Episode 106 18 The Gormo 3 Link Coupling Pt II

Discussion in 'The Collection' started by gormo, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    G`day Folks and welcome to Gormo`s Shed,
    Well as I mentioned in the last Gormo`s Shed ( http://platform1mrc.com/p1mrc/index...105-18-the-gormo-3-link-coupling-system.2987/ ) , I think I`ve conquered the 3 link coupling.
    This method is a compromise, as most things are in model railways, however compared to an old tension lock coupling, it`s streets ahead. Now this is a big claim to make and realistically, I guess I am biased, however if we are judging on appearance only, I think it wins hands down.

    For the purpose of this demo I have converted an old Mainline wagon.

    DSC05947_v1.JPG

    I do have a soft spot for these old wagons. Some may say they are not as finely detailed as the new breeds, but they just work.....the couplings work really well and they rarely derail......what more do we need.????...You can even see the wood grain in the timber sides.
    Anyway as good as it is......I`ve converted it to my 3 link system and now it looks like this.


    DSC05987_v1.JPG
    Looks alone will not do however, and the previous 3 link systems are notoriously fiddly to work with. In fact I tried it years ago when the hands were steadier and gave up on it as a bad joke. Not only was it difficult to connect and disconnect the chain, but I had to string fine wires across the buffers to prevent buffer lock when pushing the stock through points. So the old 3 links were consigned to the too hard basket and I thought that I probably wouldn`t live long enough to conquer the uncoupling / coupling technique. I had better things to do, like watching paint dry.
    .Fast forward a few years and here we are now. Looks alone still will not do and this system needed a re-think.
    The basic concept......a rigid chain....came along fairly easily.....getting it to work properly when pushed through points took a bit more trial and error and intensive thought. Now that it`s done...it seems obvious but ain`t that always the way.? You look at something and say ..." Oh yeah...that`s simple " but it took some work and thought to get to that point of simplicity.
    The concept requires an iron core chain of suitable size connected to one end of the wagon and retained by a purpose made hook that allows the chain to pivot between the hook and the buffer beam without catching.
    The chain connects to the opposite wagon which has an upside down hook mounted in it`s buffer beam. The upside down hook has a neodymium magnet set on top of it behind the buffer beam out of site. The power of the magnet transfers through the upside down hook and holds the chain in place.
    This method allows you to uncouple by simply pushing downwards on the chain with a purpose made shunting pole. To couple the wagons, the chain is lifted from behind until the magnetic attraction draws the chain up to the hook.

    DSC05990_v1.JPG

    The build and operation is covered fairly comprehensively in the attached video and I`m sure you`ll get the idea of how it works. Basically the rigid chain, the coupling through magnetic attraction and the low cost of the system, has dragged 3 links screaming into a place where operation is very simple and brings back the pleasure of shunting wagons without the grief of the old system. I have mentioned before that you can uncouple on the move if you wish to do so and also the legacy of the Brian Kirby system has shown that auto coupling is possible when passing over magnets set in the track.
    The system is probably ideally suited to an end to end layout where locos are not turned, but I don`t care....I just like using it......so I`ll adapt it to my train operations.

    Anyway.......it`s all in the video......it`s about 28 mins so settle in with a beer and a packet of crisps.

    Job Done.......:thumbs:



    :tophat:Gormo
     
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  2. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    A fantastic system Gormo. I think I'm safe in saying that I'll be adapting to it. Looks straight forward and works perfectly. saves all the fidgeting around with the flexible links that you get ( even in O gauge ). really first class. Watch you idea fly around because that is a certainty.

    cheers

    toto
     
  3. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    :tophat::tophat::tophat:
     
  4. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Excellent update on what was already a great idea. As Toto said, it will grow wings and get a lot of interest!
    Well done mate :tophat::tophat:

    Pete.
     
  5. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks Gormo
    That’s a very comprehensive wrap up of the system and I can see it being very useful esp for the ways we discussed in the larger scales for between passenger cars wher the diaphragm and corridor gets in the way with a bit of experimentation for length etc It will save a lot of hassle coupling rakes of carriages

    Did I miss in the video where the Chain was purchased was from.
     
  6. Ben Alder

    Ben Alder Full Member

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    This looks like a game changer! Thanks for all your work on this.
     
  7. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Toto,
    Yes it`s certainly much easier to use and that in itself adds to the pleasure of running trains. I`m sure it could be adapted to O Gauge. You just have to find the right chain ( iron core ) and suitable hooks etc......but logic tells us that there must be a way....:thumbs:
    :tophat:Gormo
     
  8. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Ian
     
  9. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Pete........it will be interesting to see what happens
    :tophat:Gormo
     
  10. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Chris.........I guess as long as you can lift the chain a little way, the magnetic attraction will kick in and pull the coupling up the rest of the way.
    As you say .......a little bit of experimentation I think will see you right...:thumbs:
    You did not miss anything in the video.......I forgot to put it in..:facepalm:.......... sorry..........I got the chain from Spotlight. I will put a link ( hey is that a pun ?) below. I bought what I thought were 4mm links but as you saw on the video, they measure up at around 5mm. Doesn`t matter because it works..?????
    https://www.spotlightstores.com/cra...lery-stringing-straight-oval-chain/BP80125713
    :tophat:Gormo
    PS Chris............These chains are described as Copper and also as Metal. I took a magnet with me to Spotlight to make sure the chain would work.....which it did of course..:thumbs:
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  11. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    No worries Ben,
    Glad you like it.
    Game changer..????.....yes I agree....certainly with the amount of time now that I have put in using it, even in it`s less than perfect form, it was easy to use.
    Ease of use has to be a winner, I think, when combined with a more prototypical look.
    I hope people give it a go and enjoy the experience.
    :tophat:Gormo
     
  12. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    An excellent system, and as you say, quite cost effective. The thought of converting all my stock to the small tension lock is quite daunting, and quite frankly not on, especially with the work involved for non Bachmann/Mainline wagons. But this system to a point is brand agnostic, which is its genius, it uses the buffer beam height, which should be standard, after all it is standard on the prototype, otherwise you get all sorts of problems.
    It would take a fair bit of time to convert all wagons across to this, but probably similar to converting old Lima stock to modern small tension lock anyway. But the beauty of these jobs is you can do them in small quantities as time allows.
    A cursory look through my locos reveals that the tender locos and tank locos with pony trucks look much easier to convert as there is no chassis right behind the buffer beam, bogie diesels look easy too, easier than making mounting blocks for Kadees in some cases, and require less distance from bogie frame to beam than the Kadee options.
    For the DCC folk I would recommend using something other than copper wire on the end of the shunter's pole to avoid a short circuit possibility.
    It might make my uncoupler version for my Gundah Junction obsolete, I especially like being able to push without necessarily coupling up as what always happens with tension locks.
    Well done.
    Tony
     
  13. Gary

    Gary Staff Member Administrator Golden Goat 2018

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    Brilliant. A well thought out and executed plan. The coupling system looks great and works a treat. Well done Sir. :tophat:

    Cheers, Gary.

    ps. Tony, to avoid the copper wire making contact with the rails (dcc), I would recommend placing a piece of heat shrink over the wire (uncoupling stick) or to paint it it with enamel paints to insulate it. :thumbup:
     
  14. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    G`day Tony,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Yes the buffer beam mounting point is fundamental, and as most brands come close to a standard height on this, it makes life easier to fit this system. The ideal situation is to have the chain horizontal when connected, so as to gain the maximum clearance between buffers when pushing, but it also ensures that the chain is not encouraged to slide further down the coupling hook. In saying that though, I can shunt through most of my points using only the buffers as my minimum radius is medium. It all depends on the size of the buffer heads and their distance from the buffer beams. You do get variations in these from manufacturer to manufacturer so it`s horses for courses. You need to understand the limitations of your own set up and operate accordingly, which is no big deal.
    I think if you settle down to a patten of converting one wagon at a time and take the time to make sure all is good, eventually your converted stable of wagons will grow and operate very well. After all, at the end of the day, we just want these things to work, they can look good all day but that`s no good if they don`t work.
    I have over sixty wagons to convert, but I`m prepared to take my time with it as there`s no point in rushing at it......I will just stuff it up.
    The critical areas to watch are:- making sure the chain is set straight and flat and that the center link is at a right angle to the two end links.........make sure chain connector that fits to the buffer beam is vertical.........make sure the coupling hook is set at a right angle to the buffer beam and that the drop down section is vertical.
    That`s about it ......off on a tangent probably..???.....but there you are Tony....good luck with your conversions.
    :tophat:Gormo
     
  15. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Gary,
    I`ll let you play with it next time you`re over.
    I keep comparing it to your system on Linden Ford. I was watching you operate last weekend and really, I suppose the 3 link is slightly more difficult because of the coupling part of it. The uncoupling is easy....maybe even easier ???... I`m leaving out the coupling with magnets in the track side of things and just thinking using the shunter`s pole. Otherwise there`s not much in it operation wise.
    :tophat:Gormo
     
  16. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    G`day Folks,
    I would just like to say thanks to Toto for providing a World Class forum, which is a great vehicle for launching a new idea like this to the model railway fraternity.
    :tophat::tophat::tophat: to Toto
    Thanks mate.....:thumbs:
    Gormo
     
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  17. ed

    ed Full Member

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    Another brilliant Gormo's Gizzmo :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    Your comment "The system is probably ideally suited to an end to end layout where locos are not turned", is absolutely spot on in my view.
    Would be perfect on the ubiquitous GWR BLT, where passenger traffic could be a rail-car or a push-pull set, which would require no couplings.

    Great stuff Gormo :thumbs:

    Ed
     
  18. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Ed...:thumbs:

    An Important Update Folks

    I started this afternoon to convert a Mainline GWR Macaw bogie bolster wagon over to the 3 link system. I followed the process for a standard open wagon , however I found that the longer wheelbase was causing the wagon end to swing quite a bit more than it would with a short wheelbase wagon ( Never thought of that old boy !!). The increased swing resulted in the wagon locking buffers with the loco on one point formation........back to the drawing board for long wheelbase wagons.

    DSC06012_v1.JPG


    My original plan for all wagons was to employ M1 x 10mm split pins as the connector for the chain, however because the split pins would not allow the chain to pivot freely, I rejected them in favour of the purpose made wire connector.
    This new issue can be solved using the split pins but also requires a wire link being added to the connecting link of the chain to reduce movement in the chain, thereby improving clearances and allowing the wagon to move freely through the point formation. You can see below how the wire link now restricts the movement of the chain

    DSC06021_v1.JPG

    This example is not as neat as it could be but being the first of it`s kind, it can only get better now that I know how to solve this problem


    DSC06023_v1.JPG

    The visual side is still quite effective I feel, especially compared to the original

    DSC06027_v1.JPG

    And this is it at it`s most extreme angle going through the problem point formation and Yes it works....:thumbs:

    DSC06026_v1.JPG

    I am not going to adopt this method for all wagons because adding the wire link across the chain is fiddly, however it would work on all wagons. I think I would rather use it as required thereby keeping my extra efforts to a minimum. I have only five long wheelbase freight wagons....the rest are all short.

    So there we are folks ........a slight stumble but back on our feet once more....:thumbs:

    :tophat:Gormo
     
  19. Gary

    Gary Staff Member Administrator Golden Goat 2018

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    I think that another solution to this Gormo is to allow the three link and magnet set up to swing freely under the end of the wagon, or perhaps see if they can be mounted to the bogies on an extended wire loop.

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  20. Beetleton MPD

    Beetleton MPD Full Member

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    I have been an avid follower of this super thread, BUT I have a couple of 'observations', Gormo...
    1. I think that this great innovation implies that the wagon will have a 'receiver' end and a '3 link' end, thus the wagon will always have to be 'handed' unlike most other coupling systems. I have not had much experience, but will this mean that consideration will have to be made when marshalling a freight-train?
    2. In Pt.1 you show what I take to be 'dummy' or cosmetic 3 links on the 'receiving' truck, but these do not appear on the later images. Have you decided that they do not perform anything more than a cosmetic function or can they be fitted without hindering the operation?

    I went out to buy some staples this morning but could only get type 53 staples. (I shall buy some type 50 later next week, but have decided to detach 3 from the strip and solder them together to make the flat 'receiver' hook, at least to get me started on whether I can properly make the changes to my rolling stock which is currently Hook & Bar, Kadee and S & W. Should be fun!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018

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