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Car rules vs controller rules

3210 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 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".
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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.
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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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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Wait.... I've GOT it!!!! Nissan!! Ancient forerunner to the R390!

"Time for your pill, Fergy!"

Yes, nurse.....
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Thanks, Mr P!
At least now I have a REASON for not remembering the name. I'm not insane.... it just wasn't a name worth remembering!

QUOTE We are talking 1959 to 1963 here

Just HAD to give my age away, didn't you!
Here, I think they may have lasted longer, before RussKit-style controllers took over. Many R4 owners had the add-on external resistors with adjustable tap-points and other goodies and were reluctant to change.

Probably sticks in my mind so solidly because, for me, it was very early in what was to become ten years of single-minded slot racing! Thankfully, sponsored for most of it, because I can't imagine having to pay for everything - even back then!
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Bob - could well have been... I just don't remember...

Getting old, I guess!
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Bob, very, very close! But the handle was a metal tube - aluminum, I believe - slit and flattened on one end to mount over the board that had the trigger and resistor mounted. The trigger sounds like it. I recall the resistor mounting on the front edge rather than the top though. Some had bicycle grips, though they may have been added by the owners. The resistor was made by Ohmite - almost identical to the ones still being made by them! Aftermarket parts (possibly made locally) included a reworked resistor that had several isolated bands for connection to a large, high-power external resistor with adjustable clamp rings.

Now that I've talked the subject to death, and bored everyone to tears, I have promised myself to.... forget the R4.... forget the R4....
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OK!! Ram Engineering R4 it is!! Thanks, Bob!
I can finally sleep peacefully... and give this topic back to the rest of the members!

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