Magnetic or not

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Kadee couplers and the various clones (Intermountain, McHenry, Bachmann, Accumate) are magnetic for uncoupling only. Coupling is strictly mechanical. The magnet (between the rails, or a more powerful one below the ties) pushes the trip pins apart when you create slack over the magnet and opens the coupler jaws.
A lot of people use the Kadee couplers, but not the magnetic uncoupling. Count me in that group. I manually uncouple, and remove the trip pins.
Andy -----------------------------------------------------------
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- Pre-Interstate Urban Archaeology -----------------------------------------------------------
Reply to
Andy Harman
Do NOT.........! The magnets are an unending source of trouble, maintenance and headaches, You never have enough until you suddenly have too many. The trip pins are ugly and are a nuisance to adjust and calibrate. No real railroad uses magnetic uncoupling and real trains are not switched, or shunted as the case may be, in the manner required by the use of the magnetic uncoupling feature. ( it's not a bug, it's a feature- according to Kadee) I regard it as a bug, Something on the order of a cockroach or similar social standing.
Magnets are not free. This is an expense you don't need. Under table electro-magnets are quite expensive, sometimes costing more than an HO scale locomotive. THey are very restrictive and limit your operating potential to always having to uncouple at the same spot every time. In real life this almost never happens.
No one in my operating group uses magnets. We all dislike them. Instead, cut the trip pins off (called a glad-hand-ectomy) and get a couple of packs of four inch bamboo skewers from a nearby supermarket to use as a manual uncoupling tool. It takes about ten - fifteen seconds to learn to use the skewer. Stick it between the knuckles and twist. Voila...! Uncoupled. Any place you want to uncouple without regard to the placement of "the magnet"
If you can't fnd the four or six inch skewers come back here and PING FROGGY I have plenty and can sell you a pack of 100 at cost + postage.
............F>
Reply to
Froggy
BTW Froggy, I forgot to thank you for this little tidbit. I purchased a packet of these skewers, and they work like a dream. ' regards, Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Zeman
Jan & Garry,
I use the Kadee couplers with under the track magnets. They take a bit of planning to install, but it's well worth the extra effort.
Many prefer to uncouple by hand, but in my opinion, that is courting disaster.
I like to keep my hands away from the layout. Much less chance of damaging a model structure or piece of rolling stock.
Switching frieght cars is a facet of the hobby I really enjoy. Watching all the moves take place without a big set of hands reaching out to uncouple a car keeps things much more realistic, in my opinion.
Doug
Reply to
Doug
I'm with you on that Doug. Even though magnetic uncoupling is not prototypical in the sense that you can't just uncouple anywhere the illusion is spoiled for me when hands intrude upon the scene. For this same reason all my turnouts are operated by switch machines even those that are right at the front edge of the layout. For the most part I've had no problem with magnets except when I installed some EZ Mate couplers (the kind with the plastic spring) and had cars that would uncouple while moving. I've done some things like install a magnet to close to a curve or turnout, try to operate overly light cars or cars with couplers not set exactly right that did cause some problems but those are lessons learned and problems no longer. Bruce
Reply to
Bruce Favinger
True, dat. They also work well with (gasp!) "horn-hook" couplers. The appearance of these can be rather improved by snipping off the uncoupling pin from the bottom, and some amount of the "horn". All of it for best appearance, but then it loses the ability to couple on a curve.
But lately I've gone to dummies. They work well in reverse.
Reply to
Richard Schumacher
While I tend to agree with Froggy on this, there is one situation where a magnetic decoupler is the only way to go. That's when you have to spot a car inside a building or covered area. T
he only way it can be achieved (that I know of) is to have a electric magnet inside or to use the time-honored method of decoupling over a magnet, pulling away slightly, then pushing the car in.
Mike Tennent "IronPenguin"
Reply to
Mike Tennent
There is one other way Mike. I stop somewhere convenient and manually uncouple the car, then offset the knuckles and push it to a spot. I sometimes did this with actual cars when I was a switchman and had to spot a car someplace that I could not, or did not want to, ride. Spotting hoppers on a trestle is one example. another is spotting a boxcar under a shed, or in a building with zero clearance for a man on the car. You tie up a handbrake, jam, or pass the knuckles then shove to the spot.
Although this is almost the same in principle as Kadee's "delayed uncoupling" it does not require a magnet and it does not require dancing the Kadee Tango over the thing.
...............F>
Reply to
Froggy
Bruce, I'm with you on the switch machines as well. Mine are the PFM power routing and motorized type. On the subject of magnetic uncouplers, I have taken the trouble to remove all steel weights and axels from my rolling stock. The uncoupling tasks handle much better over the magnets when all the steel is removed from the cars to avoid doing the herky jerky over magnets. It's a bit of a challenge to weight some cars, but well worth the effort. I use a gram scale and stick on automotive wheel weights in box cars and reefers. For other cars I use buckshot in white glue and find places to hide it. One way or another I get all the cars up to NMRA suggested weights, and I use all non-magnetic Kadee wheel sets. A nice side benifit seems to be derailment free operation. Doug
Reply to
Doug
Yeah, but it does require the "giant skewer from the sky."
In this specific case, I personally prefer the magnet. Otherwise, I use the skewer like you.
Mike Tennent "IronPenguin"
Reply to
Mike Tennent
I assume you mean magnetic uncoulpler ramps. I didn't like them. Park cars over them or slow down and they uncouple. I switched to Kadee electromagnetic uncouplers (#307 in HO). I wrote an article for MR describing how to mount these lower in the roadbed underthe ties to hide them. They are strong enough to uncoulbe if you run them on filtered DC. AC doesn't work in this arrangement because the magnetic pull is cycling.
Art Adkins Modeling the Colorado Midland circa 1905
Reply to
RR Artie

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