[HOsteam] Pilot couplers


Arved Grass <a_grass@...>
 

On Wed, 20 Sep 2000 14:08:44 -0400, "Starr, David" <david.starr@analog.com> wrote:

Arved,
This particular cast brass pilot (Calscale 315) would look sort of bad
after I filed a coupler opening big enough to properly fit a Kadee and let
it swing and self center. It's a road locomotive, not a switcher. All I
want the coupler to do is allow double heading. I'll give up automatic
coupling and uncoupling in favor of looks. How much coupler swing do I need
to just stay on the track? On 30 inch curves at the club? For that matter,
this is a fairly long Pacific, with noticeable overhang on tight curves. Is
any amount of coupler swing going to prevent pulling the tender of the lead
locomotive off the tracks?
It's hard for me to say, as it also depends on the coupler mounting of the tender. If the tender has a lot of overhange behind the rear bolster, you should be OK except for reverse curves.

I had a working front coupler (MKD #7) on my old Rivarossi Cab Forward, and it didn't give me much trouble on my home layout w/22" minimum radius curves. I have a dummy coupler on the front of my Max Gray 4-10-2 that also didn't give me much trouble.

The villans seem to be reverse curves (as noted above) and extremes of bolster/coupler distances. You may also want to adapt a swinging coupler on your tender (such as from a long Walther's car, or a Kadee swing bracket adapter kit, see http://www.kadee.com/htmbord/page113.htm).

Hope this gives you some ideas :-),
- Arved
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Starr, David <david.starr@...>
 

Arved,
How much pilot coupler swing do you have on the Riv and the 4-10-2? Both
of these are bigger locomotives than my Pacific. What works for you ought
to work for me. A Kadee 5 mounted on a freight car will swing maybe 20
degrees left or right of center. Call that much swing "normal". Did you
obtain that much swing on your pilot couplers? Or did you limit the swing
to something less, like half of "normal" or quarter of "normal" or ?? How
low can I go before I get into trouble?

David J. Starr

I had a working front coupler (MKD #7) on my old Rivarossi Cab Forward,
and
it didn't give me much trouble on my home layout w/22" minimum radius
curves. I have a dummy coupler on the front of my Max Gray 4-10-2 that
also
didn't give me much trouble.

- Arved


Arved Grass <a_grass@...>
 

On Fri, 22 Sep 2000 11:23:47 -0400, "Starr, David" <david.starr@analog.com> asked"
Subject: RE: Pilot couplers

Arved,
How much pilot coupler swing do you have on the Riv and the 4-10-2?
The cab forward has a standard MKD-7 (now No. 7) coupler installed. The pilot was simply opened up a bit for the coupler. There was nothing done to either open up or restrict the coupler swing. When I say I didn't have any problems with this, this is with double-heading with other power, coupled to a tender of a locomotive ahead of it. As a mid-train helper, I have to be a LOT more carefull. It'll rip 40' reefers off the tracks :-(. There are a couple others with more modern cab forwards on the list, with more recent coupler adaptations, and Kadee now suggests something else out of their catalog (now that they have about 3 times as many couplers as when my dad and I mounted Kadees on this old beast).

The Max-Gray 4-10-2 has a stock dummy coupler. I don't have the model in front of me, but I don't think it swings very much. While a larger engine than your Pacific, I think the pulling face to first driver center distance is probably less, resulting in less swing in curves than you. Again, no problems coupled with other tenders and some longer cars, but I had some problems with shorter cars. By far, the cab-forward was worse in this regard.

I suggest you try your combination out for yourself, and see what you need to do.

Or did you limit the swing
to something less, like half of "normal" or quarter of "normal" or ?? How
low can I go before I get into trouble?
I see no advantage whatsoever in limiting the swing of the coupler. In the worst case, you'll have a coupler without a centering spring using you direct mounting method, right? Guess what? That's more prototypic. Real couplers don't have centering springs. If a coupler is misalligned, the switchman has to go in an man-handle the coupler. Centering coupler, pulling coupler pins to open knuckles, hooking up air hoses, and a number of other things are well within his job description :-).

The knuckles can rotate within themselves quite a bit, too. You don't have to worry about the coupler shanks being aligned in curves. Chances are, none are in your trains. Take a look sometime :-).

BTW, the dummy coupler on the 4-10-2 required the knuckle of the matching coupler be dropped down into it (for coupling) or up out of it (for uncoupling).

Please, though, try out your coupler mounting, and lets see if you have a problem. It's far easier not to do anything if you don't have a problem. I have a sneaking suspicion that with 30" minimum radius curves, you're not going to have as much of a problem as you think you're going to have.

- Arved
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Mechanic's Motto
"If it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features." - MicroSoft Design Handbook :-)

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Tom Knowles <ncstl@...>
 

I checked all my engines (and there are a bunch!) and found that all but one
has the same approximate coupler swing of a freight car . I have no problems
in any situation related to coupler swing, including the Old Tyco "Big Six"
that strangely has almost no swing available in the front coupler. But it is
so short I guess it doesn't care. I operate 26" min radius and have a couple
of pretty severe reverse curves at turnouts in my yard, though at #4 frog
angle, still no prob. Its one of those things that you do what you can at
the moment, try it out, and if it doesn't suit you, change it if you
can...Now I'm kinda bothered by that lack of swing in the 0-6-0, even though
it aint broke, I feel the need to fix it!

Tom