N-Scale Couplers for HO-Scale?

Moose2013 Dec 27, 2021

  1. Moose2013

    Moose2013 TrainBoard Member

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    Has anyone installed N-scale couplers on HO-scale locomotives & rolling stock?

    If so, what did it entail and was it worth the effort to you?


    Moose have several "some day" projects, which include building and/or modifying HO scale locomotives and rolling stock.

    If Moose does this, then it would require changing out at least 3 pairs of locomotive couplers and 6 pairs of rolling stock couplers.

    Locomotives are Mantua, Spectrum and Rivarossi brands; rolling stock are Walthers, Kadee and Tichy brands; all manufactured within the past ten years except a Walthers boxcar.
     
  2. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

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    Why do this? Everybody knows N scale couplers are larger than HO scale couplers. :D
     
  3. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I'm not sure why you would want to do this. N scale couplers are inferior in pretty much every aspect compared to HO couplers.

    The only motivation for this project that I can understand is to have 'scale head' couplers. N scale couplers are too small for this, and if you are really concerned with realism, just get Kadee #58s or Sergent couplers.
     
  4. Moose2013

    Moose2013 TrainBoard Member

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    Oh my, Moose no know about these. o_O

    What are the preferences of one or the other? :unsure:

    A quick web search reveals the Kadee is less prototypical than the Sergent but still works with other similar couplers, where the Sergent are incompatible with all others. Would like to read what others here have to say...
     
  5. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I use the Kadee 58 coupler or the Kadee 158 whisker. There are lots of variations like shank length or shelf couplers for tank cars, but the Kadee 58 is the 'base model.'

    I think couplers are a concession that most modelers have to make. I would rather have a coupler that works reliably rather than something that's ultra-realistic. That's not to say that Kadee 58's are not realistic. I think they look very nice. They are a pretty good compromise between regular Kadee #5-style 'standard' couplers, and ultra-realistic Sergent couplers.

    RCH uses Sergent couplers, I would look back on some of his posts to find photos of them. I think they look pretty good, but if you are doing lots of switching on your layout, dealing with them may become a hassle. You have to use their uncoupling tool, and keeping the knuckle open to get a good connection on your cars can be an issue, since they lack a spring like Kadees and other HO couplers.

    Sergent couplers are more expensive than Kadee couplers, but since you are only converting a few cars, it's probably not a big deal. You may want to buy a few of each (Sergent and kadee 58), and test them on your layout for a few days. Run them around, try to couple cars in different scenarios, and then convert the rest of your fleet to whichever you like best.

    Another option may be Kadee 58's on your cars, and a Sergent on the front of your locomotive as a dummy if you are concerned about realism or want to do some close-up photo shoots.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
    Moose2013 likes this.
  6. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I remember this topic coming up some 20 years ago for the same reason. It was much a failure then as well. Too much hassle switching and unreliable.

    Rich
     
  7. Moose2013

    Moose2013 TrainBoard Member

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    @Mr. Trainiac

    Thank you very much for the detailed reply and suggestions.

    Probably best to go with Kaydee couplers for functionality.

    Did a search for an example of RCH's use of them and found this example (for future reference):
     
  8. fordy744

    fordy744 TrainBoard Member

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    chalk up another for scale head kadees here!

    Kadee has always been the defacto for us and after seeing a sclae head compared to a standard head can never go back.

    As mentioned previously it is a compromise area.
     
    Moose2013 likes this.
  9. Moose2013

    Moose2013 TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you all for your advice!
    :)
    Moose has two pair of Kadee Scale Head Medium #158 couplers on order and should be here by Monday. Yeah!
    :D
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.

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