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DT
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I picked up a Kadee #309 Magne-Electric Uncoupler

What you get in the bag:



Assembled:



This is how it goes together:



And this is how it fits under the track:



And to wire it to a 16V AC power source, there is a very handy bridge rectifier supplied. If you use a 12 volt DC supply, then there is a capacitor supplied too that will help boost the power. You don't need the capacitor with 16 volts (so they say).



I'll fit is in the next day or two. Hopefully it will do the job and work only when the button is pressed. What I don't like about magnets under the track is that they do affect the running of a train at low speeds. The wagons do jerk to and off the magnetic plate as they pass over giving a strange effect as the train goes by. I do prefer the idea of an electro-magnetic solution. Lets just hope that it doesn't end up too expensive.
 

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I just hope your entire freight train doesn't suddenly pile itself up on top of that machine.....

I also hope Hornby's quality control is good..imagine operating that uncoupler, to have one's wagon suddenly disintegrate?

US stuff really is built with Nuclear war in mind?
 

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QUOTE US stuff really is built with Nuclear war in mind?
Isn't most of it bogie cars as well? They should be less inclined to roll like short wheel base 4 wheelers.

<edit>
QUOTE What I don't like about magnets under the track is that they do affect the running of a train at low speeds
I use Peco code 75 track. I don't think the "between the rails" magnets are designed for rail of this height. The magnet sits a little high above the rail top and so is closer to the operating bar of the couplers; perhaps too close?
<edit>

David
 

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QUOTE The wagons do jerk to and off the magnetic plate as they pass over giving a strange effect as the train goes by.

what? Never watched a loose coupled freight moving?

There must be an awful lot of huge magnets under the tracks on the prototypes then?
 

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Doug,

I have fitted a no.307 uncoupler near the end of my main platform to allow me to change locos on through trains in the hands-free mode. The two plates look like check rails and are hardly noticeable. In fact you can't see them from the viewing side of the layout as the platform masks them.

Before carving my baseboard, I set up a test rig simulating my curved platform, using the same baseboard material, track and ballasting. I found that you do need to adjust the height of the magnetised plates to get the 307 uncoupler to work.This is done by adding packing pieces under the baseboard.

I have to stop the train with the tender coupling over the uncoupler and set back the loco about 5mm to uncouple. The loco can then draw forward and depart to the depot. I have another loco waiting in a siding which then backs on and couples up. If I do it right, the carriages and their passengers are not disturbed by the movement.

My station has a through road, and occasionally I want to fail the loco on through express goods trains and change the loco there, so I shall be fitting a second electro magnetic uncoupler soon.

For the rest of my shunting moves I use the no. 321 magnet that fits between the tracks. I cut out the sleepers retrospectively and glue in the magnet with packing to get them at the right height. They can be disguised as foot crossings. I can now shunt both my carriage sidings and platforms hands free.

The coaling stage siding is also equipped with a 321 uncoupling magnet which is installed just before the point leading to the the siding where I keep the full and empty trucks in rakes of four with Kadees at the ends and 3 links within the rakes. I push the wagons up the ramp with a tank engine: the Kadee on the front of the loco stays in its uncoupled mode even as the loco pushes them through the two fairly abrupt transitions from level track to 1 in 8.

Colombo
 

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That is all really useful Doug and Colombo...

I have decided to build using Kadee - so a couple of further questions -

the 307 seems not to be produced any more - is the 309 the direct replacement?
what power supplies are you using and how many 307/309 do you think they will be good for

Colombo - do you find the same effect on passing trains using your 321 that Doug reports?

Thanks

Tim

p.s. How about setting up a UK Kadee site/wiki whatever just to capture all of the UK Kadee info?
p.p.s. How about encouraging Kadee to make some variable shank height NEM versions - anyone ever asked them?
My Blog
 

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My pack for the 307 was bought at a show this year for only £3, truly a bargain price. I think the reason was in fact that the 307 has been replaced by the 309 because the installation instructions are quite different and it now comes with a capacitor and a rectifier.

For the 307 you must cut the sleepers between the rails and fit the boat shaped moulding in the gap. On the other hand Doug's instructions show the uncut track laid on top of the boat shaped moulding: this will certainly be easier to install and implies that Kadee have provided a stronger electro magnet as the pole pieces will be further away from the wire droppers of the couplers and magnetic field drops off as the square of the distance (I think).

So it looks like the 309 is an improvement, if Doug can get it to work and I look forward to seeing his test results.

I have no problems with the magnets arresting the movement of the rolling stock using the 307 electro magnet and the 321 between the rails magnet, but I have seen a layout that used the big 308 under the rails uncoupler and it was quite clear that the magnetic field was arresting the motion of plastic wagons with steel axles.

Colombo
 

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QUOTE Hopefully it will do the job and work only when the button is pressed. What I don't like about magnets under the track is that they do affect the running of a train at low speeds.

Forgive my ignorance but could strong magnetism have an effect on DCC decoders?
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 20 Aug 2007, 01:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Forgive my ignorance but could strong magnetism have an effect on DCC decoders?

Good point Neil, but probably no worse than the effect when a decoder is mounted very close to the motor.

Question - is the Kaydee device CE marked - if not anyone in the UK (or Europe/Austrialia/NZ) runs the risk of being grassed up & reported for using it.
.
 

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I've used the electro magnetic version in one location on a previous layout, it worked very well but for simplicity I prefer the simple magnetic block glued between the rails (#321)and if your couplers are at the right hight no problems.
 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 20 Aug 2007, 07:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've used the electro magnetic version in one location on a previous layout, it worked very well but for simplicity I prefer the simple magnetic block glued between the rails (#321)and if your couplers are at the right hight no problems.


I have tried the electromagnetic uncoupler but could never get it to work properly, plus it requires extensive carve up of the baseboard. I also tried permanent magnet uncouplers but they have an annoying tendency to uncouple when you don't want them to. Now I use a bamboo skewer twisted and twiddled between the jaws of the coupling. Theres a lot to be said for low tech.
 

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so how well does this 309 work?I am looking to have hands free operation on my new mail depot layout so plan on using kadee. I prefere the idea of an on / off magnet under the board that is only "on" when i want it. Better for not uncoupling when not intended and not interfering with my tank mounted speakers!

Any comments on use appreciated.
 

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The performance Kadee electro uncoupler can be enhanced by placing large thick iron washers (good hardware store) either side of the coil, this concentrates the field and ensures instant uncoupling. I do not place the magnet above the surface of the baseboard (it really looks gross)

Instead,

1. Cut the aperture in the baseboard
2. Fix the modified magnet in place, flush with the top of the baseboard.
3. Align the track above the hole
4. Test everything
Finally.
5. Cover the hole with a piece of recycled manilla envelope.

Also try Kadee's subtrack O Gauge #308 uncoupler, it works a treat and is totally invisible, cheap too.
 

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QUOTE (72C @ 28 Dec 2008, 10:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The performance Kadee electro uncoupler can be enhanced by placing large thick iron washers (good hardware store) either side of the coil, this concentrates the field and ensures instant uncoupling. I do not place the magnet above the surface of the baseboard (it really looks gross)

Instead,

1. Cut the aperture in the baseboard
2. Fix the modified magnet in place, flush with the top of the baseboard.
3. Align the track above the hole
4. Test everything
Finally.
5. Cover the hole with a piece of recycled manilla envelope.

Also try Kadee's subtrack O Gauge #308 uncoupler, it works a treat and is totally invisible, cheap too.

Thanks for the tip. I think the 309 is the one for me as i want to be able to turn it off and on.

It seems the 308 is always on?
 

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QUOTE I think the 309 is the one for me as i want to be able to turn it off and on.

May I suggest that you try the 308 (it is a simple permenant magnet) before investing in the 309 if only to save you cutting large chunks out of thebaseboard. They only cost £3.50 and I have replaced my 309's with 308's.

The trick is the way you use and position them, they work for me.

Tim
 

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I know this is an old thread but I have concluded after a great deal of messing about that the 308 & 309's need to go in at layout building stage before the track is laid. Otherwise its more trouble than its worth.
Andrew
 

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This a post from Brian Considine on 20 August 2007-
Question - is the Kaydee device CE marked - if not anyone in the UK (or Europe/Austrialia/NZ) runs the risk of being grassed up & reported for using it.
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HUH! What would be reported for? Can't be true, surely.


That's all for this post.
 
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