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Who's looking for Parma handles?


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#1 Samiam

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:09 PM

Admin note: There's content here worth saving, so I've saved this thread over to this forum and deleted the posts not worth saving.

Yeah, I've overtwritten Sam's original post, but it's all his fault: he's the member who asked me to archive this information.


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#2 Bill from NH

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 05:50 PM

I stopped being concerned if my handles were Russkit or Parma a long time ago. I have three or four pair of "R" handles, but they all are cut to fit particular controllers. My last pair of NOS "Rs" were traded to a friend 15 years ago so he could restore a controller. I had got them to build a second double micro that never got built in the '70s when the first one worked so well.


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#3 Samiam

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 06:20 PM

I'm mostly addicted to the metalflake ones. Can't resist anything metalflake.


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Sam Levitch
 
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#4 MSwiss

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 06:59 PM

I had a local guy who brought in a pseudo pro car from the late '60s that he ran at the legendary Hinsdale Raceway.

 

He also had a stock, blue Russkit controller.

 

In this day and age, I can run 97-100% as fast on my King, with a $53.99 retail Koford controller as I can with a $275-$324 Thirrd Eye or Difalco.

 

But in the case of the Russkit, it was a good .2 or .3 slower.


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#5 Bill from NH

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:38 PM

Mike P, Parma once sold bottles of black liquid rubber for insulating triggers which were steel, not plastic. They also sold bottles of the liquid ceramic insulation they used on resistors. I've had that resistpr insulation flake off as the resistor sits unused. Today Parma sells neither product. A two-part regular epoxy will sometimes let you repair a resister similar to their "wet-wound" ones. 


Bill Fernald
 

How old should a highway be before you tell it, that it has been adopted?


#6 Samiam

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 07:17 AM

Does anyone know when Parma retooled and replaced the "R" with Parma?


Sam Levitch
 
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#7 Bill from NH

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 07:46 AM

In the mid-'70s. Call someone at Parma if you need the exact date.

Bill Fernald
 

How old should a highway be before you tell it, that it has been adopted?


#8 TSR

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 02:38 PM

The handles' molds were modified in 1974, after McDowell purchased the rights to my controller design, that they renamed "Turbo" and put it in production.

The original prototype of my "Ice Box" controller that I sold with the prints, is still at Parma in Ohio, where I autographed it during a visit there about 15 years ago.

This is a picture of the second unit I built then for my own use, today at the LASCM museum. It still used a microswitch for the brakes, but I replaced that by a button for the Parma unit.

1345.jpg
 
These two pictures are of the Parma prototype I signed for Mike McDowell:

1341.jpg

1342.jpg
 
The prototype still had Russkit handles, but molded in Lexan instead of meltable plastic.
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#9 Samiam

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 05:04 PM

Thanks Dokk.

 

I like those clear "R" handles. Don't see them often. 


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#10 Frankie Schaffier

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 09:05 AM

20160412_211714.jpg

Cap passed this handle onto me, I thought was pretty cool and being told its a bit rare.
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#11 Racer36

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 12:15 PM

Where did the "ice box" moniker come from?

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#12 TSR

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 08:04 PM

Dennis,
at the time when I devised this new design, all the "pro" controllers were giving your hands first-degree burns, because the heat generated by the resistor ended on the steel trigger, and hot it was. They were also very heavy, because they used the old Russkit steel frame on which specialist controller builders, Gorski, Cotton, Emott etc. and eventually Parma that copied the Gorski design, used soldered brass plates to the steel frame to fit micro switches for power and brakes with steel bolts and nuts. That plus a large steel bolt and nut holding the heavy double-barrel ceramic resistor that radiated heat like a torch, and you basically had what 99% of the racers were using. I mean, the HANDLES were also melting at times!  The fact that the available on-track power leaked AC on most tracks, bypassing the battery chargers used to keep up with the big-wire motors, did not help of course.

During a USRA race I was leading, the brass plate on my Parma "Double-Micro" controller fall inside the handles because the solder joint holding it has melted! I only had one controller and not enough friends, so I packed my gear and left.

I was not happy and went back home, swearing that enough was enough with that old stuff. I got a piece of 1/16" sheet aluminum and cut it, filed it drilled it and hacked it until it fitted in the handles without any changes to them. I machined a threaded trigger pin with a flange using a chunk of stainless steel, used a small cut of 3/8" magnesium and band-sawed a trigger, drilled it for two opposing 1/8" flanged ball bearings, stuck a piece of plexiglass to keep my finger cool and instead of using a power micro-switch, used a trigger button as a resistor bypass for power, kept (temporarily) a big micro switch for the brakes. I also used a drilled through aluminum bolt and aluminum nut to hold the resistor, saving more weight. And light it was, about half the weight of my failed Parma job.

Then I went to test it, and life was beautiful again. It was so cool (in every respect) that I loaned it to pro racer Earl Campbell who happened to be there, and he was so stoked, he said "this feels like an ice box".
So I adopted the name. That controller never let me down for the following two years and helped me rack quite a few wins and a USRA championship. :)

This is the same bad boy today, I need to rewire it:

1343.jpg    1344.jpg

 

This is another that I never finished, because I quit slot racing shortly after the 1973 Nats.

1353.jpg

Maybe some day...


 


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#13 Phil Hackett

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 03:06 PM

Ditto to what Philippe said about the earlier controllers being torches. My group called them hand warmers... and yes, the handles did melt but by that time the trigger was also sticking, it was too hot to hold and your race was pretty much ruined... I do faintly remember a controller catching fire for just a moment. Seems the lubricant (lighter fluid was a favorite then) used on the resistor was a little low on the flash temp. I can't remember where or who it was.


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#14 Samiam

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 04:20 PM

Just an FYI. Parma has smoked, purple, and clear handles listed as available.
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#15 Bazzie

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 09:09 PM

Just an FYI. Parma has smoked, purple, and clear handles listed as available.


So can we assume the smoked ones have already overheated?


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#16 Samiam

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 10:02 AM

Just an FYI. Parma has smoked, purple, and clear handles listed as available.

Blue is now available.


Sam Levitch
 
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#17 drrufo

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 09:12 PM

I never have a problem when I order 25 or 50 handles. They take my debit card and ship them within the week. The only problem I have is I have to pay retail.

 

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