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Your first radio?...

Old 12-04-2009, 02:35 PM
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jjw
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Default Your first radio?...

As this is a Vintage section, I figured I'd post this here as there may be other "vintage" modelers hanging around...

So I was thumbing through a 1966 issue of Flying Models magazine when I came upon this ad...



This was the very first radio system I ever bought for R/C aircraft... I was just a kid, and lots of paper route and house painting money went for this (adjusted for inflation, 125, 1966 dollars is ~800, 2009 dollars!). It was a single channel pulse proportional set-up... with the receiver, batteries and actuator all in a single "brick". It also had an optional (rubber powered) escapement that you could configure to give a crude two speed throtle control (never got that to work). This all went into a Ken Willard design Schoolmaster with a screaming Cox 049 in the nose. Unfortunately, the whole package was a little too much for the Cox, so other than a few hops, that plane never really flew ...but it taught me a whole lot.

So, what did the rest of you start with?....

Jim.
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:42 PM
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radialarm
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I don't have any pics, but mine was a Futaba 2ch AM.

Rudder and elevator, you set the throttle where you wanted it and flew until it ran out of fuel!!!

It cost more than my 6ch I have now!!!
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:43 PM
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Wow..

$125.00, that's CRAZY !!!
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:15 PM
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EUT
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I built my own in 1946.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:35 PM
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MaxAdventure
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I believe my dad wanted to live vicariously through me when in Christmas of '81 (give or take a year) he bought me a plane, engine and an FGK7 FM gold series on 72.067 - quite a lot of radio for my Eagle63 trainer (that I attempted to fly alone, without any instruction or full grasp of elevator trim). I had it narrow band certified in '91 and flew with it until I finally replaced it with a used 9C this last fall.

I had a 'post escapement, pre-computer' start...
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:00 PM
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Ace pulse, '66 or so. Radio control was far more complicated then: one had to trim the model for climb, and stable glide (freeflight stuff). If you wish to find out what that was like, just pull the plugs on everything but the rudder, and run the slimer flat out. Then go fly!

Next radio was an EK, with the brick and 2 extra servos, much more sophisticated, but my models crashed just the same...
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:31 PM
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av8djc
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1972 EK four channel (red box) mode one. Don't remember the cost but it was a lot at the time when the dollar was real money. I also had an early Ace pulse system I played with.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:45 PM
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1972 6 ch World Engines Blue Max with 4 servos, cost about $200 I think. My memory is a bit hazy on the cost. I have become a firm believer in the here after these days as I find myself somewhere and then think, what am I here after.

Dave
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:11 PM
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EpoweredRc
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first radio was a futaba or hobbico been to long 3 channel radio it rudder elevator on right stick and throttle on the left.
that was in about 1989 but I purchased myself with my own money a futaba 4 channel radio from the LHS at the time in about 1991 it cost me $130.00 counting tax. took all the money I had saved from allowence to buy it its what I flew my first airplane of my own with a sweet stick 40.

now you can buy a 6 channel programable radio for that much, I laugh when I hear people say it cost to much for the hobby lot better things for cheater now days.
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:39 AM
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You got that right, Foamies, right on target. I cannot suppress an outright bellylaugh when someone yowls about the cost of the hobby!!! The only hobby I've seen that is cheaper is chess, but that fails if one gets into tournaments and travel. Buy a boat, pay green fees, go bowling, anything, and the per-hour cost just pales in comparison.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:21 AM
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futaba attack 4. analog 4 channel radio. but i dont know if that really counts, because even thought it was mine, my dad used it the most. actually, he flew my plane the most too :P
so somehow i got a futaba ff6. dont remember if he bought it as a gift, or if i bought it for some money he gave me as gift.
anyway, that futaba ff6 has followed me for 10 years now and is the radio i still fly.
for just a few more weeks, before i get a futaba 9c.
a bit sad to get rid of the ff6 :/
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:33 PM
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Leadchucker
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Mine was a World Engines 3 channel on 27mhz that got installed in Hal Debolt Live Wire Champion with a Veco .19. I'm thinking 1971/72.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:32 AM
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pd1
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My first radios were home made by my dad around 1958.
Without much outside help, we managed to learn to fly with equipment that failed quite often.

The planes usually didn't crash, but they did routinely fly away.
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:20 AM
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Default double

double
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:21 AM
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i flew mrc, kraft, ek, orbit then onto futaba, airtronics and jr and now spektrum

and yes, anyone whinning about the cost of r/c now, ha!
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:06 PM
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whitecrest
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Heathkit radio built for 6 meter amateur radio band. It was an interesting project and worked well for slope soaring. It's amazing how far the technology has come since then (@1983).

Before that, when I was flying free flight planes and first considering RC, I remember looking at the "Galloping Ghost" systems at the LHS. (@ 1966)
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:18 PM
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My first RC radio was a RangeMaster 8 channel reed receiver with relays. Controls were full throw or neutral, no proportional, except how fast you could move your fingers. Believe it or not I still have it just to remind me how far we have come. This radio had vacuum tubes in both transmitter and receiver.

It took 2 channels for each control or surface, Servos had 5 or 7 wires.

1 for up elev, 1 for down elev, 1 for up elev trim, 1 for down elev trim, 1 for right rudder, 1 for left rudder, 1 for up throttle, 1 for down throttle.

Receiver was about 8 oz.
rec batteries were about 6 oz
servos were about 2 oz each (lightweight ones)
servo batteries about 6 oz
Total somewhere about 28 oz

I couldn't afford a plane and motor that could get this thing off the ground, so I put it in an air boat, servo speed was about 1 second so you better plan ahead.

In 1972 I bought a 8 channel Heathkit RC system, it was a good radio, and I flew it for many years, sent it to a friend of mine 2 years ago, it still works. The depressing part of that radio was that I paid $260.00 with shipping, and I only was getting $3.00 per hour, I now make 12 times that, it would be the same as buying a $3120.00 system today. My wife would kill me.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:31 PM
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You guys make me feel young! My first real radio was a Hitec Laser 4!
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jjw View Post
As this is a Vintage section, I figured I'd post this here as there may be other "vintage" modelers hanging around...

So I was thumbing through a 1966 issue of Flying Models magazine when I came upon this ad...

So, what did the rest of you start with?....

Jim.
I built up my first radio from scratch in 1966. It was a "Galloping Ghost" radio system using a Galloping Ghost servo. For those that don't know what this is, you really don't want to know. Suffice it to say, that both the rudder and elevator moved back and forth and up and down during flight. The average position determined left, right, up and down. The two pushbuttons on the top left of the transmitter allowed the Galloping Ghost servo to increase or decrease throttle. That stick allowed rotating left and right for rudder, and moving the whole stick up and down for elevator.

It operated on the 27 Mhz radio control frequency, and whenever anyone within a mile turned on his CB, I crashed.

Take a look at the photo.

I learned how to fly on that model, and flew it for a whole year, before the last interference episode totalled it.:o

Still got an old 27 Mhz escapement radio. And that old 27 Mhz radio still works after all these years.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:37 PM
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firemanbill
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
I built up my first radio from scratch in 1966. It was a "Galloping Ghost" radio system using a Galloping Ghost servo. For those that don't know what this is, you really don't want to know. Suffice it to say, that both the rudder and elevator moved back and forth and up and down during flight. The average position determined left, right, up and down.

It operated on the 27 Mhz radio control frequency, and whenever anyone within a mile turned on his CB, I crashed.

Take a look at the photo.

I learned how to fly on that model, and flew it for a whole year, before the last interference episode totalled it.:o

That is cool!
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:49 PM
  #21  
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80's Futaba 3 channel. Saved up money all summer long for that wonderful, black, shiny Futaba box. bought my very first plane a few weeks later and it was a CG(?) Ranger 42 foamie. Had a Cannon G-mark RC .061 for power. Flew the heck out of that thing the next winter and summer, until it turned into a fuel/glue sponge.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:59 PM
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kenchiroalpha
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Hi
My first radio was a heathkit DYI kit i assembled in 1975
Second one was as well
How far we have come, Back then it was a lot of home brewed RC models and equipment
Take care
Hank

Last edited by kenchiroalpha; 08-15-2011 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:07 PM
  #23  
kenchiroalpha
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
I built up my first radio from scratch in 1966. It was a "Galloping Ghost" radio system using a Galloping Ghost servo. For those that don't know what this is, you really don't want to know. Suffice it to say, that both the rudder and elevator moved back and forth and up and down during flight. The average position determined left, right, up and down. The two pushbuttons on the top left of the transmitter allowed the Galloping Ghost servo to increase or decrease throttle. That stick allowed rotating left and right for rudder, and moving the whole stick up and down for elevator.

It operated on the 27 Mhz radio control frequency, and whenever anyone within a mile turned on his CB, I crashed.

Take a look at the photo.



I learned how to fly on that model, and flew it for a whole year, before the last interference episode totalled it.:o

Still got an old 27 Mhz escapement radio. And that old 27 Mhz radio still works after all these years.
Hi kyle
Very nice havent seen one of those in years
That brings back wonderful memories
I used my dads as a kid, he was into rc since the early 50's and taught me how to scratch build and fly rc models
Take care
Hank
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:34 AM
  #24  
aeronca52
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Sorry, no pictures but the first radio I learned to fly on was my dad's groundloader. Remember them? The tx was so big it sat on the ground while you flew with a remote box connected to the groundloader with a cable.
The first handheld was a Min-x with Galloping Ghost in a Top Flight School Master. We also had a Minnie Mambo and a Scientific Miss Worlds Fair, both with rudder only escapements. I still have the fuselage of my Dad's first r/c, a Berkely Bootstraps, from the early 1950's. Everything on 27.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:43 PM
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Default DE Aerotrol and Ace Pulse Commander

Sent for a DE Aerotrol "short" kit of parts about 1955 to build a "CW" transmitter and one gas tube receiver with "sensitive relay" to operate an "escapement". Fabrcated a case for XMTR from galvanized sheet metal on a bench vise. Had to bake the receiver tube to get it to work in the regenerative receiver. XMTR used two full sized tubes and had two 67.5 volt and two double sized filament batteries. Receiver had A, B and C batteries and weighed about 1 pound. You had to tune the transmitter and receiver before flight. First successful flight was with a 48" w/s Sterling Mambo. The rubber band powered escapement would often "stick" causing a spiral dive crash or a flyaway, or the relay contacts would bounce due to engine vibration causing the escapment to cycle until the rubber band unwound, causing a flyaway. First really successful R/C system was the Ace Pulse Commander also single channel which permitted small 1/2 A designs like Dicks Dream, and Berkeley and Flyline conversions and my own scratch-builts. I still have the Ace Pulse outfit.
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