Tech Tips Blog

  1. May 2022 Tech Tip - Large scale coupler style differences

    I have gotten many questions at shows & by e-mail regarding what is the difference between our two styles of Large scale couplers; the AAR Type “E” coupler and our original style of coupler that are available in (O-scale 1:48, #1-scale 1:32 & G-Scale 1:22.5). Yes, both designed are based on the common Type E coupler. Our original coupler style has an exposed knuckle spring with minimal details; our AAR Type “E” coupler has a much more prototypal appearance & hidden knuckle spring. Know that it is large scale season it is time to go over the subject and the features that make the couplers different.

    Let's just start out with the obvious the AAR Type “E” coupler has a much more prototypal appearance then our original style of coupler. The AAR Type “E” coupler contour with visible Kadee® casting marks to better replicate the prototype coupler. One other big feature if it hasn’t jumped out at you yet is where is the Knuckle spring? Yes, that is right the AAR Type “E” couplers

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  2. April 2022 Tech Tip - Coupler Mounting Height

    I am going to go over coupler mounting height again and again, until I stop seeing or hearing about peoples conversion video’s posted on the internet that show people mounting couplers at the incorrect coupler mounting height on “how to videos”. Couplers barely hooked together and then bending the trip pin is not acceptable; even if the coupler is off 20 to 30 thousands checked with a coupler height gauge is not “good enough” for trouble free operation. If you don’t want your cars coming apart when you are running them then you need to take care you have the coupler mounting height correct. “Scale” couplers make this even more critical because the coupler pulling face is smaller.

    Example: When you go over that transition on your layout pulling your favorite cars the couplers knuckles will raise and lower keeping the cars connected if you have set the mounting height of the couplers at the centerline, this gives the most available coupler movement without the couplers slippi

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  3. Kadee’s new website is up and running!

    Wholesale customers: We’ve made some big changes that will affect the way you place orders with Kadee going forward.

    Firstly, ALL wholesale orders for Retail Products must be placed directly through the website to receive your discount. We are no longer able to accept faxed or e-mailed orders. features a live inventory and only the inventory available is purchasable. We cannot accept back-orders at this time.

    Secondly, we have added a convenient website feature for our wholesale customers called FAST ORDER. FAST ORDER allows you to conveniently add products to your cart. This can be found under the MY ACCOUNT drop down next to the shopping cart icon on the top-right of our website. You can either upload a .csv with SKU/Qty or enter SKUs and quantities manually. You must be logged in to use this feature.

    FAST ORDER allows you to add products to your cart by uploading a .csv file (sample .csv file available on FAST ORDER p

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  4. January 2022 Tech Tip - Coupler Height Gauges

    The Coupler Height Gauge for the scale you are modeling is your best friend when is comes to trouble shooting, installing couplers and uncouples when used correctly. If you are trying to install couplers or trouble shoot couplers without a coupler height gauge you are just spinning your wheels. Trying to use an existing car to set your coupler heights is a bad idea and will not end well. If you think you need to bend the trip pin then your coupler is probably at the incorrect height. Trip pins are factory set and should not need to be bent if coupler is mounted correctly. When the coupler height gauge is used correctly whether for mounting uncouplers or mounting and fine-tuning couplers; your couplers should operate trouble free*.

    *Coupler height gauge or coupler design can’t fix bad track or incorrectly setup equipment.

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  5. Kadee Couplers vs Clone Couplers

    Whether you treated yourself to some of those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals (I know I did, don’t tell my wife) or you get some new locomotives or rolling stock as Christmas gifts, if you have cars from one of the manufactures who install Kadee® Magne-Matic® couplers from the factory: you’re golden! You can start enjoying your new cars on your layout immediately.

    But, if you didn’t... Now you have a very important decision to make. It may even be life changing... (cue dramatic music)

    The Question: Do I replace the “clone knuckle couplers”* that came on that my cars with Kadee® Magne-Matic® couplers? Or do I just leave the clone knuckle couplers installed that came with the car?

    This decision is not one to be taken lightly. The fate of your layout, and possibly your sanity, may be affected by this life-altering decision... (cue dramatic music)

    If you choose to leave the clone knuckle couplers on your cars, you will experience a very basic and limited c

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  6. Coupler Mounting Tips

    Here are some hints that applies to all model railroading scales that use Kadee® Magne-Matic® Knuckle Couplers. Many problems with couplers can be avoided if enough time is spent making sure the couplers are at the proper height, securely mounted, and fine tuned where needed. “Close enough” is not a good practice if you want reliable coupler performance.

    All of your couplers need to be mounted at the same height using a coupler height gauge and be as level as possible with no droop or slant. Even if the coupler pocket (draft gear box) is level, the coupler itself may not fit into the box properly and droop or at least have some vertical play. Check all of your couplers with one of our coupler height gauges for the particular scale you are working with. Our Coupler Height Gauges will help you with proper coupler heights, trip pin heights, and other helpful features that are built in to the Coupler Height Gauges depending on the style of height gauge you chose to use. Some model

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  7. Constant

    We’re getting closer to Spring Time and I hope the weather knows that too. Our New Year’s resolutions are just vague memories now, Christmas debts are really pinching the budget, and you still haven’t figured out how to use all the features on your new electronic communication device. Yet your new locomotives are still being enjoyed and some day you’ll get those kits built and add some new scenery and buildings to your layout.

    We are constantly facing cost increases in raw material, shipping, labor, insurance, local, state, and federal fees and taxes of all sorts. This is a “constant” never ending situation for all businesses. Now guess who those increases have to be passed onto, the consumer of course. It’s the vicious cycle of inflation usually caused by greed and government. For example, the vote desperate politicians pushing mandatory minimum wages without considering who has to pay for it. This simply adds to the ever increasing inflation. When a business has to raise

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  8. 2020 Amherst Train Show

    We just recently attended the Amherst Train Show in West Springfield, MA and I would say that it was one of the better ones judging from the last few years. For us the attendance and business (sales) was certainly higher than years past. Many other vendors said the same thing. The official attendance figures were 21,534 for a two day show and most of these attended on Saturday.

    It’s February already which means all of our well-intended New Year’s resolutions are fading away or forgotten completely. Many of us will be paying off Christmas debts for a long time. Many will still be trying to learn how to use their new upgraded fancy electronic not so smart phones or eye-tablets or whatever gizmos. Some may have their grandkids helping them figure stuff out. Many model railroaders should be adding new stuff to their layout, breaking in (or just breaking) a new locomotive, building some kits, or helping their grand kids enjoy model railroading as a trade-off for them helping wit

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  9. 2020

    I hope everyone had a great Christmas and are planning to have a Happy New Year. Make sure your new year's resolutions are realistic and achievable. You might even spend some time practicing writing 2020 a few times. We are starting a new decade of the 2020's and hopefully this coming decade will be happy and prosperous for all.

    Did you know that January is “National Hobby Month”? Check out the following web site, YouTube, and Facebook for more info. Also the National Retail Hobby Stores Association’s (NRHSA) has more info too.

    How much model railroading stuff did you get for Christmas? How much did you give for Christmas? Now it's time to get back to building layouts, building models, kit bashing and up grading models, coupler conversions, helping others and sharing your time and skills, and simply enjoying this great hobby. However, more importantly, is making sure your family is well cared

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  10. Christmas Spirit

    The below message is copied from last year’s Dec. #144 article as I can not improve much on what I said before except that we need Christ in our lives more than ever.

    It is Christmas time now and we hope that everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving and, as I suggested last month, you made a special effort to better understand what Thanksgiving really means and then gave proper thanks for all you have. Christmas is another special time for giving thanks but it’s more focused on thanking God and Jesus Christ for all they have given us. The Christian world has set apart this time of year to celebrate the birth of Christ and what he has done for all the world, not just a part, or a select few, but the entire world and all mankind from the beginning to the end. Thanksgiving is celebrated only in the U.S.A. but Christmas is celebrated all through the Christian world.

    So here we are getting ready for another Christmas Holiday but unfortunately most people are focused on Santa Cla

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