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  • Russkit controllers?

    Setting up a big four lane track (100+feet) in the barn, Going to try to get a race group started so I need four controllers to get started with. I dont want to lay out a bunch of cash on any thing nice until I get some interest in the group started. I have two Parma's for my own use but I'm not buying more of those just yet. I was thinking of trying some Russkit. Their pretty cheap on fleabay and I can get them in 45ohm which will work fine for the 440x2's I plan on running and they look like there bigger than the toy controllers. CHEAP is the key word here. What ya'll think?

  • #2
    Parma controllers are readily available on ePay and you can get different resistive cores of almost any value needed to fit them. You can install brakes to your track for those that wish to use them (look at the controller conversation here in the forum for details).
    Tyco's are good starting point. Consider other classes (Vipers, Mega G, etc.) as you expand. IROC is always welcome. Good luck.
    Where are you located? You may find interest right here.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AptosC6 View Post
      Parma controllers are readily available on ePay and you can get different resistive cores of almost any value needed to fit them. You can install brakes to your track for those that wish to use them (look at the controller conversation here in the forum for details).
      Tyco's are good starting point. Consider other classes (Vipers, Mega G, etc.) as you expand. IROC is always welcome. Good luck.
      Where are you located? You may find interest right here.
      I'm in parsons Tn. but like I said in the post I'm not laying down $$$$$ for parma controllers right now? I stated I have two parma's of my own now. I am very familiar with them. I'm looking for a dirt cheap alternative of four matching 45ohm controllers and was hoping for some input from people with experience with the russkit controllers .

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      • #4
        Others know better than I, but I do recall reading on this forum that Russkits are a good option for what you are talking about, and cheap. Been tempted to try them myself but I have five Econo 60's that work well for what I do (Lifelike M, Mega G, TR-3.) Trying not to hoard. ;-)

        Edit-Here is a discussion from 2012 that may be of some help.
        Last edited by NCSS; 04-09-2019, 02:09 PM. Reason: added link to discussion, poor word choice corrected

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        • #5
          The original larger Aurora AFX Russkit controllers are dirt cheap and plentiful. I love them.

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          • #6
            Parma Economy controllers are actually Russkit controllers, the grips still have the Russkit crest minus the R. The Aurora AFX Russkit controllers are a different animal, those are slightly upgraded set type controllers. Used Parma Economy controllers were easy to find until Parma stopped selling new ones. Now that new Economy controllers are available one again the used ones may be easier to find at a decent price.

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            • #7
              We also don't know what he wants to spend. I used to beat people with high end controllers with my 45 ohm early AFX Russkit. Newbies won't have any advantage using anything better. Learn on crap and you hone your skills, rather than letting the controller do it for you. You can buy a few lots of them dirt cheap and have spare/s handy.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JimDouglasJr View Post
                We also don't know what he wants to spend.
                I figured this broad hint in his first post gave us a clue.


                They're pretty cheap on fleabay and I can get them in 45ohm which will work fine for the 440x2's I plan on running and they look like they're bigger than the toy controllers. CHEAP is the key word here. What ya'll think?
                The (low) price of them there controllers seems to be of consideration, in terms of their value and usefulness to the OP.

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                • #9
                  A big weakness of cheapie Russkit/Parma controllers is how the current gets to the wipers. They commonly connect one wire to the end of the return spring instead of to the wiper itself. Or it may be connected to the frame, and the current needs to pass through the pivot to get to the wiper. Neither setup is particularly good. If you solder the end of that wire directly to the wiper you'll make a significant improvement to the controller. But make sure that wire has enough slack that it can flex easily without straining the solder joint.

                  The downside is that the connection will eventually fail due to metal fatigue. So when that happens you just reconnect it.

                  The wires in those controllers can be pathetically thin. Replacing them with heavier wire, maybe AWG 18, would also be a significant upgrade.

                  Some of those controllers have weak return action. If you reposition the return spring so it pulls higher up on the wiper you can increase the return force.

                  So if you are resolutely, ah, economical, you can make a bargain-bin controller halfway decent. Yeah, halfway. But when you get tired of cheesy controllers, investing in a good, mid-range electronic controller -- such as those sold by Professor Motor -- will be a sensible upgrade.

                  Much, much more expensive, but a good long-term investment.

                  Ed Bianchi
                  Last edited by HO RacePro; 04-11-2019, 05:44 AM.

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                  • #10
                    It was implied that the OP did not want to spend much money, however you would not be saving any money if you bought controllers that proved to be unsatisfactory. If you expect to use the controllers a lot you might be better off getting higher quality ones for a start rather than having to replace the cheap ones rather quickly.

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                    • #11
                      If you do decide to use the yellow Aurora/Russkit early A/FX set controllers, try to find the ones with three screws holding the handles together, not the glued together type, unless they are very cheap. With the screw type you can adjust and service the controllers until the time comes when you'd like to purchase a set of the tried and true PARMA controllers. As stated before, they are actually better constructed but very similar to the inexpensive set type controllers. Remember to have FUN, and... Enjoy! -- Ernie :>)

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                      • #12
                        Yes, the larger ones with the screws. Best way to spot them in an auction.
                        As for them wearing out, I've had my setup here for over 5 years now and play with it every single day, often for an hour or more. Haven't worn the two I'm using out yet.

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                        • #13
                          If you are going to run in organized races you need to use a robust controller. If you are running just for fun and a controller folds up you just switch to another one and it is not a big deal. If you are racing a failed controller will ruin your day. The last time that I was racing with someone that used an Aurora AFX Russkit controller his controller packed it in and his day was over.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RichD View Post
                            If you are going to run in organized races you need to use a robust controller. If you are running just for fun and a controller folds up you just switch to another one and it is not a big deal. If you are racing a failed controller will ruin your day. The last time that I was racing with someone that used an Aurora AFX Russkit controller his controller packed it in and his day was over.
                            Did you read my post? (
                            . I dont want to lay out a bunch of cash on any thing nice until I get some interest in the group started.) Good grief?

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                            • #15
                              Welp there seem to be several approaches the OP can take, like buying some of the old, large Russkits, hopefully quit cheap. I like having redundancy as I am supplying all the equipment for people to use, as opposed to clubs where people bring their own controllers and/or cars. So for a four lane track I have five Parma Econos 60 ohm and however many set controllers are in bins in the garage, probably at least four that are still intact, as I salvage the AFX plugs because it's just easy.

                              To my mind, a modern set controller or two as backup would be better than no controller, and remember, AFX improved their set controllers some years ago, so the reliability is much better. Heck I remember someone on here offered me as many set controllers as I would want, and I don't think they even wanted postage! So here's hoping success and fun to a new track and owner! Initial outlay can be pricey, especially when you want or need to buy everything in multiples of four or more.

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