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Dave1701

kadee's and Hornby couplers

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Hi All,

 

I just wanted to check with the experts, about what couplers people used on there stock, I am changing my couplers on my 141's, 071, cravens, and mk2d, It is a pet hate of mine seeing the big gaps between coaches and engine, I bought kadees no 17, I think too short, I also bought Hornby r8220 they work fine on the mk2's but look awful on the front of the engine's, I think the kadee's look the best but there is all different type???? of numbers so which leaves me asking which no kadee's is best for the above stock and work well on your layouts too!

 

Thanks in advance for your help too!

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Posted (edited)

I have successfully replaced the TLC (tension lock couplings) on two rakes of MM mk2 coaches.  The first rake was done with kadee and the second rake with Hornby R8220 close couplings between the coaches but a single kadee at each end of the rake for coupling to locos and better visual appearance. This works with fixed rake formations.

fitting_kadee_mm_mk2d_01.jpg

Height is perfect when the kadee no 19 or 20 are glued to the underside of the NEM pocket rather than in the pocket.

IMG_5536.jpg

The Hornby R8220s (below) were fairly easy to fit once the TLCs were easily removed from the mk2's using the scalpel to trim the ends as in the first photo above. The last coach at each end of the rake had a kadee no 19 glued to the underside of the NEM pocket for coupling to locos.  Spent a while doing running trials with the close couplers with reasonable results so far except for one coach which occasionally suffers a lock of the NEM coupling plate causing a derailment. I should be able to tweak that tomorrow in daylight when I can see watch is catching on the chassis. 

IMG_5532.jpg

Comparison below of Hornby R8220 close couplers and the kadee's below.  The orange roof rake have kadee's and the black roof have the Hornby R8220 close couplers.  When stationary both types offer identical close coupling qualities, however once running a small gap will open up with the kadees, but nowhere near as big a gap as the standard TLCs that come with MM coaches. The Hornby R8220 close couplers keep the gap closed except on curves when the gap between the coaches opens up proportionally with the radius of the curve which avoids buffer lock and derailment.

IMG_5534.jpg

Stock coupled with either the kadee or R8220 can be lifted vertically out of a rake unlike TLCs (tension lock couplings), the kadees  are the easiest to uncouple and lift out.

PS: It is more than a little annoying that some manufacturers fail to consistently provide standard NEM 362 pockets at the correct vertical and horizontal position. Changing NEM couplings should be a matter of simple plug'n'play instead of requiring fettling and tweaking.  

Edited by Noel
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Couplers are something that have nagged at me for ages and I wasn’t sure in which direction to go to rectify the issue. I want close coupling similar to what you have produced and with this in mind bought a pack of No.18 Kadee couplings to experiment. This was after seeing them in operation on another layout and the ability of uncoupling using only a magnet set in to the track. 

First experiements are mixed. The short coupling isn’t long enough to extend beyond the end of any coach stock I have - mainly Bachmann - so I’ll order a pack of medium to see how they fair. The short couplings work fine on any freight stock I’ve got so they won’t be wasted and I can also fit them to some locos. 

Im of the same opinion as you Noel when it comes to standardising pockets for whatever coupler you choose to fit. The positioning of some pockets are so far back that medium or long couplers are the order of the day. How difficult is it to say a coupling will be ‘x’ height from the rail, sit ‘x’ distance from the buffer beam and have the same pocket across the board?  Scale is set in many other departments so why not here?

Whatever is required, I’m sold on the Kadee coupling. They are expensive but give a more realistic look of coupling, are exceptionally easy to uncouple to lift stock away and provide a simple solution to decoupling without the hand of god or stick being required during train movements  

Paul

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, PaulC said:

The positioning of some pockets are so far back that medium or long couplers are the order of the day. How difficult is it to say a coupling will be ‘x’ height from the rail, sit ‘x’ distance from the buffer beam and have the same pocket across the board?  Scale is set in many other departments so why not here?

So far back on Cravens even the longest no 20 kadee won't even work. Agree its very inconvenient that some manufacturers fail to apply the NEM-362 standard. The MM Cravens are rightly much applauded, but IMHO they were let down by two issues, the dayglo blue seating colour and non-standard NEM pockets positioned at an incorrect height, incorrect horizontal position relative to the buffers and the pockets are not even the correct length. One should not have to make such elementary changes to an RTR model costing €49.

I'm about to convert our Cravens to kadee so hopefully by trial and error will discover the simplest method of conversion. I'm not prepared to use the existing pockets because they are the wrong height, they will part couple after modifications but only 50% engagement between the couplings is not acceptable due height differential. Gluing under the NEM pockets like the Mk2 won't work because the kadee will be too low, so its either cut the bottom surface off the MM pockets, put a fillet where the tongs should be and glue no 20s onto that, or alternatively cut the bottom surface off the NEM pocket and glue kadee 141 or 146 gearbox sets to that.

4 hours ago, PaulC said:

Whatever is required, I’m sold on the Kadee coupling. They are expensive but give a more realistic look of coupling, are exceptionally easy to uncouple to lift stock away and provide a simple solution to decoupling without the hand of god or stick being required during train movements  

Yes its worth the effort, especially for B&T era mixed coaching stock where shunting and marshalling was common operational practice, and even more so for 2 axle pick up goods wagons that were shunted on and off passing trains in every small station in Ireland.  That was before modern era fixed rake formations of fitted freight wagons and bogie stock started to take over in the mid 1970s, increasingly travelling only from city to city or major depots so less marshalling required at intermediary stations.

Dapol seem to have the best reputation for NEM accuracy.

Small piece here on NEM https://www.railwaymagazinemodelling.co.uk/ask-a-daft-question-what-are-nem-362-coupling-pockets/

Edited by Noel
typo

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7 minutes ago, murrayec said:

Hi Noel

Do you remember this one?

Hi Eoin 

Yes I did thanks. I would prefer to match the kadee height gauge reasonably correctly on my Cravens because they will be mixed and marshalled with other coaches so they will all need to be the correct height for kadee's.  In your two photos below the couplings only vertically overlap the loco or height gauge by 50%, which can pose problems on gradient changes, etc, with unplanned decoupling, but otherwise your workaround should work ok for folk who don't need the trip pins close enough to function as uncouplers over magnets, etc.  

I will be experimenting with other kadee gearbox sets over the next few days in case some of them can be glued directly under the craven NEM pocket to give the correct height.  This could remove the need for me to cut away any of the NEM pocket and therefore be a very quick and efficient fix.

Noel

C&K-04 IMAG1541.jpg

C&K-05 IMAG1546.jpg

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Yipee - Craven Kadee height problem solved. I tried all manner of Kadee's this evening, long, short, medium, underset, overset, centerset shanks, etc, even No 5's but in the end the simplest solution proved the best. A home made adapter using no 17s.

Glue shortened Kadee no 17s to a DIY plasticard NEM shaft (12mm x 3mm). First remove the nibbles from the end of the tongs (i.e. shorten the no 17 by 2mm). Then plug this adapter into the existing Craven NEM pocket. Option to fit using friction only, or small screw through the NEM pocket to secure. 

fitting_kadee_mm_craven_01.jpg

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56 minutes ago, Noel said:

Yipee - Craven Kadee height problem solved. I tried all manner of Kadee's this evening, long, short, medium, underset, overset, centerset shanks, etc, even No 5's but in the end the simplest solution proved the best. A home made adapter using no 17s.

Glue shortened Kadee no 17s to a DIY plasticard NEM shaft (12mm x 3mm). First remove the nibbles from the end of the tongs (i.e. shorten the no 17 by 2mm). Then plug this adapter into the existing Craven NEM pocket. Option to fit using friction only, or small screw through the NEM pocket to secure. 

fitting_kadee_mm_craven_01.jpg

Fair play Noel, persistence paid off in the end.Nice result :tumbsup:

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Posted (edited)

Craven Kadee conversion continues. Photos below of stock being tested for vertical alignment, spacing, and running trails both pull and push around curves and over points. Kadee on Craven below is now lining up correctly with MM 141 loco (no 19 on loco, with DIY adapter and no 17 under coach).

IMG_5554.jpg

The two white plastic adapters are clearly visible. These will get a coat of sleeper grime once further running trials have completed.

IMG_5555.jpg

Closer than with the standard TLCs.  I didn't want to use Hornby/Roco close couplers on the Cravens because they will be frequently marshalled and shunted into varying coach formations containing Park Royals, Laminates, Bredins, and all manner of vans such as GSVs, TPO, HLV, etc. 

IMG_5556.jpg

PS: @jhb171achill I hope the 'men in black' pics above will go someway toward exonerating me from my temporary encounter with the modernity of mk2 oranges and 'yellow fever'. :)  

Edited by Noel
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Close coupling tests on setrack. I was asked over on the FB site how the recoupled coaches might perform on setrack curves. I don't have any setrack on the layout, but had some in the attic from old train sets which I set up for tests. MM Mk2 coaches with the Hornby R8220 close couplings performed incredibly well on 1st, 2nd and 3rd radius setrack curves. No buffer locking. See pics below. The MM Mk2 with alternate kadee no 20 and 19 at each end were OK on 2nd and 3rd radius but buffer lock on sharp 1st radius curves. 

The Cravens were fine with the short Kadee on 3rd radius push or pull, but on 2nd radius when pulling ok but buffer lock when pushing. Probably because I used the shortest kadee possible. With longer kadee the 2nd radius would have been OK for cravens. No chance on 1st Radius with the short kadee's.

IMG_5561.jpg

So my personal conclusion is Hornby R8220 or Roco 40270 close couplings can cope with anything and provide excellent close coupling, and kadee's ok with mk2 stock on 2nd and 3rd radius. These close couplers should work well for fixed rake coach formations.

These tests were only between adjacent coaches only. For loco to coach coupling you may need longer kadee no 19 or 20 between loco and first coach on 2nd radius curves.

IMG_5560.jpg

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