Can someone give me a quick and dirty lowdown on how to work electrocouplers?  I have a Legacy GP35 engine with Front and Rear Electrocoupler and a few rollling stock cars with "working electrocouplers".  For the life of me, I can't figure out how to position the cars and them get them to couple or uncouple.   

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Depending on the specific coupler, they can be somewhat balky as far as coupling or releasing.  I've taken a number of them apart and smoothed all the casting marks off the knuckle mating surfaces to make them work smoother.

 

Typically, you have to whack the cars pretty hard to get a coupler to close, again dependent on the coupler.  As far as releasing, sometimes they won't release with a load.

 

Another issue is track voltage, many times you'll find couplers won't function well unless you have at least 16-17 volts on the track.

 

Are you running Legacy control?

 

 

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The couplers are "supposed" to couple by simply backing into the car(s).  However, due to friction in the coupler latching, you frequently have to "bash" them to get them to couple.  That's why I mentioned smoothing the internal surfaces.

 

You can't really time the coupler button push to easy the coupling unless you're very good with your reaction time.  The coupler is only energized about 1/4 sec for each button push.

Yes,  The Engine coupler electronically opens when you press the uncouple button, but they are mechanically closed by the slight force when bumped together.

 

Because your rolling stock has the mechanical couplers that open or close with an uncoupler track, your engine coupler may be open, but the rolling stock is closed.  This makes it harder to get the engine to mechanically close on the rolling stock coupler because the alignment needs to be perfect.

 

I usually manually open the rolling stock coupler with my hand, then you can back the engine into the rolling stock and both couplers close.

 

The alternative is to drive the consist over an uncoupler track to release the rolling stock mechanical coupler.  Once the engine pulls away you can open it's coupler electronically.  When you want to pick the rolling stock back up, just back the engine into the rolling stock and they should recouple.

 

You need to find the right speed that locks them with out causing a derailment.  Do it several times in a straight section in front of you and you will see how it goes and get the hang of it.  G

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GGG brings up an excellent point.  Coupling only works on a straight track for the most part.  It's rare to get the correct alignment on a curve to be able to coupler without the big HOG helping.

HOG - Hand Of GOD, aka reaching down and manually coupling them.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Depending on the specific coupler, they can be somewhat balky as far as coupling or releasing.  I've taken a number of them apart and smoothed all the casting marks off the knuckle mating surfaces to make them work smoother.

 

Typically, you have to whack the cars pretty hard to get a coupler to close, again dependent on the coupler.  As far as releasing, sometimes they won't release with a load.

 

Another issue is track voltage, many times you'll find couplers won't function well unless you have at least 16-17 volts on the track.

 

I was going to start a new Post, but did a search and found the above Reply on a prior posted topic that already covers this issue.

I have LC+ New Haven FAs with electrocouplers. At 16 volts, the electrocouplers made the sound of firing open, but did not open. However, at 18 volts they did both.

Raising the voltage to see if the couplers would work was a passing thought. I was very happy to see that this turned out to be the solution. Arnold

 

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Remember, it's the voltage that the locomotive actually sees at the board level, so any drops in the wiring, track, or pickups is all subtracted from what is available to fire the couplers.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

GGG brings up an excellent point.  Coupling only works on a straight track for the most part.  It's rare to get the correct alignment on a curve to be able to coupler without the big HOG helping.

HOG - Hand Of GOD, aka reaching down and manually coupling them.

Is there an adjustment that can be made to LC+ electrocouplers to get them to align better?

Specifically, the default position on some of my LC+ electrocouplers, is not in the center, but rather to one side or the other.

Is there some spring that needs adjustment so when the electrocoupler is activated or released, it moves to the center?

It would be good if such an adjustment can be made to eliminate, or atleast minimize, the HOG.  Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Well, the thing that aligns the coupler is the T-bar that holds the coupler.  The spring applies tension to the groove in the coupler shank and centers the coupler.

I've found that changing the t-bar and if it's the metal one, you can smooth it's legs, may help the coupler center better.

There are also the couplers that have the small centering spring and not the T-Bar arrangement.  Those usually center, but the springs are somewhat fragile.  Also, any friction in the back-n-forth movement of the coupler will cause it not to center properly every time, so some dry lube on the shank and washers may help.

Arnold D. Cribari posted:

I have LC+ New Haven FAs with electrocouplers. At 16 volts, the electrocouplers made the sound of firing open, but did not open. However, at 18 volts they did both.

 

I've found that Lionel electrocouplers often take 18 volts to operate whereas other brands (Atlas, Weaver, K-Line and MTH Proto-1) typically operate reliably at 12-14 volts.

I thought the K-Line couplers were Lionel couplers, so it's odd they'd work at a greatly reduced voltage.  Since all of the K-Line TMCC stuff used the same Lionel R2LC with the same coupler outputs as Lionel, you'd think they'd be comparable.  Obviously, we're talking command stuff here, but that's the only K-Line equipment with electrocouplers.  Atlas has their own couplers, so they may be different.  Proto-1 couplers had to work in conventional mode, so it makes sense they'd work at lower voltage.

K-Line couplers are definitely different from Lionel couplers.  The knuckle geometry is noticeably different if you have them side by side.  The difference in required voltage has to be in the coil windings.  I've standardized on Atlas electrocouplers (usually the ones that come on the Erie Built Diesels) for my steam and Diesel locomotives.  All Lionel couplers get removed, tossed in a box and replaced by Atlas couplers.

Interesting, I don't know that I have a lot of K-Line couplers in my box, mostly they're on locomotives.   I've already used them interchangeably, but you're probably right.  I've been using PS/1 couplers with TMCC, they work fine and do trigger at lower voltages.

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Arnold D. Cribari
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