You remind me a lot of my first year of RC in 1953. I put my first RC Tx/Rx
together from parts I got from old 'Church St' (the rc capital) in lower
Manhattan N.Y., where the Twin Towers once stood. It was the final year of
my Navy career. Out ship was in Newport R.I. and I would drive all the way
down to Church St. to get RC parts. I could never get the blame thing to
work. After my discharge, I went back to Cincinnati Ohio to raise my family,
although I was still interested in RC. My first plane in Cinti was a single
channel from World Engines in Cinti Oh. From there I advanced to an
attachment to the single channel box called 'Galloping Ghost' (fluttering
variable rudder control). Next came the (single box) Galloping Ghost. A lot
of guys were now flying with four-channel 'Reed Controls'. I had a family
and didn't have the extra money to advance further however, as I advanced at
my job and got a couple raises, I was able to work up to a four and six
channel full proportional controls. I entire life came apart in 1970 when
the company closed the doors and my marriage turned to a divorce. I was
forced to give up my hobby and raise my family. At that time I had six RC
planes and two RC Christ-Craft model boats.
It's now 2006, my family is grown and it's time to pick up where I left off
in 1970. I have two planes read for this summer. Before that, I'll have
heart surgery on April 11th but I'm looking forward to a summer of good fun
Have a good day!
Earl AMA 40329
.... or buy a 4-channel rig for $120, use rudder and throttle.
Then you get all nicads and several servos.
The unreliability and non-compliance of the old technology
just doesn't make it worth using or adapting. We can always
mimic by flying with less channels.
Could one use exponential rates to simulate the right -
neutral - left "bang - bang" nonproportional control of reed
or compound escapement rudder flying?
Well, yes and no.
You certainly shouldn't fly in company with other 27MHz people...however
your super regen will lock onto the strongest signal around...and of
course if you know what you are doing, making your transmitter the
'strongest signal around' is not impossible :-) :-)
I had utterly reliable operation on transistorized crystal controlled
rubber escapements in the 60's
The only interesting experience was when a capacitor (army surplus and
corroded) developed a dry joint in my home made receiver..the 50 meters
of range that resulted was 'interesting;'
We repaired it on the field with a cigarette lighter..and some solder.
Of course it was one at a time in the air stuff..and the rubber
escapement motors would only outlast the 3 minute tanks on the cox
engines by a little..
I used to tune the receivers op with a crystal earpiece. Adjusted a
little off channel you could pick up 'voice of America' - the European
propaganda channel from the CIA or some such. In low signal conditions
this was the primary source of interference in those pre CB days..
Why bother? E8ether buld your own super regen, use an escapement and a
modern crystal transmitter, or fly the ting full house anyway.
I knew that simple question would result in nitpicking.
No, it does not "gate." Gating is a step function and generally
results in a rapid ascent of voltage across the plate load.
It was called a "valve" because it could let just a few electrons
(appear to) trickle through, or a varying amount depending primarily
on voltage drop across grid load (above grid bias).
When I was playing in a country & western band in high
school...1952...I had an ac/dc amp. It had all the microphonics in
the world and intermodulation distortion something fierce.
And the speaker was driven by an electromagnet...the core being the
choke for the L/C power supply filter.
Over the years, the amps got so quiet, and so powerful -- and
incredibly clean. So what did they do? The designed xtransister
circuits to add the very things we tried so hard to get rid of.
And now there are a lot of different vacuum tube preamps and the like.
I have three cigar boxes full of 6L6s, 6V6s, 12SG7s, and the
like...and they are worth some real money. I have thrown away NIB
12AT7s by the handfuls. My, my.
I mean all this in jest, you understand. But I expect this thread to
go on for awhile.
Earl, I used to talk about the "old-timers" and they being a dying
breed and their like would never be seen again. And now we... I
guess I don't even have to finish that statement, do I?
Wow! Reed. I could never afford those.
The advancement of the sport didn't depend on the likes of poor boys
like us...we did the longevity tests of the first generation
equipment. The rich guys got to buy the new things.
I actually enjoyed the tinkering of escapments and pulse and was
playing with these and enjoying these being used as well as they could
be. I got pride in that. (I have more pride in playing some of my
1955 guitars than my new rosewood guitars.)
Think how common divorce is now, but in 1970, it was far less so. That
is tough. I must say, yet again, I am not good; I am just lucky.
When I was laid off it was because the company lost a contract...and
they lost it to some other company...who needed guys. I just changed
my address and badge...not my occupation -- or as I like to call it,
"that engineering line of work."
People who were not in that line of work do not understand it. I have
done a good job of describing it in some things I wrote --
"Engineering Zen." Aerospace engineering was a glamorous job, but it
was also nothing more and nothing less than being a migrant worker. We
followed the harvest...only our harvests were in the form of
contracts. Many workers never work themselves out of a job, yet that
is exactly what engineers do. (Not scientists.) If they are good
engineers, they get through. If there is no follow-on contract, we
pack up and hit the road looking for another plant to harvest.
There have been times during moves that my toys never got unpacked. I
think the fastest I ever changed jobs and got the models back in the
air was when we moved from NASA in TX to NASA in MS. I might have
been grounded for three months max. I found a group of fliers and me
and another TX modeler who came out started the first AMA club here.
What a cheering conclusion, Earl. Isn't it strange now?
The other night, I stuck a charger on a little electric-powered toy
and when the LED went to green, I unplugged it. I sat it on the floor
between the den and kitchen, turned it on, it left the floor going
forward and I made it to the other room, did a hovering 180, then back
through the kitchen, then a hard left turn into the den, around my
wife watching TV ("Honey, don't DO that!"), and then back through the
bar, through the door where I was and then a right turn back to the
other end of the kitchen. I couldn't make another lap because I had
used so much power climbing to clear the pub bar...and I would likely
hit the wife making that turn. (I don't think she would swat it. )
And I remember peaking an air-core xfrmer in an L/C oscillator on the
field three times in one day because in the morning there was a lot of
dew and humidity, and then by going-home time a dry, cool front was
Ken -- and good luck on the surgery, Earl.
And if you do that, we can get it airborne and every so often,
turn our back on the model for five seconds and then turn back around.
That would pretty much mimic flight control with the older rigs.
Oh, yeah...and while the back is to the model, jump up and
down, yelling "I-ain't-got-it-I-ain't-got-it-I-ain't-got-it-..."
While I don't want to nit-pick, because what you wrote is correct, my
intent was to preserve the notion of tubes as voltage devices (as
compared with transistors, which are really current devices). The
anode/cathode *current* does control, modulate, switch, whatever, the
plate *voltage*, of course.
And this contributed to the reliability some. I wonder what the
difference would look like if back then, we had a wide-band spectral
analyzer and then do the same in today's air. I bet it would be
The old rigs might have good sensitivity but be open to almost
everything; or have good selectivity and lose the xmitter at 300'.
You didn't need to fill the tanks. I had enough turns for the
TD .02 but the little plane would soar and getting down required a lot
of rudder movement. I could tell by the rudder response time when I
was running out of rubber power. I have flown ff during a few landing
All this old flying talk makes me realize that I have some stuff that
I will never use again. This condition comes when one gets older.
They have to accept that there are some things they will just not do.
For instance, this attitude was shown after Hurricane Katrina and I
was asked if I wanted to put the good, 30-year shingles on the roof.
My first response was "Sure." Then I said, "Wait a minute. I am 71.
Forget the 30-year ones...20 will be plenty."
I could do some modelers some favors dumping a bunch of stuff on eBay.
I think I have a two-channel pulse kit system (NIB) in the shop. When
I get caught up (something else I will most likely never do) I will do
an inventory and divide it in to three or four lots and get it into
the hands of the people who want it the most.
This is a great thread! Love the nostalgia.
The subject's an ideal venue for a tribute to Walt and Bill Good, twin
brothers who _should_ rightfully be renouned as the "Wright Brothers" of
RC aviation as we know it. But alas their names and contributions are
largely forgotten. Here's one little memorial-
In all probability, that rig was made while the 11 meter (27Mhz) band
was stiil relatively clean, before it was allocated to CB.
Fast forward to today: the band is utterly trashed,
particularly with splatter from illegal high-power CB rigs that can hit
without warning, even coming in by ionospheric skip.
Now try RC'ing on 27Mhz with a vintage non-superhet
receiver. Cripes, it'd be like taking a Model T with wobbly kingpins and
out of balance wheels onto the freeway and trying to keep up with
Tim and Ken, thanks for the lessons. I've tried to learn about electronics
a few times... bought a book, etc., but I guess my mind is not set up to
learn it. I'm a person that loves to learn about things and I've delved
deep into a whole lot of hobbies and interests. But for some reason,
electronics eludes me. Every so often I try diving in, but the result is
like diving into an empty pool.... just makes my head hurt. :-)