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gavino200

Magnetic conducting couplers for lighting (mostly European) coaches.

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gavino200
Posted (edited)

@Martijn Meerts I asked you a question a couple of pages back about european interior lighting. I'm sure you missed it or forgot about it as it's a bit of a tangent. I have a bunch of european stock. They have no wheel pickups. But the manufacturers and some aftermarket suppliers sell lighting kits with little copper "axle wipes" for picking up current to power LEDs.

 

I'm considering getting some of these wipers to try lighting some fleischmann coaches. But I really don't want to "reinvent the wheel"? Have you tried these and found them to be suboptimal? Or have you heard from people who have? What's the assessment in general over in europe about how well these things work? 

 

I'm also hoping that even if they aren't great as pickups, the capacitor circuit will make up for any deficiencies. What do you think?

Edited by gavino200

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Martijn Meerts

I've had a few coaches that had those wipers installed yes, but I removed all of them because they were very unreliable, and on top of that, they added a LOT of drag to the coaches. I had to remove coaches so that the locomotive could actually pull the train. I have 5 cars of an old Orient Express (I believe Minitrix) which had the wipers installed. The loco couldn't pull It up a slope without quite a struggle and some good speed. That same locomotive was able to pull the entire Kato Orient Express up the same slope.

 

I'm not sure what the general assessment here is, but even in H0 scale on the big layouts like Miniworld in Rotterdam and Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, you can see a lot of flickering lights. Sometimes the power drops long enough for even a capacitor to not be able to bridge it.

 

This is really why I'm looking for better options, something similar to the Japanese brands without having to modify the cars too much.

 

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gavino200
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:

 

This is really why I'm looking for better options, something similar to the Japanese brands without having to modify the cars too much.

 

 

Thanks Martijn!! You've saved me from a good deal of pain and disappointment.

 

I think @Yavianice told me about a coupler system that can be used to transmit track power from car to car. I was a bit confused by it.  The system seemed amazing but at its high price it seemed like overkill. I'm thinking now that it may actually be the least expensive acceptable solution for lighting European cars. I think I'll look at it again.

Edited by gavino200

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Yavianice
1 hour ago, gavino200 said:

 

Thanks Martijn!! You've saved me from a good deal of pain and disappointment.

 

I think @Yavianice told me about a coupler system that can be used to transmit track power from car to car. I was a bit confused by it.  The system seemed amazing but at its high price it seemed like overkill. I'm thinking now that it may actually be the least expensive acceptable solution for lighting European cars. I think I'll look at it again.

 

Yup, that's the whole point of the couplers. No pickups at all and getting it straight from the loco.

 

Here is the video again.

 

 

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Martijn Meerts

Those magnetic couplers have a limit on what they can pull though. The 2 pole magnetic coupler they list as "haftkraft" 85 grams, the 4 pole one has 140 grams. That could be an issue for locomotive pulled trains with a good number of cars. I'm tempted to get some, partially to see how big they are and how they look once installed. Especially the 4 pole ones might be a bit big, and those would be needed to control the lights from a single decoder.

 

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Yavianice

I have the 2 pole couplers, 2% gradients and between 8-9 passenger cars per train. Not once have they failed on me.

 

i also like how inconspicuous they are looking compared to humongous Rapido or Profi couplers.

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gavino200
20 minutes ago, Yavianice said:

I have the 2 pole couplers, 2% gradients and between 8-9 passenger cars per train. Not once have they failed on me.

 

i also like how inconspicuous they are looking compared to humongous Rapido or Profi couplers.

 

I'm going to open a new thread for this. Would you mind sharing a bit of your experience with the product. Installation pearls and pitfalls, etc?

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Yavianice
Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

I'm going to open a new thread for this. Would you mind sharing a bit of your experience with the product. Installation pearls and pitfalls, etc?

 

I only have the non power routing ones as I have no aspiration to light my European trains. These are identical to the power routing ones. Installing them is super easy.

 

I have equipped my whole European fleet with these couplers. For some trains they are essential to use them to avoid trains derailing (Railjets). Some it is to replace the (in my opinion) horrible stick couplers you find on for example Fleischmann ICEs. The only sets they don’t work with are newer Arnold sets because the tolerances are too small (even Fleischmann Profi couplers don’t work for those). 

 

My personal opinion is that they are well worth the money. Close running, you hardly notice them as they don’t stick out, incredibly reliable without faults. And connecting and uncoupling trains has never been easier. 

 

If I were to ever install lights in my European trains I would gladly get the power routing versions because European trains have horrible roll resistance when there are pickups. My Minitrix 4 part CFL set that comes with factory installed interior light with minitrix loco hardly moved at full power, for example (worth mentioning, at full power and at an angle, the magnetic couplers kept being connected and never let go).

Edited by Yavianice
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Martijn Meerts

How do you think the 4 pole ones would look, seeing as they’re basically just 2 2 pole versions on top of each other? I guess it’s also possible to to install a decoder in 1 car (possibly using those brass cups they have to retrofit existing bogies with power pickup), and the use the 2 pole coupler to pass the LED power rather than track power. 

 

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gavino200
8 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:

How do you think the 4 pole ones would look, seeing as they’re basically just 2 2 pole versions on top of each other? I guess it’s also possible to to install a decoder in 1 car (possibly using those brass cups they have to retrofit existing bogies with power pickup), and the use the 2 pole coupler to pass the LED power rather than track power. 

 

 

Martijn, can you explain a bit about the difference between the 2 and 4 pole versions, and how they're supposed to function.

 

Also, are the brass cups you speak of, part of the same system? 

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Martijn Meerts

The 2 pole version has 2 wires, the 4 pole version has 4 wires. So with the 4 pole version you can conduct track power and a DCC signal / LED power, while with the 2 pole version it's either track power or DCC signal / LED power.

 

The brass cups is from the same manufacturer. You can install them in the tiny recesses where the axles normally slot into. That way power gets transferred through the wheels and the brass cups. Essentially it makes the power pickup the same as the Japanese brands do it, just requires some work. 

 

I'll probably end up ordering some of the couplers and those cups to test with.

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Martijn Meerts

@Yavianice where did you buy your couplers? Directly from the Peho store?

 

I had a look at it, but it's not the best site, and not everything makes sense. For one, shipping to the Netherlands is apparently 10 euro, and they give me 2 payments options, pay in advance and pay in advance 🙂

 

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Yavianice
57 minutes ago, Martijn Meerts said:

@Yavianice where did you buy your couplers? Directly from the Peho store?

 

I had a look at it, but it's not the best site, and not everything makes sense. For one, shipping to the Netherlands is apparently 10 euro, and they give me 2 payments options, pay in advance and pay in advance 🙂

 

 

Yup, from the peho store. You order them and then transfer the money via IBAN. 

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Martijn Meerts

Ah right, thanks. Don't really want to order 15 euro worth of couplers and then pay 10 for shipping. I'll probably wait a bit until I'm ready to actually put them on some coaches, and then order enough for a whole set of coaches.

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