DC Controller - second hand or new?

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AndyRen
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DC Controller - second hand or new?

Postby AndyRen » Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:04 pm

Hi all - first post, please be nice.
Looking to build my 10-y-o son a starter layout. Hornby controllers from starter train sets have started to go faulty.
Which replacement controllers would you recommend? Standard but expensive Gaugemaster Dual Track Cased (Model D, £95), or is it worth buying second hand? I would like to save money wherever it's practicable.
Would be prepared to invest in the Gaugemaster if second hand would be a false economy.

mahoganydog
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Re: DC Controller - second hand or new?

Postby mahoganydog » Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:18 pm

AndyRen wrote:Would be prepared to invest in the Gaugemaster if second hand would be a false economy.


The lifetime warranty is still valid even if it's secondhand.

Personally I'd save up and get one new but ultimately that would be your choice.
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AndyRen
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Re: DC Controller - second hand or new?

Postby AndyRen » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:51 pm

Thanks. Second hand Model Ds go for about £35-£50 on eBay for ones up to 40 yrs old (all buyers saying theirs is in good condition or full working order) - so I'm wondering why I'd need to pay twice the price?

Buelligan
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Re: DC Controller - second hand or new?

Postby Buelligan » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:20 pm

Personally I like H&M duette controllers, got 3 now, picked up for between £25 and £40. I can’t compare with Gaugemaster as I’ve never owned a GM controller.

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Bufferstop
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Re: DC Controller - second hand or new?

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:36 pm

There's a world of difference between a 30 odd year old Duette and its GM equivalent. The speed control characteristics of the Duette rely on the matching of it's resistance mat to the locos current needs. For some modern locos scalded cat starts are difficult to avoid. The modern design of the GM controller even nearly 30 year old ones will give better control of all models of any age.
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GeraldH
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Re: DC Controller - second hand or new?

Postby GeraldH » Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:25 pm

I bought a second hand Gaugemaster Model D. One of the direction switches broke after a while and Gaugemaster repaired it for free :) . They are excellent controllers and have a lifetime warranty. Assuming that you're in the UK, you can't really go wrong with a second hand one, as long as it has not been obviously abused. Mine is quite old, but I preferred the older design with bigger vertical knobs. One thing to look out for with the older design is the cream coloured enamel bubbling where moisture has got underneath - mine has this issue, but it doesn't affect it's operation.
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pete12345
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Re: DC Controller - second hand or new?

Postby pete12345 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:54 pm

I have a Hornby HM2000, a R965 and a couple of R921 (which is basically the same but has the transformer built in). The HM2000 is good, but a gaugemaster is probably a better controller and more robust.

The R921 and R965 came in train sets and are actually quite good controllers, and you can achieve a smooth start and good low-speed control with most locos. They are quite simple electrically and are easy to repair if you know what you're doing.
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