Date   
Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Christopher Zurek
 

Frank,

Are you planning on bringing out the narrow shank Type F couplers as kits? Previously you had them only available as assembled.

Chris Z.


On 11/16/2015 9:17 PM, fsergent@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 

Hi Alan and group,


It is true as Alan has surmised that assembled couplers are being phased out. Once current stock of the assembled couplers is gone, they will only come back under special circumstances. Availability of kits has not changed and likely won't for a long long time. 

Please don't assume this says something about the health of the business, because business is good. It says more about different directions that I would like to take the company in the future. 

Assembled versions were offered initially as part of a plan to attract new customers. The goal of the plan was to become the standard coupler in the HO scale world. Then I would quit my day job, buy an island somewhere, and retire. It didn't turn out that way exactly. At nearly the same time we started offering assembled couplers, we launched an advertising campaign, and we started approaching retail shops to get product on their shelves. We even came up with some really nice packaging that any retailer would be proud to display. Unfortunately, there were very few shops that agreed to take on this new product and I respect their decision not to do that. However in the meantime, the online business really took off. So, the effort to get Sergent couplers in the "mainstream" of the hobby sort of died, but that was OK because I was still selling all the couplers I could make, and could sell them directly at full retail price instead of selling to dealers and half retail. That wasn't the way I planned it, but it is kind of nice to get to know your customers directly and the fact that I was getting a fair price for my labor kept me content.

The problem with how this "plan" worked out is that I still can't quit my day job, buy an island, and retire. In fact, if I could buy an island, I couldn't enjoy it because I'd be too busy assembling couplers. For the last ten years or so, business has been slowly growing through almost entirely online sales. We are stuck in a place where business is good, but not so good that I can sit back and pay someone else to do the hard work. I came to this realization probably five years ago, but have continued to offer the assembled couplers because I hate to admit defeat. I am more than happy to continue selling kits, but after personally assembling nearly 30,000 couplers, I've decided I have better things to do. Sorry.

Assembled couplers have historically sold pretty well verses kits. Still, the vast majority of the couplers sold are as kits. This is no doubt mostly because of the price difference and the fact that it doesn't take a nuclear physicist to assemble them. (Care to guess what my daytime job is?) Maybe some young entrepreneur out there can fill the need for assembled Sergent couplers. If you think about it, you can buy bulk couplers from me at $0.58 each, spend about two minutes each assembling them, and then turn around and sell them for $1.75 each. That's about $35 per hour. If you can assemble them in one minute, that's $70 per hour. Not bad for a part time work - if you aren't looking to quit your day job, buy an island, and retire. It takes me about 45 seconds to assemble one, but I've built 30,000 of these things and I'm pretty sure I've done it while I was actually asleep!

Bottom line is that I'm really sorry for folks that really prefer the assembled version, but I can't justify continuing to dedicate a significant portion of my time assembling the couplers in hopes of explosive business growth that is simply not going to happen. Thank you for understanding.

Cheers!
Frank

 



Custom Coupler

James Koretsky
 

Hi Frank,

I'm working on a new freight car kit (HO Scale of course) and I'm looking for a custom coupler shank length for the Type F to offer as an option. I'd be willing to make a bulk purchase of the couplers to make it worth your while, a kit coupler of course would be fine. I can assemble the couplers myself for those that want assembled or provide as a kit.

What would you need from me?

Basically the freight car kit is designed to use a Kadee #156 Long Shank "Scale Head" coupler, and I use the term scale head loosely! I would need a compatible shank coupler, that has the same shank length as the #156 with the Type F Coupler head on it. I assume that these would be a done as investment cast couplers, and would be "printed" but use the die cast knuckles.

Let me know what you'd like me to do.

James

Re: [SergentEng] Custom Coupler

James Koretsky
 

All,

I apologize, this was meant to go off list to directly to Frank. I'm using a different client today as I'm travelling and not use to having to work with the silly "Reply To" address.

James

----- Original Message -----
From: "jameskoretsky@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...>
To: "fsergent@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...>
Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 12:15:22 PM
Subject: [SergentEng] Custom Coupler

Hi Frank,

I'm working on a new freight car kit (HO Scale of course) and I'm looking for a custom coupler shank length for the Type F to offer as an option. I'd be willing to make a bulk purchase of the couplers to make it worth your while, a kit coupler of course would be fine. I can assemble the couplers myself for those that want assembled or provide as a kit.

What would you need from me?

Basically the freight car kit is designed to use a Kadee #156 Long Shank "Scale Head" coupler, and I use the term scale head loosely! I would need a compatible shank coupler, that has the same shank length as the #156 with the Type F Coupler head on it. I assume that these would be a done as investment cast couplers, and would be "printed" but use the die cast knuckles.

Let me know what you'd like me to do.

James

Coupler Assembly

Nathan Rich
 

Hello all

With the impending discontinuance of assembled couplers by Mr. Frank, I am willing to assemble couplers for anybody who lacks the time/patience/dexterity/eyesight or what have you to assemble them. I'll even work for couplers! These little works of art deserve to be on every HO piece of rolling stock everywhere.

Please email me off-list if you are interested,
Nathan Rich

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Andrew Wood
 

I'm a lunker on the list ... Im a freight relocation specialist A.K.A. drive B Double trucks on the East Coast of Australia, driving anywhere from 23 ton to 68.5 ton.

Andrew W
Victoria, Australia


On 18 Nov 2015, at 00:20, Jason McKee jdmkee@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Yeah I will join in. Currently gas movements specialist aka gas tanker driver 
Jason 



On 17 Nov 2015, at 23:11, Carey Probst s-scale@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Actually this has intrigued me a bit, wondering what many of us do/did for a living.

Nuclear physicist is cool
I'll claim Rocket Scientist (Aerospace Engineer) and computer geek

Anybody else want to play?

Carey Probst
Pennsyltucky RR
Chief Microferroequineologist
On 11/17/2015 5:50 AM, Scaler164@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 
I have to say that I'm finding this conversation to be quite entertaining... what with the fact that nuclear physics does or does not explain why one models the Colorado narrow gauge railroads... in Ireland, no less... and with Frank assembling couplers in his sleep.  I'm thoroughly enjoying this.   :)
 

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

George
 

i’m an interpretive guide: professor of English and theatre.

George Sebastian-Coleman
11 Taine Mountain Road
Unionville CT 06085




On Nov 17, 2015, at 5:22 PM, Andrew Wood andrew1wood@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:


I'm a lunker on the list ... Im a freight relocation specialist A.K.A. drive B Double trucks on the East Coast of Australia, driving anywhere from 23 ton to 68.5 ton.

Andrew W
Victoria, Australia


On 18 Nov 2015, at 00:20, Jason McKee jdmkee@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Yeah I will join in. Currently gas movements specialist aka gas tanker driver 
Jason 



On 17 Nov 2015, at 23:11, Carey Probst s-scale@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Actually this has intrigued me a bit, wondering what many of us do/did for a living.

Nuclear physicist is cool
I'll claim Rocket Scientist (Aerospace Engineer) and computer geek

Anybody else want to play?

Carey Probst
Pennsyltucky RR
Chief Microferroequineologist
On 11/17/2015 5:50 AM, Scaler164@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 
I have to say that I'm finding this conversation to be quite entertaining... what with the fact that nuclear physics does or does not explain why one models the Colorado narrow gauge railroads... in Ireland, no less... and with Frank assembling couplers in his sleep.  I'm thoroughly enjoying this.   :)
 





Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Scott Atchison
 

Well I guess its my turn.
Engineer for the NS

Scott Atchison

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Paul Dallard
 

Yep, another freight relocation specialist…..I drive Doubles for ABF Freight System, going from Philly area to New England every night. Also former Badge carrying gun slinger….and Extra class Amateur Radio operator,  KM3W.

Paul Dallard, 
Chester , PA



On Nov 17, 2015, at 5:27 PM, George S-C gsebastiancoleman@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

i’m an interpretive guide: professor of English and theatre.


George Sebastian-Coleman
11 Taine Mountain Road
Unionville CT 06085




On Nov 17, 2015, at 5:22 PM, Andrew Wood andrew1wood@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:


I'm a lunker on the list ... Im a freight relocation specialist A.K.A. drive B Double trucks on the East Coast of Australia, driving anywhere from 23 ton to 68.5 ton.

Andrew W
Victoria, Australia


On 18 Nov 2015, at 00:20, Jason McKee jdmkee@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Yeah I will join in. Currently gas movements specialist aka gas tanker driver 
Jason 



On 17 Nov 2015, at 23:11, Carey Probst s-scale@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Actually this has intrigued me a bit, wondering what many of us do/did for a living.

Nuclear physicist is cool
I'll claim Rocket Scientist (Aerospace Engineer) and computer geek

Anybody else want to play?

Carey Probst
Pennsyltucky RR
Chief Microferroequineologist
On 11/17/2015 5:50 AM, Scaler164@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 
I have to say that I'm finding this conversation to be quite entertaining... what with the fact that nuclear physics does or does not explain why one models the Colorado narrow gauge railroads... in Ireland, no less... and with Frank assembling couplers in his sleep.  I'm thoroughly enjoying this.   :)
 







Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts, and ORNL

Frank Sergent
 

Jeff, 

I spend quite a bit of time at ORNL, but I actually work for a commercial company in Oak Ridge. It would be against their policies to state the name of the company here.

Frank

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Frank Sergent
 

Chris,

I've had a note to get the narrow shank type F couplers in kit form stuck to my monitor for a long time. Now maybe I'll find the time to make it happen.

Frank

Idle time....

Stan Rutledge
 

Hi group.


    I caught my brain in idle today and found it was thinking about Sergent couplers for intermodal cars. No, not the end couplers- the couplers in the articulating position. If one was to put on the "ham gloves" the styrene couplings cannot take the stress.  Some are actually metal, but these are certainly lacking in the imagination department. I am kind of hoping that Frank might consider casting these because it can be near impossible to find replacements should they become damaged.  Since these couplings have no moving parts or little fiddly assemblies, there should be a market for them.

   Anyone?

   It's one thing top break off a detail part, but should a coupling get broken, you might have 5 cars bad-ordered!


     Cheers,


      Stan

Re: [SergentEng] Idle time....

Ryan Harris
 

On the MFCL a few weeks ago, someone posted a link to 3D printed articulated couplings for the Walthers spine car. I believe they were available in metal as well as plastic, but don't quote me on that.

Ryan H
Fort Worth, TX

On 11/17/2015 8:07 PM, n11525re@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 

Hi group.


    I caught my brain in idle today and found it was thinking about Sergent couplers for intermodal cars. No, not the end couplers- the couplers in the articulating position. If one was to put on the "ham gloves" the styrene couplings cannot take the stress.  Some are actually metal, but these are certainly lacking in the imagination department. I am kind of hoping that Frank might consider casting these because it can be near impossible to find replacements should they become damaged.  Since these couplings have no moving parts or little fiddly assemblies, there should be a market for them.

   Anyone?

   It's one thing top break off a detail part, but should a coupling get broken, you might have 5 cars bad-ordered!


     Cheers,


      Stan


Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Dale Kritzky
 

I'm also an interstate freight relocation specialist ie owner operator hauling coils and I also work for the Central New England RR as a conductor, truck driver, sometimes trackworker and sometimes loco mechanic.
Sent from my NOOK

"George S-C gsebastiancoleman@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

i’m an interpretive guide: professor of English and theatre.


George Sebastian-Coleman
11 Taine Mountain Road
Unionville CT 06085




On Nov 17, 2015, at 5:22 PM, Andrew Wood andrew1wood@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:


I'm a lunker on the list ... Im a freight relocation specialist A.K.A. drive B Double trucks on the East Coast of Australia, driving anywhere from 23 ton to 68.5 ton.

Andrew W
Victoria, Australia


On 18 Nov 2015, at 00:20, Jason McKee jdmkee@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Yeah I will join in. Currently gas movements specialist aka gas tanker driver 
Jason 



On 17 Nov 2015, at 23:11, Carey Probst s-scale@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Actually this has intrigued me a bit, wondering what many of us do/did for a living.

Nuclear physicist is cool
I'll claim Rocket Scientist (Aerospace Engineer) and computer geek

Anybody else want to play?

Carey Probst
Pennsyltucky RR
Chief Microferroequineologist
On 11/17/2015 5:50 AM, Scaler164@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 
I have to say that I'm finding this conversation to be quite entertaining... what with the fact that nuclear physics does or does not explain why one models the Colorado narrow gauge railroads... in Ireland, no less... and with Frank assembling couplers in his sleep.  I'm thoroughly enjoying this.   :)
 





Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts, and ORNL

John Larkin
 

I'm much more of a learner than an expert, just getting into HO this winter when I can't work outside on my 1.6" scale live steam track, but I worked for Union Pacific RR in management (Schedule Control, Mgr Grain Trains (transportation dept)) then went to computers for 10 years and then two shortlines.  The shortlines have the advantage that I got to blow the whistle!  Our second one was almost all grain and fertilizer freight cars, plus a dinner train and passenger train. 

We certainly could use 1.6" scale couplers with the detail and accuracy of the Sergent HO ones!  One of the things that amazed me the most about live steam was that certain companies couplers didn't couple to some others, amazing when all they had to do was scale down the prototype standard.  Every hobby has it's strange points, but it certainly is nice to be able to ride your own engines, rather hard to do in HO:).

John Larkin

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Mike Conder
 

I'm an engineer but not on a railroad.  I design pipelines and compressor station and processing plant for oil & gas production.  Frack on!

Mike Conder


On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Dale Kritzky dalekritzky@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 

I'm also an interstate freight relocation specialist ie owner operator hauling coils and I also work for the Central New England RR as a conductor, truck driver, sometimes trackworker and sometimes loco mechanic.
Sent from my NOOK

"George S-C gsebastiancoleman@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

i’m an interpretive guide: professor of English and theatre.


George Sebastian-Coleman
11 Taine Mountain Road
Unionville CT 06085




On Nov 17, 2015, at 5:22 PM, Andrew Wood andrew1wood@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:


I'm a lunker on the list ... Im a freight relocation specialist A.K.A. drive B Double trucks on the East Coast of Australia, driving anywhere from 23 ton to 68.5 ton.

Andrew W
Victoria, Australia


On 18 Nov 2015, at 00:20, Jason McKee jdmkee@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Yeah I will join in. Currently gas movements specialist aka gas tanker driver 
Jason 



On 17 Nov 2015, at 23:11, Carey Probst s-scale@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Actually this has intrigued me a bit, wondering what many of us do/did for a living.

Nuclear physicist is cool
I'll claim Rocket Scientist (Aerospace Engineer) and computer geek

Anybody else want to play?

Carey Probst
Pennsyltucky RR
Chief Microferroequineologist
On 11/17/2015 5:50 AM, Scaler164@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 
I have to say that I'm finding this conversation to be quite entertaining... what with the fact that nuclear physics does or does not explain why one models the Colorado narrow gauge railroads... in Ireland, no less... and with Frank assembling couplers in his sleep.  I'm thoroughly enjoying this.   :)
 





Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Mark
 

Mark here. 

Steelworker since 1977. Working swing shift. Over fifty cars with Sergent couplers and dozen locomotives.  B&O in the fifties. 

Mark Morgan
Ohio


On Nov 18, 2015, at 12:46 AM, Mike Conder vulturenest1@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

I'm an engineer but not on a railroad.  I design pipelines and compressor station and processing plant for oil & gas production.  Frack on!


Mike Conder

On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Dale Kritzky dalekritzky@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 

I'm also an interstate freight relocation specialist ie owner operator hauling coils and I also work for the Central New England RR as a conductor, truck driver, sometimes trackworker and sometimes loco mechanic.
Sent from my NOOK

"George S-C gsebastiancoleman@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

i’m an interpretive guide: professor of English and theatre.


George Sebastian-Coleman
11 Taine Mountain Road
Unionville CT 06085




On Nov 17, 2015, at 5:22 PM, Andrew Wood andrew1wood@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:


I'm a lunker on the list ... Im a freight relocation specialist A.K.A. drive B Double trucks on the East Coast of Australia, driving anywhere from 23 ton to 68.5 ton.

Andrew W
Victoria, Australia


On 18 Nov 2015, at 00:20, Jason McKee jdmkee@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Yeah I will join in. Currently gas movements specialist aka gas tanker driver 
Jason 



On 17 Nov 2015, at 23:11, Carey Probst s-scale@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Actually this has intrigued me a bit, wondering what many of us do/did for a living.

Nuclear physicist is cool
I'll claim Rocket Scientist (Aerospace Engineer) and computer geek

Anybody else want to play?

Carey Probst
Pennsyltucky RR
Chief Microferroequineologist
On 11/17/2015 5:50 AM, Scaler164@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 
I have to say that I'm finding this conversation to be quite entertaining... what with the fact that nuclear physics does or does not explain why one models the Colorado narrow gauge railroads... in Ireland, no less... and with Frank assembling couplers in his sleep.  I'm thoroughly enjoying this.   :)
 





Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts, and ORNL

Jeff Young
 

Small world, it is.

As for me: software architect, now retired after 25 years at Adobe (FrameMaker, PDF, Forms, CQ).

Cheers,
Jeff.

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Tim L
 

Yeah I'll play.

A Pyrotechnician I am.

Tim
Land of OZ

On 18/11/2015 00:11, Carey Probst s-scale@... [SergentEng] wrote:
Actually this has intrigued me a bit, wondering what many of us do/did
for a living.

Nuclear physicist is cool
I'll claim Rocket Scientist (Aerospace Engineer) and computer geek

Anybody else want to play?

Carey Probst
Pennsyltucky RR
Chief Microferroequineologist

Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts, and ORNL

Christopher Zurek
 

John,

I dabbled in 1.5" scale trains a little over 15 years ago. The best coupler I found (although the most expensive at the time and probably still) was the stainless steel ones from Super Scale. They only had Type E though.

I really appreciate that in HO scale Frank has make so many types.

Chris Z.

On 11/17/2015 10:52 PM, John Larkin jflarkingrc@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 
I'm much more of a learner than an expert, just getting into HO this winter when I can't work outside on my 1.6" scale live steam track, but I worked for Union Pacific RR in management (Schedule Control, Mgr Grain Trains (transportation dept)) then went to computers for 10 years and then two shortlines.  The shortlines have the advantage that I got to blow the whistle!  Our second one was almost all grain and fertilizer freight cars, plus a dinner train and passenger train. 

We certainly could use 1.6" scale couplers with the detail and accuracy of the Sergent HO ones!  One of the things that amazed me the most about live steam was that certain companies couplers didn't couple to some others, amazing when all they had to do was scale down the prototype standard.  Every hobby has it's strange points, but it certainly is nice to be able to ride your own engines, rather hard to do in HO:).

John Larkin


Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Christopher Zurek
 

Well I guess I'll play also, even though I don't have much to say.

I was an engineer also, but not one that drives trains. I was a sustaining engineer for a semiconductor firm. I'm currently on SSDI due to many different health issues, mainly heart problems.

Chris Z.

On 11/17/2015 7:44 AM, john sorrel jmsorrel@... [SergentEng] wrote:
 
I will play also.

I am a Locomotive Engineer currently working for PGR on the Wisconsin Northern.

John Sorrel