Uncoupling Magnets

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Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
#1
Found a GREAT idea in Railroad Model Craftsman magazine about using strong magnets for uncoupling. Nov. issue, P.83 thru P.87. It's called"Dual Magnet Uncoupling". The first time I bought 50 magnets from the co. that they list in the mag. I made 25 uncoupling spots in my yards. They worked so well that I bought 100 more. I have enough now to finish up the rest of the spots.
A cpl. guys that came over decided they needed to do their tracks the same way. I was using between the rails Atlas magnets, but they don't work everytime. And I use the under the track magnets, but these little barrel magnets work 100% better.
If I can get the Macro lens close enough to see them I'll take some pics Mon. or Tues. Otherwise, if you can get a copy of the magazine it shows everything & the magnet co. to buy from.
K&J Magnetics, inc. at; kjmagnetics.com is the place.
If you need the part# for the 1's for HO scale I'll post them later. You can use them on most scales.

Larry
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
#2
Sounds like a nice alternative to those Kadee magnets. I'll have to check the company out. I can get by with a few less than you need though. :)
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#3
Looking forward to that information Larry. I'm quite interested in your setup as I have a box of small cylindrical type magnets. My set up didn't work that good so I reverted to uncoupling by hand, that's why they're in a box. With building a new layout it'll be easier to incorporate a new system.

Cheers
Willis
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
#4
OK, here's what I got D24-N50---1/8" x 1/4". That's 1/8th diameter by 1/4" long.
50 were $11.50 & 100 were $15.00 plus $9.72 freight. I ordered over the internet w/my Credit Card. It took them 4 days to get to my house after they shipped them from Pa.

Larry
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
#5
Looking forward to that information Larry. I'm quite interested in your setup as I have a box of small cylindrical type magnets. My set up didn't work that good so I reverted to uncoupling by hand, that's why they're in a box. With building a new layout it'll be easier to incorporate a new system.

Cheers
Willis
Willis, I had tried a few that I got from the Hardware store, but they were to big. In the magazine they tell you to get them from any hdw. store or WM or bldg. supply. Didn't happen after I spent all day running around trying to find the right size. So, I buckled down & ordered them.

Larry
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#7
Willis, I had tried a few that I got from the Hardware store, but they were to big. In the magazine they tell you to get them from any hdw. store or WM or bldg. supply. Didn't happen after I spent all day running around trying to find the right size. So, I buckled down & ordered them.
Larry in size, that seems to be what I have, and the fact they are also neodymium magnets. It's been quite awhile ago and some people were experimenting with them. They had me convinced so I ordered a batch of them. However it didn't work out for me at the time (hit or miss situations). I'll measure them tonight if I can find them for comparison.

Cheers
Willis
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
#8
Willis,
I did exactly what they said in the magazine & they worked great. There's other things that you have to do to make them work, like having at a certain depth from the top of the rail. Glue them in the hole you drill between the rails. These things try to attach to each other about 2" away laying on a flat bench. Trying to keep them seperated while you're putting them in the holes is fun-fun-fun. LOL
Anyway, if you can't find the magazine, email me & I'll send you the pertitent info out of the copy I have.

Larry
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#9
Yep I checked the ones I have, they are 1/8" dia. by 3/8" long.
There's other things that you have to do to make them work, like having at a certain depth from the top of the rail
That's probably why mine were hit and miss, they were maybe level with the ties.
Cheers
Willis

uh! they came from a place called "Force Field" suppliers for some kind of fantasy gaming I think. One of the gamers was into model rail also.
 
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CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#10
Glue them in the hole you drill between the rails.
LOL the instructions I had were to drill an interference fit through hold and adjust the magnet by pushing it either up or down until it attracted the coupler. 2 pair for each uncouple place. Of course there were no dimensions given

Cheers
Willis
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
#11
The dimensions in the magazine says .030 from the top of the rail & just enough clearance on the side for a loco flange to clear. You also have to adjust the coupler hose to the right heighths. NMRA coupler Ga. I found out this was pretty important for the magnets to work. You also have to be pretty good at stopping over the magnets w/the nudge button on your controller. I'm getting better daily at that. I have to find some way of marking the rails where the magnets are behind a set of cars. Right now I have nails right next to the magnets. In the magazine they show fake white sand that looks like it's been dumped by a sanding tank on a loco across the magnets.

Larry
 
#13
Looks like somebody found my post in the photos on Small Layout Design Yahoo group http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/small-layout-design/photos/view/36f3?b=12 which has been on there since 23th Jun 2006, and sent it to RMC. The little foliage clump is a marker for the position - the magnets vanish when ballasted. The need to be inset slightly with the tops just below the railhead, and offset from each other as shown.


 
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CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#14
Looks like somebody found my post in the photos on Small Layout Design Yahoo group http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/sma...view/36f3?b=12 which has been on there since 23th Jun 2006, and sent it to RMC.
Wow! Hi Shortliner I'll admit that it's possible but I haven't seen the photos in the article. It's also possible the author has done the project on his own or with others in a group. I know my experimenting went away back so I checked the postage date on the box the magnets were shipped in.(They're still in it :D) The date was March 24, 2004 so the idea has been around for quite some time. I have no idea of what forum or the username of the person who's idea it was at the time that I got my information from, but it was an experiment and we used 4 magnets for the uncoupler, but darned if I can remember the spacing. Using 4 magnets may have been the problem. Would you be interested in starting a "How I did it" thread about your uncoupler project.

Cheers
Willis
 
#15
Interesting thread. Looking at the Kadee style and much of my rolling stock hoses would have to be slightly adjusted, and the under the tie Kadee type does not work all the time as stated.

I would think this type would work better taking a small drill bit into the side of the already installed track/cork roadbed and then shim up the magnate to the bottom of the rail with styrene. Do they really work that well ???
 
#16
I had tried these, mounted just inside the rails of already laid track, with a little bit of offset, as much as tie to tie spacing with Atlas code 100 flex / standard track would allow...
I removed them and went to an array of small ceramic bar magnets mounted under the rails and ties..
the rare earth type cylinder magnets were stronger, and would actually 'hold' a car in position fairy well, but had a very narrow range of consistent operation, perhaps just a little over a quarter inch or so..and varied quite a bit with small changes in the height of the coupler trip pin..
the bar magnets [4 wide aligned with rails, center bars opposed, CA glued together], gave more effective uncoupling as they were not ony more 'gentle' but had a much wider span that could be used, and required much less 'jiggling' of the connection to uncouple consistently...
for me installation was rather easy as I have foam under the track, and just notched underneath for the 1/8" thick by 3/4" that the bar array required, a little ballast, and they are invisible..
the individual bars themselves were 1/8[thick]x1/4[wide]x3/4[long] in size for a finished array of 1/8[thick]x1"[wide]x3/4"[long], and came in pack of eight for 0.49 at the local dollar store., two bits for each magnetic hidden uncoupler spot..:).
I used a combination of marker paint on the rails themselves and ordinary straight pins with little yellow beads to indicate locations..
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
#17
My track was already ballasted & drilling a 1/8th" hole between the rails & between the ties were well for me. The 1/8th hole is a little tight for the 1/8th magnet. I just pushed them in the hole w/a pair of needle nose pliers. Then it's easy to pull them up to your measurement of .030 from the top of the rail.
The flat magnet under the track & ties might work too. They would have to be real strong to make the magnetic couplers open.
I have to have the coupler right over the top of the magnets before they uncouple, which is not a problem if you have it adjusted right. Some of my cars that have metal axels it doesn't effect. These are supposed to keep the coupler open when you back up again to push the car down the siding w/out it coupling back up. I have to adjust all of my couplers again to make that work.
Anyway, it works better than anything else I've tried on my own.
Willis, I emailed you all the instructions out of the magazine & hope you got them. The attachments were pretty big.

Larry
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#18
Willis, I emailed you all the instructions out of the magazine & hope you got them. The attachments were pretty big.
Hi Larry, yes I downloaded them this morning, it took about 15 seconds if that long for all the mail to come down. Thanks for your help.
Hi wvg, yes bar magnets, under the track magnets from Kadee those all work but again seem to be more of a nuisance to install and to get them to work properly. If your track is already down and ballasted then the cylindrical magnets are the way to go. Shortliner's installation and the installation from the article, which is a bit different, not only allow for an easy installation on completed and ballasted trackage, but locations of uncoupling can be changed with minimal destruction of the completed roadbed.

Cheers
Willis
 
#19
Magnets

Larry,

I too saw the article in RMC and gave it a try. I used the magnets the article suggested and the spacing it suggested. I found that they work great as long as the couplers are adusted properly. I have not yet ballasted any of my track as the layout is under construction, so they were very easy to install. I never liked the looks of the Kadee magnets between the rails and from what I hear they don't work with code 83 rail. I'm sold on the method in the article!

Bob
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
#20
I got the camera going today & took a photo of the magnets I am using.
I adjusted some of the couplers & they work Great.

Larry
 
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