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Circuit Master Controllers. Current Info' Availability Etc

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Those of you Familiar, with the “Circuit Master” controller, previously built and marketed by John Fuga, may perhaps be wondering what, If Anything has happened regarding those Controllers and or Info’, Help, Spares etc,...

 

After John’s passing,..I believe his Wife/partner, ended up basically giving ALL the Controller ‘Stuff’, to another local Sydney ‘Wing Car’ racer “Johnny Fav“, who was also a fairly long time friend of John’s.

 

John,..(who has Not really been particularly ‘active’ over these last few Years), really didn’t do Anything with all the controller stuff,..until quite recently.

 

As John and I have been racing friends for many a long year and occasionally ‘chat’, he was aware that having borrowed one of John’s controllers from a friend, when I first got started back into racing Seriously at HSC, I Now also owned one,..and I guess also partly, as he knew I Was still Very much ‘Involved’ in slotting generally as well as the fact I had called him myself to try and get Some Spares,..particularly and Output Transistor, due to the fact My controller was ‘playing up’, he called recently, (when his change of location was becoming imminent and probably couldn’t be bothered loading, and storing ALL that Crap !!,..lol),..to see if I wanted to come over and Get it ALL !!

 

SO,.... I have Still Yet to go through ALL of the Stuff,..but am Far closer than when I first picked it All up,...Eeeek !!,..lol

 

Anyway,..whilst in reality, I do NOT Intend to become Seriously involved in Controller Manufacture,..there Are Quite a Number of controllers, in ‘Almost ready to Go state and Most of the required Extra Spares, bits & Bobs etc, to put a number of controllers together, at some stage.

 

Please Note,..

these controllers are and will be in a Very ‘Limited’ supply.

 

Mainly due to the ‘Limit’ of the Exact Real numbers of Bits that will allow a controller to be ‘built’ AND also due to my being Both Slow and arguably ‘Anal’,..Especially when it comes to Controllers!,..lol

 

In All honesty, after trying my friends unit, I Was quite disappointed in the Build quality of Mine, initially, which actually Did need, ‘Work’ to even function correctly, let alone ‘Feel’ good and work smoothly and reliably. Something that it Most certainly Has done and allowed me to Win almost More than My Fair Share of races !!,..lol

 

Obviously, Most of the ‘Parts’, are Standard Parma parts, (although as I have discovered, John uses a type of Handle Bolt and Nut that is Particularly ANNOYINGLY,..NOT the Correct Size,..Grrr,..(I have replaced All of Mine with the Correct Parma units!).

To be honest, out of the Many half built, almost completed comtrollers I acquired, it Still took quite a bit of work and effort to end up with 1 or 2 slightly different controllers Good enough to actually Race with.

 

If people Really DO want a controller,..I Can build one up and even though Most of the Parts will Not really cost very much, I Will charge for the Assembling of the controller to a ‘Proper’ and Tested Standard, in a 'fashion that I would be Happy with!!, ...... Just DON’T Expect it to Happen,..Overnight !!!,..lol

 

As Far as the Resistor ‘Block’ arrays that John started fitting to many of his later controllers,..especially those for 1/32 scale cars, I do NOT really have Any of,..perhaps a Few,..but realistically and in My Opinion, it is Both Easy and Far Better to Establish your Own Curve/overall impedence etc yourself, by way of and Use of Individual Resistors of varying impedence, as many of his controllers came fitted with and many others have found themselves.

 

The actual OUTPUT Transistor used in this “Circuit Master” controllers, is a TIP35C.

 

These devices Are actually a fairly common audio device and are a relatively Easy device to purchase, in fact Jaycar invariably have them in stock.

 

They are Not Expensive, realistically and as this is a fairly cheap and common almost Garden variety of Semi Conductor, it’s reliability and performance Can vary both amongst the various manufacturers and also even within ‘batches’ from the Same manufacturer.

 

Whilst it Would be Good to Test and Match these devices, Unless I ‘happen Upon’ a particularly Good Brand that is arguably ‘available’, I will at this Stage leave it up to Any Individuals to Go about that Process at this stage.

 

I currently have one or two different Types that I will eventually Try and ‘Report’ back If I have anything TO Report!,..lol

 

The Basic Circuit as used by John, is ‘Virtually Identical to the Earlier Difalco Circuit, as is discussed and detailed here;

http://www.slotcar.o...ntrol/index.htm

 

The Only other things I am Desperatley Short of though, are Brake ‘Pots’ and Full Power Relays, (a;though once again a number of Other Sources for suitable units are relatively easy to come across, apart from Jaycar, as it is a fairly Common Automotive Relay.

 

I Have found a local Source for the appropriate Brake Pot and will endeavour to purchase some to aid in eventually completing the controllers that are here and supplying Spares if required.

 

The Sensitivity Pot is another ‘Pot’ I will eventually need some of, but is also a fairly commonly available unit and perhaps, (depending on ones desired usage range and sensitivity etc), Difalco Replacement units could also be used.

 

Perhaps as a Word of Warning to Any one thinking of attempting to Replace their possibly Blown Output Trannie. (a relatively Easy thing to Check with a Modern digital Multimeter), is to FIRST,..CUT the Legs on the Device with a Good set of Side Citters, which will allow an Easy Dis-assembly of the ‘Daughter Board’ from the Heat Sink and More Importantly, allow the Easier removal of the Transformers ‘legs’ from the ‘Daughter’ board without Fear of Damage to the PC ‘Tracks’, which ARE Extremely Delicate,..Unfortunately.

 

perhaps ‘fortunately the Easier Side to ‘damage’, Is also a relatively Easy ‘Fix’ with some appropriate sized wire and heat shrink etc.... in fact something I have had to do on Two of these controllers.

 

So,..that’s about it,...just thought I Should mention what is happening regarding the Circuit master Situation per se,... :)

Happy to answer any questions etc regarding the above,..If I Can,..lol and as mentioned ‘Custom’ hand built controllers Can be made available to those that may be interested and can be discussed.

 

 

Cheers,

Stewart

Edited by stoo23

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Hi Stoo,

 

Thanks for posting the info on John Fuga's slot car controller, an interesting piece of history.

 

Are you still using your "Circuit Master"?

 

Did the "actual" Circuit Master circuit get publicly published? I'd be interested in having a look.

 

regards

Greg

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Thanks Phil,

 

In Stoo23's post there is a link to Chris Frost's web pages which I *think* are the same as found via the BSCRA site.

 

I have read these pages in detail but was hoping for a real schematic of a commercial product. Most of the commercial controllers don't publish their schematics or just reference the BSCRA site for obvious reasons. :D

 

regards

Greg

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Hi Greg,

 

As suggested by the 'link' in my 'post' and above, there is some interesting Info' on the BSCRA site.

 

There was also some good info' over on the AB SlotSport site. Although the site IS currently being re-organized, so may Not be that easy to find. http://www.abslotsport.com/

 

I will bring my older controller and some 'bits & bobs' along to the Next Retro race at HSC for you to look at etc.

 

To answer your 'specific' questions though,.. No,.. not currently using the controller, (mainly due to my own slackness in not repairing it) and NO (Not Specifically) regarding the 'Circuit' as such.

 

John Didn't re-invent the Wheel. In fact he simply 'cloned' / 'copied' an Existing design of an earlier DiFalco model, to the point where the circuit boards are virtually Identical, (which caused some distress and threats) from Difalco !!

 

Speak soon,..

:)

Edited by stoo23

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While the Difalco circuit board is their design the circuit is Generic. The plug in resistor module is easy to copy using header plugs or a 25 pin plug and socket.

Jaycee posted info on controller design some years ago.

Chris Frost info can easily be used for building your own, using suitable easy to obtain components.

 


Phil

 

Hobart Miniature Car Club

 

Tassie Resins

 

Email

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks guys,

I have been looking at these sites:

  • Normal British Circuit - Chris Frost
  • Building your own single transistor controller - Paul Bucknell
  • AB Slotport Controller
  • Club Controller - JCS100
  • Barnsi Controller​

Most roads seems to lead back to BSCRA site.

Jaycee (Jaygee - Jeff Goldberg?) posted info on controller design some years ago.

I looked at this circuit, Jaygee Linear 100, and it is a little different. I started putting it into ltspice and realized the CCS part of the circuit included the motor? The voltage drops seemed insufficient. Jeff is obviously is more knowledgeable than myself so I wondered if it was a "typical" circuit? Maybe I got it wrong??

Before I had heard of the Circuit Master I saw a brown PCB that looked a bit like a early Defalco, it probably was a "Circuit Master"?

I have a Defalco and am interested in pursuing building a controller probably along the lines of the "Club Controller by JCS100".

Thanks for helping me fill in some gaps.

regards

Greg

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Stoo, I still have the first controller John built for sale. this is the one that does not have the plug in resistor packs. I did have to replace the trani once and sitting here thinking about it, you could put a plug in socket in place for easy changing on the daughter board. I also have replaced both pots over time. When John originally sourced parts, he wanted to be able to get everything local and readily available. Jaycar was a large source of components. It is good to know that someone still has the leftovers. The main reason John built them was he got sick of Defalco charging an enormous amount of money ($600 ish at the time) so he decided to build something for less than half the price ($250 I think he sold them for) and local for repairs. At least now I know where to go for bits I can't source like circuit boards if I need one.

 

Thanks


Stu

 

Old racers race harder

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Have three of these controllers all still working and used , they're good controllers . most of the guys that raced at Sydney Slots used them,

I still do.

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And the best part is you can run anything from an AFX car right through to an open with no changes to the controller


Stu

 

Old racers race harder

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