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Kadee Auto Uncoupling


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Hi all,

 

Just wondering if there is a "homebrew" way of creating an electo-magnetic delayed uncoupler for the Kadee couplings?

 

I far prefer them to the tension lock but I want to know if I need to splash out for the auto-uncouplers before I glue down my track...

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Matt

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If you are going to use the 'undertrack' magnets then yes you will have to fit them first. I believe they do one that fits on the track between the rails, but they look a bit obvious. If your baseboard is thin then you may get away with the magnets fitted to the underside of the board, best try it out first.

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The between the rails magnet is unsightly. I recently changed all mine to under track variety. (Not the electro as they are more costly)

 

I had to lift a couple of inches of track and make a recess into the 3/4" baseboards to accomodate the magnets and steel plate. Installing them before track laying is much easier.

 

The only downside to permanent magnets, you can get the ocasional unintended uncoupling. Oh, and you MUST lay the track exactly over the centre line of the magnets, so installing them in exactly the right place is a must so careful track planning and marking out is essential.

 

The end result is completely undetectable uncouplers. To spot the wagons over the magnets, I use well placed passengers on the platforms and various other railway type markers around the rest of the layout.

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Consider the option of hingeing your undertrack magnets and using a ring on a thread to pull them into place.

Permamanent undertrack magnets are bad for UK stock due to unwelcome effect on the steel axles on our stock. US stock is mainly non-magnetic.

Chris

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Permamanent undertrack magnets are bad for UK stock due to unwelcome effect on the steel axles on our stock. US stock is mainly non-magnetic.

Chris

I've not had this problem with carriage stock but can be with wagons. Two solutions I've tried successfully .

1. Brake the wagon with a bit of foam wedged between the axle and nem housing.

2. Weight the wagon.

 

1. is ok for short trains (6 or 7 wagons) but the drag can get a bit much for long trains. If you keep some wagons in sets (with 3 link coupling or whatever) with kadee's just on the end wagons then you only need to brake the ends.

2. works well ( there's a formula on here somewhere as to how much) but you need correctly adjusted pin point bearings in brass cups to keep the rolling resistance down.

 

Ray

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Hi all,

 

Just wondering if there is a "homebrew" way of creating an electo-magnetic delayed uncoupler for the Kadee couplings?

 

I far prefer them to the tension lock but I want to know if I need to splash out for the auto-uncouplers before I glue down my track...

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Matt

 

Co-incidentally, I'd been looking at this page just today. Is that what you're after, Matt?

 

Regards

 

Scott

Edited by jukebox
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  • 2 months later...

Hi Ron,

 

I've started doing exactly that.

 

At the moment I'm only doing one "row" of magnets, however having seen your comment above I think I'll give it a go with three rows - one row doesn't seem to be working quite so well at the moment... :(

 

Thanks and Happy New Year!

 

Matt

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Hi all,

 

Just wondering if there is a "homebrew" way of creating an electo-magnetic delayed uncoupler for the Kadee couplings?

 

I far prefer them to the tension lock but I want to know if I need to splash out for the auto-uncouplers before I glue down my track...

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Matt

As a long-time Kadee user, I once saw some home-made electric uncouplers, made up (I think) using a nail driven through the baseboard under each rail and the coils from solenoid point motors.

 

A fair bit of trial-and-error would have been involved. They seemed to work OK but would it be worth the effort if you had to buy the point motors? (The guy who did them had been given a box of clapped out solenoid motors).

 

He wanted a less obtrusive alternative to the old Kadee #307 which had to be installed through the track but the current Kadee #309 works from underneath the sleepers. This makes them invisible and they are much easier to install than the old type. A piece of thin card under the track will stop ballast falling down the hole.

 

Permanent magnets should be confined to sidings to avoid unwanted uncoupling on running lines. The #308 under-track magnets are best for areas in 'public view' with the non-delayed between-the-rails type (#312) in fiddle yards.

 

The delayed-action between-the-rails types (#321 and #322) are essential for those odd places where you realise you need another magnet after the track is all laid and ballasted! They can be disguised as a board crossing or similar, but don't overdo it!

 

Hope this helps.

 

JS

Edited by Dunsignalling
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JS,  some experimentation was undertaken by not only myself but in the main by a modeller in the UK on another forum & we found that while two rows would do, if one could stop the loco exactly where you wanted it, with so many variances in the mechanics of locos, it was found that 3 rows is better & yes, they are powerful & give delayed action.

Light weight rolling stock with steel rims & axles will get dragged in so some replacements maybe called for. Unfortunately, I do not know of a UK outline wheel set that is non-magnetic like such wheel sets here in Aust or in the USA.

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Co-incidentally, I'd been looking at this page just today. Is that what you're after, Matt?

 

Regards

 

Scott

I'm still planning on having a go at making a couple of these, unless anyone thinks the kadee #309 would be much easier. I'll be wanting the delayed action, not fitted my stock yet but as I plan to in the future I need the uncouplers down before I lay the track.

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I use 3mm cubed rare earth magnets

magnets4.jpg

 

once painted & ballasted, very hard to see

magnets45002.jpg  so the yellow sleeper end indicates the middle set

The photos suggest that the track is on a very slight curve. Is it an illusion or if it is curved, what effect does it have on the operation? I find that the amount of offset tolerance is virtually zero.

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Going to give the rare earth(neodymium) type a go. Bought some from http://www.guysmagnets.com. The 3mm cube ones cost between 5 and 9 pence, dependent on qty. I bought 320 @0.06p. I will try 4 rows and these will give me 20 positions at a somewhat cheaper price than Kadee's own uncouplers.

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Kevin, a very slight curve but it has not affected operation. One other localmodeller here uses round button earth  magnets under each rail - each slightly off set & they too, work well.

 

Jules, it was found that three rows replacing the existing sleepers, are more than adequate.

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The original Bachmann UK metal wheels with the metal wheels push fitte onto a plastic axle are not attracted to undertrack magnets. Often turn in bulk on ebay from people who have replaced them.

exactly what I did, got some bulk boxes of them.

sometimes another problem with the large under the track magnets is the steel weights in rolling stock can be attracted by the magnet. I usually remove them and replace with lead.

 

Could do with someone manufacturing some nice non magnetic wheels.

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  • 3 months later...

Sliding the magnet slightly to one side prevents uncoupling.  This was done on 'Menasha', the magnets were fitted into shallow 'pits' in the baseboard surface sliding on short lengths of brass angle with a thin piece of card (old photos) over for ballasting.  They are moved with a bit of 'L' shaped rod fitted into a small hole drilled centrally in the magnet and running to the side of the baseboard with a knob on the end.

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  • 1 year later...

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