US 3117676 A
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1964 c. K. EDWARDS ETAL 3,117,676
HOLD-OPEN, MAGNET ACTUATED COUPLER FOR MODEL RAILROAD CARS Filed Dec. 12. 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet l LawrenceDEdwa r'cls INVENTORS Clarence K .Edward s 1954 I c. K. EDWARDS ETAL 3,117,576
0PEN, MAGNET ACTUATED COUPLER FOR MODEL RAILROAD CARS ClarenccK. wards Lawrence D. WCI rds INVENTORS BY p. 25
Jan. 14, 1964 C. K. EDWARDS EI'AL HOLD-OPEN, MAGNET ACTUATED COUPLER FOR MODEL RAILROAD CARS Filed Dec. 12. 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Clarence K. Edwa rds Lawrence D. .Edwa rd 5 INVENTORS Jan- I4, 19 c. K. EDWARDS ETAL HOLD-OPEN, MAGNET ACTUATED COUPLER FOR MODEL RAILROAD CARS Filed Dec. 12, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 C Iarence K. Edwards LawrenceD Edwards INVENTORS BY H1 fy.
United States Patent 3,117,676 HOLD-0PEN, MAGNET ACTUATED CGUPLER FGR MODEL RAILROAD CARS Clarence K. Edwards, 14%9' Kings Highway, and Lawrence D. Edwards, 1M6 Winchester Ave., both of Medford, Greg.
Filed Dec. 12, 1961, Ser. No. 158,779 7 Claims. (Cl. 213211) This invention relates to a coupler mechanism and more particularly pertains to la hold-open, magnet-actuated coupler for model railroad cars.
A primary object of the present invention is to provide an improved coupler having means which are adapted upon a selected manipulation of a pair of cars in association with a magnetic uncoupler to lock the couplers in open position and permit the cars to be pushed off the uncoupler whereby to spot one of the cars.
Another object is to provide an improved magnet-actuated coupling assembly for model railroad cars facilitating rapid and positive coupling, uncoupling, and hold-open functions.
Briefly stated, the hold-open means of the present invention is associated with a coupler supported on the end of a car for horizontal transverse pivotal movement. The coupler is engaged by resilient means which urges it transversely inwardly to a car coupling position but which permits it to pivot transversely outwardly to a car uncoupling position. A stationary magnetic uncoupler mounted between the tracks for the cars operates on the coupler member to urge it to an uncoupling position. The hold-open means is constructed and arranged whereby upon a certain manipulation of a pair of cars over the magnetic uncoupler a car may be pushed off the magnetic uncoupler by the other car to a spotted position and the pushing car then moved away freely from the spotted car.
The invention will be better understood and additional objects thereof will become more apparent from the accompanying specification and claims considered together with the accompanying drawings, wherein like numerals of reference indicate like parts; and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary view in side elevation of a pair of railroad cars utilizing couplers employing the principles of a first embodiment of the present hold-open means;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary side-elevational view, partly in section, showing in enlarged detail the hold-open means of the first embodiment;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary plan view, partly in section, taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURES 4- through 8 are fragmentary plan views showing various coupling, uncoupling, and hold-open functions of the first embodiment;
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary view in side elevation of a pair of coupled railroad cars utilizing couplers employing principles of a second embodiment of the present holdopen means;
FIGURE 10' is a fragmentary side elevational view, partly in section, showing in enlarged detail hold-open means of the second embodiment;
FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary plan view, partly in. section, taken on the line 1111 of FIGURE 10; and
FIGURES 12 through 16 are fragmentary plan views showing various coupling, uncoupling, and hold-open functions of the second embodiment.
Referring first to FIGURE 1 there is illustrated a pair of model railroad cars 29 mounted on trucks 22 movable on tracks 24. The cars are adapted to be connected by couplers 26 mounted on each end of the cars, and for this purpose a hollow box 39, FIGURES 2 and 3, open at its outer end, is longitudinally extended either as an attachment or as a part of the under frame of the cars. An
internally threaded hollow post 32, 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 34 held in place by a screw 36, the threads of which engage those in hollow post 32.
The inner end of a drawbar 40* is journaled on the post 32'. It carries an inner projecting tab 42 against which presses a compression spring 44 thepurpose of which is to urge the drawbar inwardly to a coupling position, i.e., a position substantially aligned with the longitudinal axis of the car.
' The outer end of the drawbar has an integral coupler head or knuckle 48. This member is formed with an inwardly directed, transversely disposed hook 5i) and an outwardly projecting, transversely disposed arm 52. It will be observed from FIG. 4 that the configuration of hook 56 is such that when a pair of them, one on each of adjacent cars, are coupled together, they are interlocked and cannot be uncoupled as long as a pulling force is applied to the drawbar. It is to be noted further that the outermost end of drawbar 49, comprising an edge of arm 52, is curved laterally outwardly and forward 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 and in a direction opposite that of arm 52 is a bracket 56 which supports a vertically extending magnetic member 58. In a preferred construction bracket 56 has an integral hollow portion or collar 69 for receiving and holding a magnetic member 58, the latter member projecting vertically downwardly to a point closely approaching the surface of the tracks 24 for influenced relation with an uncoupler memher to be described;
Collar 60 of bracket 56 has a forwardly projecting finger or tab 62. which, as apparent in FIGURE 3, is laterally offset from the hook 56 in the direction of coupling movement of the latter, and furthermore is of a length to project forwardly beyond the reversely extending end portion of the hook. Gne purpose of tab 62' is to limit the opening movement of the coupler by engagement with a tab on an adjacent coupler when one car is pushing another. car. A second purpose of the tab 62 is to lock the coupler in open position also by engagement with a tab on an adjacent coupler but positioned in crossed-over relation therewith. That is, the couplers are rotatable an amount suflicient, and the tabs are located selectively, such that in a fully open position, FIGURE 6, the tabs on adjacent couplers are crossed over from their relative positions when the hooks are coupled, and the couplers thus cannot close when one car is pushing the other or when one car is pulled away from the other.
Utilized withthe above described coupler is a magnetic uncoupler 63. This uncoupler preferably comprises a permanent or electromagnet and is mounted in a stationary position between the tracks 24. A pole arrangement of the magnet which serves efficiently for the intended purpose comprises continuous or multiple side edge poles 749 of similar polarity, FIGURE 5, and a continuous or multiple pole 72 of the opposite polarity extending longitudinally and centrally of the magnet. In the arrangement illustrated the edge pole area 76 is of north polarity and the central pole area is of south polarity. Member 5% on the coupler comprises a magnet with the north polarity thereof being disposed downwardly.
Thus it will be apparent that when the coupler is moved over the magnet 63 the member 58 will be urged toward the longitudinal center of the magnet by the combined repelling forces of the north poles of the magnet and magnetic member and the attracting forces of the south pole tages thereof, reference being made particularly to FIG- URES 48. In View of the structure of hook 513 as Well as the biased position of the drawbars by the springs 44, couplers on adjacent cars will automatically couple when the cars are pushed together at a point away from the magnet 68. Such coupled position is shown in FIG- URE 4.
As stated hereinbefore, when the cars are pulled across the magnet 68 the hooks 59 will remain interlocked as long as a pulling force is applied to the drawbar. When one car is pushing the other, whether over the magnet or not, the coupling heads will move apart to an intermediate or partially spread position, FIG. 5. The arresting of outward movement of the coupler heads is accomplished by the engagement of tabs 62 with each other. Therefore since the coupler heads are only partially spread, they can with facility move together again to a coupled position as soon as the pushing force between the cars diminishes and the coupler heads are not in the area of the magnet.
When it is desired to uncouple the cars they are stopped with the couplers disposed over the magnet 68 and one car is pushed toward the other sufi'iciently to separate the hooks 5t} longitudinally from each other. In such relation wherein a pulling force no longer exists on the coupler assembly, the magnetic members 58 are urged toward the center of the magnet to separate the hooks 5t) laterally, one from the other, to a fully uncoupled but partially opened position (FIG. 5). Thus one car can be pulled away from the other.
When it is desired to spot a car at a point distant from the magnet 68, the cars first are stopped with the couplers over the magnet 68 and then pushed together an amount sufiicient to allow the hooks S to disengage from each other whereby they move first to the partially open position (FIG. and then to a fully open position, FIG. 6, by separating the cars sufiiciently to disengage the tab 62. In this fully open position it will be noted that the tabs 62 have crossed over relative to a longitudinal center line of the coupling assembly. Therefore the couplers cannot lock together as long as these tabs are crossed over. One'car then can be pushed to a spotted position, and when such a position has been reached the lead car can be pulled away. In this latter movement the oppositely directed hooks 50 cannot lock since the tabs are sufliciently elongated to cause the hooks to miss each other. FIG. 7 illustrates the crossed over engagement of the tabs when one car is pushing the other to a spotted position, and FIG. 8 illustrates the separating of the couplers wherein the tabs slide 01f each other and prevent engagement of hooks 50.
In the form of the invention illustrated in FIGURES 9-16 the couplers are indicated generally by the numeral 74; The couplers are supported one on each end of a car having a hollow box 76 opening forwardly and having an internally threaded hollow post 78 extending downwardly. The lower side of the box is closed by means of a plate Si held in place by a screw 82.
Pivotally mounted at one end in the box by means of a post 86 is a drawbar 88 which is urged to a central or coupling position by a centering device 90 formed of a spring material. This device is cut away and bent inwardly at its terminal end to form spurs 92 which dig into the side wall of the box to secure it in place. The side portions are cut away and bent upwardly to form leaf springs 94 whiph may press against the side walls of the box and the drawbar 88 to urge the latter to its center or coupling position.
The outer end of the drawbar 88 carries an integral coupler head or knuckle 98 formed in two parts. A first part 160 is rigid with the drawbar and is formed with a forwardly and obliquely extending arm 162, the inwardly disposed surface of which is provided with a cam surface for guiding a companion coupler into coupling engagement.
A second part 13 3 of the coupler head is hinged to the first part by means of a post 194 and has a hook 106 arranged for interlocking engagement with a similar hook on a companion coupler. These hooks are shaped in a manner such that they cannot be separated as long as a pulling force is exerted on the drawbars. They are urged continuously to a position of hooking engagement by resilient means such as a compression spring 168 interposed between the base of the hook and a suitable abutment on the drawbar 88 or part 1061 of the coupler head.
In a preferred connecting structure between the parts and 1&3, the former has a suitable vertical bore 110 for pivotally receiving the post 1% and has a forwardly and side opening aperture 112 communicating with the vertical bore 110 for receiving a tongue 114 on the second part 103 of the coupler head. Tongue 114 is integrally connected to post 104 for pivotal movement therewith, aperture 1312 opening suitably in forward and side directions of the part to permit desired rotational movement of part 103 in coupling and uncoupling functions.
Arm 102 terminates in a sharpened edge 116 and part 103 has a recess 118 in its leading edge. The arrangement of edge 116 and recess 118 is such that these elements are engaged respectively by a similar recess and edge in a companion coupler which as will be seen is adapted to serve as hold open means under certain conditions.
Post lti icomprises a magnetic element which when influenced by a magnet is adapted to swing the pivotal part 1G3 of coupler 98 to uncoupled position. Post 104 is bent so that it extends forwardly and laterally of the car and is positioned ofi-center of the longitudinal center line of a permanent or electro-magnet 126 which is placed stationarily between the tracks. The polarity of the magnet preferably is parallel to the tracks, with the poles being continuous along the side edges thereof whereby the magnetic members 194 are caused to rotate outwardly in opposite directions in an uncoupling function.
With regard to the operation of the FIGURE 9 embodiment, FIGURE 12 illustrates the coupled engagement of the hooks 106 in a pulling operation. Such hook engagernent will remain even though the cars are pulled over the magnet. FIGURE 13 illustrates the partially open position of the hooks when the cars are pushed over the magnet whereby it will be seen that as soon as they move off the magnet they will readily couple again. This partially open position is established by the mutual abutment of the projecting edges 116 and the associated projecting portions of parts 163 laterally outward of the recesses 118.
In stopping a pair of cars with their couplers over the magnet and then separating the hooks 106 longitudinally the magnetic members will swing outwardly to uncouple the hooks 196, FIGURE 14. One car can then be pulled away since the hooks are disengaged.
If it is desired to spot a car at a point away from the magnet, the cars are first manipulated suitably as just described whereby the hooks swing to their outermost position, FIGURE 14, one car is then pushed into the other. In such movement and in the wide open position of the parts 103, edges 116 of arms 1% catch in the respective recesses 118 to lock the couplers in open position, FIGURE 15. One car can thus be pushed to a spotted position and when such position has been reached the lead car can be pulled away, the arrangement of edges 116 and recesses 118 being such as to cause the hooks to miss each other, FlGURE 15, in the separation of the ears.
Thus, the tabs 62 and. the cooperating edges l lo and recesses 13% form mutual abutments which serve to limit uncoupling movement of the hooks to a partially open position and to limit coupling movement of the hooks from the fully open position to a hol -open position.
Thus in accordance with the present invention, a simplilied but positive acting coupling assembly is provided for model trains. Such assembly is capable of automatically coupling a pair of cars, of uncouplin the cars, or of locking the couplers open so that one car can be pushed to a position away from the magnetic uncoupler and automatically released at such position. The coupling assembly hereof thus facilitates desired manipulations of the cars in their various operations on a track set-up.
it is to be understood that the form of our invention herein shown and described is to be taken as preferred example of the same and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of our invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.
Having thus described our invention, we claim:
1. A magnetic coupling assembly for model railroad cars comprising a pair of coupler members, hook means on the coupler members arranged for releasable coupling engagement, means pivotally mounting the coupler members for horizontal pivotal movement on the ends of the respective cars and projecting longitudinally toward each other, resilient means engaging the coupler members and urging them transversely toward each other to a car coupling position, the coupling members being pivotable away from each other to an open, car uncoupling position, a stationary magnet mounted on a lower supporting surface, a magnetic element depending from each of the coupler members to a point for influenced relation with the magnetic held of the magnet whereby to urge the coupler members to their open, car uncoupling position, and hold-open abutment means on the coupler members projecting toward each other and arranged for interengagement during the transverse movement of the coupler members from their open, car-uncoupling position to their car coupled position, to stop the coupler members and hold the hook means disengaged.
2. The magnetic coupling assembly of claim 1 wherein the hold-open means comprise longitudinally disposed tabs.
3. The magnetic coupling assembly of claim 1 wherein the hold-open means comprise recess and projection means on one of said coupler members and projection and recess means on said other coupler member adapted respectively for interengagement.
4. The magnetic coupling assembly of claim 1 wherein the hold-open means comprise longitudinally disposed tabs positioned selectively on the coupler members to be in crossed-over relation in the open, car uncoupled position of the coupler members for abutment and hold-open interengagement.
5. magnetic coupling assembly of claim 1 wherein the magnet has edge poles of similar polarity and a central pole of opposite polarity and the magnetic members comprise a magnet having a polarity at their lower ends similar to the edge poles.
6. A magnetic coupling assembly for model railroad cars comprising a pair of coupler members, hook means on the coupler members arranged for releasable coupling engagement, m ans pivotally mounting the coupler members for horizontal pivotal movement on the ends of the respective cars and projecting longitudinally toward each other, esilient means engaging the coupler members and ur ng them transversely toward each other to a car coupling position, the coupling members being pivotable away from each other to an open, car uncoupling position, a stationary magnet mounted on a lower supporting surface, a magnetic element depending from each or" the coupler members to a point for influenced relation with the magnetic field of the magnet whereby to urge the coupler members to their uncoupling positions, and abutment means on the coupler members projecting toward each other and arranged for interengagement with each other first when moving transversely outwardly to hold the coupler members in a partially uncoupled position and second after being uncoupled and being in crossed over relation to serve as hold-open means.
7. A coupler for model railroad cars comprising a cou pler member supported on the end of a car and having horizontal transverse pivotal movement, hook means on the coupler member arranged for coupling engagement with similar hook means on a companion coupler, resilient means en aging the coupler member and urging it transversely to a car coupling position wherein the hook means is positioned for engagement with a similarly positioned hook means on a companion coupler, the coupler memher being pivotable outwardly to an open, car uncoupling position, and hold-open abutment means on the coupler member arranged to project into the path of a similar abutment means on a companion coupler during transverse movement of the coupler member from its open, car uncoupling position toward its car coupling position, to stop the coupler member and hold the hook means disengaged irom the hook means of the companion coupler.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,868,393 Bailey Jan. 13, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 582,392 Germany June 10, 1931