Getting rid of the Micro Trains coupler bouncy, bounce.

ken G Price Jan 23, 2013

  1. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

    With my experience over the years, I've never really noticed this "Slinky" effect. I've had the last few cars bounce back and fourth a bit but nothing real major.

    On another forum that I was reading recently, this guy posted some videos that was showing how he could back his train up an incline without any problems and it was posted more to show the track work. In one of the clips the train, one loco and about 10 or 12 cars, was running down hill at a crawl and the last three or four cars was bouncing back fourth with some extreme movement! The last car would actually come to a stand still for a fraction of a second before being jerked forward causing the next two cars to jump forward.

    Until seeing this, I wasn't aware how bad it could get. This is definitely not what I would consider Slack Action.

    On my little layout I have no grades so it isn't so apparent, also no train moves without a caboose and mine will all have retainer springs which should solve most problems. I have also weighted all of my stock.

    Having said all this, one thing that I have not seen mentioned unless I have missed it somewhere. On cars that show this extreme slinky, would it be worth the time to check the wheel sets, especially the plastic sets? I have seen on some of my wheels, a layer of dirt that has been picked up and packed around the tread. This could cause the car to act as if the wheels are out of round or egg shaped.

    Just some thoughts...
  2. ken G Price

    ken G Price TrainBoard Member

    Ricky, my Man.
    It has worked out beyond what I imagined. Switched out a few bands that were not letting the coupler center and I'm sure there will be a few more. Out of over 60 cars that is not bad at all.
    The only disaster with MT couplers has been the springs.[​IMG]

    And yes, switches, are called switches!
  3. ken G Price

    ken G Price TrainBoard Member

    You may be using a wimpy thin rubber band. What I use and shown in my pictures is one that fills the space, width wise, and close to height wise, where a spring will go, if it is loose it will not work as you have found out.
    Mine do not have the slinky effect (Success) and again I will state that this is for coupling that is done by hand, as I do not do and have not tried magnetic uncoupling.
    Those that do uncoupling with a magnet will just have to accept what you have.
  4. Jerry Tarvid

    Jerry Tarvid TrainBoard Member

    Yes, it was a wimpy rubber band, but it was the correct length and as Allen mentioned about crud on wheel treads, my FVM metal wheels had crud on them (intentional), as it does restrict movement of a light weight car (especially at very slow speeds). Everything was geared to encourage unwanted exaggerated slack in order to provide the ultimate test bed.

    Due to the slack in the MT talgo truck style coupler knuckle there will always be unwanted exaggerated slack under certain adverse conditions as mentioned. Even the rubber band work around will not entirely resolve the issue. What it does do is correct the problem a majority of the time, which in your case is acceptable and desirable. Well Done! [​IMG][​IMG]

  5. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

    using stiffer springs helps.also using 2 or 3 mt springs in one coupler works as well.

    any way to measure to stiffness of mt coupler springs ?
  6. Tim Mc

    Tim Mc TrainBoard Member

    I had the slinky effect going on with a unit coal train recently at slow speeds that was causing the last car to derail in a few places. I found that my engines weren't running well together (DC, not DCC). I disassembled all three and gave them a good cleaning. Problem solved. I'm now able to slowly move forward taking out the slack and can run continuously around the layout without any derailments or bouncing.
  7. PatrickONB

    PatrickONB New Member

    I get rid of my slinky action using a ten pound, greasy, ball-peen hammer! :mad:
  8. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

    I'd always heard that problems were solved by using bigger hammers.
  9. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Slinky trains are normal...look for it at the 0:40 mark :p

  10. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

    If anyone is interested, you can put Accumate couplers in Micro-Trains trucks that have coupler boxes. It can get tedious if you have a lot of trucks to convert, though. When I first started doing that years ago, things worked great until the Accumate coupler trip pins started falling out, so I gave up on the idea. I heard Atlas improved Accumates since then and the trip pins stay in now.
  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Can the trip pins be cutoff or eliminated on the Accumates like can be done on the MT's ?
  12. Carolina Northern

    Carolina Northern TrainBoard Member

    As long as you want to manually uncouple, like I do, just pull them off. The coupler works fine without them.
    While you're at it, heat seal the seams (just like Microtrains tells you to) and you'll never have the problems that people complain about with the early Accumates.

  13. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Thnxs Don...I do manual uncoupling so thats just the info I need...(y)
  14. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    The way to combat the slinky effect is to either increase the rolling resistance of the last car. There are three methods on how this is done. The first is via the axle spring method or use a truck on the caboose that isn't as free rolling as the others. Another method is to weight the cars more which will also increase the rolling resistance. The third method is to use a caboose (or cars) with body mounted couplers. When placed at the end of the train these will overcome the spring effect. Solving the problem using a caboose is obviously easier than without a caboose.
  15. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

    The slinky effect just became obvious to me. On my roundy-round I almost always run with a caboose and never really noticed the bounce. With my new switching layout, some moves are really odd looking because of the bouncing as cars travel back and forth. I was aware of the issue, but had never experienced it in such a big way.
  16. glennac

    glennac TrainBoard Member

    I have several hundred cars with a mix of MT, Accumate, and McHenry couplers. When running a long 40-50 car train on the big club layout it's always the Atlas Accumates that uncouple. Very frustrating. :(
  17. RedRiverRR4433

    RedRiverRR4433 TrainBoard Member

    As Kisatchie stated above try installing Accumate couplers in MT coupler boxes. This arrangement works fine.

    Staying cool and have fun with it......:cool::cool:

  18. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    How does that solve the uncoupling problem with the Accumates? Accumates are good for up to 20-25 cars. Above that they have a tendency to uncouple. In addition, with Accumates, the coupling distance between cars is too long.
  19. ken G Price

    ken G Price TrainBoard Member

    And if that does not fix it, then you have an electrical problem.:LOL:
  20. ken G Price

    ken G Price TrainBoard Member

    I wish I could get Accumates for all of my cars.
    I pay no attention to the distance between cars. As this varies even on the real rail cars. I just want no slinky effects.
    The longest amount of cars I pull are 16, and never a problem with any Accumates. But I can not find them sold in bulk.

Share This Page