Hooked on Couplers

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by ChadYelland, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    Kadee Wiskers

    I agree that the Kadee "Wiskers" makes for an easier installation, however if you have lots of rolling stock to retrofit, the Kadee bulk package #11 which includes 20 pairs of standard #5 couplers (without draft boxes) is the best bet. You will see these advertised for under $20 and that equates to less than a dollar a car.
    I am retired and stingy!

    Yours trolley,
  2. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    sounds like a good idea, i'll look into it next time im in the hobby store
  3. abutt

    abutt Member

    The biggest danger in any hobby is the "retrofit" syndrome. You've got a hundred cars fitted out with the best Kadee couplers of the moment and then here comes this new guy! What are you going to do? Start all over again?

    It's the same with my layout. A fine operating DC, walk-around lay out, and along comes DCC. What should I do? Throw out years of work for the new kick? No way... I'm happy the way I am. But we must remember the new companies in the hobby. They've got to appeal to and sell to the new kids. Hard to argue with that.

    I sure wish I had all the old brass engines and a few dozen of those old Kemtron switch machines now!

    Allan (abutt)
  4. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Granted. I'm happy with my #5's - and as long as they remain cheaper than the whiskas (which I do not know the cost of), I'll continue to use them as long as my eyesight holds out!

    I bought two sets of the #58's to try out, but I don't lay level enough track to use them on a wide scale... :)
  5. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    My saying...Go with what you know.
    I've been using Kadee #5's for years. Even on my locos. Even when Athearn started using the Bachmann EZ Mates, and Walthers uses whatever they use, out they come and in go the #5's. I have a parts draw filled with all the Kadee knock offs, and horn-hooks.
    Just in case someone wants them..........
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    IMHO the KD 148 coupler is the best design coupler to date and a snap to install since it doesn't need the brass centering spring.. :thumb: Also this coupler will work with the popular #5 and #58 couplers.
  7. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    OK, since im not on couplers i moved to a new thread, is that what i should be doing?
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Chad: you got the idea.
    A supplement to ed's mention of the bulk pack of #5s, Kadee make a sample/starter pack (maybe more than one) which has a variety of couplings and a set of tools and an uncoupler or two. This is a good reserve in case you encouter a car or loco that the #5 won't fit, but saves your buying 2 pair.
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    you should always buy a bulk pack of #5s. that way you don't need to rush out all the time either. try to buy things that take number 5s.
  10. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    How do i know what fits what car, can i install knuck couplers on my old truck just to pull them around occasionaly? I am a collector of CNR Canadian National, (maybe some CP) i'd like to find closed grain hopper cars, and steam era grain box cars, top of the line is not nessisary at this point. i've looked at the Athearn and accurail sites seem very limited in the canadian lines
  11. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    Hi Chad,
    At least 9 out of 10 retrofits replacing the horn hook NMRA couplers have been accomplished with the traditional #5 Kadee.

    I sympathize with your difficulty in finding Canadian rolling stock. Many steam-era Canadian cars were manufactured by various manufacturers, including Athearn, in the past. But, often times Canadian lines are not in current supply, as you have noticed. I do frequent model train shows and swap meets fairly often and they are a good source for picking up older and rare trains. I happen to live both in the US and in Canada and frequent train shows in both countries. Last November I picked up a very rare metal Athearn box car kit painted in CNR colors and I only paid $5 for this 50 year old kit in great shape. What I have found is that there is little demand for US rolling stock in Canada, so I can pick up US rolling stock rather cheaply in Canada. Similarly, there is little demand for Canadian rolling stock at US train shows, so I can pick up Canadian rolling stock for a buck or two.

    I picked up a powered Athearn EMD switcher in Union Pacific colors for $5 cdn that wasn't running. All it needed was a wire to be re-soldered, and while I had it opened I noticed there was a Digitrax unit inside!

    There is a train show and swap meet in Vancouver this Sunday and I have been saving my loonies and toonies!
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Generally Kaddee #5's will fit any car that you want to body mount the couplers to. They don't alwasys fit talgo trucks, and the most common place where you need other choices is on locomotives.
  13. JAyers

    JAyers Member

    Actually, the Kadee website has a listing of what couplers to use with what cars and locomotives, by model manufacturer.

    As for your search for Canadian cars, you need to look beyond the Athearn and Accurail websites. There is literally thousands of out of production cars still floating around out there as new stock. Best bet: ebay. I can find a dozen Grand Trunk cars on there, surely you can find at least that many CN and CPR cars. I have bought off of ebay and it works. Also haunt the larger train shows in your area. Some of those guys show up with thousands of cars in Athearn blue boxes. The other one to try is the Bev-bel website. Don't know the URL offhand, google it and you shall find.

    and hey, while we're at it - you can always get a bunch of undecorated box cars and hoppers from Athearn and buy the CN decals from champion or whoever and make your own! Not much easier than that.


  14. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    Thanks again everyone. progress is slow too many things on the go, but its coming along. I'm going with new rolling stock and modern type couplers, do the knuckle couplers in the Athern blue box work with Kadee couplers? and do they work with kadee magnetic delay uncouplers because thats the way i want to go. Can i lay all my track and lay in the uncouplers when i get them? PS i found a loco on ebay to replace the one that got broke when i was 10, now i have both of my original sets so if i want to pull my horn and hook cars ill use my horn and hook engines :)
  15. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I'd just like to put my vote in for the Kadees as well. I have them on a few of my North American locos and they're great because they look very realistic and also work well. Plus, it's easy to uncouple them by hand (rather than twisting them apart as you do with the hook & horn kind). Most of my North American stock still has the hook/horn variety but I have converted a few to kadees.

    My British stock poses a problem here because most of it uses a kind of tension coupler (hooks that latch onto a ring-shaped bar). They're not realisitc at all but the work well ... but they're also difficult to uncouple. It is possible to convert my British stock to kadees (many British modelers have already done it) but it takes time and a bit of know-how or skill to replace these. Maybe I'll get them converted some day!

  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Chad: all the knuckle couplers are supposed to work together, especially the ones on the popular makes.
    It's quite possible to add the magnets after track laying if you use code 100 rail. You can spike them in place while you try out positions. If you use smaller rail, you have to cut into the ties so that the magnet is low enough.
    Under the ties magnets need to be installed first.

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