Duncan, (and all)
I can't speak to the Sergent-Kadee coupling issue as I have very few, if any Kadee couplers left on any of my models, and I have never tried it. BUT... I can speak to the lack-of-centering issue. :
I model in both HO and S, and have developed a centering method for the old. and the soon-to-be released new S coupler. I am incorporating this method into a new line of draft gear boxes I plan to produce in S for the Sergent couplers soon after Frank gets the couplers on the market. I have drawings online of these new gear boxes that show the application of the centering spring. There is also one small video showing the original prototype that I built working perfectly. Yes, these are S scale... but I see no reason why this same approach would not work in HO... at least with the "Compatable" shank version. I cannot see it working with the "Narrow" shank due to the shape and length of the rear of the shank, but I do have some design ideas for a centering method for the Narrow shank couplers... just have not 'put them on paper', yet. Have a look at my drawings via the following URL :
So as you see... Sergent couplers CAN be made to automatically center. It will just take some effort on the part of the modeler to make them do so. My original prototype was built in a S scakle Kadee gear box, so adapting this to an HO Kadee gear box should be a snap!
Thoughts and comments welcome.
Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2013 10:49:43 PM
Subject: Re: [SergentEng] Sharons and Kadees in HOn3
And since they do not have a centering spring and you have to align them by eye, and since we are getting older and our depth perception is not what it used to be, it appears it will be very hard to get them in proper alignment when they are a couple of feet away from us. Like at the back of a scene. This is not what we want on an operations based layout, like my club has.