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1996  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: E-Z Mate couplers on: March 26, 2012, 10:29:39 PM

      You say that the whisker couplers are slowly replacing the standanrd KD couplers.  Is this info on the Kadee website?   If correct,  then they are moving at an evolutionary pace.

The 40-Series couplers with the bronze springs slowly being replaced by the 140-Series "Whisker" couplers was announced by Kadee about a year ago. I don't know if it's still on thier web site somewhere or not, but notifications were also sent to distributors who passed it along to the hobby shops. It will take some time for the old tooling to be replaced, so the old couplers will not all disappear overnight.

The plan is to have an overlap period of the old & new for a while, then drop the old. Notice on the list, and the 'Discontinued Products' page at Kadee, the old #46 & #47 are already gone, replaced by the #146 & #147 respectively. Several others are still in the 'old & new' both available status, and the tooling for a few others isn't complete yet, so only the old version is available.

Personally, I find the "Whisker" couplers easier to work with, since you don't have to juggle a centering spring along with the coupler. The only problem I've run into is with some of the new 'low profile' cast in coupler boxes. The shank of the 140-Series is slightly thicker, to match the thickness of the old couplers with their springs, to keep them from sagging in Kadee size coupler boxes. So a swipe or two with a file is sometimes needed to get them to fit the newer 'low profile' boxes and swing correctly.

1997  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: E-Z Mate couplers on: March 24, 2012, 03:16:18 PM
The 78025 EZ-Mate Mk-II Medium Center Shank is equivalent to the Kadee metal #5, plastic #28 or #38, or metal 'whisker' #148 couplers. All of them work fine in Bowser and Athearn kits.

The main difference between the Kadee plastic 20 series and 30 series couplers is the draft gear box. The 20 series comes with a more or less standard rectangular box, the 30 series has a smaller, rounded off box for tight spaces. The 40 series couplers are metal with a rectangular box. They are slowly being phased out in favor of the 140 series 'whisker' couplers, with built in metal centering springs similar to the EZ-Mates. The #148 is the 'whisker' equivalent to the ubiquitous #5.

Assuming Bachmann uses 'over set' and 'under set' shank the same way Kadee does, a cross reference list would be:

                                             Kadee       Metal
                           EZ-Mate     Plastic   Std/Whisker
Med Center Set: 78025         28/38      5/148
Med Over Set:    78022         22/32     42/---
Med Under Set:  78028         27/37       -/147

Long Center Set: 78024       26/36       -/146
Long Over Set:    78021       29/39     49/149
Long Under Set:  78027       21/31     41/---

Short Center Set: 78024      23/33     43/143
Short Over Set:    78023      25/35     45/145
Short Under Set:  78029      24/34     44/---

You should be able to use this, along with the Kadee web site conversion listing, to figure out which EZ-Mate to use for a particular manufacturer's car or locomotive.

1998  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: uncouplers on: March 24, 2012, 02:36:24 PM
The Kadee uncouplers will also work with EZ-Track.
1999  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: CV codes on: February 25, 2012, 01:14:21 PM
DCC Standards & Recommended Practices are available on the NMRA web site at:

CV's are listed in RP-9.2.2, which is available as an HTML web page or downloadable as a .pdf file.

The RP tells you which CV's are NMRA required, available for manufacturer specific use, etc.

2000  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Sound for the Doodlebug? on: February 17, 2012, 01:18:42 PM
Doodlebug rail car sounds would vary depending on the type of engine and drive system used.

Early Brill rail cars used a light weight straight-6 engine originally designed for use in Navy  rigid 'airships'. They were said to make a "burbling" sound. PRR rail cars used a pretty good size V-8 engine, and had more of a heavy truck sound.

The three most common drive systems were:

1. Gas engine driving a generator that in turn provided power to electric traction motors.

2. Gas engine driving a torque converter, which drove a mechanical gear box that powered the wheels.

3. Gas engine driving a mechanical transmission, again driving a mechanical gear box powering the wheels.

So would a diesel engine sound decoder be correct, no. But I seriously doubt if most people will notice.

2001  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: HO E-Z Track Switch Machines - Are they dual-coil ?? on: February 02, 2012, 11:59:03 AM

The switch machines are basically two back-to-back solenoids that move the points back and forth depending on which solenoid coil is activated by the control button(s). In practical terms this means DO NOT hold the button down longer than it takes to throw the switch or you risk burning out a solenoid coil. Or, if your cat or kids like to play with the buttons, power the switches through a Capacitive Discharge Unit that limits the time power can be applied to the switches to a fraction of a second. You can buy prebuilt CDU's or you get download plans and build your own.

2002  Discussion Boards / Williams by Bachmann / Re: Radius in O scale on: January 31, 2012, 01:31:49 PM
3-Rail 'O' track sizes are normally given in "Diameter" rather than "Radius" like the 2-Railers. No idea why, it's just one of those things that is.

At any rate, Atlas-O makes 3-rail track ranging from O-27 out to O-108, with sizes increasing in 9-inch increments, e.g., O-27/O-36/O-45, etc., out to O-108. They also have flex track for larger size curves.

2003  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: EMD FT-A Skids or Bottoms Out ?? on: January 31, 2012, 01:25:09 PM
the ft does not have traction tires.

Oh, okay. I don't own an FT myself, but have seen similar symptoms with locos that do, but lost one.

2004  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Prototype unbelievable grades, curves, track, switch's, yards on: January 31, 2012, 10:34:56 AM
That very first pic must be the prototype for the Atlas 9in turntable!  Grin

2005  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Reverse Loop Module on: January 30, 2012, 05:20:41 PM
You'll need an automatic reversing module for the 'reverse loop' for sure. Whether you'll need one for the turntables depends on which TT you're using, and whether any of the holding tracks connect back into the main or yard tracks. In other words, more information needed to answer your question.

2006  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: EMD FT-A Skids or Bottoms Out ?? on: January 30, 2012, 07:40:17 AM
All good suggestions of things to look at but, on a more mundane level, did you check to see if a traction tire is missing? That can also cause the symptoms you describe.

2007  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Wired rail joiners... block info and how many do I need?? on: January 28, 2012, 11:55:14 PM
Like I said, my friends layout filled a one car garage and had track inside buildings, hidden staging tracks, etc. Not having a way to isolate sections of track with On/Off switches for trouble shooting purposes led to a major headache.

Are blocks needed on a smaller layout, maybe not if all the track is readily accessable. But it doesn't hurt to put them in.

2008  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: TURNTABLE BACHMAN ELECTRICAL on: January 27, 2012, 08:07:53 AM
Spurs other than #4 connecting to the main get insulated to prevent shorts if the turntable is rotated enough to reverse the polarity on the rails relative to the main line.

You'd probably need to install an automatice reversing module, e.g., Digitrax AR-1, between the spur and main to prevent problems if you actually ran a train through the connection.

2009  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: passenger car production on: January 27, 2012, 08:00:26 AM
The other option is to do what NS did, 'kit bash' and paint existing models into the NS Executive cars. NS did a lot of reworking and repainting to get those cars into their existing condition.

2010  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Wired rail joiners... block info and how many do I need?? on: January 27, 2012, 07:56:01 AM
In my book, there's no such thing as too many power feeders.

And don't let anyone tell you blocks aren't needed with DCC! A friend of mine with a 1 car garage layout bought into that myth and didn't put in any blocks, except to set up seperate power districts for his yards. One day he was doing some scenary work and dropped a T-pin. He figured he would look for it later, and when he went to fire up the layout, his DCC system tripped out because of a dead short. Long story short, 3 days later we found the pin where it had bounced on to an "inside the building" warehouse track. He decided it might be a good idea to retrofit blocks for troubleshooting purposes.

Trust me, it's easier and cheaper to put the blocks in as you build the layout.

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