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Car rules vs controller rules

3203 Views 32 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  JohnP
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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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...

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