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Yavianice posted a topic in Worldwide ModelsFinally found somebody that will save my fingernails from the most terrible couplers in the world: ICE 3 Arnold Needle couplers. Context for those that do not own an ICE-3 from Arnold: The train uses a literal needle that is poked into the coupler hole on each car. You have to really be careful and delicate to couple it correctly because it fails most of the time you try to join 2 cars together. Afterwards, the coupler is pretty much locked in and it is a pain to decouple the car. But, when you want to stop playing and put the train back into the box, you have to remove the needle with your fingernails or very tiny but resilient tweezers with brute force, because otherwise the train won't fit into its box. The needles are also tiny and go missing easily (like a needle in the modeltrain version of a haystack) and are a pain to get replacements for when they do go missing. In brief, these couplers really make it a PAIN to own the Arnold ICE-3 and most people like myself just don't bother and either never run the train or just return it. In Japan you can actually purchase a replacement 3D coupler pockets for this train, but then you have to disassemble the car (difficult because the bellows break easily and the clips aren't the greatest), desolder the coupler (on the older models), remove the existing coupler bracket and be mindful not to lose the coupler spring, reassemble everything AND paint the coupler yourself AND since it's an empty coupler mount, put your own coupler in it (from KATO for example). No more! I finally found someone that makes magnet couplers for the Arnold ICE 3. These couplers simply clip on to the existing coupler mount. No disassembly necessary. Just clip the couplers on both cars, put the cars together, and DRIVE! Done? Just pull the cars apart from each other, put it in a box, no disassembly, the couplers stay where they are, and you keep all your fingernails. I have tested these with all radii of superelevated double track from KATO. The Arnold ICE-3 with magnet couplers The magnet coupler (left) sticks right onto the existing "Needle Pocket" (right) The original fingernailbreaking "Needle" coupler, and the Magnet coupler below, compared. Interested people can pm me (located in Belgium) to order them. Contrary to some other 3D printers of couplers, the couplers are already with the magnets in place (no gluing of magnets into the coupler necessary)
I picked up a Minitrix ICE3 set after seeing Quinntopia's review. (Review here: http://www.quinntopia.com/2011/11/locomotive-roster-db-ice-3-minitrix.html ) I decided that'd I like to have working front and rear lights as well. So taking inspiration from the same article, I got to work. I ended up using some electronics wire in place of the brass strips for the contact. Then I drilled a few holes for the bi-coloured led, fed the leeds through and attached the resistors & diodes. I popped the shell back on, et voila! working lights!