Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by CN1, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. CN1

    CN1 Active Member


    I have a mix of Kadee and McHenry couplers and a few accumate too. To tell you the truth I don't see any difference in any of them.

    Am i missing something here?

    The only problem I have is to uncouple over the Kadee magnet. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I think it may be because it's a weak magnet.

    :confused: :p :) :) ;)
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Kadees are all metal construction - stronger in the long run. Plastic will fatigue over time due to slight flex under stress.

    Plastic components vs metal components
    Plastic spring vs metal spring

    As for the uncoupling magnets, I haven't had much luck with them. A friend of mine has cut off all the "hoses" and uncouples by hand - he says that's the way it's done in the real world, so it is good enough for him. For the record - his real world is on the B&M in the late 1950s I believe.

  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I agree with Andy..After some use the plastic couplers will fatigue and break or not work properly..I highly recommend using the KD coupler.
  4. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    alright then! So what do you do about the magnet?
  5. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    I have no trouble with them :rolleyes:
    They uncouple when not suppose to and stay coupled when the should have un coupled:rolleyes:

    It`s all in the slow or fast movement over the magnet,,, I`m told.
    Darn it,, I`ll get it right one day:p
  6. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    I know what you mean! Back-&-forth,Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth Back-&-forth, holy I'm dizzy:eek:

    Then, when no one is looking, BANG! It works!

    What's up with that!!!:mad: :rolleyes: :confused: :confused:
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I have found Accumates don't like being pushed through tight radius curves. Are your McHenrys the type with the metal coil spring on the knuckle, or the plastic leaf? If they have the plastic leaf spring, they will fail eventually. The coil spring version will probably last as long as the Kaddee plastic types (20, 30, & 40 series).
  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    You can beef up an electro magnet.
  9. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Ha! HA! An electro magnet heyyyyy! that's an idea

    So, MORE POWER to the magnetic field? Haaaaarrrr! harr! harr!

    Would that mean, that no matter what, they would uncoupled at the right spot everytime??

    Bring on the Binford Electro Magnet 6000 Harr! Harrr! Harrr!
    500 Volt and 20 Amp Harr! Harr! harr!:D :D :D
  10. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    He means once you move your couplers over the beefed up magnets They are there for ever trapped in an endless magnetic field :D :D

    End of problem;)
  11. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

  12. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    In the April 2002 issue of MR (i think) it showed how to soup up a kadee electromagnetic uncoupler to work better with washers. FRED
  13. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    well then you won't have any runaways fouling the main:D :D :D
  14. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I have two of those nice Rix Pix uncoupling tools that are just as effective as the stationary magnets-and, as an added bonus-they attract the steel grab irons on my cars and derail them. I've quietly retired them and replaced them with those long toothpicks used to hold subs and hoagies together, the ones with the curly, colorful celophane fright wigs on the end. Drop the point between the knuckles and twist. $1.29 for a hundred of 'em at Wally World and no carcinogenic, ozone depleting electromagnetic force field to deal with either.
  15. Flangehead

    Flangehead Member

    I have noticed that on a very heavy train the plastic coupler's shanks will sometimes flex up or down and slip off their mate. Also, I have noticed the springs will sometimes be jammed into the open position after a rough coupling ( read crash ). I'll keep the ones I have, but will buy Kadees.
  16. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    I had one or two crashes :rolleyes: and I did not experience any twisted or broken couplers....yet

    I guess time will tell, but for now no Kaddee's for me.
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I have a few plastic ones that came on some loco's, and I agree, why change them if they work? In fact, if your loco has a "hot chassis" you should be aware that the coupler could be hot too, if metal. But if these composite ones even burp at me they be gone like a fart in the wind. 99% of the time, you just need a #5 coupler and spring which costs all of 50 cents for both. I never buy the sets that come in the enveloup with the pocket, just get a bulk pack for $10 or $20, then get some pockets seperately for the rare occasion when the original pocket won't work:

    40 couplers and springs for under $20


    20 couplers and springs for 10 1/2 bucks

    They're only a buck or two more if the LHS charges you full list price. I think a lot of people think they have to pay a lot more to upgrade.
  18. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    Get yerself a Tesla-meter....

    Magnetic fields drop off very rapidly with distance. So for those permanent magnets, you need to mount them on top of the ties, not under them.

    You also neet to have slack in the train for them to uncouple the train. So you sometimes have to back the train up until the desired coupler is over the magnet and then pull forward.

    The elecro-magnets are better, because they can a: be beefed up and made more powerful, b: they can be mounted under the tracks, so they are not seen, c: you can prevent accidental uncouplings on trains that are idleing over an uncoupler.

    Proper maintenance of the couplers will help too... the coupler pockets need to be very clean and free of burrs. And use the dry(Graphite) lubricant to make sure that they swing freely.

    It may be easy to flick the coupler from side to side with your finger, but not so easy for a magnet to do the same... If the couplers are maintained properly, then the magnets will be more effective.

    Read the destructions (Er- instructions) that come with the couplers for more detail.
  19. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I have found that, when transporting cars to the club, that the plastic springs eventually fatigue, leaving the knuckle to remain partially or even completely open. On that note, I don't actively replace the Accumates or McHenrys right away but, when the oppurtunity presents itself, I always replace them with Kadees.
  20. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Alrighty then. Kadee couplers win by a landslide

    Magnets. I'll see if I can find more powerfull one at the local Hardware store or other. I put them on top of the track.

    The "under-the-track" one seems better but a pain in the butt to installed, especially since my tracks are all ballast.

    Does the electro-magnet work better, or is it tempermental too?

    Thanks for the website

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