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  • Topic: Bachmann/aristocraft coupler height

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    • July 11, 2017 5:31 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      And Devon, YOU are accusing ME of OVERTHINKING??  Thanks, I needed a huge laugh today! That is indeed funny. I remember when you showed up on the forum, and agonized over everything. Not a put down, but this is indeed the pot calling the kettle black.

       

      Greg

      LOL I was waiting for some sort of response like that from you, I deserved it, touche my friend. And you almost make it sound as if I have been cured, we all know that isn't true. And I do appreciate yours and everyone's advice and as always I am taking it all under advisement and will do what i want in the end right or wrong. I lust like giving you crap. I find it enjoyable.

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    • July 11, 2017 5:33 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

       

       

      I find it gives me extra challenge in driving the train smoothly, not making abrupt transitions in speed, and clearly starting and stopping takes more finesse.

       

      I like it, everything that takes more time makes my layout "bigger", and to me it's fun to learn to be more skilled. Greg

      Good point

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    • July 11, 2017 5:48 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Many moons ago, in Model Railroader, an article by Lynn Wescott I believe, convincing people to run scale speeds (the urge was to run Lionel warp speeds), do prototype starts and stops, and it would make your layout "bigger" for free.

       

      As a kid, I was lucky to have a 5' x 9' layout, and get to keep 1/2 of the garage for trains... that was a big deal then...

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • July 11, 2017 6:04 PM EDT
      • Sylvester, Ga
         
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      Devon Sinsley said:
      Eventually I want to convert everything to kadee body mounted couplers. But in the meantime‚Äč I am looking for a way to raise the stock bachmann and aristo couplers to kadee height. I believe Steve Featherkyle has done it and I emailed him about it but he must be ignoring my emails so I am basically asking him here how he did it. But I am sure others have too. I have too many cars to convert to kadee and want to have my fleet at least somewhat working for an August ops session.

      Bread ties and paperclips work well in a pinch

    • July 11, 2017 6:49 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      I understand Devon's need to defer updating all of his couplers at once. I did my fleet in stages. First the USA couplers, that uncoupled every time a mouse farted.....we have gassy mice round here. The next batch to go were the Bachmann couplers. Then in the last round of upgrades the Aristo and a few LGB ones were replaced.

       

      But, while I understand Devon's reasoning, I still have to lean towards Greg's train of thought. To put in all the effort, to only be undoing all that effort in the near future, that's not efficient from any standpoint.

       

      So why not ask the club members that are coming over to play trains, to bring a few of their own cars? Price of admission to the railroad tonight, temporary loan (just for tonight) of so many cars of this type.....

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    • July 11, 2017 6:56 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Personally, I like the draft gear with the "prototypical slack action" to use Kadee's words, but I have a lot of friends that don't like it.

       

      I find it gives me extra challenge in driving the train smoothly, not making abrupt transitions in speed, and clearly starting and stopping takes more finesse.

       

      I like it, everything that takes more time makes my layout "bigger", and to me it's fun to learn to be more skilled. I know a lot of people though that want to just turn on a switch and stuff goes round and round. Instantaneous speed changes are the norm.

       

      Greg

      I'm with you.  Almost all of my couplers are of the 830 variety, save for the few that I haven't got a roundto for yet, and those that I haven't figured out a way to install that box, like the LGB covered hopper.  That slack action can be a bit of a challenge when you have a long string behind.

      This post was edited by Steve Featherkile at July 11, 2017 7:00 PM EDT
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      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • July 11, 2017 7:01 PM EDT
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      David Maynard said:

      I understand Devon's need to defer updating all of his couplers at once. I did my fleet in stages. First the USA couplers, that uncoupled every time a mouse farted.....we have gassy mice round here. The next batch to go were the Bachmann couplers. Then in the last round of upgrades the Aristo and a few LGB ones were replaced.

       

      But, while I understand Devon's reasoning, I still have to lean towards Greg's train of thought. To put in all the effort, to only be undoing all that effort in the near future, that's not efficient from any standpoint.

       

      So why not ask the club members that are coming over to play trains, to bring a few of their own cars? Price of admission to the railroad tonight, temporary loan (just for tonight) of so many cars of this type.....

      This thought has also crossed my mind and is a very good idea.

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    • July 12, 2017 6:19 AM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Steve Featherkile said:
      Greg Elmassian said:

      Personally, I like the draft gear with the "prototypical slack action" to use Kadee's words, but I have a lot of friends that don't like it.

       

      I find it gives me extra challenge in driving the train smoothly, not making abrupt transitions in speed, and clearly starting and stopping takes more finesse.

       

      I like it, everything that takes more time makes my layout "bigger", and to me it's fun to learn to be more skilled. I know a lot of people though that want to just turn on a switch and stuff goes round and round. Instantaneous speed changes are the norm.

       

      Greg

      I'm with you.  Almost all of my couplers are of the 830 variety, save for the few that I haven't got a roundto for yet, and those that I haven't figured out a way to install that box, like the LGB covered hopper.  That slack action can be a bit of a challenge when you have a long string behind.

      So Devon should get the couplers with the slack action  ...... because .... he's a slacker .... ? 

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    • July 12, 2017 8:20 AM EDT
      • Lancaster , Ohio
         
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      What, all of these different brands don't play well together ? Well, back in the day there was much talk that manufacturers should adopt a standard, that it would improve sales if everyone's equipment would interchange but the consensus back then was "STANDARDS, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' STANDARDS" and what we have today is the result of that attitude !

    • July 13, 2017 5:04 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Gary, if the manufacturers wanted to, they could collaborate and come up with standards. Aristo and Bachmann did for the DCC/Revo plug in header.

       

      But part of the problem is our hobby is a niche of a niche, and so we are glad to get what we can, and we don't complain enough to the manufacturers.

       

      Me, I am not in this fight, because I have such a collection of stuff, that I probably will not be purchasing much of anything for the next decade or so.

      ____________________________________

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      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • July 13, 2017 7:52 PM EDT
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Lynn Haven, FL
         
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      Devon,

       

      If you are attempting to couple body mounted couplers to talgo mounted couplers (truck mount), they will not line up. Especially if you are using mixture of couplers. Or if you use #1 Kadee couplers with G Scale, there ill be a misalignment if they are properly mounted per the Kadee gauge. There has never been a consensus among manufacturers per se as to height.

       

      If you are a scale purist, use the Kadee #1 couplers, they are closer to scale for 1:29. For durability, use the Kadee G Scale couplers. I recommend standardizing on body mounting regardless of coupler choice. I would then make one transition car for mate to the truck mounted couplers. I have run Bachmann Big Hauler couplers (truck mount) with Kadee truck mount, Aristo Craft and old style LGB with good success. Some coupler combos require the 0-5-0 switcher to couple, but they will stay coupled.

       

      Keep in mind that on the Aristo front, there were three distinct runs of couplers. I can't tell you which run, but one run will not play well with either of the other two runs. So sometimes even couplers of the same manufacturer will not play well with themselves.

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    • July 14, 2017 12:48 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      On the aristo couplers, only the very early ones did not have the "shelves"... Not aware of 3 versions, only 2, unless you are also referring to the ill-fatted "kuppler"... which is an entertaining story of arrogance and failure.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • July 14, 2017 1:52 PM EDT
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Lynn Haven, FL
         
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      A point of clarification - I never stated versions. I stated runs, referring to production runs. This was a regurgitation of a conversation with an Aristo foamer at my club. I have traded all my Aristo couplers for other brands because I don't like having to 'mash' my cars together to make them couple. And contrary to some folks, I don't find Aristo coupler any more or less reliable than any other coupler, with the notable exception of Kadee.

      ____________________________________

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    • July 14, 2017 4:30 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Ahh, gotcha... there are indeed 2 versions though, with and without the shelf, but those without are really old.

       

      I likewise did not like the Aristo couplers, besides the problem you mention, I also had them let go on long trains.

       

      Aristo did a landmark business in replacement couplers, and that tells a story... I remember all the posts on the Aristo forum when the big bag of them was out of stock. Since all the faithful already had Aristo couplers, they had to be replacements.

       

      Another thing I did not like was the "shelf". While it was very popular with most people, in that it prevented uncoupling because you could not override couplers. For many people this was a boon since trains held together very well even if coupler heights were all over the map. Because virtually all the Aristo stuff was truck mount, coupler heights were crazy, especially things like the heavyweights where not only did the coupler height vary because of truck mounts, but off center mounting to chassis.

       

      But, in my case, when I had a derailment, and a car fell over, it took the entire string of cars in a domino-like slow ballet move.

       

      I found the USAT couplers less reliable due to the metal pin and my proximity to the ocean, they rusted and jammed up very quickly.

       

      As you can guess, I'm all Kadee, except for the USAT tight-lock couplers on their streamliners, wonderful all metal cast couplers.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • July 15, 2017 12:50 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Steve Featherkile said:
      Greg Elmassian said:

      Personally, I like the draft gear with the "prototypical slack action" to use Kadee's words, but I have a lot of friends that don't like it.

       

      I find it gives me extra challenge in driving the train smoothly, not making abrupt transitions in speed, and clearly starting and stopping takes more finesse.

       

      I like it, everything that takes more time makes my layout "bigger", and to me it's fun to learn to be more skilled. I know a lot of people though that want to just turn on a switch and stuff goes round and round. Instantaneous speed changes are the norm.

       

      Greg

      I'm with you.  Almost all of my couplers are of the 830 variety, save for the few that I haven't got a roundto for yet, and those that I haven't figured out a way to install that box, like the LGB covered hopper.  That slack action can be a bit of a challenge when you have a long string behind.

      I only have a few cars with Kaydees; most are Accucraft or Bachmann Fn3.  I have a long steep grade, that causes most engines to surge pretty badly on the down hill.  Would the slack in Kayde 830 type make this surging less noisy at the couplers over the fixed type I am using now?

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at July 15, 2017 12:50 PM EDT
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    • July 15, 2017 7:34 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      On the downgrade, the couplers would compress (into the draft gear), as the loco slowed. If it speeded up quickly, the slack action SHOULD minimize the erratic speed transmitted to the rest of the train.

      I've never tested this by observing closely going down a grade, but I have run 55 car freight trains down a 5.5% grade, and all cars had kadees with slack action draft gearboxes...

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • July 15, 2017 8:13 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Thanks Greg.  The fixed mount draft gear causes quite a bit of banging as the loco slows, then speeds up. It's horrible with my Live Steam Shay; bad  with my Bachman Dizzies, hardly noticeable with the Bachmann Shay and non-existent with the Bachmann C-19.  Rather than change out all my couplers (again), maybe I should concentrate on only using locos with tight gear trains.

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    • July 16, 2017 7:16 PM EDT
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Lynn Haven, FL
         
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      From the FWIW department, if you use the Kadee 830 couplers they will fit nicely in the Bachmann Fn3 coupler boxes. It was relayed to me that Bachmann was going to use Kadees on their Spectrum line but Kadee couldn't agree on a contract. I am fairly sure that the 830 Kadees will play well with AMS couplers as well.

       

      Here is a Spectrum coupler in a Kadee box on a Big Hauler tank car 

       

      ....and Kadee coupler in a Spectrum box on Big Hauler tank car 

      This post was edited by Bob Cope at July 16, 2017 7:18 PM EDT
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    • September 12, 2017 2:40 PM EDT
      • Sacramento, California
         
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      I had this same dilemma -- many different kinds of couplers that wouldn't work reliably together.  So I bought lots of Kadee #1 coupleres (a few at a time) and body mounted one on as many cars as I had couplers for.  Soon, about half my freight fleet were "transition" cars.  I did completely convert all of my passenger cars, but that was because I was doing a lot of things at once: replacing wheels, adding LED lighting, and putting on Kadees.  I used the Kadee gauge to set the height, but added some spacers in the gauge to get the couplers a little higher, which I thought looked better.

       

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