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Thread: MT True-Scale coupler woe

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    Default MT True-Scale coupler woe

    Yep, just "woe," but it's significant.

    You can't just drop these into any coupler box. I just found this out, and it's amazing to me to Micro-Trains developed the product this way. The mounting/pivot holes of these two-piece scale-sized couplers are too small to accommodate the pivot pins inside the typical N scale body- or truck-mounted coupler box.

    For example, on my Bluford Shop Southern hoppers, I would have to replace all the coupler boxes. Problem is, they're a semi-intregal unit with the frame and bolster. Ain't happening.

    Tried 'em with an MT truck. No good. Can't fit over MT's legacy pivot pin. Tried 'em on a BLMA covered hopper with body-mounted coupler boxes. Same thing.

    So far, the only conversion has been my Atlas Geep 38s, easy enough because I could swap the TS coupler box for the stock coupler box.

    So you can use TrueScale couplers only if you use the TS coupler box as well. Genius.

    Sure, I could run a dedicated "transition" car with every train. Oh, that's realistic.

    Micro-Trains, what were you thinking? ...
    Last edited by Paul Schmidt; 15th Jul 2018 at 10:46 PM.
    Paul Schmidt

    Southern Railway's Slate Fork Branch


    Proud member of the Milwaukee Road Historical Association and the Southern Railway Historical Association

    Check out Appalachian Railroad Modeling!

    Did l mention that I still like the SP&S?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Micro-Trains, what were you thinking? ...
    A good way to make a bit more money

    But really, you would think that they would make couplers, magnetic or not, true scale or not, to fit at least THEIR standard coupler boxes. Bottom line though seems to be, if you want their true scale couplers - be prepared to fork out for the specific coupler boxes for them
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    I only recently tried out the tru-scale couplers. It baffles me what they were trying to accomplish with these. The MT 905 Z scale coupler achieves the same reduction in equipment spacing, but it also allows for tighter radii and will couple with MT or Kato couplers. The tru-scale's only advantage appears to be for those who want to take close up photos and have a smaller coupler. The sad thing is that they could have made a real breakthrough with these.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    A good way to make a bit more money
    They're not exactly selling like hotcakes though...

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

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    Doesn't surprise me at all, and I did say "...a bit more more..."

    Perhaps if they don't sell like hot cakes, or any other cake at that, MT will modify them to fit their standard coupler boxes ...
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Micro-Trains, what were you thinking? ...
    I read up on these and seems to me they are accomplishing a number of things with these couplers. These target the rivet counter market with no compromises made.

    First, it is a big step for MT to abandon magnetic uncoupling, which was for a while MT's patented private domain. The competition's magnetic uncoupling capabilities are IMO abysmal but sales are good, indicating that much of the market has no need for it.
    If I read the ads correctly, these coupler easily uncouple by flipping the air hoses to the side. I'd like to know if these are more reliable than magnetic.

    The second big decision (and huge sacrifice) was to settle for couplers that are incompatible with the rest of the world as a result of their no compromise approach. Applause; if you are going to do it, do it right.

    Third, wrt coupler boxes, the size of the box can determine how low the car sits on the track. Seems to me that making them compatible with today's ginormous boxes would require less then prototypical car height - big boxes hit wheels and axles. If they had done that the competition could squeeze them out by making even-more-prototypical small box couplers.

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    I've been noodling, and one solution seems to be to make a drilling jig for properly spacing a new, properly sized mounting lug/spindle.

    Drill a hole in the existing coupler box to accommodate either an appropriate length of styrene or brass rod.

    Insert rod, adhere with CA, paint exposed end to match frame.

    Install TS coupler over new spindle and snap lid back on coupler box. Repeat for other end.
    Paul Schmidt

    Southern Railway's Slate Fork Branch


    Proud member of the Milwaukee Road Historical Association and the Southern Railway Historical Association

    Check out Appalachian Railroad Modeling!

    Did l mention that I still like the SP&S?

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    I haven't used the True-Scale couplers, but I can make some guestimates about them. (BS Warning! )

    I think that these are intended for a market that is mostly people who most enjoy making models as accurately as possible, and are willing to go to great lengths to satisfy their desires. According to the MT web page, the coupler boxes are the same size as the 1015 couplers, though the details on the inside are different. They won't fit in "third party" 1015 boxes.

    I'm glad there are people who want to do this and like looking at what they are doing. This is how improvements in the hobby happens. However, it's not what interests me right now. My primary interest in the hobby is operations. I will be body mounting couplers (using MT 1015s) and replacing wheel sets with metal ones, half of which will include resistors to activate my track detection circuits. Both of these improve operations by making the cars more reliable and less prone to derailments. I'm also using the Fox Valley "wide" wheels, because they work more reliably with my track work.

    One thing I like about this hobby is that there are so many interesting facets to it, so a great many people can find something they like in it.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim R View Post
    One thing I like about this hobby is that there are so many interesting facets to it, so a great many people can find something they like in it.
    I couldn't agree more.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim R View Post
    I think that these are intended for a market that is mostly people who most enjoy making models as accurately as possible, and are willing to go to great lengths to satisfy their desires. According to the MT web page, the coupler boxes are the same size as the 1015 couplers, though the details on the inside are different. They won't fit in "third party" 1015 boxes.
    Therein lies the contradictions. They've reduced the size of the coupler, but retained the ridiculously oversized draft gear. They've also made it very restrictive on tighter radii, but retained the non-prototypical coupling distance. Too many conflicting objectives and we've wound up with a Camel (i.e. a horse invented by committee).

    Fortunately, I only bought a four pack. Who knows? Someday I may actually find a use for them.

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    True Scale couplers have definitely been more "woe" than "WHOA!"

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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