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Ember

What Controller?

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Looking to buy a pair of controllers. As you boys know, I'm committed to my little plastic track for now. I've finally taken delivery of a new power supply (good ol' D3800) and figure while I'm wiring that in I need to consider dropping in new controllers rather than the Scaley ones.

 

So the question arises, what should I invest in?

 

Are Parmas still the best starting point?

 

These controllers will be absolute work horses. They'll be used 'til they can be used no more. They'll be used by absolute novices, kids and constantly His Lordship and I (near novices). They'll run all sorts of 1/32 car, from classics to sports.

 

So, what's the consensus? Where should I start? Bang for buck is always a consideration, but I'm also a firm believer in buying the best you can afford (which probably isn't much at the moment)

 

Embs


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Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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Parma's are the best starting point and best to have for any "novice" that turns up and wants a go

 

For yourself, invest in the Slot-it controller and don't let it out of your sight


Quickly read this post before it is deleted or i turn grey again

Gary

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I would look at Slot.It and Professor Motor - try both, and spend as much as you can afford on the one you like best.

For me, the feel of the controller in the hand is important - and both of these work for my hands, but Parma don't.

You'll find just as many folks say to go Parma, and that Slot.It and PM don't feel right.

Try as many as you can, and go with what feels best.

FWIW, an electronic controller tends to give best coverage of a broad range of cars.

Slot.It and PM are both electronic, Parma are not.

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I'm not really likely to get te opportunity to try (m)any


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Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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Absolutely, totally 100 and eleventy 12 percent in TVWino's corner on this one.

 

I'd just add 2 bullet points of further explanation

 

a ) DO get at least a PMTR2116 if you go the Professor Motor route not the entry level ones, as it has a variable sensitivity control which further extends your control over the sensitivity.

If you turn down the volts, you generally want MORE sensitivity for a given car, so that you have a broad amount of control through the whole length of trigger depression

 

b ) For people who don't want to mes with a bunch of knobs, that's the way to go, but for someone who wants to take the time to master the Slot.it SCP-1's potential, - it makes you look a better driver than you are . . . you can absolutely set every car for best "drive" on every individual track you're ever likely to race.

 

c ) oops, this makes three. DO go positive polarity ie Prof Motor PMTR2116, or Slot.it SCP01a

but if for some reason you want to go negative polarity like home sets, the Professor Motor PMTR2119 is the perfect controller, roughly equivalent to PMTR2116 positive polarity - BUT -it is also optimised for 10 - 15 volts

- [which is lower than the specified range any other Prof Motor controller, specifically for home/garage/club racers in our environment],

and works comfortably all the way down to 8 volts supply voltage just fine.

The Slot.it negative polarity controller is code SCP01i


Walks upright Unaided  *  Ties Own Shoelaces  *  Can Mispronounce Own Name In Five Languages  *  Mostly Aims Rattle Cans Away from Self
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I forgot "D"

 

d ) Kids often burn out resistors on parma controllers due to the habit of driving cars round in "autopilot mode" - finger holding the controller part way so the car doesn't come off. That causes hot-spots on the resistor wire aat a certain point, leading to premature resistor failure - we went through about 15 resistors at clubs, nearly all durin Juniors racing due to this before the Parma sales manager told me that issue - he kndley gave us a few free resistors, but a total pain in the butt, and a downside of resistor controllers.

 

e) I've never seen a Prof motor controller blown at club, nor a Slot,it one - they're protected to Africa by dual fusing systems. One replaceable, one auto-resetting

 

gee, the count is climbing.... I'll go for 10 by breakfast.....


Walks upright Unaided  *  Ties Own Shoelaces  *  Can Mispronounce Own Name In Five Languages  *  Mostly Aims Rattle Cans Away from Self
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I've got to be honest, I can't see me buying 4 controllers currently. So whatever I buy now, will be the controllers for everybody, until I'm ready to buy better ones for HL and me. Or perhaps I should leave him with garden variety and just buy an upper-mid-range for me. ;) Mwaahahahaha.


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Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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Embs, the only thing that can really go wrong with a Parma is it CAN burn out a resistor. Unlikely unless there is a short somewhere. If properly maintained, Parma's are almost indestructable. Best controller I ever had was a Parma 2 ohm with external resistor for commercial racing. Regret ever getting rid of it. ;)


Stu

 

Old racers race harder

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I knew it was a constantly asked question. But we all know things are also constantly changing, and maybe there's been a change of opinion for some reason.

 

So basically....

 

Prof Motor controllers for myself and HL

 

Parmas for kids and visitors.

 

Next question.... How much are kids or visitors likely to damage a PM controller??? Couldn't I just set any adjustables on it before I hadn't it over and say something along the lines of "fiddle at own risk"??? How much is this controller beyond the average user? I'd really prefer to only by 2 for now.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

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Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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no a PM will do everybody! its the resistor type ie parma which kids have a tendiancy to blow.

 

I have an old Diode type "home set" Prof Motor with the "budget sensitivity kit" in it... just nuts n bolts instead of the "knobs" its gr8 and my only regret is that its negative polarity (or gate) so when i rewired my track a few weeks ago i had to keep the plastic track set up or replace the PM.

 

fixed spelling

Edited by Badbilly

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Ok. So... What's the real difference between this and this? Other than 10 bucks.


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Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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By the descriptions, better wire on the more expensive one.


Stu

 

Old racers race harder

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Some of us still like the old Parma controllers. My 40 ohm is my favourite for all types of racing. I'm used to how it works on my cars, from NC1's to ScaleAuto 30k screamers.

 

I tried a Prof Motor once, gave me my fastest time of the night, then beat the time a min later with my Parma (same car).

 

Go figure.


May the downforce be with you.

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I see also on the Tbird site there is a brake pot - does that mean I can buy one of the controllers Emb has linked to and add a brake pot to it..as it seems the only adjustable PM controller is about $180

cheers

DM

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Yes. tho i hear the 10 ohn from DSE is the go pritty sure its the same to wire in too tho i may be mistaken. The instructions for using the PM pot are on the professor motor web site

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Ember opened a can of worms with this one.

 

They are more money, but the adjustable controller can really help out a newbie or child. Add to that, variable voltage on your supply and it really helps out.

 

On scale 1/32nd cars, I find adjustable sensitivity to be very useful, adjustable braking is less of a factor.

 

It might be a factor for you to have all lanes the same, i.e. using the same controller. I have a mismatch right now, one SS adjustable and two diode based, all from PM, love them all, but the adjustable one is my favorite.

 

Oh, and your gonna need a wood track...... ;)

 

j

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I used Parma Controllers for about 5 years on my commercial track,burned only a few resistors and they were abused. Best value is Parma.

Even the basic Parma is a vast improvement over most controllers that come with sets.

PM controllers are mostly electronic so you will have to decide if you will stay with present track wiring or change it. Positive or negative controlled.

I still have 5 Parma resistor controllers that I still use, and a couple of electronic controllers,these are great BUT requires some experience to set up for each car.


Phil

 

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Like slots said Ember, the dearer one has the 13 gauge wire, which is heavier duty.

Immaterial for the classes of car we all drive.

The variable sensitivity is a significant advantage, variable brakes a small advantage - but easy enough to live without unless you're itching for that last few 100ths of a second against good drivers in a club situation.

 

I disagree with all the guys recommending you buy parma controllers. I think it would be a definite mistake, one that you would regret, and end up undoing within a year or so to still buy electronic ones.

 

Firstly, by the way some of them talk - some of them have very limited experience with electronic controllers, so they simply haven't spent the time back to back on these controllers, or they just wouldn't say some of the things I read. frankly, resistor controllers are steam-age. A penchant to still use them is to me like using a crash-box in a race car. It gets you there, but it sure isn't the most effective way.

 

Next, I see inferences of electronic being less reliable than resistor. That is wrong. It is the parmas which are much more likely to give trouble in your situation.

The PM controllers are dang brick solid, and the slot.it are very well protected electronically. The sum total of problems with PM controllers in 2 1/2 years in our club is one variable brake pot which went scratchy, and was a $20 repair. Sum total of problems with Slot.it ones was blown fuses early on, with models that didn't have the internal "self-resetting" fuse, and were using the lower rated 2.5 amp replaceable fuse while driving high current load for magnet sleds and shorting across lanes. And that was just fuse replacement - 30 second job. No longer an issue.

Sum total of parma controllers, - well I think I got to counting 17 resistors cooked, mostly caused by provocative circumstances of static trigger finger and high current loads.

 

Third, replacing the reistors is a pain, especially getting the wiper and brake set JUST right when you re-assemble. Some resistors break a wire in such a way as to be able to be repaired with a little rat-cunning, - I've done that a few times - but that is a minority, and the uncoated ones never - - they unwind as soon as a wire breaks.

 

Fourth - Your track is going to be used by a number of "casuals and kids" by the sound of things. They are exactly the people most like to cause a resistor to burn out. I recall a few guys on here who still use resistor controllers who have actually commented how they lost one or two resistors when friends and family were over visiting for a birthday or family gathering..... no names of course, - to protect the guilty

 

Fifth - The guys who say parma will do you just fine are experienced racers, and therefore more able to adjust their own trigger control easily to get the best out of a single resistor controller without too much loss of control or lap time. It's likely taken them years to reach that level and it's what they've learned on, but for you, and for the "C & K"s the electronic controllers would make life a snot load easier. I know some have kids who have gotten to grips with using parma controllers just fine, but they'd have done it even easier with a decent electronic one.


Walks upright Unaided  *  Ties Own Shoelaces  *  Can Mispronounce Own Name In Five Languages  *  Mostly Aims Rattle Cans Away from Self
 My Track Oakland Raceway V2     Our Club  HMBRC     

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I have been looking on the Prof Motor website and I am not sure I understand the 14-19v bit - in the section on Home/Club controllers most of them are either 14-19v or negative polarity - yet I thought people use 12-15v positive (routed tracks) (and sometimes less) to power their track - (I realise plastic sets are neg.) Can I use these controllers as low as 10-12v?

 

it seems that the only low voltage controllers with variable brakes/sensitivity are 'club pro' aimed at 16D motors... or they are negative polarity ie the PMTR2119 seems to be the right controller but it is negative polarity (is this an issue anyway? if I am using it at home?) guess I need to work out what polarity the tracks I am likely to drive on are...or do I need to get PMTR2110 @~A$180 which is a lot

other than slot.it and PM what other electronic controllers are out there and are they all $150+ (I would rather get 2 for $150 than 1 ;))

 

 

cheers

DM

Edited by dangermouse

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I bought a Defalco controller yesterday from Hornsby ($275) I was told they were the ants pants for what I need which is SCX nascars up to 16D Flexis.


I'm gonna give you an engine low to the ground... extra thick oil pan to cut the wind from underneath you. It'll give you thirty or forty more horsepower. I'm gonna give you a fuel line that'll hold an extra gallon of gas. I'm gonna shave half an inch off you and shape you like a bullet. I'll get you primed, painted and weighed, and you'll be ready to go out on that racetrack. Hear me? You're gonna be perfect!

 

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Hi DM

 

Prof Motor rate their controllers for "optimised voltage range" for the supply source. Generally that is really higher voltage than we will ever need or encounter. In practice their controllers all seem to work fine down to 10 volts supply souce in my own experience. Locally, we've given up worrying too much about the voltage rating.

 

If you have a plastic track with stock supply, it is -ve polarity, but beyond that it is individual choice, and given that the large majrity of track are +ve polarity, I recommend you go with the flow. It makes it asier for you to visit other places, and easier for visitors to come to you. - On that point, check out what plugs people use in your area - eg IEC (Jug plug), XLR or something else. Its useful to go with THAT flow as well. - Also easier to resell controllers if you later change :)

 

In practice I have found that even a PM controller rated at 14- 19V worked fine down to about 10 volts supply - they are pretty flexible.

If you don't mind not having a sensitivity control, the PMTR 2120 (+ve polarity) is quite okay, but if your budget can stretch to it, step up to the PMTR 2116, which is the same except it has a pot built into it to adjust sensitivity.

 

The PMTR 2119 is the -ve polarity version of a 2116 ,EXCEPT, - that it has also been optimised for 10 - 15 volt supply source, and should work fine down to supply voltages of 8.

The -ve polarity equivalent of a 2120 is the 2113.

 

Unless you plan to run 1/24th flexis with thumping great motors sucking 20 amps plus, you do not need to step up to the heavier rated PM controllers with 13SWG cabling.

 

I mostly use my Slot.it controller for racing, but when we messed about with some Falcon powered 1/24th cars a couple of weeks back, I used my PM 2116, as the Slot.it is right on the limits of kicking the re-settable fuse at initial accelleration.

 

 

 

mark

 

I have been looking on the Prof Motor website and I am not sure I understand the 14-19v bit - in the section on Home/Club controllers most of them are either 14-19v or negative polarity - yet I thought people use 12-15v positive (routed tracks) (and sometimes less) to power their track - (I realise plastic sets are neg.) Can I use these controllers as low as 10-12v?

 

it seems that the only low voltage controllers with variable brakes/sensitivity are 'club pro' aimed at 16D motors... or they are negative polarity ie the PMTR2119 seems to be the right controller but it is negative polarity (is this an issue anyway? if I am using it at home?) guess I need to work out what polarity the tracks I am likely to drive on are...or do I need to get PMTR2110 @~A$180 which is a lot

other than slot.it and PM what other electronic controllers are out there and are they all $150+ (I would rather get 2 for $150 than 1 :))

 

 

cheers

DM


Walks upright Unaided  *  Ties Own Shoelaces  *  Can Mispronounce Own Name In Five Languages  *  Mostly Aims Rattle Cans Away from Self
 My Track Oakland Raceway V2     Our Club  HMBRC     

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I knew I was going to be opening a great big can of wriggly fat worms with the question. But I needed to ask it. I know there are other threads here, and I've read probably 90% of them, but I figured the question needed to be asked from the perspective of my lowly little setup.

 

Given the worm content of the can, I might just have to go fishing this afternoon :)

 

Having read all this, I know where my leaning is. But one thing that must be pointed out. There is no point talking about controllers costing $200 +. I have to get two of them afterall. My absolute limit (minimum wage girl these days, no longer big pay packet from former city life) for two controllers is probably $200. I need value for money. I want something that will last. Given that I'm attempting to get some folks around here hooked on racing (yeah ok difficult on plastic... but any track beats no track) I need robust. Given the range of cars that I've got (and am working on extending) variable electronic is sounding like a strong possibility.

 

I'm trying to do this thing right. Hence the decision on the controllers needs to be made before I can drop in the power supply etc. I hate buying bottom of range on things, because it usually turns out to be false economy. I don't have the opportunity to try a heap of different things from here. Had looked at cruising off somewhere for a day or two this week and drop in for some research along the way, but that's not going to happen now.

 

Anyway, I need to make the controller descision before I can make the next step. And I'll probably need advise on best place to get it from.... I want anything that I buy now to be useful should I take the next step on home track, or manage to get some folks together for club track. The community track is still a possibility. I know of one other bloke in town who is looking at getting back into things after an afternoon visit. Hopefully I'll find more.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

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Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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