Date   

Re: 3D Printer File for 20" Curve Aid

Ric Case
 

Ribbon rail offers 18inch through at least 36 inch 


On Oct 14, 2018, at 10:41 AM, Brian Jansky <brianj844@...> wrote:

Hi I was wondering if anyone might have a 3D printer file for printing curve aids for a 20" curve for HOn3 track? (a plastic piece that you can put between the rails of flex track and ran through your curve to ensure a smooth curve at the desired radius.) I am wondering if someone might of already drawn one up and would be willing to share it. 

Thanks,
Brian


3D Printer File for 20" Curve Aid

Brian Jansky
 

Hi I was wondering if anyone might have a 3D printer file for printing curve aids for a 20" curve for HOn3 track? (a plastic piece that you can put between the rails of flex track and ran through your curve to ensure a smooth curve at the desired radius.) I am wondering if someone might of already drawn one up and would be willing to share it. 

Thanks,
Brian


Re: Couplers

Mike Conder
 

Great post Dale!  Few have taken the time or had the insight to describe these acting in such a clear manner.  Thanks!

Mike Conder


Re: Couplers

Climax@...
 

Jim:
If you have big enough bag of them I will make a token donation to your favorite location location for the bag of 5's.
DAve

-----Original Message-----
From: "Robert Googooian via Groups.Io"
Sent: Oct 13, 2018 6:14 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Couplers

We'll take them at the club. Pasadena Model Railroad Museum. #5s are still the de facto standard here, although we are allowing 58s with correct height or on unit trains. 

Bob Googooian, Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 13, 2018, at 1:02 PM, Jim Spencer <trainmanjs@...> wrote:

In reading this whole string, one option not discussed is Accumate Scale couplers.  These have a solid pivot but are still a split coupler head design similar to Kadee 714's.  They rely on molded-in whiskers on each half for centering and coupling. They are certainly more scale looking than the Kadee 714s (but not as nice looking as the Kadee 58's). And they come with a prototypical width draft gear box. 

With Accumate Scale couplers, there can be situations where the cars are left compressed (meaning couplers displaced laterally), that the “memory" of the whiskers can go away.  I haven’t experienced it, but it is a potential if left sitting a long time (remember McHenry couplers?).  

I use them on standard gauge HO cars and haven’t noticed the memory problem as yet.  But I will note for you standard gauge users that there is a compatibility issue between the Accurate Scale couplers and Kadee 5's.  They don’t couple!  They couple fine with Kadee 58's, however.   

On my experience using 714's when running long narrow gauge trains (30+ cars) at the Guild, the ‘“bounce” problem is real.  It can split the train apart on downgrades or when a locomotive pauses and restarts abruptly. This can be a real pain.  I have resorted to leaving a rear end helper on the train for the downgrades where I can retard the rear throttle (DCC) in order to create a slight drag, which holds the couplers tight and prevents the break-aparts.  This is much like leaving air brake retarders on in a real train going downgrade.

I feel sad that we have been stuck with 714's for all these years. They are unusable on a locomotive pilot as well. I use 58's now (I cut the pivots off and drill a hole for the screw) on my HOn3 locomotive pilots and have to say that while they work well, they are ‘massively' out of scale. On a C class loco, they look stupid.     

It is time for Kadee (or someone else) to come up with a smaller version of their 58 series.  It would be great for both standard and narrow gauge.  

And if I am typical of many users, I have been pulling Kadee 5's off my equipment for years and tossing them — into a bag.  Anyone want em?

Jim   

On Oct 12, 2018, at 6:41 AM, Jim Marlett <jmarlett@...> wrote:

Although I originally built my layout, or at least portions thereof, to use retractable under-track magnets for uncoupling Kadees, since trying the bamboo skewer technique I have abandoned magnets altogether. I may be blessed with steady hands or something, but it is really easy for me and nothing on my model railroad is a far reach. I’ve tried to keep my trackage within a foot of the front and no trackage is over 16 inches away.

Unfortunately, I am experiencing “Kadee bounce” and am considering switching to either Sergent Sharons or Kadee “scale head” couplers. It seems like Sergents would be the easier conversion, but I would like to hear from anyone who is actually using Kadee scale heads for HOn3. What I really wish is that Kadee would make a drop-in HOn3 coupler that worked like 150 series, but fit the existing HOn3 coupler box without modification.

On Oct 11, 2018, at 4:41 PM, Climax@... wrote:





>Although I have not tried it, I have seen and heard of people that use a long pointed stick that they put down into the coupler and and twist is to pop the couplers open when not over a magnet.


James G. Spencer, Architect, AIA 






Re: Couplers

Robert Googooian <k59mikado@...>
 

We'll take them at the club. Pasadena Model Railroad Museum. #5s are still the de facto standard here, although we are allowing 58s with correct height or on unit trains. 

Bob Googooian, Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 13, 2018, at 1:02 PM, Jim Spencer <trainmanjs@...> wrote:

In reading this whole string, one option not discussed is Accumate Scale couplers.  These have a solid pivot but are still a split coupler head design similar to Kadee 714's.  They rely on molded-in whiskers on each half for centering and coupling. They are certainly more scale looking than the Kadee 714s (but not as nice looking as the Kadee 58's). And they come with a prototypical width draft gear box. 

With Accumate Scale couplers, there can be situations where the cars are left compressed (meaning couplers displaced laterally), that the “memory" of the whiskers can go away.  I haven’t experienced it, but it is a potential if left sitting a long time (remember McHenry couplers?).  

I use them on standard gauge HO cars and haven’t noticed the memory problem as yet.  But I will note for you standard gauge users that there is a compatibility issue between the Accurate Scale couplers and Kadee 5's.  They don’t couple!  They couple fine with Kadee 58's, however.   

On my experience using 714's when running long narrow gauge trains (30+ cars) at the Guild, the ‘“bounce” problem is real.  It can split the train apart on downgrades or when a locomotive pauses and restarts abruptly. This can be a real pain.  I have resorted to leaving a rear end helper on the train for the downgrades where I can retard the rear throttle (DCC) in order to create a slight drag, which holds the couplers tight and prevents the break-aparts.  This is much like leaving air brake retarders on in a real train going downgrade.

I feel sad that we have been stuck with 714's for all these years. They are unusable on a locomotive pilot as well. I use 58's now (I cut the pivots off and drill a hole for the screw) on my HOn3 locomotive pilots and have to say that while they work well, they are ‘massively' out of scale. On a C class loco, they look stupid.     

It is time for Kadee (or someone else) to come up with a smaller version of their 58 series.  It would be great for both standard and narrow gauge.  

And if I am typical of many users, I have been pulling Kadee 5's off my equipment for years and tossing them — into a bag.  Anyone want em?

Jim   

On Oct 12, 2018, at 6:41 AM, Jim Marlett <jmarlett@...> wrote:

Although I originally built my layout, or at least portions thereof, to use retractable under-track magnets for uncoupling Kadees, since trying the bamboo skewer technique I have abandoned magnets altogether. I may be blessed with steady hands or something, but it is really easy for me and nothing on my model railroad is a far reach. I’ve tried to keep my trackage within a foot of the front and no trackage is over 16 inches away.

Unfortunately, I am experiencing “Kadee bounce” and am considering switching to either Sergent Sharons or Kadee “scale head” couplers. It seems like Sergents would be the easier conversion, but I would like to hear from anyone who is actually using Kadee scale heads for HOn3. What I really wish is that Kadee would make a drop-in HOn3 coupler that worked like 150 series, but fit the existing HOn3 coupler box without modification.

On Oct 11, 2018, at 4:41 PM, Climax@... wrote:





>Although I have not tried it, I have seen and heard of people that use a long pointed stick that they put down into the coupler and and twist is to pop the couplers open when not over a magnet.


James G. Spencer, Architect, AIA 






Re: Couplers

Mike Van Hove
 

Way to go, Dale !

This is a very good description on coupling/uncoupling.

Thanks so much for the effort in putting this in print.

I love my Sergents, and won’t go back to K/D’s.

I spent the afternoon switching on a very nice HOn3 layout, and the K/D’s were a royal pain.

Thanks,
Mike Van Hove

On Oct 13, 2018, at 5:05 AM, Dale Buxton <dbtuathaddana@...> wrote:

Yes Duncan,

There are many attributes of model trains that are not the same as the prototypes. But, I think we can all agree that both model and prototype have tracks, wheels, locomotives, cars and yes couplers along with many other items.

One of the biggest differences is that our Conductors, Engineers, Firemen and Brakemen/Switchmen can all be just one person! Which I'm sure is something the prototypes would love to have from a payroll standpoint! LOL. But, it also is great for train movement communication. With just one operator there can be no miscommunications. Unless a person has multiple dyslexic personalities. But I digress.

Do you remember the old advertising and instructions for Kadee 5&10 couplers that touted their "Delayed Action" attributes? 

If you don't, let me explain. 

Two Kadee equipped cars are pulled over a Kadee un-coupling magnet. The train is backed up a very tiny bit which produced slack between the coupler knuckle faces. This slack allowed the iron coupler trip horns to pull the coupler to the sides of the magnet. Un-coupling is now ready to take place. The train was pulled a bit further back and total un-coupling was achieved! (In a perfect world at least. LOL) Now you could take advantage of the "Delayed Action" of the Kadee design. With the couplers still over the magnet, the couplers are pulled off center. You could now push the one car still attached to the train forward and it would not re-couple with the car in front of it. You could push the un-coupled car to your desired location and then back away from it without it re-coupling to the train.

Well, Prototype Automatic Couplers work the much the same way as Kadee 5&10's (and the versions that came after them). In a perfect world they will not become un-coupled while under knuckle face tension. Period! They only un-couple when there is slack between the "Knuckle Faces" and the un-coupling action is tripped. Both prototype and Kadee's work like this.

BREAKING TRAINS and SPOTTING CARS:

In prototype car spotting operations. You will have a switchman/brakeman on the ground. He usually starts out at the locomotive or at turnout to a siding that they want to spot a car at. The train makes a safety stop at 50' or more before turnouts and stationary cars. The switchman throws the turnout and signals the engineer to pull into the siding. The car is pushed forwards past the turnout. Now because automatic couplers will only un-couple while not under tension. For expedience (because it is easier to spot cars EXACTLY where you want them this way), train crews will pull the cut lever on one of the cars. Which releases the knuckle pin and un-couples the car from the train. The switchman gives the signal that the coupling has been broken. The engineer pulls the locomotive/train back a little. If the break does not happen, the engineer moves the train forward and takes the slack out of the coupler knuckle faces again and the switchman tries to pull the coupler pin again. Once the break is made and the engineer has pulled the open couplers a way from each other and stops. The trainman gets permission to get between the cars and closes the knuckles on both opposing couplers. He gets back out and signals the engineer to move forward. The car will now be pushed (closed knuckle to closed knuckle) to its final position. The hand brakes will be set, The angle cocks will be closed and the train line (on K-brake systems) will be bled. The train and crew then moves on to the next car set-out or whatever. 

The biggest reason for closing the knuckles to push the car gets back to the Link and Pin coupler days. The number one most dangerous place to be on the railroads is in between the cars during coupling and un-coupling. Putting automatic couplers on cars with the cut levers to operate them extending to the outside edge of the cars, which put the trainmen out of the danger zone when the pin was pulled. These improvements to car spotting started saving lives and limbs almost immediately. So that is the primary train movement process for car spotting. But, 100% of the time you must have slack in between the coupler knuckle faces for the couplers to part when the pin is pulled. 

JOINING CARS and TRAINS:

So now we need to pick up that car. Once again the train and locomotive move to the turnout. The safety stop is made. The switchman gets off of the train. He throws the turnout and signals the engineer into the spur. They make another safety stop. Now the switchman gets permission to get in front of the coupler and makes sure that the coupler that they are going to use to make the "Joint" is open and aligned. (Remember! On most steam locomotives, the front coupler is merely pined into the coupler pocket on the locomotives pilot beam. So it has the ability to flop around from side to side and get out of alignment. Cars do it too!) The switchman signals the engineer to pull up to the car and make the "Joint". Once the "Joint" is made, the switchman signals the engineer to back up and take the slack out of the knuckle faces. This is called making a "Stretch". If the "Stretch" is successful, the newly coupled onto car will come with them and the slack will be taken out of the knuckle faces. If not the "Joint: and "Stretch" moves must be repeated until the proper "Joint" is made. Once a "Stretch" is successful, the switchman signals the engineer to move up and remove the slack from the knuckle faces. That completed, the switchman signals for permission to go between the cars where he kneels and connects the "Glad Hands" of the air hoses to the trainline, opens the angle cocks to the hoses and releases the manual brakes. Now they can pull out of the siding.

MODELING SWITCHING MOVES:

Now where model trains don't need a good deal of these steps. In most cases you don't see modelers doing even half of what they should be doing as simple good practices. At the very least they should be doing "Safety Stops", "Closed Knuckle Spotting" and making "Stretches" to make sure the "Joints" are made.

I watched a video of an operating session on Craig Symingtion's layout a while back and I became aghast at the switching movements. They are using Kadee 714 couplers. Somebody (Not Craig!) was switching out cars in his Montrose Yard and this is what he would do. He would spot a car. Un-couple it with an un-coupling wand/skewer. Then move the car away from his consist and finish spotting it with his free hand. AUGHHHHHHH! Why was he touching and moving his train with his hand??? You have a locomotive there to do that!

Well, the reason is that he had no control over the "Delayed Action" that an un-modified Kadee 714 coupler would offer. So he had no realistic switching control of his train. To me he was just moving cars around with his hand. Which in my mind, kind of defeats the point of having the locomotive there.


Now, while Kadee 714's and all of their "Scissors Action" type couplers offer the "Delayed Action" attribute. They will not have a delayed action aspect if the trip pins are cut off. Plus, because of the HUGE amount of play that is required in the 714 draft gear box to get them to do the Scissors and Delayed Action they need to have. (Not really ALL that huge but, certainly enough to cause unwanted mechanical problems in other operating areas. Hey it's not a perfect world mechanically speaking.) The 714 knuckle does not always stay in its required horizontal and vertical operating plane. So they sometimes drop out of the true horizontal height needed and then if the 714's trip pins are not adjusted to exactly just the right height and shape. They drop too low, and snag on frogs, guardrails, road crossing boards, ties etcetera and cause derailments etc. etc. etc. 

So HOn3'ers started clipping off the trip pins and started using un-coupling wands and wooden skewers to un-couple Kadee 714s. But, in the process the whole concept of "Delayed Action" un-coupling and prototypical car movement was lost. 

The other problem with Kadee 714's and all of their "Scissors Action" type couplers is the now famous "Slinky Action". This is caused by the wimpy coil springs in their draft gear boxes and poor rolling qualities of many trucks that have been available for many, many years. 

So, if you have Kadee un-coupling magnets on the mainline trackage and you leave the 714's trip horns on. The "Slinky Action" will more often than not cause the train to part when you don't want to as it  "SLINKY" rolls over the un-coupling magnet. (Stretch-Slack-Stretch-Slack-Un-coupling Magnet-Train Break!! AUGH!) So you either remove the trip pins or move the magnet to remedy this. But you probably will loose the ability to un-couple trains where you originally wanted to.  In any case. I don't know anybody that has ever placed Kadee un-coupling magnets in every conceivable un-coupling location that might be needed. It's just not practical!

So where am I going with all this? 

Ahh! I'm glad you asked. 


So along comes Sergent Engineering Couplers. They not only look like full size prototype couplers. They nearly duplicate the total way that prototype couplers work! At least as well as something so tiny can do to a mechanical degree.  

You can do almost everything with Sergents that I described above in a prototype car-spotting scenario. The only caveat is that you must plan in advance where you are going to un-couple your cars so your switchman (you) can get at the coupler knuckles easily and un-couple them. If you are using proper switching practices, you've already done that. Then you close the coupler knuckles so you can PUSH the car (or train) into location and then back away from it. 

Coupling up to the car in the siding will require that you set the coupler on the engine or the car(s) you are moving to the siding car to open and align it. You do this where it is convenient to get at the coupler and not where you have obstructions to seeing the process. (The 50' safety stops are where one should do this) I've watched train crews in Chama do it exactly like this, over and over again.  


So as to your other concerns. Progress is being made and the more people that start using Sergent's the faster those will have more solutions. But in the mean time.

Over the last few years some improvements to the Sergent un-coupling process have emerged. Kadee 714's will NEVER perfectly mate with Sergent Sharon type couplers. PERIOD! ! ! Kadee 714's and Sergent, Sharon type couplers are similar in the same way that apples and oranges are both similar. Apples and oranges are both fruit. And Kadee 714's and Sergent, Sharon type couplers are both couplers. But these broad descriptive terms are where the similarities end. 

The first remote Sergent un-coupling improvement was over at "P87 Stores". They came up with a remote Sergent un-coupler magnet attached to a control cable. It's basically a little round wafer magnet on a steel wire with a right angle bend in it and another right angle bend at 90 degrees to the first one. Standing in it's vertical position, it looks kind of like a switch stand. So you pull the car up to the magnet target so it looks like it is aligned in between the two couplers. Then the magnetic target is rotated up and over the coupler knuckles with the control cable and the little ball bearings move up. Now you can back away from the spotted car. 

I can't find this item P87 Stores anymore. But I'm trying to design a version that uses an (SG90) Miniature Servo and a Tamvalley turnout controller that does the same thing. But it's a simple device to create on ones own.

The other was by somebody on the HOn3 or Sergent list that attached a doctors LED pen light to a Sergent un-coupling wand to illuminate the process between the cars better.

In any case. Sergent couplers must be constructed so that all working surfaces will have no burs or binds in them. That means ALL mechanical surfaces MUST be burnished. The TWO pivot points must be polished or burnished and lubricated with graphite. The best method for lubrication that I have found is the colloidal graphite in Neolube. But don’t ever get it on the ball bearing!!! It will make it just a tiny bit sticky and you don't want that. EVER!!! So you dab the Neolube on the pivot points before you assemble the couplers. 

All said, switching trains can be a whole lot of fun. Especially with Sergent Couplers. It's even more fun when modelers use a little prototypical discipline. It also looks really good too!

Dale Buxton


On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 10:54 AM duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:
Mark,

     I also toyed with the idea of the Sergent couplers.  I loved their
look, the way they operated and so on.  I assembled a few and installed
them on some cars.  I tried using them on the club portable layout. 
That's when some problems started showing up.

     First, they wouldn't couple easily to the Kadees.  And like you, I
have well over a hundred cars and locos that would need to be changed. 
So, I could only use like couplers in a train.  (And I know the two can
be jockeyed to couple.  But, on an operating layout, with cars in
various locations regarding structures and land forms, the need to
jockey to get connection was realized to be a problem.)  A friend who is
a member of the club and often runs on the club portable layout, loves
the Sergents and uses them in his trains.  But, he can really only pick
up Sergent equipped cars, without having to do the "jockeying".  And the
rest of us can't pick up the Sergent equipped cars without doing the
"jockeying".  And sometimes, as in situations I'll mention below, it
just doesn't work.

     Then, just using Sergents, I found that when I ran a car into the
Stanley Mine structure and dropped it, or dropped it between the
Salisbury Mill and the rock retaining wall, I had great difficulty
getting it back out.    The Sergents wouldn't self center.    Or, in a
sizeable yard, where the car is located on one of the back tracks and
can't be easily seen, or "handled", getting the car to couple when the
coupler is off center, or the head not opened.  (And, yes, I know they
work best if only one head is opened.  So, what if both are open and
you'd like to close one?) I mentioned these difficulties on another site
and one of the respondents told me that if he was operating on a layout
he would probably stick with the Kadees!

     Now, that was one person and several years ago.  But I think it
confirmed a difficulty.  And I don't want to get into an argument about
one, of the other, being the best.  I'd like to use the Sergents, but
have a couple of questions.

     First, is it worth the effort now that Sergents have cut back/gone
out of production?  Has anyone bought the company?  Is there a future
for using the Sergents?

     Second, have others found ways to counteract the coupling problems
I encountered?  I know there was the development of a self centering
coupler box.  Is it still available?  Why haven't more people gone that
route?  Am I missing something?  Have others found ways around the lack
of self centering in situations where you can't easily get to the
couplers to center them?  Have others found ways to get the coupler to
mate with a Kadee reliably and easily?

     I still have many of the tools and accessories needed for the
assembly and operation of Sergents.  I'm willing to change if I can get
the usability out of them that I have with the Kadees. For me usability
is more important than looks and elimination of the slinky action found
in the Kadees.

                                                 Duncan Harvey






D&RGW and RGS drawings available

tonyk537
 

Hello all.  Bought a nice collection of drawings a while back and thought it was a good time to clean out some duplicates.  Some great information here from Maxwell, Blazek, Cass, Ewell and the D&RG.  All duplicates and a variety of different versions.  Much cheaper than when these drawings were available. All are 8 ½” x 11” unless otherwise noted.   Prefer Paypal but a check works also.  Please email off list at tonyk375@...
tonyk375 at AOL dot com
 

All for $110.  Prices include US shipping 

 

D&RGW  Durango and Misc $35

Durango:

Roundhouse  Maxwell shows elevations plans trackage, doors, details 35”x24”

Blazek profiles Sand house , yardmaster office, handcar sheds, freight house, car shops, section house 3 sheets

Turntable Maxwell

Turntable E.H. Cass 16x11

Coal tipple 

Car shop

Sandhouse

Depot Maxwell

Turntable 5 sheets details and pit

 

Misc D&RGW:

Los Pinos tank Adams 2 sheets

Creco telephone booth Adams

Espanola Depot  Maxwell

 

Chama $55

Coal tipple D&RG

Water tank standard 50,000 gal 4 sheets

Large warehouse ends

Roundhouse 7 sheets elevations roofing floor plan, details, etc

Coal sheds 2 sheets

Section tool and car shed  Maxwell 3 sheets

Coal tipple Ewell 4 sheets

Section foreman’s house Maxwell 3 sheets

Locker room Maxwell

Oil house Maxwell

Scale house

Depot end elevation D&RG

Oil house Adams

Sand house

Log bunkhouse Adams 2 sheets

Sand house Ewell 2 sheets

Warehouse trackside Ewell

Reefer watchman’s house Adams

Scale house Adams

Roundhouse D&RG floor and track plan D&RG 24”x 30”

Roundhouse elevations and doors D&RG 35”x18”

 

 

Rio Grande Southern $55

 

Vance jct coal pocket Maxwell

Lizard head depot Mancos car shed Blazek

Placerville depot 2 sheets

RGS trestle bents Ewell

Matterhorn Silver hat mill Blazek 4 sheets

Lizard head depot 4 sheets

Telluride Depot 4 sheets

Lizard Head snow shed

Ophir depot Graves 2 sheets

Pro Patria Mill Rico Blazek 4 sheets

Rico Depot Wegner 2 sheets

Rico Section House Blazek 2 sheets

Rico Car shed Blazek

Rico Bunk house Blazek

Ute Jct coal chute Maxwell 2 sheets

Burnett & Clifton coal chute   doors, chutes detail 2 sheets  Vance and Rico

Dolores Water tank Blazek 2 sheets

Dolores RGS Hotel Blazek 2 sheets

 

RGS Ridgway

RGS office Maxwell 11x17

Turntable Cass 3 sheets

Standard signs 2 sheets

Depot Dunlop 2 sheets

Toilet building Blazek 2 sheets

Roundhouse Maxwell 2 sheets

Roundhouse Wiese

Roundhouse DRG


Re: Couplers

Jim Spencer
 

In reading this whole string, one option not discussed is Accumate Scale couplers.  These have a solid pivot but are still a split coupler head design similar to Kadee 714's.  They rely on molded-in whiskers on each half for centering and coupling. They are certainly more scale looking than the Kadee 714s (but not as nice looking as the Kadee 58's). And they come with a prototypical width draft gear box. 

With Accumate Scale couplers, there can be situations where the cars are left compressed (meaning couplers displaced laterally), that the “memory" of the whiskers can go away.  I haven’t experienced it, but it is a potential if left sitting a long time (remember McHenry couplers?).  

I use them on standard gauge HO cars and haven’t noticed the memory problem as yet.  But I will note for you standard gauge users that there is a compatibility issue between the Accurate Scale couplers and Kadee 5's.  They don’t couple!  They couple fine with Kadee 58's, however.   

On my experience using 714's when running long narrow gauge trains (30+ cars) at the Guild, the ‘“bounce” problem is real.  It can split the train apart on downgrades or when a locomotive pauses and restarts abruptly. This can be a real pain.  I have resorted to leaving a rear end helper on the train for the downgrades where I can retard the rear throttle (DCC) in order to create a slight drag, which holds the couplers tight and prevents the break-aparts.  This is much like leaving air brake retarders on in a real train going downgrade.

I feel sad that we have been stuck with 714's for all these years. They are unusable on a locomotive pilot as well. I use 58's now (I cut the pivots off and drill a hole for the screw) on my HOn3 locomotive pilots and have to say that while they work well, they are ‘massively' out of scale. On a C class loco, they look stupid.     

It is time for Kadee (or someone else) to come up with a smaller version of their 58 series.  It would be great for both standard and narrow gauge.  

And if I am typical of many users, I have been pulling Kadee 5's off my equipment for years and tossing them — into a bag.  Anyone want em?

Jim   

On Oct 12, 2018, at 6:41 AM, Jim Marlett <jmarlett@...> wrote:

Although I originally built my layout, or at least portions thereof, to use retractable under-track magnets for uncoupling Kadees, since trying the bamboo skewer technique I have abandoned magnets altogether. I may be blessed with steady hands or something, but it is really easy for me and nothing on my model railroad is a far reach. I’ve tried to keep my trackage within a foot of the front and no trackage is over 16 inches away.

Unfortunately, I am experiencing “Kadee bounce” and am considering switching to either Sergent Sharons or Kadee “scale head” couplers. It seems like Sergents would be the easier conversion, but I would like to hear from anyone who is actually using Kadee scale heads for HOn3. What I really wish is that Kadee would make a drop-in HOn3 coupler that worked like 150 series, but fit the existing HOn3 coupler box without modification.

On Oct 11, 2018, at 4:41 PM, Climax@... wrote:





>Although I have not tried it, I have seen and heard of people that use a long pointed stick that they put down into the coupler and and twist is to pop the couplers open when not over a magnet.


James G. Spencer, Architect, AIA 






Re: Couplers

LARRY KLOSE
 

" A very short section of small diameter rod, called a spacer dowel, was
available to be inserted inside of the coil spring to limit stretching.
This could be done on any coupler using a coil spring in the draft gear
box."

Does anyone know the length of this rod? Seems like an easy DIY solution.
I have a couple of kits that take MK4's that I'd like to fit this way.

Larry


Re: Looking for Silverton Information

RAGG
 

Hi Mark!

That's a great offer I can't refuse!  I hope the member you speak of is doing well! 

If you make the trip north, I'm looking for a "smallish" (one or two story) wooden building with interesting graphics and, perhaps, some interesting architecture (trimwork, pillars, bay window, whatever...).  Photographs are all I need.  Right now I'm considering the Herr, Hodges, & Herr building (Many More Mtns, V3, p227) or the SIlverton Hotel (across the street).  But more photos would be very helpful and leave less to interpretation.

Someday I hope to tackle one of the many masonry buildings on Greene Street, but reproducing it as a kit would be a whole new area for me.

Finally,, more for Dave, Vol 2 of the George L. Beam book by J. Thode contains some very sharp pics of Silverton's structures, but close ups of individual structures are rare.

THANKS, MARK!

Ragg



On 10/13/2018 10:16 AM, Mark Kasprowicz wrote:
Joe,
The San Juan County Historical scociety is a very small organization not helped by the age of its members a key one of which had a major stroke just a few weeks ago. If it's just photos that are needed I'll drive up there (snow permitting!) and do the deed. Greene Street frontages and sides were possible. Any preferences?

Mark K
Durango CO


Re: Looking for Silverton Information

Mark Kasprowicz
 

Joe,
The San Juan County Historical scociety is a very small organization not helped by the age of its members a key one of which had a major stroke just a few weeks ago. If it's just photos that are needed I'll drive up there (snow permitting!) and do the deed. Greene Street frontages and sides were possible. Any preferences?

Mark K
Durango CO


Re: Looking for Silverton Information

RAGG
 

I know what you're going through, Dave.� I've been looking for years for any book that illustrates Silverton's structures but I've never found a comprehensive source.� It's odd that no one has ever put a "railroad" book together strictly dealing with the town (hint hint).

I'm currently looking for a store from Silverton that I could make into a kit (and use on my own railroad).� So far, not much luck.� Many More Mountains. Volume 3 (Judge Allen Nossaman) is about the best source I've found.� It has a few pics of commercial structures and a lot of town maps.� And a lot of local history.

The historical society in Silverton has a wealth of great information, but I've always had a tough time dealing with them (Rose-Walsh Smelter).� If you're a member and in town I think you would have better luck.

Ragg

�10/11/2018 11:59 PM, David Hunt wrote:

I'm looking for information about Silverton in the late 1940's.� A track diagram would be a good start.� Information about any local rail shippers and types of loads in and out would also be useful.� Pictures of the structures in town during this period would be the icing on the cake.

�

I would guess that I have the information in my library somewhere, but I haven't run across it yet.� If members of the group could point me in the right direction I would be most appreciative.

�

Thanks.

�

Dave Hunt


Virus-free. www.avast.com


Re: Couplers

Dale Buxton
 

Yes Duncan,

There are many attributes of model trains that are not the same as the prototypes. But, I think we can all agree that both model and prototype have tracks, wheels, locomotives, cars and yes couplers along with many other items.

One of the biggest differences is that our Conductors, Engineers, Firemen and Brakemen/Switchmen can all be just one person! Which I'm sure is something the prototypes would love to have from a payroll standpoint! LOL. But, it also is great for train movement communication. With just one operator there can be no miscommunications. Unless a person has multiple dyslexic personalities. But I digress.

Do you remember the old advertising and instructions for Kadee 5&10 couplers that touted their "Delayed Action" attributes? 

If you don't, let me explain. 

Two Kadee equipped cars are pulled over a Kadee un-coupling magnet. The train is backed up a very tiny bit which produced slack between the coupler knuckle faces. This slack allowed the iron coupler trip horns to pull the coupler to the sides of the magnet. Un-coupling is now ready to take place. The train was pulled a bit further back and total un-coupling was achieved! (In a perfect world at least. LOL) Now you could take advantage of the "Delayed Action" of the Kadee design. With the couplers still over the magnet, the couplers are pulled off center. You could now push the one car still attached to the train forward and it would not re-couple with the car in front of it. You could push the un-coupled car to your desired location and then back away from it without it re-coupling to the train.

Well, Prototype Automatic Couplers work the much the same way as Kadee 5&10's (and the versions that came after them). In a perfect world they will not become un-coupled while under knuckle face tension. Period! They only un-couple when there is slack between the "Knuckle Faces" and the un-coupling action is tripped. Both prototype and Kadee's work like this.

BREAKING TRAINS and SPOTTING CARS:

In prototype car spotting operations. You will have a switchman/brakeman on the ground. He usually starts out at the locomotive or at turnout to a siding that they want to spot a car at. The train makes a safety stop at 50' or more before turnouts and stationary cars. The switchman throws the turnout and signals the engineer to pull into the siding. The car is pushed forwards past the turnout. Now because automatic couplers will only un-couple while not under tension. For expedience (because it is easier to spot cars EXACTLY where you want them this way), train crews will pull the cut lever on one of the cars. Which releases the knuckle pin and un-couples the car from the train. The switchman gives the signal that the coupling has been broken. The engineer pulls the locomotive/train back a little. If the break does not happen, the engineer moves the train forward and takes the slack out of the coupler knuckle faces again and the switchman tries to pull the coupler pin again. Once the break is made and the engineer has pulled the open couplers a way from each other and stops. The trainman gets permission to get between the cars and closes the knuckles on both opposing couplers. He gets back out and signals the engineer to move forward. The car will now be pushed (closed knuckle to closed knuckle) to its final position. The hand brakes will be set, The angle cocks will be closed and the train line (on K-brake systems) will be bled. The train and crew then moves on to the next car set-out or whatever. 

The biggest reason for closing the knuckles to push the car gets back to the Link and Pin coupler days. The number one most dangerous place to be on the railroads is in between the cars during coupling and un-coupling. Putting automatic couplers on cars with the cut levers to operate them extending to the outside edge of the cars, which put the trainmen out of the danger zone when the pin was pulled. These improvements to car spotting started saving lives and limbs almost immediately. So that is the primary train movement process for car spotting. But, 100% of the time you must have slack in between the coupler knuckle faces for the couplers to part when the pin is pulled. 

JOINING CARS and TRAINS:

So now we need to pick up that car. Once again the train and locomotive move to the turnout. The safety stop is made. The switchman gets off of the train. He throws the turnout and signals the engineer into the spur. They make another safety stop. Now the switchman gets permission to get in front of the coupler and makes sure that the coupler that they are going to use to make the "Joint" is open and aligned. (Remember! On most steam locomotives, the front coupler is merely pined into the coupler pocket on the locomotives pilot beam. So it has the ability to flop around from side to side and get out of alignment. Cars do it too!) The switchman signals the engineer to pull up to the car and make the "Joint". Once the "Joint" is made, the switchman signals the engineer to back up and take the slack out of the knuckle faces. This is called making a "Stretch". If the "Stretch" is successful, the newly coupled onto car will come with them and the slack will be taken out of the knuckle faces. If not the "Joint: and "Stretch" moves must be repeated until the proper "Joint" is made. Once a "Stretch" is successful, the switchman signals the engineer to move up and remove the slack from the knuckle faces. That completed, the switchman signals for permission to go between the cars where he kneels and connects the "Glad Hands" of the air hoses to the trainline, opens the angle cocks to the hoses and releases the manual brakes. Now they can pull out of the siding.

MODELING SWITCHING MOVES:

Now where model trains don't need a good deal of these steps. In most cases you don't see modelers doing even half of what they should be doing as simple good practices. At the very least they should be doing "Safety Stops", "Closed Knuckle Spotting" and making "Stretches" to make sure the "Joints" are made.

I watched a video of an operating session on Craig Symingtion's layout a while back and I became aghast at the switching movements. They are using Kadee 714 couplers. Somebody (Not Craig!) was switching out cars in his Montrose Yard and this is what he would do. He would spot a car. Un-couple it with an un-coupling wand/skewer. Then move the car away from his consist and finish spotting it with his free hand. AUGHHHHHHH! Why was he touching and moving his train with his hand??? You have a locomotive there to do that!

Well, the reason is that he had no control over the "Delayed Action" that an un-modified Kadee 714 coupler would offer. So he had no realistic switching control of his train. To me he was just moving cars around with his hand. Which in my mind, kind of defeats the point of having the locomotive there.


Now, while Kadee 714's and all of their "Scissors Action" type couplers offer the "Delayed Action" attribute. They will not have a delayed action aspect if the trip pins are cut off. Plus, because of the HUGE amount of play that is required in the 714 draft gear box to get them to do the Scissors and Delayed Action they need to have. (Not really ALL that huge but, certainly enough to cause unwanted mechanical problems in other operating areas. Hey it's not a perfect world mechanically speaking.) The 714 knuckle does not always stay in its required horizontal and vertical operating plane. So they sometimes drop out of the true horizontal height needed and then if the 714's trip pins are not adjusted to exactly just the right height and shape. They drop too low, and snag on frogs, guardrails, road crossing boards, ties etcetera and cause derailments etc. etc. etc. 

So HOn3'ers started clipping off the trip pins and started using un-coupling wands and wooden skewers to un-couple Kadee 714s. But, in the process the whole concept of "Delayed Action" un-coupling and prototypical car movement was lost. 

The other problem with Kadee 714's and all of their "Scissors Action" type couplers is the now famous "Slinky Action". This is caused by the wimpy coil springs in their draft gear boxes and poor rolling qualities of many trucks that have been available for many, many years. 

So, if you have Kadee un-coupling magnets on the mainline trackage and you leave the 714's trip horns on. The "Slinky Action" will more often than not cause the train to part when you don't want to as it  "SLINKY" rolls over the un-coupling magnet. (Stretch-Slack-Stretch-Slack-Un-coupling Magnet-Train Break!! AUGH!) So you either remove the trip pins or move the magnet to remedy this. But you probably will loose the ability to un-couple trains where you originally wanted to.  In any case. I don't know anybody that has ever placed Kadee un-coupling magnets in every conceivable un-coupling location that might be needed. It's just not practical!

So where am I going with all this? 

Ahh! I'm glad you asked. 


So along comes Sergent Engineering Couplers. They not only look like full size prototype couplers. They nearly duplicate the total way that prototype couplers work! At least as well as something so tiny can do to a mechanical degree.  

You can do almost everything with Sergents that I described above in a prototype car-spotting scenario. The only caveat is that you must plan in advance where you are going to un-couple your cars so your switchman (you) can get at the coupler knuckles easily and un-couple them. If you are using proper switching practices, you've already done that. Then you close the coupler knuckles so you can PUSH the car (or train) into location and then back away from it. 

Coupling up to the car in the siding will require that you set the coupler on the engine or the car(s) you are moving to the siding car to open and align it. You do this where it is convenient to get at the coupler and not where you have obstructions to seeing the process. (The 50' safety stops are where one should do this) I've watched train crews in Chama do it exactly like this, over and over again.  


So as to your other concerns. Progress is being made and the more people that start using Sergent's the faster those will have more solutions. But in the mean time.

Over the last few years some improvements to the Sergent un-coupling process have emerged. Kadee 714's will NEVER perfectly mate with Sergent Sharon type couplers. PERIOD! ! ! Kadee 714's and Sergent, Sharon type couplers are similar in the same way that apples and oranges are both similar. Apples and oranges are both fruit. And Kadee 714's and Sergent, Sharon type couplers are both couplers. But these broad descriptive terms are where the similarities end. 

The first remote Sergent un-coupling improvement was over at "P87 Stores". They came up with a remote Sergent un-coupler magnet attached to a control cable. It's basically a little round wafer magnet on a steel wire with a right angle bend in it and another right angle bend at 90 degrees to the first one. Standing in it's vertical position, it looks kind of like a switch stand. So you pull the car up to the magnet target so it looks like it is aligned in between the two couplers. Then the magnetic target is rotated up and over the coupler knuckles with the control cable and the little ball bearings move up. Now you can back away from the spotted car. 

I can't find this item P87 Stores anymore. But I'm trying to design a version that uses an (SG90) Miniature Servo and a Tamvalley turnout controller that does the same thing. But it's a simple device to create on ones own.

The other was by somebody on the HOn3 or Sergent list that attached a doctors LED pen light to a Sergent un-coupling wand to illuminate the process between the cars better.

In any case. Sergent couplers must be constructed so that all working surfaces will have no burs or binds in them. That means ALL mechanical surfaces MUST be burnished. The TWO pivot points must be polished or burnished and lubricated with graphite. The best method for lubrication that I have found is the colloidal graphite in Neolube. But don’t ever get it on the ball bearing!!! It will make it just a tiny bit sticky and you don't want that. EVER!!! So you dab the Neolube on the pivot points before you assemble the couplers. 

All said, switching trains can be a whole lot of fun. Especially with Sergent Couplers. It's even more fun when modelers use a little prototypical discipline. It also looks really good too!

Dale Buxton


On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 10:54 AM duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:
Mark,

     I also toyed with the idea of the Sergent couplers.  I loved their
look, the way they operated and so on.  I assembled a few and installed
them on some cars.  I tried using them on the club portable layout. 
That's when some problems started showing up.

     First, they wouldn't couple easily to the Kadees.  And like you, I
have well over a hundred cars and locos that would need to be changed. 
So, I could only use like couplers in a train.  (And I know the two can
be jockeyed to couple.  But, on an operating layout, with cars in
various locations regarding structures and land forms, the need to
jockey to get connection was realized to be a problem.)  A friend who is
a member of the club and often runs on the club portable layout, loves
the Sergents and uses them in his trains.  But, he can really only pick
up Sergent equipped cars, without having to do the "jockeying".  And the
rest of us can't pick up the Sergent equipped cars without doing the
"jockeying".  And sometimes, as in situations I'll mention below, it
just doesn't work.

     Then, just using Sergents, I found that when I ran a car into the
Stanley Mine structure and dropped it, or dropped it between the
Salisbury Mill and the rock retaining wall, I had great difficulty
getting it back out.    The Sergents wouldn't self center.    Or, in a
sizeable yard, where the car is located on one of the back tracks and
can't be easily seen, or "handled", getting the car to couple when the
coupler is off center, or the head not opened.  (And, yes, I know they
work best if only one head is opened.  So, what if both are open and
you'd like to close one?) I mentioned these difficulties on another site
and one of the respondents told me that if he was operating on a layout
he would probably stick with the Kadees!

     Now, that was one person and several years ago.  But I think it
confirmed a difficulty.  And I don't want to get into an argument about
one, of the other, being the best.  I'd like to use the Sergents, but
have a couple of questions.

     First, is it worth the effort now that Sergents have cut back/gone
out of production?  Has anyone bought the company?  Is there a future
for using the Sergents?

     Second, have others found ways to counteract the coupling problems
I encountered?  I know there was the development of a self centering
coupler box.  Is it still available?  Why haven't more people gone that
route?  Am I missing something?  Have others found ways around the lack
of self centering in situations where you can't easily get to the
couplers to center them?  Have others found ways to get the coupler to
mate with a Kadee reliably and easily?

     I still have many of the tools and accessories needed for the
assembly and operation of Sergents.  I'm willing to change if I can get
the usability out of them that I have with the Kadees. For me usability
is more important than looks and elimination of the slinky action found
in the Kadees.

                                                 Duncan Harvey





Re: Couplers

lloyd lehrer
 


As I recall, the std gauge logging couplers have a cylindrical slug that fits inside the spring. I have no idea why and just what purpose does the spring do in NG other than centering?

lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097

On Oct 12, 2018 7:46 PM, "John Hutnick" <johnhutnick@...> wrote:
Regarding coupler bounce, do a search for images of the Kadee no. 15 or the older no. 4.   A very short section of small diameter rod, called a spacer dowel,  was available to be inserted inside of the coil spring to limit stretching.  This could be done on any coupler using a coil spring in the draft gear box.



--
lloyd lehrer


Re: Couplers

John Hutnick
 

Regarding coupler bounce, do a search for images of the Kadee no. 15 or the older no. 4.   A very short section of small diameter rod, called a spacer dowel,  was available to be inserted inside of the coil spring to limit stretching.  This could be done on any coupler using a coil spring in the draft gear box.


Re: Couplers

arfio@...
 

How long of a train is required to display this? I am building a layout of the DSP&P and 2 to 6 car trains are the norm. Do I need to consider this?

Allen Farnsworth

On Oct 12, 2018, at 1:06 PM, John Stutz via Groups.Io <john.c.stutz=nasa.gov@groups.io> wrote:

Mark

This would work for short trains, but merely moves the bouncing section forward on long trains. The problem occurs where the drag of the trailing load overcomes the preload on the coupler springs, causing them to compress and allow the coupler to pull slightly out of the box. Thus the part of the train where drag slightly exceeds preload will expand and contract under varying drag. Aft of this section the coupler springs are fully extended. Ahead of it the coupler springs are fully compressed. The problem area moves up and down the train as the trailing load varies with grade and curve resistance.

This behavior is intrinsic to any coupler arrangement that allows the coupler to move in and out of its draft gear. Kadee's original couplers, still used in their logging cars, suffered from similar problems. MicroTrains' re-engineered "N-scale" split couplers shift the behavior, so it occurs while pushing rather than pulling. NMRA experiments conducted circa 1960 demonstrated that reliable operation of long model trains required that couplers be pivoted on fixed centers, that prevent longitudinal motion.

John Stutz

On 10/12/2018 06:55 AM, Mark Kasprowicz wrote:
Do I recall Jim Vail once submitting a solution to Kadee bounce by fitting two springs instead of one? Not sure how he did it but perhaps it was one spring inside the other, as they tend to do when in the packaging>
Mark K


Re: Couplers

lloyd lehrer
 

All I have ever used was picks with two exceptions one layout had sergents that needed magnets and one that had all perm mags under the tracks and electomags in some hard to see spots 

lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097

On Fri, Oct 12, 2018, 5:43 PM LARRY KLOSE <lklose@...> wrote:
Re uncoupling, try those fuzzy toothpicks that now seem to be everywhere.
There was quite a discussion of this on the Sn3 list. I haven't tried them
on the Kadee 714's but they work great on the HO standard Kadees (which are
the universal standard in Sn3, also).  Push the little brush between the
knuckles twist a little and voila.  I'm cutting off all my uncoupling "glad
hands" in favor of this.  Some experimentation may be necessary--the brushes
come in several diameter and stiffness options.  I prefer the ones with a
little cover over the brush that comes off like a pen cap and can be put on
the other end to extend the handle.  These also have a wire core which seems
more durable than those with an integral plastic core.

I operate on a friend's HO layout frequently and I don't bother with his
Kadee magnet ramps any more.  I just bring my brushes.  They're good if you
get something between your teeth, too.  I keep a pack in my RR work apron
for when one wears out.

YMMV.

Larry





--
lloyd lehrer


Re: Couplers

LARRY KLOSE
 

Re uncoupling, try those fuzzy toothpicks that now seem to be everywhere.
There was quite a discussion of this on the Sn3 list. I haven't tried them
on the Kadee 714's but they work great on the HO standard Kadees (which are
the universal standard in Sn3, also). Push the little brush between the
knuckles twist a little and voila. I'm cutting off all my uncoupling "glad
hands" in favor of this. Some experimentation may be necessary--the brushes
come in several diameter and stiffness options. I prefer the ones with a
little cover over the brush that comes off like a pen cap and can be put on
the other end to extend the handle. These also have a wire core which seems
more durable than those with an integral plastic core.

I operate on a friend's HO layout frequently and I don't bother with his
Kadee magnet ramps any more. I just bring my brushes. They're good if you
get something between your teeth, too. I keep a pack in my RR work apron
for when one wears out.

YMMV.

Larry


Re: Couplers

John Stutz
 

Mark

As I tried to make clear: slinky action is intrinsic to the centering action of Kadee's and MicroTrains' designs of semi-scale split couplers. If you want to avoid it, you must prevent the coupler's longitudinal motion in the draft gear. This requires a solid pivot, or a dynamical equivalent.

I do not see how to achieve a solid pivot with these couplers, but I have not given it much thought. Jim Vail's heavier spring approach, which you brought up, should allow working of short light trains without much slinky action. However this approach puts more centering thrust on the couplers and makes it harder to open them when coupling.

Kadee's original centering design for their K and MK series couplers was dynamically similar to that in the 714. In the later production of these, they provided a short wire stub that fitted into the spring. This limited the amount of spring compression to the minimum needed for coupler swing, thus minimizing slinky action, without quite eliminating it. This might work for the 714s.

MicroTrains took up this matter as N-scalers moved toward prototype length trains. Their initial solution was a T-shank design with the spring inboard, followed by the reversed 714 style with the spring outboard. Both eliminate slinky action when pulling, by pulling the coupler against solid stops. But both are subject to slinky action when pushing. This is apparently the price of producing couplers that will couple reliably against the very light rolling resistance of N scale cars.

Total elimination of slinky action requires fixed coupler pivots. At this time we seem to be limited to the Kadee "scale" knuckle couplers, which are still oversize for circa 1900 designs, and Sargents' truly scale couplers.

Does anyone know of other alternatives?

On 10/12/2018 12:37 PM, Mark Kasprowicz wrote:
That makes sense. Is there a solution for it John?
Mark K


Re: Couplers

Climax@...
 

Now wooooogh there big fella. Ya all know that a martini is better shaken (bounced) than stirred. :)

-----Original Message-----
From: rick@urbaneagle.com
Sent: Oct 12, 2018 6:51 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Couplers

I skippe much of this thread, but to curtail bounce, use Kadee retainer
springs in the caboose trucks or on whatever end car you are using.

Rick
> For me the bounce occurs when going down grade. Even with easy
rolling Blackstone trucks, the train bounces like a slinky going down
the 4%.



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