magnets & Kadee #5s



I am posting a few pictures of my ongoing experiments with magnets and Kadee #5 couplers.  I have been able to overcome the trouble I was having with Flyer link couplers with metal weights.  Each of the following solutions works well, that is, has no problem with Flyer links sticking to the magnets.


First up is what I hope will be what I end up using because of cost (always a big thing with me).  It has two magnets (J&K number BX841) that are 1½” x ¼” x 1/16” separated by ½”.  The BX841s are $1.10 each making for a $2.20 uncoupler... I like that.  The ties are .03” cardboard, the magnets are colored to show polarity (black – north & red – south) and the rail is .138” SHS flex.  That places the magnets .168” below the rail head.  I tried .06” ties and found the .03” difference really made a big difference with the performance of the couplers… it short it didn’t work.


I am finding this solution marginal in that my Kadees don’t all perform the same.  Some work beautifully while others don’t.  I expect my lack of experience with the Kadees accounts for this -- I hope --- because I do like how this all goes together. .  I have included a second picture showing how the couplers respond to the delayed action.  Please note that one of the cars has scale wheels while the other has Hi-rail wheels.








Next up is the same arrangement but with 3/8” between the magnets.  It is still .168” below the rail head.  I think the extra 1/8” of the first example is better to pull the Kadees over for delayed uncoupling.  I also didn’t add the ties.  This was my first experiment.  I can add 1/16 x 1/16 styrene to change the separation between the magnets.












Then the last one and perhaps the fallback position.  This are B822, ½” x 1/8” x 1/8” mounted on .02” sheet metal.  The B822s are $.43 each but  10 are needed so the cost per uncoupler is $4.30.  They are too strong as you will see by the photo.  Although I have not had a problem with the couplers being pulled this far apart, they just don’t fit into each other’s pocket.  I have ordered some B422, ¼” x 1/8” x 1/8” magnets with the hope they won’t be so over the top.  The cost of the B422s is $.27 each or $2.70 per uncoupler.  If they work it would be afforadable.





I have also ordered some wider magnet that the BX841 thinking they might provide a bit more pull to get the balky Kadees to pull apart.  The wider magnets are $2.00 each for a $4.00 uncoupler – more than I would like to spend, but if that is what works, then so be it.


I haven’t played with AM .148” rail yet and I hope that the .010” difference doesn’t cause a problem.  I have to say I was surprised that .030” did make a difference.  People who aren’t going to run Flyer link couplers across their magnets will find much easier solutions and for the ones using like code 100 or small rail ,I think you could just add a pair of 1½” x 1/8” x 1/16” magnets on top of you ties… be sure to glue them in place.  I have found that 1½” long uncoupler is an easy target to land on even without DCC.


Tom Stoltz

in Maine










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