Welcome to the Couplers of The LR &B Model Railroad.
This information is used with
permission of Vince Peri
All pictures on this page alone are
copyrighted by T. Peri 2004
Hi, here is one way to end the slinky effect when using Micro-Trains couplers. Let's start with one pair of Accumate trucks and one pair of M-T bettendorf trucks. Here is a side by side comparison of the two types of trucks/couplers (for those who use Rapidos, the Accumate truck is on the right)
Notice how the Accumate coupler extends much farther from its coupler pocket than the M-T coupler does. Of course, the M-T coupler has its own drawback. It suffers from an annoying "slinky" effect, when M-T equiped cars experience the back-and-forth bouncing of cars when a train is starting up, except this occurs while the train is already running at speed.
How can we get rid of the extra long extension of the Accumates while ending the M-T slinky effect? I found the following procedure cures both problems for me. Maybe you can have the same success, but be warned that different operating conditions may cause your results to vary (where have I heard that before?).First, disassemble the Accumates (on top) and the M-T truck-mounted couplers. Remove the wheels nearest the coupler pocket on both the Accumate and M-T trucks, since they will be in the way once we start working with the trucks and couplers. The trucks/couplers will look like this:
Notice how The Accumate coupler shanks (top) are very close to the length of the M-T shanks. The unwanted extra extension of the Accumates is caused by the coupler pocket (also called the draft gear) which must be extended to accomodate optional Rapido couplers and their required centering springs.Let's proceed to the next step. First, assemble the two parts of the Accumate coupler and then hold it and the Micro-Trains truck as shown. Carefully position the assembled Accumate coupler so that the hole at the end of its shank fits properly on the coupler pocket of the M-T truck. . Tweezers are used for the photo, but I prefer to hand-place the Accumates on the M-T truck:
We will now reassemble the coupler pocket on the Micro-Trains truck. For clarity, my fat fingers are nowhere to be seen, but in real life, they would be holding the Accumate coupler in place on the M-T truck. Also, more fat fingers (instead of the tweezers shown) would be positioning the Micro-trains upper coupler pocket top so as to lock it in place on the floor of the coupler pocket.
Once you CAREFULLY lock the M-T coupler pocket in place (taking care to keep the Accumate coupler COMPLETELY within the coupler box), the finished hybrid product will look like the M-T truck on the left (below). For contrast, an original M-T truck is shown on the right. Notice that the dreaded Accumate extension is now gone, and because of the nature of the Accumate coupler shank, the slinky effect cannot occur anymore.