(F) Loco fitment of Kadees

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Steve Bennett
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(F) Loco fitment of Kadees

Postby Steve Bennett » Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:04 pm

I know there are some here who would like to use Kadee automatic couplings, but the thought of installing a Kadee draft box to their locos may be putting them off. So I would like to pass on this tip given to me by Colin Burrell, if you're reading this, thanks Colin.

This method uses a different type of Kadee than most are used to seeing and doesn't require a draft box. These couplers are designed to be used with a European NEM 362 coupler pocket and instead of the shank pivoting, it is only the head of the coupling that pivots. Kadee offer three different lengths of these couplers, Numbers 17, 18 and 19.

The examples shown here are the Number 18, described as medium length. For this exercise, I have mounted them in a Sidelines link and pin coupler pocket (which I do have a connection with), but I'm sure there will be other applications as well. The first two pics show a loco, which just happened to have the coupler pocket at the correct height.

Image

Image

Fitting couldn't be easier, first drill through the coupler pocket, as if to use for link and pin coupling and fashion a pin to fit into it. Next take the Kadee coupling as seen on the right of the picture below and cut off the swallow tail part. Next place the shortened coupling into the coupler pocket and drill down through the hole to take the pin, through the shank of the Kadee, replace the pin and the coupler will be retained in the pocket, as simple as that.

Image

Image

All that remains now, is to fit the ensemble to the loco, which is probably the most difficult part. I would suggest fitting the coupler pocket to the loco temporarily with some Blu-Tac or similar, to work out the correct height, before gluing permanently in place. An added bonus to this method, is that if you want to use link and pin couplers at any time, you simply un-pin the Kadee and insert a link.
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:14 pm

Exactly what I used for Winky with #19's, those being the ones I purchased from 7mmNGA.

It is useful to have the Kadee Coupler Height Guide to ensure you get correct height. Too high and the uncoupler magnets don't work, too low and the droppers derail over points/uncoupler magnet.
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.
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Postby bluey1989 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:58 pm

How do the Kadee couplers go on going round sharp curves, I assume that the coupler is fixed to the loco and wagon/coach?

I'm wanting to use them on my layout but it has very sharp curves.

Andy

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Postby Steve Bennett » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:15 pm

A lot will depend on what you are running. If the overhang on both loco and wagon are similar, they should be ok. If you have a long overhang on one or both vehicles though, you are going to get problems.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of knuckle couplers on NG stock, so never explored the limits, I'm sure others around here are better experienced to answer your question.
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:40 pm

Andy I use Kadees on a layout with 5" curves, however I don't use them for their uncoupling feature which I don't rate. They are used because it's easy to lift wagons and recouple in Fiddle area.

One proviso. I have one Loco that pulls a Tourist Train and overhang results in derailment on the 5" curves unless a "Rooster" is used. You cannot uncouple with a Rooster.

I much prefer DG's see:

here

Because the uncoupling is precise and you can fit them into Steve's Loco Coupler pockets as you wish (a little packing helps).
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.

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Postby Prof Klyzlr » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:57 am

Dear Gn15 Crew,

The NEM-compatible Kadee couplers DO have the ability to swing, right behind the coupler head is a pivot point, the "swallow tail" is anchored firmly to the loco/car body.

Without this pivot between the "swallow tail" and the coupler head, the classic "Kadee delayed uncoupling" feature would not work with these couplers (which it does, quite well).

NB that the NEM mount on most Euro equipment is a "talgo" mount to the loco/car trucks, and thus the Kadee design only allows a relatively little swing at the coupler head, as the NEM coupler "draftgear mounting" will be nearer to track centreline "by default". As opposed to this, US outline equipment, which mostly uses body-mount draftgear boxes, and thus the coupler "range of swing" has to allow for both the carbody<>track centreline offset AND the required "delay uncoupling" swing.

Anyhow, by hard body mounting the NEM "swallow tail" to the body of a vehicle, the "NEM Talgo" swing-towards-centreline function is non-existent,
and there is no "body mount swing" as per a standard Kadee #5.

Ergo, no surprise that "body swing/deflection" comes into play.

That said, that small amount of swing at the coupler head makes a huge difference, and for hands-off auto couple and uncoupling under both "home" and "show" conditions, you could do a lot worse ...

(BTW during time at a local 2' gauge museum I was qualified as a shunter, and the various "rules" regarding coupling and uncoupling the myriad combinations of "LnP", "3-link chain", and "knuckle" coupling equipped stock, which included not leaving knuckle-equipped cars on curved trackage, because a Hunslet or Ruston with a "dummy knuckle" adaptor simply couldn't re-couple to it, continually comes to mind when operating the models).
Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
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Postby Oztrainz » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:15 pm

And here is one of the "dummy knuckle" adapters attached to the back of a Ruston:

Image

On certain curves the draft gear restricts the angle of swing for the coupler on the carriage. This prevents both couplers from being aligned in a straight line. When coupling the carriage coupler to the adapter coupler this angle between the couplings prevents the moveable jaw on the carriage coupling from closing enough to lock in the closed position.

As a shunter with this mix of rolling stock, you really have to know your "stuff" -- "What goes with what as well as where and how". Also you have to know how to get yourself out of trouble, when someone has left something parked where it shouldn't have been.
John Garaty
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Postby Oztrainz » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:52 pm

And here is the life-size real Kadee:

Image
John Garaty
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