Discussions of the prototypes and how to model them. Show us how you do it.


Postby philpill » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:51 pm

as i'm just starting up again i need a new controller have the members any preferences i am selling off all the portescaps and using gearboxes and motors from high level in some of the posts there seems to be a bit of difference of opinion re pictrollers (soon to be reintroduced after being O?S) how about the modelex one?

User avatar
Ian Everett
Posts: 385
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:43 pm

Re: controllers

Postby Ian Everett » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:14 pm

My locos have Mashima, Portescap, Hornby and Bachman motors and for all these I have been happy with both ECM Rambler Minor and Gaugemaster hand-held controllers. I particularly like the inertia and brake features which both these have. Inertia can be switched on and off with the Gaugemaster.

Be aware that ECM are defunct, so it is difficult to get the Rambler Minors repaired (although in my experience they have been very reliable), whereas the Gaugemaster have a no quibble lifetime guarantee, which has proved invaluable.

I must declare an interest - I am going DCC so will be selling my DC controllers at Scalefour North. Look out for them there if you get the chance!


martin goodall
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:20 pm

Re: controllers

Postby martin goodall » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:04 pm

I have both a hand-held PICtroller (acquired first) and a panel-mounted PICtroller.

I get on well with the hand-held controller, but have an unresolved issue with the panel-mounted model. This relates to the 'kick' given to a loco when you begin to wind up the control knob. This is a designd-in feature, and was intended to 'unstick' reluctant motors on starting. Unfortunately, the effect is rather too fierce, and results in an unrealistic jerk on starting.

I discussed this with Malcolm Smith (the designer of the PICtroller), and he explained that this is a feature of the software, which (unfortunately) is incapable of being modified. So there is no way of curing the problem.

As a result, I only use my hand-held controller at present, and there would seem to be no alternative to sourcing some other controller if I want to add a second controller as I had originally intended. It seems that a Gaugemaster controller may be the answer.

Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:31 am

Re: controllers

Postby nigelcliffe » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:09 pm

I'm having mixed results with a second-hand Pictroller hand-held I have on test. I'll know more by the end of the weekend. I know of three hand-helds for sale - if our tests come out well, we may want all of them. But, if not up to expectations with the locos in the local group, there may be examples available for Martin if he wants them.

One analogue controller I find quite good considering the price, is the little unit from MedVend in Hungary. Works well with 2mm scale stuff, and seems OK with 4mm.

- Nigel

User avatar
David Thorpe
Posts: 833
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:13 pm

Re: controllers

Postby David Thorpe » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:51 pm

If you're just starting up again, have you considered going DCC?


Return to “Signals and Control Systems”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest