HS II - The Kadee Experiments

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Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:52 am

Playing with magnetism ......

I've not tried yet, but was thinking on how magnetic material wheels may influence the pull
being transmitted to the Kadees tail ? And the magnets drawing a wagon along ?
I will try a 'newer standards' Hornby plastic wheel-set, but interesting tests with my small 3 x 3 mm
neo magnets. First all metal wheels tested so far are of a very low magnetic steel, just enough for
a neo magnet to stay attached. The normal axles are highly magnetic on both Bachmann and Dapol
wagons. Interestingly the axle in my plastic wheel-set is again just magnetic, I think anything weaker
then a neo magnet wouldn't hold on.

It's almost as if the track magnets are not strong enough to pull the Kadees open. So another future test
will be adding additional magnetic mass to a Kadees tail.
I did have one coupling that didn't want to open, exchanged with another new coupling and it did work,
that points to some manufacturing variances in the Kadees, drag on a plastic moulded seam ?

Later I shall be trying the plastic wheels in a lightweight van, one where the fitted coupling is reluctant
to move and it was drawn along the track. I can see this is going to be a long learning curve.

Back to pondering ............

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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pointstaken
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby pointstaken » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:45 am

Geoff T.,

Apart from the effects on couplers of your magnetic personality (grin !), I did see a posting on another forum recommending the use of the Kadee height gauge. Just wondered if this might minimise any problems you might have,

Dennis
I know nothing, but much I believe

Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:14 pm

Hi Dennis,

Thanks for the suggestion.

If I though their height gauge would do much I'd have one BUT, Ahh those BUTS again !!
Bachmann stuff is good ......... to a degree. What I have found recently is that the NEM
pocket fishtail is very loose in some wagons and even fall out during use. This is why I have
one of our club's old very much non-engineering mindset members wagons to sort out.
Now how can you set the height if the pocket shuffles lower during use ? This is true for
either Kadee, or standard tension lock couplings. My wagon working for him has also involved
replacing some hooks, and getting various often old dissimilar couplings working together,
matching height being one of the key settings.

We have differing problems with various wagons, not only Bachmann and the coming loose and
sinking lower, but Dapol where their NEM pockets tend to sag anyway and the magnets pull the
whole coupling sideways, rather than just the coupling head. Even one pocket needed changing
as the Kadee snap-in was so loose it could move excessively sideways.

It seems to be a bit of a Black Art, but getting a magnetic tail at the right and consistent location
can only happen when all these other variables are removed. MK.I eyeball with a piece of card on
the magnet should allow allow for accurate final adjustment .......... I Hope

Nobody said it would be easy !! In fact my buddy Derek gave-up on Kadees once already, but I
don't like being beaten by some little pieces of metal & plastic.
In some warped ways it can be more fun than watching trains running around !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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nickbrad
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby nickbrad » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:24 pm

You're probably aware Geoff that there are very many different Kadee couplings out there and they are not all made equal. Rob Strachan, (Tilley Yard South,) swears by a particular one, #58 I believe and says that they are superior to others, such as the #5 which is the most common one. I do wonder if part of your issue is with the type of coupler you're using, although slack/loose pockets will definitely work against you for auto coupling.

Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:36 am

Hi nickbrad,

Yes, so many different versions, we chose No.18 as on paper it looked like the best for our use.
They do also have manufacturing tolerances that can make some better than others out of the
same packet. All ours are new, but one didn't seem to move as well so I swapped and the next
one worked better.
Certainly the use of plastic wheel-sets on almost non-magnetic axles has got rid of the track
magnets ability to move a wagon 25 - 35 mm !! I think it's a much more delicate balance than
one might want as moving slowly you can get uncoupling that you don't want, while other times
they won't uncouple during gentle slow speed shunting.
It's my intention to put foam wedges against axles to give some drag to free running wagons. My
buddy Derek thought his layout was flat, but put a wagon I'd repaired on and it rolled over 9". Any
wagon that free is unlikely to uncouple easily. That's a problem with this testing phase as the test
track section seen here is unsupported thin ply that never sits flat !!

The battle continues !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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SR/ScR Fan
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby SR/ScR Fan » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:35 pm

Hi Geoff,

There appears to be a few issues here. The Kadee height gauge is an essential bit of kit in my opinion. Really helps iron out issues.

You said that the magnets are too weak to open the Kadees? Again depending on the magnet used it should sit on the sleepers of code 100, not cutting out the sleepers and mounting it on the board.

I haven't used NEM Kadees so I can't offer an specific advice on them, but whenever I buy a new piece of rolling stock, I remove the original coupler (or gear/draw) box, and fit a Kadee #242 "black box", usually with Wilko's contact adhesive, but it can be attached with nylon or acetate screws.

I'd avoid the screws as if you over tighten them, the Kadee movement is restricted and can even not move at all. The trip pin on the Kadee should just sit above the magnet (think cigarette paper gap) for optimal performance.

Nick has mentioned my preference for #58, but I chose them because they are closer to scale. For reliabilty stick with the #18 or #19 for NEM or #5 if you are replacing the coupler boxes.

Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:19 am

Thanks for the additional help SR/ScR Fan,

This is quite a learning curve, so many separate things need to be spot-on.
Part of my testing difficulties have been working on a piece of unsupported
thin ply, it's got a few bends that wouldn't effect normal tension lock couplings
but are a disaster for Kadees.
I'm also thinking that trying to mix one of the large Kadee under board magnets
with 2 of the between the tracks versions is making life difficult. It's the large
magnet that's rolling stock along !!
I'm going to be very busy for the next 2 weeks - Building up to the MK Exhibition
on 11th February so I won't get the test board on a frame before then and without
that I'll never get sorted.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Dave
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dave » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:08 am

I have never tried or even fancied Kadee. Spratt and Winkle are my preferred weapon for shunting, I once tried DGs on a recommendation, but found them too small and fiddly to fix onto my stock.

Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:41 pm

Hi Dave,

I have to say that so far I'm disappointed with them. The basic problema are the excessive
accuracy needed and the effect on magnetic axles of the standard short wheelbases of British
wagon stock.
The between rails seems to work best, but is as unsightly and anything else you can find. I've
not given up YET and as this is a shunting puzzle layout with no need for more than 8 wagons.
The stronger under-board magnets meet the visual requirements and certainly move the couplers
allowing for delayed coupling, but from experiments so far need to be used with plastic wheelsets
as used by Hornby, where the axles were all but non-magnetic. In such limited confines you just
can't have wagons magnetically drawn along the track 35 mm .......

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:21 pm

Ahhh getting somewhere after more playing.
I had it running quite well tonight, but it would seem to me we will need bespoke wagons.
That's not too serious, we intend using 8 which won't cost a fortune, probably no more
than the Midland 1F we bought specifically for this layout.
First I was doing well with plastic wheel sets in two of my Dapol kit built meat wagons, the
other again Dapol, but a RTR unpainted GWR Fruit Mex. These were not drawn along the
track by magnets which exert their pull on the axles. I found another axle-set and was going
to put in a Bachmann wagon. It jammed up solid ??
Getting the vernier out I find the Bachmann Axles are nominally 2.0 mm, I measured 1.97 mm.
My old Hornby wheel-sets have 2.35 mm axles !! While the Dapol were able to accept either into
the moulded axle-boxes, or surprisingly into the Romford brass bearing inserts they jammed
in Bachmann wagons. Why were those old Hornby axles non-magnetic ??
I was then relying on foam wedged into the gap between Bachmann coupling mounting blocks and
their axles. So long as you had enough drag to allow non-spinning movement the vans stood still
rather than being pulled along by the hidden magnet. The vans won't roll and need a positive force
to move, but the loco has no trouble pushing or pulling these short trains.

The amount of drag simply would not be acceptable for the long freights I run on other layouts. Hence
why I was thinking a need for bespoke shunting stock. I'll add a video of an Alan Gibson wheel set
being pulled by the magnet !!

**edit later
https://youtu.be/GPHejDrNShY

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:37 am

We were very unhappy with the between rails magnet, simply didn't like the look.
Derek still had two of the larger under-board magnets which we decided to use.
These are now in place :-

Image

Testing so far has been excellent although it took me ages to get tracks accurately
enough over the dead centre of the magnets. They still pull un-braked stock in a way
that we find unacceptable. A couple of 'braked' wagons are fine, but the foam packing
can work it's way out. My next plan is to attach thin metal brake strips glued to a
van's underside.

Perhaps a video later

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:09 pm

Almost cracked it !! ............ I Think ??
Today 3 Dapol unpainted vans arrived, stripped out the wagon weight and fixed
less magnetic weights to the van interior walls. Replaced the metal wheels sets
with my plastic wheeled sets. Cyno glued the Dapol coupling holding parts in place
while making certain the Kadee couplings were dead centre. Obviously I'd already
made certain all the wagons couplings were at an identical heights.

Driven by hand they work perfectly ........

Now loads of painting & decaling to do ....... But I can't find a diagram to match,
but will use some Wolverton build serial numbers.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:27 am

the last of our 'bespoke' wagons stock arrived yesterday.
Because neither Derek or myself fancy using Kadees for our normal layout couplings
we decided that the 8 wagons, or thereabouts for this shunting layout would not
become part of our general wagon stock.
I've found that Dapol can be converted for Kadees easier than Bachmann wagons and
just as important come out a lot cheaper so rough handling and damage during use
doesn't become a problem. Remember this is designed to be used by anybody who
fancies a go in an exhibition environment.
One of the many things I fail to see in model railways is old planked coal wagons with
bowed sides. Well, using Dapol un-painted at £6 seemed to be a good opportunity to
at least try something. First I wedged a piece of wood across and played the hair-dryer
on to see if I could introduce a permanently set bulge. Answer - No !! The plastic resists
permanent distortion to a temperature beyond which I didn't want to go, no point in
destroying a wagon.
As this one is intended to have a permanently fixed coal load I've wedged a wooden
brace to spread and this will be hidden within the load.

Image

You may well ask why Dapol ? As already mentioned they're cheap as chips. They also tend
to have darned great holes through the wagon with magnetic screws holding the coal load in
and body to chassis. When removed it gives access to the metal wagon weight held in a void
beneath the wagon body floor. I strip these out as part of my reducing magnetic material to
aid operation of the Kadees. I replace with a thin piece of lead, including packing as much
additional material as the void will take, making the wagon heavier. The body needs to fit
back tightly and I then permanently glue the body back on.
As this wagon carries a load I glued a small scrap of plastic over the hole inside the wagon,
just to stop watered down PVA dripping right through following fixing the coal.

As to sorting out those droopy Dapol couplings, I'll explain that in the next posting here, but
in this instance they are not a problem to me, in fact have some real benefits !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:44 pm

As currently much of this is about wagons I've continued
in my Workbench Thread until back working with the
actual Kadees and layout.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Dad-1
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Re: HS II - The Kadee Experiments

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:28 pm

While I'm laid-up I've done a few little bits on our Dapol wagons.
I'm still having difficulties regarding Kadee magnets drawing wagons along
making precise and reliable un-coupling difficult. Weight has no influence
as our 5 plank coal wagon weighs so much I worry about wear in the plastic
axle boxes !!
Here is the basic (Test) piece with 9 wagons. There are just 2 spare spaces
and the requirement to get any designated 5 in correct order on the 5 wagon
siding. The usable head-shunt will only take 4 wagons so this can have some
very difficult sequences to achieve the required end !!

Image

These are not 100% Dapol, there are 2 Bachmann, but I'm quite enjoying getting
these wagons ready - What a surprise, me and wagons !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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