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My first RC transmitter & receiver.

quorneng

Elite member
#1
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 to solder on.
The receiver.
ToneRxS.jpg

It had 5 transistors and needed a 3V supply.
The transmitter was even more basic and used a single 'tube'. You had to build the case yourself.
TXintS.jpg

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
ToneTxS.jpg

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 any bodies 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 dry cell in the nose for power and ballast.
Vtail1ch.jpeg

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!
 
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slipshift

Active member
#2
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.

Jim
 
#3
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.
 
#4
Wow, I remember when I started with the Heathkit Transmitter and Receiver. All analog so lots of components and soldering. It was fun to build and use.
 

Bricks

Master member
#5
I remember when they came out with the first transistor AM radio holly mackerel you could listen to music with out being in a house or car. As time went on a 10 transistor radio was top notch and something to dream about about owning.
 

Piotrsko

Master member
#6
Buy or make that radio? My dad built a 1 transistor regen receiver, That would have been about 1960 , IIRC, didn't think you were that much older than me.

Had a heathkit transmitter which fortunately used the same PCM as the futaba stuff I had but up in the 75mhz bands.
 
#7
That's really awesome. I started with an Ace pulse proportional installed in a Dicks Dream. I still have the radio someplace. One fun thing I learned was that I could jam my parents TV when ever I turned on the Transmitter!
 

Piotrsko

Master member
#8
Ace supplied parts and design for Mattel's rudder only airplane. I had one, loads of fun for single channel 049 parking lot flier.
 

boogieloo

Active member
#9
That is a really big transmitter. Looks like a music box yet in the 1960s. Lots of volts to that transmitter. Modern technology has come a long ways. Only (8) 1.5 volts AA batteries needed. 12 volts. Of which the transmitter uses 6 volts to operate the controls. Low consumption receivers. I always saw clips on TV commercials, but never got into it until now. This was in the 1980s.
 

quorneng

Elite member
#10
No quite the early days but it does give an idea of how things have improved.
At a car boot I saw this RC set on sale. After a bit of negotiation I got it for £5 as the owner said it no longer worked.
A 1970(?) Futaba Digimax 5.
Digimax5.JPG

I bought it out of interest more than ever considering using it. It would have been seriously expensive in its day.
A four cell DEAC (remember them!) for the receiver and five wire 'linear' servos.
Surprisingly the transmitter and receiver look quite modern and in typical Futaba style heavy with a 'rock solid' build. The Tx had a rechargeable 12V battery with a built in mains charger that also had a 6V outlet to charge the DEAC. Serious stuff!
Wiring up the servo is not quite the simple 'plug each into the receiver' of today but it involved a special wiring harness with a dedicated single plug into the receiver and a complex Y lead with a 4 gang and single socket for the servos along with a special 3 pig plug for the DEAC.
Everything 'handed' of course so it could only go together one way.
RXplugs.JPG

I presume at the time extension leads would have been available.
To my amazement it did work. Even the DEAC held a bit of charge but only 2 of the servos actually moved.
Now added to my RC museum collection.
 

Piotrsko

Master member
#11
Discrete transistor amps in the servo and center tapped battery. You could build a decoder out of JK flipflops. Looks the same vintage as my OS MAX system so perhaps 1966/67? The MAX uses an opamp in the servo, a huge reduction of parts.
 

Tench745

Elite member
#12
This was my first radio. I bought it new for a partially built Kadet-LT40 I was gifted.
I never flew it, but I did get to see the engine run when I sold it.
IMG_2346.JPG

I was just gifted this one. It needs a new battery, but seems to work. I have no receivers to test it to be sure though.
IMG_E1906[1].JPG
 
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The Hangar

Fly harder!
Mentor
#13
View attachment 212097 This was my first radio. I bought it new for a partially built Kadet-LT40 I was gifted.
I never flew it, but I did get to see the engine run when I sold it.
View attachment 212094
I was just gifted this one. It needs a new battery, but seems to work. I have no receivers to test it to be sure though.
View attachment 212097
I was given a Futaba conquest like the one you have. I haven't used it at all and probably won’t, but it’s fun to have.