Uncoupler magnets: Your experience?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Santa Fe Jack, May 7, 2007.

  1. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    Heck - I'll undercut you by a dollar ($3.75 ea), but without the shipping. I have 10 of them. :)
  2. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    Santa Fe Jack,
    You have to ship them to the buyer so what is the shipping going to cost on top of the $3.75?
    I'll sell mine shipping included for $4.50 each. :wave:
  3. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    I'll ship at cost. That is, whatever it costs to ship it from my zip code (87544) to the buyer's by whatever means is preferred. Usually, Priority Mail is the best deal. That's a lot for a single unit, but would be cheaper for several.

    I don't mean to be in competition with you, and my previous comment was meant in fun. But I do have ten of these that I don't need. I could try eBay, too. There's someone on there now selling several at $3.95 ea. plus shipping costs.
  4. Dayton

    Dayton New Member

    Not that I need them, I have plenty,but sometimes guys just give stuff like that to each other. No offense meant. Kinda a good will thing between modeling buddies.
  5. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    Oh, well, sure. None of my buddies wants 'em, and I'm just trying to contain costs. :) I expect they will just remain in the box of spare parts that are available for other modelers.
  6. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I have a 14 track yard that is very buisy, I use kadee magnets one at each track and i am very pleased wit results. i can,t imagine operating without them:thumb:
    when i have op session my yard crew is over worked most of the time. it would be nightmare traffic jamb without them.
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Another trick I just discovered (hmmm... this was in the instructions from Kadee - O scale) :

    You can make the uncoupling action even stronger by using two magnets together with one steel plate on the bottom.

    I needed a magnet on a slight curve. I did some experimentation on the work bench and everything seemed fine, so I put the magnet under the roadbed of the layout and glued down the track. Then I discovered that there was something different from my experiments, because the success rate for delayed action was only about 50%. The couplers just were not opening enough. So, I took up the track, dug out some foam and put two magnets in the hole, with only one steel plate on the bottom. Problem solved, and haven't had any problems with unwanted uncoupling.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I read on a web site today ( didn't save the page:oops:) where this person said he files down the "fingers" on the inside of the coupler to make them work better on curves. And files off the stop for the knuckle so they open further. Anybody tried this?

  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I think I would be scared to try that, as it may cause too many unwanted uncouplings when passing over. Now, I suppose if all the magnets were electros, it may work.
  10. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've had magnets before, but I've never really liked magnetic uncoupling. After experiments I always decided that if I used any uncoupling tool, it would be a Rix tool like Doctor Wayne mentioned. I haven't removed the pins from any of my cars. My biggest issue with the pins is that they interfere with the coupling to some steam engine pilots. I plan to go with sergeants for HO at some point...and Link & Pin or Precsion scale/San Juan couplers for all my On3 stuff.
  11. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    The Marklin uncouplers, electrically operated, that I use, work very well. The couplers themselves never uncouple voluntarily and also couple easily when needed. I've never had a problem with coupling and uncoupling using this system.
  12. Genetk44

    Genetk44 New Member

    I've just spent a few days experimenting with the RIX Uncoupleing tool and the Kadee uncoupling pick ....must say I wasn't impressed either one at all ...ithe RIX one only seemed to work 1 out of 10 tries, if that and the Kadee one worked more often than that but tended to bump the cars forward, it wasn't very smooth at all.

  13. diburning

    diburning Member

    someone should suggest to kadee to make an electromagnet that ties into track power and has a switch to turn it on and off.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The electro magnets that Kaddee used to offer for automatic uncoupling (I don't know if they are still offered) required a momentary contact switch. If turned on and left on too long, the coil burned up.
  15. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Regarding building electromagnetic uncouplers: Many years ago I stumbled across an article in a very old Model Railroader, maybe from the late 50's. I'm sure you would never se this in recent mags! I built 12 of these for my yard, they work like a charm. It's been awhile and I forget some specifics, and have no idea where the mag is now, but a little experimentation should fill in the gaps. You start with a 1/1/2" long 1" steel pipe nipple. Clamp it in a vise, use a hacksaw to remove about 1/3rd of the nipples surface, so you wind up with a cross section resembling the letter c. At this point I did something not in the article, I used some Kapton tape to wrap around the nipple to prevent sharp edges from nicking the magnet wire to be wound on. I do not remember the size of the wire, it is small. Something like 23 or 25 (I found it odd that magnet wire used odd #"s) Wind it neatly working from one edge to the other, back and forth. Another thing I don't remember is how many turns. There are a lot! I basically filled mine up, perhaps a pencil could have fit in snugly. Wrap more tape around it to keep the windings in place. Oh, make sure you have kept several inches of the wire (both ends) handing out of the tape, to connect power to. That is basically it, I cut holes in the 3/4" plywood I use for subroadbed, and used that perforated steel straping to hold the magnet in the hole from below. The open section of the nipple must face up, of course, that is where the magnectic force is. And, it needs to be centered under the track, as I recall the edges of the cut pipe nipple wind up just about under each rail. This is cheap! Well, I did get the magnet wire free from work, so I'm not sure what its cost would have been.
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Gary, isn't it necessary to use some sort of insulation paint or varnish between windings? It would seem that winding bare wire directly around a piece of pipe would result in one big short circuit.
  17. seanm

    seanm Member

  18. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Yeah, the magnet wire has a coat of varnish on it. It's a bit of a pain to remove.
  19. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member


    I'm doubting anyone's word, but if I remember correctly, the wire I used to make an elctro-magnet was copper, wound aroung a large nail. I don't recall the copper being coated, but it might have been. BTW, the project I just mentioned will work fine with batteries, but I'm not too sure about AC, although I don't think it would cause a problem if the voltage could be kept low enough. But please don't just take my word for it. I don't want someone to try this, cause a power pack to short out, or catch on fire, and send me a bill for a new one. Just try it first with a "C" or "D" cell battery, and adjust from there.
  20. seanm

    seanm Member

    A quick touch with a soldering iron seem to work.

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