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Author Topic: Controllers - the agony of choice!  (Read 590 times)

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Offline Lightningf6

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Controllers - the agony of choice!
« on: January 12, 2019, 07:31:54 PM »
Hi all,
I have been using a Farish hand controller and a H&M Clipper for many years but sadly the Farish has finally died. I am looking for a twin (or two single) controllers to replace the ones I have. I use Kato Unitrack on my main layout with smaller scenic layouts using Peco. I have narrowed my search down to either a Gaugemaster Model D or two Kato 22-018s.
Does anyone have any advice or opinions on these options?
An additional question: I have read that old H&M controllers can damage more modern motors. Is this true?
Many thanks.

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 08:05:28 PM »
An additional question: I have read that old H&M controllers can damage more modern motors. Is this true?
Many thanks.
Maybe if used in half-wave mode as that's a low frequency pulsed power.  Keep the H&M set to full wave and high resistance as the best settings for N gauge, but even so you have to remember those old controllers were designed for OO and large gauge models made in the 60s and 70s.  Something more modern will be better.

I still have the cases for my H&Ms, but the internal resistance mats were replaced by Gaugemaster 100 panel mount controllers years ago.  In this guise they make useful backups in case I have a problem with my KPC controllers.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Online dannyboy

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 08:14:10 PM »
Hi Lightning and welcome to the forum. When my layout is switched for DC running, I use the Kato controller. I also use a Kato controller on the test layout. I like the way power is controlled by the handle thingy!  Having said that, I like all things Kato - controllers/track/running stock.  :thumbsup:. Of course, there are many different opinions as to which is best, so somebody will be along with a different take on the question. If possible, see if you can try a few different ones out in a shop or at a show.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline Paddy

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 08:36:19 PM »
Hi Lightningf6,

On HOLLERTON JUNCTION I use a controller from Morley.

Http://morleycontrollers.com

It is the Vesta N Zero Two model and. Ones with two free additional hand held contollers that Plus in to the main unit.

The controller works well all N gauge locomotives.

Hope this helps.

Paddy
HOLLERTON JUNCTION (SHED 13C)
London Midland Region
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=11342.0

Offline jpendle

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 08:49:21 PM »
I have a Gaugemaster Model D and it performed happily for years when I used DC.

After I moved to the US and I still used it through a 120/240 step up transformer.

Now I've gone DCC so it sits in a box most of the time.

Regards,

John P

Online Newportnobby

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 09:31:38 PM »
I have the Morley Vortrack (4 track) for my main layout and that has 2 x 5m cable length hand helds (I've added a 3rd) along with a built in CDU.
For the smaller layout I have a Gaugemaster cased twin track with simulators, although I find the latter just a gimmick of not much use.
Morley carry a 5 year warranty whereas Gaugemaster have a lifetime warranty.
I also have a Farish controller I use to power my Kato testing oval.

Offline Geriatrix

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 09:11:32 PM »
I've had both the Morley and various Gaugemaster controllers, but now I'm using the bluetooth controllers by BlueRailways. They're brilliant, either as wired controllers, or using the bluetooth system as a hands free remote controller. Forget using a phone/tablet though - it's fun for a few minutes, but not really practical. Very helpful guy who runs it all.
http://www.bluerailways.co.uk/
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 09:12:33 PM by Geriatrix, Reason: spelling »

Online Train Waiting

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 09:28:25 PM »
I have narrowed my search down to either a Gaugemaster Model D or two Kato 22-018s.
Does anyone have any advice or opinions on these options?

I use two fairly new (about 6 years old) Kato 22-014 controllers on my US layout.  One failed and I replaced it.

On my British layout I use a Gaugemaster 'Model D' which is nearly 30 years old and still going strong.  Gaugemaster controllers are British made and have a lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer.  (of course, if the manufacturer goes out of business, that's your lifetime guarantee gone as well!)

Like @dannyboy I like the Kato control handle!  His advice about trying both types before a purchase is very good.

But, if you want me to dismount from this comfortable fence... if I was asked to advise someone starting out in the hobby; I think I'd plump for the Gaugemaster.

Best wishes.

John

PS Welcome aboard!
'Why does the Disney Castle work so well?  Because it borrows from reality without ever slipping into it.'

(Acknowledgement: John Goodall Esq, Architectural Editor, 'Country Life'.)

The Table-Top Railway is an attempt to create, in British 'N' gauge,  a 'semi-scenic' railway in the old-fashioned style, reminiscent of the layouts of the 1920s to the 1950s.

Offline Lightningf6

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 05:03:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies!
Having read them and a lot of reviews and forums I have decided to go with the Gaugemaster Model D.  I am looking forward to being fully functional again!

Online dannyboy

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 05:32:20 PM »
Judging by a lot of the comments on the forum, not may of us are "fully functional", although our layouts are okay!  ;D.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline grumbeast

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2019, 07:17:44 PM »
I think pretty much all modern controllers are pretty good, I used a Morley Vortrack in the UK and loved it, I also have a small gaugemaster thats good too, so I think you'll be good regardless.  I have to use my old MRC Tech 4 now I'm back in Canada though I am considering getting a step up controller so that I can use the Vortrack again.  Either way, I'm just REALLY happy that theres someone else using just DC!! I know DCC is awesome, but I still love DC

Offline Lightningf6

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2019, 03:03:15 PM »
DCC would mean all new control stuff and decoders for every locomotive which would be an investment I am not willing to make. Besides which I understand DC and have used it for almost fifty years. DCC would mean learning a whole new skill set.
 I am happy with DC and will continue to use it.

Offline DaveGlew

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2019, 05:51:49 PM »
Everyone is different (thankfully) but it's DC for me every time (I love wiring though) and Gaugemaster Q with separate transformers.
If it looks right and it works then I'm happy.

Offline N Gauge Bob

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2019, 11:08:35 AM »
Everyone is different (thankfully) but it's DC for me every time (I love wiring though) and Gaugemaster Q with separate transformers.


Doing some catching up!!!
For me everytime it is Modelex. I have used them on Moorcock Junction and Armathwaite and simply will not use anything else due to reliability and superb back up and advice.

http://www.modelexmodelrailways.co.uk/

And yes I am another DC only chap....glad I am. At a recent show the noise of locos from various layouts was beyond a joke!!
Cheers
Bob

No connection to Modelex, just a very satisfied customer.
Remember this:
Amateurs..............built the Ark!
Professionals........built the Titanic!

Offline joe cassidy

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Re: Controllers - the agony of choice!
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2019, 11:29:43 AM »
Great to have you back posting again Bob !

 

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