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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
OK, so here it is currently.
With both original terminal tracks in, with no adjustments:
15 inch track powers the lane closest to plug in and does not power the other lane.

the 9 inch track powers the outside lane only (not the one closest to plug in)
this is done when i move the good controller over from 15 inch track.

Looking for another controller (other than the questionable one) to test both at same time.
 

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I believe you are about there, my man. The answer was in plain sight all the time.

As has been mentioned, my bux down controller solution--

Input device Cable Font Gadget Wire


"Ideal" brand. It comes apart with screws. Of course, you will have to wire in your own plugs for your terminal track (preferably solder & shrink wrap). Typically they are available on Big Auction, including currently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Gentlemen,

I want to thank you so much for your patience and all the insight. At this point it appears that a controller may have been the issue although I am not really sure how.

In the end, without making any changes to the original two terminal tracks I now have power to each individual lane. The controller in question was removed from the equation and another controller is now in the mix.

I'm sure we are all done with this so I will not belabor the point in asking why or how.

Thank you again for all the help. You have no idea how long and frustrating this has been and you really saved the day.

I hope to join you in the future as I am so glad to have connected with you and SlotForum.
 

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Hi Willy,

I'm glad you got it sorted out. A controller issue? I was following along and did not see that coming.

Now that the technical side is done. We do this for the cars. Show us what ya got? :geek:

Please send regards to Jana from the HO group?

Ken
 

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Rich Dumas
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I did not think that the controllers were the issue. If it had been me I would have first disconnected both controllers, then tried them each with both lanes. In my view set type controllers are going to need to be replaced sooner or later if you stick with the hobby. It is OK to change the direction that the cars go around the track by reversing the wires that connect to the power supply as long as you use resistor controllers. As people advance in the hobby they often use electronic controllers, in that case if you switch the wires at the power supply the controller will not work properly and may even be damaged. You would need to switch the wires that connect to each pair of track rails or install a reversing switch for each lane.
 

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Fooled me too, until I really thought through the path of electricity.

Often I have dug my own rabbit hole and then wasted time and money before I figured out how to climb out.

Once my brother had a 73 Trans Am. We were going to Daytona Speedway and I heard a front wheel bearing making a racket. He spent 15 minutes telling me it was the disc brake pads "fluttering"--and that they had been for months. Eventually there was a loud "clunk", followed by smoke billowing out the LF rallye II wheel. Before it was over I had to change a spindle behind a gas station near the track the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Bob,
I am intrigued with your controller suggestion. I assume you have used many controllers over the years so I am interested in how / why you are sold on this particular one.

thanks
 

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I prefer Parma resistor controllers, 60ohm. Some prefer 45s. I tried them, they were too touchy for me. The lower the number, the earlier in the "pull" the power comes on. Perhaps others are "faster" than me. The higher the voltage you run, the higher the number also, and I run 20.5v.

Pre MegaG+ sets also are generally 60ohm.

Now, to answer your question, set controllers have to be cheaply made, and they are. Really, a controller is made up of a wiper that is on a "dead" unpowered spot at rest, and as you pull the trigger, you are eliminating more and more of the resistor, hence sending more and more power to the car. At wide open, the resistor is effectively eliminated from the circuit.

SO, it comes down to the execution of the plastic housing, the quality of the resistor, and the quality of the trigger and it's mount and hinge and so forth. The Ideal controllers are incrementally--but significantly--more robust that the Tyco controllers that I used prior in the execution of all of those design details.

I do not have as much experience with the AFX controllers but believe that the Ideal controllers are superior to them as well. Additionally, all of the more recent AFX controllers are 120ohm. Good for their Mega G+ cars, at 22v. Neither of which I run.

Occasionally something goes wrong, perhaps the little return spring inside, and you need to get in there and fix it somehow. Tyco and AFX controller halves are glued together. And the plastic is pretty thin. So you are pretty close to ruining the thing just to get in there. Once repairs are made, do you glue it back together? I used to wind tape around the handle for the next access. But then, tape around your controller is not the most elegant solution, as far as solutions go.

The ideal controllers have small phillips head screws that make it easy to get in there.

So, to recap, I would suggest comparing the Parmas to Ideal controllers, cost wise. Understand that in either case, you are purchasing something that is outdated and out of production. Let cost and "value", and the level that you want to invest drive your decision.

Electronic controllers are the next step up. I am old school and prefer "simple" pretty much in all things, and they look more complex than a spool of wire on a porcelain rod. And resistor controllers can be wired either way to change the direction of travel. Important to me since I run a four lane figure 8 and that works out to one track runs opposite of the other, wiring wise. Others can provide a wealth of information on those if you like. Generally they cost more than the Parmas, which cost more than the Ideal controllers. As they say, "You pays your money and you picks your poison".
 

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The first gen Aurora and AFX Russkit style controllers feature screws too Bob. A hair smaller in stature than the conventional Parma wand, but the same shape/profile. Blues were 80 ohms. Yellows were 60.

Like any vintage piece you have to hunt and peck, but they're still out there.

Taking the Eli Whitney out of components began the mechanical devolution. First the controllers, then the cars (MG+). We'll be dropping that little finger off soon.

Viva "Takeapartable"!
 

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If anyone mentioned it I missed it but Parma controllers are no longer made. You can find them on Evilbay etc. If you're not trying to stay old skool DS makes resistor controllers. Bought a pair a couple of weeks ago and have been happy with them. Teh ones we bought have a switch that allows you to adjust resistance.
 

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HOW they work is beyond my cavemanesque understanding of electronics. I'm essentially the Cole Trickle of slot cars! It's just a 3-position toggle switch, and you can definitely feel the difference in response. I assume it's hooked to a potentiometer of some type. I know Rich has talked about building one with variable resistance but I don't think he liked it much. I got these from NJ Nostalgia Hobby. He has a 120 ohm controller that DS makes just for them, but don't know if DS does these for him in house or if he modifies himself. Two versions, one that's 35/45/55 ohm and one that's 60/90/120. Have so far been able to get a feel I liked with all of the cars.
 

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I believe they have additional resistors wired in parallel. Much like a 2 lane highway that widens into four, as they are added, your net resistance drops. Sort of.
 

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Rich Dumas
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I don't think that anyone is still making aftermarket controllers with wire wound resistors. All of the ones that I have seen lately use small fixed resistors wired in series. Parma used resistors that have resistance wire wound around a tubular ceramic core, those can take more heat than ordinary fixed resistors. Parma is still in business, but they appear to be selling off what remains of their inventory. A lot of Parma controllers have been sold, they are easy enough to find on ebay.
It is possible to make a variable resistance controller by wiring another resistor in parallel with the main one(es). You should be aware that such a controller will not have a linear response.
 
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