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Publication numberUS3111229 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 19, 1963
Filing dateSep 28, 1959
Priority dateSep 28, 1959
Publication numberUS 3111229 A, US 3111229A, US-A-3111229, US3111229 A, US3111229A
InventorsEdwards Clarence K, Edwards Lawrence D
Original AssigneeEdwards Clarence K, Edwards Lawrence D
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnet-actuated coupler for model railroad cars
US 3111229 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 19, 1963 c. K. EDWARDS EI'AL 3,111,229

MAGNET-ACTUATED COUPLER FOR MODEL RAILROAD CARS Filed Sept. 28, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Clarence K. Edwards LawrenceD. Edwards INVENTORS l'ifE-fig y 612%:

ET 1. [High Nov. 19, 1963 c. K. EDWARDS EI'AL 3,111,229

MAGNET-ACTUATED COUPLER FOR MODEL RAILROAD CARS Filed Sept. 28, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 ClarenceK. Edwards LawrenceD. Edwards I INVENTORS 52 BY 2a,, $047,

Nov. 19, 1963 c. K. EDWARDS ETAL 3,111,229

MAGNET-ACTUATED COUPLER FOR MODEL RAILROAD CARS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Sept. 28, 1959 Clarence K. Edward s La Wrenc (21). Edward S INVENTORS United States Patent Ofiice 3,111,229 Patented Nov. 19, 1953 3,111,229 MAGNET-ACTUATED CGUPLER FGR MGDEL RAILROAD CARS Clarence K. Edwards, 1409 Kings Highway, and La rence 1). Edwards, 1016 Winchester Ave., both of Medford, Greg.

Filed Sept. 28, 1959, Ser. No. 842,925 7 Claims. (Cl. 213-212) This invention relates to couplers for model railroad cars, particularly to couplers of the class actuated by magetic forces.

t is the general object of the present invention to provide a car coupler for model railroads which makes possible positive coupling and uncoupling of the cars from a remote station.

It is another important object of the present invention to provide a coupler for model railroad cars which will not inadvertently become uncoupled as the cars move along the tracks, but which can easily be operated upon arresting or reversing the forward motion of the cars.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a model railroad car coupler which is simple in construction, easily applied to cars of various categories, and not subject to mechanical interference from any other element except that of other couplers in the normal function of coupling.

The manner in which the foregoing and other objects of this invention are accomplished will be apparent from the accompanying specification considered together with the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a view in side elevation of a pair of railroad cars coupled together with the herein described couplers;

FIG. 2 is a detail view in side elevation, partly in section, of the herein described coupler;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the coupler, partly in section, illustrated in a position of incipient uncoupling;

FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 are views corresponding to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 but illustrating the construction of the herein described couple-r in an alternate form;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a magnet for use with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 and showing the pole arrangement and flux pattern with a magnetic element positioned for attraction to the magnet;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along the line 83 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a plan view similar to FIG. 7 and showing the flux pattern with the magnetic element in its final position of attraction; and

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken along the line '1il1t) in FIG. 9.

Generally stated, the coupler of our invention cornprises a drawbar, means mounting the drawbar on the end of the car for transverse pivotal movement, a coupler head on the outer end of the drawbar, and a magnetic member carried by the coupler head. The magnetic member upon being actuated by a magnetic held of force arranged transversely or in parallel, as the case may be, beneath the car acts to pivot the coupler head and drawbar to a position of car uncoupling. Resilient means are provided for opposing this pivotal action, thereby returning the assembly to car coupling position when the force of the magnetic field is no longer exerted.

In the 'form of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 13, cars 10 mounted on trucks 12 move on tracks 14. Couplers indicated generally at 16 are mounted one on each end or" each car. For this purpose a hollow box 22, open at its outer end, is longitudinally extended either as an attachment or as part of the underframe.

An internally threaded hollow post 24, which may be formed integrally with the top of the box, extends downwardly. The lower side of the box is closed by means of a plate 26 held in place by a screw 28, the threads of which engage those in hollow post 24.

The inner end of a drawbar 36 is journaled on post 24. It carries an inwardly projecting tab 32 against which presses a compression spring 34, the purpose of which is to urge the drawbar continuously toward a coupling position.

The outer end of the drawbar supports a coupling head or knuckle 36. This member is formed with an inwardly directed, transversely disposed hook 38 and an outwardly projecting, transversely disposed arm 40. It will be observed that the configuration of hook 38 is such that adjacent cars can not be uncoupled as long as a pulling force is applied to the drawbar. It is to be noted further that the outermost end of drawba-r 381, comprising an edge of arm 40 is curved, with the general direct-ion of curvature being at an angle relative to the longitudinal center line of the cars, thus providing a cam surface for guiding the couplers of adjacent cars into automatic coupling engagement with each other.

Extending downwardly from the coupler head is a bracket 4-2 which supports a vertically extending pin 44. This pin comprises a magnetic member the lower end of which closely approaches the surface of tracks 14, and which is used for actuating the coupler to a position of uncoupling.

Thus, located between tracks 14 in a selected location is a permanent or electromagnet 46. Preferably, it is a permanent magnet of the ceramic type. Whatever its class, it is magnetized with multiple poles, i.e., North SouthNorth--SouthNorth-South, running parallel to the rails as indicated in FIG. 3.

The magnetic elements 44 normally are located ofi center with respect to the longitudinal center line of the magnet 46 when the cars are coupled together. The uncoupling operation is effected by stopping the cars with the interconnecting couplers located over the magnet 46, and then reversing the forward car sufiiciently to disconnect the hooks 38, as illustrated in full lines in FIG. 3. The magnetic elements 44 thereupon automatically move inward toward the longitudinal centerline of the magnet against the tension of springs 34. This movement is believed to be caused by the magnetic action illustrated in FIGS. 710, as follows:

In FIG. 7 the magnetic element 44 is shown in position displaced to the right of the longitudinal centerline of the magnet 46 but Within the magnetic field of the latter. Since the magnetic element is much more permeable than air, the magnetic lines of force are therefore influenced by the proximity of the element and redirect themselves so that as many of them as possible permeate the element. Additionally, since magnetic lines of force seek to become as short as possible, they therefore cause the magnetic element 44- to be drawn inward toward the centerline of the magnet, finally reaching a position (FIG. 9) in which a maximum number of magnetic lines of force pass through the element.

It will be understood that since the flux density of a magnet is greatest at the poles, the element 44 would be drawn in the longitudinal direction of the magnet toward the nearest pole if it were free to move. However, since it is connected to the railroad car it is not free to do so, and hence it will remain in whatever position it has been placed unless the fiux density is sufficiently great to physically move the railroad cars. However, even though the magnetic element 44- may be located at a pole or somewhere between poles, it will nevertheless located itself toward the longitudinal centerline of the magnet where it affords permeation by the greatest number of lines of force.

It will be understood that the force of springs 34 must not be suficient to move the magnetic elements 44 outward from the coupling position shown in FIG. 3, against the inward attracting force of the magnetic field, for in such event the couplers will not uncouple. However, the force of springs 34. may be sufficient to substantially counterbalance the magnetic force tending to move the elements 44 inward. In such event, uncoupling is achieved by reversing the forward car until the curved arms it? engage the cam surfaces 36 of the opposing coupling heads 36 and pivot the drawbars outward sufficiently to separate the hooks 38 laterally. The magnetic elements 4 are held in this position by the counterbalancing forces of the springs 34 and magnetic field, thereby allowing the couplers to be separated by longitudinal movement of the cars.

In the form of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 4-6, cars tlhaving trucks 52 running on rails 54 are coupled together by couplers indicated generally at 56. The couplers are generally mounted one on each end of each car. For this purpose a hollow box 6 2 is longitudinally extended either as an attachment or as a part of the car underframe. An internally threaded hollow post 64, which may be formed integrally with the top of the box, extends downwardly. The lower side of the box is closed by means of a plate 65 held in place by a screw 69.

The coupler centering device, a fiat plate of bronze spring, is cut away and bent inwardly at its terminal end to form spurs 63 which dig into the side wall of the box securing it in place. The side portions are cut away and bent upwardly to form leaf springs 79 which may press against the side walls of the box, resiliently urging a drawbar 66, mounted on post -67, to a center or coupling position.

A coupler head or knuckle indicated generally at 72 is mounted on the outer end of drawbar 66. It is formed in two parts. A first part 74 is rigid with the drawbar and is formed with a forwardly obliquely extending arm 76, the inwardly disposed surface of which is provided with a cam surface for guiding a companion coupler into coupling engagement.

The second section 78 of the coupling head is hinged to the first section by means of post $0. It is formed with a hook 82 arranged for interlocking with a similar hook on the companion coupler. As in the case of hooks 38 of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, the hooks are shaped in such a manner that they can not be separated as long as a pulling force is exerted on the drawbars. They are urged continuously into a position of hooking engagement by resilient means such as compression spring 84 interposed between the base of the hook and the forward end of drawbar 66.

Magnetic means are provided for swinging the pivoted segment of coupler 72 to uncoupled position. Such means in the illustrated form comprise a magnetic element which preferably comprises post 81 bent so that it extends forwardly and laterally of the car. Thus it is positioned ofi center of the longitudinal center line of a permanent or electromagnet as which may be placed between rails 54. The poles of the magnet extend parallel to the rails, outwardly from the posts 8%, so that the latter are caused to move outward toward the poles in opposite directions for uncoupling the couplers.

Thus when cars 5i) traverse the magnet, magnetic elements 3t tend to swing outwardly, uncoupling the cars. Such uncoupling is not possible as long as a pulling force is exerted on the cars since hooks 82 remain securely interlocked.

However, if the cars are stopped and their motion reversed, with couplers 72 stationed above the magnet, the hooks are disengaged from each other so that the magnetic elements 8t} are free to be moved outwardly by the attraction of the greater magnetic fiux density at the plies. It is understood that springs 84 must be sufiicienly weak to permit this movement. Thus the elements 29 move coupler elements 78 to which they are attached to positions of uncoupling, separating the cars.

Thus it will be apparent that by the present invention We have provided couplers of simple construction and positive action for model trains which may be employed for the automatic coupling o-r uncoupling of the cars. The couplers cannot become uncoupled while the train is in motion, nor can they be separated at any location other than the selected ones at which magnets are stationed. Furthermore, they are widely applicable to cars of any of the conventional classes.

It is to be understood that the form of our invention herein shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts, eg interchanging the relative positions of the magnet and magnetic member, may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of our invenion or the scope of the subjoined claims.

Having thus described our invention, we claim:

1. A magnetic coupler for model railroad cars operating on a track, comprising a coupler member, means pivotally mounting the coupler member on an end of a car for horizontal transverse movement between car coupling and car uncoupling positions, resilient means operatively engaging the coupler member and urging the latter to car coupling position, a stationary magnet mounted below the coupler member adjacent the track, and a magnetic member secured rigidly to the coupler member and depending downwardly therefrom to a point capable of intercepting the magnetic field of the magnet, the magnetic member being disposed relative to said magnetic field when the coupler member is in coupling position such that the magnetic member is so influenced by said magnetic field as to afford movement of said magnetic member in a direction to move the attached coupler member to uncoupling position against the resistance of a resilient means.

2. The magnetic coupler of claim 1 wherein the magnet comprises an elongated body having a longitudinal axis arranged parallel to the car track and includes a plurality of longitudinally spaced pairs of poles extending transversely to said longitudinal axis.

3. The magnetic coupler of claim 1 wherein the magnet comprises an elongated body having a longitudinal axis arranged parallel to the car track and includes a pair of poles extending parallel to said longitudinal axis on opposite sides of the longitudinal center line of the magnet body.

4. The magnetic coupler of claim 1 wherein the coupler member mounting means comprises a drawbar supporting the coupler member at one end, and pivot means mounting the opposite end of the drawbar on the car for said horizontal transverse movement, and the resilient means interengages the drawbar and car.

5. The magnetic coupler of claim 1 wherein the coup r member mounting means comprises a drawbar mounted at one end on the car, and pivot means mounting netic member comprises a pin extending vertically downthe coupler member on the opposite end of the drawbar ward from the coupler member. for said horizontal transverse movement, and the resilient means interen-gages the coupler member and drawbar. References Cited in the file of thls 139mmt 6. The magnetic coupler of claim 5 wherein the mag- 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS netic member comprises a downward extension of said 2 288 792 Daniels July 7 1942 pivot means, said extension projecting away from the 41 Geode 5 1952 axis of said pivot means, and said pivot means being se- 2631740 Watson 1953 cured to the coupler member for rotating the latter with 2778508 Be er 1957 said extension about the axis of said pivot means. 10 2868393 g 1959 7. The magnetic coupler of claim 1 wherein the mag-

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2288792 *Apr 10, 1940Jul 7, 1942The Lionel CorporationCoupling device for toy trains
US2617541 *Feb 11, 1949Nov 11, 1952Goode Ronald BMiniature coupler
US2631740 *Mar 25, 1949Mar 17, 1953Watson Ralph LCoupler for model railroads
US2778508 *Oct 26, 1953Jan 22, 1957Lionel CorpCombined truck and coupler mechanism for toy cars
US2868393 *Jun 22, 1956Jan 13, 1959Bailey Jr George JModel railroad car coupler
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3476264 *May 24, 1967Nov 4, 1969Nielsen James WElectromagnetic uncoupler for model trains
US3942648 *May 9, 1975Mar 9, 1976Edwards Clarence KModel railway system providing uncoupling and delayed recoupling
US4335820 *Sep 2, 1980Jun 22, 1982Gramera Robert EMagnetically-automated uncoupling system for model railroads
US5509546 *Aug 19, 1994Apr 23, 1996Staat; Robert H.Magnetically-actuated coupler for model railroad cars
US5620106 *Jan 16, 1996Apr 15, 1997Accurail, Inc.Model railroad car coupler
US5785192 *Feb 28, 1997Jul 28, 1998Kadee Quality Products, Inc.Model railroad coupler
US5823371 *Oct 1, 1997Oct 20, 1998Bachmann Industries, Inc.Magnetically actuated coupler assembly
US5931322 *Apr 14, 1997Aug 3, 1999Accurail, Inc.Model railroad car coupler
US6883758Sep 12, 2002Apr 26, 2005Albert C. RuocchioReed relay for remote magnetic operation of model trains
US7810660 *Jun 29, 2009Oct 12, 2010Kadee Quality Products Co.Model railroad coupler
USRE38990 *Dec 24, 1997Feb 28, 2006Bachmann Industries, Inc.Magnetically-actuated coupler for model railroad cars
DE2806739A1 *Feb 17, 1978Apr 12, 1979Tomy Kogyo CoKupplung fuer spiel- und modelleisenbahnwagen und -lokomotiven
Classifications
U.S. Classification213/212
International ClassificationA63H19/18, A63H19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H19/18
European ClassificationA63H19/18