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How to check if these controllers work?

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#1 Ted Bier

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 08:35 AM

I have a whole bunch of Parma controllers. Don't really know if they work because I don't have a track set up. Most are these banana guitar plug set-ups.

I do have an multimeter!

So just how do I see if they are still alive?



#2 Ramcatlarry


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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:16 AM

You can bet that over 90% will not work if the trigger sounds like a screech machine and the tungsten resistor face is white with corrosion.  They will all need to be taken apart and cleaned of all corrosion before a continuity test can prove anything.


Unless you have a track that NEEDS the phone plug, cut them off and put 'gator clips on.  That system caused more problems than it was worth in the early 1960s.

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#3 NY Nick

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:25 AM

Open the plug and check the wire with a meter, open the handle clean the resistor.

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#4 mreibman


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Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:30 AM

there is a whole good thread on testing controllers at home HERE.
If you mock-up the track power hookup and have a light/motor/slot car that you can use, you should be able to test without issue.
Cleaning the contacts in the controller would be expected maintenance, and probably having to cut off the phono jack might also be expected. However, if you really want to test them this is the way, or if you don't want to invest the time and energy, find someone who will test them for you. Testing them is pretty easy. Building the tester is also pretty straightforward.
If I can asisst with anything, please don't hesitate to let me know.
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