupler to open. The electronics for this could be made vanishingly small but it was that last bit, the physical uncouple part that caused me to lose interest. I never prototyped the pulse train part. 

George
Edgewood WA