What’s the best controller for a model locomotive? Literally thousands of our controllers have been used in model locos of all shapes and sizes over the last 25+ years. The model of controller you need depends on the power / current rating of your motors, and also the sort of loads that you intend to pull, any gradients on your track, and how long you intend to run for. You may also want to take into account other things like ease of set-up and adjustability.
As a general guide the following controllers are suitable for model locos:
DNO range – These are great for small / mid size locos up to 5″ / 7¼ ” gauge – with motors up to 100 amps. These are simple controllers that require the minimum of set-up, with adjustable gain and ramp settings. We see good results for locos pulling up to around 10 passengers with these.
Pro-150 – for mid size locos up to 7¼ ” / 7¾ ” gauge. Again good for around 10 passengers, the Pro-150 has a greater number of settings which allow the controller to be fine tuned to the operators requirements via the optional display / programmer. It will still work out of the box with the standard settings though [just like the older Pro-120].
Pro-160 – for mid size plus locos up to 7¼ ” / 7¾ ” gauge. The Pro-160 also does away with relays for long term reliability, and is ideally suited to those locos that will be worked hard pulling larger numbers of passengers for extended operating periods. With a 2 line display that can be mounted remotely the Pro-160 has features designed specifically for locos, including a dead mans handle input, a slow / fast mode switch to allow new driver training, built in radio control input, and readouts of voltage, current, and temperature.
Pro-360 – for larger locos with motors up to 360 amps, these controllers can deliver serious pulling power. There are also uprated air and water cooling options available.