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Controller recommendations please


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#1 Alchemist

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 08:58 PM

Hi Everyone!

 

My daughter is now wanting to get into slot car racing at the young age of 34, so I'd like to inquire to your suggestions on a reliable "not too expensive" controller.

 

She won't be doing any sanctioned racing and will be driving cars with FK-130  size motors, like the Hawk Retro, and other similar motors.

 

She does not want to spend the amount of money for DiFalco, Third Eye etc., type contorllers, so these controllers are not an option for her.

 

I was looking to suggest the Professor Motor "Commercial Track Basic Electronic Controller".

 

By the way, the Professor Motor  controllers state "Positive" or "Negative" polarity, which I'm not understanding how one would go about selecting either Positive or Negative type controller.

 

Is there a standard polarity employed for commercial slot car tracks or is it strictly personal preference please?

 

I would appreciate your suggestions/recommendations.

 

Thank you.

 

Ernie


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#2 MSwiss

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 09:05 PM

Koford M558-3

$56.09 retail.

Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
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Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
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#3 bbr

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 10:25 PM

Unfortunately these days cheap controllers performance levels are not that good, anything thing decent is going to cost +$200.

 

shop for a used high level controller


Mike Low
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#4 Alchemist

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 11:09 PM

Thank you for the input gentleman!

 

Mike,

 

I have a Koford M366-3 controller;  would you be able to tell me how this controller compares to the Koford M558-3 controller you just recommended for my daughter - other than price please?

 

Thank you.

 

Ernie


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#5 slotbaker

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 11:25 PM

 

By the way, the Professor Motor  controllers state "Positive" or "Negative" polarity, which I'm not understanding how one would go about selecting either Positive or Negative type controller.

 

Is there a standard polarity employed for commercial slot car tracks or is it strictly personal preference please?

I believe that most commercial tracks are "Positive" (positive gate) meaning that the controller manages the positive side of the voltage/current supply.

 

And conversely, negative controllers handle the negative side.

 

This is determined by the track builder/owner, so if in doubt, check with the track owner to confirm if the track is positive or negative gate.

 

Old style resistor only controllers will operate on either, because there is nothing in the circuit that is dependent on direction, whereas electronic/diode type controllers have components that are sensitive to current flow, and will only work on the circuit it is designed for.

 

The above has nothing to do with which direction the cars go on the track, that is governed by which braid is positive and negative.

 

Hope that makes sense, and helps a bit.


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#6 team burrito

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 11:27 PM

the best controller i ever bought is a carsteen cs1; it has adjustable sensitivity, brakes & choke. it works on many different types of cars, up to GT12. it's priced at $250, but well worth it.


Russ Toy (not Troy)
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#7 MSwiss

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Posted 04 July 2019 - 11:39 PM

Thank you for the input gentleman!
 
Mike,
 
I have a Koford M366-3 controller;  would you be able to tell me how this controller compares to the Koford M558-3 controller you just recommended for my daughter - other than price please?
 
Thank you.
 
Ernie

If I'm not mistaken, Stu came out with the M558-3 as a version of the M366-3 , but with a higher impact handle. For a short time, he sold both. When he ran of the older handle, he discontinued the M366-3.

How do you like it?
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Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#8 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 12:39 AM

Since about year 2000, most commercial tracks have standardized on +right braid or positive gate as the major transistor controllers are also made with that polarity.  Many of the plastic home tracks come with the -right or negative gate wiring.  PM controllers work well for the lower end cars for commercial and club racing.  Getting a used one and trying to convert to the 'right' polarity can be a problem since many of the PM controllers are also custom made for higher voltage HO and Carrera sets and almost everything on the circuit boards need to be changed.

 

I keep a PM in my box as a back up for Retro racing.


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#9 MattD

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 08:41 AM

The Pro Motor standard commercial controller is fine for   fun at the slot track and is not terribly expensive.   There's still a lot of guys out there that play at the race track using old Parma controllers and you can get a 2-4 ohm Turbo on Ebay for $25-$30 fairly often and they work fine and for many years  they were the top choice.

 

Coming to the track to play and have fun is a lot different that coming to the track to try and beat out another racer with $1000 worth of car and controller in his box.

 

Any of you guys remember being kids in 1965 and the fun you had with really basic stuff?


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Matt Bishop

Vintage Cox Slot Cars

#10 team burrito

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 09:13 AM

Coming to the track to play and have fun is a lot different that coming to the track to try and beat out another racer with $1000 worth of car and controller in his box.

only $1000? :laugh2:


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Russ Toy (not Troy)
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#11 Alchemist

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 10:23 AM

Russ - buddy!

 

How is it going?  It's been a while!

 

Hope all is well!

 

 

Thanks Larry for your input on the PM controllers, and for explaining the polarity issue.

 

 

 

Any of you guys remember being kids in 1965 and the fun you had with really basic stuff?

Matt,

 

I had fun with "no stuff" - hahaha!

 

It was a thrill just to be at the San Francisco Model Car Racing facility and watching everyone "playing" with their cars - at least for a while . . . .then after saving my allowance, I finally got a slot car.

 

Mike,

 

As for the Koford controller, I really like it - as well as my daughter.

 

I let her use the controller to drive my inline prototype and commented how much better everything was.

 

The controller has a very smooth trigger feel,  as well as a smooth response to my prototype.

 

In fact, the reason I acquired one, sometime back, is that I read a response to someone's post (I don't remember the title of that thread!)  that Dokk made stating he had the Koford controller and it worked very well for him.

 

So that convinced me to purchase one;   with no regrets.

 

The only design concern, for me, is that the upper part is exposed and does not have any protection - so the possibility of damaging that part if I accidentally butt it up against something is a cause for concern.

 

Thank you for the Koford recommendation Mike!

 

Thank you.

 

Ernie


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#12 Alchemist

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Posted 05 July 2019 - 11:32 AM

I wanted to add the ProSlot PS4001/4002 and the JK Hawk M3/M6 motors to the list for controller recommendation please.

 

By the way Mike,

 

Would the Koford M558-3  be able to handle these motors also?

 

I not familiar with the power draw of these motors, as opposed to the Hawk Retro motors.

 

Thank you.

 

Ernie


Ernie Layacan

#13 MSwiss

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 08:29 AM

Some of those are milder, some are a little hotter.

None are beyond the capacity of the Koford controller.

It will really handle any motor.

It's ultimate capacity is how much you're driving in the middle bands.

If you are(a good portion of the lap), then eventually it would get too warm to handle.

But there's no electronics to burn out.
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Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#14 Alchemist

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 10:18 AM

Hi Mike,

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer my inquiry.

 

Appreciate all the information you provide.

 

 

Ernie


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#15 Jim Difalco

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 06:55 AM

Swiss has made the best point as far as controller motor capacity and heat generation. My DD201 controller is rated for all the Falcon/Hawk type motors as it has a small heatsink inside the handle. In the hands of a new racer running in the middle bands the heatsink would get warmer. But if you ran a G7 wing car the heat would not be an issue since you are punched most of the time.


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#16 Shruska55

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 01:35 PM

Hi All,

 

I'm back to racing after 50 years and posted a comment under scratching building chassis that seems to fit here as well. Is there a Primer regarding controllers as to what all the new features area about re: functions and how to use them? I build my own 2.5-4 ohm Parma micros back in the day and they were pretty much point and shoot. But as I said in the chassis section Wow has the tech changed! I've looked at DiFalco and my club recommended a Professor Motor for the club road track. My budget is around $325.00

 

Thanks,

Scott


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#17 Troy Beeler

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 03:52 PM

I just purchased a Difalco 281 a few weeks ago. And am very happy with it. I have used it three times and won twice! It really did make a difference in my performance. That being said. I did try out many controller. One of them being the DD201. And it is a great controller. In my opinion the DD201 is the best bang for the buck. Thanks Jim I am sold on your products! 



#18 bbr

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 06:37 PM

d**m these controller guys, they keep coming with newer and better ones... and I keep buying them, LOL

(I bought two high end ones in the last month)


Mike Low
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Give me enough rope and I'll build a fast car... or hang myself?

#19 Bill from NH

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 07:32 PM

One for each hand, Mike? :laugh2:


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#20 bbr

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 07:50 PM

I try racing two cars at the same time on the track, but I keep beating myself...


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Mike Low
Cry like a baby, drive like a girl, walk like a man.
Give me enough rope and I'll build a fast car... or hang myself?

#21 MSwiss

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 09:16 PM

When my eldest grandson, comes by, to pack CR stuff, and sweep up a bit, when he is on break, and running on the track, he almost always drives 2 cars at once.

 

His car, with his left hand, on Red, and a rental with his right hand, on White.

 

He's not very good, with either. LOL


Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#22 munter

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 04:23 PM

the best controller i ever bought is a carsteen cs1; it has adjustable sensitivity, brakes & choke. it works on many different types of cars, up to GT12. it's priced at $250, but well worth it.

 

 

 

Me too but then I bought a CS-02.....still waiting to feel it is limiting my results after ten years or so.


John Warren
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#23 munter

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 04:25 PM

And I have the Professor Motor 2110 model controller for home use, the one with adjustable sensitiivity and brakes.

The move to that from Parma resistor controllers was like night and day.


John Warren
Slot cars are my preferred reality


#24 Tim Neja

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Posted 07 March 2020 - 10:06 PM

Some people never seem to learn the controller does NOT drive the car!! It's only the LINK between the finger and the car--- the human driver still has the largest input!!!  I see a LOT of people with $1000+++ controllers never make a podium!  :)


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#25 Dallas Racer

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Posted 08 March 2020 - 11:20 AM

Some people never seem to learn the controller does NOT drive the car!! It's only the LINK between the finger and the car--- the human driver still has the largest input!!!  I see a LOT of people with $1000+++ controllers never make a podium!  :)

:good:

 

There is a difference in controllers though. 10-20 years ago I bought what was at the time the top of the line Difalco, and no-ifs-and-or-buts, I could make faster laps with it than I could with a resister controller. It doesn't seem like it should make any difference but somehow it does.

 

But at some point there is little/no benefit to be had by spending more money. Where is that point? Maybe even a Difalco is more than one really needs.

 

You pull the trigger to go and you let off the the trigger to stop. You can change the acceleration curve and the intensity of the brakes. Maybe a choke for some classes. That's it! How different can controllers be?


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