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Who here built a Heathkit R/C radio?

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Who here built a Heathkit R/C radio?

Old 12-22-2019, 06:42 AM
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I built a Heathkit RC Transmitter for a pattern plane in 1972!
Old 12-22-2019, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by fvincent
I built a Heathkit RC Transmitter for a pattern plane in 1972!
Which one did you build, what servos did it have?
Old 12-24-2019, 10:49 AM
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I was relatively heavily invested in the early Heath radios and built three of the GD-19 radios and many of the servos over the year they were sold. I found the early ceramic filter (no IF cans) GD19 receivers less reliable than I would have wanted.Over time I switched to either Kraft or aftermarket receivers from Royal and other companies. Two of my early radios had the Heath servos that used the Kraft KPS-9 mechanics but they were huge and slow even by standards of the time. They were quickly switched out to Heath servos that used KPS-11 or KPS-12 mechanics depending on what plane they were going in. As quality Royal and Ace servos became available, I quickly went that route. Radio and servo advancement was happening very quickly in the 1970 - 75 time period and a equipment that was state of the art one season could be well outdated the next. Heath served me well for the most part but I moved on. Much I could tell beyond this short post.

By 1975 I had completely switched to Pro Line and Kraft equipment and soon after all Kraft. I found my short time using Pro Line a complete waste of time and money as the Kraft equipment gave me far better overall service at much less cost. In the mid 70's I also tried a few other radios such as EK with good results but preferred Kraft and stuck with them until they went away in the 80's. I enjoyed a sponsorship from Kraft for a few years from 1980 until they closed which increased my loyalty to them.


Old 12-24-2019, 01:49 PM
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I still remember those be honking Heathkit servos. In some ways I thought the linear travel was superior to the rotating servo arms.
Old 12-24-2019, 02:13 PM
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I still remember those as great times to be in the hobby! So much equipment, engine and airframe development between maybe 1965 - 1975 ..... times we will never see again in our hobby. I'm thankful I got to live through it all.
Old 12-29-2019, 05:35 AM
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Default No Heathkit seen in the Netherlands!

You are right tTruckracer, great times.
No , never seen the Heathkit radio's in the Netherlands and never saw a succesfull own made radio of other brands.
I started 'solo' with just written information, magazins and a book.
Built my own tip-tip radios and did successfull started with it, two channel in the beginning wit a Metz actuator for rudder, later three channel tip-tip to have control over throttle too.
The transmitter in the middle in the metal case is of that period, four channel tip-tip (all combined with tone filter superregen receivers).
When proportional was there I copied the circuit of a Simprop 2 +1 (three channel proportional) transmitter with extension to 5 channels. The transmitter I still have, second photograph. With this transmitter I did fly for more than 10 years pattern without problems. Receiver, a Remcon combined with Simprop servo's and own designed electronics inside.

These days I stepped back to tone radio's, tip-tip again and even radiotubes................., the transmitter at the right side in wooden case.

That time doesn't come back? No problem for me, I'll bring it back!

Best wishes for 2020!

Cees




Last edited by Taurus Flyer; 12-29-2019 at 05:40 AM. Reason: Photographs added
Old 12-29-2019, 12:00 PM
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Good stuff Taurus Flyer!

As a mid-teenager in the early 60's I built my own radios from scratch but their success was marginal at best. They usually worked for about a half flight then the planes became free flight. I lived on a farm and most of my flights were in the spring and fall when crops were short as it was easier to search for downed planes in those times. My main problems were batteries and actuators as the actual radio part worked fairly well most of the time. This was all tube equipment and batteries for these were expensive for someone who had little money. Still good times though and I never lost interest.
Old 05-29-2024, 11:45 PM
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Default Heathkit Transmitter compatibility?

Originally Posted by Truckracer
I found the GD19 receivers less reliable than I would have wanted. Over time I switched to either Kraft or aftermarket receivers from Royal and other companies.
Howdy Truckracer and all, I have a Heathkit GD-405-D and will soon have a GD-19. They mention nothing about cross compatibility as far as other brands of receivers or servos. I'm having a hard time finding an original receiver that will work, but have some early futaba and kraft and pro line ones. frequency aside, I'm curious if other receivers are known to work on the modulation that heathkit radios provide. are they all standard AM PPM and inter-compatible?
Old 05-30-2024, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by chrismofer
Howdy Truckracer and all, I have a Heathkit GD-405-D and will soon have a GD-19. They mention nothing about cross compatibility as far as other brands of receivers or servos. I'm having a hard time finding an original receiver that will work, but have some early futaba and kraft and pro line ones. frequency aside, I'm curious if other receivers are known to work on the modulation that heathkit radios provide. are they all standard AM PPM and inter-compatible?
Should be fine. I've used Novak, Ace silver seven, Kraft, and Heathkit AM receivers. Back then AM receivers were pretty much universal.
Old 05-31-2024, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by chrismofer
Howdy Truckracer and all, I have a Heathkit GD-405-D and will soon have a GD-19. They mention nothing about cross compatibility as far as other brands of receivers or servos. I'm having a hard time finding an original receiver that will work, but have some early futaba and kraft and pro line ones. frequency aside, I'm curious if other receivers are known to work on the modulation that heathkit radios provide. are they all standard AM PPM and inter-compatible?
Yes, most of the old AM receivers should work though there will be exceptions due to frame rate and sync pulse width differences. I used a number of different receivers back in the day. Many worked just fine.
Old 05-31-2024, 06:16 PM
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Any of you guys remember the color code for resistors? How did the rhyme go, the clean one that I can post that is?
Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well.
Bad Booze Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well in Silver Goblets
Black Brown Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Grey White Gold Silver.
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9, 5% and 10% tolerance in that order. Red, black, red was a 2k ohm resistor.

Technology advanced rapidly and it didn't take long for component PC boards to vanish.
Today, if something doesn't work, no one tries to fix it, they just throw it away.
Old 06-03-2024, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by J330
Any of you guys remember the color code for resistors? How did the rhyme go, the clean one that I can post that is?
Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well.
Bad Booze Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well in Silver Goblets
Black Brown Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Grey White Gold Silver.
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9, 5% and 10% tolerance in that order. Red, black, red was a 2k ohm resistor.

Technology advanced rapidly and it didn't take long for component PC boards to vanish.
Today, if something doesn't work, no one tries to fix it, they just throw it away.
I've fixed a lot of surface mount board issues over the years in my work but the main thing that drove the industry to just replace rather than repair was costs and complexity. Costs both from labor and equipment requirements and from stocking boards that may never be used. Complexity because so many processors are used these days and the difficulty of replacing them and flashing a program into them so they will function in a circuit can be difficult. Add to that, well designed boards rarely fail. For our RC uses, surface mount boards are both a blessing and a curse. They are quite vibration resistant in normal use but a hard crash that causes board twist can easily crack and destroy many solder connections that are almost impossible to find and fix them all. Modern solders compound the potential for twist damage failures.

Another issue ..... from decades ago, I remember when it took several hours or even a full days pay to buy just one quality servo. Well over a weeks work to pay for a really nice radio. Now days with current wages, many people make enough to buy several medium to high end radios on a weeks wages. A days pay can outfit several planes with standard to even mid range servos. Times changed and replace is often just more practical than a questionable repair. Add to that all that technology marches on and many times people just want to update to something better than what they had.

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