Re: Sergent Couplers


John Degnan <RailScaler@...>
 

Sergent tells you up front that they are not compatible with any of the Kadee-type couplers
Of course, and they're not supposed to be, nor do they need to be considering what they were designed to be (prototypical). But at the same time, I wonder if Kadee couplers faced your same arguement when they first came out and surely had to state that they were not compatible with the standard "horn-hook" couplers? They faced the same hill-to-climb and they climbed it to become a standard.

the couplers have to been aligned, and the knuckles opened by hand- serious issues for most for even casual operation.
Yes, but only initially true. Once your train is made up, theoretically, it should be no different than operating a kadee-equipt train (except for hand-waiving the uncoupler magent). But even Kadees can't offer fool-proof coupling on curves, so that evens the odds. And just to push my point a bit farther, joining these couplers when the nuckle is closed can't be any different than joining two dummy-couplers, removing the need of hand-opening them in the first place. And I've ever seen a dummy coupler than looked one fourth as good as the Sergent coupler.

the continued dependence of this coupler upon an oversized coupler box that the coupler shank may or may not be designed to fit is an astounding non-starter.
O.k, let me update my comment on this matter a bit. Since my last reply, I have proverbially "done-the-math" on this matter, and test-fit the new Sergent in a standard Kadee gearbox WITHOUT the Kadee centering spring. The result was that ONLY the paint on them (inside the screw-post hole) needed to be filed away to make it fit and operate PERFECTLY with no binding whatsoever! I next tried it WITH the Kadee centering spring, and didn't get as good a result as I'd hoped for... there was some binding, but I don't think it was due to the reduced clearance inside the gearbox due to the presence of the centering spring, but rather due to the "wings" of the centering spring that pressed against the sides of the coupler's shank. I'll look into this more this weekend and post another report.

That the coupler so far has no admitted inherent design capability for automatic centering, or any means of opening the knuckles only adds to a high probability for expected routine dysfunctional operation characteristics.
If non-opening nuckles is the problem, then why do you like Kadee couplers? They only "close" on their own (under spring power). Kadee's require a magnet to "open" the nuckel the same as Sergents do... just not in the same manner. And though I admit that I have only a very little operational experience with the Sergent, I want to state that I have had many problems with Kadee couplers in the past due to their loose coupling. The snug locking of the Sergent couplers promises to be a natural hinderance to uncoupling due simply to the law of physics - tighter grip, less slip. Sounds almost like a Seaboard Slogan that stated "Tight Grip, Safe Trip."


John Degnan
RailScaler@...
John's World on the Web :
http://www.trainweb.org/seaboard/welcome.htm
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but nobody is entitled to their own truth!
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----- Original Message -----
From: Denny Anspach
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 12:20 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Sergent Couplers


Although I will certainly take a hard look at these new assembled HO
scale couplers when they become available, so far I must remain an
"optimistic skeptic" that these couplers are designed primarily for
seldom-operated shelf or display models, or models that may be
committed to fixed consists operating on excellent trackage. Sergent
tells you up front that they are not compatible with any of the
Kadee-type couplers, and that the couplers have to been aligned, and
the knuckles opened by hand- serious issues for most for even casual
operation.

On overall scale appearance alone, the continued dependence of this
coupler upon an oversized coupler box that the coupler shank may or
may not be designed to fit is an astounding non-starter. Even if one
is still willing to accept an appearance akin to a rose still
plastered on an ugly face, an integrated coupler-and-box design and
engineering is a key to fundamental operating excellence-just as on
the prototype.

That the coupler so far has no admitted inherent design capability
for automatic centering, or any means of opening the knuckles only
adds to a high probability for expected routine dysfunctional
operation characteristics.

A fine cast scale dummy coupler would seem to be a better deal, so far.

Denny S. Anspach, MD
Sacramento

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