Earlier this year I made trials on Sergent couplers as they look great and promised prototypical operation. I found that they work very well for frieght cars, so I have decided to equip all terminal service trains and locomotives on the engine terminal side of the layout with them. I buy the pre-assembled ones direct from Sergent (SergentEngineering) as I did not want to fuss with the assembly of the tiny steel balls.
They operate easily and in a prototypical way:
To couple, both couplers need to be aligned and the jaws opened. The Sergent coupling wand has an offset wire that is used for aligning and opening the jaw.
To align, simply move the coupler into position (they do not have centering springs like Kadee’s). In the picture below, the round end of the wand rod is over top of the knuckle and the wire is inside the jaw. The rod end is magnetic and lifts the internal steel locking ball allowing the jaw to open. Simply pull the jaw open.
The car is backed into another as usual and the jaws close, dropping the internal steel locking balls in place. Sometimes a nudge by hand from the opposite end of the car being coupled is needed to lock up the couplers. It’s that easy.
The real magic of these beauties is the uncoupling. The other end of the wand does not have an offset wire, but it has a magnet. Just place this end over the coupler and pull the train away.
I love it!