Does your railroad suffer from phantom uncoupling or derailments due to gladhands set too low and contacting crossing rails? The Bob-Mac coupler gauge (gage) is the best available gauge for checking HO-scale magnetic couplers. Benefits of the design include:
- World’s simplest and easiest to use, no moving parts,
- Precision turned plastic, will not short out the railroad, especially valuable with DCC,
- Ready-to-run, not tedious assembly, no springs to lose,
- One piece design,
- Pass/NoPass design, reliable independent of user’s height or fatigue,
- Checks both coupler height and gladhand positioning, and
- Works with all brands, including Kadee, EZ-Mate, McHenry, Accumate, Intermountain, Proto 2000.
Circa 2000 Bob Miller and I were serving on the
“Standards Committee” of Northern Virginia Model Railroaders (NVMR).
We were using a Kadee coupler gauge, at “eye level”. However, Bob
Miller is somewhat shorter than I am, so “eye level” was different for
each of us and I would “pass” a car for correct coupler height and Bob
M. would reject it. And vice a versa.
Bob Miller, a technical engineer, and Mac Goodwin, then a machinist with the Washington Post, got together to design a “go/no go” gauge based on NMRA standards and the dimensions of the Kadee couplers. Mac made a batch of “prototype” gauges which were sold to NVMR members.
They thought that the next step to mass production was to find someone who could make the gauges in large numbers and market them. They found someone who said he could do this. However, after making 2000 +/- gauges he backed down on the marketing aspect.
Granddads Hobby Shop bought these gauges and sold them for several years. I do not know how Granddad learned about these gauges but Mac was a regular costumer and might have said something. Starting with the Kadee gauge, I designed the label and directions for the “Bob-Mac” gauge.
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