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  1. #1

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    Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    In our stack of vintage stuff from our father's collection my brother and I have a Heathkit 6 channel radio that we built back in the 60's. Used it for many years and it was a pretty good radio. We have considered restoring it but don't really have the time. Is it a collecters item? Most of it is still there but the Tx battery has taken a noticeable dive. I think that will clean up but I am not sure. There is some rust at spots on the Tx. Thanks. I sure don't need it. Is it worth trying to sell it?
    Steve Westphal

  2. #2

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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    Heathkit radios are not too rare. They started out with a basic Kraft electronics design and were introduced with the KPS-9 servo at the end of 1967 in a 5 channel format in the light blue case and Bonner sticks. A year or two later they come out with the chrome Kraft sticks, but still in 5 channel. I think it was the early 70's before they had a 6 channel with a brown transmitter case.
    - Supplementary insipid innocuous inane vacuous proclamation

  3. #3

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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    Possibly of interest to a collector-but not legally usable-it wouldn't meet the 1991 narrow band spectrum specifications. I recall one of my modelling mentors putting a Heathkit RC set together in the early 1970s-it had a 3 axis single stick assembly, and fitted in the left hand like a walkie talkie radio, with the throttle control-which was a long stroke plunger operated by the index finger of the left hand, on the right side of the Tx case. I believe they were very high specc'ed units for the time.

    ChrisM
    'ffkiwi'

  4. #4

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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    Now that you mentioned it, quite possibly it is a 5 channel. I will have to check it out.
    Steve Westphal

  5. #5
    GallopingGhostler's Avatar
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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    (deleted)
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

  6. #6
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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    If it is a 27 MHz band radio system, then AFAIK it is still legal in the US. I bought an Ace Pulse Commander system off E-Bay a few years ago on 27 MHz, so I could continue to fly vintage aircraft with it. My 72 MHz system is the older wide band system and overall not allowed on most flying sites.
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    I believe all of the Heathkit radios were five channel. I built a GD19 or GD47 (whichever was earlier) with the Bonner sticks and two board Rx in 1969 as my first radio and a Taurus as the first plane. Unfortunatley, it only lasted six flights. Moved to Kraft in '73.

    John C

  8. #8

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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    I believe all of the Heathkit radios were five channel.
    Then you would be mistaken. While they started with the GD-47, a 5 channel with the Bonner sticks, they soon revised it with the GD-19 with Kraft sticks and smaller airborne system. These radios were followed by a wide array of systems, from 2 channel to 8 channel systems, some with 2 sticks, others with single sticks. Here is the link to the RC Hall of Fame which has pictures of some of the Heath systems.

    http://www.rchalloffame.org/Manufact...ery/index.html

    Your description of your early system reminded me of the first Heathkit radio that I ever seen. It too was installed in a Taurus, painted all black. The builder of the radio and airplane was a grad student that I met at a on campus flying site (KSU football statium parking lot). Anyway he had decided that the shafts holding the gears in the servos were just not strong enough to do the job, so he drilled out the servo cases and gears with bigger drill bits, then broke off the drill bits to provide the shafts. He did this to all four servos. While that was impressive, the way he mounted the servos was even better. He used a 2 x 4 stud, cut to the length of the radio compartment (at least a foot long), and made cut outs for each servo. Fortunately that day he forgot his transmitter, so I never had to see if it would fly. This guy admitted that building the radio was a struggle, since he was also color blind, which must have made sorting out resistors a lot of fun.
    - Supplementary insipid innocuous inane vacuous proclamation

  9. #9
    GallopingGhostler's Avatar
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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    The Heathkit I remember in catalogs was the 5 channel one in baby blue metal case, as a kit for $209 US in their late 1960's catalog.

    I never bothered to purchase because I was in high school at the time. Then in the late 1970's, I assembled a Charlies R/C (Bill Cannon's wife) Cannon 810 mini 4 channel system kit on the older 72 MHz frequencies. One even assembled the servos. The only thing constructed was the RF transmitter section. I still have that radio BTW.

    Been thinking of the possibility of converting it to 2.4 GHz with some of the new RF deck kits with receiver. Also have an older Futaba 6 channel G-connector radio on older wide band 72 MHz that could be a candidate.
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

  10. #10

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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    I still have my brown 5 channel Heathkit, the receiver, servos, and all the manuals. I bought it in 1976 with the money I saved from my first job working in a grocery store at the age of 15. I used it in a Q-Tee, a Sterling 126D glider, and a foam three channel kit. I think it was a Kraft Cardinal. I remember my radio license coming in the mail. I can remember how excited I was the first time I was able to get a servo to move. Back then if you wanted to do RC, you had to work at it.
    Mike

  11. #11
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    RE: Heathkit Radio circa: 1965

    Actually back then in US it was simply sending in a form to FCC with the proper fee. FCC then returned a card with a citizen band call sign that permitted operation. Mine started out KBNHnnn. Then somewhere along the line (I forgot the year), the government dropped the licensing requirement.
    George Hostler
    Clovis MADS AMA Club, Vintage R/C Society (VRCS)
    And we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16


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