Couplers , Boo! Just Venting!!!!

Thanks Paul,
Have a lot of time now, and have some experience converting something large one by one. Like "Johnny Appleseed" or perhaps the story "The
Man Who Planted Trees"
I like the "birthday" idea (:
Have already converted a few trains, that would normally be run together and not with any others. And thanks to the other posters and their replies, I have a good start, without having to re-invent the wheel.
Very Best Regards,
Robert
wrote: (in part)

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Mike,
Don't BUY the horn hooks! 90 percent of model railroaders would be glad to give you theirs for free, after they've replaced them with Kadees.
Beats tossin' them in the trash like we normally do.
Paul - "The CB&Q Guy" Modeling 1969 in HO.
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My opinion is that horn hooks have driven about as many people out of the hobby as anything going. Back in the 1960's when I was in the hobby the first time, I converted all of my cars to Kadee Magne Matics. And, that was when I was a teenage kid, living in S.E. Oklahoma and had to mail-order everything, and I mean everything. This was just after the delayed-action feature was introduced, and there were still some purely mechanical Kadees on the market. (Anybody remember them? They had a wire pin that hung straight down from the knuckle and the uncoupling ramps had to be solenoid mounted so as to retract, IIRC.)
I figured out how to manually uncouple them with a piece of wire that I would use to snag the pin on one of the Magne-Matics.
Horn hooks are a disaster. And, they look like crap.
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Still have some of the old K series Kadee couplers! If you file off some of the knuckle, they mate quite well with the newer MK series.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
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You actually have horn-hooks that won't couple? First I've ever heard of that happening. And I've played around with most of them, as my dad's been a HO model railroader since the 1950's (and he's still got most of it). Are you sure some of them aren't broken or something?

Jeez, why on earth would you do that? Sure, they're cheaper, but they can lead to so much frustration it's just not worth it, IMHO. I've never had a knuckle couple cause a derailment, but it used to happen all the time with horn-hooks as the side force they put on the cars is too much at times, and it can force the wheels off the track on tight curves usually found on 4' x 8's (or in backing up). Then there's that whole little realism thing going on...horn-hooks just don't have any.

Horn-hooks are going the way of Mantua loop couplers, dodos, and quarterbacks that stay in the pocket. ;-) IOW, they are becoming unpopular at best...

There are a lot of Ready-To-Run (RTR) models out there that come with knuckle couplers (and you can't get any easier than RTR). In fact, I can't think of any these days that actually come with horn-hooks installed. If you want to save yourself some grief, go with knuckle couplers and throw away those horn-hooks like most of us have.

It's the internet...isn't that why it exists? :-)
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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wrote:

IHC Heavyweights, some of their locos. I've seen a few cars in the LHS with horn-hooks, don't remember the brand. They're still out there. Keeps life interesting and the money flowing.
Greybeard
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Pac Man wrote:

<snip>
Indeed! It was a MAJOR problem. Years back I TRIED to get horn-hooks to work decently, and experienced LOTS of kinds that would NOT couple dependably, NOT uncouple, or stay coupled ... some would hardly couple together at all.
The problem was not with the NMRA's proposed design (it was NEVER even an "RP" recommended practices), but with the various manufacturer's redesigns of the concept. They varied in overall SIZE by nearly a factor of 1.5, had all sorts of spring pressures, and different shaped hooks and horns. The trip pins also varied considerably (some would snag one another).
The result was that some simply would not couple to others, and NO available uncoupling ramp would work with even most of them.
I finally switched to the "Rail Line" versions, and used them whenever possible. These worked with each other quite well. Later, they even had a magnetic version that also worked rather well, but LOOKED even worse than the standard horn-hooks (BIG maagnet ON the trip pin).
I never did use the Mantua hook-loop couplers ... they just looked too bad. I tried the Devore/Roundhouse mechanical couplers. They looked better, but didn't work for 'beans'. I tried the mechanical Kadees, which worked better and looked decent, but was unimpressed. Then Kadee came out with their magnematics, which looked the same, but worked far better. Now I use about 95% real Kadee couplers, and have been unimpressed with most of the 'clones'. I still have some 'clones' in service, but most soon start to cause problems, and I replace them with Kadees.
Dan Mitchell ==========
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Paul A Cutler replied: *** You actually have horn-hooks that won't couple? First I've ever heard of that happening. *** ----------------------------------------------------- I can remember back in my HO days (the 1960s) with horn hooks. Sometimes I couldn't get 'em to couple and I never could uncouple them once they were coupled. Ah, those were good times.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Model Railroad Bookstore: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,000 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
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