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Do Any Magnetic Uncouplers Actually Work ?
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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 02:23 pm
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Salada
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I am not sure which section to post this in but hopefully "General" is the most appropriate as it probably applies to many different scales.

The uncoupling, & indeed coupling, performance of Mr Bachmann's EZ Mate seems woefully poor to me, despite the helpful recent replies to my previous post on this subject.

1)
What would you recommend as the best Brand of automatic, & hence presumably, magnetic knuckle/buckeye coupling - that was compatible with the Bachmann On30 draft box ?.
2)
Kaydee, who seem to have a good reputation, make a bewildering variety of couplings so which would be best for Bachmann On30 stock ?.


Regards         Confused      (a.k.a. Michael)

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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 02:49 pm
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Si.
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Hi Michael


Before waxing on about Kadee ( they do make a purpose made On3 coupler )...

...Have you checked out the San Juan Car Company couplers ?


I have not measured this, but...

...I seriously doubt the Kadee On3 coupler is compatible with Backmann draft boxes, as they stand.

Kadee only really do an 'extensive' range of coupler types, in HO scale.


I have 2 Backmann On30 locos right in front of me now...

...sorry, no rule for measuring, just eyesight...

...the Backmann On30 coupler looks to me the same size as HO.


Right, just measured it...

...the Backmann On30 couplers are about 6" tall...

...that's about HALF the size of a proper Climax type coupler...

...early type 11" high, later type 12" high !

Look like HO ones to me !


Cheers.

Si.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 02:52 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Dear Corn-fused

I don't think that you will find many serious operators that use B'mann couplers. There have been a half dozen copies of  KD since their patent expired, but KD's seem to be what everyone uses. Couplers are mounted way too low on B'mann stock, just so that they could use their cheap couplers without lengthening the ''airhose''. Couplers meant for HO are physically too small for the 3/4 size AAR coupler that the 3' lines used. Look at KD's coupler, made specifically for 1/48 narrow gauge, and mount their box higher in the car.

Aunt Abby



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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 03:58 pm
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Salada
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Hello Si,

Thanks for your reply.
Your measurements confirm what I had seen elsewhere, that Mr B's couplings are way too small - also b.....y useless in my opinion.

Hello Auntie (I thought you only went by that name at weekends),

Best to go Kaydee then ?. I see what you mean re: Bachmann's coupler height - it does look way below all the period D&RGW photos that I have seen but increasing the coupler height will only further weaken any (allegedly) magnetic function.

I have just been messing about with a steel plate beneath 2 magnets (as per Kaydee's "magnetic reinforcer" plate) & it does have a slight effect on the B.'s - more so than just 2 x magnets alone but still way short of actually uncoupling.

Thanks to you both,   Michael

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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 04:35 pm
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Si.
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Hi Michael

As you prob. know from Brit. practice...

...couplers = PAIN !

I have the Bachmann Shay & Porter here.

Getting a Kadee On3 coupler fitted to these, as far as I can see, would be B*&%$& difficult...

...unless you TOTALY re-model the end beams.

Freight cars, perhaps a bit easier.

I actualy want to put a Kadee std. O scale coupler on mine, for 1:35 up-scaling...

...it's a bit of a nightmare.

If you are using mostly Bachmann locos & stock...

...perhaps it's best to just get the Bachmann ones working good.

I would try...

De-flashing the 'not as good as' Kadee mouldings.

Perhaps fitting a less powerful knuckle-spring (Kadee HO type ?)

Using 'Grease Em' powdered-graphite in draft boxes...

...after de-flashing those as well.

The centreing spring might work better as well after this.

Cheers.

Si.

The actual KNUCKLE spring I think is a big part of the ops. problem.

It's just too powerfull, IMO, compared to Kadee ones.



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' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II
http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7318&forum_id=17&page=1

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=59295&st=0&a
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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 07:09 pm
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Salada
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Hello again & thanks Si,

My only experience of RR model couplings has been with English 'O' Gauge (43.5:1) proper steel 3 link type (exactly as the prototype & home made in a simple jig). No chance of automating but very easy to couple/uncouple with a small, magnetised hooked rod to lift the links on & off. Why our American friends use these damn stupid knuckle things I have no idea. Our 'full size' railway had problems with them when they were first used over here. I well remember sitting onboard at Salisbury while they struggled for ages to couple/uncouple passenger coaches - just because the platform road was slightly curved.

Your knuckle spring comment is spot on !. The various combinations of magnets that I have tried on Mr Bastardmann's EZ's simply push the whole coupling thing over to one side of the 'draft box', without ever attempting to open the actual knuckle jaw itself. Shame because his mass produced locos seem to be OK.

Have you any experience of other UK coupling designs, such as the Greenwich or Jackson etc. ?. Maybe MY D&RGW will go over to pin&link ! or chewing gum or anything better than Bastardmann's.


Regards     Michael

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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 09:29 pm
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Si.
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Hi Michael


Yeah ... there is NO POWER needed in the knuckle spring...

...except enough to move itself (hopefuly very FREE MOVING).


For D&RGW the San Juan Car Company coupler LOOKS like the real thing...

...AND operates smoothly (NO I DONT WORK FOR THEM !!).


As for Mr Bastardmann's EZ couplers...

...they are the LAST WORD in rail-safety...

...THEY WILL NEVER UNCOUPLE, EVEN WHEN YOU WANT THEM TO !

Perhaps good for EMUs DMUs & unit-trains !!


& of course, Yep, even soooper smooove Kadees WONT operate on curves !!


How about some Hornby OO couplers...

...now there's something people have moaned about FOR YEARS !!!

HORNBUGGERS !

Cheers.

Si.



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' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II
http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7318&forum_id=17&page=1

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=59295&st=0&a
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 Posted: Thu Nov 13th, 2014 11:11 pm
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Salada
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I like your pseudonym for Messrs Hornby & Co !!.

Thanks again Si, also for the info that even "super smooth" KD don't work on curves. I will check out (as our US cousins would say) your San Juan suggestion - I am not overly keen on their prices but if they work then,as we would say, "yo' dun' get 'owt fer nowt".

Regards         Michael

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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 09:44 pm
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Si.
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Hi Michael

There is a place in the UK that does the San Juan jazz.

I have their name ........ SOMEWHERE !!??

They, or the Kadee On3; will still be B.difficult to put on the B&$+£@)mann Shay & Porter I have...

...I guess you have some larger rod locos for D&RGW.

I would like to put Kadee regular O scale couplers on my locos, for 1:35 upscale...

...but the San Juans might be easier; I'm gonna have to look at this again properly; this has been a stall on progress here !

I still think though; that getting the Bastardmanns working smoother isb the easier option...

...depending of course how much the underscale look bothers you.

I am in NO WAY a rivet counter...

...but the coupler is the B.big thingy stuck on the front; & if it's too small or too big; in my eyes it messes with the whole size of things.

Mmmm...

Cheers.

Si.

'Check yer head' as the Beasties would rap !



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' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II
http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7318&forum_id=17&page=1

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=59295&st=0&a
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 Posted: Fri Nov 14th, 2014 10:42 pm
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Reg H
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I used Kaydees for years in HO and O. They usually worked OK. Not great, but OK. The electro-magnet variety of uncoupler always worked best for me.

In On30 I am using a mix of Bachmann and Kaydee. As I go through my freight cars I lower the whole car to get rid of that ugly coupler mounting and to give the car a more hunkered down look. I replace the Bachmann coupler pocket with a Kaydee pocket. There are several articles on how to do that in the MR press.

Maybe I will prepare one for the forum.

On my On30 layout I am manually uncoupling using uncoupling tools from MicroMark, though I have heard of folks using toothpicks.

Reg



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