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Replacement couplings

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  • Suggestion: Replacement couplings

    The 153 & 156 (and presumbly the 142s) have Scharfenberg couplers on their outer ends which although not entirely accurate seem to me to work very well.

    Between the vehicles is a different type of coupling which means you can't mix and match (occasionally a 153 was attached to a 156 car following accident damage etc).

    I was wondering how difficult/expensive it would be to produce a replacement internal coupler to match the external one.

    Another possibility would be to produce an NEM pocket version to replace that provided by that other manufacturer which would then allow coupling of any 2nd-gen DMUs together.

  • #2
    Hi, I made up a West highland 3 car 156 and like you was after couplings - off Chinese website I got some tomix couplers and was easily able to glue on a coupler , and Railtec did a set of transfers to renumber - he made up several complete number sets.

    Farish are retooling 158 so hopefully it will have NEM type outer couplings but not a given seeing 168/170 did not the newer 150 does so maybe hope.

    Not done it but perhaps the Dapol NEM mount kit offers a way forward and use easy shunts couplers - not very BSI pattern I know but at least allows detaching a set "in public" which the tomix sharfenburg does not.

    Certainly the inner bar coupler of the 156 has had its day .- hard to get spares and often seen broken on ebay items. The 142 pacer with notes on inter car coupler being electrically connecting then perhaps back engineering possible but that might be a tooling issue that is not economic in the current situation but might suit a DIY project..


    • #3
      Good points.
      Regarding outer couplings: As you have noted, the Tomix couplers are an exact fit with the 153/156 etc. However, they are not NEM. We have played around with the idea of NEM Scharfenberg types however in order to obtain the same range of movement, (for close coupling) the mounting would need to be quite bulky, alternatively, the mech. would need to be designed in to new models (similar to the Mk3 coach mech.) but this precludes retro-fitting to existing models.
      Currently this project is set aside (I have 3D prints somewhere in my bottom draw, I shall endeavour to find some photos). I would appreciate views on this, would stand-alone Scharfenberg types be a useful addition to our range? How much do you want close coupling that is retrofittable or would NEM fitting shafts be sufficient?

      Inner couplings: A similar matter, the model would require re-tooling as it was designed before my time with this type. Possibly a little easier (in theory) to attach NEM, but again the issue of the pocket and the tooling costs spring to mind.

      Dapol Staff Member


      • #4
        It would be interesting to see what could be devised. It's perhaps worth noting that Bachmann seem to have given up on alternative internal couplings for N gauge DMUs / EMUs (although not for OO gauge) and just use Rapidos. This has the advantage of simplicity but is not ideal in terms of what it looks like, and because it means no electrical connectivity - e.g. their OO gauge 350 (which has bespoke internal couplings with electrical connectivity) only needs one decoder wheras the N gauge version needs three.

        I guess my view on it would be that couplings which are more discrete than Rapidos, and which have electrical connectivity, are a good idea in theory but it rather depends whether they can be made to work in practice and be sufficiently robust. What are the ones on the Arnold Brighton Belle like in practice?


        • Andy Dapol
          Andy Dapol commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the thoughts David. I'm sure Bachmann have solid reasons for the changes. Certainly I can say that when we produce an 'all new' (i.e. not currently in progress or previous model) the internal couplings will be a consideration. The use of a close coupling (to me at least) is quite important here, as unrealistic large gaps simply look awful, destroying the models credibility IMHO. Also, it makes difficulties in extras such as our articulated corridor connector) Usually with internal we at least have the advantage in that they are proprietary (though not exclusively) to that type run as a set. Electrical connectors will always be the fly in the ointment, for instance I'm currently working on the concept of a simple to use (read no user inaction required) 4 pole connector. It's not actually allocated to a model at the moment, but it does illustrate that we do think ahead
          I'd be interested to hear owners experiences of the Arnold BB couplings.

      • #5
        There is an ingenious wired coupler here in the account of creating an Adelante from a 3d printed "kit":-

        My experience with the Hornby BB couplers has been problem-free so far, although I confess to treating them very gently when coupling a set upside down before rolling over into place on the track. Uncoupling is undertaken with extra care holding both halves of the coupler firmly. It makes me appreciate even more the ingenuity of the original Dapol Voyager magnetic couplers which allowed coupling up with the vehicles on the track and on their wheels.