Jim King <jimking3@...>
Very informative comments re: 714 operation. My only HOn3 experience goes back MANY years when I produced ET&WNC kits of a flat, gon and hopper. I only built pilot models but each had 714’s since they were readily available and most modelers considered them to be “the gold standard”, despite the excessive slack action.
If the Sharon coupler can be used in my box after it’s modified to fit most underframes, I agree that there is little need to make a new design, especially if some folks still wouldn’t use the self-centering option which is the primary reason John and I wanted a ENC87K-compatible box. 714 boxes are cheap and, apparently, “easily” modified to fit certain underframes. Since the Sharon coupler fits this, that likely satisfies the majority of HOn3 applications. I’m making these comments based on what I’ve read on this list the past few days (I get emails via digest mode so I can read a lot of comments at once to better understand what folks are thinking).
For now, I’ll stick with just 2 box designs: the narrow (done) and “wide shank with narrow opening” (being designed now) for HO standard gauge applications. From a business perspective, CAD time, buying patterns, making molds, pouring castings, writing instructions, etc., must be justified by sales. Targeting a niche of a niche of a niche makes this very difficult.