Dual LGB 10560 electric uncouplers

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
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On another thread I lamented that what I was calling a "drop-in uncoupler" (https://www.gscalecentral.net/threa...-g-scale-interest.310793/page-207#post-615143) was causing a random uncoupling issue on my single mainline. The problem was being caused by the manual uncoupler that is needed in addition to the electric uncoupler to separate LGB symmetric hook and loop couplers. The manual uncoupler is always up which causes the problem. It is not an issue when shunting on sidings - just need to go back and pick up what was mistakenly uncoupled. On the mainline, however, when a train passing through suddenly separates it is a big problem.

I felt replacing the manual uncoupler with a second electric unit would solve the issue. The only hinderance is that two out of the box 10560 uncouplers positioned back-to-back don't have the correct ramp spacing to simultaneously lower the coupler hooks on both wagons. I had speculated that I might end up using an old LGB 1055 twin-coil (three wire) uncoupler I had. I would cut it to fit after replacing the drive with a modern two wire EPL or equivalent. This turned out to be a non-starter. The 1055 uncoupler is a completely different design and not amenable to modification.

A careful look that the current production 10560 uncoupler proved to be the answer. The uncoupler can be disassembled and the uncoupling ramp moved one tie spacing toward the end of the 10150 track section on which it is mounted. See the first pic below.

Uncoupler mod - 1 (9).jpeg

There is a molded protrusion on the bottom the the uncoupler ramp that will keep the ramp from lowering completely. Drilling a hole in the double tie solves the problem.

Uncoupler mod - 1 (2).jpeg

It turns out the existing mounting holes can be used to attach an EPL or similar switch drive to operate the uncoupler in its new position. This drive replaces the uncoupler drive that came with the unit. This was OK with me as only one light post is needed. I actually used a MD Electronics SWD servo switch drive.

Uncoupler mod - 1 (10).jpeg

Now comes the only actual modification, read cutting, necessary to make things work. About 3 mm needs to be cut from the frame that surrounds the ramp. This in no way effects the actual operation of the uncoupler. I used a razor saw in a small miter box to trim the ramp frame.

Uncoupler mod - 1 (4).jpeg

Here's a look of the finished modification. Depending on how you want to wire the uncouplers you can stop here.

Uncoupler mod - 1 (5).jpeg

Here's a side view of the uncouplers in action.

Uncoupler mod - 1 (8).jpeg

I took a further step to keep the LGB standard 300mm length DCC "drop-in" feature. I drilled some holes in the ties to run the wires feeding the decoders. Eyes on the leads get the DCC signal and power from rail clamps.

Uncoupler mod - 1 (7).jpeg

I also added a LGB supplementary switch to the unmodified uncoupler. It turns on the light when the ramps are up. The decoders for the two uncouplers have the same DCC switch address. This makes them operate in unison.

Uncoupler mod - 1 (6).jpeg

About the only thing I should have done differently is to drill the wire guide holes for the power leads directly under the rails to hide them better. Will do that on my next one.

One nice thing about this mod is that it can be completely reversed. The bit that was actually cut off has no impact on the operation of the uncoupler should one wish to restore it to the out of the box configuration.
 
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Dagnall

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That looks like a candidate project for a 3d printed version! Especially as you are using my servo drives :)..!!
Can you provide some dimensions ? height above track when activated is probably the most important!..

A bit of a teaser..
I have finished my Stepper motor driven LGB type decoupler project, - but it got a lot of interest from a guy in Germany who hopes to be able to make it into an affordable injection moulded product, so I agreed to hold off publishing the 3D files to give his product a chance..
For myself, I designed a small PCB that drives the Stepper as though it was a servo, and made a version of the PCB that fits this inside the "box".
The "open" photo shows the ICP contacts for programming the board protruding out, but his part can be cut off once it is programmed, to make the "box" smaller".
However soldering the stepper filmwire to the PCB is an absolute PIG.!!! (its done blind, and the contacts are tiny.. S o the "production version" will have 4 simple wires to a small external PCB supplied by the German guy that you can hide in the engine.

Cheers
Dagnall
 

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phils2um

Phil S
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That looks like a candidate project for a 3d printed version! Especially as you are using my servo drives :)..!!
Can you provide some dimensions ? height above track when activated is probably the most important!..
Best advice I can give is to get your hands on a LGB 10560 uncoupler for a look-see. It would be great if just the uncoupler ramp portion was available that could be attached to a 150mm LGB 10150 track piece along with a switch drive. It's kind of a shame to discard the original uncoupler drive and extra uncoupler lamp.

A follow-up after a couple of days use: The dual electric uncouplers work great with consistent uncoupling when desired and no inadvertent uncoupling when the ramps are down. The dual electric's uncoupling action is actually a major improvement over the single LGB 10560 Electric Uncoupler and LGB 10520 Constant Uncoupler (manual uncoupler) duo.

I've found the single electric and manual combo to be quite finicky with symmetric LGB hook and loop couplers. They work pretty good uncoupling the final wagon of a train. But, if multiple wagons are to be uncoupled, tension on the hook that the constant uncoupler is supposed to lower cannot be overcome by the spring action of the uncoupler. The only way to get consistent uncoupling is to slowly back the wagons and stopping in just the right spot over the uncouplers so no tension is on the hooks before pulling the loco forward.
 
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Dagnall

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Hi Guys,
Its been too long, so I thought I would start 2022 with an update..
The "Guy in Germany" who has invested in getting proper moulds made for the decoupler is Marcus who owns and runs MD Electronics
The decoupers are now available as proper injection moulded parts, along with a clever tiny decoder board he has designed that works from the DCC track voltage (so no need for 5V power supply).

This is the link to his webshop.
I don't make money from this, but I did get a whole load of the plastic parts from the initial mouldings so am happy. We are now working on a follow up product.. (keeps me busy in winter!)

I think you can see the family resemblance to the brown 3d printed version I posted last year!

Thanks for all the encouragement last year

All the best
Dagnall

Screenshot 2022-01-08 170520.gif
 

curtis

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Hi Guys,
Its been too long, so I thought I would start 2022 with an update..
The "Guy in Germany" who has invested in getting proper moulds made for the decoupler is Marcus who owns and runs MD Electronics
The decoupers are now available as proper injection moulded parts, along with a clever tiny decoder board he has designed that works from the DCC track voltage (so no need for 5V power supply).

This is the link to his webshop.
I don't make money from this, but I did get a whole load of the plastic parts from the initial mouldings so am happy. We are now working on a follow up product.. (keeps me busy in winter!)

I think you can see the family resemblance to the brown 3d printed version I posted last year!

Thanks for all the encouragement last year

All the best
Dagnall

View attachment 294066
I ordered some of these last week!

I made a fair sized order from Marius for feedback/detection modules. I saw these as new items and given the mediocre attempts at my own versions I thought I'd try them out. Looking forward to them arriving.

I have to say, really impressed with what Marius produces. Am I right in understanding you collaborate with him on some of the products?
 

Dagnall

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curtis curtis I "met" Marcus when he started making copies of my G scale servo operated points mechanism and I modified them to accept his PCB's.
(he has since moved to using a different mechanism) .
He liked the hook and loop and wanted to expand what he makes, so far that is the only collaboration, but we are working on something else.. But this time I need to be quiet about it.
You may have noticed that Massoth brought out a revised version of their hook and loop decoupler recently.. It is a bit annoying that they do this after so many years of the old "slidey "version, , and then modify it to use the same mechanism we did!.. But it could just be we both saw the heyn coupler and thought "ah ha" at the same time!!.
I expect Mr Heyn is equally annoyed!

Personally I use Rocrail and ESP8266 based "WIO" WiFi modules with Hall sensors for feedback and my own servo points. I find this a good compromise as each "Wio" gives 16 IO for hall sensors etc plus 4 servo drives for points. Perfect for remote stations. A "real WIO" gives 32 io, but I only needed 16 so do not fully populate them.

Cheers
D
 

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
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Just a brief update - The MD Electronics SWD decoder motor has another output that was going unused. I figured to use this rather than the LGB Supplementary Switch I originally had powering the uncoupler mast.

uncoupler - 1 (1).jpeg uncoupler - 1 (2).jpeg uncoupler - 1 (3).jpeg uncoupler - 1 (4).jpeg uncoupler - 1 (5).jpeg