I am refurbishing an operating Merchandise Car with coil couplers and am a bit confused on how it was wired.  Each lead from the coil goes to the solder lugs on each coil coupler.  This will not operate the mechanism as I tested it out and one lead is a hot and the other is a neutral...if both leads are wired to the couplers, you only get a hot thrown from the operating track from the slide shoes- the coil is fully insulated from the neutral.

My other question is that if the slide shoes are used to activate the mechanism, the coupler(s) will also open.  So this car was not meant to be operating while connected to a train but only in a siding?  Was this car wired correctly??

Thanks for your insight.


Original Post

The 2 wires from the coil go to each sliding shoe. 1 coupler will open when operating the car mechanism. This is normal and you have to reverse the train to recouple. Usually the train stops in neutral from forward so when the power is applied again the engine will be in reverse and couples again.

Ok but that doesnt make sense based on how and UCS track section operates.  Both activating strips on the track section are "hot" which means one or both shoes are picking up the "hot" contact...on my unit, the coil mechanism is totally isolated from the metal casing...therefore it is not getting a neutral contact to complete the circuit...

On the UCS track the uncouple button should cause all the control rails to become energized with center rail power. When the unload button is pushed, the control rails at one end become energized with center rail power and the control rails at the other end are energized with outside rail power.  As Chuck indicated, when the unload button is pushed, the end that is energized with central rail power will also uncouple. 

Chuck Sartor posted:

On the UCS track, opposite control rails should be hot and ground. Sounds like your track and or controller are wired wrong. Should operate like the 3459 dump car and the 3451 log dump car. And any version milk car.

I agree with Chuck. I have a few Postwar operating merchandise car, and they work just like the operating dump cars and milk cars. 

They spit out the little brown boxes when the unload button is pressed (without any uncoupling), and they uncouple when the uncouple button is pressed (without any unloading).

In a couple of minutes, I will post a video on the Unit train thread showing box cars, including merchandise cars and milk cars. Arnold

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

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