I'd like to let you know that I've been very pleased with the Sharon couplers I purchased for my Blackstone fleet. I'll be putting in another order around the new year, and I'd like to eventually convert most of my fleet to these couplers. I've tested coupling them to cars with Kadee 714's, and although it does take some work, they can be coupled. I've found they'll work together well enough as a temporary solution until the entire fleet is converted to Sharons.
I am also a member of the same club as Duncan, and we have built and operate on HOn3 Free-Mo concept modules. The club has written a standards document that outlines the requirements for building modules and operating on them. One of the important concepts to what we do with HOn3 Free-Mo is operate, so ease of switching cars at various industries is paramount. In the standards document, we have adopted using Kadee 713/714 couplers for universal compatibility. We agonized over this decision for some time as some of our members (myself included) had purchased and installed Sergent EN87K for their rolling stock. Since the Sharon coupler has only recently been brought to market, there will be significant testing in our club to determine if the Sharon couplers will be useful in our set ups and operations. If the club determines the Sharon coupler can be used
efficiently and effectively in our operations, we may choose to change the requirements document and allow them. I'm looking forward to seeing that happen!
Thanks for producing outstanding, prototypical couplers for us.
It appears that my "Compatible with..." claim has
set expectations higher than I intended. My basis for the claim was compared to
the current situation in HO where Kadee and Sergent Engineering couplers won't
even come close to mating together without some major modifications to one or
In contrast, you can at least run the different HOn3 couplers
reliably in the same train. The coupling operation isn't great, but if you use
the Sergent Engineering method to open the knuckle and align the coupler first,
then you'll likely have success. I haven't had any trouble using
the Sergent uncoupling wand to uncouple a Sergent coupler from a Kadee
All the "rules" for using Sergent couplers alone still apply
for a Sergent coupler mated to a KD coupler. You still have to line things up
prior to coupling and one of the knuckles has to be opened (In the case of a
Sergent and Kadee, of course its the Sergent knuckle that has to be opened.) In
the case of Sergent to Sergent, its best to have only one of the knuckles
I have long understood and never made it a secret that Sergent
couplers aren't for everyone. These "rules" can be a real pain on a layout that
wasn't designed with the rules in mind. I still contend that they can be an
absolute pleasure to operate on some layouts.
If you or anyone else on this list that might share in this
disapointment in the Sharon couplers wish, I have no problem issuing a refund.
Just send an email offlist via the link on our home page at www.sergentengineering.com.