ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 22, 2019, 08:22:08 AM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Please read the Forum Code of Conduct   >>Click Here <<
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  On30
| | |-+  Coupler setup on Bachmann On30 cars completely wrong!
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 Print
Author Topic: Coupler setup on Bachmann On30 cars completely wrong!  (Read 14500 times)
hminky
Guest
« on: March 23, 2007, 07:56:27 AM »

There is a constant whine about the height of the couplers on Bachmann's On30 cars. If you can get a hold of a September 1977 Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette there is an article on a Ferrocarril Mexicano 30" gauge boxcar.
The coupler is setup the same as the Bachmann On30 cars.  The FCM couplers are mounted below the frame to accommodate a three foot gauge boxcar body and thirty inch gauge coupler height.

Unintentionally well done Bachmann
Harold
Logged
ebtnut

View Profile
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2007, 12:36:34 PM »

I think you're essentially right, Harold.  The coupler height for the On30 equipment is set based on the use of HO couplers, and hence the height required for them.  It is serendipidous that they might match a prototype 30" gauge line.  As you might have noted, some of the new stuff is coming in with double coupler boxes to accommodate the On3 couplers if one chooses to go that way.
Logged
hminky
Guest
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2007, 01:33:12 PM »

Since the NGSL Gazette article is long out of print I scanned it and the article is on my website at:

http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/couplers/

It is at the bottom of the page

Thank you if you visit
Harold
Logged
japasha

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2007, 04:30:51 PM »

In addition to the issue of 30" gauge coupler height, the prototype 3 foot gauge rilroads also used different heights and size xcouplers in real life. Some of this prevented equipment from being sold off to other railroads easily. Teh Colorado Rilroads used the height and couplers used by the DRG&W first as they had to interchange with them.

Some smaller prototypes used a lower mounting point to direct thrust to keep the cars stable.  The idea of one coupler height for narrow gauge is not a real world scenario.
Logged
Hamish K

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2007, 04:46:25 PM »

The height and size of the HO couplers used by Bachmann for ON30 are also a close match for the former Victorian Railways (Australia) 30 inch gauge lines - the well known "Puffing Billy" is a preserved eample of one of these.

Hamish
Logged
Charlie Mutschler

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2007, 09:53:37 PM »

I suspect the coupler height was not as optional as all that after 1903 or so.  That is when the Safety Appliance Act took effect for all equipment used in interstate service.  Which did not apply for a lot of narrow gauges, but did for others - including the ET&WNC, and, of course, the Colorado / New Mexico operations of the D&RG and the lines connecting to it.  According to the copy of the federal safety appliances and power brakes regs I have, the standard height for drawbars for narrow gauge (presumably 36 inch gauge) was  and is 26 inch maximum, 23 inch minimum.  For two foot gauge railroads (listed following "narrow gauge" railroads) the drawbar height is given as maximum 17.5 inches, minimum 14.5 inches. 

Happy modeling all, regardless of where you place your couplers. 
Charlie
-30-
Logged
br549
Guest
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2007, 05:50:51 PM »

I have asked this question at numerous forums and haven't recieved an answer yet. It almost seems to be a taboo subject. And was ridiculed  & shunned for asking about it as well.
Just for curiosity  and Not "nit picking"...I am asking any NMRA members to answer this question please!
Has there been any standards set for 0n30?It seems that
All of the other MRR scales have standards set by the NMRA for people whom wish to follow standards. The Module groups have formed  in 0n30 so something has to be standard, Or???
Logged
Hamish K

View Profile
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2007, 07:27:27 PM »

I have asked this question at numerous forums and haven't recieved an answer yet. It almost seems to be a taboo subject. And was ridiculed  & shunned for asking about it as well.
Just for curiosity  and Not "nit picking"...I am asking any NMRA members to answer this question please!
Has there been any standards set for 0n30?It seems that
All of the other MRR scales have standards set by the NMRA for people whom wish to follow standards. The Module groups have formed  in 0n30 so something has to be standard, Or???


Standards and ON30 - as you have discovered this is controversial! No I am not an NMRA memeber but I will offer some comments. The NMRA does publish a few standards for ON30, but they are not comprehensive, for example coupler height is not mentioned. A few years ago they suggested establishing comprehensive standards, but ran into the "we want no ***** standards" attitude, especially from people on the ON30 conspiracy Yahoo group. Many of these are kitbahers, scratchbuilders and freelancers who insist on their right to do their own thing.  Some of them were into ON30 before Bachmann came along, they modified HO equipment. This is why HO standards for couplers etc are often used.

I think the issue is that ON30 modellers are a diverse lot, some modelling 3 foot prototypes, others 30 inch or 2 foot. And there are many freelancers. Mining, logging and industrial themes are popular, as well as common carriers.  One set of standards to suit all of these may not be possible. In fact two sets of de facto standards have emerged. One follows the NMRA published On3 standards apart from gauge which is, of course, HO. The other essentially follows HO standards, except for scale (1:48) and increased clearances. (3" centre to centre for parrallel tracks is often recommended ) Both approaches are prototypical, depending on the prototype. As Bachmann was the first large scale manufacturer into the field most other manufacturers have followed Bachmann's approach (HO couplers and coupler height etc.)

There are anumber of ON30 module groups on Yahoo Groups - they should indicate what they use.

Hamish
Logged
br549
Guest
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2007, 10:34:25 PM »

Thank you for your reply Smiley. Its nice to have an answer without  ridicule.
Thank You!
Logged
hminky
Guest
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 08:08:50 AM »

Most of the standards were set over 30+ years ago. The only new standards are the DCC standards, thank goodness for that work done by those VOLUNTEERS. The fact that the NMRA is a volunteer organization means the On30 standards will probably never come to be.

The On30 Yahoo groups have ridiculed the NMRA unmercifully so I doubt if anyone in the NMRA really will come forth with anything in the future. When I was attending the 2004 National Narrow Gauge Convention in Santa Clara, California there was an NMRA representative asking about standards. I suggested a combo coupler box as a standard, a pad at On30 height and an HO height coupler box to mount to that pad. The mounting pad would only need the Kadee #5 coupler box footprint to mount all the available couplers.

The HO height is probably a defacto standard because the major player in On30, Bachmann, has use it on their equipment.

There are also no decent module standards just a hodgepodge of bad ideas. Seems no on in On30 has ever seen N-trak. Every other scale's module system is based on the N-trak model.

Just a thought
Harold
Logged
Woody Elmore

View Profile
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2007, 09:16:28 AM »

It is difficult to create coupler height standards for narrow gauge cars as each railroad seemed to have their own. Look at the latest issue of the GazetteIt shows a B&SR two foot gauge flat car and the coupler height is 16 inches. This lower than Colorado or EBT equipment. So if you built a model of this car to scale you'd have a problem coupling it to something like a DRGW 3000 series boxcar.

It seems that Bachmann has set a de facto standard for On30 when they decided to use HO couplers and standards.

As for operating On30 there is no reason not to use the NMRA standards for On3.

Logged
br549
Guest
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2007, 09:58:36 AM »

Thanks again guys! I had once started to join the yayhoo group but it wasn't my kind of place to be.  This site is A-OK Cheesy!  I will most likely leave the coupler setting where it is  and just switch to another brand of knuckle coupler. I 'm not having much luck with the ones equipped from the factory they seem to wear out prematurely.  In the future I will start Harold's method as the $ allow for the re-coupler expense being my equipment will be the only thing running on my pike. Thanks to all whom replied to my question.
BKH~
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 10:01:47 AM by br549 » Logged
ebtnut

View Profile
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2007, 02:57:47 PM »

I think I should qualify things a bit--there are in fact track and wheel standards for On30--they are the same as for HO.  For clearances in general, the On3 standards should be considered.  However, as with most narrow gauge modeling, you have some discretion depending on your particular prototype.  Same goes with coupler size and height.  Bachmann has used the typcial HO standard, using standard HO couplers, and that's OK for On30.  If you are using some of the On30 equipment for On3, then you have a bit of work to do to raise the couplers to On3 "standard" height.  Recent Bachmann releases have two-level pockets for this purpose, but they only accommodate the HO coupler.  If you use the Kadee 803's, then you will likely need to do some cutting and fitting. 
Logged
hminky
Guest
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2007, 03:46:16 PM »

The HO KD#5 has the same footprint as the On3/S 80x couplers. In S scale both the KD#5 coupler box and the On3/S 80x will fit on the same coupler box pads.

Harodl
Logged
ginzokid

View Profile
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2007, 06:01:37 PM »

Hi Guys,
Well I run a lot of the Bachmann On30 equipment and am very greatful that they chose to use the HO scale height and HO scale coupler size. It makes for easy conversion to change out the stock couplers, which I'm sorry to say I do not like, and substitute Kadee #5s. In case anyone did not notice, Broadway Limited Inc. chose to mount their couplers at the same HO height.

When Bachmann started this venture, my guess is it was to compliment the Dept. 56 ceramic structures, but we model railroaders found the gold mine that was On30.

I personally have every piece of Bachmann equipment available, and also the BLI locomotives which thankfully couple right up to the Bachmann rolling stock. So who cares if the coupler height and size are a bit under scale. They work and that is what matters.

Case in point is that I have built an Evergreen car kit that was designed for On3 or On30 with the exception of the coupler height. I had to shim the coupler pocket down a bit to accomodate the HO scale Kadee #5 to get it to the right height. You would never notice the difference.

So what's the fuss. Are we all rivet counters or just plain having fun model railroaders? Anyone who looks down their nose at my railroad will not be invited back.
The Kid
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!