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Professor Motor Policar 35 Ohm Controllers - Family's Collective Review

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  • Professor Motor Policar 35 Ohm Controllers - Family's Collective Review

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    As many of you know, I'm starting off the family down the road of slot cars. We just weren't happy with the thumb controllers with the standard Policar set. Otherwise, the set has been fantastic (though I find it odd they include R1 curves in the base set, help a dad out with some wider radius curves!). I watched Harry's review of the PM controllers and jumped in for two 35 ohm controllers. They arrived yesterday and I was thrilled with them. Here's a quick breakdown of my impressions and then I'll get into what my kids think.

    Size: Wow, they were much larger than what I had originally imagined. I'm guessing this is a fairly traditional size for most trigger controllers. However, despite the size the grip works great for me and I haven't heard any complaints from the kiddos.

    Cord: I love the size of the cord! Much improved from the stock -- really nice to see.

    Trigger: This was the first thing I noticed. I was surprised at how smooth the trigger action was. I am almost tempted to say it is almost too light of a resistance, but I'm used to a bit stiffer controls on most of my other RC controllers; however, after a few laps I was getting the hang of it.

    Value: I am very satisfied with the price for value on these. I find the fine control much improved and can attest to this especially with my kids. I took out the magnets on our track (running at 7.5 volts) and my three year old ran about 15-20 laps before he finally deslotted in a corner. Part of going magnet-less was a bit of a track redesign (also got track with my order) but I also credit the more natural feeling for the kids, who are used to remote control cars. I asked all of them which style they preferred, thumb or trigger. All unanimously preferred the new PM controllers.

    Three Year Old's Perspective (Our troublemaker)

    "I love it! More like my big truck." He's referring to some 1/10 scale short course truck

    Six Year Old's Perspective (My athletic/coordinated kid)

    "I love it's see through. It's much easier to change speed."

    Seven Year Old's Perspective (Our bookworm)

    "I can see what's going on inside. I like the trigger better than the thumb part."

    Questions I Still Have: What benefit would adding the 25 ohm braking potentiometer sold by PM offer me? Would it increase overall braking power, if adjusted to full brakes? I've read the instructions on PM; however, it doesn't really speak to what changes you can expect to get from doing the mod. I'm planning on giving PM a call if no one knows. Also, if I were to ever power my track with an adjustable power supply, switching from the stock powerbase, would I be able to get a three prong wiring lead for these and switch them over from the 3.5mm jack to alligator clips?

    Overall: These are fantastic! I'm glad I jumped in for these and my enjoyment of the set has increased greatly!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi jfuente,..........the brake pots (potentiometers) will not increase braking, but, will allow you to reduce the braking effect..........this feature is best appreciated when using magnet cars, or on tracks with wide radius corners. To be honest, at this point you would be far better off putting this money towards a better (adjustable) power supply.

    If you do plan (or want) to change from the "phone jacks" to alligator clips, this is not an issue.

    I am sure you are aware of this, but,.....try to remember to unplug your power supply when plugging in, or, unplugging controllers equipped with phone jacks........you can get a "short" if the bands on the jacks touch more than one of the powerbase connections. It does not happen often, but, it does happen.

    Cheers
    Chris Walker

    PS next time you order from Prof. Mtr. buy a tube of "Superlube"........this is used to lubricate the resistor face, it improves the longevity and performance of your controller........(Recommended by Prof.Mtr.)
    Last edited by chrisguyw; July 14, 2021, 01:21 PM.

    Comment


    • jfuente
      jfuente commented
      Editing a comment
      Awesome! Thanks for the input.

      Actually just got a variable (0-30v / 0-10A) power supply delivered yesterday as well, though primarily for my tire razor due here Friday. Going to get some race management going for lap times and finish off the full setup and then probably will look into switching over to using the power supply for the track.

      Thanks for explaining the brake pots -- yeah, def not what I'm looking for at this point. And good to know about changing over to alligator clips! Just added some Superlube to my PM shopping cart.

  • #3
    Very good choice and 35 ohms gives you the slow voltage rise and low speed performance that you can't get with real low ohm controllers. Low ohms are really close to being an on/off switch. Adjustable brakes are not a big deal to most people. You get used to how your brakes work and you will all learn to drive accordingly.

    One thing that has not been mentioned (that I know of) are tires. Going non-mag is great and provides a better driving experience. I am not up on mods, but the guys here will respond and probably tell you the first thing you should consider is switching to urethane tires and how that changes the grip level. Second thing would added chassis weight and loosening screws to let the body "float" a little. These are the biggest improvements you can do.
    Matt B
    So. In
    Crashers

    Comment


    • jfuente
      jfuente commented
      Editing a comment
      I've trimmed a bit up on the chassis and loosened the screws. Also got a tire razor coming in the mail and will be adding some PG tires as well.

  • #4
    Hee, hee... it won't be long before you will be routing you own 3 - 4 lane track!

    Comment


    • #5
      I have three of these I bought for the grandkids as they cannot leave the knobs on the other controllers alone, I also use them for club IROC racing. I have found that the 35ohm works perfectly for the 18K motors.
      Some of the classes we race have faster motors (21.5K-23K) and the controller is not as smooth with these higher rpm motors, there seems to be a flat spot between stop and go.

      Comment


      • jfuente
        jfuente commented
        Editing a comment
        Good to know!

    • #6
      Actually the Policar power supply is adjustable. The PM 35 ohm controller uses small resistors, if you switch to a larger aftermarket power supply those could get fried if there was a short across the track rails. The current that the cars use when they are operating normally would not be a problem. With a big power supply you should have a separate fuse or circuit breaker for each lane. 1 or 2 amps should work OK.

      Comment


      • jfuente
        jfuente commented
        Editing a comment
        Awesome! If I ever make the switch I'll look into that. Thanks for the heads up.

    • #7
      The hitch with resistor based controllers is that they do not have the same response with different motors that use more or less power. When a car draws more amps you will need to use a controller with a lower ohm value to get the best control. People that run all sorts of HO cars that require a large range of ohm value controllers often find that buying a single electronic controller is cheaper than three or four resistor controllers.

      Comment


      • jfuente
        jfuente commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah I'd heard that in my first thread here on HRW. Figured these would serve as a good first and economical upgrade from the set controllers. My best guess is, at some point down the road I'll move into a more fully fledged controller but these will work great for my kids, etc.

    • #8
      Mitch is right about young kids and knobs!😄. My granddaughters managed to twist them so hard against the stop that they spun loose and had to be super glued back on.
      Mike V.
      Western North Carolina

      Comment


      • jfuente
        jfuente commented
        Editing a comment
        Haha, yeah. It definitely crossed my mind when I was watching a few reviews of those DiFalco controllers.

    • #9
      Hello jfuente. Those are great controllers. I bought the some ones (but the Scalextric compatible version). One tip that is recommended by Professor Motor is to periodically clean the "resistor face" using a Q-tip and Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol). I just slide the Q-tip between the open slots on the side of the controller and carefully swipe the Q-tip across the resistor face surface. You will notice the end of the Q-tip does become quite dirty. Depending on your usage, you may only need to do this every 4-6 weeks or so. Cheers RvE
      Ralph
      Toronto, Ontario
      Canada

      Comment


      • Mickey thumbs
        Mickey thumbs commented
        Editing a comment
        I also highly recommend following the maintenance routine recommended by PM. A car responding erratically isn’t always its fault, sometimes it’s a crudded-up controller.

      • jfuente
        jfuente commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, I did see that. I was recommended to me to pickup PM's superlube to keep the resistor face lubricated. Added it to my next shopping cart.

    • #10
      I'm currently trying to reach out to Oliver at Professor Motor. My question is, would I be able to get a low voltage pro PM controller with the standard alligator clips but add the 3.5mm plug wiring harness to it and use it with the stock Policar powerbase?

      After a bit of reflection, I'm leaning against wiring my track in it's current state and simply want to add a controller with a bit more customisation for my own purposes. These 35 ohm controllers work great for my kids.

      In theory, I should just be able to detach the three wires and connect the PM 3.5mm plug harness to it. Anyone done this or think it's feasible?

      Comment


      • slothead
        slothead commented
        Editing a comment
        Years ago I bought PM electronic controllers with Scalextric plugs on them to directly connect to the powerbases. I have Scaley powerbases attached to the bottom of both my routed tracks with soldered wires going from the underside of the powerbase track rails to the copper tape connection. Both setups have worked flawlessly for over a decade.

        I hope they now offer their controller with Policar plus for your needs.

      • jfuente
        jfuente commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah I see no reason it wouldn't work. I realized a large piece of my desire to wire my track was to open up options for a more fully fledged controller versus a need for a separate power supply. The power supply as it is, while not offered infinite adjustment, works great in filling my needs as is. Usually run at 9 volts for the kids but like running at 10.5 for myself (all non mag for both)

    • #11
      As an update: Just spoke with Oliver. He said it'd be no issue and they'd put the connector on for me and it'll end up costing a bit less than the stock low voltage pro! Sawweeeeet!

      He mentioned just put in the order comments my intended purpose.

      Comment


      • slothead
        slothead commented
        Editing a comment
        If you care to at some point you can also get SCC to make a cable to go from a fully adjustable power supply, such as Pyramid, to your powerbase. I can easily swap PM controllers between my track, but have a dedicated power supply for each of them.

      • jfuente
        jfuente commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh! That'd be slick. I might have to reach out to them.

      • jfuente
        jfuente commented
        Editing a comment
        Steve is making me an adapter! Thanks for the idea slothead

    • #12
      jfuente - sounds like you will be all set with a variable power supply and the PM controllers. I think you will love this set up since it allows you to set the power on your track for all kinds of different brands/types of cars.

      To help others understand this simple set up that uses the stock power base, with after market controllers and a variable power supply, I am posting a photo of my Scalextric set up. I am using the standard Professor Motor controllers that are made to plug directly into the Scalextric power base. I have connected my variable power supply to the standard Scalextric base using a "home made" cord, with compatible connectors (called "RCA jacks") that interconnects the variable power supply to the dual input jacks on the Scalextric power base - see red arrows on the photo. With this powering set up, the small switch on the Scalextric base is set to the independent powering position, since this does reduce the risk of burning out the stock power base due to excessive current draw on the track. I did not realize that Professor Motor offers this adapter power cable, and that is great to know - thanks for sharing that jfuente.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	Track Powering_detail.JPG Views:	0 Size:	97.2 KB ID:	117359
      I will also point out that I have set up the ArcOne timing and lap counter track piece at my Start Finish line, and I only use the ArcOne for timing, lap counting, pit stops etc. I have disabled the tracking powering within the Arc One track section so I can use my variable power supply and PM controllers for track powering, instead of the flimsy Arc One controllers. Disabling the track powering within the Arc One track piece is easy - open the plastic case and unplug the powering connector on the Arc One track piece. There are web articles that show how to do this in detail.

      So this powering set up allows users to add in aftermarket controllers and variable power supplies to stock track power bases, and even add in the Arc One timing/lap counting features to your track. I hope this inspires others to upgrade their home tracks. Cheers RvE
      Ralph
      Toronto, Ontario
      Canada

      Comment


      • jfuente
        jfuente commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. I plan on adding an inline fuse between the power supply and power relay I've got for my race management.

        I'm curious, what do you set as your amp limit on your power supply? Just trying to decide on the amp rating for my fuse and upper limit setting on the supply.

        But yes, both PM and SCC are hooking me up with a great setup. Very excited.

      • RvE
        RvE commented
        Editing a comment
        jfuente - I keep it simple and set my Amps to the max setting. My power supply is only 5A. I have never had any problems with burning out the power base on any controllers.
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