Nov 19, 2018
What do you all think? What is your preferred method of uncoupling in HO?
I use a bamboo skewer. I like the “hands on” approach and I can easily reach everywhere on my modest layout.
I use to use the magnets but i find the bamboo skewer the most fun.
I'm still deciding what I'll do in my switching yard. But I will say manual uncoupling has a few practical advantages: 1) cheaper, 2) your yard can take up less space.
I like manual uncoupling because it gives you the freedom to build your train anywhere. What if you wanted to cut the train to switch some cars on a branch, but the place you want to leave your train has no magnet? There are infinite locations to uncouple manually, but you have to build operating sessions around uncoupling magnets if you have them. Real railroads can uncouple wherever (just in a safe location), so why shouldn’t you? You can have uncoupling magnets in certain hard to reach places, but the number of magnets you would need to get rid of manual operation altogether is probably pretty high.
Manual, all the way.
Another for the bamboo Skewer here!
Do ya'll sand your skewer down? I'm using a sanded-down chopstick. Does the skewer already come to a point without sanding?
Yes, they are already sharp on one end. Very convenient.
Most of the layouts in our "club" use bamboo beverage Skewers. Except for cries of "we need the drink to go with these" complaints, we try to operate prototypical. For example, when a train comes out of a siding and the switch needs to be thrown, the tail end of the train is stopped so the rear end brakeman can detain from the van and throw the switch, then clamour back on board. The N scale layouts use fixed magnets on most of the main yard tracks, but N scalers are special.