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Generic controller opinions

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#1 mreibman



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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:50 AM

A week or two ago, one of our local racers purchased an older GP7 car. I noticed last week he was using a Parma Turbo with it, and mentioned that he should not expect that to be a good solution, and eventually will burn up/smoke at least part of the resistor.


Well yesterday, he said to me that he now understood what I was saying. So I lent him one of my older DiFalco controllers to give it a try and see what he thought. He said he noticed the difference.


He was asking me (although it was a rather busy afternoon) about other recommendations, and how to pick. I told him (as I have read on Slotblog many times) that basically, you ask to try what others are using and see how it feels. Had it been less busy, and had I had some of my other controllers with me, I would have lent him some to try).


So basically, here's my rambling question:

There are "tiers" of controllers, as I might express it.

A tier: Parma, JK, other internal resistor controllers. (Parma is about 35 watts) (single barrel parma about 25 watts - we won't even go into that).

B tier: external wire resistor controllers. external resistor controllers, Diode controllers (perhaps this is more than one tier?)

C tier: electronic / transistor controllers good for practicing / short time usage 30-60 minutes then a break

D tier: electronic controllers good for racing / all day usage

E tier: controllers for serious racers that make coffee, too.


So I've seen controllers in my time from Parma's Sebring (not to mention the cox thumb controllers) up through and past DiFalco and Ruddock..... For someone who doesn't want to spend $500. What controllers would you consider to be a good step up to use with cobalt motors, at what point do you need to add a choke? (so what fits in C and D tiers vs E tier?)


All comments helpful and appreciated. Trying to help out a fellow racer.


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.
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#2 Phil Beukema

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:59 AM

 A couple of good things about the Difalco HD30 is that it has a variety of changeable network cards to quickly match the motor to the track, it's built well and has very good customer service.



"Line 'em up!"

#3 Bill from NH

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 01:02 PM

Jim.Difalco has always stood behind his products very well too. I own an older Ruddock DR-40. You want a choke for most any cobalt car on a flat track, probably with any cobalt wing cars too. You could easily make one by wrapping 20 ga. or 22 ga. wire around a core. There's a photo of a handwound choke in Jim Fowler's current thread on Motown race day F1 setup a couple threads below this one.

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Bill Fernald

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#4 idare2bdul


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Posted 20 August 2018 - 03:16 PM

One size fits all situations for a choke isn't ideal for racing but could work just for play if you are willing to give up some performance or if you use too little wire have some motor problems. They also still sell adjustable external chokes but they aren't cheap. 

If you can find a good used Ruddock chokemaster you will probably find it meets your needs but don't expect to get it super cheap unless someone needs money fast of doesn't know what they have. 

The light at the end of the tunnel is almost always a train.
Mike Boemker

#5 Phil Beukema

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 07:06 PM


"Line 'em up!"

#6 Ramcatlarry


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Posted 25 August 2018 - 11:53 PM

Your 'B' tier looks like it includes the 100 WATT range controllers that were prevalent prior to the switch the big transistor controllers.  The Omni/Cidex is in that arena.  The  earlier Prof Motor diode controllers are in the 25 - 35 watt range.


Tier 'A' does not take into account the HO and homeset controller that are typically LESS than 20 watt. Many newbies do not realize that.


Since 'chokes' and meters are mainly accessories, they can be added on as needed.  A variable brake for a lower end controller has also been around for a long time.  I have three very different chokes myself to play with.

Larry D. Kelley, MA
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