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|Since 1947 Kadee® has remained a leader within the hobby, always improving the quality of their products. The earliest version, the "K" series knuckle coupler was the first to combine a realistic looking coupler with a "non-lockout" feature; thus the coupler was never "locked" in a closed position.|
A major achievement! Simply nudge cars together and the cars are coupled.
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E-Z mate couplers vs. McHenry, Kadee, etc.
I have quite a few older cars and engines I need to install couplers on so that everything can work with the Kadee and McHenry couplers I have on my newer cars. Pretty much everything comes with a Kadee compatible coupler these days, which is a big step forward IMHO, but it means I have to buy about 100 pair of couplers. Looking at the couplers I'd like to buy (Kadee semi-scale whisker style) and E-Z mate or others, I'd like to know if anyone has much experience with E-Z Mate on longer trains and on how well they work with the other brands. To date I haven't had any problems with the E-Z Mate couplers that came on my Bachmann engines, but I haven't pulled many 25 or 30 car freights with them, either. Some people have told me that all couplers other than Kadee have separation problems on trains much longer that fifteen or so cars, although I personally haven't had any problems with McHenry couplers on the 16 - 18 car freights I have managed to run on other folks layouts and on my test setups.
Anyone who has a comment about the limitations or the lack of limitations with E-Z mate couplers please let me know your thoughts. It's, for me, a good slice out of my model RR budget to purchase the Kadees even at the discounts that are available on the web. McHenry is about half the price of Kadee, and E-Z mate can be found for less still. If they're as good as the others, I might give up my desire to go to the "semi scale" ones. After all, I was happy as a little clam with Kadee compatible until semi-scale ones were released. (The semi-scale ones do look very nice, though)
Thanks in advance,
Personally I would go with all Kadees. They may cost more initially but in the long run last much longer. If, due to cost, you must use McHenry/Bachmann couplers be sure you buy the ones with a spring to open/close the coupler. The cheapie ones have a small plastic tab that is very weak and may uncouple under the tension of a long train. I have had a few Kadees pop the spring but that is easy to replace with their"pic". When EZmates/McHenrys break I replace them with Kadees. Hope this helps.
Jay I think 99 out of 100 modelers are with you. Buy the best and you will not be sorry.
I don't have much money in my train account either. Even though I can't afford alot of them, I buy Kadee couplers. Kadee is a metal coupler unlike Ezmate or Mchenry. They are stronger and will hold up longer. The new wisker couplers are excellent. I typically use the #5 spring loaded ones. they look nice and the only problems ive had is running out of them. :( I have had a probelm with breaking on all of the Ezmates that came on bachmann stuff. I have not had problems with Ezmate coupling a kadee. I have had a problem with ezmates uncoupling. the springs on the kadees prevent that. I have not replaced the ezmates on my new spectrum 2-8-0. The newer ones are better, but If you can, go with kadee.
You can save a bunch of coupler money buying the Kadee bulk pack. No coupler boxes, but for replacing horn hook with knuckle, they are rarely needed.
Go with Kadee if at all possible. Or replace a few at a time.
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Price:$3.95 (2 pair)
Kadee Quality Products Co.
673 Avenue C
White City, OR 97503-1078
Description:all-metal scale-size HO knuckle couplers
Comments: Three new scale-size couplers featuring an easy-to-install one-piece design are now available in HO. Kadee whisker couplers come in 1/4″ short shank (no. 153), 9/32″ medium shank (no. 156), and 25/64″ long shank (no. 158) versions.
Each whisker coupler is made of blackened metal. The head is the same size as the no. 58.
The biggest advantage with this type of coupler is that it doesn’t require a separate metal spring insert. Whisker couplers have two thin wire centering springs and a thicker shank to help avoid drooping.
I replaced the couplers on one of my HO boxcars with no. 156 couplers, which have the same shank length as the Kadee no. 5. They easily fit into the draft-gear box and didn’t require any extra shimming or filing.
Just like the Kadee nos. 5 and 58 the couplers self-center consistently and perform reliably. In both looks and performance these whisker couplers are an easy way to upgrade an HO scale freight car.
Kadee Quality Products Co. is a model railroad manufacturer. They are best known for their couplers, but also produce rolling stock and accessories. The coupler line covers HO and larger scales, but not N scale.
Kadee Quality Products was established in 1940 by identical twin brothers Keith and Dale Edwards. They named their company using their own initials, K and D. They were both toolmakers and engineers.
Their claim to fame and financial success came when they developed and patented their HO knuckle coupler which became the de facto standard in the hobby in the USA, even if the NMRA defined X2f coupler was the norm. It is becoming increasingly adopted by serious modellers in the UK and other English-speaking countries because of its potential as a hands-free automatic and/or delayed coupler that permits shunting moves etc remote from the operator without the use of switched uncoupling devices. Its increasing popularity is helped by the production of couplers #17-#20 which fit into NEM 362 standard coupling pockets increasingly fitted to UK models by Bachmann, Dapol and Hornby.
Earlier models can be retro-fitted with #5 or #146 couplers by cutting off the couplings originally fitted and replacing with a draft box and the appropriate Kadee unit. Where problems arise, an underset or overset coupling shank can assist.
When the patent for those couplers expired, several manufacturers have copied it.
In the early 1990s, the Edwards brothers had a falling out and parted ways. Dale took Kadee which is based in White City, Oregon. The business is in the hands of his son-in-law, Alan Vezzani. When the brothers split, Keith established Micro-Trains Line in Talent, Oregon, about 30 mi (48 km) from White City. Micro-Trains specialized in N scale products, expanding later to include Nn3 and Z scale.
Keith died on July 26, 2012, and Dale died on September 19, 2014.
I'm not near my main machine to do a graphical model test, but I would have thought that given:
- a common rollingstock item
(say, a B'mann On30 OR&W boxcar)
- a Kadee #5 mounted at "HO height" in it's typical draftdear box _not_ the B'mann supplied "underslung plastic" version
- a Kadee 803 mounted at "On3 height" in it's typical drafgear box, _not_ the B'mann "dbl-stack" draftgear mount
- and a consistent UP or DOWN grade change-of-angle-from-flat test transition condition
- the distance of the #5 knuckle pulling surface would be closer to the truck pivot point than the equivalent 803 point
- therefore any U/D "lever motion" pivoting around the truck pivot would be less for the #5 (the "radius of movment" is smaller, thus travels less-distance for the same angular change)
- and thus a #5 would ride up/down less vertical distance
Additional Inference, if both the #5 and #803 were mounted at the same height, then the R-o-M distance would be the same for both, and thus the vertical-offset during grade-transition would be similar.
Of course, this is dealing with a gradual change-in-height (due to grade transition) situation. If we are considering something more drastic like a half-rail-height joint vertical-offset
(EG one rail is sitting on TOP of the rail joiner, rather than aligned properly IN the joiner, resulting in a near-imstantaneous 0.050" step-up for Code 100 rail)
_then_ I totally understand that the smaller #5 could be completely "high/low" over-ridden (the #5 head is not all that tall to keep at least 1/2 a knuckle-height engaged during such an offset condition), whereas the taller (top-to-bottom of knuckle dimension) #803 may well still have enough "to keep holding on"...
...but as I say, I'd like to check the maths first... ;-)
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