Kadee uncoupling procedure

I was doing a search and i couldnt find the answer to a question in regards to Kadee coupler conversion. I want to convert my O scale passenger car fleet to Kadee couplers, but i also want to be able to use my MTH uncoupling sections i have installed in my layout. Does anybody know if the couplers will "operate" on the MTH RealTrax uncoupling track section or if my only option is to retro fit and install the uncoupling magnets offered by Kadee.

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MTHPRRGURU posted:

I was doing a search and i couldnt find the answer to a question in regards to Kadee coupler conversion. I want to convert my O scale passenger car fleet to Kadee couplers, but i also want to be able to use my MTH uncoupling sections i have installed in my layout. Does anybody know if the couplers will "operate" on the MTH RealTrax uncoupling track section or if my only option is to retro fit and install the uncoupling magnets offered by Kadee.

Only the magnets offered by Kadee will uncouple O-Scale Kadee couplers. Neither Lionel nor MTH electric in-track devices will work on Kadee couplers.

@Hot Water I did a pretty thorough search through there and i couldnt find anything in regards to what i was looking for, and i hate creating threads on a topic already covered but i needed a definitive answer and you provided that which i really apprecaite it. I have combed over the 3RS sticky on Kadee Couplers and thats what made me want to do this conversion, and the only thing holding me up was this topic. 

Hot Water posted:
MTHPRRGURU posted:

I was doing a search and i couldnt find the answer to a question in regards to Kadee coupler conversion. I want to convert my O scale passenger car fleet to Kadee couplers, but i also want to be able to use my MTH uncoupling sections i have installed in my layout. Does anybody know if the couplers will "operate" on the MTH RealTrax uncoupling track section or if my only option is to retro fit and install the uncoupling magnets offered by Kadee.

Only the magnets offered by Kadee will uncouple O-Scale Kadee couplers. Neither Lionel nor MTH electric in-track devices will work on Kadee couplers.

Well, not entirely true.  Any permanent magnet will work, but they must be properly sized and  properly mounted in order to work............. well, properly.

I did a lot of experimentation about 15 years ago on finding an alternate method of magnets for uncoupling N-scale Micro-Trains cars, but only because I absolutely didn't like the Micro-Trains uncoupling magnets.  Mainly due to the fact that they were an absolute royal pain to install and mount in any n-scale track at that time (and still are if they still sell them).  I did come up with a successful system using neodymium (rare earth) magnets to do the uncoupling chores.  The neodymium magnets were strong enough that they even worked very well when mounted underneath of Bachmann E-Z Track or Kato Unitrack plastic roadbed (hidden from view)!

I've got the magic formula for N-Scale, but since I currently don't have any O-scale Kadee couplers, I don't know what will work the best.  Some experimentation will be necessary.  But here MIGHT be one such good place to start - I grabbed a 10" long piece of MTH ScaleTrax and playing a hunch, quickly came up with a 1/2" diameter x 1/8" thick neodymium magnet that seemed like it would have enough "oomph"  to do the job.  Actually, you will need two of these magnets for each uncoupling station - one DIRECTLY under each outer rail, straight across from each other.  One magnet attached with the north pole facing up, and the other with the south pole facing up.  The magnets need to be glued and/or attached VERY securely, as they are VERY strong and VERY attracted to each other!  Experiment!

Once again, this is just a good place to start, some experimentation will be necessary to find the right mounting positions and the right sized magnets.  Ceramic magnets will work too, but since they are not as strong as the neodymium's, you will undoubtedly need bigger sizes.  Square or rectangular shapes will also work, don't necessarily need to be round.  Experiment!

For track without built-in roadbed, you will need to drill or cut appropriately-sized holes in your own roadbed to hold the magnets.  Or, if you can find some 1/8"diameter x 3/16"  or 1/4" long neodymium magnets, you may be able to drill some 1/8" dia. holes in a GarGraves tie just inside the outer rails and mount these magnets.  Don't know for sure, but I suspect they might have enough "oomph" to activate the Kadee couplers.  Experiment!

Experiment and report back - we'd all like to know!!! 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high anyway.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

Keystoned Ed posted:

In 2017 I posted an extensive thread ( With video) on using rows of super magnets to uncouple Kadees on the 2 rail forum.  

Hi Ed,

Good job.  Although occasionally dropping in for a visit, I wasn't a forum member back then (2016 was when you posted, not 2017), so I obviously missed your thread.  While your method works good, you only experimented with one size of magnet.  I experimented with a handful of sizes for N-scale, and came up with a fairly good solution at that time.

I was able to install the magnets in the cork roadbed, then lay the track down and ballast over them, completely hiding them from view.  No disguising necessary.  The end result was that the magnetic field was slightly stronger than a Micro-Trains magnet (which are fairly anemic ceramic magnets), and would activate the couplers much more reliably than the stock magnet.  I even invented a gizmo that allowed me to raise and lower a set of magnets under the track in one spot on my layout, to correct a tendency of unwanted uncouplings at that spot (close to a grade).

The same ideas should work for O-scale, but obviously the magnets need to be a litter bit bigger in order for the magnetic field to reach out a little farther.  2 magnets will do it, but you have to get the couplers directly over them.  A series of magnets (like you did) is good too, it simply gives a bigger target area to stop the cars over.  One thing's for sure: there's pros and cons for all ideas on magnetic uncoupling, whether yours, mine, or someone else's.  What works good for one situation may not be the best solution for other situations.

I still maintain that further experimenting in magnet size and placement would be good for O-scale.  An on-line search should provide some suppliers of neodymium magnets in all shapes and sizes and at very reasonable prices, should anyone feel like doing some more R & D work.

Another quick thought before I forget: Even ONE magnet will work, if it's polarized properly, sized accordingly, and installed respectively.  That's why Micro-Trains has only one magnet per N-scale uncoupling station. 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high anyway.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

That's a good video. Those of us who have come over from the scale world have known about this simple yet remarkable system for years, and I think it's safe to say that it really revolutionized model railroading.

My ex now lives in the town where Kadee is located, in Medford. About 6 hours from here. The former N/Z scale "arm" of that company (Micro Trains) is just a few miles away from there in White City.

Beautiful country, although it does get HOT in the summer! 

Nice to be able to still buy US made products for a change; the fact that it's here in Oregon makes it better still! 

Mark (also) in Oregon

EDIT: I did some checking, and I was wrong!   Kadee is in White City; Micro Trains is in Talent, a little south of Medford. My mistake...   

In case you want to put the magnets where it is difficult I used this technique, Did this after following  keystone Ed's thread.

Installed them on a switch. using Kadee 2 magnets not 4,  and 4 super magnets.  The first photo shows the Kadee magnet and the four super magnets underneath, also notice that they are not parallel to the rail or the same distance from rail. because of this it does NOT work as well as it should. This is on the fix it list. The stone, is a marker.   This is a difficult location to install. The other pics shows the correct way, magnets parallel and same distance from rail. 

Clem

mceclip0

 

 

 

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From time to time, I have seen Kadeem couplers mounted to rolling stock and locos in the large scale world by others.  I still use the hook & loop type.  Since I like to do alot of switching, I have considered, from time to time, changing to Kadees.    

But now let's talk about "O" gauge.  Watching the video posted by Rich Melvin, I can see the benefits of converting to Kadee couplers.  

Even though my layout is of the post-war type, I do alot of switching.  It's a simple matter to uncouple a LC+ loco from it's train, but uncoupling between cars is another matter.  

Do the Kadeem couplers get mounted to the trucks or to the body ?   I wouldn't want to remove the electro-couplers from a LC+ loco, so a transition car would have to be used for all switching.  Kind of a bummer.  

What are some other solutions.  If I ever decide to go with Kadees it would be nice to explore all avenues. 

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

If you use 800 series couplers, they will connect to the Lionel-style couplers, but the newer 700 series do not. Since I don't have wide radius track, I truck mounted mine and have experienced no problems in normal operations.  Backing a long train through the diverging route of a switch can be problematic, however, as the couplers tend to go way off center sideways. Since mine aren't longer than 5-6 cars at most, I haven't experienced derailments.

Terry

The easiest to do are the ones with plastic Lionel couplers. With a Dremel cut-off wheel, remove the coupler and leave as much of the plastic behind the head of the coupler as you can. You will notice a faint line of flashing running halfway along the side the remaining piece of plastic that joins the coupler to the truck. You will want to cut the top half off running about 3/4" back toward the wheels. You will mount the Kadee coupler pocket on this "shelf" that you have created. I used 2-56 machine screws. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers use plastic couplers. Some use metal and removing the coupler from that metal piece takes more time and heats up the metal quickly. Ouch! Cutting down and across to make the shelf for the coupler pocket to sit on takes more time. You will need to wear safety goggles! As you cut to make the shelf for the pocket, it's better to cut less than more as you trial and error your first attempts. I've attached pictures. The ink shows what remains on which the Kadee coupler pocket rests. Hope this helps.

Terry

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I started about 8 years ago installing KD 805's on my rolling stock. Having my trackage already put down and wanting to use the KD 809 magnets, I did not want to modify the track to install the supplied amplifier plate with the kit. I found some 1/32" thick steel stock which I could use as a shim to bring the magnets to just under rail head height atop the wood ties on my Gargraves and Ross track. I cut the metal stock to the width and length of the magnets and adhered them to the top of the ties leaving room for the wheel flanges. I them placed the magnets atop the plates. Adjustment of the coupler hook is critical but they have worked very well. I installed visible vertical painted posts as a visual marker of the position of the magnet section so I can see where they are from a distance.

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tcripe posted:

The easiest to do are the ones with plastic Lionel couplers. With a Dremel cut-off wheel, remove the coupler and leave as much of the plastic behind the head of the coupler as you can. You will notice a faint line of flashing running halfway along the side the remaining piece of plastic that joins the coupler to the truck. You will want to cut the top half off running about 3/4" back toward the wheels. You will mount the Kadee coupler pocket on this "shelf" that you have created. I used 2-56 machine screws. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers use plastic couplers. Some use metal and removing the coupler from that metal piece takes more time and heats up the metal quickly. Ouch! Cutting down and across to make the shelf for the coupler pocket to sit on takes more time. You will need to wear safety goggles! As you cut to make the shelf for the pocket, it's better to cut less than more as you trial and error your first attempts. I've attached pictures. The ink shows what remains on which the Kadee coupler pocket rests. Hope this helps.

Terry

Thanks Terry, that's great I had to do the same with my metal couplers on my passenger cars. Execpt I cut half of the Kedee to mount them. Here are a couple of pictures.DSC00075DSC00076DSC00068

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

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Laidoffsick posted:

I did a video years ago on how to install the Kadee between the rails magnets and how they work in switching operations. My YouTube channel is the same name ..... Laidoffsick

Hey Doug, I watched it several time and great video along with your other videos! Thank you so much!

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Mike G.  your post brings up something I was going to ask about, and that is if Kadee's could be used on passenger cars. Is it possible to chassis mount Kadee's on passenger cars, or does that bring the cars to close together?

Cam

RadCam posted:

Mike G.  your post brings up something I was going to ask about, and that is if Kadee's could be used on passenger cars. Is it possible to chassis mount Kadee's on passenger cars, or does that bring the cars to close together?

Cam

For me, that was the whole idea, i.e. "bring the cars close together", which was the beauty of body mounted Kadee couplers. But,,,,,,,,we had curves bigger than 072 and no "S" curve switching movements for those 21" scale length passenger cars.

Hi RADCAM, from my test and trials I found it best to do it the way I did to give clearance on tight curves. I sure it could be done, but when I tested the diaphrams were pretty much touching.

I am sure there are others that have done it and they might chime in! Clem Might know!

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Hot Water posted:
RadCam posted:

Mike G.  your post brings up something I was going to ask about, and that is if Kadee's could be used on passenger cars. Is it possible to chassis mount Kadee's on passenger cars, or does that bring the cars to close together?

Cam

For me, that was the whole idea, i.e. "bring the cars close together", which was the beauty of body mounted Kadee couplers. But,,,,,,,,we had curves bigger than 072 and no "S" curve switching movements for those 21" scale length passenger cars.

Same for me. I would like to bring the cars closer, but I understand that there has to be some compromises. My current track plan has minimum O72, and no S curves that the passenger cars would encounter, so hopefully I can get away with chassis mounting them.

Jeff, That is exactly what I would like see on my passenger cars. So how wide are your curves?  I'm running 70' and 80' heavyweights a mix of GGD, and MTH so between 18 and 21 inches. 

Mike, I'm going to do my freight cars anyway, so I think I will experiment and try chassis mounting on at least two passenger cars and see if it will work for me. 

Right now I have not done my passenger cars.  The Atlas Zepher cars have adjustable coupler length. I use a conversion mail boxcar on the front if using Kadee eguiped locomotive. I'm undecided about changing Super Liners and the Horizon cars. The front of some of my passenger power gets a Kadee. 

Clem

clem k posted:

Right now I have not done my passenger cars.  The Atlas Zepher cars have adjustable coupler length. I use a conversion mail boxcar on the front if using Kadee eguiped locomotive. I'm undecided about changing Super Liners and the Horizon cars. The front of some of my passenger power gets a Kadee. 

Clem

I’m the same way, I have not done my MTH Madison cars, or my Lionel milk cars.  I’m undecided on both. Especially on the milk cars due to their collector value

clem k posted:

Right now I have not done my passenger cars.  The Atlas Zepher cars have adjustable coupler length. I use a conversion mail boxcar on the front if using Kadee eguiped locomotive. I'm undecided about changing Super Liners and the Horizon cars. The front of some of my passenger power gets a Kadee. 

Clem

Clem, I do the same thing with the mail boxcar, but the other way around. I have an engine with the claw coupler and all my passenger cars are Kadee! I hope to get some more cars one day!

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

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