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Old Mura controllers


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#1 Mbloes

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 12:52 PM

I've acquired a small collection of these over the last few years. With a couple of recent quality acquisitions, here's what I've got so far:

 

c1.jpg

 

c2.jpg

 

c3.jpg


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Mike Bloes




#2 Mbloes

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 12:57 PM

These were not all made by Mura. I believe they were made by somebody else and anybody could rebadge them.  

 

But the one with the Parma sticker isn't a Parma.

 

Here's an ad:

 

mura controller.jpg


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#3 olescratch

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:02 PM

How are these held? Are they made to be used with a finger or a thumb?  Interesting design to say the least!


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#4 Mbloes

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:13 PM

Thumb. These are a lot more comfortable though than your basic Cox or MRC controllers.


Mike Bloes

#5 Zippity

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:18 PM

Beautiful!!  :) :)



#6 Racer36

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:20 PM

Nice!


Dennis Dominey

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#7 Kim Lander

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 03:21 PM

They were used with the thumb and held as the ones we use today.



#8 Steve Deiters

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 04:48 PM

We've certainly travelled a long way, haven't we?


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#9 Mbloes

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:42 PM

At the same time, the logical simplicity of the design is pretty elegant.


Mike Bloes

#10 Jeff Bechtel

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:51 PM

Would you be interested in selling one of them? 

 

I have a controller collection. I have a Ram version of one of these but do not have one like these. A racer from California moved to St. Louis in 1965 and had one of these and I have wanted one ever since.



#11 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 07:30 PM

The trigger and resistor elements are all of the Pam 1964-65 design. 

 

As far as I know, they all used a bicycle grip on a straight handle. Yes, it works equally well as a trigger and thumb controller. 

 

The Russkit initial design and subsequent bigger version that we all know and love as the Parma 'economy' controller won the late 1960s controller war. 

 

The colors and curves say 1969 California to me. Peace, baby!


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Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#12 Mbloes

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:19 PM

And Philippe wrote in an old thread:
 

This is an old thread but since then I found out that the Mura/Lenz controllers were simply re-badged Tradeship items made in Japan and marketed by Freddy Foyn, the Tradeship company owner.
Some came in quite wild colors...

 
I have no reason to doubt this, except that the four resin handles (bottom row) all have slightly different shapes and electrical components.
Mike Bloes

#13 TSR

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:38 PM

Please do not doubt it, they ARE Tradeship and came from Japan, like most of the Tradeship products. Tradeship made them for Mura and other companies, even some HO versions with higher resistance.



#14 Mbloes

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:04 PM

Philippe, do you think that the top two are also Tradeship? The bottom ones are made out of all resin but those have a fiberboard center sandwiched in between the handle elements.
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#15 TSR

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:17 PM

No, they are not. There were quite a few of this type of controllers in 1965-1966.



#16 Bill from NH

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 11:07 PM

Mike,

Have you ever tried running a car with one of these controllers? Do any of yours have alligator clips? I notice one has a phono plug and another has an electrical plug.

Bill Fernald

 

You have to be odd to be #1. :laugh2: 


#17 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 11:14 PM

Tradeship? I never saw these (in the Midwest) before - only the Ram models with the red bike grips and a more squarish cut black fiberboard frame. 

I use mine for the occaisional vintage event with 7 and 10 ohm resistors.

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#18 Bill from NH

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:49 AM

Was Ram a Midwest company? Perhaps REHco or whoever the distributer was, only carried Ram controllers.

Here in the Northeast, we didn't see either. We didn't see much of anything slotcar-wise, other than HO and AMT Turnpikes, until the spring of 1967.

Bill Fernald

 

You have to be odd to be #1. :laugh2: 


#19 NY Nick

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 08:52 AM

Cool, man.
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#20 zipper

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:17 AM

Here a pic from "Hur man kör miniracing" (How to drive slotracing), 1968 by Dan Glimne, Sweden. Is this a cheaper version of Mura controller?

P1050761.JPG .
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#21 don.siegel

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:40 AM

That looks more like the Ram to me, but just from memory. (well, not quite, just looked at a picture of a Ram controller in the Car Model handbook).
 
And yes, Ram was a Midwest company, near Chicago I think. 
 
Great-looking controllers, but don't remember seeing any of these at the time. It was all Cox, then MRC, don't even remember any Russkits... but probably wasn't paying attention to what anybody used at the time. 
 
Don

#22 NY Nick

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:29 PM

What are the colored handles made out of?


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#23 TSR

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:47 PM

Pekka, the "Mura" controller shown has nothing to do with Mura. Possibly a Ram before they used the bicycle handlebar grip...

The only controllers Mura ever marketed were those Japanese Tradeship made of high-temp plastic and nicely colored in many different shades.

Below it the last iteration of the Ram controller with the vinyl grip and resistor heat sink:

DSCN3875.JPG


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#24 Mbloes

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:52 PM

Have you ever tried running a car with one of these controllers? Do any of yours have alligator clips? I notice one has a phono plug and another has an electrical plug.

 

Nope. Even though you can't see it, some of the lead ends are just bare wires. Just for show only.

 

What are the colored handles made out of?

 

They appear to be made of a plastic or resin of some sort. I'm trying to figure out how they are made. Maybe the different colors are laminated together and then machined? I don't really know.

 

The two in the top row have a fiberboard center and then the handle material is glued to that somehow. These appear to be an easier manufacturing job in that the handle material is one color.

 

My favorite is the one to the far right. Not only is it a smaller profile (check out how thin the neck is), but it is also comprised of four colors.


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#25 TSR

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 02:27 PM

Mike,

 

These controllers were actually handmade and all are differently shaped...

 

It is quite an amazing job but typical of the very labor-intensive type of work done by the Japanese in the toy industry. Hard workers, incredibly precise in their work, and often manufactured in "cottages," then brought to a factory for final assembly.

 

There are plenty of such labor-intensive items in slot car history, remember the Russkit wire wheels? Well, they came from Japan and were first marketed by Aristo Craft, the Polks brand in NYC. All handmade, then nickel plated. Pure slot car jewelry...



#26 Half Fast

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:05 PM

These kept the resistor away from your hand, unlike the Towerstat "hand warmers" of unfond memory.

 

Cheers.


Bill Botjer

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#27 Mbloes

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:12 PM

Thanks, Philippe. The "handmade" makes sense as all four of my handles are different.


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#28 zipper

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:40 PM

TSR, on 11 Jan 2017 - 8:47 PM, said:
Pekka, the "Mura" controller shown has nothing to do with Mura. Possibly a Ram before they used the bicycle handlebar grip...


OK, Dan Glimne was wrong... can't correct him as he seems to be dedicated to professional poker nowadays; he probably left slots before 1970.
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#29 John Secchi

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:42 PM

Picked up a box full of wondrous-looking controllers very cheap at a collectors show in the UK just before Xmas and among what was mostly junk I found a controller as posted above, had no idea who made it so now I know!

[oneofwos]

#30 Tim Wilkins

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 07:51 PM

What's the controller make on the left in this photo from an eBay listing?

cont.jpg

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#31 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 01:13 AM

The red (left) is the common Ram controller without the resistor shield that PdL's photo shows. Got two or three of them working just fine. Many may have gotten local track plugs as needed.
 
The black one is a mystery to me - not a Cox or MRC that I have or seen. I used to have a museum showcase in my store after PdL's TSRF visit.... mostly controllers.
 
Ram Engineering of Northlake, IL, also made the welded commutator seven-pole 857 and 850 Pittman 85 clones and several other motors and parts for 1960s slot racing.

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#32 zipper

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 05:58 AM

The black one is a Cox pro - never drove with it but once did have it in my hand.

Cox pro controller
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#33 don.siegel

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:33 AM

I think that's the Cox "Pro" controller that they came out with pretty late in the game, maybe 1968... 

 

Don 



#34 zipper

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:59 AM

Dokk said 1969.


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#35 proptop

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 02:06 PM

I've got one of these style controllers...very much like the black and white one on the left in the top pic in post #1

 

I am pretty sure they are made of laminated Plexiglass...

 

In the early 70's, in Shop class in Jr. High I made some knife handles and Jewelry boxes out of Plexiglass...and there is a certain smell and feel to it...and it's easy to glue or laminate with a watery solvent...IIRC it's MEK but I'm not 100% on that...but the solvent will "wick" into the joint and weld the pieces together.

 

Then you can use a belt sander to rough out the shape...then polish and buff it out...


Tom Hemmes
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