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Daddy, what did you do in the great war?

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  • Daddy, what did you do in the great war?

    OK so it is more like: "Grampa, what did you do in the great Coronavirus isolation?" Lot less dramatic that....

    Anyway: because I do a bit of racing in several different places, over time I have needed different controller hookups. So I made some VERY Heath Robinson adapters. Basically just left the banana plugs on my controller and made up whatever I need from that. But it looked awful and it was rather fragile. I did not use any kind of proper strain relief so over time the adapters, that looked hokey to start with, went steadily downhill. And a lot of the connectors were not very robust and actually rather vulnerable.

    In terms of really bulletproof connectors, XLR has stood the test of time in millions of concerts and musical performances across the world for many years. They are strong, lock well, have great continuity, can be quickly and easily connected/disconnected, are idiot-proof (one way of connecting only) and come ready made with cable clamping and strain relief and are relatively inexpensive: what's not to like?

    So I decided: I would replace the banana plugs on my controllers with XLR male connectors and make up XLR-female-to-whatever connectors. And so I did. I actually require 5 different hookups: we now use 110V 3 prong plugs on our local club tracks: I used DS three prong plugs at the Tacoma 24 hour; alligator clips at the TT race in Edmonton; and banana plugs are always good to have. This in addition to the XLR's used at the Michigan 24 hour.

    Over the past few days I have therefore been replacing the connectors on my controllers and making up the appropriate adapter pieces. And I like it!

    My collection:

    Click image for larger version

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    Now to find something else to do.... Oh yes, that ridiculous maybe-5,000RPM motor in my Carrera 1/24 Ferrari P4 has GOT to go .....

  • #2
    Just don't plug you controller into 110v by accident!
    Why doesn't my car run like that?



    • slothead
      slothead commented
      Editing a comment
      My thought too - that looks very dangerous. I've resisted using anything similar too household electrics on any of my tracks. Large or small stereo plugs work great.

    • SuperSlab
      SuperSlab commented
      Editing a comment
      Dangerous? If I really WAS that stupid to plug in my controller into 110v - the reason why I would remotely be inclined to do that escapes me - it will wreck the controller. Appropriate punishment for stupidity I suppose. In the 60's where I came from it was common practice to use 3 prong plugs on our controllers at our club track. And that was in a country where mains supply was @ 220V.

    • noddaz
      noddaz commented
      Editing a comment
      I am not saying that at all, I can just see some little kid somewhere thinking "Hey! I know where to plug THAT in!"

  • #3
    Well, I suppose if I am stupid enough to do that I deserve everything I would get.... Darwin anyone?


    • #4
      Not sure what the problem is....Alwyn has these installed at the track!


      Click image for larger version

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      • #5
        The last couple of commercial raceways owned by Ernie Mossetti (MRSlotcar), utilized 3 prong plugs, ........brought on by years of racers and birthday party goers hooking up incorrectly using 3 alligator clips.

        Strong, foolproof and inexpensive.

        Chris Walker


        • #6
          Originally posted by Cgyracer View Post
          Not sure what the problem is....Alwyn has these installed at the track!
          I was wondering how to improve things Rob but I drew a blank.... And thanks for the plug!


          • #7
            If you want to use a 110volt connector, the way to do it is to have the female end on the controller and the male side on the track. Then it is impossible to plug the controller into the mains.
            Dennis Samson

            Scratchbuilding is life
            Life is scratchbuilt


            • #8
              If you have the male side of a standard plug at the driver's stations they should be recessed to reduce the chance of something getting shorted across the pins. All of the 1/32nd tracks in my area have XLR jacks, a few have screw posts for alligator clips as well. As you can see from the illustration when you have an XLR plug on your controller it is very easy to make adapters for other types of connectors.
              It is better in the long run to use connectors that are as nearly as foolproof as possible.