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Kadee uncouplers

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  • Member since
    February 2017
  • From: Harrisburg, PA
  • 147 posts
Kadee uncouplers
Posted by hbgatsf on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 10:02 PM

I have numerous 308 uncouplers on my layout so I am not unfamiliar with them.  I am addling an industrial area and need to put the 308 out on the mainline or under a turnout.  To see if it would work under the turnouts I did a mock up using cork with cardboard shims under it that were the thickness of the intensifier plate. I put the cars on this that will be spotted and tested the coupler action. 

I was pleased that it worked, although it was finicky and only worked at one end of the magnet.    On a lark I took the shims out and put the 308 back in place without the intensifier. To my surprise it worked better that way.  Is it possible that the closure rails were performing the function of the intensifier?

In another area I am thinking of using 321 uncouplers so I tried testing those since I don't have any experience with them. I wasn't happy with the way that they performed.  I didn't have them glued down so I don't know if that was the problem or if they just don't work as well as the 308.  When installed properly do the 321s perform reliably?

Rick 

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Posted by snjroy on Thursday, January 21, 2021 11:43 AM

So one is above the rails (321) and one is under (308). I believe both options are there whether one wants to install before or after the scenery is done... Anyway I have used the 321 in a previous layout. Worked OK but it's not the best looking option if looks are important to you. It needs to be properly seated so that the hoses don't hit them. Other pieces of equipment may also hit them if they are too high. I had to use a dremel to install them, if I remember correctly. Planning for uncouplers is an important aspect of layout planning...

I don't have the 308, but I have installed a similar piece sold by Bachmann, and it works fine. Very reliable, especially if you avoid using wheelsets that have metal axles (same observation applies for the 321). Looks way better than the above-roadbed option.

Simon

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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 21, 2021 11:51 AM

I have used many 308s, but I always put them on straight track and use the delay function.

I am interested in how all this turns out. Please add updates and pictures as you experiment.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ClydeSDale on Thursday, January 21, 2021 1:02 PM

I have a switching layout so there's a lot of KD uncoupling and delayed positioning.  I don't care for the "Hand of God" approach so I use well placed magnets.  After trying various KD magnets and neodymium magnet discs that slide under the rails with a spacer but I've found what works best for me is using ~3mm cubes between the ties.  I thought to post a photo but it seems, for this forum, to be more trouble than I'm going to make.  I glue down three rows of 5 cubes (magnetically oriented) that fit perfectly between the ties in the chosen location.  I lay out a string of 15 cubes, mark every 5th one with a marker and install all the marked cubes to the same side of the track.  The cubes can be painted or even ballasted over.  If the spot isn't quite right I've relocated them by going under the cubes with an exacto chisel blade.

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Harrisburg, PA
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Posted by hbgatsf on Thursday, January 21, 2021 9:43 PM

Before now I have always installed the 308s in a straight section also.  In this new spot in order to position it on a completely straight section it would be out on the mainline.  Before setting up an electromagnet or a drop system I set up the test.  Given the results I am going to try it under the turnouts.  I'll report the results in a few days.  

I still have a question on the 308.  Do you always use the intensifier plate?  

The area where I am considering the 321s has track laid on plywood.  Cutting for the 308 won't be fun. Maybe I will try working on a piece of plywood to see if I can develop a method I like.  Any suggestions?

  • Member since
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  • From: Harrisburg, PA
  • 147 posts
Posted by hbgatsf on Friday, January 22, 2021 7:32 AM

hbgatsf

The area where I am considering the 321s has track laid on plywood.  Cutting for the 308 won't be fun. Maybe I will try working on a piece of plywood to see if I can develop a method I like.  Any suggestions?

 
I had an idea of trying to use an Oscilating Multi Tool.  I don't have one so I would need to buy it.  Before I do that has anyone tried making the cutout in plywood with one?
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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, January 22, 2021 9:21 AM

I use the Kadee KDE309 Electro-Magnetic Undertrack Uncouplers for permanent location uncoupling and the 321 for temporary uncoupling.  I just drop a 321 between the rails where I need to uncouple.  They have always worked very good for me.

I tried ⅛” round Neodymium magnets but couldn’t get them to work as well as the 321.

 

Mel



 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 

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Posted by willy6 on Friday, January 22, 2021 9:55 AM

I remember back in the 60's growing up with Lionel Trains that they had an electric uncoupling track. I was to young to figure out how it work but I believe it was an electro magnet the pulled down an uncoupling pin on the coupler when energized. I know Kadee makes an electro magnet uncoupler that goes under the track but never tried it. I would think after 50 years that technology would have designed an uncoupling track (HO/N) like Lionels that could be installed when laying track with a hidden magnet maybe in one of the ties or something like that. If there is one on the market, I am not aware of it except for the Kadee one I mentioned.

Being old is when you didn't loose it, it's that you just can't remember where you put it.
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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, January 22, 2021 10:24 AM

RR_Mel
I tried ⅛” round Neodymium magnets but couldn’t get them to work as well as the 321.

I tried this too and oriented the magnets the same way on both sides of the track.  My reasoning was while the north pole repells the south pole of the magnet the trip pin would be equally attracted to either pole.  I was not happy with the result either.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
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  • From: Harrisburg, PA
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Posted by hbgatsf on Friday, January 22, 2021 8:28 PM

SeeYou190

I have used many 308s, but I always put them on straight track and use the delay function.

I am interested in how all this turns out. Please add updates and pictures as you experiment.

-Kevin

 

When I got the tracks accurately laid out I have a short amount of straight track between the turnouts and will be able to put the 308s there instead of under the turnout.   Before I install the uncoupler I will set up my test again to see where the best spot is.  I will take some pictures and post results.  

Rick

  • Member since
    February 2017
  • From: Harrisburg, PA
  • 147 posts
Posted by hbgatsf on Monday, January 25, 2021 7:40 AM

SeeYou190

I am interested in how all this turns out. Please add updates and pictures as you experiment.

Here you go.  The first picture is the overall mock up.  The turnout on the left is on the mainline and feeds a refinery.  The turnout on the right is the first turnout in the ladder.

It turned out that I have 2" between the turnouts so I used an old piece of sectional track for this experiment.  I moved this setup around over the magnet and used the longest cars that will go in to see how it worked.  Many spots didn't work at all, while some would only work on the through track or the diverging track but not both.  I finally found a spot that worked perfectly but it took very minute adjustments to find the right spot.  The spot that worked the best was with the magnet slightly closer to the mainline turnout and skewed slightly towards the mainline.

In order to be able to replicate this I put a tie on the short side of the magnet for reference later.  It doesn't look like it is offset by much but I found that extremely small changes in positions were make or break.

Because the position needs to be so exact when I install it I am going to cut the hole slightly larger than needed so I can move the magnet around a little.  Once I am satisfied that it works correctly I'll then glue it in place.

Rick

  • Member since
    February 2017
  • From: Harrisburg, PA
  • 147 posts
Posted by hbgatsf on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 8:15 AM

SeeYou190

I have used many 308s, but I always put them on straight track and use the delay function.

Have you ballasted over them?  If so did you do anything to make it easy to locate their exact spot?

Rick

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