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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am re-entering modelling after some fifteen years and finding myself well out of date.

I am planning a DCC HO layout with German stock for which I have received much useful advice from modellers on here. On my previous layout I used Kadee couplings as I like complete hands-off operation where possible. I plan to use them again but am at a loss to understand the Kadee literature.

Previously I used permanent magnets and they worked quite well with only a few unplanned uncoupling. I believe Kadee do an electro-magnetic uncoupler and, just to be sure, I mean one that is only operative when switched on.

Do Kadee sell such an item and if so, what do they call it; I'm baffled by their descriptions.

David
 

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#309 Under theTies Delayed Action Uncoupler is what you are after.

I've tried them but so much trouble to wire them up and fit a timer so they don't accidently get left on
and burn out, so I decided to stick to the fixed magnet between the rails and that works rather well.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Keith

Many thanks, just the sort of info I was hoping for. I had thought about trying one with a spring-loaded Push button that I kept depressed just long enough to uncouple. I did like the permanent magnets and am going to need several, my layout is all about shunting coaches.

David
 

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The electromagnet eliminates the 'surge' as steel axled vehicles approach a permanent magnet. This can be a real problem with free running stock, if the kadee on the rear of the vehicle ahead is still over the permanent magnet, when the next vehicle's leading axle is tugged forward - and there's an uncouple you weren't looking for! - typically between vehicles near the rear of the train.

So my preference is the electromagnet. I actuate the electromagnets using a probe on a wire against a vertical contact on the layout edge. No way will that lead to a burn out.
 

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C55
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If you look on the Kadee website for the "under-track" permanent Magnets, or the paperwork that comes with them, there are diagrams of a hinged system to raise and lower the magnets, so they avoid the problem of passing axles and unwanted un-couplings. It's very simple and can be string/wire manual, servo, simple motor with pulley, operated - and cheap, too.

Julian
 

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I have some electro magnets on my main lines from Kadee and use toggle switches, spring to off so I can't leave them on. Also, if your shunting sidings etc, you can use tiny rare earth magnets as I have with success.
 

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Theres a neater electromagnet made by Rapido but they are pretty scarce at the best of times
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info. I've ordered one and will see how it works out with a spring switch. I think Kadee couplings are a great bit of kit, but I wish there was a version of their catalogue written in English English
 

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As Kadee is American, I guess it was written for them but I have no problems understanding the website & catalogue.

I use their electromagnets & use pushbuttons to activate them.
 

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You might want to consider Seep uncouplers in combination with this -http://www.train-tech.com/index.php/accessories-extra/relay-controller
 

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Oh dear, a number of "it won't work" in the thread above....

Seep Uncoupler coils, and I suspect the RailCrew ones won't work with Kadee Couplers. At least, not installed the way the parts are expected to be used.


A Kadee (and the smaller N Microtrains) requires TWO magnetic poles at the track level, each positioned near each rail. Thus, the metal tail on one coupler is pulled towards one rail, and the tail on the other coupler pulled to the other rail.

The Seep (and similar) coils present a single magnetic pole at the track (pulling down) and the other is below the baseboard, pointing towards the floor. So, the effect on a Kadee is to pull both tails towards the centre of the track (and thus nothing happens).

The standard (and often expensive) Kadee coil is arranged so the poles are horizontal under the track, with two plates to bring the magnetic field up under the track - essentially just inside each running rail.
A Seep could be re-configured to work this way, but the coil has to be removed from the PCB, the metal pole piece shortened at one end, and two end shunts have to be fitted to bring the field up to the track (so it now looks like a Kadee coil).


The simplest cheap way I know to make controllable Kadee uncouplers is a small movable board (1 square inch, or thereabouts), with a number of rare-earth magnets glued to the board. Magnets arranged so the "N" poles are near one rail, and the "S" poles are near the other rail. This board is then moved under the track, and away again, possibly on a hinge, and moved by either a string, or a motor (a servo motor is one way).



- Nigel
 

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C55
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Oh dear, a number of "it won't work" in the thread above....

Seep Uncoupler coils, and I suspect the RailCrew ones won't work with Kadee Couplers. At least, not installed the way the parts are expected to be used.


A Kadee (and the smaller N Microtrains) requires TWO magnetic poles at the track level, each positioned near each rail. Thus, the metal tail on one coupler is pulled towards one rail, and the tail on the other coupler pulled to the other rail.

The Seep (and similar) coils present a single magnetic pole at the track (pulling down) and the other is below the baseboard, pointing towards the floor. So, the effect on a Kadee is to pull both tails towards the centre of the track (and thus nothing happens).

The standard (and often expensive) Kadee coil is arranged so the poles are horizontal under the track, with two plates to bring the magnetic field up under the track - essentially just inside each running rail.
A Seep could be re-configured to work this way, but the coil has to be removed from the PCB, the metal pole piece shortened at one end, and two end shunts have to be fitted to bring the field up to the track (so it now looks like a Kadee coil).


The simplest cheap way I know to make controllable Kadee uncouplers is a small movable board (1 square inch, or thereabouts), with a number of rare-earth magnets glued to the board. Magnets arranged so the "N" poles are near one rail, and the "S" poles are near the other rail. This board is then moved under the track, and away again, possibly on a hinge, and moved by either a string, or a motor (a servo motor is one way).



- Nigel
There is a diagram that Kadee provide with their under rail magnets {308}. As Nigel mentioned, any suitable Rare Earth magnets, aligned with N under one track and S under the other can be hinged this way. The Kadee diagram is here
https://www.kadee.com/documents/308ins.pdf
I intend operating the string, they illustrate, by a small Servo, from a switch on the Mimic/control board. Simple, inexpensive and less to go wrong than electro-magnets.

Julian
 
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