Re: [SergentEng] Re: What's going on in the Group?
Mike Van Hove
I installed well over 200 Sergent Couplers on my HO Standard Gage Colorado Midland freight, Passenger Cars, and engines.toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
I did all the break in procedures, and they all worked just fine. I was as tickled as a kid with a new toy.
That was last summer (2014).
My layout sat unused for most of the winter, and when I tried to operate again this spring, none (nearly every one) would operate.
In many cases, the ball was stuck up in the open position. The couplers wouldn’t latch closed. I tried tapping, used a very strong magnet, but nothing would make the ball move. The ones that didn’t have the ball stuck, were locked in the closed position.
Again, nothing would make them open up.
On close examination, I find that the couplers all have gray, coating, sort of like the crud that the old Zamac cars would get, after several years.
I think there must be something that is causing them to corrode, but I have no clue what it is.
I do have several machine tools. (Delta Unisaw, Drill Press, Jointer, etc).
No corrosion problem on any of these.
I have 2 two tool chests from the days when I was a machinist. No corrosion problem.
This layout is in a 20 X 30 building, in the back yard.
While I do have a woodstove for heat, while I’m out there working, I make no attempt to keep it going when I’m not out there.
Here in Mid Missouri, the temperatures can get down to below freezing, even into the low teens, but the recording thermometer in the shop never shows the low inside to be below 38 to 40 degrees.
The building is very well insulated, and I think that’s why it doesn’t get too cold inside.
I have tried removing the couplers, and putting into an Ultrasonic Cleaner, as was suggested by someone on this group. No dice.
I have physicly pried some open, with a small screwdriver. That does seem to get them open, and after much flexing, they seem to work okay. Of course, that still doesn’t address the stuck ball syndrome. That sounds like a medical problem, doesn’t it?
At any rate, I don’t want to spend MANY HOURS, freeing up all these couplers, only to have them all bound up again, next spring.
Has anyone out there had a simular problem?
I sure would like to hear what you did about it.
When these couplers work, they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I would really like to put them on the HOn3 layout I’m just starting.
Thanks for listening to my long winded tale.
Mike Van Hove