Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got round to installing Kadee's in my new rolling stock. Hornby Northumbrian pack with extra coaches, Hornby A3 The White Knight, Bachmann, 25, 27 and 40 class diesels and the new BRmk1 Pullmans. Since I have installed the Kadee's, number 19's, I've noticed the coupler heights are different. There's almost a whole knuckle of height, approx 3.5mm, difference between Hornby and Bachmann which makes it very difficult to couple up. I've spent most of the afternoon checking all my stock and found that none of it matches. Isn't there some sort of standard that dictates the the height of the coupler pocket as this is going to awfully frustrating getting these couplers to match.

Ozzie21
 

·
DT
Joined
·
4,794 Posts

Using a coupler height gauge, you can set all your couplers to the same standard height.


It Provides instant visual reference of proper coupler height and accurately measures proper trip pin height above rail.

Take alook at the Bachmann conversions page here. Sure they are American models, but it gives you the picture.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
This is apparently a big issue with US modelling and is why Kadee sell a special gauge for this purpose like the one Doug has posted. In the UK there are only really two manufacturers with similar couplers which can evade this issue so you tend not to notice this too much. It's really when you use Kadee's that you notice this because height is an issue. I even find the difference in elevation when I have trains going up steep slopes is enough to decouple Kadees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Doug and Neil, yes I do use the the Kadee height guage and the NRMA guage and mine are 30yrs old. I just can't understand why on models from two different manufacturers that use the same coupler pocket that they would be so far out. I used to it when modelling American but it was made simple by using the same style of coupler pocket mounted to the body. This meant that if using a standard no5 didn't work then an over or underst shank would work in it's place. Not so on Bachamnn or Hornby as they still run to toy train curves that Triang used in the fifties and use those ridiculous horn hook monstrosities that Triang used. I guess the words "Scale Model" don't actually mean anything to the respective manufacturers or they wouldn't run on 15" curves


Ozzie21
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QUOTE (Doug @ 13 May 2006, 17:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I was just looking at Steve Jones site here (Friday morning 05/05/06). Where he talks about this very topic. Great pictures too.

It seems that Bachmann have got it wrong in a big way.

I've gone through a fair bit of Steve Jones's articles and he's pretty well spot on. After I knock over this Bachmann J79 that I'm installing a Lenz Gold mini into I'm going to build some Parkside kits I picked up. Maybe this will cheer me up or I can watch some new DVD's I got on modern preserved steam and drink beer at the same time
Now there's a thought drown my sorrows


Ozzie21
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
I have a rake of 3 coaches standing in a siding out of harms way while track laying continues;

Bachmann Thompson, Hornby Pullman, Bachman Mk1

The coupling on the Thompson is lower than the Pullman. The Pullman and the Mk1 are the same height, but before you start cheering, I want to point out that when you bend down to look at the rake from rail level you notice that the Mk1 coupling has an offset because the coupling pocket is be too high for a flat connection. ie replace the coupling on the Mk1 and it is going to be too high.

I intend to fit Kadees in the near future so interesting times await.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
I have been going through my rolling stock fitting Kadees for a while now and I have had all the problems mentioned above. I use the height gauge as well.

Because the length of the coupling hooks on tension lock couplings varies depending on which type they are, with long and heavy trains you can get derailments as only the shortest hook between two wagons with dissimilar couplings will be doing the work. So the point of attachment will be off centre to the track and the wagon will try to proceed crab-wise, looking for the first point where a flange can climb out of the 4 foot and derail. That, together with the ability to uncouple remotel and the delayed uncoupling feature, sold me on Kadees.

I tend to stock up in the States when I can, but I am not sure what Security will do next time they X ray a solenoid uncoupler kit in my hand luggage!

Because I don't marshall rakes of coaches, the Kadees are fitted at each end only on the Bachman Mk1s and I have had to cement a thin packing piece to the bottom of the buffer beams. My Ian Kirk Gresleys have all got Kadees fitted and they run far better than they used to with Tension locks.

All the passenger locos will get them eventually. Both Bachman and Hornby tenders on new build locos have NEM pockets at the right height. I can stop an express in my main up platform, uncouple the loco remotely without jiggling it about and couple up a new one without pushing back on the rake.

I do marshall the none passenger carriage stock and so they are all getting Kadees. I have managed to fit short Kadees onto the J72 which shunts the parcels dock and the carriage sidings. The 08 is also fitted.

Because I do not have a goods yard, I do not shunt wagons and so goods stock has three link couplings which look so much better. I have several match trucks so that various types of couplings can be accommodated on goods locos, the kit built ones have three link couplings of course.

The coaling stage is served by two rakes of four mineral wagons with Kadees at each end. With a Kadee fitted Jinty, I can push a rake of "fulls" up the ramp, couple onto the four "empties" on the ramp automatically, draw them all down the ramp, place the four "empties" in a siding behind the coaling stage and then push the four full wagons up the ramp and leave them there, all without having to resort to the "hand of God". Half the time I am placing empties on the stage and removing full ones full of reject (?) coal as I have not yet found a way of shovelling the coal into tubs.

In conclusion, it is not necessary to change all your couplings to Kadees to get the benefits of this superior system.

Colombo
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
>a solenoid uncoupler kit
I am interested in trying one of these. Do you find it an improvement over the permanent magnet type?

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
David,

You are supposed to use the permanent magnet type in sidings and the solenoid type on the mainline as you can't get nuisance uncoupling with a solenoid unit that is not activated. You can over a permanent magnet.

With the permanent magnet type that goes under the track, it can "grab" a wagon with magnetic steel axles and I have seen this happening at exhibitions. The other type that goes at sleeper height does not seem to, at least that is my expeience, but you have to disguise it in some way.

Colombo
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
Thanks.

>Disguise
I guess in a goods yard you could make it look like concrete paving or something like that.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
For some reason Bachmann seem to use two different NEM coupler pocket heights on UK models, with two different types of hook and bar coupler to match. When converting to Kadees, I find that the Kadee #17-#20 are OK for the lower coupler pocket, but are too high for the more common high coupler pocket. These latter are the ones where the top of the coupler pocket sits more or less level with the bottom of the bufferbeam - most (but not all) wagons are like this. Only the BR and GWR brake vans and a few others use the low pocket. [I model steam era pre 1965. I use the Kadee HO height gauge to define the height]

For the high coupler pocket, I have several solutions. On some wagons I have attached a piece of plasticard on top of the coupler pocket to lower the height, but this means that the pocket is then less securely attached to the chassis. A dab of flexible glue on the pocket tail will help, making sure that the coupler pocket is still able to flex sideways. An alternative solution is to modify Kadee couplers by re-mounting the heads offset under a NEM type forked tail made by cutting up an old Bachmann coupler. This is a bit fiddly but does solve the height problem effectively, and requires no modification to the wagon/coach etc. Hopefully Kadee (or one of the clone manufacturers) will eventually produce a set of NEM couplers like #17-#20 but with underslung heads, but alas there is no sign of them doing this yet - I have asked Kadee more than once !

David
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,845 Posts
>I'm going to build some Parkside kits I picked up
I've just completed my first Parkside kit - it's a five plank open wagon. I was wondering if anyone could recommend what Kadees I should fit to finish it off?

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,592 Posts
A word of warning with Kadee's.
There is a small group of people who have/advise that Kadee's should be installed at a different height to the Kadee gauge which of course is H/O scale height. Ignor these idots should you come across them
With wagons fitted with NEM pockets if using 18-19 Kadee use a little double sided tape to ensure the coupler dosn't sag. I do try to use no. 5 Kadee's where ever I can. I also find the 30 range of couplers useful with their different heights.
Kadee fitment to wagons
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
As someone who is slowly converting all his stock to Kadee its fascinating to see how much trouble Bachmann in particular cause by their inability to have an acceptable coupling height. At last years Warley I asked them why they didn't use the NMRA standard their response was that they intended to produce their own version of Kadee. As you will already know the patent has run out on Kadee so its open season, but why not just sort out the coupling height ?. You shouldn't have to cut off a NEM box it should be the same height from all manufacturers, we need a common height so you can just plug in the coupler of your choice.
 

·
No Longer Active.
Joined
·
13,319 Posts
QUOTE (TERRYSVR @ 23 Nov 2006, 22:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You shouldn't have to cut off a NEM box it should be the same height from all manufacturers, we need a common height so you can just plug in the coupler of your choice.

NEM is an established standard for the pocket itself, mounting height, spacing etc - this is yet another example of a UK manufacturer deviating from already accepted european/international standards !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,592 Posts
I have quite a few examples of Bachmann couplings, they are inferior in every way to Kadee. Mc henry are much the same a poor substitute for Kadee's.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,614 Posts
there are practical issues with making all the boxes the same height and style. there may be a bogie ofr an axel in the way. setting it at a standard height might mean interfearing with detail for those who dont want to use Kadees.

I really dont care what height the boxes are but it would be nice if the manufacturer could recommend an apropriate Kadee number with the instructions.

I agree with MMAD that there's kadees and then theres the rest. i use them for 1 simple reason-they work!

Peter
 

·
No Longer Active.
Joined
·
13,319 Posts
QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 24 Nov 2006, 11:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>there are practical issues with making all the boxes the same height and style. there may be a bogie ofr an axel in the way. setting it at a standard height might mean interfearing with detail for those who dont want to use Kadees.
Peter

The europeans (who started the NEM standards) don't have a problem with it so neither should anyone else.

Neither does everyone want to use Kadees - I for one don't - I don't like them !

I use the Fleischmann Profi on my locos & ends of rakes, so it is essential that the coupling pockets all conform to the standard.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top