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Under 50's need not apply... reviving 1960s radio control !

Started by Phil_G, April 12, 2010, 00:20:38 am

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0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

singlechannelman

Phil have a good few days holiday you must be ready for a rest just go steady on that German brandy powerfull stuff, you could run glow engines on it.
John.

ronstv

Anyone got a circuit diagram for a digimac 1V or 6.
Even a photo of the pcb pref with aerial removed would do. Need to see where the 4th channel pot wires go.
Thanks.
XH558 lover & follower

Phil_G

Here's the Skyleader Clubman I've been working on over the last couple of weeks. Its a really clean example, you'd never guess it was 40 years old.  Its now converted to 2.4g using a Frsky DIY module and a homebrew encoder, which uses the same hardware as the S/C emulation encoder with a couple of mods but of course different software.

At the moment the encoder gives 5 channels as this particular PIC only has 8 pins so 5 is the max when you've used 3 for power and PPM out. Its not really what you'd call a computer radio, its more like a DX5e or Planet in that it has some simple but handy features over the old Skyleader, like servo reversing which is done by holding the stick over on power up, and a built-in servo-slow on the switched channel 5, which should be better for retracts or flaps.  Any config changes are saved to flash memory.

I ditched the Frsky bind board, the existing trainer button which is nicely shrouded is now the bind/low-power button, and a new red/green LED sits behind the meter which it illuminates nicely even though the meter itself does nothing now. 
This is the first pass of the 5ch encoder software, its all assembler as usual, but stuff to do includes an elevon mixer, another aileron channel, maybe make the meter read battery volts, and dual rates. I might add expo, even a fixed rate of say 20% would be good. Another good development would be to find and replace the case screws which I've lost  :D   (again)

The Skyleader Clubman was a very popular radio in its day, thousands were sold. It was the budget model of their range, the posh version having Kraft-Hayes stick units rather than these Horizons.  I think I have one of the posh Skyleaders too somewhere.

Anyway, here's a badly focused video  :af








AlexC

Well done Phil, This new encoder will give a new lease of life to all those old transmitters.

Great stuff :af

no1dieselman


Typical - I sell off all my old tramsmitters because I think I will never use them, and then Phil comes up with this.

I even had about 6 reed transmitters that I sold a few years ago, now i need one I can't find any.

Thats life.

Doug

mart49

Very neat conversion. I have a Skyleader SLX of about the same vintage and a couple of Horizon sets, this could get expensive! The stick units on Skyleader of this era were their own units I think manufactured by either SLM or Horizon, the  difference between the Clubman and the SLX sticks other than the obvious surface finish were the pots. The Clubman, if IRC correctly were a wire wound type and required a stronger return spring than the SLX which used a Bourns low torque film type pot. The Kraft Hayes sticks which were excellent were fitted to the earlier SL Tx's

onewinglow

Phil,
Just seen this on the bay, Item Number: 130813239000 'FUTABA FP-T8SSA-P SINGLE STICK RC TX SYSTEM PCM RADIO TRANSMITTER'. Never seen one of these before. Shame its in the USA, could have been an interesting addition to the collection!

RobC

why did you have to do that Phil?  Now I'm wondering what state the stick pots are in on my old Horizon 8 tx.  I might even have the rx case kicking about somewhere to hide an FrSky rx in.
flying's easy - it's getting it back down in one piece that's the hard part

singlechannelman

I acquired this set of 2 channel OS Cougar off EBay approx 2 weeks ago in nice condition thought it would be perfect for a 2 channel vintage glider when converted to 2.4.
Question can anyone date it for me.
John.

Skyleader

Quote from: mart49 on December 09, 2012, 09:22:05 am
Very neat conversion. I have a Skyleader SLX of about the same vintage and a couple of Horizon sets, this could get expensive! The stick units on Skyleader of this era were their own units I think manufactured by either SLM or Horizon, the  difference between the Clubman and the SLX sticks other than the obvious surface finish were the pots. The Clubman, if IRC correctly were a wire wound type and required a stronger return spring than the SLX which used a Bourns low torque film type pot. The Kraft Hayes sticks which were excellent were fitted to the earlier SL Tx's


I sold Horizon 6 to buy skyleader clubman 6 back in the 70's.
As this is called ... 'reviving 1960s radio control ! is it really not cheating to rip out the guts of old trannies and convert them to modern 2.4.....?
If its not; how do I do it to my old SLX.....?????
'Dont just stand there; get one up!!'

ronstv

Quote from: singlechannelman on December 09, 2012, 16:30:42 pm
I acquired this set of 2 channel OS Cougar off EBay approx 2 weeks ago in nice condition thought it would be perfect for a 2 channel vintage glider when converted to 2.4.
Question can anyone date it for me.
John.

Just a guess at around 1976


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
XH558 lover & follower

no1dieselman


Looking at adverts I would say aroung 1972 to 1976. This is a guess, because the adverts only included photos of the 4 channel sets.   There are a few photos on the web but none with such a dark coloured case or with similar sticks.  I thought Shaun would have commented on this, he is a walking encyclopedia of aeromodelling facts

Doug

Phil_G

Quote from: Skyleader on December 10, 2012, 12:33:17 pm
As this is called ... 'reviving 1960s radio control ! is it really not cheating to rip out the guts of old trannies and convert them to modern 2.4.....?
Thats what the project is all about Maurice, conversions where the old electronics are entirely replaced with new, the point being that where the ultimate aim is to regularly fly the set rather than save it in a glass cabinet hoping that one day it might be 'worth something', unfortunately the old technologies simply aren't practical now.  Whilst Shaun and I have done full restorations, we'd never fly them in today's environment. Ok so you might think a complete refit is a bit extreme (some say this is sacrilege) but the emulations are as true to the original as I can possibly make them, and the transmitter is immediately recognisable as an RCS, a Gem, an Orbit, a Skyleader, whatever.  In actual use you would be hard pressed to tell the difference from the original set!  I just enjoy getting these sets bang up to date and back onto the flight line! 
Here rests the case for the defence mlud  :af
Cheers
Phil

Skyleader

Here rests the case for the defence mlud.
Cheers
Phil

No criticism intended Phil; more power to your elbow. wish i had the brains to do stuff like this. :embarassed:
'Dont just stand there; get one up!!'

singlechannelman

Phil keep up the good work until I met you I had single channel set that I would not use  for safety, I turned to cheap 2 channel sets and used 1 servo to get my single channel kicks
when I found about your emulation boards from Doug my life went back to flying single channel as it should but much safer than it used to be i for one rate your work very highly.
John.

AlexC

Quote from: singlechannelman on December 10, 2012, 20:03:03 pm
Phil keep up the good work until I met you I had single channel set that I would not use  for safety, I turned to cheap 2 channel sets and used 1 servo to get my single channel kicks
when I found about your emulation boards from Doug my life went back to flying single channel as it should but much safer than it used to be i for one rate your work very highly.
John.


Well said John, Totally agree.

ronstv

Phil
You have definitely made this hobby exciting again for me.
It's so rewarding flying with these old transmitters again.
By the way I flew the 2+1 today in the impala at marske headlands. Only had half an hour though it was freezing.
First flight of the 2+1 including the converted digimac rx case I showed you the other week. No problems at all. It was brilliant, just getting used to twin stick again lol
XH558 lover & follower

2.4G Shaun

December 10, 2012, 20:42:28 pm #377 Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 21:34:17 pm by 2.4G Shaun
Quote from: no1dieselman on December 10, 2012, 16:58:13 pm
Looking at adverts I would say around 1972 to 1976. This is a guess, because the adverts only included photos of the 4 channel sets.   There are a few photos on the web but none with such a dark coloured case or with similar sticks.  I thought Shaun would have commented on this, he is a walking encyclopedia of aeromodelling facts

Doug


Hi Doug,  very kind of you to big up my limited knowledge.. be ready for  partial disappointment.

Here you go John.......

The Cougar range of OS sets were a mid range offering, available  as far as I can remember  originally in 2 versions ,the DP-4P  4 channel and the DP-2G  2 channel sets. The Mk 1 versions were introduced in 1972 and the Mk 2 versions in 1975 ish.  The set shown is the Mk 2 but, I have never seen one in the brown vinyl before. The UK version distributed by Keil Kraft was in the cream vinyl . Same sticks etc. Same plastic side cheeks.
Maybe it was intended for  Central Europe , Stateside or even Australia, but shipped to the UK to fulfill and order . It is clearly a UK product as it has the KeilKraft sticker on..
Futaba  for example had  some colour / badge  / naming variations for certain countries on some earlier sets

The top  of the range radios were labelled  OS Digital and came in a fully metal case.This again was in cream vinyl and replaced the original blue anodised OS propo sets. They were the same colour as the earlier OS Reed sets and used the same servo cases as the reed but with propo doohickey widgets  in.

The finally succumbed to commercial pressure around 1979ish and produced  a dirt cheap, all plastic, 2 channel set  branded the, Arrow SR, dry cell.To be honest , I'm not even certain it was OS manufactured , quite possibly an OEM product. I don't think they made a 4 channel version of this, but I may be wrong.

Cheers

Shaun


singlechannelman

Thanks Shaun lots of info Doug was right sounds like a rare set non of us have seen one in brown. I allways liked something a bit different it came with transmitter charger and empty receiver case could always put a fr sky receiver in the case.
As you can see it is in nice condition and will find its way into a glider soon.
John.

pchristy

Quote from: Phil_G on December 10, 2012, 19:28:21 pm.....the emulations are as accurate as I think is possible, it's still in principle an RCS, a Gem, an Orbit, a Skyleader, whatever, and in actual use you would be hard pressed to tell the difference from the original set.


I sincerely hope that's not true! I remember the late, great John Haytree (who taught me to fly RC) referring to his RCS single-channel as Radio Control Sometimes.....!!

;)

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

Phil_G

I put the converted Skyleader into the Cub hack/testbed and took it down to the park this morning.
Range check was fine and I had several 10 min flights, no issues with the radio at all (other than cold fingers!)
It does feel a bit strange as the tx is now only a fraction of its original weight when it had DEACs, bulky pcbs and a huge aerial. I'm well chuffed with it!
Cheers
Phil

pchristy

Had a call from an old mate recently who is trying to revive his old Galloping Ghost set. I'm not sure what it is exactly that he's got, but apparently it all seems to be working.

The only thing he's missing is an actuator, so if anyone has a Rand or Controlaire Ghost, I can point it to a good home! (I know its a long shot, but if you don't ask....!!)

I'll try and get some more info next time I see him!

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

ronstv

Quote from: Phil_G on December 16, 2012, 15:32:01 pm
I put the converted Skyleader into the Cub hack/testbed and took it down to the park this morning.
Range check was fine and I had several 10 min flights, no issues with the radio at all (other than cold fingers!)
It does feel a bit strange as the tx is now only a fraction of its original weight with its DEACs and bulky pcbs.
Well chuffed with it!
Cheers
Phil

Very nice Phil,
Doesn't it just feel better flying the old radio gear.
Looks a nice job that.
I noticed there is a very old Walton 4-5 on eBay at the mo. did you see it
XH558 lover & follower

singlechannelman

Phil is it possible my old Futaba 27 meg am board has a ppm feed or do I go the encoder route.
Thanks John.

Phil_G

It will have a standard ppm feed somewhere John, it might need to be persuaded but I'm sure it can be done, in fact I'd be surprised if no-one had already done one, they're lovely sets.  :af
Send it over if you're stuck. 
Cheers
Phil


onewinglow

IIRC the 'M' series and the earlier 'Digi max' used a variable frame rate (could be wrong. The later 5L system definitely did). Not sure if the FrSky system is happy with this. Additionally, the pulse center was 1.3 and not 1.5 as the current standard and attempting to adjust it to 1.5 could give problems. IIRC I tried this on a 5L in the distant past and got problems with channel interaction and servo range of movement.
Just a couple of thoughts that may or may not be relevant.

ronstv

Quote from: onewinglow on December 16, 2012, 22:40:51 pm
IIRC the 'M' series and the earlier 'Digi max' used a variable frame rate (could be wrong. The later 5L system definitely did). Not sure if the FrSky system is happy with this. Additionally, the pulse center was 1.3 and not 1.5 as the current standard and attempting to adjust it to 1.5 could give problems. IIRC I tried this on a 5L in the distant past and got problems with channel interaction and servo range of movement.
Just a couple of thoughts that may or may not be relevant.

Hi, I've converted the old m series 6 channel ( brown leatherette version) with no problems what so ever. Works a treat. No interaction problems.
XH558 lover & follower

ronstv

Can I add,
The hardest part of the conversion was getting the old 27 MHz telescopic aerial out of the case. The nut on the inside was super tight and had done form of thread lock on it.
XH558 lover & follower

Phil_G

Quote from: onewinglow on December 16, 2012, 22:40:51 pm
IIRC the 'M' series and the earlier 'Digi max' used a variable frame rate (could be wrong. The later 5L system definitely did). Not sure if the FrSky system is happy with this.
Yes Frsky is perfectly ok with variable frame rate Allan, in fact all the project encoders are vfr with a fixed sync.
I dont remember their channel timings - I did think the M was 'standard Futaba' 1.54 centres but I trust your judgement!
Cheers
Phil

onewinglow

Great!
Looks like I'd best dig out my old Futaba 'DigiMax 4' and M 6. Oh, and a large spanner for the aerial nut (would that be a 'Leader' or a 'Square Four' aerial). In joke for the 60's motorcyclists here.

singlechannelman


Alan,
Think you might a metric adjustable spanner for that nut imperial adjustable might not fit.
John.


onewinglow


ronstv

Has anyone on here ever converted a sanwa custom 6 transmitter to 2.4ghz.
Any info would be appreciated. Ppm feed etc.
thanks.
XH558 lover & follower

singlechannelman

Alan I have 3 in total  AF adjustable  for the Harley's,  Metric for the Jap stuff ,  imperial for the British all of which are right handed. Motorcycling is also my other hobby.
All the best.
John.

Phil_G

My very first Frsky was an Irvine Sanwa Ron, but it was easy cos it has a removeable RF module, though non-standard.
here, post 3
Does the Custom 6 have a Sanwa RF module?  if so the pins will be the same as mine.
Cheers
Phil

ronstv

Thanks Phil,
The custom 6 is different, it doesn't have the module. Looking at the board and working out roughly where the ppm is, oddly enough there is 2 points marked on the board as test point with 2 small loops of wire to attach a scope to. One is earth and the other attaches to a pin on a tranny. I wonder if this is the ppm line where they set the tranny up initially. What do u think? 
XH558 lover & follower


ronstv

Brilliant phil
Thanks for that. I'll test it shortly.
XH558 lover & follower

Phil_G

Hope we're all enjoying Christmas despite the weather!   Really busy here, its one of our peak boarding times.

So... getting back to Single-Channel after a few diversions  :af 
I've always recommended Frsky modules for the emulation encoder because they're just so good, but there are a lot of people out there who over the years have become tied in to Spektrum and consequently have loads of Spekky/orange receivers already, so might not want to venture elsewhere.  If they wanted a compatible Single Channel transmitter, then until now the only option was the genuine Spektrum DM8 Futaba-style module. Problem was, they're silly expensive, even second-hand.

Well, theres a new option for Spektrum/JR/DSM2 fans, matches their existing receivers and is cheap as chips:
Its the new OrangeRx DSM2/DSMX transmitter module from Hobbyking, which is a Futaba-style module and therefore the Single Channel encoder will piggy-back onto it really neatly.  For those still wandering around the recent diversions, so will the 1+1, 2+1 and 5ch encoders, but as all true believers know, the button is where its at  :af

I bought a couple to try out, first a JR-style and then a Futaba-style one.  I bought the JR one partly because I was impatient and couldnt wait for the Futaba one which was released a little later, but mainly cos I wanted to know if as a DM9-clone it suffered from the DM9's weird timing traits.   It doesnt  :af   
But thats by the bye  -  my Futaba version arrived this morning and thats the one to go for.   I've given it a thorough testing and it works perfectly with the Single Channel encoder.  Ground-range on the 'low power' option is at least 70 yards - I ran out of walking space - with no glitches, fades or failsafe events.

As a complete package its very cheap, the module is £18 and the R610 receivers are £3 or so:
OrangeRx DSM2/DSMX Futaba-style Module
OrangeRx R610 DSM2 6-Channel receiver

Best to mention before someone picks up on it, there was a recall of the very first JR version, it had a timing problem only with some long frame rates, which gave some elevator jitter, but thats now fixed and all supplied modules were replaced.  Anyone ordering now will get the revised version. The Futaba-style version (which is the one we're interested in) doesnt have this problem, but it does have one unfortunate 'feature', which is that it doesnt remap as it should. Channels remain in Futaba order - AETR rather than TAER as per Spek/JR.  For retro-refitters  ;) using the emulation encoders, this isnt a problem, but be aware that if you cant remap channels within your Futaba transmitter then BNFs might not be feasible.

Personally I'll be sticking with Frsky but for dedicated Spekky or JR DSM2 fans its a cheap solution & works great :af
Cheers
Phil