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Dapol easi-shunt magnetic couplers? - Narrow Gauge. - Other Areas. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 08:18 pm
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Padster
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Hi all,
TBH I was always intending to perform 'hand of god' uncoupling / coupling as necessary as my layout will normally be for home use, although a few local exhibitions may be on the cards. Before I begin ballasting the track and fixing finally in place, its the best time to make any final decision if another method should be used. I did not really want to go down the electron magnetic route (meaning switch operated) for decoupling but have been seriously considering using Dapol easi-shunt magnetic couplers as they look pretty simple to install ie. magnet installed within the tracks and use NEM connectors for the amended couplings, ... and work well from what I have read and seen on YouTube.

Have any of you used these and can vouch for the simplicity of installation and reliability?

Thanks
Paul 

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 Posted: Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 09:42 pm
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Sol
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Ah ha for N scale I see, no my experience is with H0/00 scale magnetic workings.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 24th, 2019 01:54 am
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Marty
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Hi Paul,
No.... but at some point in the future, from my extensive lurking in various forii, I will be trialling both the easi-shunt and the micro trains uncouplers as they seem to me to be the best two options.

There are, from a hazy memory, several other “cottage” types available, most that require making up yourself and while the reported results were good I don’t have the time for faffing about with them.

If you do give the easi-shunt a go I’d be very interested in your thoughts.




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 Posted: Sun Feb 24th, 2019 08:50 pm
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BCDR
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These look identical to the Micro Trains couplers, which I was using 10 years ago. Worked fine. Useful for OO-9 as well.

Nigel



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 Posted: Thu Feb 28th, 2019 11:57 am
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Paul-H
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Hi
I use them on my layout without too much issue, I used their NEM coupling pockets to convert Non NEM rolling stock again without too much trouble, I have noticed though that Farish Rolling stock needed more care than Peco and Dapol as the height from track to underside varied quite a bit with Farish stock so everyone was different, but Peco and Dapol were all the same so easy to do, just use Dapols gauge to set their height and position.

Regarding magnets I tried all sorts as the Dapol ones are quite expensive, but couldn't find any magnetised in the same way as the Dapol ones, which are magnetised across their width and all the ones I found were magnetised across their length.

Dapol magnets only need one to work, for the others you need more than one with them placed on either side with a gap between them. the good news with that is that because you can get much stronger magnets they can be mounted under the sleepers so completely hidden, just make sure you have a small gap between the two magnets.

I ended up just going with the expensive Dapol magnets as all my track was down by the time I went over to using them, but my next one will have double magnets under the track.

One word of caution

They are prone to losing their tiny spring and are a right royal Pain in the proverbial to get back in and if you use strong magnets too close the magnet can pull the spring out, don't ask me how I know that :(

Paul

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 Posted: Thu Feb 28th, 2019 12:54 pm
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Sol
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Don't the Micro-trains uncouplers work for the Dapol couplers ?
https://www.micro-trains.com/n-scale-magnet-uncoupler-w-o-track-1310-2-ea-98800172
https://www.micro-trains.com/index.php?route=product/search&tag=uncoupler



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 Posted: Thu Feb 28th, 2019 10:20 pm
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Marty
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Thanks Paul, 
Glad to know that you are getting positive results from the Dapol couplers. There is hope for me yet.

Have you been selective in the stock you have converted, keeping coach rakes in sets and just changing over the end coach coupling for example?

Useful links Sol, thanks!



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 Posted: Fri Mar 1st, 2019 09:10 am
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Padster
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Thanks for the comments so far guys, especially your insight & experience Paul H. I also see that the Dapol are almost identical to the Micro Train couplers / magnets and I feel both these product lines for the magnetic coupling / decoupling are fit for purpose and designed accordingly. There appears not to be too much difference in price if you can source the Micro Train version in the UK ... which I cannot find ... all sites that advertise them are either 'not currently available' or $ priced, which means shipping across the pond on top.
I decided to bite the bullet and start small to review the Dapol ones, which have already arrived (sourced via Peters Spares Model Railways) - pair of magnets, pair of NEM medium magnetic couplers and some NEM coupling pockets. Idea is to test these on some spare track and once established they work exactly as described and to my requirements, invest in some more. Plan is to only convert various wagons that lead certain smaller rakes therefore saving a larger investment - this should suit my desired operation.

I also found on another forum that somebody was using these Dapol magnets perfectly and was very happy - he also had the idea to disguise the track magnets somewhat by slicing the sleepers lengthwise he had already taken out to sink in the magnets. The thinner sliced sleepers then aligned with the height of the normal sleepers, whereupon he spot glued the sliced sleepers to the top of the magnets and the run of sleepers looked very normal. He even then added a thin layer of ballast into the gaps to hide the parts of magnets still seen and lightly pva glued them, careful to not let the pva touch the ends and side of the magnets. Net result - the magnets and decoupling still worked perfectly but were nicely disguised unless you looked quite closely!

I will keep you posted on my tests and results.

cheers
Paul     

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 Posted: Fri Mar 1st, 2019 10:31 am
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ZeldaTheSwordsman
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Regarding the springs, have you tried sliding the point of a toothpick inside to pick them back up and using that to lever them back on? Someone recommended that trick to me for Kadee springs and thus far it has worked out.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 11th, 2019 11:28 am
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Paul-H
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To replace the springs I do the following
1 use an Optivisor with 10x lenses

2 Thread the spring on a pin, I use the ones with the plastic bead on the end

3 A good light

4 A tray with a strong magnet in the middle, to catch the flying spring.

5 Then just offer the spring to the pip on the moving section then slide the pin out and push the other end of the spring down.

It works 90% of the time, and when it don't the magnet catches it on the tray, most of the time.

Some people put a blob of clear varnish on one end to help hold it in, not had any luck trying that method myself.

Paul

Paul


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 Posted: Mon Mar 11th, 2019 11:30 am
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Paul-H
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Marty wrote: Thanks Paul, 
Glad to know that you are getting positive results from the Dapol couplers. There is hope for me yet.

Have you been selective in the stock you have converted, keeping coach rakes in sets and just changing over the end coach coupling for example?

Useful links Sol, thanks!

On my small shunting layout I have them fitted to both ends of everything. 

Don't use them at all on my exhibition stock, mainly because there is no need for any shunting on that layout

Paul

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