Kadees are generally a failure when trying to shunt just one, 9, or 10 ft chassis British outline wagon.
Many of those who claim they are so good, have HAD to find a way to make them do the promised job.
Let's start with the run around on passenger trains, no real problem as the length and rolling resistance
of two, or three carriages means you don't get Magnet Creep. Some using the basis of cost have several
wagons permanently connected with their tension-lock couplings and just have a Kadee on each end.
Again this is a way of side-stepping the Magnetic Creep problem, even fully convinced users are noted
as putting some brake mechanism on wagons to prevent unwanted movement.
Magnet Creep happens when somewhere in the wagon there is enough magnetic material for it to be dragged
along to centralize over the essential magnet. This can cause wagons to re-engage couplings as they are now
at the end of the magnetic operational window.
Some say this is a problem of too much magnet, but you must have sufficient to pull the knuckle into the
free shunting position, or you're simply not going to get the full required action.
Complications come because of wagon construction and the use of magnetic axle sets.
As you can see it takes some pull to keep axle sets on an almost vertical surface !!
To make matters worse many wagons have a magnetic metal weight hidden in the chassis. In the case of
most Dapol rolling stock the body has a large magnetic screw visible on the base that traps the weight in
addition to holding chassis and body together.
Personally I remove the weight, gently prising the (usually) lightly glued body and chassis apart through the
holes that are above each wheel. Now wagons are light enough anyway, so I add a replacement lead weight
in the vacated space. In my case as shown here some thin lead - in fact the final pieces of Jordan F1 wheel
balance weight I have.
When doing this I came across an unexpected hopefully helpful situation. I recently bought 8 un-painted
Dapol opens and have found that randomly half have non-magnetic axle sets. This was unexpected and will
start me on a hunt, checking out as of my wagon stock that I can be tempted to try. As Bufferstop says by
making ones own brass axles it is possible to escape some of that magnet creep. On my HSII shunting
layout every wagon was fitted with a brass wire brake to retard and work against magnet creep, but in so
doing has reduced the maximum wagon load to 6, which by sheer good luck is the maximum you can
use on that layout.
All this on the layout thread rather than my Workbench as this is all part of getting West Bay fully operational.
Here is a 4 plank wagon now painted and decalled, just 7 more to do, some GWR, some NE. I was miffed
when I tried to get other club members to paint a wagon (or more) and had NO takers. I'm beginning to get
frustrated that the initial interest when we collectively decided to make a new layout seems to have vanished.