McHenry Couplers- A Modelers Plea.

Inkaneer Sep 1, 2008

  1. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    The initial review of the McHenry coupler [NScale Magazine Sep-Oct, 2008] was promising. But several areas need to be further explored. First and foremost, will they stay coupled on long trains? That is, Ntrak size trains of 100+ cars? Second, will they come with a "T" shank? [a lot of applications there]. Third, will they come with different length shanks like the MTL couplers? Fourth, will they come with a coupler that will fit the MTL coupler box? [I tend to break a lot of couplers just transporting my rolling stock.]

    In addition, I would like to replace all my Unimate couplers that allow close coupling on ABBA F units with a fully functional coupler that will also allow close coupling. The same with replacing the Kato semi automatic couplers on my passenger cars with fully automatic ones.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2008
  2. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    I had the new Athearn boxcars at the front of a 100 car train with no problem. Suprised me.
    There be money in them thar couplers. My guess is there will be a lot of options in the near future.
     
  3. bbussey

    bbussey TrainBoard Member

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    The McHenry coupler will fit inside a Micro-Trains #1015 coupler box. It fits in any housing the MTL #1015 coupler does.
     
  4. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    McHenry Couplers

    IF , and thats a mighty big if, they decide to compete in the replacement coupler market and are as good as suspected And the price is right microtrains better be rethinking what they have to offer.


    :tb-ooh:
     
  5. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    Yes this seems to be a good coupler and I agree that it should be explored more. I wonder if it would be possible to put a Mc in a MT.
    TANK CAR COUPLERS!!! double shelf E's double shelf E's double shelf E's Oh boy TANK CAR KNUCKLES YAY!!! I hope...:tb-err:
     
  6. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    As far as pulling capacity, I ran a pair of boxcars connected to a pair of SD70's with an MT to McHenry connection, then a Mchenry to Mchenry connection followed up by a Mchenry to Accumate. I drug around a train of unknown length that was enough drag to cause a pair of SD70's to slip without incident. This is on my test loop of 11" R Kato unitrak including a trip through a pair of #6 turnouts. The only thing I did to the cars was replace the wheel sets with MT. The Athearn wheelsets are very draggy, MT's fix that issue.
     
  7. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Let's see if we dog on Micro-Trains and they respond to it buy pulling their products off the N scale market and put their cash resources into Z scale...would that make most of you happy?

    I'm struggling to get my equipment switched over to the finest product available. Yes, it's expensive but I know of no other that offers as much variety as does MTL. I can only hope they hold on long enough for me to get my equipment switched out.

    Simply, for me Micro-Trains meets all my demands for quality and standards.

    I ask, why is it so many of you are dog tired of MTL? This should start an uproar or the other alternative...silence!

    What gives?
     
  8. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    Nobody is dogging MT but if McHenry comes out with more conversions and a short shank coupler, which looks easy enough to do, they will be a strong competitor. The couplers work as advertised so far and "THERE IS NO SLINKY". I'm not so worried about scale size and looks (as long as they aren't bigger than current equipment) but more so about reliability. Only time will tell on that aspect. We need to get them out on layouts and see how they hold up over time.

    So far, so good for McHenry.
     
  9. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    This is par for the course. I remember way back when Athearn produced their GP7/9 in HO. A godsend locomotive if there ever was one. People rushed to gobble them up and not a single soul made mention of the fact that the hoods were a scale foot too wide. That was followed by other hood units with hoods a scale foot too wide. Not a wimper mind you about the unprototypical wide hoods was made... until Atlas came out with the SD24 and SD35 and they had the prototypical correct width hoods. Athearn needed that extra width in the hoods to fit the motor they selected so the hood became a foot wider and the walkways six inches narrower. But Athearn became the Charlie Brown of MRR going from hero to goat almost overnight. And they have been battling ever since. It doesn't pay to sit resting on prior achievements. MTL should learn the lesson of Athearn HO.
     
  10. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    From Rick's: For What It's Worth Department

    From Rick's "For What It's Worth Department".

    The "Slinky Effect" is as prototype as you can get. In the world of railroad lingo it's called "Slack". It's all about learning how to get a train rolling and bringing it in. Realisim at it's best.

    I'm not sure the HO Athearn thing compared to N Scale Couplers, is more like pears compared to apples. The one main thing Athearn had going for them was the lack of competition. I had a fleet of HO Athearn locomotives and I don't remember them hurting to much. Even after Atlas, Stewart and others came out with locomotives sporting a Kato Chassis. Price of these all but prototypically correct locomotives kept many of us buying Athearn.

    As far as dogging MTL, it sure sounds like it. A day or two doesn't seem to go by that someone doesn't start a thread or add to a discussion a negative comment about MTL.
    I don't see them needing to learn any lessons. Not when they are the best out there.

    Now you have my two cents.

    Enjoy and Have fun!
     
  11. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Totally agreed! :thumbs_up:
    Hopefully McHenry will make a bunch of styles for different applications and we can put the "slinky effect" in the history books along with the Rapido.

    -Mike
     
  12. pastoolio

    pastoolio TrainBoard Member

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    Rick, I gather you must not do any switching with your cars. Slack action and "slinky effect" are two different things. The slack action is super real when I'm running a 30 car train, but try switching 2, 3, or 4 cars at an industry or in a yard, and you will see what the "slinky effect" is. The cars "slap" around like a yoyo. This is about as unprototypical as you can get.
    MTL IS really good stuff, but they are not keeping up with the times. When Fox Valley came out with their metal wheels, I scrambled to buy as many as I could. 400 cars down, about 600 more to go. And just as I was getting to the end of pizza cutters to low pro. :tb-wacky: But MTL really missed out on that. And now it seems their couplers are next. IMHO let them go to Z scale, then maybe they'll expand their line of Z scale couplers, and that would make my locomotives very happy =)
    It also might introduce a new player in the truck market. Who knows.

    Me too, me too, YAY! Just looking at those HO ones really makes me want some in N!

    -Mike
     
  13. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's all about what you want...for sure!

    Hi Mike,

    I do believe it's all about what you want...for sure! No doubt. And, there is a heavy toy train influence at work in our model railroad ranks.

    The slinky effect you and others have talked about here is something I see daily. I do a lot of switching as it's my favorite thing to do. I enjoy watching switch crews make car moves and set outs. A typical set out means you spot the car precisely where you want it and then the switchman ties the car down by locking up the brakes. I see no problems what-so-am-ever with the MTL couplers and the action I get. I see the "Slack" and your "Stinky" oops I meant "Slinky" as the same thing. My family of rails hated slack almost as bad as you hate stinky...must be a hang up...I meant slinky. However, the action I get from my MTL's is all but precisely the same as the slack. Something my family of rails had to deal with, daily. I suppose a "Get Real" statement could be used here...but I won't...grin!

    If you remove the stinky effect you have forever removed a realistic motion problem/issue, that real rails deal with all the time. In the real world it's all about moving your train cars at slow speeds (realistic slow speeds) and learning how to take a train out and bring it back. Never mind what you have to do on grades. Learn to be an engineer and handle your train without the whiplash effect or "Stinky"...did it again, yeah, yeah, yeah... "Slinky" as many toy train enthusiast's ...err... I meant model railroaders... refer to.

    Someone will ablige/oblige you I'm sure BUT it will be a cheap copy... of a product that knows how to deliver the real thing.

    Yes, let's get rid of RAPIDO's but not "Slack".

    Let's see I will be a real-pulican and you can be a demo-procrat. And we can start a STINKY campaign....hee hee hee! LOL As if we don't have enough going on around us in this country... as it is. Chuckle

    Have fun and may you get what you deserve...err...I mean want. GRIN!

    Gots to have some fun!

    No offense meant toward you personally.
    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2008
  14. N&W

    N&W TrainBoard Member

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    I want slack.

    I don't want slinky.
     
  15. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's all about what you want...for sure!

    Hi Mike,

    I do believe it's all about what you want...for sure! No doubt. And, there is a heavy toy train influence at work in our model railroad ranks.

    The slinky effect you and others have talked about here is something I see daily. I do a lot of switching as it's my favorite thing to do. I enjoy watching switch crews make car moves and set outs. A typical set out means, you spot the car precisely where you want it and then the switchman ties the car down by locking up the brakes. I see no problems what-so-am-ever with the MTL couplers and the action I get. I see the "Slack" and your "Stinky" oops I meant "Slinky" as the same thing. My family of rails hated slack almost as bad as you hate stinky...must be a hang up here...I meant slinky. However, the action I get from my MTL's is all but precisely the same as the slack, my family of rails had to deal with. I suppose "Get Real" is a statement I could use here...but I won't...grin! So what are we going to do about the stinky slinky thing?

    If you remove the stinky slinky effect you have forever removed a realistic motion problem/issue, real rails deal with daily. In the real world it's all about moving your train cars at slow speeds (realistic slow speeds) and learning how to take a train out and bring it back. Never mind what you have to do on grades. Learn to be an engineer and handle your train without the whiplash effect or "Stinky...Slinky" as many toy train enthusiast's ...err... I meant model railroaders... refer to.

    Someone will ablige/oblige you I'm sure BUT it will be a cheap copy... of a product that knows how to deliver the real thing.

    Yes, let's get rid of RAPIDO's but not "Slack".

    Let's see I will be a real-pulican and you can be a demo-procat. And we can start a STINKY SLINKY campaign....hee hee hee! LOL

    As if we don't have enough going on around us in this country... as it is. Chuckle

    Have fun and may you get what you deserve...err...I mean WANT! GRIN!

    Gots to have some fun!

    No offense meant toward you personally.

    I got so busy writing this that my breakfast changed in route. Instead of Oatmeal Cereal I now have Oatmeal cookies. LOL
     
  16. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    Rick,
    Slack action and "Slinky" are two completely different things.

    Slack action is accurately represented in the Accumate, McHenry, and yes even Rapido couplers. Slack action is just that, taking up the the slack in the couplers. Slack action happens "once" when accelerating and "once" when slowing or heading down hill. Upon accelerating, you "take the slack out" and draw the couplers tight. When you apply the brakes or restrain the cars, the slop in the couplers compresses and the cars stabilize closer together.

    The Slinky effect is where the cars spring back and forth. Having the spring on the draw side of the coupler causes cars to oscilate back and forth. In a long string of MT cars that oscilation sets up a wave that works it's way back and forth through the train, even on straight level track. When running N-trak I always make sure to put the MT cars in the front of the train where the drag on the rest of the train can keep the couplers drawn tight and under control. A string of 10 or so MT cars on the last bit of a long train bob back and forth like a carnival ride.

    In the real world, when a train comes to a stop or start, yes the slack action happens, but it only happens once. It doesn't continue through the train indefinitely back and forth. If you were riding in a caboose of an MT equipped train, you wouldn't be able to stand up because the car would constantly be speeding up and slowing down, unrelated to the engine speed.

    PS. I won't use those stupid springs to add drag to the caboose. It does help a little but it also takes away another 5-6 cars worth of pulling power from the loco.
     
  17. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    This isn't about slink/slack it's about handling a train.

    Tony,

    Believe me when I say, I know the difference between toy train operation and realistic train operation.

    I do like the way you described "Slack" as that is correct. The action I see happening on club layouts and during certain train shows is unrealistic at best. Sudden or quick stops and the model trains respond as you indicated. However, a friend of mine who is a retired engineer can take the same train out and bring it back in without the "Stinky Slinky" thing showing up. It's all about handling your train. He has demonstrated to many a toy train enthusiast, wanna be model railroaders... the proper way to take a train out and bring it in reducing the stink slink slack to a realistic level.

    I have seen 1:1 foot scale trains, under a emergency stop behave much like the the description you used to describe... the stinky slinky effect. This action will literally lift cars off the rails resulting in all kinds of telescoping or car relocation anywhere along the right of way, other then on the track. Odd how that can work.

    I quite agree with you regarding the springs that can be added to the caboose wheels to create drag. It does reduce the playful slack but the drag it causes isn't worth the effort. I'd rather control the train appropriately from the front.

    I honestly believe we are missing the point. This isn't about slink/slack it's about controlling or handling the train. Realistic operation, is the code word here.

    Come on guys I didn't fall of the turnip truck and into a family of rails and not notice how "Slack" works. This was a major cause of concern for most rails (rail employees). I suggest you spend sometime out along the tracks watching the switch crews making car set outs. Quit taking pictures of the head end equipment and start noting how the real big boys play with their trains. Check out the "Slack".

    Sheez!

    See you can't offend me MUCH! LOL

    Well, I got a model railroad that needs my attention. I can't spend all day arguing the pro's and con's of "Stinky, Slinky, Slack". I operate my MTL trains over 2+% grades and see little to any slinky slack.

    Whatever the cause or reason...you share the same concern's as the real rails. Ahh, heck we can delete it from our model railroading experience and just play trains all day long.

    "Slack" Who needs it? Now that sounds like my Great Uncle a Conductor for the Santa Fe Railroad. Slack has broken many a finger and caused unwarranted fatal accidents.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2008
  18. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    Rick,
    I don't think you really understand the Slinky yet.

    Slinky happens with MT couplers on straight and level track, at a constant speed. It does not need a speeding up or slowing down of the train to induce it. All it takes is a car in the train with a tight spot on an axle to start the oscilation. A car going through a tight switch point or diamond can cause it also.

    In a full size train, running on straight and level, the only think that is going to induce slack action is touching the brakes. The momentum of the cars cause the couplers to slack until the all the cars and the loco reach equalibrium at the new slower speed. Speeding up from a constant speed will not result in slack action.

    This is pure conjecture but my guess is the people that are not complaining about slack action, have cars with dirty axles and wheels, cars that do not roll very good to begin with. My freight cars will all start rolling on their own on .5% grade, if they do not, they get worked on till they do. Free rolling cars really exasturbate the Slinky problem.
     
  19. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Well one of my original questions seemeds to be answered in that others have tried the McHenry on long thrains and they held. But right now they will only fit inside an Accumate truck of a MT 1015 box. What about the MT truck? If the McHenry people come out with a replacement for the coupler in the MTL truck that would eliminate the dreaded "slinky" then people who would otherwise have to switch to the 1015's and body mount couplers could be spared that work and expense. Yeah, I know there is some work and expense changin out couplers in a truck but not as much as body mounting couplers. Of course the other option is to produce a line of trucks and couplers like MTL to include the proper 36" wheels.
     
  20. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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