Re: Scale Coupler Boxes: was Couplers, Coupler Pockets, The NMRA, and Scale Size

Patrick Wider <pwider@...>

Denny - you missed the point of all of the bandwidth - the material doesn't matter as long
as the couplers look good and operate well. I don't care if the final result is plastic or
depleted uranium. Did anyone say metal is a must? I guess I missed it. Check out San
Juan's plastic O-scale (#5101) A.A.R. "E" couplers - they're gorgeous! And they work like
the real thing. And I say again, they're plastic! (God, I should be in O-scale, maybe it's not
too late).

The fact of the matter is most of the HO plastic rip-offs are junk and don't look like the
real thing - thus the original reason for the "WE ACCUSE" editorial in RP CYC. I suggest you
go back and read it. I do agree that we should change the subject for obvious reasons.

Pat Wider

--- In, Denny Anspach <danspach@m...> wrote:

To an extent, those turning up their noses to all plastic couplers in
some kind of blanket fashion remind me of the "standing in the
trench" pronouncements of those who in the '60s announced in print
and in word loudly that they would *never* ever buy (or sell)
anything made of plastic, and urged others to do the same. Plastics
were "the death of model railroad hobby" (this was at the time when
the then-new Athearn molded cars were de facto taking over the model
railroad market). Now, just how much egg would you like on your face?

"All metal" can mean anything from bismuth, lead, brass, aluminum,
steel, zinc, and zamac and other alloys (some pure, but many others
made of of leavings and sweepings), steel, etc. I do have some
pretty terrible couplers" that are "All Metal".

"All plastic" can mean anything from soft new styrene (or similar)
or other unstable plastics to various kinds of very tough aged
engineering plastics . I also have some pretty fine couplers that are
"All Plastic".

The scale Reboxx couplers designed by JP Barger have the potential to
revolutionize the coupler market, especially if developed and
engineered as a part of a true *system* with a scale box, and- if
they are ever produced. What are they made of? *Plastic* but of
course a very sophisticated engineering plastic like the better
current plastic couplers of other manufacturers (including Kadee

With these thoughts in mind, an awful lot of circumstances can exist
where a given "plastic" coupler could beat out a given "metal"
coupler hands down on multiple fronts, so within bounds, materials
should not be a deciding factor.

A lot of the plastic Kadee-type coupler clones *are* cheaply made of
cheap materials with poor engineering (if any), and because of this,
I retire these couplers while still in their bags; or if already
installed, they are replaced. If feasible, their replacement commonly
will be Accumate Protos, or any version of #40-x Kadees. I have not
used #78s as yet, but have several to try. If the thickness of the
box wall forces the coupler shank to be mounted too low, or the box
needs to be cut short- and i cannot do it, I probably (and perhaps
reluctantly) will set them aside.

I have #58s on the ends of several cabooses and observation cars,
but as Ben Hom has accurately pointed out, the scale effect loses out
to the distractingly-obvious gross oversized appearance of the
"standard" boxes from which the couplers project. All of these are
scheduled for Accumate Proto or #78 replacement (minus glad hands).

Prices (MSRP): Pr. Kadee #58
@ $1.43 .
Pr. Kadee #78 (w. boxes)
@ $2.88
Pr. Accumate Proto (w. boxes )
@ $1.49
Pr. Accumate Proto (w. boxes) bulk @12 $1.33, @50 $1.20).

I have not yet addressed the appearance of any of these "scale"
couplers as they appear with a full sized metal gland hand hanging
below, the diameter of which is some huge percentage of the overall
coupler width. One could make a persuasive argument that this
travesty alone might well negate any overall good effect that one
might otherwise be attempting to make.


Rather than waste further bandwidth on this dead end "materials"
issue, I would propose that we instead concentrate the strength and
moral suasion of this list to the eventual promotion of a common
scale draft gear box that can if necessary be readily adapted to the
established base of the current industry-standard boxes . The AP box
is a good place to begin (as has been proposed), not only because of
size and scale appearance, but because it is already adaptable in
some important respects.

The goal should be to radically change conventional thinking from the
endless attempts to adapt differing couplers (scale or not) to the
current industry-standard oversize boxes to instead adapting new
scale boxes that, in turn, can perhaps hold one or more types of
couplers that are *engineered to fit*.


Denny S. Anspach, MD

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