MTL couplers and the "inchworm" (slinky) effect

Mark Truelove Jul 15, 2021

  1. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Speaking of the 'Slinky Effect".......

    [​IMG]

    A perfect example...:LOL::ROFLMAO::whistle:

    .
     
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  2. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

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    Some people are like a Slinky; they don't really do much, but they can put a smile on your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
     
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  3. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I caught a couple of errors in that article and I know I'm being nit-picky but history should be accurate.

    Kadee offered the N scale couplers 4 years (in 1968) before they started making rolling stock and so, that was the first appearance of Kadee N scale couplers. I do believe many of us began to convert right away, thus the success of the couplers and Kadee's incentive to start producing the locomotive conversions fairly early on. That was such a monumental development!

    Also, uncoupling at a magnet and then pushing a car(s) onto a siding and leaving it is called "delayed uncoupling", not "pre-coupling".

    Doug
     
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  4. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Ouch! You're mean.

    :D

    Doug
     
  5. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    Workings of an idle mind:
    We have just been introduced to one of the disadvantages of speaking a living language. Slinky vs. Inchworm? Both are good, but one, slinky, is good throughout where ever slinkys are available, which must be most of the planet, while inchworms, for example, don't much grow where I live, in the middle of the US. And where the do grow will likely change as does the climate.

    And second, what the devil is an inglenook? I have heard this term used on "This Old House" so I take it to be something common in the ye olde part of the usa, around Boston where the show is produced, but I can tell you out here in flyover country, it's a foreign word.

    Sadly for the OP, the MT coupler is pretty much the thing, accept no substitutes. Some of the alternative and compatible couplers work fairly well, but aren't available in the wealth of various sizes and mounting requirements. Rapidos? The disadvantages of MY are but flyspecks against the mountainous problems with Rapidos.

    Bill Pearce
     
  6. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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  7. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    "Slinky effect" is the better term, desciptively. An inchworm humps up as it moves along. I don't recall ever seeing MT couplers or associated cars rising into the air.

    I looked up "inglenook" It is either a nook near a fireplace or, better yet, a winery in California.

    Doug
     
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  8. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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    Like right now???? Problems with MTL coupler .... I don't really think so ... no. Or did I misunderstand the subject?
     
  9. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    The "Slinky effect" has never bothered me in the least. I have also never really noticed it that much.

    I think it's guys who make videos who are most bothered by it.

    Doug
     
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  10. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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    Do these people also talk about badly laid tracks? Or plastic wheels..... Sorry
     
  11. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I saw a lot of the "slinky effect" on the real railroad. Empty cars being moved around by a little engine. Some times to prevent it they would push the cars uncoupled.
    But the loaded ones on the main lines clung together very well. Even with pusher engines.
     
  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I've seen it a hundred times and I too have no idea what an inglenook is.

    Thank you @CSX Robert! I'm no longer in the dark.
     
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  13. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I had to look up a video of what the slinky effect looked like, since I have no experience with N scale. My understanding is that the spring acts as a centering device, but what prevents N scale couplers from using the same Kadee whisker system that HO couplers have? That would get rid of the spring in the shank, reducing slack action. I have exactly one HO coupler with a center spring (kadee #4 maybe?), and they seem absent in the HO market, so why is this design sticking around in N scale? If the only purpose of the spring is to center the coupler, surely there is a better way to do it.
     
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  14. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    An Inglenook is nook beside the fireplace were you can sit and warm up while you read by the light of the fire. Maybe with a companion. :love:
    A nook is a place to sit or have a display. Often recessed into a wall.

    Am I displaying my age and maybe nationality. :rolleyes:
     
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  15. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

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    Slack action is prototypical; it happens on real trains but when you have a model, you most likely are looking at a larger view of the train than you would a prototype, so it's more noticeable. But the rear car rapidly jerking back and forth - THAT'S not prototypical. That can usually be remedied by having a non-MTL coupler-equipped car at the rear of the train. I'm not a fan of axle springs since it can potentially affect pulling power, especially on grades.
     
  16. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Centering the coupler isn't the only purpose of the spring. It also maintains pressure to close the two halves of the knuckle after they have been opened.

    Doug
     
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  17. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

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    Slinky effect demonstrates how some railroad aspects don't scale well. My understanding is the slack is real and the slinky action is a friction effect due to an artifact of scaling. I think of the Screech Track at TTC in Pueblo, CO, with a 300' diameter. The Screech Track is miniscule compared to any other track structure on the property but it is close to my typical 12-15" N scale radius. I run 1:160 trains on 1:1000000 scaled landscape.
     
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  18. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    Doug[/QUOTE]
    Badly laid track and plastic wheels aren't necessary to get slinky action, so I don't know where you were going with this.
     
  19. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    It's true the spring also keeps the coupler closed, but so could the whiskers, that's how Accumates work. I don't know why Micro Trains has not come up with a solution. Neither Acccumates nor McHenrys use a centering spring, and neither one exhibits the slinky effect, but they have their own issues. The coupler boxes for Accumates is not as secure (just google "expoding Accumates") and apparently they tend to drop their uncoupler pins. McHenrys actually look more like a real coupler, but they are much larger (and N-scale Micro-Trains are already too large) and many people are put off by the external knuckle spring.
     
  20. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't seen the SLINKY effect very much. Since the INDIANA RAILWAY is 100% STEAM powered, if I notice the SLINKY effect entering into a moving freight, I will remove the caboose and replace it with a caboose that has axle retarding springs installed. But this is NOT a high priority with me. Too many other things to worry about.
    FALSE UNCOUPLING, because of the slinky effect? NEVER seen or had it. Why worry about nothing? If MTL couplers are adjusted, brought to MTL specifications, and maintained, they can be a joy to use. I very seldom use PERMANENT magnet for uncoupling. I prefer ELECTRO-MAGNETS. Some thing I can turn off/on when needed. MTL have made some, and you can make your own also.
    We could go round and round about different types of knuckle couplers, and their ability to work with each other. Just pick one model you can work with, standardize with all the same type, AND GO WITH IT. This is way they make so many different types, to each their own.
     
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