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Dave Garcia talked to a guy he knew inside Kadee just months before his heart surgery that he never totally healed from. This insider told Dave that Kadee was in a rush to finalize the the design of this project because their lead die cutter was about to retire. There were many meetings and objections to the final design but, this was to be the final design. For almost a year, the couplers were casting one at a time from a one off mold and the springs were custom wound and did not match any other spring size they used.
These are the reasons why these couplers were out of stock for a long spell right after initial release.
That doesn't sound like good product design.
No, not exactly. While they will fit the footprint of a 714, there are some minute dimensional considerations to replacing 714’s with 705’s. Like 705’s will only work in the coupler box they come in. And all of the bottom half of a cars coupler striker must be removed so that the 705’s box will fit.
Are 705's a drop-in replacement for the 714's?
I’m with totally with John here. I love using Sergent’s Sharon Type couplers. They drastically reduce train slack to realistic proportions and they will fit in spaces you could only wish a Kadee 714 would fit into. This is because they don’t absolutely need a coupler box to operate. All they need is 3/16 inch diameter pivot tube and a screw to hold that and the coupler in place.
You can make this pivot tube out of Evergreen tube stock or K&S brass tube or you can scavenge it from the bottom half of a Kedee 714 coupler box. All of these will work equally well.
Kadee’s 58 & 158 couplers represent the late era AAR Type “D” and all eras of the AAR Type “E” couplers. However, scale wise, these couplers are a tad on the large size. Just enough to be slightly noticeable. The rub here is, this tends to make them look a bit too large on any HOn3 equipment.
Sergent AAR Type “E” and Sharon Type couplers are both exact scale representations of their prototypes. The Sharon is just a tad smaller in overall size than the Type “E”. Which makes sense because the Sharons came first by many years.
But, (and this is the really important part) the coupler knuckles and interlocking slots on both types are the same size just as they are on the prototypes. This created backwards compatibility and minimized conversion costs for the railroads.
Sergent Sharon Type couplers look really good on HOn3 equipment. They will readily mate with Kadee 705’s and release from them too!
Sergent Sharon Type couplers and Kadee 714’s are a bit problematic here. While the Sharon’s will usually mate with the 714’s. (If aligned properly) The 714’s usually foul the Sharon release mechanism. You can’t have everything you know.
I've put the new 705's on over a hundred cars so far, and they do drastically reduce the slack-action that causes bouncing,
They also will mate with the Sergents pretty easily if you line them up correctly.
Using a long string of BS hoppers I can imitate the slack when I start and stop. But once the train is rolling the cars, and especially the caboose, are constantly bobbing back and forth. I have read articles that suggest using wires that lightly drag on the caboose wheels to reduce the bouncing.
Yes and no. Yes, real trains often have springs built into the draftgear, and there is “runout” as the train stretches. But the bounce of the HO kadees is wholly out of scale, and unlike the prototype and its great weight, the cars run in and out as they are being pulled on the layout, giving a most unrealistic visual.
Chris Lane - Editor HOn3 Annual
Isn't the so-called "bounce" actually a replication of the way prototype trains work? Every time I've watched trains start to move, including the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec, once the engine start in motion the slack between cars is noticeably taken up before they start to move. That is why I prefer the KaDee couplers over all others.