The Good Old Days

Well, the "Hello Again" really has been interesting. I have been in R/C since 1947 when I flew my first converted free flight with home
made equipment...got it up and got it back. Tried 'em all...Kraft, EK, Micro Avionics, DeeBee, Sampey, Space Control, Bonner and all the rest. I made the first circuitry for Citizenship so they could get a relayless servo and I set up the Hobby Lobby radio repair shop back in 1976 when HL contracted with EK to make their radio for them (EK in a Blue Box). Even went to the factory in Texas and the assembly plant in Mexico. I guess I should write it all up. Maybe I should write the "memoirs" in chapter form and send them to those that might have a passing interest in it. Oh, and I worked on the AMA Frequency Committee with Fred Marks who was chairman of it...and I worked then with a local hobby shop which was the first shop, not a manufacturer, that was licensed to gold sticker radios. If there is enough interest I will do it..otherwise the locals just have to put up with my long stories...some of whom have no idea of what I am talking about..they are the johnny come lately ARF boys.. Well, the only thing that is constant in this world ...is change. Frank Schwartz 80 years young..building and flying for 70 years AMA 123 W4KFK licensed for 60 years.
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Frank Schwartz wrote:

Do you have a web page? Publishing chapter-by-chapter would be cool. Even better would be if you could find a publisher & have a real book put out -- I think there would be more than just 'passing' interest.
--

Tim Wescott, KG7LI
Wescott Design Services
  Click to see the full signature.
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I'm reminded of a somewhat similarly obscure title, "The Pencil". I was more intrigued that someone had 400 pages to say about pencils, let alone 10 words, than any real interest in their history. I am very much looking forward to a tale of the golden era of our hobby.
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On Thu, 09 Feb 2006 09:02:59 GMT, "Mike Young"

    I have a real thick book, with lots of pictures, on guitar picks. <g> Chet Atkins said, "I couldn't see how anyone could have much to say about picks but I was sure wrong...and it was interesting." Note -- he did not say "good." <g>     Speaking of pencils, it is scary to see the list of things that the current 21-year-old would have never encountered.     Being a G'dad...I catch the rolled eyes, the hit on the shoulder, followed with a sigh and "O'Grandpa!" And this is when I am being serious!     As when I told them that we had no screens on the open windows in high school and no a/c, of course. And dirt would blow through the windows and make our paper gritty and our fountain pens would get a ball of blue mud on the ends and we would wipe them on the inside of our jeans pants legs.     We couldn't use ball point pens because they were expensive and the ink would smear horribly. It was OK that our sweaty arms made our writing paper damp and when we got to that area with our fountain pens, the points might dig in, or at least there would be a blot or two from the ink wicking into the damp paper.     My G'kids said they were surprized that when I was in school that PAPER had been invented. (I have sarcastic G'kids.)
    Ken http://www.photos.windmillpro.com/
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I'll be sixty this year.
I can remember when the only electric items that were plugged in were light bulbs and the electric range, if you had one. An occasional electric iron. The ice man was a regular visitor during the week.
No electric clocks or radios unless you were rich, or in the upper middle class.
Anyone remember the pre plastic coated electrical cords? They were of woven material.
Later, we really stepped up in the world and purchased a Zenith TV with a 12" screen. Black and white, of course. Before that was a Zenith console radio. No electric clocks for quite a few years. No fans, too expensive. Certainly no air conditioners. No electric refrigerator. Maybe not an electric range - I can't remember, since I couldn't see the top of it anyway.
Yes, I was very young. Maybe three or four years old.
Ed Cregger
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wrote:

    Gosh! I wish I was just 60 again.

    I wonder how many outlets a wall should have now in a modern home? Ten? Per wall?

    Forgive me, I burst into song...     "There's a man that comes to our house         Every single day.     Daddy goes to work         And the man comes to stay.     Daddy does the work         But Mama gets the pay.     There's a man that comes to our house         Every single day.
    "Now the man who comes to our house,         Comes to bring the ice,     He walks right in the kitchen         And he talks so very nice.     I get to hold his horsy         Out by the gate,     But he always stays so very long         The horsy don't want to wait..."
    (The milk man comes, as well as a few others.)

    We weren't. We were oil-field trash.

    Well...yeah...but they had asbestas inside to make them safe!

    Wow! I wish I was three or four again...not really.     I remember the song from 1942.
    Ken http://www.photos.windmillpro.com/

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Ken Cashion wrote:

AFAIK (but my memory is getting more vague), per National Electric Code, spacing is 12 feet apart along the wall (so longest cord required to access is 6 feet). However, in living room or den it would make sense to install more. Now also is consideration for Ethernet network outlet in each room, with location for router / bridge / gateway and high speed internet drop.
I'm looking to put a frame relay drop in the master bedroom. ;0)
<SNIP>

Yes, I still remember from the '60s irons and small kitchen appliances still used them.
I remember messing with the electronic experimenter's kits with tubes, messing with a 160 or so volt supply and tube rectifier. It was amazing how well a one valve radio worked, with 2k ohm headphones.

.... and there was one cigarette manufacturer that used asbestos filters in their cigarettes. I remember blowing out asbestos laden brake drums with compressed air.

I remember my parent's 25 inch black and white GE television with wired remote. It was in a large console, tubes had to be checked periodically and replaced. It was a usual ritual to go to the local electronics shop and use their tube tester when set was on the fritz.

I remember Mitch Miller's sing along, Leslie Uggams and when Diana Ross was hot.
Best thing though was flying single channel with Ace R/C Pulse Commander radio. It was relatively inexpensive and reliable.
--
HPT

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On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 12:07:36 +0000 (UTC), High Plains Thumper

    I think the NEC people should visit a few homes and see what they really need, but then, think of the added cost to a home. Maybe there should always be one 40 amp per wall and let the owner add his own splitter boxes. This is pretty much what we do now, but I have walls with even one outlet...no uninterrupted wall of more than 18" should be without at least one outlet.

    Funny!
<SNIP>
    I have figured out the obvious...what is old to one person was new technology to an older person. This is like when I figured out that everyone sounds like Yogi Berra to someone.
    Ken http://www.photos.windmillpro.com/
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Ken Cashion wrote:

Cost would be nominal, seeing how expensive houses are to begin with. What's an extra couple hundred bucks of electrical work?

Well, actually it was more a matter of what was affordable. I remember the cost of the old Orbit and Kraft multi-channel radios. $500 - $700 was a lot of money back in the late '60s / early '70s. Heathkit came out with their kit 5-channel back in the late '60s for $209, which was one of the first reasonably costed sets.
However, the Ace was only $69 complete with Adams Baby Twinn actuator on 26.995 MHz (Brown) back in 1972 and completely assembled.
Then I was an Army private attending the Naval School of Music in Little Creek Amphibious Base near Norfolk. (I joined the band, tough job but someone has to do it.) :)
I could hide my 27" wingspan TopFlite Schoolboy with Cox .020 PeeWee, pint can of fuel and starting accessories in my wall locker. That would have been a little tough to do with a CG Falcon 56 with .25 and multi. Plus, I was at the time earning around $80 per month. I built the plane on a weekend and was flying the next. Plane was all sheet balsa finished in clear dope and orange trim.
--
HPT

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On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 12:47:10 +0000 (UTC), High Plains Thumper

    <snipping?
    I just checked...$70 in 1972 would be the equivalent of near $400 today...so those were pretty expensive radios even then. <g>     I built a bunch of Heathkit stuff but couldn't go the cost of their radios.

    I recently sold a NIB TopFlite Schoolboy kit on eBay. <g> The Pee Wee and that should have been nice together.
    Ken
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Ken Cashion wrote:

Then the Orbits at around $800 were like $4,000 today. Things were priced like the modern turbine model engines. Monokote when it first came out cost about as much as it does now.
I built a Charlie's R/C (Bill Cannon's wife, Bill's 810 micro system) back in College in the early '80s. It was cheaper than the Hobby Shack or Tower Hobbies bargain systems. Still have it, it is wide band stuff so only the servos have been recycled.

You must have gotten a hefty price off it, last time I checked, an NIB Schoolboy fetched nearly $100. I bought the kit by mail from Hobby Shack in 1972 for around $5 plus a couple bucks shipping.
I bought a set of plans from someone about two years ago. However, I have with me a mid-50's vintage 34" span DMECO Livewire Kitten kit I won on E-Bay. Think I'll make it electric and 3 channel. It is set up for single channel and to carry a load of batteries, motorized actuator and tube receiver back then. It should have no problem hauling a 2000 MAH NIMAD pack and speed 370 motor.
I don't know what happened to the Norvel website. Looks like SIG took things over altogether, but SIG has changed their policy over the years from a user friendly mail ordering and dealer supplying outfit to a dealer's only supply outfit, or so it seems.
Browsing their site, none of the catalog items are accessible to the non-registered, new customer user, although one can click the links.
Somehow I feel that Norvel is dying a horrible slow death because of that. Wonder how much longer SIG will be in existence. Things seem to have changed since Hazel Sigafoose sold the company.
--
HPT

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Good Heavens! You had trees to make paper? In my wife's days, we're fond of telling the grandkids, she couldn't walk uphill to school both ways as I had to. She's older than the hills. (Just kidding. I'm a spring chicken compared to you old farts.)
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On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 03:49:22 GMT, "Mike Young"

    Well...you should be, shouldn't you? After all, you are Young.
    Ken http://www.photos.windmillpro.com/
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Frank, I would love to read your memoirs. Please put me on the subscription list.
Ed Cregger, NM2K (licensed in 82 - I'm still a newbie!)
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On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 16:24:17 -0600, Frank Schwartz

    Nice post, Frank.     You understand why I say that there are no self-made men, we are all just somebody else's living legacy...and as such, we have some obligations to them. One, to learn who they are and not forget them, and two, it would be nice if we could contribute to the hobby in our own way.     I knew how far back you went when you mentioned Grid Leaks. <g>     And Fred Marks is another one of the all time champions of modeldom.     We might remember when the question was, "Which will work good?" because there was some junk out there and money was too scare to waste.     Now...because of people like your good self and Marks, and others, there is no bad r/c gear. You get what you pay for. To many of us, this mixing of servos, receivers, xmitters, battery packs, swapping xtals in xmitter and receiver is still recognized as being a wonderful change.     To many in the hobby, they take it for granted. Good! That shows how important these early pioneers were.     I think one of my first attempts had an 1AG7 (?) and I would have to fire up this suitcase-sized xmitter, and check the tuning of the receiver. The humidity and barometric pressure would cause it to drift some and we needed all the sensitivity we could get. Selectivity wasn't too much of a problem because the air waves were pretty quiet.     I would get it tuned and start having trouble about 150' in altitude because the air was more humid or dryer there and the air-coupled coils would detune. I remember tuning at least three times in a flying session and always going home with a list of things to fix.     The idea of wiping off a model and just needing to recharge before the next flying session was a pipe dream to us. After each flying session, we had major rebuilds to contend with. <g>     I remember those days when I realize that I could put stuff on charge right now and fly as many as 12 models tomorrow. <g>     Ken http://www.photos.windmillpro.com/
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