Blog

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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. https://www.kadee.com/convpl

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  8. March 2023 Tech Tip - Underutilized Products

    I am happy to report that the Amherst train show was hopping at the Kadee® booth this year. I was able to get out of the booth a few times to take a quick look around but for the most part it was nonstop interaction with customers. Answering product questions, coupler conversion questions, and talking to individuals about the new O-Scale trucks that we will be releasing after they have been thoroughly tested. We have sent some samples out to some individuals and clubs for testing on different layouts. We still need to do some inhouse testing for ourselves before we release them. I would like to personally say thank you to all of the individuals that we have talked to about this project and a special thank you for all of those individuals and clubs that have been testing the O-Scale trucks on their layouts.

    As for our technical tip of the month, I would like to talk about a couple of HO-Scale products that I feel are underutilized that quite possibly be because folks don’t un

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  9. Show Winners

    Congratulations to the following winners!

    Show Winners

    2023 Rocky Mountain Train Show Drawing Winners
    Adithi R.- Lafayette, CO
    Steve P.- Castle Rock, CO
    Denby D.- Thornton, CO

    2023 Amherst Train Show Drawing Winners
    Bob B. - Windham, CT
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  10. February 2023 Tech Tip - Coupler Height Gauge Wedge

    The weather has been keeping a lot of you indoors and getting those old modeling projects out again. I have received several product requests for things we don’t sell as retail items or special pack requests. (Example: bulk #33 couplers) Also, requests for coupler conversions for brass cars or old obscure cars that we have never seen or heard of.

    Please keep in mind we don’t sell special request packages of bulk couplers or special request parts. We would have to stop current production, check availability, pull parts for a single special package, program the special package in the online system for billing, and sell it to a customer. The reality is “special request product” needs to be billed for lost production time, set up, and assembly time for a single item; the “special request product” would cost much more than purchasing multiple 2-pair packages of couplers. For “special request detail parts,” the same is true. Generally, we don’t keep spare parts for cars we have

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