Topics

[SergentEng] Re: New HO narrow coupler box now available


John Degnan
 

Interesting idea, Jim... but likely one that would go over better in S scale since narrow gauge seems to be more prevalent in S than in HO.  I recall Frank Sergent suggesting to me a few years back before releasing his new S scale coupler that he thought a smaller-scale "SHARON" coupler might go over better in S than the standard E coupler (due to S' larger narrow gauge market).  And your Steam Pilot draft gear box would have made a perfect companion for an S scale Sharon coupler had he done it.



John D


On January 12, 2018 at 8:37 PM "'Jim King' jimking3@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Only the HO standard gauge box is available now.  I’ve not been asked to look into an HOn3 box nor do I know what market potential there is.

 

Jim King

(828) 777-5619

www.smokymountainmodelworks.com

 


 


Mark Lewis
 

John D.:

Narrow gauge is more popular in S scale than in HO scale?

I doubt that,  as there are more HON3 modelers than all narrow gauges of S scale combined. 

A HOn3 version of the new draft gear box would be a very welcome addition, for HOn3 modelers using or wanting to use Sergent HOn3 couplers.

Mark Lewis


John Degnan
 

Mark,


No... you misunderstand my comment.  Maybe my wording wasn't clear... but what I'm saying is this - narrow gauge is more popular than standard gauge in S scale... which isn't the case in HO where standard gauge is more popular than narrow.  My comment isn't a comparison of the scales... it's a comparison of the gauges in each scale.



John D


On January 12, 2018 at 11:05 PM "Mark Lewis narrowrails12@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 
John D.:

Narrow gauge is more popular in S scale than in HO scale?

I doubt that,  as there are more HON3 modelers than all narrow gauges of S scale combined. 

A HOn3 version of the new draft gear box would be a very welcome addition, for HOn3 modelers using or wanting to use Sergent HOn3 couplers.

Mark Lewis


 


Mark Lewis
 

John:

Now that is a different explanation I agree with.

Mark


Duncan Harvey
 

John D,

    I also misunderstood your first comment.   Your second explanation is clearer and, with Mark, I agree with it.  But, HO narrow gauge is a big market compared to all the other narrow gauge markets, even when they are combined.  It is still a small niche, but it is the largest of the narrow gauge markets. Therefore, I think an HOn3 self centering coupler pocket for the Sergents would be a good market.  Although no where as big as the HO market.  I hope something can be done in this area to improve the sale-ability of the Sharon couplers to the HOn3 modelers.

                Duncan


Mike Conder
 

I totally agree, need a similar product for the Sharons.  The new pocket is great for the larger couplers, just need one for us narrow gaugers and ToC modelers.

Mike Conder


jimking3@...
 

I'm working on a "wide body" HO box to accommodate Kadee "whisker" and related-size Sergent.  After that, I'll look into an HOn3 box.

Jim King
SMMW


Dale Buxton
 


People, people, people,

I am struggling to figure out why it is so paramount to have a special self-centering coupler box for the Sergent RNB87K Sharon coupler. Am I missing something here?

As already discussed, the preferred method of coupling Sergent and prototype couplers is to open both opposing cars coupler knuckles and bringing the couplers together. This method gives the couplers their maximum gathering range for a mate-up.

Virtually all of the HOn3 plastic, rolling equipment, kits and RTR on the market today have a clone of the Kadee 714 coupler box molded into the body of the cars. This coupler box can be QUITE EASILY modified to accept the Sergent RNB87K with a centering spring as per the Smoky Mountain design. Just a few bits of plastic are needed to keep the spring in place.

This modification is far easier and less catastrophic than removing the entire 714 clone coupler box from the car and then installing a new one!

One other point that needs to be mentioned here: The Accumate Coupler box was completely unacceptable for use on HOn3 equipment. Period! The boxes width was so wide the HOn3 wheel sets inner wheel rims, riding under the box would hang up on the sides of the box on any track radius under 22 inches. I know this because I tested this extensively!

The bottom of a Kadee 714 coupler box is just a tiny bit wider then the Sergent RNB87K's pivot area of the draft gear shank. Plus, this part of the coupler box has the pivot pin molded on it. Coupler box/truck pivot problem with Sergent couplers solved.

You can also avoid the whole coupler box dilemma altogether in one of two ways. The pivot opening on the RNB86K coupler is roughly 3/32's in diameter. So, you can clip the Kadee 714 pivot pin with some of the boxes floor off of the Kadee coupler box and use this to mount the coupler with a screw. Or, you can make your own pivot pin with a short length of 3/32 brass tube and washer with a screw through them to affix the coupler to the car.

Either way, these options are far easier than hacking the molded coupler boxes off of the car and replacing them with a new one.

On scratch built HOn3 cars, If you widen the inner width of the draft gear area, the Sergent RNB87K's can be mounted between the center sills with one of the above two methods. Again, you could make up a centering spring arrangement here as per the Smoky Mountain design if you so desire.

Dale Buxton 


On Saturday, January 13, 2018, 2:40:19 PM MST, Mike Conder vulturenest1@... [SergentEng] wrote:


 

I totally agree, need a similar product for the Sharons.  The new pocket is great for the larger couplers, just need one for us narrow gaugers and ToC modelers.

Mike Conder


Mike Conder
 

Cool, thanks, hope it comes soon!

Mike Conder

On Jan 13, 2018 4:28 PM, "jimking3@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 

I'm working on a "wide body" HO box to accommodate Kadee "whisker" and related-size Sergent.  After that, I'll look into an HOn3 box.

Jim King
SMMW


John Degnan
 

Duncan (and all),


Concerning Sergent's Sharon coupler... the narrow shank versions (RNC87K and RNB87K)... I just took another look at them on their site, and their shanks appear to be identical to the shank this new draft gear box is designed for.  So I see no reason this box won't work for the narrow gauge market as well since the rear of the shank is the only real determining factor.


Buy a set and try it... if it doesn't work, I, personally, will buy it back form you.



John D

.

On January 13, 2018 at 3:37 PM "duncan harvey train3guy@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

John D,

    I also misunderstood your first comment.   Your second explanation
is clearer and, with Mark, I agree with it.  But, HO narrow gauge is a
big market compared to all the other narrow gauge markets, even when
they are combined.  It is still a small niche, but it is the largest of
the narrow gauge markets. Therefore, I think an HOn3 self centering
coupler pocket for the Sergents would be a good market.  Although no
where as big as the HO market.  I hope something can be done in this
area to improve the sale-ability of the Sharon couplers to the HOn3
modelers.

                Duncan


 


John Degnan
 

Dale, Dale, Dale...


Don't struggle so much... nobody here that I know of is stressing over having auto-centering.  Jim and I just know and understand that there are many people (in both HO and S) who WANT it (to ensure perfect coupler alignment on straight track where they).  In case you didn't know it, most of us who WANT auto-centering are likely keen on an older common practice that was preached by well-known layout designers as a fail-safe practice to combat failed re-coupling attempts in the earlier years of our hobby... which was that layouts should be designed so that ALL uncoupling points are located on STRAIGHT track segments so that RE-coupling issue, which even Kadee couplers suffer/suffered from, would diminish or disappear.  So... we incorporated the auto-centering OPTION into our new box for those who know and practice this old rule.


That's all there is to it... and surely you can see the wisdom in this.  But... if you don't want auto centering... just omit the spring that does it when you assemble your gear boxes.  It just can't get any more simple than that.  And both 'camps' should be happy.



John D

'Camp' 1 : Those who WANT auto-centering

'Camp' 2 : Those who DON'T want auto-centering


On January 13, 2018 at 6:36 PM "Dale Buxton the_one_tuatha_ddana@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 
 

People, people, people,

I am struggling to figure out why it is so paramount to have a special self-centering coupler box for the Sergent RNB87K Sharon coupler. Am I missing something here?

As already discussed, the preferred method of coupling Sergent and prototype couplers is to open both opposing cars coupler knuckles and bringing the couplers together. This method gives the couplers their maximum gathering range for a mate-up.

Virtually all of the HOn3 plastic, rolling equipment, kits and RTR on the market today have a clone of the Kadee 714 coupler box molded into the body of the cars. This coupler box can be QUITE EASILY modified to accept the Sergent RNB87K with a centering spring as per the Smoky Mountain design. Just a few bits of plastic are needed to keep the spring in place.

This modification is far easier and less catastrophic than removing the entire 714 clone coupler box from the car and then installing a new one!

One other point that needs to be mentioned here: The Accumate Coupler box was completely unacceptable for use on HOn3 equipment. Period! The boxes width was so wide the HOn3 wheel sets inner wheel rims, riding under the box would hang up on the sides of the box on any track radius under 22 inches. I know this because I tested this extensively!

The bottom of a Kadee 714 coupler box is just a tiny bit wider then the Sergent RNB87K's pivot area of the draft gear shank. Plus, this part of the coupler box has the pivot pin molded on it. Coupler box/truck pivot problem with Sergent couplers solved.

You can also avoid the whole coupler box dilemma altogether in one of two ways. The pivot opening on the RNB86K coupler is roughly 3/32's in diameter. So, you can clip the Kadee 714 pivot pin with some of the boxes floor off of the Kadee coupler box and use this to mount the coupler with a screw. Or, you can make your own pivot pin with a short length of 3/32 brass tube and washer with a screw through them to affix the coupler to the car.

Either way, these options are far easier than hacking the molded coupler boxes off of the car and replacing them with a new one.

On scratch built HOn3 cars, If you widen the inner width of the draft gear area, the Sergent RNB87K's can be mounted between the center sills with one of the above two methods. Again, you could make up a centering spring arrangement here as per the Smoky Mountain design if you so desire.

Dale Buxton 


On Saturday, January 13, 2018, 2:40:19 PM MST, Mike Conder vulturenest1@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:


 

 

I totally agree, need a similar product for the Sharons.  The new pocket is great for the larger couplers, just need one for us narrow gaugers and ToC modelers.

Mike Conder
 


 


Mark Lewis
 

John:

Now that, is a fair offer.

Mark Lewis


Dale Buxton
 


Well John,

I know that Duncan has stressed over the lack of the self centering issue about Sergent's since he first got his hands on some. That, and the fact that they won't mate easily or automatically uncouple from Kadee 714's. He wanted them to work 100% together. But, there is just no way that could happen. They are two different animals. I just bit the bullet, and converted to them 100% and never looked back. And I've never regretted it either. They just look better and work better than Kadee 714's. Period!

I also see the convention of having self centering couplers. However, I've never felt that Kadee 714's did a 100% job at this. Plus, there was also that spring bouncing daisy chain effect of the centering springs in them. Causing slack in the train to take up and bounce back. especially at slow speeds. That for me, on more then one occasion caused a whole train to daisy chain derail. Sergents have never done either of these things to me.

As far as this new coupler box goes. I can see on very good reason why these HO standard guage coupler boxes will not work well in HOn3. If these new coupler boxes are the same dimensions as the old Accumate ones (which you say they are). Then they are too wide to fit between HOn3 wheel sets and still allow the trucks to negotiate any track radius less than 22" radius. There is a lot of track work out there that is less than 22" radius! Also, the Accumates needed to be cut in half to shorten them so they would fit between the the bolster and the end of the car on 30' and less cars. Which most HOn3 cars are. I think we are talking about creating a whole new animal for HOn3. Which is fine by me. But for myself, I see little point to this when existing items can be simply modified to do the trick of coupler centering.  

There is also a third camp of thought here. 'Camp' 3: Those that don't care one way or the other.

Dale Buxton

On Sunday, January 14, 2018, 3:50:14 AM MST, John Degnan Scaler164@... [SergentEng] wrote:


 

Duncan (and all),


Concerning Sergent's Sharon coupler... the narrow shank versions (RNC87K and RNB87K)... I just took another look at them on their site, and their shanks appear to be identical to the shank this new draft gear box is designed for.  So I see no reason this box won't work for the narrow gauge market as well since the rear of the shank is the only real determining factor.


Buy a set and try it... if it doesn't work, I, personally, will buy it back form you.



John D

.

On January 13, 2018 at 3:37 PM "duncan harvey train3guy@... [SergentEng]" wrote:

 

John D,

    I also misunderstood your first comment.   Your second explanation
is clearer and, with Mark, I agree with it.  But, HO narrow gauge is a
big market compared to all the other narrow gauge markets, even when
they are combined.  It is still a small niche, but it is the largest of
the narrow gauge markets. Therefore, I think an HOn3 self centering
coupler pocket for the Sergents would be a good market.  Although no
where as big as the HO market.  I hope something can be done in this
area to improve the sale-ability of the Sharon couplers to the HOn3
modelers.

                Duncan


 


Duncan Harvey
 

Good information John.  I'll check it out.

            Duncan


John Degnan
 

Thanks Dale.. and well stated.  Having never been into narrow gauge, I hadn't considered the width issue being a problem for the wheels... though I'm sure I would have soon discovered it.  This new box from SMMW may be identical in width... and it may be a bit narrower... I can't say for sure since Jim did all the CAD work, and I haven't yet received the final draft for review.  But likely it won't be significantly narrower than the Accurail box.


And... last but not least... 'Camp' 3 officially registered.   :)



John D



On January 14, 2018 at 12:30 PM "Dale Buxton the_one_tuatha_ddana@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 


Well John,

I know that Duncan has stressed over the lack of the self centering issue about Sergent's since he first got his hands on some. That, and the fact that they won't mate easily or automatically uncouple from Kadee 714's. He wanted them to work 100% together. But, there is just no way that could happen. They are two different animals. I just bit the bullet, and converted to them 100% and never looked back. And I've never regretted it either. They just look better and work better than Kadee 714's. Period!

I also see the convention of having self centering couplers. However, I've never felt that Kadee 714's did a 100% job at this. Plus, there was also that spring bouncing daisy chain effect of the centering springs in them. Causing slack in the train to take up and bounce back. especially at slow speeds. That for me, on more then one occasion caused a whole train to daisy chain derail. Sergents have never done either of these things to me.

As far as this new coupler box goes. I can see on very good reason why these HO standard guage coupler boxes will not work well in HOn3. If these new coupler boxes are the same dimensions as the old Accumate ones (which you say they are). Then they are too wide to fit between HOn3 wheel sets and still allow the trucks to negotiate any track radius less than 22" radius. There is a lot of track work out there that is less than 22" radius! Also, the Accumates needed to be cut in half to shorten them so they would fit between the the bolster and the end of the car on 30' and less cars. Which most HOn3 cars are. I think we are talking about creating a whole new animal for HOn3. Which is fine by me. But for myself, I see little point to this when existing items can be simply modified to do the trick of coupler centering.  

There is also a third camp of thought here. 'Camp' 3: Those that don't care one way or the other.

Dale Buxton

On Sunday, January 14, 2018, 3:50:14 AM MST, John Degnan Scaler164@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:


 

 

Duncan (and all),


Concerning Sergent's Sharon coupler... the narrow shank versions (RNC87K and RNB87K)... I just took another look at them on their site, and their shanks appear to be identical to the shank this new draft gear box is designed for.  So I see no reason this box won't work for the narrow gauge market as well since the rear of the shank is the only real determining factor.


Buy a set and try it... if it doesn't work, I, personally, will buy it back form you.



John D

.

On January 13, 2018 at 3:37 PM "duncan harvey train3guy@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

John D,

    I also misunderstood your first comment.   Your second explanation
is clearer and, with Mark, I agree with it.  But, HO narrow gauge is a
big market compared to all the other narrow gauge markets, even when
they are combined.  It is still a small niche, but it is the largest of
the narrow gauge markets. Therefore, I think an HOn3 self centering
coupler pocket for the Sergents would be a good market.  Although no
where as big as the HO market.  I hope something can be done in this
area to improve the sale-ability of the Sharon couplers to the HOn3
modelers.

                Duncan