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Beginners guide to Magnetic Uncoupling

By Hearns Hobbies September 21, 2020


Beginners Guide To Magnetic Uncoupling


Hands-free operation can really add to the immersion and fun of operating your model railway. Magnetic uncoupling is a simple way to allow for a hands-free coupling experience on your layout. We are going to look at some clever products by Kadee that are designed for use with HO & OO scales.

This quick demonstration will show you how easy it is to change your NEM hook coupler-equipped British & European locomotives and rolling stock to Kadee 'Magne-matic' magnetic uncouplers.


NEM Hook coupler-equipped British & European Locomotive


The Magnet:

KADEE Magne-matic Uncoupler #321


The first thing that you need is an uncoupler magnet. We are looking at the Kadee #321 Magne-matic Uncoupler, a pack which contains 2 magnets that sit above the sleepers between the rails. They can be used on any section of straight track where uncoupling is desired by the modeller. The top of the magnet sits flush with the top of the rails on standard code 100 HO/OO track.

The Coupler:

KADEE Magne-matic Couplers #18

The Kadee #18 Magne-matic Couplers are designed as plug-in replacements for locomotives and rolling stock equipped with NEM hook couplers, which includes most recent models produced by Hornby and Branchline by Bachmann. Installation is as simple as pulling out the existing coupler from the mounting pocket on the underframe of the wagon or carriage and plugging the Kadee Magne-matic coupler into place.
No tools are required and it can be done in seconds! Kadee produces replacement couplers with different shank lengths depending on your requirements. I used #18's which have a medium shank length and I found them to work well with short wheelbase locos and rolling stock.


Replacing the Couplers with tte KADEE  #18 Couplers

Replacement is as easy as removing the original coupler from the coupler housing and plugging in the new one.


How To Use:

Kadee couplers will engage automatically when they are pushed together.


1- To uncouple, push the wagon/carriage and bring the couplers to a complete stop directly over the track magnet. The track magnet will automatically separate and disengage the couplers.


2- Pull the loco forward slowly and the uncoupled wagon will remain in place! At this point the couplers over the magnet are in the open, or 'delayed' position.


3- You can push this wagon past the magnet while the couplers are in this position, allowing you to set it further along the track if desired.


4- To couple again, bring the loco forward slightly and then back into the couplers again and they will engage automatically.


In short, Kadee magnetic couplers are a fun and simple way to upgrade your model railway to accommodate hands-free coupling and uncoupling!


Kadee Couplers attached to rolling stock  


If you would like to get started on your own magne-matic, self releasing couplers for your next railway project, then have a look at our KADEE range of products.


View KADEE Range

 The Beginners Guide To Magnetic Uncoupling Video Tutorial

You can also watch Marlin's video tutorial on the same subject of The Beginners Guide To Magnetic Uncoupling!

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