Coupler compatibility problem

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wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Morning All,

I seem to be having an issue with "coupler compatibility" between my Kato (N Scale) engines and almost everything that isn't Kato, especially Athearn rolling stock.

What I am finding is the Kato Engines don't like mating with anything other than Kato Rolling stock. From what I have seen and am experiencing, the Kato Couplers have a "wider opening" (if that is the right description) while the other couplers seem to have less of a gap. As such, they don't seem to want to stay "connected" to each other, especially on the curves moving in a clockwise direction. Going anti clockwise doesn't cause a problem.

I think my Kato engines/rolling stock have "magnetic couplers" while my other rolling stock (Micro Trains and Athearn) have "normal couplers. Is it possible that the two types don't like each other?
 

jwb

Member
I believe the situation with Kato couplers is similar in HO, with which I'm most familiar. Your best bet is to replace the Katos with Kadees, which I've found you have to do in HO.
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
Kato couplers don't play nice with other brands. For engines, most of them would take the 2004 type, or the 1015 type of MT coupler. The truck mounted couplers on both engines and rolling stock would be the 1129 type.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thanks guys and for the guidance on which couplers to get. Glad I wasn't imagining this or that it was a track work issue.
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
Thanks guys and for the guidance on which couplers to get. Glad I wasn't imagining this or that it was a track work issue.
If you can get by without them, you can add them to the "pile" you'll be bringing along, and we can install couplers on them when you get here.
 

Trussrod

Well-Known Member
Hi Tony: Glad JWB and Terry helped you out as well as Terry's offer to change them for you. That a situation, Kato's couplers being that different, I wasn't aware of.

Glad you got the help you needed.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Terry,

Thank you and I am going to get down your way eventually. Got to get through the "silly season" first though, but I haven't forgotten and I will probably have a weeks worth of "work" to do with you :)

David,

It wasn't something I knew about until I bought the Kato's. They are beautiful engines and the couplers are very nice, just unfortunate that they don't "play well with others".
 

jim81147

Member
I think my Kato engines/rolling stock have "magnetic couplers" while my other rolling stock (Micro Trains and Athearn) have "normal couplers. Is it possible that the two types don't like each other?
Tony , I cant say for certain about the Athearn cars , but when I was in N scale all the Micro-Train stuff I had came with magnetic couplers . The magnetic couplers have " the brake hose " on them .
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Jim,

Thanks, that makes sense. The biggest problem I have is when the engines are attached direct to the Athearn cars, it seems to be less of an issue with the Micro Train cars.
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
Jim,

Thanks, that makes sense. The biggest problem I have is when the engines are attached direct to the Athearn cars, it seems to be less of an issue with the Micro Train cars.
Tony, do the Athearn cars still have the couplers they came from the factory with? McHenry couplers and Accumate couplers (Atlas) tend to have issues either coupling, or remaining coupled.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Terry,

Yes they do, they are exactly as they came out of their boxes from the factory. If I am reading you correctly, if I change out the couplers on the Athearn cars for either Kadee or Kato Couplers I shouldn't have any further problems.
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
Terry,

Yes they do, they are exactly as they came out of their boxes from the factory. If I am reading you correctly, if I change out the couplers on the Athearn cars for either Kadee or Kato Couplers I shouldn't have any further problems.
That's right. Preferably MT coupers. Most can easily be converted to MT trucks and couplers in a few minutes.
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
Terry,

By "MT" you mean Micro Train couplers correct?
Yes.
Depending on the car, it would take 1000, 1030, 1035, or 1037 trucks and couplers.
1000 is the older Bettendorf, the others are roller bearing, heavy roller bearing, and roller bearing with extended draft gear to simulate cushioned draft gear. Tbe difference between 1030 and 1035 is the 1030 has a pair of simulated truck springs one each side of the truck, and the 1035 has three simulated springs.
The Bettendorf is the older, solid bearing style with the flat bearing covers.
 



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