I've never liked the huge size of the Gilbert knuckle couplers; compare it with a Lionel "lobster claw":

couplers 1

Look at the difference in car body width (   ) yet the 1/64th coupler is only marginally smaller than the 1/48th.

Here are (2) Gilberts connected:

couplers 2

There is 7/8" distance between the cars.

Here are 2 with link couplers connected:

couplers 3

Here the gap is reduced a full 1/4", down to 5/8". Even though these link-types do look rather silly, this reduction in the gap is, I think, reason enough to not dismiss these out-of-hand. Plus, they have that "old school" look I find charming... 

This is  #302 tender with a Kadee O scale coupler installed, connected to a standard Gilbert knuckle:

couplers 4

To my way of thinking, the O scale Kadee looks to be the "best" compromise.

I'm gonna be gone for a few days; am curious to see what comments (if any) this generates... 

Talk to you next week.

Mark in Oregon

PS: Happy Mother's Day!

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Nice pictures. I have posted on this subject in the past.

For yard operations or mainline that involve coupling/uncoupling I much prefer the link couplers. They couple the cars closer together, they couple no matter the curve radius, they couple at any speed (including at speed step 1 on my Legacy Y-3 steam engine, properly adjusted I can operate 15 car link coupler freights around curves and up and down grades with no uncoupling. One caveat, this layout has "perfect or better" trackwork with both vertical and horizontal easements and superelevation on curves

In contrast, knuckle couplers keep the cars too far apart, do not look any better, require a firm bang to close them ( the Gilbert ones) and rarely match up to couple on curves. Even the best new couplers from AM and MTH will not close both couplers when backing my Y-3 on speed step 1.

I like the appearance of the Kadee coupler. Does it actually couple to an S gauge knuckle coupler?

Tom

Hi Tom; just leaving now. 

Yes, if you look closely the KD and AF are coupled together:

couplers 4

One of the nice things about the KD option is that  after you spread the tabs that hold the AF knuckle (to remove it) the KD will fit in place nicely with just a bit of tape wrapped around the shank to ensure a snug fit. You do of course have to squeeze those tabs back together! 

BTW, the parts (wheels) for the Geep 7 should be here later today, so I will be in touch regarding that "whole thing" when I return... 

Mark in (already dry) Oregon

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Mark, I look forward to your return, my question is when you replace the knuckle with the Kadee O gauge which number couplers are you using? I would love to try these on my Flyer equipment.

Ray

The size of the AF (and compatible) couplers never really bothered me.  The added distance between cars may bother me a little, but not enough to prompt me into converting to Kadees.

Sure, I use Kadee 802/808's (plus the occasional HO Kadees) and AM Snap-Locks on my scale stuff, but for Flyer and HiRail, the big ol' coupler is just fine with me. 

Rusty

I am in a similar space as Rusty. I keep my Gilbert Flyer stuff generally in its original state. Making these toys look like scale models requires a lot of skilled modeling beyond couplers, so I choose to honor their original look.

For everything else though I go with scale trucks (SHS, MTH, AM, Ace, S Scale America, etc) and couplers (Kadee 802/808 or my new favorite San Juan Car Company On3 Evolution).

Hello, I'm back. 

Because some of you asked, here is the Kadee coupler I used:

KD #1

Here is a side by side with the Gilbert type:

KD #2

Please note that the "trip pins" have been removed; I've never been into the magnetic uncoupling feature, so those pins are not needed...for me, at least.

Also, when I started this thread, I wasn't advocating anything: I'm perfectly satisfied with the Gilbert couplers, both knuckle and link. I was merely musing... 

Mark in Oregon

 

 

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Mark, thanks for the info on the couplers, I don't have a problem with the Flyer couplers either. I have a number of S Helper,  American Models, and others with Kadees and am looking at making some Flyer cars compatible with them and the idea of magnetic uncoupling has crossed my mind.

Ray

Rayin"S" posted:

Mark, thanks for the info on the couplers, I don't have a problem with the Flyer couplers either. I have a number of S Helper,  American Models, and others with Kadees and am looking at making some Flyer cars compatible with them and the idea of magnetic uncoupling has crossed my mind.

Ray

Ray,

You might want to review this old thread:

 https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...magnets-and-kadee-5s

for some info on magnetic uncoupling & Kadee's.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

 

 

Wow! I had forgotten all about that thread, good info and I will add it to the pile. I did look at the Kadee site, l looked at the S and On3 couplers, not sure but it looks like they are very close in size.

Ray

in all the years i've run tinplate with a number of different coupler types of which none looked prototypical, i cannot remember anyone ever making a comment, either positive or negative, about the couplers.  not saying i don't my personal preferences, but to me it's a non-issue, non-problem, non-concern.  frankly i'm not even sure i'd like to field the question of, "why are your couplers so small?".

Rayin"S" posted:

Wow! I had forgotten all about that thread, good info and I will add it to the pile. I did look at the Kadee site, l looked at the S and On3 couplers, not sure but it looks like they are very close in size.

Ray

The Kadee S and On3 couplers are identical except for the color of the uncoupling pin.  I've used both interchangeably.

Rusty

 

I got a few pairs of the O scale couplers, I installed one on a Gilbert flat car. I do like the look and it couples well with Kadee S couplers and with the standard S couplers of S Helper and American Flyer, I entertain the idea of adding more of these and trying the magnetic uncoupling.

Thanks again Mark and Tom,

Ray

Strummer posted:

Hello, I'm back. 

Because some of you asked, here is the Kadee coupler I used:

KD #1

Here is a side by side with the Gilbert type:

KD #2

Please note that the "trip pins" have been removed; I've never been into the magnetic uncoupling feature, so those pins are not needed...for me, at least.

Also, when I started this thread, I wasn't advocating anything: I'm perfectly satisfied with the Gilbert couplers, both knuckle and link. I was merely musing... 

Mark in Oregon

 

 

How about a picture from the bottom? It's still not clear to me whether the coupler box is used.

RoyBoy

I don't have a picture but no, the coupler box was not used.

The KD shank is merely held in place by the original AF coupler tabs; as I mentioned in the third post. There is no "side to side" play with the coupler itself, but being truck mounted this doesn't seem to pose any problems...that I found, anyway. 

Mark in Oregon

Roy Boy,

I have done one as Strummer suggested, this one does not have the shank wrapped with tape but I will wrap the shank on future installations.

Ray

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Chuck K posted:

I am in a similar space as Rusty. I keep my Gilbert Flyer stuff generally in its original state. Making these toys look like scale models requires a lot of skilled modeling beyond couplers, so I choose to honor their original look.

Thing is, Flyer rolling stock are scale models.  Which is why I prefer Kadee couplers.

Just to re-activate this thread a bit:

Like probably most of you, I have several "conversion" cars equipped with different couplers on each end. Mine are a T&P gondola with knuckle on one end and a link-type at the other. I also use an IC boxcar with knuckle and a KD HO scale coupler...wait, what? "HO scale"?

Yes. In my quest to find the ultimate "sweet spot" coupler wise, I complicated things a bit when I purchased this; you may remember my posting it:

S scale boxcar

Since this is (kind of) a "scale" model, I just was not happy with those link couplers...

Not long after, I also picked up a couple of "Midgage" cars, which I also posted and discussed mounting these on one of the cars:

Roundhouse #1

Since I have quite a few of these left over from my old HO scale days, and they are "era appropriate", I've decided to use these on (at least) some of these "scale" models. Now, how to tie everything in together?

As it turns out, the shaft width of the KD O scale coupler (mentioned much earlier in this thread) is almost exactly the width as the coupler box of that almost universally used HO scale coupler, the #5; so it (the #5) fits perfectly into the mounting tabs of a Flyer truck. Here is a photo of a link, knuckle and a truck with an HO scale #5 mounted:

AF couplers #1

I did have to cut off the extra mounting "ears" off the #5 box to get it to fit, but that's no big deal.

I'll admit that perhaps these HO couplers look a little small, but the good news is they will mate with both the KD S scale and O scale couplers, so how can you go wrong? 

So where I'm at now is this; here's a Flyer #302AC and the IC boxcar, both with the #5s:

AF couplers #4

Here is that old wooden boxcar, coupled to a "Midgage" car, both with the Roundhouse couplers:

AF couplers #3

...and here is that same wooden car, this time coupled to the #302 with KD coupler:

AF couplers #2

Now I can run pretty much any combination I want: link, knuckle or any one of several types of HO couplers.

I promise I will never post another thing about couplers...I promise!  

Mark in Oregon

 

 

 

 

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