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Thread: How I Eliminate the Bouncy, Bounce, Slinky Effect.

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    Lightbulb How I Eliminate the Bouncy, Bounce, Slinky Effect.

    This was posted by me first on the TB N-Scale forum. I know and hope, this will stir up the hornets nest of opinions and ideas here on NScaleNet as it has done on TB. So let the fun begin.

    A while back, I read somewhere about replacing the MT coupler spring with a piece of rubber band for getting rid of the Micro Trains coupler bouncy, bounce, slinky effect.
    Well, I started to do this on Tuesday and it works amazingly well. Solves the problem so the car moves about the same as those that have Accumates or McHenery N scale couplers.
    As it only takes less then two minutes to do each one from removing from the car, removing the wheels and coupler box, to making the change and reassembling it all.
    Not hard at all.
    As to the rubber band I used one that is a little less wide as the spring is long and gut a narrow piece the with of the spring. Close seems to work for doing this.
    As how to support the truck while I do this is shown in the pictures. The flat car was the perfect height to support the part that is not supported by the wood.
    You will have to fine what works for you.
    dscn0031.jpg DSCN0033.JPG DSCN0034.JPG DSCN0035.JPG


    Using tweezers I put the two coupler parts back on, then drop the piece of rubber band in the slot where the spring was. Then again using the tweezers, laid the box on so the clips laid in the slots on the piece with the other parts. Giving it a downward push with a finger holds the cover into place most of the time.

    Now is the part that gets a little tricky the first few times you try it. That is to get it all together. A little practice and it becomes easy.
    I hold the box down while sliding my finger under the truck and lifting it up.
    Then push the two parts of the coupler box together what sliding the box cover forward until it locks into place. Done!

    I had a few fall apart as I was assembling them until I got the hang of it. Same with with dropping the rubber band piece in. Takes only a few seconds to redo and start again.
    Some of the couplers may not line up in the center as with the spring. This may be if the rubber piece is to big. I have redone some, but as I have no problem with tapping the coupler with a skewer to line it up, it is no big deal to me and the running performance is so much more realistic it is worth the few times I may have to do this i can change out the rubber band piece if any coupler does it on a regular bases.
    Remember is is a work in progress, so, as in trying any thing new, there will be obstacles to over come. But at least no blood to spill as any many model train endeavors.
    Some slack is still taken up as in the real thing as the rubber piece does not stop the coupler parts from moving. They just move a lot less.Once the slack is taken up then there is minimal back and forth as with real rail car couplers.

    I have never talked to any one who worked on or around trains that said the bouncy bounce slinky back and forth happens on the real thing.
    It does not and any one who thinks so is in denial. Watch any train in person or on videos and the cars do not bounce to the rear and the to the front over and over.
    No one would put up with that. Not the crews or the shippers with having damaged goods, nor passengers.
    The husband of a friend of my wife's who drove engines (F40PH) on the SF peninsula commuter line came over to look at the layout and when he saw my cars doing this, his comment was, to the affect, "what is wrong with the cars that bounce".
    And no he is not into model railroading. So sad, I know.

    As to the rubber going bad. This is a newer rubber band so I know it will last a long long time before I have to worry. I will deal with that when it happens.
    It is so very easy now for me to swap it out for an other piece. I may refine the process if I come up with something even better, but I will swap out all MT couplers and trucks to Accumates before I will ever go back to the way the MT couplers were. It is not going to happen. So, there.

    Any way I put this out as a method to correct a major failing of the couplers. You can use it or not. As you please.
    As of now it works very well for my needs.

    I also tried some different o-ring materials, from soft to very soft and springy, but all were to stiff and do not flex as good as the rubber band piece.
    Ken Price
    http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/s...ice/?start=all

    It's around 1996-1999. UP, MP, SP. South Valley Railroad. Some where in the west of Texas. Near San Angelo.
    Started in 2007, Super Empire Builder with radio throttles.

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    This has been driving me crazy on my layout. Sometimes just my loco and 2 cars will be enough for insane bouncing/slinky effect. I'm a bit scared to take apart the couplers though ...

    Why does this even happen?? Why have the manufacturers not fixed the issued?

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    And when you......just about.....get to the end..... it all blow up in your face and that little spring.....feeds the floor god's.

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    Thanks for describing this so well! I might have to give this a try someday... but not today. I have a hard enough time assembling MT couplers as they are, that's why I tend to by them pre-assembled. But maybe, if I get a conversion kit for a certain car or engine, and it requires assembly, I just might omit the spring in favor of rubber band based on this.

    Are all your cars weighted to NMRA recommendations? I would think that lighter weight cars would exhibit more bounce action. That, plus the relatively higher friction in the bearings of standard plastic wheels may play a role. I've got metal wheels (a mix of Atlas and FVM) replacing my MT plastic, and I'm going for slightly heavier (maybe 10% more) on my car weights. My cars are free-rolling enough to gravity roll down 1% grades, where stock MT cars will just park. I'm hoping that this will translate into less train-length-oscillation, but I haven't yet been able to operate long trains to test it out. Er, well I guess I have operated at N-trak meets... but now that I think about it, I don't think the set of cars I take to those shows are metal-wheeled and weighted. Guess that's something I ought to check at the next meet!

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    BJ: To make the Micro trains coupler open and close as smooth as they do for working with magnetic uncoupling and staying centered while doing do so, the spring has to be very soft. I would thing it does not need to be as soft as it is though.
    I do not use magnetic uncoupling, tried it long ago, and for how I operate I do not need the couplers to be the way they come. Modifying or changing stuff to get it to what you want is the fun of the hobby.

    WP&P: Yes all of the cars are weighted and they still do the slinky bounce. I do have the metal wheels and they roll very smoothly also. And still do the slinky bounce. Tried making the last car so there was drag on the wheels, still they did the slinky bounce.

    It is the nature of the MTL couplers as the come from the factory. Some of the cars had the couplers on them when bought and others I put on to replace the older Rapido couplers and trucks. I kept reading how MT were the best, but now I know for what I want they are not the best.
    Last edited by Lake; 28th Jan 2013 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Ken Price
    http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/s...ice/?start=all

    It's around 1996-1999. UP, MP, SP. South Valley Railroad. Some where in the west of Texas. Near San Angelo.
    Started in 2007, Super Empire Builder with radio throttles.

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    I say just body mount using front-sprung MTL couplers (1015s, et al)... Problem solved!

    Well, problem reduced.... but, yea.

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    Sounds neat. For those of you who haven't pulled an MT coupler box apart, don't be afraid, it's not nearly as scary as meeting a real werewolf or hitting a grzzly with a matchstick, honestly. Seriously, they are OK to pull apart and reassemble, so follow Ken's advice and try it out.
    As an aside/extra, is the techical reference "slinky, slinky bouncy" an accepted term in all MRR forums, or just this one?
    Also, is the effect lessened if you take care with weighting and ensuring lightest are at the back, to reduce stringing?
    Cheers, Bill.

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    Wow Ken, thanks for the great article. The pictures could have been a little larger so we could see the rubber better. I did the original rubberband idea about a year ago and it's nice to see someone took me up on the modification. You explained the proceedure very well. The only thing I will add is...if the rubber is cut too long the coupler will not move side to side easily. When this is detected you will also notice the force required to seperate the sides of the coupler will prevent the next car from sucessfully coupling up. Simply replace the rubber with a shorter piece. All of my cars were weighted the same and all had Fox Valley metal wheels that ran on perfect track work and still the sliky action was very appearant, espically going down the 2% grade. After converting about 8 cars to rubber bands for a while, I have since converted them to McHenry couplers. I like these a lot and at some point will probably convert the rest of my rolling stock. It'll cost me about $60 to refit 25 cars or so. Not practicle for the guys with 200 box cars.

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    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...nky-quot-Slack

    Not trying to upstage you here Ken, but here's my thread. If you scroll down to Post # 12 you'll see my pictures. Thanks for sharing yor experience Ken.

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    But the slack is prototypical, haven't you ever seen a train?

    Completely tongue in cheek, I've been quite enjoying the sister thread on TB...thanks for the great idea, it's very useful. I wish I could do long term testing to see how long they last!
    N scale CPR Kootenay Division, started May 2011!
    Youtube channel: (MRR, Vlogs, Railway vids!) http://www.youtube.com/user/KootenayDivision
    Blog about the railway and methods used: http://kootenaymodelrailway.wordpress.com/ (Updated October 14th)
    Oh, and I take photos, too! http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=9296

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    [STRIKETHROUGH]And what happens when that piece of rubber band dries out?[/STRIKETHROUGH]

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    Michael,

    Do the magnectic uncoupling still work with the rubber bands?
    And, are the McHenry couplers a drop in replacement for the Accumate ones?

    Thanks
    Ricardo R N Jorge
    Campinas SP Brasil

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    I'm relatively new to non-rapido couplers and since I don't yet have a running layout, I'm not familiar with the "Bouncy, Bouncy, Slinky effect". Will someone please post a video?

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    After a quick search I found these on YouTube on an N scale layout.
    The first one shows how a train should work, I believe these cars are equipped with Z scale Full Throttle body mounted couplers.

    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    The second train has cars equipped with MTL couplers I believe, the last few cars exhibits the slinky effect very well.
    I've seen cars bounce a little, but never seen anything this drastic before. If you look closely at the ASTF hopper, it will look as if it actually comes to stand still for a fraction of a second before lurching forwards.

    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    I have no issues whatsoever with the slack of the MT couplers since they are prototypical in other words it does not bother me. It would however bother me to replace the dried out rubber band every couple of years especially if you have a lot of rolling stock.

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    Hmmm, because of the way youtube compresses video clips (resamples to less frames) I couldn't see anything wrong in either video... until the very last car on the second video. It CLEARLY illustrates what the term "Bouncy, Bouncy, Slinky" means! I don't know if I would have caught it if I wasn't looking at it because of the video quality...

    Thanks! I'll be interested to read more replies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    The second train has cars equipped with MTL couplers I believe, the last few cars exhibits the slinky effect very well.
    I've seen cars bounce a little, but never seen anything this drastic before. If you look closely at the ASTF hopper, it will look as if it actually comes to stand still for a fraction of a second before lurching forwards.

    http://youtu.be/m3eCVi0cJjY

    The reason you see that slack in the freight cars is because the locomotive did not run consistently or smoothly. I don't know if this is a DCC layout or not but we can't see what happens to the loco since its already outside of the frame. When a loco or a lash up runs smooth you will not see any slack of the freight cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nbuilder View Post
    The reason you see that slack in the freight cars is because the locomotive did not run consistently or smoothly. I don't know if this is a DCC layout or not but we can't see what happens to the loco since its already outside of the frame. When a loco or a lash up runs smooth you will not see any slack of the freight cars.

    Nbuilder, not trying to burst your bubble or start a flame war. I don't know Ed personally and have never seen his layout, but I have no reason to doubt his videos or modeling skills or maintenance. I would assume that he uses DCC.

    I understand your initial thought about dirty track or a bad running loco, but if you notice the overall quality of the scene and how well the loco runs while in view in all three videos, I think one can safely assume that is runs the same out of view as it does in view.

    In one of his post he replies to Gary who made a light hearted and joking remark about making the loco run erratically by messing with the throttle when the loco was out of view. He would invite anyone over to see it for themselves.


    I went back and dug it up, here's the thread starting with his post:


    http://www.therailwire.net/forum/ind...7374#msg297374
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    I apologize for being prophetic.
    N scale CPR Kootenay Division, started May 2011!
    Youtube channel: (MRR, Vlogs, Railway vids!) http://www.youtube.com/user/KootenayDivision
    Blog about the railway and methods used: http://kootenaymodelrailway.wordpress.com/ (Updated October 14th)
    Oh, and I take photos, too! http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=9296

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