N Scale Logo Product Line: McHenry Couplers

N Scale Supply recently received samples of the new McHenry coupler from Athearn. I have been testing them in various applications by installing several pairs in place of Accumate couplers on both cars and a locomotive. This is an easy conversion as the coupler fits into the same coupler box that accepts Accumate couplers. Since I am naturally sceptical, I was pleasently surprised at how well the McHenry coupler works. I found that not only did it couple to other McHenry couplers without trouble, the McHenry coupler works well with Micro-Trains and Accumate couplers. Furthermore, I had zero unexpected uncouplings during our extensive testing of the McHenry coupler. The McHenry is slightly bulkier in appearance than either the Accumate or the Micro-Trains. Overall to me it looks more like a prototype knuckle coupler.
Athearn will start factory installing the McHenry coupler on all future releases starting with the 50' PS1 Box Car. N Scale Supply has been told to expect a selection of McHenry couplers to be offered from Athearn. We expect more details later this summer, 2008.

  - Marlin Cox, May 2008
N Scale Supply
  Additional Information added May 14, 2008
After posting our review a few days ago we have received many comments. This has prompted us to expand on our use of the 'slightly bulkier' comment.
In measuring the three couplers we have found:
McHenry Micro-Trains Accumate
Height 0.1" 0.1" 0.09"
Width 0.14" 0.16" (0.12)* 0.14"
Depth 0.175" 0.14" 0.17"
* 0.16" if measured perpindicular to the coupler over the entire width. If you turn the coupler about 30 degrees and measure it perpindicular to the hand part it is narrower.
The couplers are within hundreths of an inch of each other. Our comment probably should have been 'looks more stout'. The cross sectional area of the McHenry is much greater than a Micro-Trains.
As to the spring: Our pictures here show the coupler many times its actual size. I cannot see the spring from 18" away. In our usage of the couplers we never had the spring fall out or fly away. It seems to be very well attached.
We also noticed that the trip pin on the McHenry is smaller in diameter than the Micro-Trains or the Accumate (0.02" vs 0.03").
One other point we didn't mention, the fulcrum of the McHenry is at the knuckle, just like the prototype. It opens more like a human hand. The fulcrom of the Micro-Trains coupler is clear back inside the mounting box at the center of the mount. The Micro-Trains coupler opens more like a pair of scissors. How this will affect performance is left for the reader to decide.
We have yet to see the 'perfect' coupler in N Scale, but the McHenry definitely have features that will make this a good player in the future of N Scale Couplers. The marketplace will have more choices.

MSRP Our $ Part #
McHenry N Scale Knuckle Coupler (1 Pr)
$3.98 $3.19 MCH-5001
McHenry N Scale Knuckle Coupler (6 Pr) $19.98 $15.98 MCH-5012
McHenry N Scale Knuckle Coupler (25 Pr) $49.98 $39.99 MCH-5025
McHenry N Knuckle Replacement Springs (24 ea)
$3.98 $3.19 MCH-5010
Coupler Box and Cover (F/FP45), 6 Pairs $14.98 $11.99 ATH-16788