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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Until recently, I would always have supported the freedom to buy and use 'the best' controller 'you' can afford. All the bells and whistles 'you' like and the more adjustability the better.

But recently, I have been compelled to consider a different angle.
It was very sensibly put to me that, if a bunch of people with a variety of disposable incomes want to enjoy FAIR and enjoyable racing together, yet they still permit 'sky's the limit' expenditure on controllers, this has near as dammit the same ability to disrupt the group as allowing unlimited mods to the cars. Hmmm!

I have to admit the fellow made an excellent point.
There would be no problem with open racing (depending on the rules as always), but in a friendly group environment it could easily result in the group falling apart. Just to clarify - if 'you' can afford an all-singing all-dancing DiFalco, for example, should 'you' be allowed to use it in competition with a bunch of your buddies who can't? If you insist, you are going to pee them all of them off and you may end up witth no one to race! Conversely, if they insist, they are going to pee 'you' off - all that money and not be allowed to to use it? Come ON chaps, you have to be joking!

I haven't made my mind up, but it's worth some thoughtful consideration, I believe.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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This was a HUGE discussion on an HO list not long ago.

My personal viewpoint is that any controller which does not add power (to the power circuit or brake circuit) should be allowed. Some shot me down, citing "coast" on most of the electronic controllers as being a decided advantage. I pointed out that I can modify a Parma (or ANY resistive controller) to achieve the coast function. Others felt that the "sensitivity" adjustments were unfair. Again, that can be built into resistive controllers, and some in the US are offering custom wound resistors for HO that exhibit very unique "power curves". It can actually be added to ANY resistor if you don't mind soldering in a few goodies.

I don't think resistive controllers are going to be part of the aftermarket scene for much longer. Why would they? A simple electronic, transistorized controller can be built and sold for much less. I know, I use one I built myself. No parts to replace, except maybe a wiper button every few years!

I see resistance (no pun intended
) to electronic controllers all the time, and frankly, I think most of it is due to not understanding how e-controllers work, and not realizing that they will likely soon be the only controllers you can buy.

Cost is a scary thing too, at the moment, but that will change - costs WILL come down as they do with all electronic goods after becoming commonplace. Even now, if you have more than one resistive controller to account for different scales, tracks, or motors, it could be cheaper to use a single e-controller that will handle them all.

Edit: For proof of that, look at the US-made Professor Motor controllers - some are very close in price to a fully featured Parma resistive unit!

Having said all that, I will still gladly run a good resistive controller against anyone's e-controller in a race. It's still the driver that counts, the e-controller is just a "more comfortable steering wheel".
 
G

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In rail racing for the first event at Brooklands the controllers were fixed so you were only allowed to use the 45ohm Parma ones supplied. This did upset a few people but we all started from the same point and thier was more than enough to do to get all the cars working.

I have two very good adjustable controllers which I use to race but I find I can race just as quickly with a cheap Parma one. So I am not that convinced their is that much advantage in using one. It depends on your ability.

RR
 

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at wrexham we have house controllers that everyone uses because those who couldnt afford it moaned about the adjustable ones. Having visited pendle last sunday and trying an adjustable vertion of the controllers we took we were suitable impressed and have bought a resistor parma plus controller each with a sensitivity box.

I know I cn drive faster with a resistor controller than an electronic one, there is what I would call feedback on resistor type, on an electr. one there isnt the heavyness on the throttle allowing the heavy handed better feel and control.

3.9 will carify that I can lap our track faster using a resistor controller than an elect. one.

Rob.
 

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Brian Ferguson
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QUOTE there is what I would call feedback on resistor type, on an electr. one there isnt the heavyness on the throttle allowing the heavy handed better feel and control.

Inte, I agree that most of the e-units have too light a feel. I'm not sure why they went that way, because in reality it is just the trigger "spring" action that is different. On my own e-unit, I use a standard Parma spring so that the pressure provides the feedback level I like.
 

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Graham Windle
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RIGHT LETS GET THE SOAP BOX OUT.
A controler is a very personal thing ,the one I use is a home made one which I built over 15 yrs ago ,I do not think it makes my cars go any faster but it certainly makes me feel more comfortable driving them.30yrs ago I used to carry a boxfull of controlers to a meeting ,different resistance for different motors and that put quite a strain on my racing buget at the time ,the one electronic controler I now use will run any thing from a scalex to a strap at any voltage .I dont think any restictions on controllers should be introduced other than no controler can increase track voltage higher than supply or increase the amount or braking available(reverse polarity brakes).Any resistance controler can be modified to make it adustable in both brakes and resistance with out costing a fortune. theres a circuit on my website for any one intrested.The biggest problem I find buying a comercialy produced control is there isnt a decent thumb unit on the market at the moment and I cant use a trigger
Graham
My web siteSLOTCAR BUILDER
 

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Interesting question; in our club at Rome we all use electronic equipment or multi resistor controllers as Professor Motor or NSR, or Parma Turbo electronic, because we are " obsessed by speed " ( perhaps too much! ), and ever seeking the best performances.
No one use simple controllers, and to newcomers we give one of ours to try.
It is a good choice? I don't know, but surely it is related to the number of us, which is not so high in Italy; with more slot racers, more races will be held, and under various rules, also with simple controllers and cars.
Ciao
 

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This sounds familiar to me...

First time I went to the Collingwood club I took along my controller for BSCRA-style cars, Parma handset, seperate choke box, adjustable resistance, adjustable brakes, two switchable chokes for racing seriously fast strap cars, PC motherboard fan on the whole shebang to keep the transistor cool. Didn't use it though I realised straight away then 90% of the people there were using standard Ninco controllers as owned by the club. And when asked when the resistance of the Ninco unit was (70 ohm I believe) I got a few blank stares. OK, says I and puts the driving stick away.

It does make a difference because of the fine adjustability of resistance allows you to dial in what you think is probably the optimum resistance for all the variables of what mood the car woke up in this morning, cleaniness and power of track, what mood you woke up in this morning, alignment of celestial bodies, humidity of room, ambient temperature, rogue sunspots etc. etc. . Mine has the variable resistor on a choke box attached to the controller by a cable - the guy who sold it me replaced it with one he built whereby the var res was on the heat sink extending from the top of the Parma controller and this offers an even greater advantage in that you can drive with one hand on the pot and adjust mid-race while still driving. If you wanted to on a large track with not too fast cars you could keep tweaking up and down for twisty bits and long straights. The choke box variable resistor (like the SCD mechanical controllers) can't easily be tweaked without stopping what you are doing.

I would feel a bit guilty at running at Collingwood with this bit of kit, not so much because I would find it so much easier than using the standard ratty Ninco or Scalextric Sport device, but because it would worry me that others (especially the junior members) might end up thinking they need one to do well and then look at the price and lose enthusiasm for racing. So I just use a 45ohm Red Fox for everything now.

Having said that I am aware that a simple adjustable controller still allows you to race anything from Scalex to Strap and works out cheaper than buying all the interchangable resistors of fixed ohms! The other thing in a 'free controller' approach is that the action of the trigger is sooooo much nicer and more enjoyable than a cheap handset - it's like the time I got to play on a vintage Strat then had to go home to my £150 Chinese copy...

Coop
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OT butQUOTE it's like the time I got to play on a vintage Strat then had to go home to my £150 Chinese copy...
I had a '61 Strat in '61 - it cost £168!
Some of the current cheap copies play and sound every bit as good and some are actually better!
 

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fair enough, I guess it can be cured that way.

now I think about it, Grah wont a carrera plunger do as they are of pretty good quality.. also, can you do something about your controller as it gives off this wierd humming sound.. as if it's about to go bang or summat


Also thinking about the club, There is no apparent advantage of having dials on the controller.. apart from reducing the braking effect.. oh that could come in useful for record attempts

Rob.
 

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Graham Windle
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No humming Rob must be your well tuned young ears.
I have a carrera handle but they seem to have a poor action , I also have an old cox vari ohm which is quite good but a little low resistance for scalex
Graham
 

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Cox MKVII Rulz!

Freedom for Oppressed Controllers!

Free the Whales!

Liberate the Constricted Boas!

 

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Brian Ferguson
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One of my favourite (pre-Parma era) controllers was an "R4", thumb-operated (or finger when upside-down as I used it!), tubular handle, exposed resistor, with trigger and wiper pivoting much like a Parma except the trigger was on the back side of the handle and the resistor was on the front edge rather than on top.

In a previous controller discussion, I could NOT remember who made the R4, and it has been royally bugging me ever since (the way a song you don't really like pops into your mind and won't go away....
well...these things happen in my mind anyway...
...ok, it's a scary place...
)

I keep thinking RussKit, but I have no idea.

Philippe? Anyone?
 

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Brian,
I have seen many of those and has a few myself. But I have really no clue at this time of who made them. It would take a bit of reserach in the old mags, and Don Siegel probably knows.
Regards,

PdL
 

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Brian Ferguson
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The end of the world is near, John!

PdL - I never thought I would stump you with this!
Now it's gonna bug me even more!!
 
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