New coupler on the way

Mike Skibbe May 7, 2012

  1. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    Will I be able to pull a train up something like Crawford Hill without engines breaking apart? If I BM'd cars and had a 136 car drag how would they do. I know MTL's can only take so much too... Thats why someone also needs to make 62' tankcars... And someone else needs a stripey re-release...:teeth:
     
  2. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure if there would be enough of a market but has any thought been given to a version with an NEM shank to convert British and European equipment. The only current option is Dapol's rather expensive Bachmann look alike. A variety of mounting options would be a good selling point IMHO, another area where McHenry dropped the ball.
     
  3. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

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    So, you gotta a personal problem with rivet counters???????? It's the ULTIMATE rivet counter who is bringing this possibly revolutionary product to you, for your enjoyment and benefit!

    Not everybody who is critical of a product...especially those who are negative about a product before it even appears...are "rivet counters"...they're just negative complainers!

    Keep up the good fight DKS! AND, rivet counters...UNITE! N and Z scale will only be improved....

    Cheers!
    Bob Gilmore
     
  4. jdcolombo

    jdcolombo TrainBoard Member

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    David,
    From my perspective, a key is that the coupler be easy to body-mount in place of an MT 1015 or (on MT cars) an MT 1027. I've got about 400 cars with MT couplers; everything but MT cars themselves have a body-mounted 1015, and on MT's I use their 1027 as a body-mount. What I want is to be able to un-screw my current MT body mount, whatever it is, and replace it with the new coupler/box. I don't want to have to go through re-shimming the frame to get the height right if I've already done it once for an MT1015, and I certainly don't want to have to mess with an MT frame to get the height correct for a replacement coupler. Since the 1015 and 1027 have slightly different mounting heights, your new coupler might need a couple of different boxes to accommodate the differences.

    Not terribly interested in automatic (e.g., magnetic) uncoupling capability, since I use a manual pick for all my switching and yard moves. But I suspect others will be keen on that feature. Similarly, since my maximum train length is about 30 cars, the ability of the coupler to run a 150-car unit train on an N-Trak layout is irrelevant to me. I'm much more interested in scale size and good operation with more modest-length trains.

    John C.
     
  5. SP_Flip

    SP_Flip TrainBoard Member

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    The prototype doesn't go 'boing, boing, boing' back & forth once a second. That's why people refer to it as 'the slinky effect' .. because it looks like a silly spring toy. N scale has little physical momentum and that, along with the 'bouncy-bounce' on rough trackwork are the two things that look so jarring to my eye in N. I go to huge pains to get smooth trackwork, including handbuilt turnouts to avoid the bounce over a frog, or TO MY EYE my work looks silly. Same for couplers .. it's hard to avoid the MT couplers with the front spring, but there is usually a way with enough effort.

    "Evidently" I and everyone else *has* heard of slack in a train. We're not all stupid, John. But the MT coupler spring bounce looks nothing like it.
     
  6. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I don't think I've used the word stupid or implied everyone is period! But there are folks who have no experience with the real locos and maybe my example was not the best, but so be it. That is why there is a MT product called a restraining spring. Used as appropriate it gets rid of the slinky effect for long trains. I've seen none of that effect on many a N track meet except for the ocassional bump at a module connecting point due to the effects of many set ups and take downs and that is because those springs have been applied to one or more axles as needed on trailing cars.
     
  7. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    All this hubbub about a 'possible' product that 'probably' wont be released for 2 years and 'may or may not' be a viable solution to complaints about other couplers already out there !!! LOL.

    The Pessimists are up in arms because they doubt anyone could make the 'perfect coupler' Many have tried...many have failed.

    The Optomists are sure its gonna work...and it just has to happen in our lifetime.

    The Rivet Counters are up in arms defending a proposed 'perfect coupler' which is not even tested or near release...say what ?

    IMHO we should all wait until its released...take it for a spin around the track...then we can all meet at dawn with pistols at 20 paces.

    How can anyone here evaluate something thats in the wind ??? ludicrous !!!

    This is better then night time drama TV...let me get some more popcorn...roflmao.
     
  8. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    The perfect N coupler would not work as it would be so small it couldnt be practical and without magnification you couldn't see details like HO & O (the holes in the side and cast lettering) You are'nt going to get a working knuckle and pin, that would be fun to get a knuckle in N! (so small)
    :oops:
    McHenry's look like they are scale HO rather than N. I probably shouldn't have replied with this...
     
  9. Alaska Railroader

    Alaska Railroader TrainBoard Supporter

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    Gentlemen, it is my understanding that this thread was created to provide you the opportunity to give your input to the manufacturer as to your personal preferences for the exterior design of a brand new coupler. How many manufacturers have ever asked you, yes you, what your wishes were before they started tooling? Absolutely none. No other manufacturer has cared what John, Larry, Doug, George, Tom, Dick, or Harry thought of design at this stage in the game. So let’s stop splitting hairs and start giving David your wish lists. This will probably be your one and only chance to ever be asked your opinion before the steel is cut. Take advantage of it. Enjoy it. It will likely never happen again in your railroad lifetime.
     
  10. W Neal

    W Neal TrainBoard Member

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    Hell yah Alaska! Go David go!!!
     
  11. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    As I stated on the first page of this thread I'll reserve my opinion until I see it in operation. A lot has been said about the pros and cons of the existing couplers now available on the market so I'll not repeat what has already been said by others. For myself I spent a considerable amount and time to convert a lot of rolling stock and locos to what I currently have and I will not be changing what is already there and works for me. That said there is future needs. And a consideration, and a big one is compatibilty, next is cost. As I continue to acquire a few cars here and there the ability to convert easily and economically to a decent coupler is a factor for me. I have passed up a lot of Rapido equipped cars that would fit my era nicely simply because I don't want to spend the time and money to convert them anymore. And being retired and having other pursuits that require some of my finances cost is a driving factor. Especially since the other brand has more than tripled in cost since I started converting. So compatibilty and cost are driving factors for me in any future purchases. I assume that this will be a body mount on the initial release. The differences in manufacturers products means that not all will work without some shimming or a different coupler pocket option available which has been pointed out previously. And then there are the cars that due to the structural components body mounts don't work and the truck mount remains the only viable option. Some tank cars, hopper cars, and the ore jennies come to mind here. Also the larger cars running on some of the tight curvatures found because of space constraints on a number of layouts means that the truck mounted coupler is the only viable working solution to running those cars on those tighter radius layouts. So are there plans for a truck mounted coupler assembly eventually? Some of the passenger cars, here Concors offerings come to mind, have truck mounted couplers as do a lot of other cars. A lot of these can be retro'd with a T shank assembly that allows the use of the existing truck and is a less expensive alternative to buying new trucks and to getting rid of that danged Rapido. So another question is there thoughts of a T shank type retrofit offering? Also what about steam pilot conversions and close coupling between diesel units particularly but not confined to F units. Last of all the question of whether there will be the equivalent of the 1016 for wide angle coupler swing that sometimes becomes necessary for operation of longer equipment on tighter radius.

    So I do welcome another entry into the coupler field and hope that this is the answer to a lot of issues. But I am a cautious soul and will patiently wait and see. I didn't get this old and ugly by jumping in with both feet all the time. Probably an acid test, once there are some working samples in hand, would be to try them out in the middle of one of those long Ntrak club lashups of 60 or more cars long before they get to market.
     
  12. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's a clue....it's a discussion forum, and the manufacturer asked for feedback. If we wait until it is released then guess what it's too late.

    Just let us know how you would *like* us to respond though...that's important to us!
     
  13. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Feedback is good...never said it wasnt...please reread...

    That being said...People singing the praises of (evaluating) the thing and the builder when it aint even out there yet is what I dont get. "Its the greatest thing since sliced bread!" type remarks are what I find ludicrous. Much like ripping apart or drooling over a locomotive from a manufacturer based on preproduction drawings !! Offering suggestion on design or improvements before its manufatured is good feedback. but once again "How can anyone here evaluate something thats in the wind ???"

    Wait...I'm outta popcorn again...BRB
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2012
  14. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Actually, it's me who is enjoying the popcorn. From where I sit, I get to watch all manner of minds at work. The curmudgeons from the show-me state are the most amusing. But I can't blame them; all they get to see is my long list of promises, but they don't get to see the patents, the working prototypes, and the years of R&D that's gone into this.

    You see, folks, the internals of the coupler are done. It is guaranteed not to have the slinky effect because of a simple fact: there is no slot in the shank. Just a hole to pivot. So there is nowhere for the shank to move, except left or right. So that's a promise I can keep. My promise for best cosmetics is easy because of the orientation of the knuckle: there is no spring, pivot or other functional object in the way, so the knuckle itself can be as detailed as I want to make it. I promised the smallest box requirements, and that I can keep because the design for the box is done, and it is in fact the smallest one in the industry. Magnetic uncoupling is not difficult to do--almost everyone else does it. Compatibility? Check. So you see, all of the critical stuff is a done deal.

    The reason I made the announcement before cutting steel is because I wanted to find out what options would be the most desirable. Things like short shank, long shank, offset shank, alternate box size, color, and so on.

    And the reason I announced a 2014 delivery date is because I wanted a nice big window for lots of beta testing. Because when I throw the switch and sell it, I want as many happy customers as I can possibly get. If the beta testing goes quickly, and things look good for an earlier release, you may see it in 2013. I just didn't want to set a date and then miss it.

    There are some fellows online here who "get it" and are providing good feedback. I thank you for taking the project seriously. Having already invested many thousands of my own money into the project, my claims are just a wee bit more than so much vaporware. Hang in there, I'll do everything in my power to make the wait worthwhile.
     
  15. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    David,

    I am excited about the potential, and would love if you could post a prototype video to show off the operational design. Your question on long vs short shank is interesting. To be successful, I think you need to have options available that allow the coupler to operate on just about any layout, which means you need the coupling to be able to handle long cars (such as 80ft passenger) on tight radii (either 9 3/4" or 11"). You will get a lot of grief if cars with the coupler have problems when running, for example, curves under 15". See the MT heavyweight cars. Close coupling is one thing, but derailments from cars not being able to handle a curve is another.

    The more they look like real couplers, the better. For N-scale, I'm not worried about accuracy of lettering, but when I take a close up photo, I don't want the coupler to stand out like a sore thumb, as they do today. Let the eye be drawn to the larger details on the cars themselves, and the mind "fill in the blanks" of the coupler. It is how impressionistic art works!
     
  16. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    David...if it's built and works as you say then halleluiah !!! BTW...I 'Do Get It"...Like I said numerous times now...preproduction feedback is good. It's those evaluating the thing...here and other forums...before its even done thats laughable. I dont doubt your prowess and its most likely gonna happen...thats good. As others have said...I will wait till its built and I can see, hold and test it myself before I sing any praises (evaluate). Did those who are going overboard about the coupler 'get to see the patents, the working prototypes, and the years of R&D that's gone into this." ?? Well maybe ONE has from what I have read.

    BTW...This whole thing aint about you personally so I would appreciate it if you...and others...dont take personal swipes at me...thnxs .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2012
  17. Mike Skibbe

    Mike Skibbe TrainBoard Member

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    The MTL passenger cars have a design flaw in the location of the offset bolster which causes the car ends to swing out farther than necessary on tight curves. If the offset was moved to the ends instead, they would be able to negotiate tighter curves no problem.

    They are not "close coupled" from the factory, so that is not the issue. And I'd hesitate to use them as an example of what not to do, since there are issues aside from the couplers.
     
  18. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    The MTL Z if you look from the side and flex it up and down or lightly pull it with your finger-car it looks like it might break. They do seem strong... How might yours be?
    How wide will the whole thing be, Can one get a close to anything prototypical cushioned draft gear? Will it improve the apearances of the Trainworx or other off the shelf cushioned draft car? Ihave a bunch of coil cars, boxcars, cabeese that need cushioned draft gear, well I think I stated it good enough...
     
  19. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    My apologies. Popcorn notwithstanding.

    It should be narrow enough to allow for realistic cushioned draft gear.
     
  20. wmcbride

    wmcbride TrainBoard Member

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    This is my 33rd year of owning N scale trains. I have finished two N layouts and one in HO. I have a new space and need a new layout. The question is N or HO?

    While I have always loved running long trains and enjoyed the N scale scenery, the thing that bugs me more now about N has to do with the existing coupler options. I use Kadees, Accumate, McHenry, Unimate/Red Caboose, Katos. The slinky effect has always driven me crazy and lately, to a lesser extent, it's the size of N couplers, especially on the front of the leading engine. I know Z scale coupler is the way to go there.

    So, David, I applaud your effort and your slotless, no-slinky design. If it's smaller, also great.

    Your announcement has really made me re-think N again... Thanks/Curse you! :)
     

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