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I am needing a controller for a small/medium layout. I have an old gaugemaster 100 which is very durable and works well on most locos but does not seems sensitive enough on some Portescap powered kit built locos and some more modern locos.. The difference in dial rotation from dead stop to say 20 mph is very small which makes smooth starting and shunting not as easy as it might be. Does anyone please have experience of other types of controllers that might solve this problem ? I dont want to go down the route of DCC on this because I will have to replace all the portescaps and I also have a few split chassis bachmann. So DCC all seems a bit hard for this situation.
Thanks, Andrew
 

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Just another modeller
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*** You will not have to replace the Portescaps at all - That is a myth from the early days - all you need is a decoder with silent drive, and that is aall of them these days.
They run perfectly and reliably as well as more smoothly on DCC. The Split Chassis bachmanns aren't too hard either - I'm happy to show you how to do them.

If you want to run the portescaps on DC then you cannot use most of the commercial "branded" DC controllers as they have far too rough a waveform. The best answer is a pentroller if you can still find one on Ebay, otherwise a smooth DC type controller circuit is asy enough to find on the web.

regards

Richard
 

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In depth idiot
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Strong support for Richard's opinion. If you are modelling at the quality level Portescap motors imply, DCC is a shoe in. The continuous track power alone giving much improved pick-up reliability is a huge asset. Programmable acceleration and braking on the high frequency drive decoders now available makes for very realistic representation of the high inertia of railway vehicles. Fine control when shunting is easily achieved: my ordinary Hornby J94 as sold with its small cheapo motor and relatively low gear ratio, will pick up a trot of wagons one by one at a smooth slow walking pace.
 
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