A Trainboard Challenge!! Let the braintrust design the perfect coupler!!

oldrk Feb 8, 2011

  1. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

    OK , so we can't seem to find that coupler that pleases the majority. With all the talent at TB(the use of the word "talent" leaves me out) we should be able to design and possibly take to production a great N scale working coupler. So all you Mensa types have at it!
  2. wcfn100

    wcfn100 TrainBoard Member

    With or without violating any patents that may currently be in place?

  3. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

    It would really be nice if NMRA would standardize couplers for each scale, maybe that's a stretching thought, but it would be nice.

  4. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    A coupler with the universal-ish mounting ability of the MTL 1015, but with a lower profile draft gear box like the 1123, but with a coupler more the size of the Z scale 905 and the non-slinky mechanism of the McHenry and the lack of huge space requirements at the place of mountaing also like the McHenry.
  5. Jim Reising

    Jim Reising In Memoriam

    I think it's a great idea. It's also possible that designs are in the works at this very moment to produce such a thing.

    I personally would love to be able to re-equip my fleet before I die...
  6. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    (my apologies for editing - it's easier for me to read)Add to those above:
    • Stronger - less breakage
    • More grade change tollerent
    • Easier to manually uncouple - maybe with a magnetic wand?
  7. temp

    temp TrainBoard Member

    Possibly an entirely new approach to automatic uncoupling - something designed for more fault tolerance then the sideways magnet and pin design.

    Possibly something to allow for:

    * Smaller, more prototypically sized couplers (z-scale)
    * Smaller or no gap between coupled fingers (you notice the difference when compared to Kato's non-magnetic Japanese knuckle couplers)
    * More prototypically close coupling without breaking our non-prototypical curves. Kato's newest body mounted Japanese EMU couplers have a unique and very simple 1 piece design that allows the coupler to pivot from either side, allowing the coupler to telescope out to the left or right on curves, while reseting to close coupling on straights.
  8. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Unit Train and Draw Bar Styles as well

    I'd suggest while we are "brain storming" on this subject to consider:

    • Unit Train: couplers - which would seldom if ever be uncoupled except for maintenance
    • Draw bar: style designed to never be uncoupled - that you might put on the Atlas "ore cars" and such
  9. CNW 1518

    CNW 1518 TrainBoard Member

    somewhat smaller MTs are fine with me..
  10. Delamaize

    Delamaize TrainBoard Member

    I am thinking something simmular to a Z scale MT coupler knuckle and face, with the piviot simmular to a Accumate would elimnate the slinky action, although, without the centering spring you loose the automatic coupleing feature.

    Here is food for thought, what if we switched the coupler material from plastic to metal? In theroy, we could make a coupler that looked and functioned like the prototype, although, it would still be oversized. I personally think it would be awesome if we could come up with something that was like the couplers they use on O gauge stuff. I think it would be impossible in N scale though.

    depending on how outside the box you wanted to think, you could do away with the knuckles alltogether, and go with tiny rare earth maginets that are encapsolated in the coupler, that would allow the maginet to flip to have the poles to attract. Think like what Lego uses on their stuff, but a lot smaller scale, and encapsolated in something resembling a coupler. Problem is you would be limited to train leignth, and weight. Might be intresting for operations though, Broken couplers could be simmulated easily there.

    Just rambling ideas.....
  11. ATSF5078

    ATSF5078 TrainBoard Member

    Micro trains IMHO are the best coupler we have but I say they should dump all their designs and make a coupler that is basically a scaled down version of the HO Kadee coupler, smaller then the over sized current couplers. Z scale couplers are actually about the right size for N scale. A metal coupler with a one peice shank and no internal centering spring, this is what gives N scale trains so much slack. I know some of you will say thats kind of what the McHenry's are but they are a good idea that just doesn't cut it. They are too big, have to coupler box for body mounting and are just not made to very high standards.
  12. GaryHinshaw

    GaryHinshaw TrainBoard Member

    This describes the Bowser/Full Throttle Z scale coupler perfectly. I find this coupler to be ideal for N scale, except for the fact that it is only available mounted to a Z scale truck, and is therefore expensive. It would be wonderful to have this available as a separate item marketed to N scale (which might happen). Here is some more info:


  13. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

    I would really like to see some Coupler like the Whisker couplers made by Kadee(458) for N scale in the size of the Z scale couplers.
    It would preclude the inner centering spring yet keep the coupler centered the coupler boxes that come with those should be able to be made small enough so they could be body mounted on Rollingstock yet also used with Locos.
  14. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    - No more centering spring/Slinky effect! Can't stand to see my last car jerking back and forth like that.

    - A one-piece shank -- None of that split-shank (White the unprototypical gap between them) business the MT couplers have. Ugh, can't stand that!

    Can't we just make a miniature version of the Kadee #5? I think the technology exists today where we can facilitate that.
  15. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

    You guys have some good ideas. Anymore?
  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter


    You are just to funny for words.

    You already have the best knuckle couplers in the business.

    Micro-Trains set the standard when NMRA wouldn't. They stuck their neck out and took a risky gamble and produced the best knuckle coupler out there.

    I have no idea why so many of you have a negative out look toward them.

    For me...I don't need any other stinking knuckle couplers...it's Micro-Trains!.
  17. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

    What he said.
    What he said too. When Kadee brought out their N scale coupler in the early 1970's a smaller, and most importantly, affordable version of their successful HO #5 would have been beyond the technology of the day but it's now 40 years later. I think the McHenry although still oversize is a much more realistic looking coupler than any MT.
  18. DrifterNL

    DrifterNL TrainBoard Member

    Anybody have a drawing of (or link to) 1:1 scale coupler dimensions?
  19. AtomicVette

    AtomicVette TrainBoard Member

    my vote is this on all cars, then have a "powerd" section of track similar to a magnetic uncoupling section, where you could pull any car over the section, apply power and uncouple.

    picture from Kato (Japan) 2-8-2 USRA Heavy Mikado

  20. GaryHinshaw

    GaryHinshaw TrainBoard Member

    Here's a comparison of the Full Throttle Z scale coupler (front, left & right) to an MT N scale (rear, left) and a McHenry N scale (rear, right):


    * close to scale size,
    * one-piece shank,
    * leaf-style centering spring
    * leaf-style knuckle spring
    * no slinky effect

    If it were available separately at a reasonable price it would be the perfect coupler in my book. Best of all, it already exists.


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