newbie questions about N guage

I have a small oval shaped N guage layout. It is mounted on plywood
with the nice green material they sell at the hobby store. I picked up
an engine and some cars at a train show several years ago.
Now for the challenges. The cars have different kinds of connectors.
Some are the big plastic hooks and others are a thin metal wire hook.
Is one better than the others? Should I standardize on one? Or should I
get a car with each kind of hook on opposite ends?
Also, my daughter was running the train around the track and it just
stopped. How do I troubleshoot this?
My goal is to keep the layout small and simple, have solid good quality
cars and engine, and to start adding buildings that are interesting or
that can light up. Maybe add some light poles. If anyone can point me
towards a good source that would be wonderful.
Thanks, I appreciate any advice that can be offered.
Dave
Reply to
Dave Smith
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By "connectors" are we to assume that you mean "couplers"?
If "yes", then you need to standardize. The best brand are those made by Kadee.
See: -
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Search for the brand of cars you have in the scale you are modelling (Use the Kadee site list on the left side of the Kadee home page) and Kadee will (usually) suggest which of their couplers will be the best fit for the various cars.
-- Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Roger T. Home of the Great Eastern Railway at:-
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48° 25' North Longitude: 123° 21' West
Reply to
Roger T.
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Kadee discontinued the manufacture of N scale items when a separate company, Micro-Trains was created around 1990. Micro-Trains offers locomotives, freight cars, and a line of couplers...
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What I'd do is take one car with M-T (compatible) couplers and one car with Rapido couplers and switch the truck at one end and you'd end up with two transition cars.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad:
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Reply to
Bill
Dave Smith wrote in news:4775b66c$0$25542 $ snipped-for-privacy@news.usenetmonster.com:
The big square hooks are Rapido couplers. They're at least better than the HO horn hooks, but still are pretty bad. Micro-trains are the more prototypical knuckle couplers. Most N-scalers swap the trucks with the couplers, it's much less work. They also buy bulk packs, there's 10 pair in each. (It's about $3 more per car, something I consider when at the LHS.)
Give the train a nudge. More than likely, it hit a section of dirty track. That's why those with big layouts want walk around control, so we can give our trains a little nudge now and again. Switching and watching out for other trains (no dispatcher) has NOTHING to do with it. ;-)
If your local hobby shop (LHS) doesn't have it, Walthers probably will. Chances are, if you ask for something the shop doesn't carry they'll look for it in the Walthers catalog. Most shops don't charge extra for shipping, the catalog price is the dealer's price to you.
Just a note: By "local hobby shop", I'm referring to some place that sells trains and/or RC cars or the like. I'm not referring to craft stores such as Hobby Lobby. A good LHS is worth its weight in knuckle couplers. :-)
Puckdropper
Reply to
Puckdropper
On 12/28/2007 10:33 PM Puckdropper spake thus:
Just one small note: the O.P. asked which couplers were better, not which were more prototypical. From the sound of it, he might not be all that interested in realism, but might be more concerned with operation (cars not coming uncoupled or getting derailed). So which couplers are better in this regard?
Reply to
David Nebenzahl
Opinion varies.
I've had SOME Rapidos that were miserable failures about staying together. Replacement Microtrains trucks on the same cars have proven much more reliable. In general I have had better luck with the Microtrains, but your mileage may vary. For some reason the trip pins on MANY of the Microtrains couplers I have purchased (replacement trucks and on assembled cars) are lower than they should be (according to the gage). Low trip pins can snag on turnouts, rerailers or crossings. Fortunately the trip pins can easily be adjusted. The Kaydee trip pin pliers work just as well on the Microtrains trip pins.
A few cars that were troublesome about uncoupling or derailing worked much better after a little weight was added, although IF you have ambitions about running long trains you shouldn't get carried away about adding weight.
Body mount Rapido couplers on large locomotives linked to the nearly universal truck mounts on N Scale cars tends to be a problem in curves. Despite graphite lubrication they sometimes don't want to flex with the car's coupler.
Good track work without sudden grade changes or angled joints helps prevent breakaways as well.
Reply to
RobertVA
Didn't know about Kadee and "N" as I'm in HO.
-- Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Roger T. Home of the Great Eastern Railway at:-
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48° 25' North Longitude: 123° 21' West
Reply to
Roger T.
On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 02:38:42 -0500, I said, "Pick a card, any card" and Joe Ellis instead replied:
When did they stop? -- Ray
Reply to
Ray Haddad
On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 06:12:32 -0500, I said, "Pick a card, any card" and Christopher A.Lee instead replied:
Thanks. I had no idea. Full compatibility? -- Ray
Reply to
Ray Haddad
But as I recall from an article in MR, there are Kadee/Microtrains style couplers available for Z that look much better on N scale cars. Although there might be an argument made that the overscale sized ones distract from the Code 80 rail.
Reply to
Steve Caple
Just as HO KDs look just fine on O scale narrow gauge cars, and are just about perfect scale size for S scale.
Actually, there were several sizes of these couplers used by narrow gauge roads, to judge from pictures, besides the link and pin style, which persisted on narrow gauge a lot longer than on standard gauge.
Reply to
Wolf K.
Kadee didn't "offload" N scale to Micro Trains. Micro-Trains company split off from Kadee. For more detailed history see:
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Peteski
Reply to
Peter W.
On Sun, 30 Dec 2007 19:23:27 -0800 (PST), I said, "Pick a card, any card" and "Peter W." instead replied:
Thanks.
Are you guys getting a sense of when it was I last bought couplers? -- Ray
Reply to
Ray Haddad
. . . sure do!
But as a recent Japanse proverb goes: One who only runs models of Shinkansen has no need for additional couplers. :-) Peteski
Reply to
Peter W.

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