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Interesting eBay-snagged controller


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#1 Samiam

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:19 AM

Here's a very interesting controller I snagged off eBay for less than $20.

 

Came out of Greensboro, NC, and is engraved with the name Tom Childers. Does anyone have any info on this racer? I don't know if he was the builder of this controller or the racer who owned it...

 

Looks like a diode controller similar to the Cidex units, which in my experience back in the day were really nice controllers.

 

Note the 'Fleming hinge' wiper arm made using a small commercial brass hinge.

 

Haven't had a chance to track test this controller yet, but will do so soon.

 

IMG_1102.jpg

 

IMG_1097.jpg

 

IMG_1098.jpg

 

IMG_1099.jpg

 

IMG_1100.jpg

 

IMG_1101.jpg


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#2 Racer36

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:41 AM

Did you have to say "Fleming"?


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#3 Cheater

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:55 AM

Dennis,
 
LOL. The reference is to Eddie Fleming...
 

Historical how-to: the Fleming hinge

 

As an aside, I spoke via phone to my long-time friend Eddie about 45 mins ago...
 


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#4 Fast Freddie

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:11 AM

I still have one of those controllers. I retired mine when I got a Difalco. It worked great for what I raced back in the '90s. 

 

I don't remember where I bought mine. I haven't used it in ages so I don't know if it works or not.


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#5 Racer36

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:48 AM

:D 


Dennis Dominey

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#6 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:53 AM

That is an interesting find, Sam. I am looking forward to hearing how it works.

 

I have been thinking about building a new controller for myself and I may put a hinge in it just for kicks.


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#7 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 02:42 PM

That is a "Henry Diode," one of the lightweight units. Henry Vervoorn of Phoenix, AZ, used to make these on order. I have one of his "Big Block" units from 1990 that is still very smooth.

 

I have been looking for Henry to try to get him on the phone with Joel for old times sakes but I fear he is homeless these days.


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#8 MSwiss

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 03:09 PM

I remember the Henry controllers.

They seemed to be more prevalent in AZ and CA.

IIRC, they were around in the Team Quack era.


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#9 Samiam

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:18 PM

Thanks, guys.

 

I'm going to clean it up and give it a test. May add an adjustable brake. Just has an on/off switch now. 


Sam Levitch
 
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#10 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 12:31 AM

Sam,

 

Just so you know Henry would have asked for about $150 for a unit like this fitted with ball bearings. If it smells of cigarettes it is an authentic "Henry." With five diodes it will no doubt be good for flat tracks.

 

Keep us posted. 


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#11 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:46 PM

If it does not have a blast relay, add one to get that last bit of go. That is more important than a variable brake on a diode controller.


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#12 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:08 PM

I was going to add these to my existing "Henry" but thought I'd build a new one with parts from DiGiKey. It is fairly inexpensive, using JK handles and frame. I have some inconel sheet to cut block strips from so just need to dig out some other parts from old stock and have fun. The blast relays are about $3.15 or so.


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#13 Samiam

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 07:21 PM

If it does not have a blast relay, add one to get that last bit of go. That is more important than a variable brake on a diode controller.

 

No, it doesn't have one. I have some relays laying around so I'll see about adding one. Should be a good update for this cool '90s controller.

 

Thanks for the tip. 


Sam Levitch
 
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#14 macman

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:10 PM

That preceded the Omni by several years...


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#15 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 08:29 PM

The Omni bridge rectifiers are 8 amp rated (100 watt), while the larger square bridges are 20+ amps (200+ watt) first good cobalt motor controller to not overheat too much.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#16 mreibman

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:32 AM

I have one of these controllers, but instead of two diodes in the heatsink, it has four. The wiper block is similar, but smaller and mine has the variable brake.

 

I got it in a lot of stuff I bought around 1993-94. I confirmed it was Bob Jaekel's old controller, but it does have another racer's (I assume racer) name engraved on the heatsink. I had it out recently, and still works great, then again, the stuff I was running was the same age as the controller!

 

My complaint about it was always that the heatsink part is huge and heavy, so I put a cord on it to hang it from the panel. It's nice to see that someone else has one and it wasn't just a one-off.

 

We used this as a model to build a scratchbuilt diode controller back then, which also works great, but had way too much brakes for my taste.

 

I bring it all up as last weekend I was out testing various controller things and getting ready to do some modifications and such. (like adding relays!)

 

When I get a chance I'll post some pics as well.


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#17 mreibman

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:48 AM

Well, only took me 2 months to take pictures....

 

I really liked this one for G27 cars in the 90's.diode controller 1.jpg 20180725_185741.jpg 20180725_185741.jpg 20180725_185812.jpg 20180725_185946.jpg 20180725_185958.jpg 20180725_190138.jpg 20180725_190156.jpg 20180725_190215.jpg 20180725_190225.jpg 20180725_190428.jpg


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#18 mreibman

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:53 AM

Based on Bob Jaeckel's use of that controller, around 1993-94, my friend Christopher Gomes decided to take one of my many controllers and convert it into his own version of the same thing.

 

From my experience this one works really well, but without the variable brake, it has WAY too much stop for my driving style. It's a 4-diode model, and I would part with it if anyone is really interested.

 

 

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Mike Reibman
Alleged amateur racer
Mostly just play with lots of cars.
Able to maintain slot cars with a single bound.
Faster than a speeding womp.
More powerful than a 36D
 
 

#19 Jesse Gonzales

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:10 PM

Mike, your version of the Henry Diode looks really nice, good work. I started one too using my Henry as that model using JK parts and diodes from DigiKey. I went to Pima Reclamation where Henry Vervoorn used to buy a lot of his components and it was closed, summer in AZ is bad but when you are browsing in an uncooled building it's even worse. All the Henry's I've seen had the big aluminum heat sinks from stereo amps I believe so I'll try a stereo shop next. Great work! try iy on an open, it will surprise you.

 

Jesse Gonzales



#20 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 11:38 PM

Another web vendor is "American Science and Surplus"  - they have two stores in the Chicago area and also have a periodic mail order catalog.  As they say ' inventory changes frequently'......

 

All diode/bridge rectifier controllers work on a voltage drop per diode.  Each bridge rectifier has four (in two polarity pathways), so a five rectifier controller can have ten throttle bands or steps.

Omni limited their controllers to 8 amp diodes and Prof Motor uses a design that allowed more diodes for a greater voltage drop (with Carrera 18volt track and mostly used 3 amp diode, but the board had room for the larger diameter 6 amp diodes.  Using "glass passivated" diodes or rectifiers increases the voltage drop per diode for better low speed control.

 

I still repair both the Omni and PM controllers of this type.


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Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#21 Half Fast

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 10:38 AM

Thanks Larry. I was about to ask how a diode controller works, you answered it before I asked it!

 

Cheers


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