Date   
Re: [SergentEng] What's going on in the Group?

Alan Hummel
 

To All,
I think it all comes down to "trade offs."
Sergent's are Prototypical,especially when it comes to the shelf couplers whether it be the E coupler,F or H couplers. Then you do have to line up the Sergent's more.
No disrespect to Kadee,but I'm an all Sergent customer. I know people that work for Kadee, that use Sergent's in certain locations such as on their loco's.
Frank Sergent made the comment that he never wanted to be as large as Kadee,he wanted instead to keep his company smaller in magnitude and family owned.

Thanks again Frank,for listening to your customer's wants and for making sure they became available.

Al Hummel

3/4 MCB for EBT?

Nathan Kline
 

Thinking of using Sergent Engineering couplers for all of my EBT equipment. This consists of Hallmark Models Mikados, the M-1, and parlor/business car #20 as well as Blackstone hoppers, F&C kits, and a Peach Creek Shops Brass Caboose. Which Sergent couplers are closest to the 3/4 MCB coupler used by the EBT that will work/fit in the equipment listed?

Nathan Kline

Re: [SergentEng] 3/4 MCB for EBT?

John Niemeyer <jniemeyer@...>
 

Nathan

I'm not an expert on the MCB couplers. I do have some size comparisons with Kadee 714 vs. Sergent EN87 and Micro Trail Lines 1029 (N scale) vs Sergent RNB87 (Sharon) couplers.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SergentEng/photos/photostream/lightbox/1189192534?orderBy=mtime&sortOrder=desc&photoFilter=ALL#zax/1189192534

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SergentEng/photos/photostream/lightbox/883904003?orderBy=mtime&sortOrder=desc&photoFilter=ALL#zax/883904003

John



Thinking of using Sergent Engineering couplers for all of my EBT equipment. This consists of Hallmark Models Mikados, the M-1, and parlor/business car #20 as well as Blackstone hoppers, F&C kits, and a Peach Creek Shops Brass Caboose. Which Sergent couplers are closest to the 3/4 MCB coupler used by the EBT that will work/fit in the equipment listed?

Nathan Kline

Re: [SergentEng] Digest Number 216

Talmadge C 'TC' Carr
 

Never mind. You said Blackstone Hoppers, that would be H0.
You can use the Sharon coupler. Fill in the side ribs and file to shape would be your best bet.

Talmadge C 'TC' Carr
Sn42 and Hn42 somewhere in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest
@dapenguin

On Oct 23, 2015, at 06:25 , Talmadge C 'TC' Carr <@dapenguin> wrote:

Nathan;
What scale are you doing the EBT in??
TCC:}

Re: [SergentEng] 3/4 MCB for EBT?

Nathan Kline
 

Wow, that EN87 really dwarfs that Sharon. Thanks for the pics!

Nathan

Limited Time Availability

Alan Hummel
 

I just checked the Sergent Webpage,& on assembled couplers of all styles,there is either "Limited Time Availability" or "Limited Availablity," posted in the stock column.


I don't think I've ever seen that post before-are the assembled couplers being fazed out in favor of non-assembled kits?

Alan Hummel

Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Frank Sergent
 

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

 


Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Cliff
 

Defeat? Nonsense. You're far from it and your efforts are applauded: 30k is a lot of assembled couplers. Sometimes, you got to give up the high ground you fought tooth-n-nail for, as it offers no more strategic value and adjust the mission.

To the less mechanically-inclined, if you can't assemble them, find someone who can for you. It's worth it.

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

Nathan Rich
 

If you don't want to assemble couplers, I will!

Nathan Rich
Longview, WA

On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 7:46 PM, xzxc175@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 

Defeat? Nonsense. You're far from it and your efforts are applauded: 30k is a lot of assembled couplers. Sometimes, you got to give up the high ground you fought tooth-n-nail for, as it offers no more strategic value and adjust the mission.

To the less mechanically-inclined, if you can't assemble them, find someone who can for you. It's worth it.


Re: Intermountain Auto Racks?

Cliff
 

Does anyone have any photos of their completed install of the longer drawbar Sergents on Intermountain racks? Working up to my ears in 1:1 autoracks five nights a week, i've seen a wide range of autorack coupler distances from the striker. I just want to see how they look before i make another purchase.

Thanks.
Cliff

Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

Jeff Young
 

Hi Frank,

Saw your comment regarding nuclear physics. You wouldn’t happen to work at ORNL would you?

I grew up in Knoxville; my step-dad (Orlan Yarbro) worked at ORNL in the Fuel Recycle Division till he retired roughly 15 year ago.

(None of which quite explains why I’m modelling Colorado narrow gauge railroads in Ireland now, but there you have it.)

Cheers,
Jeff.

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

John Degnan
 

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.   :)
 
 
John Degnan
 


From: "Jeff Young jeff@... [SergentEng]"
To: "fsergent@... [SergentEng]"
Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 4:47:11 AM
Subject: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

 

Hi Frank,


Saw your comment regarding nuclear physics. You wouldn’t happen to work at ORNL would you?


I grew up in Knoxville; my step-dad (Orlan Yarbro) worked at ORNL in the Fuel Recycle Division till he retired roughly 15 year ago.


(None of which quite explains why I’m modelling Colorado narrow gauge railroads in Ireland now, but there you have it.)


Cheers,
Jeff.


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

Carey Probst
 

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

Jason McKee <jdmkee@...>
 

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

Wayne Snyder
 

Me, I help design (CAD) compressed air trailers

Wayne Snyder


On Nov 17, 2015, at 7:20 AM, 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

John Sorrel
 

I will play also.

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

John Sorrel
 


From: "Wayne rwsnyder2002@... [SergentEng]"
To: SergentEng@...
Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 7:34 AM
Subject: Re: [SergentEng] Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

 
Me, I help design (CAD) compressed air trailers

Wayne Snyder




On Nov 17, 2015, at 7:20 AM, 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

jzook@...
 

Jason,

Your post reminded me of a peer in college who told us that he was planning to work as a "Petroleum Transfer Engineer" for a summer job.  When asked what a Petroleum Transfer Engineer does, his reply was "pump gas".  You could used the same title for your job!  ;-)

As for me, I'm a geologist by training, but I work in the technology industry as a Service Desk manager.

Take care!

Jon

Re: Limited Time Availability

jzook@...
 

Frank,

I fully support your decision to phase out selling assembled couplers.  I'm sure you've got much more important responsibilities running Sergent Engineering.  For me, I actually find assembly of the couplers (just like model building) very therapeutic.

Take care!

Jon

Re: Limited Time Availability, and other random thoughts

David R. Olsen <drolsen@...>
 

Frank, thanks for sharing the background on the assembled couplers. I probably have about 100 of those 30,000 that you assembled, and I completely understand your reasons for phasing them out. However, I just want to say how much I appreciate you offering the assembled couplers, which have allowed me to tinker and enjoy them when modeling time is limited. Between work (I'm an Army officer) and little kids, I'm lucky if I get 2-3 hours per month to spend at the workbench, so the assembled couplers have been a real benefit for me, allowing me to work on building kits and kitbashing other models. I started off assembling your original couplers about 15 years ago, and I have plenty of your current kits on hand, but I just haven't gotten around to assembling any of them recently. The big holdup for me is that I want to airbrush the parts first, but with two deployments in the last four years, I haven't gotten around to dragging the airbrush, spray booth, etc. I certainly don't mind painting and assembling them myself - I just haven't gotten around to it.

One good piece of news that I learned at a recent RPM meet - Butch Eyler, who does weathering clinics at a lot of meets every year, has started using Sergents on his models. That will expose a lot more people to them in the coming years, which I think will help generate a lot of interest. I'm pretty pleasantly surprised to see how many people are using them on various newsgroups and forums that I frequent.

Dave Olsen
Alexandria, VA

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

Ryan Harris
 

Engineer for BNSF here.

I only bought the assembled couplers once, on accident. I just clicked the wrong button on the order page. The only thing I did after opening the package was run a large flat file over the top and bottom of the shank a couple times to make the couplers operate smoothly in whatever cars they were put in.

Every other time I buy the unassembled couplers. I once packed a bulk pack in my grip to work on while I was at the away from home terminal hotel. I figured I'd lug this box of tools and baggies of the sorted parts around for a week or two until I got them done. Nope. First trip out, first few hours after taking a nap I had them all done! I had so many after that I was able to finish my fleet with extras left over for future purchases. They're all gone now and I just ordered some more.

People see the couplers on my models and realize what they are, then they notice they're on *everything* I have. I am always happy to point out the conversion wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be and it didn't take very much time at all.

Ryan H
Fort Worth, TX