RTL7

Train towing ball alternatives needed

20 posts in this topic

Hi there. As my wagons are gonna be filled up with quite heavy material, I need a different type of a towing ball. A magnet ain't gonna hold the weight. That would be great if the new connection method would be balanced for tiny inclines as well. I just don't want to use any strings.

Any ideas?

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Posted (edited)

The new style magnets have studs allowing plates to keep the connected, would that work?

Edited by kieran

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27 minutes ago, kieran said:

The new style magnets have studs allowing plates to keep the connected, would that work?

You are absolutely right. Somehow I didn't notice that. Thanks for that :)

But also I would be glad with some other ideas, because I'm building more wagons than I have magnets available.

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I simply use plates with hook, connected by thin liftarms (the grey half pin is only necessary when you want a very rigid coupling):

640x265.jpg

This solution works great even for heavy trains, and I think it will also work on slight grades. Only disadvantage is, vehicles don't couple automatically.

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30 minutes ago, Tenderlok said:

I simply use plates with hook, connected by thin liftarms (the grey half pin is only necessary when you want a very rigid coupling):

640x265.jpg

This solution works great even for heavy trains, and I think it will also work on slight grades. Only disadvantage is, vehicles don't couple automatically.

How about if I use a shorter liftarm? The distance between those hooks looks quite long.

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As I build models of European trains, they have side buffers, so there needs to be some distance between the hooks. But of course, with shorter or no buffers, it should work with shorter liftarms, too. However, the shortest liftarm with round holes at the end seems to be this one.

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What about ising the 2x2 modified plates with towballs (63082  and 15456)?

I think there are some larger Technics/bionocle parts too.

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A lot of people in my club just insert thin neodymium between the stock magnets to increase the pulling power. Anecdotally I'd say it's good for maybe about double the strength of the standard magnets? How much more force would you need?

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1 hour ago, Commander Wolf said:

A lot of people in my club just insert thin neodymium between the stock magnets to increase the pulling power. Anecdotally I'd say it's good for maybe about double the strength of the standard magnets? How much more force would you need?

Sometimes it's not about the force. In some cases I'm just lack of magnets, so any idea would be welcome. Talking about those cases then I'm in need of strong coupling, that would be up to 4 kg force for the first wagon and less for every following wagon. 

10 hours ago, pirzyk said:

What about ising the 2x2 modified plates with towballs (63082  and 15456)?

I think there are some larger Technics/bionocle parts too.

I was trying combination like that and the second wagon got popped out while turning or doing slight inclines. Maybe I did something wrong. I will try it again once I have an opportunity.

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Posted (edited)

You could try this modification of Tenderloks technique. LDD will not allow me to stick the pin side of the blue connector into the 2x3 plate hole, but it will work nicely in the real application. This will give you some length options.

Technic plate train coupler

 

Edited by ecmo47

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13 minutes ago, ecmo47 said:

You could try this modification of Tenderloks technique. LDD will not allow me to stick the pin side of the blue connector into the 2x3 plate hole, but it will work nicely in the real application. This will give you some length options.

Technic plate train coupler

 

Will this have enough free movement on some inclines?

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I dont know, it is just an idea that I had. If the blue pin proves too rigid in the horizontal plane, perhaps a 2L axle would have enough slop so the cars would not bind up when transitioning from level track to the incline.  

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I just use kadee O scale couplers. No modifications needed.

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11 hours ago, Aaron said:

I just use kadee O scale couplers. No modifications needed.

I've never heard of these. Are they compatible with LEGO?

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32 minutes ago, RTL7 said:

I've never heard of these. Are they compatible with LEGO?

They're the couplings normally used for O scale model railways. Have a look at this post (and the thread in general):

I don't have any experience of them myself, but they should be pretty strong. You could even try to use other model railway coupling types, such as tension-locks. I've never seen that done with LEGO, but it may work if you find the right type.

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How about something like this with Technic suspension/steering components?

coupling.jpg

 

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5 hours ago, dr_spock said:

How about something like this with Technic suspension/steering components?

coupling.jpg

 

This is an interesting idea.

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Looks good but it's too long, would work well on inclines though 

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On July 6, 2017 at 5:29 PM, Aaron said:

I just use kadee O scale couplers. No modifications needed.

I use Kadee #806 O scale couplers on most of my MOCs.  They literally just "bolt on" to standard LEGOS 2x3 plate with hole  they should pull well since it relies on an interlocking connection instead of a fmagnetic connection.  The only two downsides I have found are 1, they don't like big "bumps" in track, but a steady, gentle incline (1-2 plates per track section) is no problem.  2, the nuts tend to loosen over time and I have had a few occasions where the coupler has fallen off because the nut came off.  Not really a huge deal, just have to make sure to check the nuts and bolts periodically.

here is the topic where I introduced the couplers:  

 

 

And some pictures showing the assembly process on my flickr.

Sal

WFB, WI

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On 7/8/2017 at 3:48 PM, kieran said:

Looks good but it's too long, would work well on inclines though 

It has more give than normal couplers without separating.

coupling1.jpg

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