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.

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

On Oct 13, 2015, at 10:07 AM, Nathan Rich thaddeusthudpucker@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

I'd bet that it's a combination of sunk cost in Kadee's and/or not wanting to assemble couplers... But I still don't understand superdetailing a locomotive then sticking a #5 on there. I'm glad Pelle Søeborg has made the switch, because maybe now they'll get more exposure.

How many years before Sergent's become the de facto standard that Kadee should no longer be?


On Tuesday, October 13, 2015, Dale Kritzky dalekritzky@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

I had a small operating session with 2 other guys, one had tried my couplers and was blown away backin the summer, the other guy had never heard of Sergents, so I gave him the job with more switching he was also blown away by the realism and how easy they work, but still nobody wants to convert from kadee. Dale
Sent from my NOOK

"'Christopher A. Zurek' [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:


I've been working on some Santa Fe and BN SD40-2s. Of course the Santa Fe ones will get Type E, and the BN will get Type F.

My Sergent Users Facebook group has been very quiet also.

Chris Z.

On 10/12/2015 10:07 PM, Nathan Rich thaddeusthudpucker@... [SergentEng] wrote:
Sorry about that, cat on the keyboard...

Haven't seen a whole lot out of people in the group... What's been going on in the Group recently?

I put some E's together yesterday and that made me think of you all... You never really forget how to put these together, I didn't even lose any ball after 10 or so couplers. I need another bulk pack and passenger couplers for my new train show acquisitions! Finally get rid of these bedeviled Kadee's that I can't quite seem to get rid of. The two previous bulk packs were for another buddy who did everything on his layout.

Nathan Rich

On Mon, Oct 12, 2015 at 8:02 PM, Nathan Rich <thaddeusthudpucker@...> wrote:
Haven't seen a whole lot out of people in the group... What

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