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Kadee magnetic uncoupling - Layout Design, Trackwork & Operation. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2011 12:56 pm
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Sol
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Well, I am surprised - I was expecting magnets parallel to the rails. So do we assume that the magnets are poled in series - north on one rail & south on the other.
A small area to uncouple in but has advantages over the longer Kadee magnets in that there is less chance of false uncoupling when the wagons are pushed away.

:thumbs

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 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2011 01:06 pm
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Perry
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Sol wrote: Well, I am surprised - I was expecting magnets parallel to the rails. So do we assume that the magnets are poled in series - north on one rail & south on the other.
A small area to uncouple in but has advantages over the longer Kadee magnets in that there is less chance of false uncoupling when the wagons are pushed away.

:thumbs


Being cube-shaped, it's just a case of laying five magnets 'sticking together' in a row and then putting another row parallel to them, checking that the Kadee pins move as required. It's hard to tell which way up a cube is, pole-wise, so it's a little bit of trial and error with the first set, but then it all easy enough. The little test rig helped. By having the poles at each end of a row, the Kadee pins go sideways, not downwards as they tried to do with the round neo's. QED.

Once the ballast is added and some nice dirty paint slopped aound, I think they'll tend to be less noticeable too.

Perry



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 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2011 04:12 pm
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Perry
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I think I may have come up with a slight 'tweak' that will make the uncoupling action even better and save you a few magnets into the bargain. :thumbs

When I was having an operating session this afternoon, it appeared that some of the coupling pins tended to 'stick' together due to the magnetism so that the couplings didn't always part too readily.

I'm now trying the same general configuration, but taking the middle magnet of each row of five away. I plan on holding the remaining pairs apart with a 3mm cube of plastikard microstrip.

Watch this space for any further tweaks. :cool wink

Perry



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 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2011 05:21 pm
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Perry
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The weight of the stock seems to have quite a large bearing on the efficiency of the uncoupling mechanism. A light wagon tends to have insufficient inertia  to hold it against the pull of the magnets.

I loaded a couple of wagons fairly heavily, but not ridiculously so, and found that the uncoupling was discernably improved.

I read somewhere whilst researching this subject that it can be worthwhile lightly braking one of the axles on each wagon to simulate it being 'heavier'. This can be achieved by fixing some foam rubber between the underside of the body and the axle, or fixing a small metal strip under the body so that it rubs lightly on the axle. The latter has the advantage of being adjustable for tension, something rather more difficult to do with the foam rubber. It is said that this retarding of the wagon helps to prevent accidental uncoupling and also unintentional re-coupling.

I feel there's still lots of tweaking still to do to get the best out of the uncoupling magnets, but I think I'm getting there.

Perry



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 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2011 08:45 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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It's nice R&D, Perry.  :thumbs  The only time I tried this, the magnet pulled the wagon along the track and it actually lifted the back of my tram up into the air until I replaced the coupler screws with brass.  :lol:    Admittedly I was using a round magnet, which may have been a lot stronger.

It's certainly worth the effort you're investing in it.  It's much better looking, being so small.  Have you got some actual numbers of the cost comparison?



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 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2011 08:58 pm
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owen69
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a very good solution Perry, the only time I tried neo`s was with the round ones, obviously the poles where on top and pulled the stock down,the cubes are brill, I shall wait till you do all the tweaking then follow suit:pedal

:mutley:mutley:cool:

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 Posted: Wed Apr 20th, 2011 10:59 pm
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Sol
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Yes Perry, uncoupling can have two problems regarding the wagon; steel axles & insufficient weight.
The weight problem. I use the NMRA recommendations which makes a 4 wheeler about 2 oz / 56 gms whereas a standard Bachmann van weighs 1.5 oz / 37 gms.
Axles can be a problem but I have tried these from Steam Era here in Oz
http://home.waterfront.net.au/~sem/wheels.htm as ---
Wheelsets are non-magnetic, with pinpoint brass axles and chemically blackened tyres.
All wheelsets are insulated for 2 rail operation. Spoked wheels have injection moulded acetal plastic centres with metal tyres. Disc wheels have injection moulded acetal centres or bushes on one side only.

Actually today Micromark, the USA firm sent an e-mail & the top item noted is rare earth Supermagnets 1/8 x 1/4 x 1/2 "

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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 07:25 am
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Perry
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MaxSouthOz wrote: It's nice R&D, Perry.  :thumbs  The only time I tried this, the magnet pulled the wagon along the track and it actually lifted the back of my tram up into the air until I replaced the coupler screws with brass.  :lol:    Admittedly I was using a round magnet, which may have been a lot stronger.

It's certainly worth the effort you're investing in it.  It's much better looking, being so small.  Have you got some actual numbers of the cost comparison?

I paid £3.49 (postage free) for 50 magnets - enough for 5 complete uncouplers. This compares very favourably with the Kadee ones.

I'm thinking I might try converting a wagon or two to plastic wheels and axles to see what effect that has. There is some magnetic attraction evident using metal ones, but as the poles are at the outside ends, I think it is probably less than it would be using the round magnets laying flat.

There's still a bit more R&D to do.

Perry



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 07:28 am
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Perry
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Sol wrote: Yes Perry, uncoupling can have two problems regarding the wagon; steel axles & insufficient weight.
The weight problem. I use the NMRA recommendations which makes a 4 wheeler about 2 oz / 56 gms whereas a standard Bachmann van weighs 1.5 oz / 37 gms.
Axles can be a problem but I have tried these from Steam Era here in Oz
http://home.waterfront.net.au/~sem/wheels.htm as ---
Wheelsets are non-magnetic, with pinpoint brass axles and chemically blackened tyres.
All wheelsets are insulated for 2 rail operation. Spoked wheels have injection moulded acetal plastic centres with metal tyres. Disc wheels have injection moulded acetal centres or bushes on one side only.

Actually today Micromark, the USA firm sent an e-mail & the top item noted is rare earth Supermagnets 1/8 x 1/4 x 1/2 "

I've got some old plastic wheels and axles somewhere in the spares box so I'll dig them out and have a go with them before I spend money on new ones.

Thanks for the info, Sol. :thumbs

Perry



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 10:02 am
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Les
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Are these magnets elctronically activated? Forgive me if I am having a senior moment but if they are not, wont they a) uncouple every wagon  that rolls over them which in effect will only be the one next to the engine or at the rear if shunted and b) how do they allow the loco to couple up again if it has to pass over the uncoupler?

Les



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 10:23 am
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Perry
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Les wrote: Are these magnets elctronically activated? Forgive me if I am having a senior moment but if they are not, wont they a) uncouple every wagon  that rolls over them which in effect will only be the one next to the engine or at the rear if shunted and b) how do they allow the loco to couple up again if it has to pass over the uncoupler?

Les

No, the magnets are of the permanent variety. The design of the couplers is very clever and, if correctly adjusted, will allow one to uncouple as few or as many wagons as required, push them without them recoupling, and allow them to be easily recoupled when needed. They're pretty cleverly designed!

The best thing I think I can do is refer you to one of the many videos on the internet showing the couplers in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A51sBEm6VFA

and also to a website that gives lots of information about them: http://www.kato-unitrack.co.uk/kadee-couplers-1171-0.html

Perry



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 10:40 am
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Sol
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Also Les, have a look at this & see the animation
http://www.kadee.com/animation/c1.htm

They are a tension lock of a differnt type.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 11:08 am
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Perry
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That's good, Sol.  :thumbs I haven't seen that before.

Perry



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 04:53 pm
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wogga
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Perry have you binned the idea of using the staple extension and tension lock method i saw elsewhere?



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 05:09 pm
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Perry
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wogga wrote: Perry have you binned the idea of using the staple extension and tension lock method i saw elsewhere?
I have indeed.

The main reasons were that I found the modifications just too delicate and that the method did not provide the delayed uncoupling facility.

Kadees do that really well, but are a lot more expensive.

The bent staples needed adjusting (bending to shape) fairly often and frequently fell off as soon as I touched them! I never did have much success with CA glue. :???: It's a pity, because the method works really well and is virtually costless, apart from a few drops of CA, because you can get staples free from all sorts of sources.

Perry



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2011 05:15 pm
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Perry
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Having used the two rows of five setup for a few hours, I'm pretty sure that is the best way to do use them.

The testing period has also flagged up the need to slightly adjust the position of some of the uncoupling sites and add a couple of extra ones.

I have therefore ordered another 50 magnets today. Those I don't use on Plank Road will probably be employed on my MPD, although there won't be that much need for coupling and uncoupling on that layout. There will just be a few coal and ash wagons and the odd oil tanker to shunt about from time to time .

Perry



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 Posted: Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 02:09 pm
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Les
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Sol/Perry - thanks for those links, now I understand what you are trying to do.

Les



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 Posted: Mon Apr 25th, 2011 10:52 pm
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Sol
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Now Perry, with all those fine words, nowhere can I find where you purchased them from !
Come on, provide the link please ?

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 Posted: Tue Apr 26th, 2011 07:22 am
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Perry
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Sol wrote: Now Perry, with all those fine words, nowhere can I find where you purchased them from !
Come on, provide the link please ?

My source was eBay. If you search for 3mm x 3mm neodymium you should find plenty of them. Here is a link to some in Australia:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/100-Cube-Rare-Earth-Neodymium-Magnets-N50-3mm-x3mmx3mm-/300541623147?pt=UK_Toys_Wargames_RL&hash=item45f9ad3b6b

They might be cheaper than the UK price for you.

Perry



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 Posted: Tue Apr 26th, 2011 07:33 am
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Sol
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Not bad then as the item location is in my home State.

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