Sergent Couplers - anyone use them?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by aionta, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. aionta

    aionta New Member

    Hello All

    I was wondering if anyone used Sergent Couplers and what you thought of them?


  2. armchair

    armchair New Member

    sergent couplers

    I haven't used them myself but have read good reviews from those that do use them. More to scale than KD's. Some say they will mate with KD's, others not so sure.

  3. aionta

    aionta New Member

    Sergent Couplers

    Thanks Armchair!
  4. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    That is an attractive coupler; probably the most realistic of the functioning couplers. Kadees have been in use so very long that I doubt if anyone would consider retrofitting all of their rolling stock. That would be a sizeable investment for me!

    I don't know how reliable they (sergent) are and that reputation belongs to Kadee hands down. For one, the smaller the knuckle, the more likely the cars will disconnect over uneven track. But now that I don't belong to a club I would vote for scale appearance (Sergent Couplers) over reliability (Kadee), however the price is going to have to come down for this particular retiree.

  5. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Studied the Sergent couplers, and ended up deciding against them.

    - very realistic model of post-1930s prototype couplers
    - works just like the prototype
    - don't need a trip pin hanging down to uncouple magnetically
    - don't need to insert a skewer between the knuckles to uncouple manually
    - no centering spring to throw things off on curves
    - much less slack between cars than with Kadees
    - no slinky action like Kadee 711/714 and Micro Trains couplers
    - models to fit normal coupler boxes and near-scale width coupler boxes
    - no magnets in or under the track to mess with

    - a little on the bulky side for a model of TOC couplers and narrow gauge roads using 3/4 MCB couplers
    - no automatic coupling on straight track. One coupler has to be open and both couplers must be centered for coupling to occur.
    - can't uncouple passenger cars with diaphragms (doesn't apply to my case)
    - both coupling and uncoupling require reach-in access to car ends

    The lack of automatic coupling in place like yards and straight spurs and required reach-in uncoupling was the show-stopper for me. Having to reach in to both uncouple and couple breaks the realism of the scene. The ability to automatically couple and uncouple remotely using some form of magnets combined with the more realistic bulk of the Kadee 711 & 714 on my TOC rolling stock won me over to the Kadee camp. I am experimenting with MT N 1016 couplers on my HOn3 rolling stock.

    my thoughts, your choices
    Fred W
  6. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Sergent couplers vs Kadees

    Two of your cons are what makes Sergents better than Kadees.

    - no automatic coupling on straight track. One coupler has to be open and both couplers must be centered for coupling to occur.
    - both coupling and uncoupling require reach-in access to car ends

    These are the features that make the Sergents so prototypical. Having been a RR conductor know this all too well. To make joints the knuckles have to be opened & couplers aligned if not already done. On curves the Sergents stay in the last position so the couplers are already in alignment.
    And as a conductor always had to "reach in". So not doing w/ Kadees kind of takes the fun away. Same goes w/ lining up Kadees on curves!
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    That's a matter of individual taste - and I probably should have written it that way.

    Some - obviously including you - feel more like the prototype by reaching in and doing things manually, the same as on the prototype.

    Others - and I favor this point of view - see the non-scale hand and arm reaching into the scene as distracting from the realism. Neither is right or wrong.

    From a practical point of view:
    - the hands-off approach requires more extensive and expensive infrastructure - uncoupling magnets or electromagnets, remote turnout throws, etc.
    - hands-off approach to couplers puts a premium on very low speed running of locomotives, clean track, and tight tolerances on coupler mounting and centering. The Kadee delayed uncoupling dance is not realistic.
    - the manual approach doesn't work in all situations. The reach in distance can be too far. Scenery and details can get in the way and broken. The Sergent wand doesn't work with passenger car diaphrams and very close coupling of cars. Cars can be derailed while positioning the Sergent coupler (same with Kadee coupler picks or skewers).

    my thoughts, your choices
  8. rdg5500

    rdg5500 New Member

    Sergent is now in the process of manufacturing an uncoupling wand for passenger cars. It may be in production by now(I haven't checked their web site lately). I was sent a prototype version to use on my layout & rate it. It works on cars with diaphrams. Sergent couplers can be assembled to couple with very little pressure. I always had to "slam" kadees together. Like everything new, there is a learning curve to assembling Sergent couplers. They do sell pre-assembled couplers. Hope this hepls; Larry Mowery
  9. cajon

    cajon Member

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