• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
Pumpkin drop event

My first RC transmitter & receiver.


Well-known member
In 1961 RC was not unknown but the commercial stuff was completely beyond the pocket of a school boy.
Like many things at the time the cheap solution was a kit that you built yourself. The kit included a circuit board and loose components that you had solder on.
The receiver.
It had 5 transistors and needed a 3V supply.
The receiver was even more basic and used a single 'tube'. You had to build the case yourself.
Note the huge battery compartment to house the 90V HT and the 1.5V heater batteries.
Just an On/Off switch and a single press button
Nominally 25 meg but with no crystals it was just a case of tuning the Rx to the Tx give the maximum range. The actual frequency was anybodies guess!
I built a simple all balsa glider that used a rubber driven escapement - one press left, a double press for right. It had a 3V drycell in the nose for power and ballast.
It more or less flew but the rudder effect from the V tail was negligible so calling it radio 'controlled' was a bit of a stretch.
In those days the only thing that was guaranteed was failure, any success was pure luck!


Active member
In the early 60's I was interested in RC but couldn't even afford a kit. I did find a schematic in an electronics magazine and tried to build one from scratch. It didn't work, maybe because everything was wired instead on a pc board. Your post brings back memories.

I built a single tube receiver "back in the day", around 1960 if I remember correctly, and it did work............ sort of. I spent hours and hours walking away from the transmitter and tuning up the receiver in hopes of getting a good signal at reasonable range. Flying involved a huge free flight aircraft with rudder only, escapement controlled with power to actuate the rudder via a long wind up rubber band inside the fuselage and the result was best described as "Free Flight with Occasional Radio Control". Things have changed, that's for sure.