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Memory wire for couplers - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 02:33 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Owen was good enough to send me an old memory wire kit he bought from C+L, so I'd better show what I did with it.

I'm modelling O scale and I need DCC controlled couplers for my boxcars.

Using two lengths of memory wire, I mounted up a test rig on a piece of MDF cut to the floor plan of an O scale 40 foot boxcar.

I used two functions of a DCC Concepts decoder, two 12 Volt relays, two 22 Ohm 5 Watt resistors and various bits and pieces from the kit.

It's pretty simple and the photo explains it better than my 1000 words.  :lol:




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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 02:46 am
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Petermac
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I'm slow as ever Max................:oops:

How does it actually work ?  I can see that the memory wire will pull on the springs as it contracts (I'm assuming that's the memory wire running the length of each side of the car from the spring to the contact pin) but how does that actually open the jaws on the KD's ? ..........:???:



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 03:03 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Hi Peter

If you look closely at the right hand end, you'll see cotton running from the coupler jaw to the end of the memory wire where it connects to the spring.

As the memory wire contracts, it pulls on the cotton.

Devilishly clever, no?  :lol:



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 03:19 am
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Petermac
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Ah - now I see.  Yes indeed Max - devilishly clever. :thumbs:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs

Does it all work OK now ?  I know you were having problems earlier when you posted "elsewhere" .........:roll:



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 03:31 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Yes.  It works perfectly, Peter.

I initially tried to drive the wires from the decoder, but since I put the relays in and drove it from the DCC bus, no problems.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 11:38 am
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Silver foxx
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that is ingenious, pleased it was some use after all :doublethumb
:thumbs:thumbs;-):cool:



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 01:16 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Thanks, Owen.

Now I've proved the basic design, I've got eight more to make.  :lol:



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 01:38 pm
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Gary
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Ingenious. :patheadNow lets see you do that in N scale... :mutley

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 02:29 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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You can go right off some people.  :lol:



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 03:39 pm
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jakesdad13
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Hi Max, pleeeeze don,t take this as a criticism but it looks to me like a very big expensive sledge hammer to crack a walnut, sorry :shock:..

Pete.  



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 05:20 pm
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Pete, as Max will say when he comes back on line - using decoders & DCC & this system allows uncoupling anywhere on the layout in conjunction with RR & Co software - not restricted to magnets/ramps.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 7th, 2015 06:26 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Pete. You need to understand the requirements of computer control before you can understand the reasoning behind the design.  Sol is right.  This system allows uncoupling anywhere on the layout - even while the train is moving.

I'm happy to hear about any alternative ideas you may have.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 8th, 2015 04:44 pm
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jakesdad13
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Hi Max, as I said I didn,t mean to criticise I obviously haven,t a clue as to what you intend to do with your layout and as to computer control well that to me is just witchcraft, I have only just dabbled with DCC up to now and still have a long way to go to get the use that I want to put it to, so I will bow to your better knowledge and keep my nose out ,till I know better! keep up the good work and keep us informed.:oops:.

Cheers, Pete. 



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 Posted: Wed Jul 8th, 2015 05:17 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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Criticise by all means, Pete.

You should see what I'm copping elsewhere.  :lol:

The Holy Grail is to be able to uncouple anywhere on the layout; not being hamstrung by track mounted magnets.

Already some locos are being offered with on board couplers and my HO boxcar ones are already several years old.

You may have seen this already.  If so, I apologise in advance . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DByzsZ8-xQs 

O scale is traditionally way behind the curve (mainly because the lower numbers of adherents offer poor economies of scale), no pun intended.

We have to improvise and create, rather than opening a box.  It's one of the things that attracts me.

You might find this an interesting read . . .

http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/workshop/ProductNews/musclewire.html?trk_msg=6RH6J2BJKC1KJ3A6VEUVHRJAU4&trk_contact=29GMMA0A0G1EO3DK25N5NC8V8O&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Muscle+Wire&utm_campaign=JulyNewsletter2015%C2%A0

Cheers



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 Posted: Thu Jul 9th, 2015 03:37 am
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mattc6911
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forgot you were working in O gauge now Max. this Idea of yours would lend itself nicely to a garden layout as well, and you could probably adapt it to radio control as well, as you have much more room to play with in O gauge


cheers  

   Matt

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 Posted: Thu Jul 9th, 2015 04:23 pm
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Maybe a bit expensive but as you say ......... whats the alternative and to be able to work outwith the constraints of localised magnets etc is indeed fantastic.

I think on certain layouts, take the R & GLR I would have mainly traditionally coupled wagons for through traffic ( passenger and larger rakes of freight wagons ) but where I have smaller industries that are regularly shunted / serviced by shorter trains, ie my scrap yard or coal drop which may have typical train lengths of just three or four wagons long, this becomes more affordable and are the stock items that will see more action.

May be a bit harder to fit in OO scale. what do you think max ......... possible ?

 

cheers

 

Toto

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 Posted: Thu Jul 9th, 2015 06:36 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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It's not all that expensive, Tom - but certainly more expensive than magnets in the track.

The muscle wire and hardware works out at a few dollars for a short length.

The resistors and relays were about A$10.

The most expensive bit was the decoder at about A$30.00

According to my calculations, to get 3 mm of movement you need about 100 mm of wire, plus a short spring.  So 40 foot cars would be OK.

The challenge will be to hide the rig inside some other cars.

I see a flat car as having a load of pipes or something stacked around it.  Maybe a tanker could have it inside the tank.

Passenger cars are ideal as they are long and the rig could be hidden below the window sills.

Little two axle OO wagons would be a hard one.

If I were still modelling HO, I'd try to figure it out.  After all, if I can fit a Loksound decoder and speaker into a Hornby Terrier; I rate myself as a chance.  :lol:



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 Posted: Mon Jul 13th, 2015 06:18 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Here it is in operation . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q29cdtFGdUo 



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