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Reply to "Is S scale still an option?"

I've only used the Kadee HO couplers where I needed them a special application, like an offset shank on my SouthWind 2-8-0's:

and on any "vintage" cars I bought that already had them installed.  Otherwise, the HO couplers look too small to my eyes.

The distance between freight cars using 802's is about 3 scale feet, which is about what it is on the prototype, so I really don't see an issue there, but to each his own.

Distance PRS

I can see where cost can be an issue, but as I usually buy a package of 802's when I buy a locomotive or car, that difference is blunted somewhat.  Plus every "scale" locomotive I've bought directly from AM, they've thrown in a package of 802's.  They even installed them on my last purchase: UP E8's...

The irony is I'll have to de-install them for body mounting and fill the pilot gaps with a modified insert, a project currently on a very crowded back burner.


This is an old topic that I thought had come to an end.  The #5 is about as undersized (IIRC, undersized by one scale inch vertically) as the 802 is oversized.  I believe the #5 is closer to S scale than the 802, if you care.  To get close coupling with the 802 requires modification while mounting the coupler – no question about it.  Without the modification, there is no close coupling.

The #5 will be less forgiving for uneven track work and have a smaller grab area than the 802.  Also requires a different set of magnets if you don’t modify the coupler pin.  The link for that was previously provided.

I don’t care what coupler you choose, but you should be aware of the pro & cons of each before choosing.  The #5 and 802 do play well together.

My response from 11/30/13:

Finally got around to trying to photo the 802 and the #5s. IPhone camera is not too good, but I think you will be able to see the difference in coupling distance comparing the 802 and the #5.

The 802 is spring loaded, which is why it has the rectangular shape for a mounting hole.  When sitting still the spring will draw the cars together as in Rusty’s photo.  When the train is in motion (and depending on the drag of the rolling stock) the spring will compress and the space between the cars will increase.  This accounts for the large distance I mentioned with the AM 85’ streamliners.  They are heavy so they put a lot of compression on the springs.  Longer trains will also tend to stretch out the car spacing.

By centering the 802 on the line for the photo, I gave it the benefit on the doubt.  The spring can actually compress more (allowing of an even larger space between cars).  The line with the couplers centered is my attempt to show the difference between the 802 and the #5 if you would get using the mounting hole as the car comes form the factory.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

802 vs #5

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653