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Hello everybody and hope you all are well and safe. A little while ago, I bought 2 Atlas EMD SD-7s, both in the Bessemer and Lake Erie road name, different road numbers, as this railroad actually ran through the hillside behind my house here in Mercer. Both are really in nice shape and excellent runners. Problem is, I cannot keep anything couples to them. I have freight cars from Atlas, Micro-Trains, Intermountain and Athearn and none of them will stay coupled to either engine, in fact engines will not stay coupled to each other. My first question is there a better coupler out there that I can change to that will help. Couplers on both engines look like simple one piece knuckle couplers but I may have the name of this type wrong. I know they do not look like the ones on any of my cars and they are not the rapido type couplers. If it helps, the Atlas #'s are 4508 and 4509. Second question,I would like engines to run 1 cab forward and the other with the cab at the opposite end, how is this done? I am okay with them both running with the cab facing forward but I think I really would like them better with cabs on opposite ends. Anyhow, like always, I really appreciate your help and ideas as they have really helped me get my layout going, thanks again.
 

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Someone who knows N scale couplers will be able to help better than I can, but have you checked the coupler height? Misaligned couplers often causes the problem.

For the mash-up, are you running DC or DCC? In DC, you're stuck, because the same polarity applies to all locos on the track. In DCC, you can set the direction of travel independently, and even consist them together so they respond as a unit.
 

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Someone who knows N scale couplers will be able to help better than I can, but have you checked the coupler height? Misaligned couplers often causes the problem.

For the mash-up, are you running DC or DCC? In DC, you're stuck, because the same polarity applies to all locos on the track. In DCC, you can set the direction of travel independently, and even consist them together so they respond as a unit.
Will certainly have to check couplers out, good place to start. Am still a DC user and currently using MRC 260 transformers, Thank you for reply
 

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Second question,I would like engines to run 1 cab forward and the other with the cab at the opposite end, how is this done? I am okay with them both running with the cab facing forward but I think I really would like them better with cabs on opposite ends.
Just turn the second engine around. It really is just that simple. As for the couplers a couple of pics of what you have would very helpful.
 

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Hi Mike, look on Micro Trains website under Coupler Conversions. They will list the appropriate replacement coupler for your locos. You might want to just check out MT couplers for ALL your rolling stock 😃😃
And just like rick said, if your locos are both running clockwise when your controller is FWD, and you turn one of them around on the track, they will STILL both run clockwise when your controller is FWD.
 

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Hello everybody and hope you all are well and safe. A little while ago, I bought 2 Atlas EMD SD-7s, both in the Bessemer and Lake Erie road name, different road numbers, as this railroad actually ran through the hillside behind my house here in Mercer. Both are really in nice shape and excellent runners. Problem is, I cannot keep anything couples to them. I have freight cars from Atlas, Micro-Trains, Intermountain and Athearn and none of them will stay coupled to either engine, in fact engines will not stay coupled to each other. My first question is there a better coupler out there that I can change to that will help. Couplers on both engines look like simple one piece knuckle couplers but I may have the name of this type wrong. I know they do not look like the ones on any of my cars and they are not the rapido type couplers. If it helps, the Atlas #'s are 4508 and 4509. Second question,I would like engines to run 1 cab forward and the other with the cab at the opposite end, how is this done? I am okay with them both running with the cab facing forward but I think I really would like them better with cabs on opposite ends. Anyhow, like always, I really appreciate your help and ideas as they have really helped me get my layout going, thanks again.
MercerMike;

Some locomotives sold under the Atlas brand are actually made by Kato. That's great as far as getting a smooth running locomotive, but possibly not-so-great if they have Kato couplers. My Kato rolling stock came with Kato's knuckle couplers. They couple well to themselves, but have often had problems staying coupled to other brands of knuckle couplers. I suggest, since you're having plenty of problems with these units, that you replace whatever couplers they have, with Micro-Trains couplers.
The file below has more information on couplers in general.
Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #7
MercerMike;

Some locomotives sold under the Atlas brand are actually made by Kato. That's great as far as getting a smooth running locomotive, but possibly not-so-great if they have Kato couplers. My Kato rolling stock came with Kato's knuckle couplers. They couple well to themselves, but have often had problems staying coupled to other brands of knuckle couplers. I suggest, since you're having plenty of problems with these units, that you replace whatever couplers they have, with Micro-Trains couplers.
The file below has more information on couplers in general.
Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for your help, will certainly be checking out the Micro Trains couplers. Been away from the hobby a long time and I guess there is a lot to learn, but that will be okay. Switched from HO scale to N when we moved awhile ago as I did not have the room for the HO stuff. Got introduced into N scale by a friend of mine and started looking into it and now I am hooked! I will have lots more time coming up in the near future as I have been offered early retirement and my wife said since I originally was going to retire at end of this year to "go for it". Should work out well! Again, Thank you all for your help, I really do appreciate it. Stay healthy and safe.
 

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If your locos have knuckle couplers they are either MT or accumates couplers. Atlas locos never came with Kato couplers. I would say you problem sounds like the couplers are not returning to center. When you push the coupler to one side it should return back to center.
 

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Thank you all for your help, will certainly be checking out the Micro Trains couplers. Been away from the hobby a long time and I guess there is a lot to learn, but that will be okay. Switched from HO scale to N when we moved awhile ago as I did not have the room for the HO stuff. Got introduced into N scale by a friend of mine and started looking into it and now I am hooked! I will have lots more time coming up in the near future as I have been offered early retirement and my wife said since I originally was going to retire at end of this year to "go for it". Should work out well! Again, Thank you all for your help, I really do appreciate it. Stay healthy and safe.
MercerMike;

A quintuple welcome to you sir. Welcome to the forum, Welcome back to model railroading, Welcome to N-scale, You're Welcome to any help I can give you, and Welcome (soon) to the ranks of retired geezers!
The files below are some I wrote for new modelers planning their first layout. You're not really new, since you modeled in HO-scale, and that means any N-scale layout you build obviously won't be your first. Still feel free to browse them if you like. You may find some things that will apply to your own situation.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
MercerMike;

A quintuple welcome to you sir. Welcome to the forum, Welcome back to model railroading, Welcome to N-scale, You're Welcome to any help I can give you, and Welcome (soon) to the ranks of retired geezers!
The files below are some I wrote for new modelers planning their first layout. You're not really new, since you modeled in HO-scale, and that means any N-scale layout you build obviously won't be your first. Still feel free to browse them if you like. You may find some things that will apply to your own situation.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan :)
Thank You, Thank you!! Really helped me out with all kinds of ideas. The first thing on my list of things to do is create some kind of wok area incorporating the ideas I got from you. I am very experienced in losing parts, especially springs!
For Fathers Day, kids got me a visor with 3 different lenses, a gizmo called helping hands that looks neat, has a small table with all kinds of alligator clips on it and a magnifier and a really nice screwdriver set. I never knew there were that many tiny screwdrivers! All good stuff. Again, thank you, Mike
 

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Wiha makes some incredible tools for fine detail work too. Micro-Mark also has a large selection of precision tools.
 

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Just be warned, if you go the the MicroMark website, or browse their catalog, you will suddenly discover hundreds of dollars worth of tools that you just have to have....
 

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I particularly like their Japanese made needle-nose pliers. There are also a couple of wire bending pliers that could come in handy for cat wire.
 
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