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  • Low voltage controller

    There is a discussion in the club that I race with about going non-magnetic and/or low voltage. I am willing to do whatever it takes to race. I just want to be competitive. We have been racing 12 to 14 VDC. Some members have discussed slowing cars down by lowering the track voltages down to as low as 6VDC. I have been looking at a MOSFET controller which requires a minimum of 8VDC. Another controller transistor-based controller has a voltage range of 16-19VDC. Then a resistor controller states the voltage range is 10-18 VDC. BTW, we race on a Carrera track with a regulated power supply. Any suggestions? Also, I can understand 6VDC on a very small figure eight-track, but on a paper clip track approximately thirty feet.
    Last edited by volracer; November 2, 2020, 08:48 PM.

  • #2
    Depends on what kind of options you want in a controller. Brakes, sensitivity, choke, etc. Professor Motor makes some good entry level controllers with no options that would fit your needs.
    Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA

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    • #3
      Most of the club tracks in my area are 10 volt, routed tracks. Lots of guys use the Professor Motor low voltage positive polarity club racer (with brake and sensitivity adjustment) controller. You may be better off with a PM controller dedicated to Carrera track so you can use the original terminal track (if that is how you still have your track).

      Peter

      P.S. Turning the voltage down and removing the magnets is the best advice for increasing the enjoyment of slot car racing. You will be so glad you made the decision to do so.
      PetesLightKits

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      • #4
        I recently bought Professor Motors “Home set Pro” Carrera controllers w sensitivity and brake pots for my Carrera track. At 10.5 volts with no mags I couldn’t be happier. The sensitivity pot makes lower voltage work very well and they plug right into the stock Carrera terminals.
        And like Peter said taking out the magnets and turning down the voltage is way better imo.
        Good luck!

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        • #5
          I would expect that the cars would be VERY slow at 6 volts. Shoreline Model Raceways runs most non-magnet cars at 10 volts. We go up to 12 volts for Artin cars with low powered motors and down to about 8 volts for Fly Trucks with hard rubber tires that have little grip. For us the controller of choice is a Difalco. I have never tried a Professor Motor electronic controller, but one with adjustable sensitivity and brakes should work OK. With the Difalco Genesis and Neo DD301 controllers you can change the resistor board in the control circuit if the sensitivity control is out of its range. My Difalco Genesis usually has the 148 ohm board because I like a controller with a fast response to make up for my increasingly sluggish reflexes, but on one of our tracks I use a 218 ohm board. The standard board is 290 ohms.
          Last edited by RichD; November 12, 2020, 09:44 AM.

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          • #6
            Our clubs run with the Professor Motor low voltage controllers, adjustable sensitivity and brakes, at 10 volts. I had a 4 lane Carrera track that was using the original track connectors, so it was negative polarity. My controllers were Professor Motor controllers , but were not the Low Voltage controllers. You would have to dial in more sensitivity to get the "same" response as the Low Voltage controllers. (I did have one Professor Motor Negative Polarity Low Voltage controller that was a special order. When I had it hooked up with the other 3 Standard controllers everyone would tell me something was "wrong" with the controller.) I prefer the Low Voltage controller since we run at 10 volts. You are able to have a wider range of sensitivity at this voltage.

            Jim W

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            • #7
              I think 6v is way too low. My 7 year old nephew can drive cars around my routed track at 8v with no offs.

              I started with basic PM controllers, then upgraded to the ones with brake and sensitivity settings, and now our club use 30 band DiFalco controllers exclusively. We race at 10v.

              The DiFalco controllers have brake and sensitivity settings and also a choke. Thirty bands gives them a very smooth throttle response. Depending on your level of skill and your budget you may want to start with the less expensive PM controllers. You can always trade up.
              Team SCANC
              Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
              OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
              Leadfinger Raceway

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              • #8
                Just curious - how does a low voltage controller work better at 10 volts? I'm using a Carrera Home Set controller running at 12 volts on Carrera track and I like the response. The manual claims recommended track voltage of "standard wall pack transformer" - I assume thats between 12 and 14 volts?

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                • #9
                  The difference between a Low Voltage controller and a controller designed for the Standard wall pack voltage, is the range of sensitivity. The Low Voltage controller will be able to "move" a car at a lower start up voltage from the adjustment of the sensitivity control adjustment. The sensitivity circuit will start at maybe 3 volts for a "Low Voltage" controller and maybe 5 volts for a "standard" voltage controller. I set my controller sensitivity to allow me to control my car in the slowest part of a track, such as a technical section. We started running at 10 volts to help control some of the Scalextric F-1 cars, like the Lotus 49.

                  Jim W

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ragtopman View Post
                    I recently bought Professor Motors “Home set Pro” Carrera controllers w sensitivity and brake pots for my Carrera track. At 10.5 volts with no mags I couldn’t be happier. The sensitivity pot makes lower voltage work very well and they plug right into the stock Carrera terminals.
                    And like Peter said taking out the magnets and turning down the voltage is way better imo.
                    Good luck!
                    We were running at magnet free, 10 volts regulated power supply, with Professor Motor low voltage controllers (sensitivity and brake adjustment knobs) and this makes racing way more fun! Still have my PM controller and its' a very nice/smooth unit, and price is not bad at around $125-$150 depending on where you buy.
                    Last edited by SlotCat; November 4, 2020, 02:22 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the info - so a standard PM controller will work at 10 volts just not as well as say a low voltage PM controller due to sensitivity? Is it worth adding a sensitivity pot to the standard controller? A bit confused as the pro version (with sensitivity and braking) has an operating range of 14 to 19 volts according to PM website? Thanks!!

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                      • #12
                        I have the PM electronic controllers as well w/o sensitivity pot and they do not work well at 10 volts. The “pro” ones I have do work very well w lower voltage due to the sensitivity pot...
                        these “pro” controllers let me race my non magnet cars at 10.5 volts very well but can also work as high up as 18.5 w my 1/24 cars as well.
                        Great controllers to say the least. But if you want a controller for just 10 volts maybe get a dedicated low voltage version. I would call PM and talk with them as they can make many, many different controllers based on your need.
                        hope this helps and good luck!

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Rago - I tried the electronic PM at 10.5 volts and didn't like it (know why now). Using 12 volts seems to be fine for my cars and small track - better than the 14.8 volt Carrera. Maybe I'll add the sensitivity pot at a later time if I want to go lower in voltage. Thanks again!!!
                          Last edited by waxgroove; November 5, 2020, 12:28 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Professor Motor makes quite a few different controllers. Their "pro" controllers, with sensitivity and brakes, can be bought both with "standard voltage range, 14 to 19 volts, or a low voltage,10 to 15 volts. I have used both of these controllers while running at 10 volts. The difference is where you would have to set your sensitivity to run your car. If you were using a car with a FF, slim can, motor, you may have the knob turned all the way down while using "standard" voltage controller. When using the "low" voltage controller, the sensitivity knob may be set to about 1/3 amount of sensitivity. When using cars that are more sluggish in response, such as a SCX motored car, the sensitivity may have to be turned near the max amount of sensitivity. When running cars at the 10 volts with the "standard" voltage controller, I have felt I wanted just a little more adjustment with a few cars. I run many different types of cars, the Vintage cars that have may require more sensitivity than most modern cars come to my mind.

                            Jim W

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                            • #15
                              One advantage of the Difalco controllers that take plug in resistor boards is that if your sensitivity control does not have the right range you can try a different board. If a maker tries to design a controller that can be used over a very wide voltage range very small sensitivity adjustments might have a greater effect than you would like.

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