Couplers


Doug Boudakian <dboudrrtrain@...>
 

Kadee 713 & 714 couplers the only knuckle couplers that are used? Are any others that would work ?

Doug Boudakian
dboudrrtrain@sbcglobal.net


Dusty
 

KD 153 might be a choice. I have used these on some of my plexiglas test flat cars. They seemed to work well with the split couplers. They are similarly sized. The coupler box is smaller than the #5 box but larger than the 71X boxes. The down side for me is that the 58/153 don't work in the PSC cast coupler pockets. I sometime use these pockets trimmed or not because they are enclosed and they glue well to styrene. They also function very well.

Some folks prefer the Sergent(?) Couplers because of their appearance and function.

There are probably other choices as well in the dummy scale sized couplers.


Dusty Burman


Jeff Young
 

I use Sergent "Sharon" couplers.  They're compatible with some of the Kadees, but I use Sergents throughout so I'm not sure of the specifics.  (There was an article from some of our noble members in the HOn3 annual -- 2014 or 2015 maybe?)


Mark Kasprowicz
 

I once toyed with the idea of using Sergent couplers simply because they look better and work prototypically. I even went as far as building some. But then the reality of having to change over all my cars and locos from 714's sunk in and I stuck with the Kadee's. They are not as nice but they work, they're standard to HOn3 and as I have around 100 cars and locos I thought the changeover and the cost was not worth it.

Mark K


lloyd lehrer
 

The kd153's plastic box was too thick to replace the 71x without modifying the box or car under frame. I also tried using the 153 in the blackstone pockets and had to modify the pocket and the couplers to get a smooth working action. They did look good but not worth the time and effort. 

I milled a new post hole in the 153 shank to fit the 71x pockets on some blackstone cars and it worked but it is just too much set up to mill the metal cast box without wounding the car while securing it in the mill. 

lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097


On Wed, Oct 10, 2018, 6:52 AM Mark Kasprowicz <marowicz@...> wrote:
I once toyed with the idea of using Sergent couplers simply because they look better and work prototypically. I even went as far as building some. But then the reality of having to change over all my cars and locos from 714's sunk in and I stuck with the Kadee's. They are not as nice but they work, they're standard to HOn3 and as I have around 100 cars and locos I thought the changeover and the cost was not worth it.

Mark K


--
lloyd lehrer


duncan
 

Mark,

    I also toyed with the idea of the Sergent couplers.  I loved their look, the way they operated and so on.  I assembled a few and installed them on some cars.  I tried using them on the club portable layout.  That's when some problems started showing up.

    First, they wouldn't couple easily to the Kadees.  And like you, I have well over a hundred cars and locos that would need to be changed.  So, I could only use like couplers in a train.  (And I know the two can be jockeyed to couple.  But, on an operating layout, with cars in various locations regarding structures and land forms, the need to jockey to get connection was realized to be a problem.)  A friend who is a member of the club and often runs on the club portable layout, loves the Sergents and uses them in his trains.  But, he can really only pick up Sergent equipped cars, without having to do the "jockeying".  And the rest of us can't pick up the Sergent equipped cars without doing the "jockeying".  And sometimes, as in situations I'll mention below, it just doesn't work.

    Then, just using Sergents, I found that when I ran a car into the Stanley Mine structure and dropped it, or dropped it between the Salisbury Mill and the rock retaining wall, I had great difficulty getting it back out.    The Sergents wouldn't self center.    Or, in a sizeable yard, where the car is located on one of the back tracks and can't be easily seen, or "handled", getting the car to couple when the coupler is off center, or the head not opened.  (And, yes, I know they work best if only one head is opened.  So, what if both are open and you'd like to close one?) I mentioned these difficulties on another site and one of the respondents told me that if he was operating on a layout he would probably stick with the Kadees!

    Now, that was one person and several years ago.  But I think it confirmed a difficulty.  And I don't want to get into an argument about one, of the other, being the best.  I'd like to use the Sergents, but have a couple of questions.

    First, is it worth the effort now that Sergents have cut back/gone out of production?  Has anyone bought the company?  Is there a future for using the Sergents?

    Second, have others found ways to counteract the coupling problems I encountered?  I know there was the development of a self centering coupler box.  Is it still available?  Why haven't more people gone that route?  Am I missing something?  Have others found ways around the lack of self centering in situations where you can't easily get to the couplers to center them?  Have others found ways to get the coupler to mate with a Kadee reliably and easily?

    I still have many of the tools and accessories needed for the assembly and operation of Sergents.  I'm willing to change if I can get the usability out of them that I have with the Kadees. For me usability is more important than looks and elimination of the slinky action found in the Kadees.

                                                Duncan Harvey


Dale Buxton
 

Duncan,

Sergent Engineering is still in operation!  Has not been sold. Still making NEW product. Frank is only looking down the road to the future of his legacy. So your comments about their availability are inaccurate and kind of unfair.

I still offer a Sergent EN87 compatable coupler box with provision for a centering spring at Shapeways.  It’s in my Shapeways Store “Lima Shops”. The store has detailed instructions on how set them up and use them.

But let me say this. After all the texts on the subject and all the hoo hah. You know how many I’ve sold? Exactly ONE spru of ten. I sell them at cost. It’s like $6! I make nothing on them. I did the whole exercise as a service to our  HOn3 fraternity. All of this tells me there really is no market for them. (collective yawn)

Also. I don’t use them myself. I don’t need to. My operation model uses a different process.

My grandfather was a switchman for nearly 50 years. He taught me how car movements (read coupler usage )works during switching moves.

Kadee’s automate a lot of the switching process and in the end they seem to make us modelers a bit lazy and sloppy in the way we move our little trains around. Sorry, that’s just the way I see it. I think grandpa would agree.

Sergent couplers put a lot of the old fashion kind of car movement processes back into the ways one should operate their model trains.

I for one like that. A LOT!!!

I really hate the Kadee 714 “Slinky Effect” too! Not only does it just look wrong. For me it has caused derailments. At least one that damaged a brass loco.

In the end it’s not so much about how different Sergent’s are from Kadee’s and their incompatibility issues.

No! It’s more about the proper way to operate the switching of trains as opposed to the improper ways to do it.

Dale Buxton

On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 10:54 duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:
Mark,

     I also toyed with the idea of the Sergent couplers.  I loved their
look, the way they operated and so on.  I assembled a few and installed
them on some cars.  I tried using them on the club portable layout. 
That's when some problems started showing up.

     First, they wouldn't couple easily to the Kadees.  And like you, I
have well over a hundred cars and locos that would need to be changed. 
So, I could only use like couplers in a train.  (And I know the two can
be jockeyed to couple.  But, on an operating layout, with cars in
various locations regarding structures and land forms, the need to
jockey to get connection was realized to be a problem.)  A friend who is
a member of the club and often runs on the club portable layout, loves
the Sergents and uses them in his trains.  But, he can really only pick
up Sergent equipped cars, without having to do the "jockeying".  And the
rest of us can't pick up the Sergent equipped cars without doing the
"jockeying".  And sometimes, as in situations I'll mention below, it
just doesn't work.

     Then, just using Sergents, I found that when I ran a car into the
Stanley Mine structure and dropped it, or dropped it between the
Salisbury Mill and the rock retaining wall, I had great difficulty
getting it back out.    The Sergents wouldn't self center.    Or, in a
sizeable yard, where the car is located on one of the back tracks and
can't be easily seen, or "handled", getting the car to couple when the
coupler is off center, or the head not opened.  (And, yes, I know they
work best if only one head is opened.  So, what if both are open and
you'd like to close one?) I mentioned these difficulties on another site
and one of the respondents told me that if he was operating on a layout
he would probably stick with the Kadees!

     Now, that was one person and several years ago.  But I think it
confirmed a difficulty.  And I don't want to get into an argument about
one, of the other, being the best.  I'd like to use the Sergents, but
have a couple of questions.

     First, is it worth the effort now that Sergents have cut back/gone
out of production?  Has anyone bought the company?  Is there a future
for using the Sergents?

     Second, have others found ways to counteract the coupling problems
I encountered?  I know there was the development of a self centering
coupler box.  Is it still available?  Why haven't more people gone that
route?  Am I missing something?  Have others found ways around the lack
of self centering in situations where you can't easily get to the
couplers to center them?  Have others found ways to get the coupler to
mate with a Kadee reliably and easily?

     I still have many of the tools and accessories needed for the
assembly and operation of Sergents.  I'm willing to change if I can get
the usability out of them that I have with the Kadees. For me usability
is more important than looks and elimination of the slinky action found
in the Kadees.

                                                 Duncan Harvey





Mark Kasprowicz
 

Dale,

If I had known about your modified coupler box and just starting out, I wouldn't hesitate. It's that it's a bit late for this auld dawg to learn new tricks. I do recall that Jeff Johnston at Blackstone models once told me that they'd considered Sergents seriously. THAT would have changed the industry standard.
Mark

BTW has anyone noticed the prices of Blackstone stuff. A used K-27 went for nearly $800 on Ebay recently and cabooses go for around $130. I remember when Vic Stone's Taking Stock' book started fetching silly prices. Somehow Vic found the occasional 'forgotten box' in his attic to meet the inflated demand. Good man, that man!


Mike Conder
 

Dale, I pretty much agree with you on all that.  Also, I forgot about your stuff on Shapeways but I'll be picking some up soon.  I have a few of the EN87's but mostly Sharons.

As for the company, I think Frank Sergent had opened his designs so others can make them too, as some day he will get our of the business.   But the couplers are totally available now and he's working to make sure they stay that way.  Don't need any inaccurate rumors running around ....

So Duncan, of you don't want the Sergent stuff anymore I'll gladly take then off your hands!

Mike Conder


Dale Buxton
 

Nice! Good thinking Mike.

Dale Buxton


Dale Buxton
 

My mistake Mike. My Shapeways box is for the Sergent ENB87K (Sharon) type coupler. The EN87 is the wrong coupler.

Dale Buxton


Mike Conder
 

Even better!  Now I don't have to make a 3D model of one.

Thanks!

Mike Conder

On Wed, Oct 10, 2018 at 9:52 PM Dale Buxton <dbtuathaddana@...> wrote:
My mistake Mike. My Shapeways box is for the Sergent ENB87K (Sharon) type coupler. The EN87 is the wrong coupler.

Dale Buxton


Dusty
 

Some people use the N scale couplers. They are smaller but close up they still are a split coupler.

Dusty Burman


Mike Van Hove
 

Hi Dale,

Your sales have just increased exponentially, I ordered (2) sets.

We’ll see how it goes.

Thanks for designing these.

Mive Van Hove

On Oct 10, 2018, at 10:52 PM, Dale Buxton <dbtuathaddana@...> wrote:

My mistake Mike. My Shapeways box is for the Sergent ENB87K (Sharon) type coupler. The EN87 is the wrong coupler.

Dale Buxton


duncan
 

Dale,

    I sure didn't mean to upset you, or anyone else, for that matter!  Didn't intend to be unfair.  I had read the comment about his opening the design work up for others to use.  I thought I had also heard of cut backs in assembled couplers and certain quantities of others.  I have also heard from others, locally and off line, wondering about future production.  So, thought my question was well reasoned.  I'm glad to hear production is still ongoing and that it will be for the foreseeable future.  I wonder how many others are out there with the same misconception as I had?

    I am glad that I brought up the self centering coupler box you had designed.  It sounds like there are some others out there who didn't know about them.  Maybe that comment will perk up your sales.  I'm sure going to give it some thought and maybe give the couplers another try using your coupler box.  It sounds like no one has any answers to my other questions.  So apparently no one has found a way to integrate operations with Kadees until you can get your whole fleet converted.

    It would be good to know more about your thoughts on your different operation process.  I know we do a lot of things in our model world that the real roads didn't do.  Our trains run on electricity, our turnouts (or switches) are often thrown by electric motors, or by air pressure, we often throw the turnout before the train gets to the turnout and so on.  Sometimes it is just our size that makes these things necessary.  We're too big to get down beside the car and lift the cut lever to uncouple the car.  So, in a couple of the cases I cited, my size makes it so I can't do that operation as realistically as I'd like.  And it is in those situations where I need help understanding how others accomplish what I can't seem to figure out.

    Those are the things I was wanting to get clarity on.  Thanks for your help clarifying Sergent availability.  And thanks for your work on the coupler box to facilitate coupler self centering.  Further knowledge of how to accomplish that at the back of a big yard, or where there is some impediment between the operator and the car and its coupler would be helpful and appreciated.

Duncan Harvey


Climax@...
 




-----Original Message-----
>From: duncan
>Sent: Oct 11, 2018 4:48 PM
>To: HOn3@groups.io
>Subject: Re: [HOn3] Couplers
>
>Dale,
>
>     I sure didn't mean to upset you, or anyone else, for that matter! 
>Didn't intend to be unfair.  I had read the comment about his opening
>the design work up for others to use.  I thought I had also heard of cut
>backs in assembled couplers and certain quantities of others.  I have
>also heard from others, locally and off line, wondering about future
>production.  So, thought my question was well reasoned.  I'm glad to
>hear production is still ongoing and that it will be for the foreseeable
>future.  I wonder how many others are out there with the same
>misconception as I had?
>
>     I am glad that I brought up the self centering coupler box you had
>designed.  It sounds like there are some others out there who didn't
>know about them.  Maybe that comment will perk up your sales.  I'm sure
>going to give it some thought and maybe give the couplers another try
>using your coupler box.  It sounds like no one has any answers to my
>other questions.  So apparently no one has found a way to integrate
>operations with Kadees until you can get your whole fleet converted.
>
>     It would be good to know more about your thoughts on your different
>operation process.  I know we do a lot of things in our model world that
>the real roads didn't do.  Our trains run on electricity, our turnouts
>(or switches) are often thrown by electric motors, or by air pressure,
>we often throw the turnout before the train gets to the turnout and so
>on.  Sometimes it is just our size that makes these things necessary. 
>We're too big to get down beside the car and lift the cut lever to
>uncouple the car.  So, in a couple of the cases I cited, my size makes
>it so I can't do that operation as realistically as I'd like.  And it is
>in those situations where I need help understanding how others
>accomplish what I can't seem to figure out.
>Although I have not tried it, I have seen and heard of people that use a long pointed stick that they put down into the coupler and and twist is to pop the couplers open when not over a magnet.
>     Those are the things I was wanting to get clarity on.  Thanks for
>your help clarifying Sergent availability.  And thanks for your work on
>the coupler box to facilitate coupler self centering.  Further knowledge
>of how to accomplish that at the back of a big yard, or where there is
>some impediment between the operator and the car and its coupler would
>be helpful and appreciated.
>
>Duncan Harvey
>
>
>
>


John Stutz
 

I have previously advocated using the so called "N-scale" couplers made by MicroTrains(MT) for HOn3. When compared to a Sargent "Sharon" they are vary near the right size for a circa 1900 full size MCB coupler, as used by the Colorado NG roads. They are still oversize for the 3/4 size MCBs that were mostly used on the 3' gauge elsewhere.

You are correct that MT couplers "... still are a split coupler.", but there are two distinct types of MT split couplers. The MT 1024 & 1025 are downsized versions of the Kadee 714, and suffer the same problems. I have scrapped all that I once had.

The MT 1015, 1016, & 1019 reverse the 714's spring arrangement, placing the spring outboard of the pivot instead of inboard of it. This eliminates the objectionable spring action that occurs while pulling cars equipped with 714s, although you then get spring action while pushing cars. The big advantage of the MT 1015 & etc. is how the spring placement affects coupling to a car. With the original style split couplers, the moment that two couplers touch the coupling force is applied to the standing car. If the couplers do not immediately open, you are pushing the car down the siding. With the revised style split couplers, the centering springs must close before significant force is applied to the standing car. This gives you almost 1/16"(1.6mm) of free play, where the couplers are prying each other open under mere spring pressure, before you actually start pushing the standing car. This makes a big difference when coupling to light cars, and still helps with heavier ones.

That said, I am quite attracted to Sargent's Sharon couplers.

Note: I had never run across Dale Buxton's HOn3 coupler boxes for Sargent couplers. Even had a hard time finding them today. Finally found them by using Shapeway's search with "Hon3 coupler boxes". Actually got 21 pages worth of references, but Dale's were the second item listed.

John Stutz

On 10/11/2018 06:46 AM, Dusty wrote:
Some people use the N scale couplers. They are smaller but close up they still are a split coupler.
Dusty Burman


Mike Conder
 

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 7:45 PM John Stutz via Groups.Io <john.c.stutz=nasa.gov@groups.io> wrote:
I have previously advocated using the so called "N-scale" couplers made by
MicroTrains(MT) for HOn3.  When compared to a Sargent "Sharon" they are vary
near the right size for a circa 1900 full size MCB coupler, as used by the
Colorado NG roads.  They are still oversize for the 3/4 size MCBs that were
mostly used on the 3' gauge elsewhere.

You are correct that MT couplers "... still are a split coupler.", but there are
two distinct types of MT split couplers.  The MT 1024 & 1025 are downsized
versions of the Kadee 714, and suffer the same problems.  I have scrapped all
that I once had.

The MT 1015, 1016, & 1019 reverse the 714's spring arrangement, placing the
spring outboard of the pivot instead of inboard of it.  This eliminates the
objectionable spring action that occurs while pulling cars equipped with 714s,
although you then get spring action while pushing cars.  The big advantage of
the MT 1015 & etc. is how the spring placement affects coupling to a car.  With
the original style split couplers, the moment that two couplers touch the
coupling force is applied to the standing car.  If the couplers do not
immediately open, you are pushing the car down the siding.  With the revised
style split couplers, the centering springs must close before significant force
is applied to the standing car. This gives you almost 1/16"(1.6mm) of free play,
where the couplers are prying each other open under mere spring pressure, before
you actually start pushing the standing car.  This makes a big difference when
coupling to light cars, and still helps with heavier ones.

That said, I am quite attracted to Sargent's Sharon couplers.

Note: I had never run across Dale Buxton's HOn3 coupler boxes for Sargent
couplers.  Even had a hard time finding them today.  Finally found them by using
Shapeway's search with "Hon3 coupler boxes".   Actually got 21 pages worth of
references, but Dale's were the second item listed.

John Stutz


On 10/11/2018 06:46 AM, Dusty wrote:
> Some people use the N scale couplers. They are smaller but close up they still
> are a split coupler.
>
> Dusty Burman




Mike Conder
 

Stupid autocorrect.  Why did it change words when you got "Send?"

Anyway, the link is obviously to Dale's COUPLER boxes ...

Mike Conder

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 11:17 PM Mike Conder <vulturenest1@...> wrote:
Here is a link to Dale's Corey boxes:


Mike Conder

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 7:45 PM John Stutz via Groups.Io <john.c.stutz=nasa.gov@groups.io> wrote:
I have previously advocated using the so called "N-scale" couplers made by
MicroTrains(MT) for HOn3.  When compared to a Sargent "Sharon" they are vary
near the right size for a circa 1900 full size MCB coupler, as used by the
Colorado NG roads.  They are still oversize for the 3/4 size MCBs that were
mostly used on the 3' gauge elsewhere.

You are correct that MT couplers "... still are a split coupler.", but there are
two distinct types of MT split couplers.  The MT 1024 & 1025 are downsized
versions of the Kadee 714, and suffer the same problems.  I have scrapped all
that I once had.

The MT 1015, 1016, & 1019 reverse the 714's spring arrangement, placing the
spring outboard of the pivot instead of inboard of it.  This eliminates the
objectionable spring action that occurs while pulling cars equipped with 714s,
although you then get spring action while pushing cars.  The big advantage of
the MT 1015 & etc. is how the spring placement affects coupling to a car.  With
the original style split couplers, the moment that two couplers touch the
coupling force is applied to the standing car.  If the couplers do not
immediately open, you are pushing the car down the siding.  With the revised
style split couplers, the centering springs must close before significant force
is applied to the standing car. This gives you almost 1/16"(1.6mm) of free play,
where the couplers are prying each other open under mere spring pressure, before
you actually start pushing the standing car.  This makes a big difference when
coupling to light cars, and still helps with heavier ones.

That said, I am quite attracted to Sargent's Sharon couplers.

Note: I had never run across Dale Buxton's HOn3 coupler boxes for Sargent
couplers.  Even had a hard time finding them today.  Finally found them by using
Shapeway's search with "Hon3 coupler boxes".   Actually got 21 pages worth of
references, but Dale's were the second item listed.

John Stutz


On 10/11/2018 06:46 AM, Dusty wrote:
> Some people use the N scale couplers. They are smaller but close up they still
> are a split coupler.
>
> Dusty Burman




Jim Marlett
 

Although I originally built my layout, or at least portions thereof, to use retractable under-track magnets for uncoupling Kadees, since trying the bamboo skewer technique I have abandoned magnets altogether. I may be blessed with steady hands or something, but it is really easy for me and nothing on my model railroad is a far reach. I’ve tried to keep my trackage within a foot of the front and no trackage is over 16 inches away.

Unfortunately, I am experiencing “Kadee bounce” and am considering switching to either Sergent Sharons or Kadee “scale head” couplers. It seems like Sergents would be the easier conversion, but I would like to hear from anyone who is actually using Kadee scale heads for HOn3. What I really wish is that Kadee would make a drop-in HOn3 coupler that worked like 150 series, but fit the existing HOn3 coupler box without modification.

On Oct 11, 2018, at 4:41 PM, Climax@... wrote:





>Although I have not tried it, I have seen and heard of people that use a long pointed stick that they put down into the coupler and and twist is to pop the couplers open when not over a magnet.