1. May Tech Tip - Large Self Couplers

    Now that you have dusted off your large-scale rolling stock and locomotives, it is time to see how your outdoor layout held up over winter. Some track work will inevitably have to be done to get all your cars rolling reliably on it again. Have you noticed the longer modern cars get, the more sensitive they are to run on track? That is because the length of the car magnifies every dip, bump, or transition in the track.

    Kadee® has a quick and easy solution for anyone with some of those fussy cars that like to slip apart on your layout. Now you can change out your G-Scale standard or type “E” Kadee® Couplers to one of the NEW “SE” top and bottom or SBE bottom shelf Kadee® couplers, and you will not be leaving your favorite car sitting on the siding anymore. The “SE” top and bottom or SBE bottom shelf Kadee® couplers will allow cars that don’t stay coupled from track imperfections to stay coupled up over those grades, bumps, and dips—no need to struggle with those slight track

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  2. April Tech Tip - Large Scale Season

    Large scale season is here!!!

    It may not be the perfect weather where you are located to get out there and start running your outdoor layout yet, but it will be soon. Many of you are starting to dust off your rolling stock & locomotives that have been tucked away for the off-season and are now thinking of all those things projects you wanted to do but didn't get around to. Don't worry; you have plenty of time; you only need a couple of hours of sleep. Those of you who got new equipment in the off-season, may still need to get it equipped with Kadee® couplers so you can get it running with the rest of your layout. (see our conversion list at

    Now, I know there are some newcomers out there who may be confused about all the proprietary couplers that come on the different brands of equipment and wonder why different brands of rolling stock and locos won't work together. Well,
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  3. March Tech Tip - Driver Cleaner & lubricant

    #1 To keep your locomotives operating to their peak performance, regular maintenance is required. Just like your automobile, you have to check the tires. The Kadee® Speedi Loco Driver Cleaner cleans your locos drive pickup wheels, spinning away dirt and debris so the wheels make good contact. The wheels picking up the current from the tack is essential for your loco to run as smoothly as it can.

    #2 Never use grease or any other liquid lubricant other than powdered graphite on couplers and trucks. Dry powdered graphite is the only lubricant Kadee® recommends. Liquid lubricants can react to the materials used in couplers, gearboxes, and wheelsets, and trucks are made from shortening the life expectancy. Liquid lubricants also attract dirt and debris, drying out over time and making for a sticky, messy cleanup. Lubricants are supposed to make parts move freely without a sluggish response.

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  4. January Tech Tip - Shelf Couplers

    From a modeling stand point, the majority of couplers on the market represent the Type “E” coupler, but in general appearances, the “scale” couplers presently marketed can be used to represent the early Janney couplers. This means modelers in any scale can use knuckle couplers for models back to the 1880s and be, at least functionally and in general appearance, prototypical.

    Specialty couplers began to appear experimentally in the late 1930s and in 1947 the Type “H” was standardized. The Type “H” sometimes known as the “Triple Lock” or “Tightlock” and, because of it’s safety features, was used on the newly developed high speed passenger trains.

    The first interlocking coupler use for freight cars was the Type “F” coupler introduced in the 1940s was made Alternate Standard in 1954. The Type “F” coupler is basically a Type “H” coupler with an additional bottom shelf. Then in the late 1960s the top and bottom shelf Type “SF” coupler was developed and standardized in

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  5. November Tech Tips - Fake Couplers

    Buyer Beware! Some individuals are selling "Clone Knuckle Couplers" as Kadee® Couplers!
    We just recently discovered this with our NEM Couplers, and I am sure it has also been going on with our Standard Knuckle Couplers. Someone was selling on eBay Kadee® #19 NEM Couplers using Kadee® product descriptions & Kadee® photos. The product listing claims the products were Kadee® #19 Couplers, but in fact was a poorly made NEM Clone Knuckle Couplers made in China. This is something that people shopping on 3rd party venues, such as Amazon, eBay, or any other 3rd party site that allows anyone to sell on, will have to police and report any violations to the third-party venue yourself. Don't be conned by shady business practices.

    Kadee® Couplers are Made 100% in the USA.
    Kadee® HO Couplers all have Metal Knuckles, with the exception of our 3/4 size old-time Plastic Couplers.

    Clone Knuckle Couplers only "uncouple"; they d
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  6. August Tech Tips - Trucks Performance & Code 88 & Code 110 wheels

    The difference between Code 88 & Code 110 wheels
    This is one of those questions we get from time to time. Many new modelers think that wheel code refers to the track code that the wheels are made to run on. This is incorrect. The term Code 110 and Code 88 relates to the width of the wheels and has no relationship to track code (see photos). Code 110 wheels are ”standard” width wheels and will run on Code 100, Code 88, & Code 70 track. Code 88 wheels are “semi-scale” width wheels and will run on Code 100, Code 88, & Code 70 track. Code 88 “semi-scale” wheels are used when the modeler wants a more prototypical-looking wheel width. Actual HO-Scale prototypical wheel width would be around .067” wide, and although they will run OK on the average track, they will not go through common turnouts and crossings. Code 88 (.088”) is just about the minimum width of wheel that will run on most standard or common track if gauged correctly. It is really a matter of appea
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  7. July 2023 Tech Tip - Consistent & Reliable Couplers

    Let's review the specifics on some technical support questions I keep answering month after month.

    Ever since we invented the Kadee® Magne-Matic® knuckle coupler system over 60 years ago, we have taken great care to provide accurate instructions for every one of our products. Our product instructions describe the best way to install and use Kadee® products to ensure a trouble-free experience. Please follow the instructions provided in your packaging. Other sources of installation guidance (such as YouTube videos or online forums) may omit important steps from our instructions that could result in damage to your models or unsatisfactory performance. If you are wondering why something is not working correctly, it is probably because one or more of the most basic critical steps were skipped in the instructions and/or the coupler fine tuning process.

    Let's go over the important basics:

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  8. June 2023 Tech Tip - Original Style and AAR Type E Couplers

    Original Style and AAR Type E Couplers

    Our large-scale couplers represent the common Type E coupler and come in two types and two scale sizes "G" scale 1:22.5 and #1 scale 1:32 scale ratio. Our original coupler style has an exposed knuckle spring with minimal details. Our newer style AAR Type E (New Generation), has a much more prototypically detailed coupler head, and the knuckle spring is hidden inside the head and cannot be seen. Both styles are completely compatible with each other and use the same draft gear boxes, so the conversion information is the same for both. It is just personal preference on what coupler style you prefer to put in your equipment.

    Our online handouts page has a product number cross reference chart handout for the AAR Type E New Generation and Original Style Couplers. Large Scale Coupler Chart

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  9. May 2023 Tech Tip - Large Scale Coupler Basics

    Large Scale Coupler Basics

    Most Large Scale manufacturers use their own proprietary knuckle couplers or hook and loop couplers. As many modelers have found out, some may or may not be compatible with each other both operationally and coupler mounting heights. Kadee® couplers, when installed correctly and using our Delayed Magne-Matic® Uncoupling system, are a complete "hands off" coupler system. Kadee® couplers can be fitted to almost any model which eliminates any compatibility issues.

    Our large scale couplers represents the common Type E coupler and come in two types and two scale sizes "G" scale 1:22.5 and #1 scale 1:32 scale ratio. Our original coupler style has an exposed knuckle spring with minimal details. Our newer style AAR Type E (New Generation) has a much more prototypically detailed coupler head and the knuckle spring is hidden inside the head and cannot be seen. Both styles ar

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  10. April 2023 Tech Tip - Overthinking Coupler Mounting

    I regularly get questions from people confused and/or overthinking coupler mounting. I think it is more so overthinking about coupler mounting, not reading the information we provide, and not using the coupler conversion information we provide online. This is something that is a much bigger problem than one might think. This is not just from new people entering the hobby; this is from the hobby veterans also. I will break this down into different common scenarios.

    HO Scenario #1: I have an old Example (UP 1234 car) or (B&O loco that has yellow lettering) I picked up; what at coupler do I use on it?
    Sorry, we need the make and model of the car to look it up in our coupler conversion list; we can’t identify cars if you don’t know the make and model of a car. You must research it online, ask a railroad forum, or visit a railroad club or local hobby store. Then look it up in the coupler conversion list.

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