Date   
Re: NYRS

Mark Kasprowicz
 

I received a reply from NYRS this weekend so they are still very much in business. Thanks for the replies. 

Mark K

Re: Converting Blackstone to Sergent couplers.

Dale Buxton
 


Ok, So Sergent makes a coupler that is specifically designed to fit ALL of the Blackstone cars. This coupler is called the "Sharon" type. It has a slightly different shape than the "E" type coupler that Sergent first released. But, both couplers are computable with each other for operating purposes. The Sharon couplers are mostly a drop in replacement for the Kadee 714's. But, the central pivot post in the Blackstone coupler boxes has an angle to its sides. This is called the "Draft Angle" of an injection molded casting. It is there so that a casting can be extracted from its mold. In the Blackstone coupler boxes, this draft angle and diameter of the pivot post is not exactly the same on all the car types. The Box and Stock cars use the same under frames. The Gons, Flats, Reefers and Tank cars use a different under frames. The Gons and Flats pivot post is just that much larger in diameter at the base than it is at the top, that the Sharon will not seat properly without some modification to the pivot hole. But, Sergent sells a tapered reamer to remedy this problem. Once the pivot hole is slightly reamed out the Sharon coupler will work just fine.

Sergents look great and with careful assembly work great too. I've converted all my Blackstone cars to Sergent Sharon type couplers, as well as all my other HOn3 rolling stock and locomotives. The Sharon coupler also fits into the Kadee 714 coupler box with room to spare. I was one of the earliest members on this list to start using Sergent's in HOn3 and did a lot of the early research in to converting HOn3 cars to use them. I've even designed a coupler box for them that uses the spring to automaticly center the coupler in the box. I have a store at Shapeways that prints these for a very small cost. I make nothing on them. The cost is the only the cost of printing and shipping. 

Dale Buxton

On Sat, May 11, 2019 at 4:01 PM Scott <repairman87@...> wrote:
Anybody convert thier Blackstone engines and cars to Sergent couplers?  Was it much of a battle?  I haven't used them in the past on SG but thought they would look good on the NG equipment.

Thanks
Scott McDonald

Re: Newly completed model

Tony Cane
 

Hi Gordon

Thanks for the interest.

The attached picture shows an unpainted container. The parts for the box were cut out using a Cricut 2D cutter. At the same time deep grooves were scored on the relevant sides. A hole was drilled at the convergence of the lines and a short length of plastic rod glued in. Then small diameter plastic rod was glued in the grooves giving the desired half round effect.

The hard work was thus done by the CAD program and the Cricut cutter, it took far longer to add the final details than it did to make the box and add the ribs.

Regards

Tony Cane

Re: Newly completed model

 

Thanks Tony. That's a pretty neat idea with the rods. Nice to see the unpainted container. I appreciate the details even more.

Gordon

Re: For Sale - HOn3 Car Kits for Sale

twilton@...
 

Items that have been sold:
  • Trains of Texas Coke Ovens and Run-Down Coke Ovens;
  • AMB Dolores Depot;
  • Rocky Mtn. Model Works Black Hawk Boiler & Sheet Metal Works;
  • Micro Trains WY&Y and Undecorated flat cars;
  • Blackstone Coach #320;
  • Blackstone High Side Gondola;
  • Blackstone 30-ft. Stock Car;
  • Blackstone D&RGW Economy Door Box Car; and
  • Blackstone D&RGW Box Car #3446 w/flying Rio Grande herald.  

Abteilung weathering.

Mark Kasprowicz
 

I saw an article in a UK military modelling magazine showing how to represent aging wood using Abteilung oil paints - very convincing. Then I saw the BrassTrains video with JC and Jerry Spolema using the same brand of paint for weathering. Finally I spoke to a few modellers who used oil. they too praised the paints.

Anyone here tried it and if so what were your experiences? And which thinners did you use - drying time is the issue and though Scalecoar 1 thinners was recommended it's not available here in the UK.

BTW I find some of those military modelling mags are quite inspirational.

Mark K
Oxon, UK

Couplers

Doug Cummings
 

I have a fair number of both HO and HOn3 cars and locomotives, all currently in their original packaging. I am looking for recommendations for what make and model of couplers are recommended or work best for this equipment. Recommendations or comments are welcomed.

Doug

Re: Couplers

John Stutz
 

Doug

Kadee 714  scissors  couplers (and the brown version 715? ) are the defacto standard for HOn3.  They are somewhat oversize for the full size MCB couplers used on the Colorado NG roads.  Since the centering spring compresses under draft, they can a bit stiff to couple, and trailing cars to tend to display a slinky action as they are pulled by partially compressed springs.  These are probably your best choice for remote operation with magnetic uncoupling, as they have the greatest gathering range and a longer uncoupling lever.  Kadee  also offers these as their "Old Time" coupler with a longer uncoupling lever for SG cars, but they may tend to pull apart with the longer and heaver HO SG trains.

Microtrains 1015 and 1016 are their second generation N scale scissors coupler, replacing their original designs which are downsized Kadee 714s. These are about HO scale MCB coupler size, visually similar to 714s, but the centering spring has been reversed to compress when buffing.  This has the advantage that the couplers yield slightly  when nudged together, making it much more likely the the standing car will couple instead of being pushed down the track.  The 714's slinky action at the train's tail is eliminated, but reappears in the leading cars of a string that is being pushed.  Being smaller than the 714, good alignment of the cars is more critical when coupling.  The coupler knuckle is molded with negative draft angle on the pulling face, so they are relatively immune to pulling apart by sliding vertically.

Both the Kadee and Microtrains scissors couplers can opened manually, using a finely pointed dowel inserted behind the knuckles and spun.   The two are not really mutually compatible, due to the size difference, but can be manually coupled.

Sergent makes dead scale HO couplers in zinc, as both the Sharon pattern of MCB profile coupler used on many D&RGW NG cars, and the slightly deeper ARA type D coupler.  Both were once widely used on SG freight stock.  These are mutually compatible, and some report they can be used with 714s.   The ARA Ds have the #10 profile designed to prevent paired couplers from jackknifing when pushing a string of cars, but this does not seem to be problem with the Sharons on our short NG trains.  Sergent couplers all employ an internal steel ball to lock the knuckle closed by gravity, and Sergent provides a magnetic rod to unlock and open the coupler knuckles.  They are not intended for remote operation, but might be used in a delayed manor, as Kadee's MKDs designed to do.  The Sergent couplers are a solid pivot design, so there is no slinky action.  There is no centering action as supplied.  Instead they have a friction spring to hold the coupler fixed when not coupled, allowing manual alignment for coupling.  Which is important, given the scale coupler's scale gathering range. Sergent has a version of the ARA D that is designed for drop-in application in the common SG coupler pocket, or in  Kadee #5 boxes, but the preferred mounting is the narrower Acucraft box. There is a version of the Sharron designed specifically for Blackstone HOn3 cars.  An a minimal mount can be made with a #2 screw and washer.

Kadee also offers a couple versions of "scale" HO couplers with fixed pivots and their standard style knuckle.  These are intended for SG models, and are probably compatible with their 714s, but I have not experimented on this.   Acucraft offers a "scale" version of their fixed pivot Acumate scissors coupler, but I have not tried to use these.  I suspect that there are others

John Stutz

On 5/15/2019 8:37 AM, Doug Cummings wrote:
I have a fair number of both HO and HOn3 cars and locomotives, all currently in their original packaging. I am looking for recommendations for what make and model of couplers are recommended or work best for this equipment. Recommendations or comments are welcomed.
Doug

Re: Couplers

Ray
 

I suggest Kadee 158 couplers.  Same size as the 714 but have whisker spring. So no assembly required. Operation is the same.
The Sergeants aren't any good for operation.
Ray




On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 3:04 PM -0600, "John Stutz" <john.stutz@...> wrote:

Doug

Kadee 714  scissors  couplers (and the brown version 715? ) are the 
defacto standard for HOn3.  They are somewhat oversize for the full size 
MCB couplers used on the Colorado NG roads.  Since the centering spring 
compresses under draft, they can a bit stiff to couple, and trailing 
cars to tend to display a slinky action as they are pulled by partially 
compressed springs.  These are probably your best choice for remote 
operation with magnetic uncoupling, as they have the greatest gathering 
range and a longer uncoupling lever.  Kadee  also offers these as their 
"Old Time" coupler with a longer uncoupling lever for SG cars, but they 
may tend to pull apart with the longer and heaver HO SG trains.

Microtrains 1015 and 1016 are their second generation N scale scissors 
coupler, replacing their original designs which are downsized Kadee 
714s. These are about HO scale MCB coupler size, visually similar to 
714s, but the centering spring has been reversed to compress when 
buffing.  This has the advantage that the couplers yield slightly  when 
nudged together, making it much more likely the the standing car will 
couple instead of being pushed down the track.  The 714's slinky action 
at the train's tail is eliminated, but reappears in the leading cars of 
a string that is being pushed.  Being smaller than the 714, good 
alignment of the cars is more critical when coupling.  The coupler 
knuckle is molded with negative draft angle on the pulling face, so they 
are relatively immune to pulling apart by sliding vertically.

Both the Kadee and Microtrains scissors couplers can opened manually, 
using a finely pointed dowel inserted behind the knuckles and spun.   
The two are not really mutually compatible, due to the size difference, 
but can be manually coupled.

Sergent makes dead scale HO couplers in zinc, as both the Sharon pattern 
of MCB profile coupler used on many D&RGW NG cars, and the slightly 
deeper ARA type D coupler.  Both were once widely used on SG freight 
stock.  These are mutually compatible, and some report they can be used 
with 714s.   The ARA Ds have the #10 profile designed to prevent paired 
couplers from jackknifing when pushing a string of cars, but this does 
not seem to be problem with the Sharons on our short NG trains.  Sergent 
couplers all employ an internal steel ball to lock the knuckle closed by 
gravity, and Sergent provides a magnetic rod to unlock and open the 
coupler knuckles.  They are not intended for remote operation, but might 
be used in a delayed manor, as Kadee's MKDs designed to do.  The Sergent 
couplers are a solid pivot design, so there is no slinky action.  There 
is no centering action as supplied.  Instead they have a friction spring 
to hold the coupler fixed when not coupled, allowing manual alignment 
for coupling.  Which is important, given the scale coupler's scale 
gathering range. Sergent has a version of the ARA D that is designed for 
drop-in application in the common SG coupler pocket, or in  Kadee #5 
boxes, but the preferred mounting is the narrower Acucraft box. There is 
a version of the Sharron designed specifically for Blackstone HOn3 
cars.  An a minimal mount can be made with a #2 screw and washer.

Kadee also offers a couple versions of "scale" HO couplers with fixed 
pivots and their standard style knuckle.  These are intended for SG 
models, and are probably compatible with their 714s, but I have not 
experimented on this.   Acucraft offers a "scale" version of their fixed 
pivot Acumate scissors coupler, but I have not tried to use these.  I 
suspect that there are others

John Stutz

On 5/15/2019 8:37 AM, Doug Cummings wrote:
> I have a fair number of both HO and HOn3 cars and locomotives, all currently in their original packaging. I am looking for recommendations for what make and model of couplers are recommended or work best for this equipment. Recommendations or comments are welcomed.

Doug




Re: Couplers

arfio@...
 

Why do you say they are no good for operations?  Because the require manual uncoupling like the prototype?

Allen Farnsworth

On May 15, 2019, at 9:08 PM, Ray <rayhon3@...> wrote:

I suggest Kadee 158 couplers.  Same size as the 714 but have whisker spring. So no assembly required. Operation is the same.
The Sergeants aren't any good for operation.
Ray




On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 3:04 PM -0600, "John Stutz" <john.stutz@...> wrote:

Doug

Kadee 714  scissors  couplers (and the brown version 715? ) are the 
defacto standard for HOn3.  They are somewhat oversize for the full size 
MCB couplers used on the Colorado NG roads.  Since the centering spring 
compresses under draft, they can a bit stiff to couple, and trailing 
cars to tend to display a slinky action as they are pulled by partially 
compressed springs.  These are probably your best choice for remote 
operation with magnetic uncoupling, as they have the greatest gathering 
range and a longer uncoupling lever.  Kadee  also offers these as their 
"Old Time" coupler with a longer uncoupling lever for SG cars, but they 
may tend to pull apart with the longer and heaver HO SG trains.

Microtrains 1015 and 1016 are their second generation N scale scissors 
coupler, replacing their original designs which are downsized Kadee 
714s. These are about HO scale MCB coupler size, visually similar to 
714s, but the centering spring has been reversed to compress when 
buffing.  This has the advantage that the couplers yield slightly  when 
nudged together, making it much more likely the the standing car will 
couple instead of being pushed down the track.  The 714's slinky action 
at the train's tail is eliminated, but reappears in the leading cars of 
a string that is being pushed.  Being smaller than the 714, good 
alignment of the cars is more critical when coupling.  The coupler 
knuckle is molded with negative draft angle on the pulling face, so they 
are relatively immune to pulling apart by sliding vertically.

Both the Kadee and Microtrains scissors couplers can opened manually, 
using a finely pointed dowel inserted behind the knuckles and spun.   
The two are not really mutually compatible, due to the size difference, 
but can be manually coupled.

Sergent makes dead scale HO couplers in zinc, as both the Sharon pattern 
of MCB profile coupler used on many D&RGW NG cars, and the slightly 
deeper ARA type D coupler.  Both were once widely used on SG freight 
stock.  These are mutually compatible, and some report they can be used 
with 714s.   The ARA Ds have the #10 profile designed to prevent paired 
couplers from jackknifing when pushing a string of cars, but this does 
not seem to be problem with the Sharons on our short NG trains.  Sergent 
couplers all employ an internal steel ball to lock the knuckle closed by 
gravity, and Sergent provides a magnetic rod to unlock and open the 
coupler knuckles.  They are not intended for remote operation, but might 
be used in a delayed manor, as Kadee's MKDs designed to do.  The Sergent 
couplers are a solid pivot design, so there is no slinky action.  There 
is no centering action as supplied.  Instead they have a friction spring 
to hold the coupler fixed when not coupled, allowing manual alignment 
for coupling.  Which is important, given the scale coupler's scale 
gathering range. Sergent has a version of the ARA D that is designed for 
drop-in application in the common SG coupler pocket, or in  Kadee #5 
boxes, but the preferred mounting is the narrower Acucraft box. There is 
a version of the Sharron designed specifically for Blackstone HOn3 
cars.  An a minimal mount can be made with a #2 screw and washer.

Kadee also offers a couple versions of "scale" HO couplers with fixed 
pivots and their standard style knuckle.  These are intended for SG 
models, and are probably compatible with their 714s, but I have not 
experimented on this.   Acucraft offers a "scale" version of their fixed 
pivot Acumate scissors coupler, but I have not tried to use these.  I 
suspect that there are others

John Stutz

On 5/15/2019 8:37 AM, Doug Cummings wrote:
> I have a fair number of both HO and HOn3 cars and locomotives, all currently in their original packaging. I am looking for recommendations for what make and model of couplers are recommended or work best for this equipment. Recommendations or comments are welcomed.

Doug




Re: Couplers

lloyd lehrer
 

I used 158's. Had to drill fresh pivot holes in the shanks. I was happy with the performance. They worked but not different enough to justify the efforts in my estimate. If you want to try them, let me know. I will ship them to you for cost of shipping.

lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097

On Wed, May 15, 2019, 9:12 PM <arfio@...> wrote:
Why do you say they are no good for operations?  Because the require manual uncoupling like the prototype?

Allen Farnsworth

On May 15, 2019, at 9:08 PM, Ray <rayhon3@...> wrote:

I suggest Kadee 158 couplers.  Same size as the 714 but have whisker spring. So no assembly required. Operation is the same.
The Sergeants aren't any good for operation.
Ray




On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 3:04 PM -0600, "John Stutz" <john.stutz@...> wrote:

Doug

Kadee 714  scissors  couplers (and the brown version 715? ) are the 
defacto standard for HOn3.  They are somewhat oversize for the full size 
MCB couplers used on the Colorado NG roads.  Since the centering spring 
compresses under draft, they can a bit stiff to couple, and trailing 
cars to tend to display a slinky action as they are pulled by partially 
compressed springs.  These are probably your best choice for remote 
operation with magnetic uncoupling, as they have the greatest gathering 
range and a longer uncoupling lever.  Kadee  also offers these as their 
"Old Time" coupler with a longer uncoupling lever for SG cars, but they 
may tend to pull apart with the longer and heaver HO SG trains.

Microtrains 1015 and 1016 are their second generation N scale scissors 
coupler, replacing their original designs which are downsized Kadee 
714s. These are about HO scale MCB coupler size, visually similar to 
714s, but the centering spring has been reversed to compress when 
buffing.  This has the advantage that the couplers yield slightly  when 
nudged together, making it much more likely the the standing car will 
couple instead of being pushed down the track.  The 714's slinky action 
at the train's tail is eliminated, but reappears in the leading cars of 
a string that is being pushed.  Being smaller than the 714, good 
alignment of the cars is more critical when coupling.  The coupler 
knuckle is molded with negative draft angle on the pulling face, so they 
are relatively immune to pulling apart by sliding vertically.

Both the Kadee and Microtrains scissors couplers can opened manually, 
using a finely pointed dowel inserted behind the knuckles and spun.   
The two are not really mutually compatible, due to the size difference, 
but can be manually coupled.

Sergent makes dead scale HO couplers in zinc, as both the Sharon pattern 
of MCB profile coupler used on many D&RGW NG cars, and the slightly 
deeper ARA type D coupler.  Both were once widely used on SG freight 
stock.  These are mutually compatible, and some report they can be used 
with 714s.   The ARA Ds have the #10 profile designed to prevent paired 
couplers from jackknifing when pushing a string of cars, but this does 
not seem to be problem with the Sharons on our short NG trains.  Sergent 
couplers all employ an internal steel ball to lock the knuckle closed by 
gravity, and Sergent provides a magnetic rod to unlock and open the 
coupler knuckles.  They are not intended for remote operation, but might 
be used in a delayed manor, as Kadee's MKDs designed to do.  The Sergent 
couplers are a solid pivot design, so there is no slinky action.  There 
is no centering action as supplied.  Instead they have a friction spring 
to hold the coupler fixed when not coupled, allowing manual alignment 
for coupling.  Which is important, given the scale coupler's scale 
gathering range. Sergent has a version of the ARA D that is designed for 
drop-in application in the common SG coupler pocket, or in  Kadee #5 
boxes, but the preferred mounting is the narrower Acucraft box. There is 
a version of the Sharron designed specifically for Blackstone HOn3 
cars.  An a minimal mount can be made with a #2 screw and washer.

Kadee also offers a couple versions of "scale" HO couplers with fixed 
pivots and their standard style knuckle.  These are intended for SG 
models, and are probably compatible with their 714s, but I have not 
experimented on this.   Acucraft offers a "scale" version of their fixed 
pivot Acumate scissors coupler, but I have not tried to use these.  I 
suspect that there are others

John Stutz

On 5/15/2019 8:37 AM, Doug Cummings wrote:
> I have a fair number of both HO and HOn3 cars and locomotives, all currently in their original packaging. I am looking for recommendations for what make and model of couplers are recommended or work best for this equipment. Recommendations or comments are welcomed.

Doug





--
lloyd lehrer

Re: Couplers

Dale Buxton
 

That is exactly what is being said. Personally I like and prefer operating my coupling and uncoupling operations  manually like the prototype, I get a part of the feel of what it is like to operate the prototype. Sergent  couplers give me that real operation feeling like Kadee 714's never ever could.

Ok, I'm going to incur the wrath of some people here. Be that as it may. But, it's like this. Kadee 714 and 715 couplers became the defacto couplers of HOn3 for decades because no other company came up with a usable operating coupler of the appropriate size for HOn3. End of statement full stop. The 714 design has design limitations due to compromises that needed to be made by size they needed to be and the actual thought processes of the designers. One of these  compromises  was the complete elimination of a pivoting coupler knuckle. At the time Kadee 714's were developed, the first really working coupler to the market was going to be accepted as the go to product of use and 714's were just that. Personally, I felt for many, many, many years that a lot of this acceptance was based merely on the overwhelming success of Kadee's #5 couplers and not much else. The #5's were the best couplers on the market and since then every other coupler on the market has been based on them.

But the 714 design had and still has its operational detractors. They have  fair amount of vertical play in their coupler box. this allows them to dip down or climb up on the coupler they are mated too. This also plays into the slinky action in the draft gear spring. It also can allow the magnetic trip horn/pin, which if it is not adjusted to absolutely perfect vertical height, to drop down and snag on uncoupling magnets, turnouts, RR crossing boards and pretty much anything else that is mounted between the rails. So a lot of modelers started to just snip the trip pins off and use uncoupling wands instead. This completely negated the whole delayed action concept that was and still is at the center of Kadee coupler designs. Uncoupling with a wand mostly entails  pushing a pointed stick between the 714 couplers, twisting it and then pushing the freed car away some with the stick. HOW REALISTIC! 

 I think that removing the 714 trip pins and the delayed action they gave, brought about a whole era of unrealistic, lazy, sloppy, pseudo coupling and uncoupling operations.  On the prototype there is far more to coupling cars together than just backing up, mating and pulling away. WAY MORE!!! The full size railroads use a pretty much set system of coupling and uncoupling trains or spotting cars. For the most part it works 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. Couplers o freight 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.

You can go on line and find videos of coupling and uncoupling operations on the full size RR's. The main elements of these operations are all pretty much the same everywhere  automatic knuckle couplers are used .

So I guess it comes down to something like this. If we are only willing to buy model trains with the highest detail fidelity. Why should we not endeavor to operate our highly detail miniature trains in manor as near as possible to the way that the full size RR's do?

Dale Buxton


On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 10:12 PM <arfio@...> wrote:
Why do you say they are no good for operations?  Because the require manual uncoupling like the prototype?

Allen Farnsworth

On May 15, 2019, at 9:08 PM, Ray <rayhon3@...> wrote:

I suggest Kadee 158 couplers.  Same size as the 714 but have whisker spring. So no assembly required. Operation is the same.
The Sergeants aren't any good for operation.
Ray




On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 3:04 PM -0600, "John Stutz" <john.stutz@...> wrote:

Doug

Kadee 714  scissors  couplers (and the brown version 715? ) are the 
defacto standard for HOn3.  They are somewhat oversize for the full size 
MCB couplers used on the Colorado NG roads.  Since the centering spring 
compresses under draft, they can a bit stiff to couple, and trailing 
cars to tend to display a slinky action as they are pulled by partially 
compressed springs.  These are probably your best choice for remote 
operation with magnetic uncoupling, as they have the greatest gathering 
range and a longer uncoupling lever.  Kadee  also offers these as their 
"Old Time" coupler with a longer uncoupling lever for SG cars, but they 
may tend to pull apart with the longer and heaver HO SG trains.

Microtrains 1015 and 1016 are their second generation N scale scissors 
coupler, replacing their original designs which are downsized Kadee 
714s. These are about HO scale MCB coupler size, visually similar to 
714s, but the centering spring has been reversed to compress when 
buffing.  This has the advantage that the couplers yield slightly  when 
nudged together, making it much more likely the the standing car will 
couple instead of being pushed down the track.  The 714's slinky action 
at the train's tail is eliminated, but reappears in the leading cars of 
a string that is being pushed.  Being smaller than the 714, good 
alignment of the cars is more critical when coupling.  The coupler 
knuckle is molded with negative draft angle on the pulling face, so they 
are relatively immune to pulling apart by sliding vertically.

Both the Kadee and Microtrains scissors couplers can opened manually, 
using a finely pointed dowel inserted behind the knuckles and spun.   
The two are not really mutually compatible, due to the size difference, 
but can be manually coupled.

Sergent makes dead scale HO couplers in zinc, as both the Sharon pattern 
of MCB profile coupler used on many D&RGW NG cars, and the slightly 
deeper ARA type D coupler.  Both were once widely used on SG freight 
stock.  These are mutually compatible, and some report they can be used 
with 714s.   The ARA Ds have the #10 profile designed to prevent paired 
couplers from jackknifing when pushing a string of cars, but this does 
not seem to be problem with the Sharons on our short NG trains.  Sergent 
couplers all employ an internal steel ball to lock the knuckle closed by 
gravity, and Sergent provides a magnetic rod to unlock and open the 
coupler knuckles.  They are not intended for remote operation, but might 
be used in a delayed manor, as Kadee's MKDs designed to do.  The Sergent 
couplers are a solid pivot design, so there is no slinky action.  There 
is no centering action as supplied.  Instead they have a friction spring 
to hold the coupler fixed when not coupled, allowing manual alignment 
for coupling.  Which is important, given the scale coupler's scale 
gathering range. Sergent has a version of the ARA D that is designed for 
drop-in application in the common SG coupler pocket, or in  Kadee #5 
boxes, but the preferred mounting is the narrower Acucraft box. There is 
a version of the Sharron designed specifically for Blackstone HOn3 
cars.  An a minimal mount can be made with a #2 screw and washer.

Kadee also offers a couple versions of "scale" HO couplers with fixed 
pivots and their standard style knuckle.  These are intended for SG 
models, and are probably compatible with their 714s, but I have not 
experimented on this.   Acucraft offers a "scale" version of their fixed 
pivot Acumate scissors coupler, but I have not tried to use these.  I 
suspect that there are others

John Stutz

On 5/15/2019 8:37 AM, Doug Cummings wrote:
> I have a fair number of both HO and HOn3 cars and locomotives, all currently in their original packaging. I am looking for recommendations for what make and model of couplers are recommended or work best for this equipment. Recommendations or comments are welcomed.

Doug




Re: Couplers

Brian Kopp
 

I am not passionate one way or another about this issue but it does seem to me to have the look and feel of a chevy vs ford issue and defining realistic operation seems to be at the heart of it. On the one hand we have the remote operation folks who want to watch trains couple and decouple with as few visits from the giant hand coming down from the sky to couple/decouple the cars as possible, and on the other hand we have the manual operation folks who think it is important that the cars experience the same step by step procedures to couple and decouple that the prototypes do even if it means many visits from the giant hand to help make that happen.....

Full disclosure: I use Kadee and I am reasonably happy with them and with using my visiting giant hand to uncouple cars when needed. I had never heard of Sergent until I started hanging out with you folks......

Brian

Re: Couplers

Sean
 

I’d be curious to see the #158 with the hole drilled in the shank
Sean


On May 16, 2019, at 04:24, kc5lpa1@... wrote:

I am not passionate one way or another about this issue but it does seem to me to have the look and feel of a chevy vs ford issue and defining realistic operation seems to be at the heart of it. On the one hand we have the remote operation folks who want to watch trains couple and decouple with as few visits from the giant hand coming down from the sky to couple/decouple the cars as possible, and on the other hand we have the manual operation folks who think it is important that the cars experience the same step by step procedures to couple and decouple that the prototypes do even if it means many visits from the giant hand to help make that happen.....

Full disclosure: I use Kadee and I am reasonably happy with them and with using my visiting giant hand to uncouple cars when needed. I had never heard of Sergent until I started hanging out with you folks......

Brian

Re: Couplers

Paul Sturtz
 

Do you actually have an operating model RR?  If you're that much into fidelity, you will need an HO brakeman on a stick to carry out all these moves.
Paul

Re: Couplers

Doug Cummings
 

I do not have a layout. At the moment I just have a lot of models in boxes. 


From: "Paul Sturtz" <apa_208@...>
To: HOn3@groups.io
Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 6:33:26 AM
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Couplers

Do you actually have an operating model RR?  If you're that much into fidelity, you will need an HO brakeman on a stick to carry out all these moves.
Paul

Re: Couplers

Earl Knoob
 

In my 41 years of railroading, I NEVER shoved a car to a spot with the knuckles butted closed.  Very dangerous.  When the engine stops, the car will keep rolling.  Most yards have some sort of grade to them, so the car can easily roll off.  You shove to a spot with the couplers locked.  When you get the car spotted, set out or whatever, you chock the wheels and/or tie down the handbrake, pull the pin if the slack in in, and pull away.  You always leave angle cocks open on cars left on a siding.  If you close the angle cocks, it is possible for the air in the car reservoirs to leak into the brake pipe and release the brakes.  that is known as "bottling the air".

"Safety stops" are a modern day invention in railroading.  Old timers didn't do that either.

BTW, 714's were a godsend to us in the late 1960's.  Until then we had to use #5's on our narrow gauge equipment.

Earl Knoob
 An "HOn3-er" since 1968.



From: HOn3@groups.io <HOn3@groups.io> on behalf of Dale Buxton <dbtuathaddana@...>
Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 1:30 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Couplers
 
That is exactly what is being said. Personally I like and prefer operating my coupling and uncoupling operations  manually like the prototype, I get a part of the feel of what it is like to operate the prototype. Sergent  couplers give me that real operation feeling like Kadee 714's never ever could.

Ok, I'm going to incur the wrath of some people here. Be that as it may. But, it's like this. Kadee 714 and 715 couplers became the defacto couplers of HOn3 for decades because no other company came up with a usable operating coupler of the appropriate size for HOn3. End of statement full stop. The 714 design has design limitations due to compromises that needed to be made by size they needed to be and the actual thought processes of the designers. One of these  compromises  was the complete elimination of a pivoting coupler knuckle. At the time Kadee 714's were developed, the first really working coupler to the market was going to be accepted as the go to product of use and 714's were just that. Personally, I felt for many, many, many years that a lot of this acceptance was based merely on the overwhelming success of Kadee's #5 couplers and not much else. The #5's were the best couplers on the market and since then every other coupler on the market has been based on them.

But the 714 design had and still has its operational detractors. They have  fair amount of vertical play in their coupler box. this allows them to dip down or climb up on the coupler they are mated too. This also plays into the slinky action in the draft gear spring. It also can allow the magnetic trip horn/pin, which if it is not adjusted to absolutely perfect vertical height, to drop down and snag on uncoupling magnets, turnouts, RR crossing boards and pretty much anything else that is mounted between the rails. So a lot of modelers started to just snip the trip pins off and use uncoupling wands instead. This completely negated the whole delayed action concept that was and still is at the center of Kadee coupler designs. Uncoupling with a wand mostly entails  pushing a pointed stick between the 714 couplers, twisting it and then pushing the freed car away some with the stick. HOW REALISTIC! 

 I think that removing the 714 trip pins and the delayed action they gave, brought about a whole era of unrealistic, lazy, sloppy, pseudo coupling and uncoupling operations.  On the prototype there is far more to coupling cars together than just backing up, mating and pulling away. WAY MORE!!! The full size railroads use a pretty much set system of coupling and uncoupling trains or spotting cars. For the most part it works 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. Couplers o freight 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.

You can go on line and find videos of coupling and uncoupling operations on the full size RR's. The main elements of these operations are all pretty much the same everywhere  automatic knuckle couplers are used .

So I guess it comes down to something like this. If we are only willing to buy model trains with the highest detail fidelity. Why should we not endeavor to operate our highly detail miniature trains in manor as near as possible to the way that the full size RR's do?

Dale Buxton


On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 10:12 PM <arfio@...> wrote:
Why do you say they are no good for operations?  Because the require manual uncoupling like the prototype?

Allen Farnsworth

On May 15, 2019, at 9:08 PM, Ray <rayhon3@...> wrote:

I suggest Kadee 158 couplers.  Same size as the 714 but have whisker spring. So no assembly required. Operation is the same.
The Sergeants aren't any good for operation.
Ray




On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 3:04 PM -0600, "John Stutz" <john.stutz@...> wrote:

Doug

Kadee 714  scissors  couplers (and the brown version 715? ) are the 
defacto standard for HOn3.  They are somewhat oversize for the full size 
MCB couplers used on the Colorado NG roads.  Since the centering spring 
compresses under draft, they can a bit stiff to couple, and trailing 
cars to tend to display a slinky action as they are pulled by partially 
compressed springs.  These are probably your best choice for remote 
operation with magnetic uncoupling, as they have the greatest gathering 
range and a longer uncoupling lever.  Kadee  also offers these as their 
"Old Time" coupler with a longer uncoupling lever for SG cars, but they 
may tend to pull apart with the longer and heaver HO SG trains.

Microtrains 1015 and 1016 are their second generation N scale scissors 
coupler, replacing their original designs which are downsized Kadee 
714s. These are about HO scale MCB coupler size, visually similar to 
714s, but the centering spring has been reversed to compress when 
buffing.  This has the advantage that the couplers yield slightly  when 
nudged together, making it much more likely the the standing car will 
couple instead of being pushed down the track.  The 714's slinky action 
at the train's tail is eliminated, but reappears in the leading cars of 
a string that is being pushed.  Being smaller than the 714, good 
alignment of the cars is more critical when coupling.  The coupler 
knuckle is molded with negative draft angle on the pulling face, so they 
are relatively immune to pulling apart by sliding vertically.

Both the Kadee and Microtrains scissors couplers can opened manually, 
using a finely pointed dowel inserted behind the knuckles and spun.   
The two are not really mutually compatible, due to the size difference, 
but can be manually coupled.

Sergent makes dead scale HO couplers in zinc, as both the Sharon pattern 
of MCB profile coupler used on many D&RGW NG cars, and the slightly 
deeper ARA type D coupler.  Both were once widely used on SG freight 
stock.  These are mutually compatible, and some report they can be used 
with 714s.   The ARA Ds have the #10 profile designed to prevent paired 
couplers from jackknifing when pushing a string of cars, but this does 
not seem to be problem with the Sharons on our short NG trains.  Sergent 
couplers all employ an internal steel ball to lock the knuckle closed by 
gravity, and Sergent provides a magnetic rod to unlock and open the 
coupler knuckles.  They are not intended for remote operation, but might 
be used in a delayed manor, as Kadee's MKDs designed to do.  The Sergent 
couplers are a solid pivot design, so there is no slinky action.  There 
is no centering action as supplied.  Instead they have a friction spring 
to hold the coupler fixed when not coupled, allowing manual alignment 
for coupling.  Which is important, given the scale coupler's scale 
gathering range. Sergent has a version of the ARA D that is designed for 
drop-in application in the common SG coupler pocket, or in  Kadee #5 
boxes, but the preferred mounting is the narrower Acucraft box. There is 
a version of the Sharron designed specifically for Blackstone HOn3 
cars.  An a minimal mount can be made with a #2 screw and washer.

Kadee also offers a couple versions of "scale" HO couplers with fixed 
pivots and their standard style knuckle.  These are intended for SG 
models, and are probably compatible with their 714s, but I have not 
experimented on this.   Acucraft offers a "scale" version of their fixed 
pivot Acumate scissors coupler, but I have not tried to use these.  I 
suspect that there are others

John Stutz

On 5/15/2019 8:37 AM, Doug Cummings wrote:
> I have a fair number of both HO and HOn3 cars and locomotives, all currently in their original packaging. I am looking for recommendations for what make and model of couplers are recommended or work best for this equipment. Recommendations or comments are welcomed.

Doug




39th National Narrow Gauge Convention Layout Tour

Aaron Splawn
 

Gentlemen, 

I'm part of this years National Narrow Gauge Convention committee in Sacramento and have been assisting with the layout tour.  We have been diligently combing the area for amazing layouts and I wanted to give everyone reading a quick update on what we have in store for attendees.  We already have approximately forty (yes 40!) layouts confirmed, 22 of which are narrow gauge, and seven are Hon3.  The tour will also include some well know builders and layouts including Jeff Reynolds' Hon3 Rio Grande Southern, Jack Burgess's HO Scale Yosemite Valley Railroad, Rod Souza's O scale West Side Lumber Co, and the Sn3 Nighthawk Branch built by the late Brian Ellerby.  

In addition to the layouts on tour, there will be prototype steam ups occuring on the old Sierra Railroad in Jamestown, Ca, the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad near Santa Cruz, Ca. and the Carter Brother's Museum in Fremont, Ca.  Roaring Camp features the West Side Lumber Heisler #3 and Shay #7.  The Carter Brothers Museum features restored Carter Bros. equipment being towed by a small Porter engine and by horse.  

Lastly, we have put together over 50 clinics, 36 of which are new or haven't been covered in many years.  We have a complete list on our web page  https://www.nngc2019.org  along with soon to be added details and pictures of many of the layouts that will be featured.  

Hope to see you all in Sacramento Sept. 4th- 7th...  

Aaron Splawn (39th National Narrow Gauge Committee Member)

Disney locomotive update

Darryl Huffman
 

Some of the most popular narrow gauge railroads in the world are Disney products.

Here is an update on one of their mining locomotives seen by millions:


Darryl Huffman
darrylhuffman@...

Hobby DVDs now shipping:

Re: Couplers

Ed Tibbetts
 

Picture of a 58 drilled but not pinned.