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gm171 kk

Hunt Couplings

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So about a month ago before the whole current "situation" (seems like an age ago) the new Hunt Couplings were released in the UK. Immediately they peaked my interest and after they had sold out twice I finally gotmy hands on a set of close couplings for testing on my Irish stock. 

Admittedly they haven't improved the appearance that much however functionality is vastly improved. There's no hassle uncoupling stock and there's less movement between them. 

(I've tried to upload photos but it's not happening). 

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When you say they haven't improved the appearance much, do you mean they didn't close the gap between stock much? 

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Posted (edited)

 

24 minutes ago, aclass007 said:

When you say they haven't improved the appearance much, do you mean they didn't close the gap between stock much? 

They have slightly. Also the Hunt couplings are smaller than the tension locks 

Edited by gm171 kk
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Are these a new invention?

All my stuff has just “traditional” 00 gauge couplings, as on Hornby etc middle 1970s to date.

Then we have kadees and Hunt.

I’m unaware of any other than what I have, in terms of the pros and cons. 
 

What are people’s opinions in the advantages of one over the other?

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Tempted to say don't get me started, but with the experience of over 100 exhibitions with my own layouts and looking at many of the options, here goes. 

All couplings are a compromise. The ones that work don't look right, unless the prototype uses Buckeyes as well. Most are a pain to set up and use, requiring all sorts of strange between/under track devices, or the hand of God, as it were. It's all about what you can live with.

 My own feelings are as follows:

1. In 7mm scale, three links are perfectly workable, though screw links are the spawn of Satan especially between vans and coaches.

2. Dinghams aren't bad, but are 'handed', so create issues if you use turntables. Easy to set up, fairly unobtrusive and very forgiving if they get bent.

3. Kadees. Though I do use them on Fintonagh, I am still not convinced, mainly because I don't like the 'shuffle' and the fact that tolerances are so minimal. Not happy on curves either in my experience.

4. Spray and Winkle. Too much like a tension lock. See below.

5. Alex Jackson's. Mr Gravett makes them work, but again, they don't like curves, he says. Model Railway Journal once did a five page article on getting them 95% efficient. Haven't managed to read it all yet as my eyes keep glazing over...

6. Lincs. Galteemore is using them on Rosses Point, so will be interested to hear how he gets on, as look promising

 As for other scales, three links can be ok in 4mm, provided you use the slightly larger Smith's hooks and links. Personally can't stand the look of tension locks, though they do tend to disappear on bigger layouts. Kadees, as above. N gauge couplings a bit like tension locks for me, the smaller the engine, the worse it gets. The Terriers and 03 shunters in particular have couplings that are almost as long as the models themselves! 2FS modellers use some very discreet etched couplings that seem to work beautifully. Having had a go on Ballyconnell Road last summer, must say I was very impressed with the 3mm version.

 To sum up, it is all a compromise, but if operation is your thing, then tension locks and Kadees have stood the test of time it seems. However, if appearances are more important, suggest experimenting or investigating first, while if your hand is steady, three links are the only thing that looks right in the pre buckeye period.

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Posted (edited)

Hi David. If ever I ventured into O gauge with a short linear shunting layout (eg: Single 141 plus 6 x two axle wagons), I'd love to try 3 link couplings, they just look so dam good on loose coupled stock and seem the ultimate choice. Noel

At this stage as I'm into operations and earlier era stock where shunting was par for the course unlike boring modern era uniform fixed rakes, I've converted most of my stock from tension lock to kadee and fortunately have enjoyed a degree of success, really enjoying shunting my two axle stock. I manage most of the time without a 'shuffle' more 1mm push back just to release the tension so the jaws open. Video clip below. The new hunt couplings are magnetic and I've seen similar on WMRC little siddington, but was not bowled over as they cannot uncouple except by the 'hand of god' and seem best suited for fixed rakes of uniform bogie stock.

Operationally I found the older large tension locks used by Tri-Ang and Hornby in the 70s and 80s more reliable than the tiny TLCs that come standard on stock nowadays, useless for coupling and as bad for uncoupling and constant derailments when pushed around bends and any kind of speed. Too fiddly and too much misalignment. The older monster size TLCs while they looked hideous at least uncoupled and coupled reliably. Cheers. Noel

 

Edited by Noel
typo Lexdysia
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Posted (edited)

Re the Lincs - they are apparently easy to set up and are quite tolerant of variations in installation! I’ll let you know how it goes....tried inserting a video but computer says no...

Edited by Galteemore

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8 minutes ago, BosKonay said:

Do they make a slightly shorter one?

 

Not at the moment. The couplings above are the closer version. 

6 minutes ago, Midland Man said:

How many come in one pack?

10

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I'm starting to have problems... The couplings are pulling out of the NEM pockets. The loco, the first wagon (until I fixed the Coupling in place) and now the second wagon are affected. Its a heavy enough train, 8 loaded IRM Ferts. 

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Interesting. My only issue with be the inability to shunt stock without the 'hand of God' being needed to uncouple. Presume in time they may bring out varying lengths to facilitate closer coupling. The secret to close coupling seems not so much how short a coupling is, but more that the NEM pocket they are plugged into is a kinematically swivelling pocket independent of the bogie or wagon body (eg like the IRM Tara wagons which can be practically buffered up in tension using kadee no 17s but don't buffer lock on bends due to the independent kinematic coupling pocket)

 

Few pics below of kadee wagons closer coupled than with standard couplings

Kadee no 18's really get ballasts and bubbles closer together.

Kadee18_IRM_ballast.jpg

 

20ft skeletal container flats

Kadee18_IFM_20ft_flats.jpg

 

Murphy Model Cravens have to be kit bashed as their NEM pockets are completely wrong height and length despite having kinematic swivel bars. MM mk2 coaches also incorrectly positioned NEM pockets because their height is wrong.

IMG_5556.jpg

 

Black roof coaches have Roco close couplers

Orange roof coaches have alternating mix of no 19 and no 20 kadee's super glued under the NEM pockets.

IMG_5534.jpg

 

fitting_kadee_mm_mk2d_01.jpg

 

One of the advantages of the 'hunt' couplings is it doesn't matter about the NEM pockets being incorrect on rolling stock as they are not designed to uncouple automatically based on their height above the track. IRM ballasts, bubbles and plough vans need kadee no 18s superglued to underside of the NEM pockets for near perfect coupling height (ie rather than plugging into the NEM pockets). An easy fix and worth doing cause it allows stock to be mixed (eg: 42ft container flats, and cement bubbles in the same formation). More work is required with Murphy Model coaches, and even more with older non-NEM pocket stock where the old TLCs need to be cut away and draft gear box NEMs fitted under the wagon floor.

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Interesting!

There is no doubt that Kadees look good, especially with modern stock. I've used 7mm scale ones in the past on corridor coaches, with screw links each end. On Fintonagh, I use No 5s. However, despite rigorous checking, including height and alignment, non- magnetic axles, reasonable weight (so the magnets don't tip up the wagons), I still have wagons that refuse to work with each other, either uncoupling when being pulled or not uncoupling despite being set up the same as the others! Many rude works have been vented...

 Mixing and matching can work well, eg three links on a rake of wagons that are always going to run as a set, with something easier to use each end and on the loco and brake van. The issue with three links is buffer locking on tight curves, so if you are propelling stock, the one metre radius is about the limit in 4mm scale and 1.8m in 7mm. Which is why tension locks are so popular because they avoid this. Compromise rules!

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Bit of an update on the use of these couplings on Irish rolling stock... As seen above the appearance of the cement bubbles wasn't really change by the installation of the close ouplings. Last week the ultra close couplings were released so I gave them a go... They didn't work, too close! So I mixed them with the close couplings and they seem to provide the perfect distance between wagons. I must point out however that these wagons aren't capable of negotiating S curves in 2nd radius with the Hunt Couplings. 

Due the NEM pocket on the bubbles being significantly higher than MM locos and IRM 42' bogiesld stock, you need to make sure you use the stepped version where you expect to couple the wagons to other stock. I have yet to try these. 

IMG_20200406_174643.jpg

IMG_20200406_174632.jpg

IMG_20200406_174621.jpg

IMG_20200406_174609.jpg

Edited by gm171 kk
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The MM 201 also requires the ultra close coupling for a more realistic appearance. 

IMG_20200406_175432.jpg

IMG_20200406_175452.jpg

IMG_20200406_175303.jpg

IMG_20200406_175438.jpg

There's are virtually the same as the Ferts but here's what the container flats look like with the Hunt couplings. 

IMG_20200406_174708.jpg

IMG_20200406_174656.jpg

Edited by gm171 kk
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25 minutes ago, gm171 kk said:

Due the NEM pocket on the bubbles being significantly higher than MM locos and IRM 42' bogiesld stock, you need to make sure you use the stepped version where you expect to couple the wagons to other stock. I have yet to try these. 

As per IRM's recommendation I super glued my couplings to the underside of the NEM pockets on Ballast and Bubble wagons, which gives perfect height for interoperability with other correct NEM stock. The Ballast wagons have a common chassis with the cement bubbles and the ballast plough vans, but this fix works for all. It may be useful also for users of 'Hunt' magnetic couplings.

In the pics below I used No 18s.

Kadee18_IRM_ballast_01.jpg

The recommended IRM fix applied below.

Kadee18_IRM_ballast_02.jpg

The effect of closer coupling on the length of a rake

Kadee18_IRM_ballast_03.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, Noel said:

As per IRM's recommendation I super glued my couplings to the underside of the NEM pockets on Ballast and Bubble wagons, which gives perfect height for interoperability with other correct NEM stock. The Ballast wagons have a common chassis with the cement bubbles and the ballast plough vans, but this fix works for all. It may be useful also for users of 'Hunt' magnetic couplings.

In the pics below I used No 18s.

Kadee18_IRM_ballast_01.jpg

The recommended IRM fix applied below.

Kadee18_IRM_ballast_02.jpg

The effect of closer coupling on the length of a rake

Kadee18_IRM_ballast_03.jpg

 

Luckily they provide a stepped version for those scenarios. Glue is a bit too permanent. 

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Well I committed the ultimate sacrilege and performed surgery on my bubbles!

I removed the pocket completely and installed Kadees with draft boxes.

 

 

2B3B06E5-F403-4AC6-9464-67C7AF4758CE.jpeg

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