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Author Topic: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !  (Read 174102 times)

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Offline Phil_G

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #160 on: July 22, 2011, 13:18:38 PM »
Anyone remember the Remcon Versatile 12?
It was a kit-build reed set, could be built with up to 12 channels. It was bi-simul across the left & right hand switches and had  a centre-loaded 27mhz aerial.
The reed tones were adjusted with slider pots and were notoriously unstable.
The relayless receiver was huge by todays standards, 3" x 2" x 1" and a full installation with DEACs and bonner servos would weigh almost 2lb.
Back in the day TM mine was built by my Dad by copying a clubmates unbuilt kit - I was 11 or 12 and although he'd taught me to build small electronics bits & bobs by then, he didn't quite trust me to do the Remcon on my own, so he did most of it & I 'helped'.
I remember pauses in its construction as he saved up for the next part - reed bank, crystals, servos - all very expensive at the time.

So 45 years on, thanks to pal Shaun, this one arrived as an empty case and was therefore ideal as a 2.4ghz conversion project. The switches were the the hardest part to source - Remcon switches were very clicky, noisy things and mounted in a thin-steel case to make it worse.   The ones I eventually found are identical in every way including the noise.
This used the last remaining reeds emulation prototype pcb, the new pcbs are a bit smaller and neater with fewer components - see previous post.  It has the new firmware with variable-speed servo-slow on all channels to emulate the old, slow, reed servos. The pot on the bottom right controls the transit speed.
As you can see theres been no attempt to retore it aesthetically, I kinda like the 50-year old look.





Cheers
Phil


« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 14:40:46 PM by Phil_G »


Offline chlluk

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #161 on: July 23, 2011, 19:11:10 PM »
Hi
Im currently building a Remcon versatile 12 reed outfit . I have all the parts for the tx including the pc board( dry etched on my cnc mill).
My search for parts so far for the Rx is not going so well.
I have a set of IF transformers and a reed bank but need an inter stage 5:1 transformer ( used to be mini mac bits from macgergor)
I also need any of the NKT series transistors used on the device.
I am currently bidding on a set of bonner duramites and if lucky I will build the amplifiers to complement them.
PS a case for the TX would be welcome.
Clive Longstaff

Offline Phil_G

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #162 on: July 24, 2011, 21:58:57 PM »
Flew the Remcon today in a Veron Impala at the Sheffield SSA slope fly-in, what a nostalgia trip that was!
In 1968 I was flying a Remcon equipped Impala on the same slope...   time warp!


Offline Phil_G

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #163 on: August 06, 2011, 02:13:59 AM »
I've just added a simple but useful update to the Single-Channel Emulation Encoder.
After a low pass at half-throttle, I've occasionally found that I'd miscounted my quick-blips and while I was expecting the next blip to open the throttle and to climb away, what actually happened was the next step was low throttle and the low pass became an unplanned landing   ;)

The yellow LED indicates the selected throttle position - off for low, on for full, and at mid throttle the yellow led used to flash steadily. What it gives now at mid-throttle is a slow flash if the next blip is low throttle, and a fast flash if the next blip is high throttle. Simple but very handy - during a half-throttle pass, you now know with a glance at the tx which throttle setting comes next.

This is version K and will probably be the last update    :xx
I know a few are still using older firmware, which is fine, there are no problems with any of the versions, but I think the recent additional features are well worth having.  Heres a version list showing the last few upgrades:

28A added additional slow-sweep range test mode in addition to the flip-flop movement
28B added a config setting for choice of 2 or 3 position throttle (hi/mid/low/mid)
28C added LED red/green mix on kick-up elevator, added range sweep LEDs
28D in compound mode, when 3-position throttle is selected, flash the yellow LED at 1/2 throttle
28E playing with generating escapement noises from the buzzer. Not concluded, not issued.
28F clear motor run timers after a run. Have to be reset before next flight. Its a Safety thing.
28G clear motor run timer bits when changing config from compound to sequential, again a Safety thing
28H in compound mode, mid-throttle can be set from 1.2 to 1.7ms rather than fixed at 1.5ms
28i in sequential mode, auto motor start replaced with manually motor start by holding button for 5 secs.
28J in sequential mode, sound warning pips whilst motor is primed ready to run
28K in compound mode, at mid throttle, motor LED flash rate indicates next QB motor speed


I was wondering, as there are quite a few of the S/C sets out there now, could I ask that pics are returned with an SAE and I'll upgrade them by return.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcZjd32dUIA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcZjd32dUIA</a>

Cheers
Phil

Offline Bruno

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #164 on: August 06, 2011, 04:57:28 AM »
Anyone remember the Remcon Versatile 12?
It was a kit-build reed set, could be built with up to 12 channels. It was bi-simul across the left & right hand switches and had  a centre-loaded 27mhz aerial.
The reed tones were adjusted with slider pots and were notoriously unstable.
The relayless receiver was huge by todays standards, 3" x 2" x 1" and a full installation with DEACs and bonner servos would weigh almost 2lb.
Back in the day TM mine was built by my Dad by copying a clubmates unbuilt kit - I was 11 or 12 and although he'd taught me to build small electronics bits & bobs by then, he didn't quite trust me to do the Remcon on my own, so he did most of it & I 'helped'.
I remember pauses in its construction as he saved up for the next part - reed bank, crystals, servos - all very expensive at the time.

So 45 years on, thanks to pal Shaun, this one arrived as an empty case and was therefore ideal as a 2.4ghz conversion project. The switches were the the hardest part to source - Remcon switches were very clicky, noisy things and mounted in a thin-steel case to make it worse.   The ones I eventually found are identical in every way including the noise.
This used the last remaining reeds emulation prototype pcb, the new pcbs are a bit smaller and neater with fewer components - see previous post.  It has the new firmware with variable-speed servo-slow on all channels to emulate the old, slow, reed servos. The pot on the bottom right controls the transit speed.
As you can see theres been no attempt to retore it aesthetically, I kinda like the 50-year old look.

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

Cheers
Phil

Not only do I remember the Remcon gear I have a sailed an Aerokits Sea Queen boat with the Versatile...or was it the 'Twelve'? memory is fuzzy on that bit! back in 1966...

The boat and R/C belonged to a friend of a friend (Bob), he built the gear with the help of my friend (Stuart, a radio and tv engineer), I was 13 at the time and had discovered RCM&E magazine at the local model shop, I remember the issue too...March 1966, I built my own boat, a Sea Commander and went along with them to the lake usually every other Sunday.

I had hopes of building the Versaplex propo gear myself but it didn't happen, Stuart and his dad, as they were in the trade (owned a TV shop) obtained a Climax Digital 2 ch set for me instead, I paid back the £68 cost with my paper round money...eventually...well, I had the racing bike to pay for as well!

My boating days only lasted 3 years and I can't remember a lot of it now, some little bits still stand out though...

B.

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Offline no1dieselman

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #165 on: August 06, 2011, 12:15:04 PM »

Hi Phil,

RE  PIC software updates - there is one more mod that could do with looking at.  I'm quite enjoying the odd flight in sequential mode - however the occasional unplanned arrival means a mad dash to retreive the model with the motor stalled before any damage occurs. Is there any way of incorporating a motor kill in sequential - three blips perhaps?
Cheers

Doug

Offline Phil_G

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #166 on: August 06, 2011, 14:29:11 PM »
RTFM Doug  ;D
As it says in the text, in sequential mode, after an unplanned arrival, just switch off the tx momentarily. Its the quickest way of cutting the motor. You can switch back on again straight away if you prefer not to leave it off whilst retrieving...  :af
Cheers
Phil

PS so you fly electric then?  HA!  Gotcha!   :nananana:

Quote from: Da Manual

The software has an additional feature for sequential flyers. If the model is electric motor powered then we need some way to operate the ESC.  Consider for a moment what we are trying to emulate. A small diesel would be refuelled, started then run flat out until the tank drains a few minutes later, when it cuts and down we come.
For electric flyers we need to replicate this sequence, which the encoder does using the throttle channel, where of course the ESC would normally be connected.
For this purpose, a motor run timer is included which can be set to one, two, or four minutes.
Once one of the three timer values is selected, on the next power-up, the encoder is primed for a motor run and will emit a trill sound as a warning. Rudder operation can be checked, and when you’re happy and ready to go, hold rudder for a full 5 seconds. This will start a 5 second pre-start delay with more urgent audible pips before slowly building the throttle to full, where it remains for the duration of the motor timer, at which point the motor automatically cuts just as a diesel would run out of fuel.
Operational safety being paramount, during the pre-start delay a warning LED flashes and a buzzer sounds to indicate that the motor is about to start itself up. This is a final warning to get your fingers away from the prop.  If at any stage before launch you wish to terminate the countdown or cut the throttle, momentarily switch off the transmitter. The throttle will immediately be closed and the timer will be cancelled.  This is a safe ‘panic’ response to an unexpected arrival or crash, where the motor could be stalled, and there is no time to cycle through throttle settings. Simply switch off the transmitter and the motor will cut.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 14:41:53 PM by Phil_G »

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Offline no1dieselman

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #167 on: August 06, 2011, 14:54:59 PM »

Cheers Phil,

Forgot the golden rule - "if all else fails, read the manual ! "

Thanks

Doug

Offline GeeW

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #168 on: August 06, 2011, 21:33:03 PM »
Doug
 I am soooooo glad you asked that and got the reply! I was wondering the same myself.... :''
Anyone seen my manual around here, think I ought to have a little read.

Gordon


Offline no1dieselman

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #169 on: August 07, 2011, 08:04:26 AM »

Hi gordon,

You can find the manual in their single channel website, in the download section I believe, but I am sure Phil will correct me if I'm wrong.

Doug

Offline Phil_G

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #170 on: September 15, 2011, 00:24:22 AM »
I've just started a blog at the following address for anyone flying Single Channel, Reeds, GG or any vintage radio really:
singlechannelflyer.blogspot.com
I'll tie it into the singlechannel.co.uk website so we can use it for 'live' feedback, news and support.  Hopefully this might be better than the free-forum thing which I didnt like at all really. For one thing, blogspot is much simpler to use - just click on 'comments' after 'Posted by whoever at 15:27' below any post and just type away!
Cheers all
Phil




Offline Alan H

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #171 on: October 06, 2011, 16:16:47 PM »
******HELP PLEASE ********

Hi. I urgently need some of the following valves and bits to repair some of the exhibits in Phil's and My museum  collection.

DCC 90  ( 3A5 )
DK 91
DK 92
DL 92
DL94 ( 3V4 )
DL 96
HiVAC  XFY 34
HIVAC  XFG 1

OC 71  & OC 72  Transistors

3 to 5K ohm relays (preferably siemens high speed type but anything will do)

Any old but good Hunts capacitors  various values

 Cheers

Shaun

If you are still looking for an XFY34 there is an unused one on that well known auction site, don't turn up very often. Look for item number 260864575156
Alan

Offline Phil_G

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #172 on: October 09, 2011, 12:03:34 PM »
I've just taken delivery of some more Single Channel Emulation Encoder PCBs, so if anyone fancies a go at single channel flying with reliable equipment, just send me a pm or email me on philg@talk21.com  :af   
Having to order more boards made me realise that he entire first batch have been taken, so including the early home-made boards thats 40-odd 2.4g S/C sets in use now! 
The emulation encoders are ready built & tested so all thats needed is to plug them into a 2.4g module, mount it all in a case with battery, button and on/off switch, build a S/C model and fly! Its really very easy to do, and results in a high quality, comprehensive and reliable S/C set - much better than it was in the 60s!
Its a non-profit project done more or less at cost, just for the fun of it - and it really is fun!  PM or email if interested, thanks
Its all here:  www.singlechannel.co.uk
Cheers
Phil


Offline Phil_G

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #173 on: November 28, 2011, 22:50:56 PM »
Last week I bought an early 1970s Macgregor Digimac 1+1 transmitter for £14 on ebay.
In its time this was 'half a step up' from the single channel radios of the period, having proportional rudder and a sequential 3 position throttle.  It was popular for boats but a lot of model flyers used them too. The Macgregor electronics were not suitable for a straightforward 'hack' conversion, as it didnt use a conventional ppm stream, so I've written a custom 1+1 encoder for the same hardware as the single-channel emulation set. In practise it works exactly as per the original (the new s/w was written to the original spec) and its turned out to be a really nice outfit.  This time I used a redundant Corona module and rx, although I might change that to Frsky (my favourite!) before flying it.  For the moment the conversion isnt done that neatly, but it will be when I swap the module.
With only rudder and throttle, the set only uses channels 1 and 3 of the 2.4g rx, but I've played a little trick with this one in that I have rudder on channel 1 but simultaneously reversed rudder on channel 4. This means that I dont need a reversing option on the tx, for different model requirements I just plug the rudder servo into receiver channel 1 or 4, whichever gives the correct rudder movement.
Heres the converted set, does anyone remember flying one of these?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHaUvmsJdU4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHaUvmsJdU4</a>

Cheers
Phil
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 23:58:30 PM by Phil_G »

Offline no1dieselman

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #174 on: December 15, 2011, 12:48:42 PM »

Hi Phil,

I was looking at my 1+1 tx with a view to convering it to 2.4, but don't have the heart to pull it to bits - I have 2 flight packs for it and they work perfectly.
I was thinking about doing a custom build with a Maplins box, and a single axis stick from an old futaba 2 channel set.  Would this work OK?  It would have the benefit of a trim as well, or would this be considered too modern?

Doug

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #175 on: December 15, 2011, 13:17:32 PM »
Hi Doug,
The Waltron 1+1 ( later known as the Mini 2) ,had a  single propo stick plus a button for 3 pos throttle.

 This would be easy to replicate as it was a square aluminium box, . Maplin sell one just about the correct size from memory. It was covered in cream / white leather cloth.

 I could send you a scan of the Badge  as well to make a sticker from.. Ink Jet Vinyl on Lithoplate works a treat.. Used it many times when restoring or building sets from the mags...

I also believe Micron did a kit for a similar set up . They also made a GG Kit set.. not many people know that either... Not sure they would want to  ;D ;D

 Doug... No rules , just fun....

 I would leave the MacG alone if it was mine and in good fettle and working well because, the stick unit is mounted on the PCB, not to the case so it is not easy to secure it without drilling a couple of holes in the case .Other option is removing all the components from the PCB and re fixing that in as a base board... I did that on mine as the board had suffered from the green mould of death and was well and truly rogered....

Cheers,

Shaun


« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 13:31:02 PM by 2.4G Shaun »

Offline no1dieselman

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #176 on: December 15, 2011, 14:29:21 PM »

Hi Shaun,
The PCB in mine looks perfect, and I thought the stripdown would be a bit destructive, so thanks for the tips. I really like the idea of the Waltron set.

I will PM you my email for the scan.

Just need to order a board from the PIC meister.

Cheers

Doug


Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #177 on: December 15, 2011, 21:53:29 PM »
Started my latest Metz   2.4g replica... the Giga Metz.....

Case was from Sainsburys from their retro brand radio @ £10.00, switches were from CPC at approx £10.00 each  ( each joystick has 4 microswitches in.

Took the plunge and started cutting and drilling... I did begin to wonder if I would end up with £30.00 of junk.....

Working out OK.. I just need a Spektrum - Futaba module and I'll be good to go.

Always wanted one of these sets as a kid.. It seemed a much more logical way to configure a reed set...

I still have to decide where to put the other 4 channels ( 2 x center biased switches).

Cheers,

Shaun

« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 22:24:59 PM by 2.4G Shaun »

Offline onewinglow

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #178 on: December 16, 2011, 09:06:51 AM »
Shaun,
 Interested in your joysticks for @ £10. I need one for my build of a 2.4 SC 'code-a-matic' styleTx. This is the one I've come up with http://uk.farnell.com/apem/100113/joystick-switch-5a/dp/9895744
But, it's £17.90 inc VAT + P&P.
Would be interested in details of the unit your using.
Thanks

Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #179 on: December 16, 2011, 10:56:59 AM »
Hi,

they have gone up a bit since I bought them 4 months agao.......

http://cpc.farnell.com/apem/100113/switch-joystick-5a/dp/SW02291?in_merch=Products%20From%20This%20Range&MER=e-bb45-00001003

The can be configured in 3 ways using the included cam plates... Uni -directional, 4 way and 2 way..

They are now £12.28 inc Vat  exc postage....  Postage is free from CPC if you order over about £40.00   easily done as they have a good supply of switches,  Aluminium boxes, Semiconductors, solder etc.

 The price difference is interesting as Farnell own CPC and the product is identical.

Regards,

Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #180 on: December 16, 2011, 18:01:17 PM »
Always wanted one of these sets as a kid.. It seemed a much more logical way to configure a reed set...

My first multi channel set was a Grundig with a similar layout. The problem with it was that it only had two tone generators, so you had to make a choice between having aileron and elevator available simultaneously or rudder and elevator! The sticks couldn't be moved diagonally. You could operate the left and right sticks at the same time, but that meant deciding whether to have the elevator on the left stick or the right one! I went with having it on the left, though strangely, it didn't cause me any problems a couple of years later when I got my first proportional, with the elevator on the right!

A standard reed layout had both aileron and rudder on the same side (and same tone generator!) and the elevator on the other, so you could both keep the nose up in rolls AND spin as well!

I seem to recall that the Metz transmitter had THREE tone genrators, and the right hand stick could be moved diagonally. However, they thoughtfully provided little removable wire guides for the right hand stick for those who found this extra degree of freedom confusing.....!!

 :)
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 "No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery."

Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #181 on: December 16, 2011, 20:11:45 PM »
Hi Pete,

Your memory hasn't failed you.... The Tri simultaneous operation of the Metz, gave an advantage to the Aerobatic flyers of the day... I've not put the cross cam plate in so I can have diagonal operation of the sticks.

I also seem to remember that the Metz was available as a lesser beast and  plug in channel upgrade modules for the Tx were available. The Rx was made up from the Receiving  module and stackable 4 channel decoders ( 2 channels per output function) could be added, like the Graupner Variophone as funds or application  allowed.

Nearly finished the repro set, can't wait to give the sticks a twirl.. or should that be a twitch ;D

Cheers,

Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #182 on: December 17, 2011, 16:59:56 PM »
I do like the look of your retro set, Shaun!

The Grundig was also expandable! Mine started out as a 4 channel super-regen outfit! A while later I got the extra Tx module to upgrade it to 8 channels, and then got the superhet receiver for it. I've tried both receivers recently, and they are both working fine!

The Grundig stackable filters were 2 channels (one function) per unit, so a full 8 channel receiver was quite a brick! However, this was compensated by the small size of the servos! In later years, Grundig also did a 10-channel system, with a pair of push buttons alongside the left hand stick. I seem to recall that the late, great John Haytree had one of these.

I always fancied one of their proportional sets, but never managed to lay my hands on one.

Happy days!

 :)

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Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #183 on: December 17, 2011, 17:43:35 PM »
Hi Pete....
I have found an advert for the Metz......available in 3,6 & 10 configs..Basic rx was 6 channel with a 4 channel upgrade. Cost for the 10 channel set inc servos in May 1966 was 150 pounds...phew! The rx was forward a thinking design...It came with a whip aerial. Servo direction could also be  changed by reversing the plug.
I managed to buy.the propo Graupner Variophon last year in France. Same stackable rx system idea for additional channels.
We are still trying to find examples of the Grundig and Metz for the museum
Maybe we should try  advertising in the German model mags..
I have decided that my first flight with the Giga_Metz will be in one of my shock flyers...that should be entertaining and a worlds first. Reed Shock.....
Shaun
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 17:55:54 PM by 2.4G Shaun »

Offline no1dieselman

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #184 on: December 30, 2011, 23:43:12 PM »

Finally got round to starting my 1+1 tx, loosely based on the Waltron that Shaun posted pics of.

Here are the results of a couple of hours work tonight.


The stick unit is from an early Futaba 2 channel set - the one in a brown case. Its mounting was 4 bolts, perfect I thought to replicate the Waltron. Trouble is, after looking at Shauns photos it is a bit small. Never mind, it cleaned up like new.  Need to get a throttle push button switch and a slide on/off switch in the new year to finish the hardware, and hopefully by then Phil will have time to make me a board.

Doug

Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #185 on: December 30, 2011, 23:48:51 PM »
Doug,
The Waltron copy looks good. I'll do a scan of the Tx lable for you...
PM me your address and I'll send you a slide switch and a button.

Cheers,

Shaun

Offline Binro

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #186 on: January 01, 2012, 10:54:58 AM »
Last week I bought an early 1970s Macgregor Digimac 1+1 transmitter for £14 on ebay.
In its time this was 'half a step up' from the single channel radios of the period, having proportional rudder and a sequential 3 position throttle.  . . . . . . . . . Cheers Phil

I'm new here and a self-confessed 'luddite' (AND proud of it). I have a Digimac 1+1 in my loft which after a few years of flying ended up installed in a Thames Sailing Barge built whilst awaiting the arrival of my first child. Unfortunately I was a little presumptuous, 'Murphy's Law' came into play, I ended up with a daughter! My second and final effort also produced a daughter so sadly the barge didn't get many outings. :'(

Fast-forward 30 years and both daughters have (so far) delivered me two 'Popsons'  :)(the 'G-word' is NOT used in my hearing) so I recently dusted-off the barge in anticipation of some outings with the boys. :co In the hunt for batteries and checking whether or not my equipment was still 'legal' I was amazed at the advances in equipment (and reduction in cost in real terms). It did, however, set me to thinking about whether it was in fact 'progress'. Having read some of this thread I'm encouraged by the fact that there are other members here of like mind.

I don't hate technology per sie but I do feel that it can take some of the 'fun' out of many activities. Flying an early RC model required a high degree of skill and anticipation, risk of damage was far higher making the whole experience very exciting. Today it seems it is almost (but not quite) too easy although to be fair, there are an awful lot more 'functions' available!

Changing topic quickly before I get 'flamed', I recently inherited a superb scratch-built scale model of the PS Lucy Ashton kitted-out with a MacGregor Digimac 111 (Tx 1300A, Rx 24A). I downloaded the user manual but I'm slightly confused as I appear to have a 4 Ch outfit, not 3 as per the manual. Reason I say this is I have 4 trim tabs, two by each stick. Also there seems to be a spare servo wire! The Tx also differs from the manual in that it has two identical rechargable battery packs, not one. I would guess this was the forerunner to the Digimac 1V, anybody got any clues?

One final question, I'm told that the throttle controls the two paddle drive motors but that when full rudder is applied the appropriate motor stops or reverses. I'm trying to get my head around this as there are only 3 servos, 2 X motor and 1 X rudder. Having read-up on modern equipment I know that this sort of sophistication can be programmed in, was it possible with kit like the Digimac and if so any clues as to where I can get more information?

Any tips/hints/clues would be greatly appreciated!


Offline Phil_G

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #187 on: January 01, 2012, 11:37:49 AM »
Superb opening post Binro, this is the kind of stuff I enjoy reading!
Shaun will know your Digimac inside out, hes a big macgregor fan, I think I remember him saying that  the digimac tx had two identical batteries.
Yes the old 27 kit is still legal, so if it still works, you can still use it, I'd suggest only in a boat though although some do still fly on 27, depends how busy the band is in your area. Our site is adjacent to the M62 so lorry-drivers with CB sets can pass quite close. 
Yes I agree with your take on 'progress', the modern computerised sets have ensured that few people bother to trim a model now and even fewer would know how to make a mechanical elevon mixer!
Re the paddle steamer, if it has servos on the motors I assume it has mechanical speed controllers or motor switches, these days it would be done with a transmitter mix and electronic reversible speed controllers.
I think I'm right in saying that your Digimac doesnt have any built-in mixing facilities, but if it works as-is, no problem!
Welcome to the forum, and a Happy New Year  :af
Cheers
Phil

Follow members gave a thank to your post:


Offline Binro

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #188 on: January 01, 2012, 17:32:01 PM »
. . . . Shaun will know your Digimac inside out, hes a big macgregor fan, I think I remember him saying that  the digimac tx had two identical batteries. . . . .


Thanks for the welcome Phil, since you say 'Shaun' is the font of all MacGregor knowledge and I want to pick his brains I'm posting pics of the Digimac in the hope it gets him excited!

Front and rear of Tx show the four trim sliders and the 3rd pic shows the pair of speed controlers with the motors & gearboxes in the background. After reading your reply, particularly the bit about no sub-commands being possible with these antique systems I had another look at the Tx and discovered that the right-hand stick has no return spring fitted to center vertical movements thus I'd guess right and left engines are controlled by right and left vertical stick with rudder as horizontal movement on one stick.

As the model has not seen the light of day for many years I intend replacing all the power packs as I can't believe they'll charge up and perform after such serious 'neglect'! Then I'll be able to prove the control theory.

The model, as I mentioned before, was scratch built from a set of drawings. The PS Lucy Ashton is very special to me as the origional ship was built by my Great Great Grandfather T.B. Seath and launched in 1888, remaining in regular service until 1947! More info here:
http://www.clydesteamers.co.uk/Lucy%20Ashton.html

The only thing missing from the model is smoke, if I'm right and I have a 4th channel I think a whistle and smoke generator are a good way to utilise it!


Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #189 on: January 01, 2012, 19:03:37 PM »
Nowt like a bit of pressure Phil    ;D ;D

This set is one of the later  ( last) ic encoder versions. The earlier discreet sets had more components on the PCB so the battery arrangement used  was 2 x 4.8v 225 or 500 sized deacs in the bottom left hand corner.
The later ones like yours used AA sized Nicads in the 2 x  4 cell battery boxes as there was more available space.. It also has carbon tracked pots instead of the earlier ( and more expensive) wire wound ones.
Originally the 2 and 3 channel sets came in a smaller case with 2 x single sticks ( the 3rd channel was a trim slider to the right of the on / off switch) .
The 4 & 6 channel normally came in the case you have pictured.
It wasn't unusual however for manufacturers to rationalise their range and this is what  happened here.
The 3 has been built into the 4 / 6 sized case
MacGregor used to offer return to manufacturer upgrades on. their sets to add more channels. The RX's basically only needed additional servo leads soldering in to get more channels as they came full spec in terms of components. Earlier Rx's were in the same case style ( ali with black plastic end caps) as the  last superhet single channel ones, the later versions were in blue plastic
It looks like your  3 channel set was upgraded to a  4 ( the remaining spaces for the missing components were for the 5th & 6th channels). The original 3 channel set had a single function stick on the left of the set. Yours has had this replaced with a dual function one
The sets were very basic, no servo reversing , no mixing etc, just basic channels. But , the ones that had the DIN socket as long as they were on the same frequency could be used in a buddy box arrangement with the optional connecting lead.

Cheers,

Shaun
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 19:45:20 PM by 2.4G Shaun »

Offline Binro

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #190 on: January 02, 2012, 10:08:29 AM »
Thank you very much Shaun, you truely are a Digimac Database :af

The Rx has a plastic case and has the crystal fitted in the corner. The 5-pin Din socket on the side is for both charging and connecting a buddy although the chances of finding somebody else with the same outfit I would guess are rather slim ;D

I intend seeing if the current Tx & Rx batteries will accept AND hold a charge, if they fail I'll need to replace them, possibly the charger too if I don't replace like-for-like. I assume the 2 X 4.8v 280mAh in the TX were purely comvenience? If I can find a single pack of 4.8v 600mAh + would that do or would you suggest more?

One final question, from what I've read and recall from my 1+1 days, antenna length is critical. As things stand the antenna is this model runs through the superstructure which means it runs close (3") to the motors and gearbox and is only about 4" above water level. Would this limit reliability/range in your view? If so, is it practical to, for example, string fine copper between the masts (insulated) and connected to the origional antenna via a plug obviously maintaining the overall length?

Many thanks for your help :)


Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #191 on: January 02, 2012, 10:26:53 AM »
Hi,
because replacement rechargable AA sized batteries are so cheap, I would buy them anyhow.
Re the Aerial, your idea to string it between then masts is good, and as you said keep the length the same. If you are using a plug and socket , make sure you buy a good quality item, preferably with gold plated contacts.. Also keep the aerial as far as possible away from the speed controllers, motors and gears etc...  anywhere that can create electrical noise is a potential problem on 27 / 35 mHz systems, the same applies for the receiver. One of the advantages of the newer 2.4g systems is they are virtually immune from this problem.. 
"If I can find a single pack of 4.8v 600mAh + would that do"   I'm assuming you meant 9.6V Just make sure you  reconnect this correctly back in circuit.

Cheers,

Shaun

Offline Binro

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #192 on: January 02, 2012, 20:27:13 PM »
Again my thanks Shaun, fortified by the encouragement I shot off to Maplins and in their sale bought a dozen Ni-MH (2500 mAh) along with 4-way batt holders. Since the origionals were 470 mAh I'm expecting no problems with battery life!

It appears my traction battery is beyond redemption so I'll pop back tomorrow and buy one of their 4.5Ah gell units which are also in the sale.

The good news is I've fired up the Tx and IT WORKS ;D , vertical movement on both sticks are right and left speed and sideways on one operates the rudder.  The only thing I noticed which might cause a problem is that one stick when centered only achieves 'neutal' on the speed controller with the trim tab all the way up.  I'll pull out the servos to see if they have an adjustment 'pot'.
I was delighted to find that the servos remained static as I wandered about with the Tx . . . . . no 'hunting' or whatever it's called; amazing considering I've not yet attacked the sticks with switch cleaner :af




Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #193 on: January 02, 2012, 20:46:01 PM »
You should get the same throw from each stick / servo combination. It could be worth while swopping over the 2 servo leads to  confirm   if the problem is with the servo / linkage and not the tx/ rx, i.e. see if the problem follows the servo  :af
From memory, the output splines are square on the MacGregor servos ,so the output arm can't have slipped. Other early servos had a conical splined shaft that allowed finer adjustment of the output disc and could slip round if the disc wasn't tight or the hubs sometimes split with over tightening and also age / stress cracked.
Remember to check the output rating of the charger as the original MacG one  was designed for 500mAh  NiCad cells charging usually for 14hrs from flat,... your new ones would take 70hrs from flat at that rate. Your new cells are NiMh which require a different charging regime, so make sure you use a NiMh compatible charger...

Offline Binro

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #194 on: January 03, 2012, 19:12:58 PM »
Thanks for the warning Shaun, I've gone over to plug-in AA batt holders and marked up all the cells in sets and will remove after a session and re-charge in my table-top charger as this is 'automatic' and also has 'discharge'.

I've been using re-chargable cells for years in my work for cameras, radio mics etc and have found through experience that it's wise to have clearly marked sets and to never mix them up.

Greatly appreciate your input, hopefully when the weather warms up I'll have the model ready for a serious water test :''


Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #195 on: January 04, 2012, 13:49:46 PM »
The Giga Metz is finished and working.....
Really pleased with the outcome, it's turned out better than I thought it would...
Battery is a 3S lipo , it has an onboard LiPo alarm. Also the small pot , gives 3 different servo speed settings... You need faster response on slower models like gliders etc...
 It also has a trainer port to connect to flight sims / propo Tx's etc...
For full details of Phils Reed Encoder have a look on our website  www.singlechannel.co.uk under  the Archive section,

The test flight will be fun.. I'm using a Flying Wings Easy 3D indoor model... I hope to be the first person ever to prop hang a model on Reeds :D

Should find out at the next indoor meeting...

Shaun

Offline pchristy

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #196 on: January 04, 2012, 16:47:21 PM »
That looks *really* smart, Shaun!

Best of luck with the test flights!

 :af

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Offline Phil_G

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #197 on: January 04, 2012, 19:08:34 PM »
The Metz looks suberb, and from (rapidly fading) memory, quite a realistic reproduction!
Shauns tx builds are always done so neatly.  I like how the wiring loom shows off the reeds pcb, it makes the hours spent 'prettifying' the pcb worthwhile.
This summer the kennels were far too busy for me to play radio, so I'd asked Shaun if he wouldnt mind assembling my Orbit 10 Reeds set - well he brought it to the club last night and I'm over the moon with it.  Externally, its cleaned up so nicely that it looks like it was bought as a 2.4g set in 1958, then carefully stored until last night!  Internally its all  laid out neatly as we've come to expect, a clever shroud directs the bind LED light through the original meter, and the harness includes the charge and buddy connections which are all brought out to the original front-panel DIN socket. Excellent job!   :af
I hope to be the first person ever to prop hang a model on Reeds :D
That will need a nifty throttle thumb.... progressive throttle remember!  :D
Cheers
Phil

At the moment the Orbit is on revision 'N' software which has been the 'workhorse' version this flying season.
The loose connector is for the servo-slow transit speed pot which I havent connected yet, the variable speed is a feature of the latest software revision 'S'.  You can see the 'S' setup in the Remcom photo at the top of this page.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 20:05:42 PM by Phil_G »

Offline no1dieselman

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #198 on: January 05, 2012, 21:30:16 PM »

Thats a really nice pair of transmitters there.  I always try to do a neat job but always run out of patience when I'm on the home straight, getting it finished is more important than what it looks like.  A belated Happy New Year to everyone.

Doug

Offline 2.4G Shaun

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Re: Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !
« Reply #199 on: January 05, 2012, 22:21:05 PM »
Hi Doug,

Happy New Year back at you.....
I  posted off the slide switch and push button today for your Walton ( GigaTron).
I hope it arrives safe and sound. I'll dig out the Mini 2 or 1+1 and email a scan for you asap..

Cheers

Shaun


 

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