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It has been many many years since I have been involved with model railroading and am just getting back into it. With so many companies making products, are all of the couplers on the new engines/cars compatible. If not, what are recommendations for a universal coupler to replace with.

Sincerely,

Tom E.
 

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Welcome...if they advertise having magnetic knuckle couplers, then they are compatible. Most better trains come with them now. Older equipment and toy trains tend to come with what is called a horn/hook coupler, also known as X2f or NMRA types. Kadee Products .... http://www.kadee.com makes just about any manner of retrofit for most popular brands to convert to magnetic knuckle type.
 

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Ho couplers

The magneti couplers are good if tou have the setup to decouple. Most of the older came with horn-hook as mentioned. The ones that I have converted to is a straight down pin type, don't know the name. It enabl;es me to decouple trains in a freight yard with a pin alignment track adaptor. Thus far, I am the only person in our train club that can decouple trains, HO or O gauge. Many in HO don't seem interested in decoupling. On "O" gauge, they use swish sticks to decouple trains when we have a meet. This straigfht pin design has been around perhaps longer than the horn-hook, as I used it on my boys trains in 1973.
 

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Are old compatible with new

Stan kolak said:
The magneti couplers are good if tou have the setup to decouple. Most of the older came with horn-hook as mentioned. The ones that I have converted to is a straight down pin type, don't know the name. It enabl;es me to decouple trains in a freight yard with a pin alignment track adaptor. Thus far, I am the only person in our train club that can decouple trains, HO or O gauge. Many in HO don't seem interested in decoupling. On "O" gauge, they use swish sticks to decouple trains when we have a meet. This straigfht pin design has been around perhaps longer than the horn-hook, as I used it on my boys trains in 1973.
If you do have the older "Horn Hook" Style (I have Athearn loco's and cars from the 80's) are they compatible with todays newer couplers? Would be kind of a pain to have to change all the old couplers?
 

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gerrya said:
If you do have the older "Horn Hook" Style (I have Athearn loco's and cars from the 80's) are they compatible with todays newer couplers? Would be kind of a pain to have to change all the old couplers?
I'm afraid that you will have to make a choice as horn/hooks are incompatible with all others. There is an option that a lot of modelers use in changing from one kind to another. IHC makes the Magic-Mate coupler, a magnetic type that couples to both types of coupler. I would put those on my engines so that I could couple to anything while I was in transition.

 

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Hi

I am getting back into trains - had experienced the horn-hook couplers types that it seemed most all manufacturers (at least at entry level) used. Now see that Bachman has its "ez mate" knuckle coupler. I am looking at giving some new trains as gifts - have purchased a Bachman set but was interested in an additional set by Lifelike but want to achieve compatibility. What is least expensive way to get there? Change out all of the Lifelike to Bachman, vice-versa, or change both to a third party product, Kaydee perhaps? Please comment!

Thanks

Art
 

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Welcome to the forum, Art.:thumbsup:

The best and least expensive way I've found is what's called a transition car...basically a car with a horn/hook at one end and a knuckle type at the other. I now keep both types as this keeps the value of the more collectible ones, the transition car helps me meld them into a regular train. It doesn't work well for regular switching moves but is more than satisfactory for just running them.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Art.:thumbsup:

The best and least expensive way I've found is what's called a transition car...basically a car with a horn/hook at one end and a knuckle type at the other. I now keep both types as this keeps the value of the more collectible ones, the transition car helps me meld them into a regular train. It doesn't work well for regular switching moves but is more than satisfactory for just running them.
That's what I did. As I started upgrading I would start with the last car of a train and work my way up. 13 years later I still have both on the layout.
 

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I never thought of a transition car before, I might just do that, today I got my grandfather's collection (He passed away a few years ago), all of them have horn couplers and all the engines are non-DCC. What I have done is I have a box full of kadee couplers and replacement wheels so I can quickly upgrade and fix anything before I place them on the layout. DCC on the other hand, I have to go to my LHS and restock my DCC cards. (Bought way to many engines at the last train show).
 

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Hi Everybody!

Thanks for the fresh suggestions for dealing with the coupler compatibility issue. Too bad I missed out on the Kadee offer earlier but I expect to be acquiring some based on what I have learned on this and other threads at this website and others.

Thanks Again!

Art
 

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hi,
are there any addvantages other than uncoupling that the new style couplers have over the old horn and hooks?
thanks,dana345
 

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Some of the local clubs are mandating Kdtee's here. A good deal for the club scene, as all members' cars would be compatible on the line. Personally, I like Kadees. They also offer different lengths to accommodate the various set backs and overhangs of the different manufacturers.
 

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Thanks Tworail

Great. Please PM me your address :) And your name :)

I do have some other goodies lying around I need to get rid of (and mostly not junk either) so keep your eyes on the forum and get ready to post if you see something like this again.

regards,
John
Thanks for the HO stuff. It will be used soon.

John
 
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