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Controller Comparison

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  • Controller Comparison

    Recently, I was lucky enough to purchase one of Steve Medanic's most recent builds of the M-Magic-S controller. Initial testing on my Banzai BuckTrax road course indicated that I was on average 0.1 second faster in both Median and Best Lap times regardless of what class of car was being tested. I sort of expected this, as the controller fits me very well, the adjustments are intuitive, and allows me to drive at my best.

    I really didn't expect to see much of a difference on the HORacePro Slider (tm) banked oval track equipped with non-magnetic braid. I think I've been proven wrong. I decided to do some serious testing this morning on the oval. The two controllers tested were the Lucky Bob (LB) and the M-Magic-S (MMS) with the TLC switch in positions "0" and "1". Testing was conducted in 25 lap blocks using a Viper-Jet with a HOST Lexan body (current HOCOC NSC rules), timing by the most recent TrackMate software. The Samlex power supply was set at 12.0 VDC. Track room temperature was 86 F at 78% relative humidity. Data is reported as Median Lap / Best Lap / Potential Laps in 4 Perfect Heats Based on the Median Lap Times (12 minutes of racing. Controllers are noted as LB, MMS-0, and MMS-1.

    Lanes range from the outside lane to the inside lane.

    LB: 2.21 / 2.157 / 325.8 ; 2.12 / 2.048 / 339.6 ; 2.10 / 1.998 / 342.9 ; 2.15 / 2.048 / 334.9

    MMS-0: 2.23 / 2.125 / 322.9 ; 2.12 / 2.053 / 339.6 ; 2.11 / 1.982 / 341.2 ; 2.17 / 2.056 / 331.8

    MMS-1: 2.16 / 2.119 / 333.3 ; 2.11 / 2.028 / 341.2 ; 2.06 / 1.894 / 349.5 ; 2.12 / 2.027 / 339.6


    While the differential between the times are overall much closer than on the Banzai BuckTrax, in regard to the Lucky Bob versus the M-Magic-S with the TLC switch in Position "0", the performance of the controllers are essentially similar. The real "magic" happens with the TLC switch in Position "1" (recommended for the "Jet" type of cars) in which the M-Magic-S controller demonstrates a clear and consistent improvement in performance and drivability.

    Disclaimer: Controllers are very personal in what the end user prefers in form and function. What works well for me might not work as well for someone else.
    Last edited by gmcullan; 07-17-2019, 08:58 AM.

  • #2
    smiley-163510_960_720.jpg The above results were not unusual and/or atypical.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Maddman; 07-17-2019, 11:46 AM.


    • #3
      So Gerry, what is the TLC switch? What does it do and why might it improve lap times?

      Ed Bianchi

      PS - Interesting that the difference in the median lap times for all three controllers -- from outside to the inside lanes -- were all within six thousandths (0.006) of a second! And the yellow lane -- second from the inside -- was uniformly the fastest overall. If only by a few thousandths of a second.

      Of course there are too many variables and too little data to draw any solid conclusions, but here is at least some evidence that the lanes on the oval are far more equal than common wisdom would have it.

      Which helps explain why some drivers and cars have had notable success running the outer lanes.


      • #4
        Dang, Steve, how did you get that photo of me?


        • #5
          Ed, the TLC switch stands for Three Level Choke, with Position "0" being no choke, Position "1" a specific voltage drop but full power available upon hitting the full power stop, and Position "2" an additional voltage drop that bypasses the full power stop and keeps the power transistor in the circuit at all times. I'm sure that I've explained this all wrong. I know Steve will chime in with any corrections. This controller also has an upper voltage limit control. I had this full on for all testing. I think of it as a high speed sensitivity control that works in conjunction with the normal (low speed) sensitivity adjustment. Position "0" is recommended for magnet cars, Position "1" for T-Jets, and G/Viper-Jets and similar, with Position "2" recommended for gravity class cars. I really like this gizmo, it fits me well in both form and function.


          • #6
            Gerry, You are right on the money. UVL works in all three switch positions and allows you to limit the maximum voltage provided by the transistor just before you hit the full power stop. TLC allows you to configure what the full power stop will do. Position 0 - Deliver maximum beans to the car. Position 1 - Take 0.7V off the top. Position 2 - Take 1.4V off the top and allow the UVL dial to determine the maximum voltage provided to the car.


            • #7
              See, reading instructions is a good thing! Understanding them is even better! Putting it all into practice is icing on the cake!
              Last edited by gmcullan; 07-17-2019, 03:56 PM.


              • #8
                So how does this differ from using a diode box in series with the white wire of a regular controller? Is there a way to bypass the diodes and provide full voltage as an option? Is there a full power 'A' and a full power 'B', with the 'A' voltage reduced by one or two diodes?
                Ed Bianchi


                • #9
                  Ed, as you know I've done a lot of testing with what I've been calling "diode trees", especially with gravity class cars. The M-Magic-S controller seems to offer the best of all worlds. First is the Upper Voltage Level. UVL controls how much power the transistor is going to transfer on the top end. This control is continuously variable and has a very useable range. The UVL functions in all three positions of the TLC switch. With the TLC switch in Position 0, UVL governs top end response yet full power is passed when you hit the full power stop. TLC switch Position 1 drops a fixed 0.7 VDC but full power is available upon hitting the full power stop. TLC Position 2 drops 1.4 VDC and bypasses the full power stop. In this case, the UVL control sets how much power is going to the car.

                  Regardless of TLC switch position, the UVL control really allows you to tailor the top end response of your car.


                  • #10
                    Ed. Visit my website. Download the users manual and see for yourself what the controller does.