Difalco Controller News – 2020

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    Difalco now offers replacement shells/bodies.
    Vendors: Slot Car Corner, Ebay, Pacific Slot Car Raceway (aka shopscr), e-Slotcar (aka PCH Parts Express).
    Cost: $12-17
    Benefit: These are slightly thicker than Parma shells (similar to a Koford) and resist damage from drops better. They are designed for all Difalcos and thus are already trimmed; however some Dremel fine-tuning may be needed depending on the controller model you have.
    Colors: At first only clear was availabe; many others now available. Custom designs can be created using Lexan paint available at Hobbytown in the RC body area (lightly paint on the inside).

    Potentiometer/Rheostat values for reference (for HD30s)
    Brake:25 ohm Sensitivity:50 ohm Traction:100ohm

    The stock pots *are wirewound, not plastic-substrate, and hence longer lasting and more precise than plastic. However as many of you know eventually dust or mild corrosion builds up and makes them wonky. In general you can prevent problems by spraying contact cleaner in the small indents below the solder tabs, then rotating the shaft rapidly for at least 20 times. A few years back I had to take my sensitivity pot apart to clean the resistor coil with a toothbrush. This requires careful de-soldering from the PCB and even more careful prying out the retaining tabs. However, if you ever do this, you may want to drill one to two 3/32 or 7/16 holes in the can to make it easier to spray the coils.

    Amazon has replacement heavy duty pots: (not with Prime free delivery)
    OHMITE RES50RE RHEOSTAT, WIREWOUND, 50 OHM, 12.5W $51 – Sensitivity

    "Come On! Lets go space trucking!" Deep Purple


    The OHMITE rheostats/potentiometers have a few differences from the stock/OEM pots:
    — Benefit: They are harder to move and hence are less likely to be accidentally moved during a race.
    — Benefit: The resistor coil is exposed, hence easy to clean and vents heat easier*
    — Benefit: Slightly more precise than the smaller OEM wire-wound pots.

    — Risk: Since the coils, wiper and ceramic base are exposed; damage from a drop can be significant (but overall these are industrial grade and very tough)
    — Mounting: The mounting neck is 7/32in and requires a plastic or metal sleeve to fit the 3/8in holes in the PCB. A plastic washer (ID=7/32; OD=1/2~7/16) is needed to secure the shaft to the PCB.

    — Knobs: The shaft is 1/8in vs. 1/4in and hence requires new knobs. Koford knobs are available.
    M463B annodized black with dot $2.50

    M463A bare aluminum with drilled spot $1.50

    *Caveat: Since the pots are not directly in the power-path they don’t actually need to be high-wattage (i.e. do not need a power rating over 5w or Amperage rating over 3A). But the exposed coils of the Ohmites should still be cooler than those in the enclosed CTS pots.

    "Come On! Lets go space trucking!" Deep Purple

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I like any kind of racing and vehicles, from F1 to Moto-X to Tractor-Pulls. My first solder-iron was a Christmas gift at 9yo; I modified T-Jets to be AFX HO cars before the AFX line was in local stores; rebuilt a few tractor & car engines plus transmissions by 15yo. Still have my ring-compressor and valve spring tool. Former mountain and road bike geek - perennial sound engineer.