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Thread: NZT Announces Totally New Coupler for N Scale "ProtoMate"

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    Exclamation NZT Announces Totally New Coupler for N Scale "ProtoMate"


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    This could be very interesting indeed.
    "God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts!" (appeared on the sign outside our Pentecostal church)

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    Will have to keep a close eye on this one. If it works as well as and looks better than (or looks as good as and works better than) the current crop, I could see a lot of conversions in my future...
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    It lists compatibility hmmm. I remember upgrading from my rapido couplers and that's a huge all or nothing investment. I certainly don't want to have to replace everything again, but if it's fully compatible with existing couplers then that's great

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    Some rivet counter will dislike it no matter what it is like.
    If it can break the price barrier of a dozen under $5, it will be worth something. But until then I will run what comes on the cars.

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    But until then I will run what comes on the cars.
    I'll probably agree with that statement...if the couplers that come on the car/loco work fine I don't really bother. The only brand I've really had issues with are Kato's, so perhaps I might give these a try on one or two of my Kato locos.
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    I've still got a few rapido equipped cars and locos I'd love to upgrade, but couplers are so expensive and fiddly.

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    It's great to see someone actively tackling a long standing issue (slinky effect).
    Depending on price and ease of assembly, they could give MTL a run.
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    The slinky effect is not the fault of the coupler.
    It's a function of bad avle bearings.
    The prototypes have the same action.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    The slinky effect is not the fault of the coupler.
    It's a function of bad avle bearings.
    The prototypes have the same action.
    Hmm... I've not heard this explanation before...

    Are you saying that the axles, if not perfectly smooth will jerk a little bit, and the coupler springs are merely amplifying this jerky motion?
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    The slinky effect is not the fault of the coupler.
    It is a condition that the coupler has to allow for, regardless of the root cause.
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    Some rivet counter will dislike it no matter what it is like.
    If it can break the price barrier of a dozen under $5, it will be worth something...
    Some rivet counters will never be happy.

    As for the price, no chance it will be under $5 a dozen. The MT 1015 usually ends up costing a little under $2 a coupler, I don't expect this to cost less than that. I would expect to pay $10 for a four pack. And if the coupler box mounts easily, I would be happy to pay that.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    After years of hearing about this mysterious "slinky effect" I finally observed it on one of my trains. It was at the beginning of the run, when everything was cold. As soon as the engine and cars ran a couple of laps, the effect disappeared.

    The movement was more like the wheels were dragging on the cars and pulling and compressing the springs rather than cars bouncing on the springs on their own.

    The drag can be caused by many things.
    • Ill fitting axles.
    • Dirt on the wheels
    • Grimy Bearing surfaces
    • Differences in material expansion
    • Distorted bearing cups
    • Axle burs
    • Wheels out of round
    • Wheels out of gauge
    • Improper mass distribution in the cars. (putting heavy or light cars in the wrong order)
    • Improper usage of drag springs.
    • Improper installation of axles

    By improving the ability to roll and taking the slack out before accelerating this effect will be reduced. The prototype can apply brakes, it easy for them to negate the effect. But if you really watch the prototype the cars do an awful lot of moving, other than rolling down the track.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    The slinky effect is not the fault of the coupler.
    It's a function of bad avle bearings.
    The prototypes have the same action.
    The slinky effect is not the same thing as slack action.

    If it were bad axle bearings, then there's no such thing as bad axle bearings in HO scale?

    Of COURSE it's the coupler. It relies on a coiled spring, which is susceptible to forward/backward motion. N scale coupler that do not rely on a spring do not have slinky action.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    Quote Originally Posted by baronjutter View Post
    It lists compatibility hmmm. I remember upgrading from my rapido couplers and that's a huge all or nothing investment. I certainly don't want to have to replace everything again, but if it's fully compatible with existing couplers then that's great
    I don't think that's a concern. All knuckle couplers stay attached to each other, whether they're magnetic or dummy knuckle couplers. If this was a new incompatible standard it would be the kiss of death for that company.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    It's great to see someone actively tackling a long standing issue (slinky effect).
    Depending on price and ease of assembly, they could give MTL a run.
    If they're great, and other companies strike up OEM contracts to have them in their own cars, then that's the key.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    Metro,
    You do know you are quoting posts that are two years old, right?

    On that note your points are entirely valid. I hope these get made, I was looking at doing the Bowser coupler, but if these happen they could be an easier solution to my coupler needs.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    Well, this coupler has taken this long to make (and David did say he expected them in 2014, so it's still on target, btw), so I don't think that's an issue with this particular thread.
    PW&NJ Railroad

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    I believe it was the legal patent protection issues that slowed this project down. Now that the patent is public, perhaps that hurdle is now cleared. I have been waiting to see these couplers for awhile before I made any commitments to change over rolling stock.
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