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Kraft Gold transmitter case

Old 05-16-2016, 11:29 AM
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F106A
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Default Kraft Gold transmitter case

Hi,
I'm trying to re-create my first radio, a Kraft Custom Single channel system and Custom 12 ch reed set.
I'm trying to get the case sizesand switch layouts, if anyone has one I'd really appreciate it if you could take a picture with a ruler next to it so I could scale it.
I'm trying to find out how he anodized the TX cases "gold".
I checked and to get a TX case anodized it's a lot of money, and it looks to "gold" compared to pictures of the TX.
I'm beginning to think that it wasn't gold but another process that produced a gold like color.
If anyone has any info on how they did it I'd really appreciate it.
Jon

Last edited by F106A; 05-17-2016 at 04:54 AM.
Old 05-16-2016, 10:11 PM
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You might search Alodine.
Old 05-17-2016, 03:55 AM
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spaceworm
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Originally Posted by F106A View Post
...

I'm trying to find out how he anodized the TX cases "gold".
...
Was it thin vinyl covered?
Old 05-17-2016, 05:02 AM
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No, later Kraft TX's were vinyl covered. I bought the radio's around 1964 and the case was an aluminum box with the "gold" anodizing.
The Kraft logo was different in that the "K" looked somewhat like the transistor symbol.

Last edited by F106A; 05-17-2016 at 08:32 AM.
Old 05-17-2016, 02:22 PM
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Vinyl covered cases did not appear until around 1966 when Orbit first did it on the 7-14 Digital Proportional to the best of my knowledge. Kraft did it in 1968 with the first Gold Metal radio.
Old 05-17-2016, 02:31 PM
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I missed that you are looking for info on a Kraft 12 Channel transmitter. I just read the single channel and thought cool project. At any rate, I do have an early Custom 10 transmitter and a Kraft reed receiver of either 10 or 12 channels which was most likely one of the later ones built. It has the same size case as the 1966/67 digital receivers.
Old 05-17-2016, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by F106A View Post
Hi,
I'm trying to re-create my first radio, a Kraft Custom Single channel system and Custom 12 ch reed set.
I'm trying to get the case sizesand switch layouts, if anyone has one I'd really appreciate it if you could take a picture with a ruler next to it so I could scale it.
I'm trying to find out how he anodized the TX cases "gold".
I checked and to get a TX case anodized it's a lot of money, and it looks to "gold" compared to pictures of the TX.
I'm beginning to think that it wasn't gold but another process that produced a gold like color.
If anyone has any info on how they did it I'd really appreciate it.
Jon

Get in touch with Radio Control Hall of fame, they have a huge radio collection and info:
http://www.rchalloffame.org/About/ContactUs.html
http://www.rchalloffame.org/Exhibits...t36/index.html
Old 05-17-2016, 03:38 PM
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F106A
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Thanks everyone for your input.
I looked back in some of my old MAN's from 1964 and found the dimensions of the single channel TX case.
I also found out that Kraft did, in fact, anodize the cases in gold. There's a place in Paterson, the next town over from me that will anodize the cases for me once I find a source for the cases. I'm hoping that they're standard size, but I doubt it and will probably have them custom made.
I also found toggle switches for the reed set that are close approximations of the ones Kraft uses.
I contacted the Hall of Fame first and asked if I could drive over, about a 6 hour drive, to measure the TX cases and the switch layout on the 12 ch but he said no, it's a private museum but he did give me several people to contact.
HighPlains, is there a chance you could measure your 10 ch case and layout for me?
If so I'd really appreciate it.
The other thing I'm looking for is the Kraft logo, I'm hoping someone can take a picture of it and the other nomenclature and I can have paint masks made.
Thanks again for your help.
Jon
Old 05-17-2016, 05:20 PM
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HighPlains
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You mean this logo?
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:51 PM
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That's it.
Old 05-20-2016, 06:13 AM
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I pulled out a couple transmitters and took a couple of pictures and measurements.

The 10 channel reed case measures 6" W, 6 3/16" H, and is 3 1/8" deep. The logo is 3 19/32" long. This is what surprised me, because there are slight differences between the reed "Transistor" logo and the 1966-67 Proportional logo which is much smaller at about an inch and a half.
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:09 PM
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Thanks a lot for getting me the info, I really appreciate it.
Old 05-21-2016, 07:15 AM
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Here are two Kraft 12 channel reed transmitters to take a look at. Note the marking differences as well as the change in RF/Battery meters. I don't know the exact years for each but perhaps somebody does. Case size is as HighPlains stated. Good luck with your project.

Tom

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Old 05-21-2016, 08:16 AM
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I measured the thickness of the sheet metal used in the cases, and they used 16 gauge (0.051) aluminum. It also appears that the cases were at least sheared to shape before they were anodized. For reference, the type of bending equipment is generally referred to as a "box and pan" brake. This helps with online searches.

I would expect that they sheared and notched the front covers first along with holes for switches and antenna, but the order that they bent, anodized, and silk screened is impossible for me to determine.
Old 05-21-2016, 08:29 AM
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The November December 1962 issue of Grid Leaks announced the Custom 12 available for the '63 contest season. In the same case as the Custom 10 for the transmitter and superheterodyne receiver. Priced at only $129.95 for the transmitter and $99.95 for the receiver.
Old 05-21-2016, 03:01 PM
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The case manufacturing process is such:
1. Shear the blank to size.
2. Punch the holes.
3. Notch the corners. (you will notice that all the corners have a small punched hole at the apex of the notch)
4. Bend to shape.
5 Clean and anodize the part. (getting the same gold color every time is difficult since the depth of color depends primarily on the immersion time in the dye)
6. Silk screen the graphics.

Orv.
Old 05-21-2016, 04:36 PM
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The correct alloy of aluminum is also important for both bending and for the correct color after anodizing. Some turn dark due the trace elements.
Old 05-21-2016, 09:08 PM
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I like the 5000 series best for both bending and anodizing although I have also had a fair amount of 6061-T6 anodized... mostly machined parts.

Orv.
Old 05-22-2016, 06:58 AM
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Hi everyone,

I was sure the cases were not standard sizes but I did a search and was right, they're not standard boxes. I contacted a couple of small enclosure manufacturers but they had no interest in doing one offs.
I've decide to try and make them myself, they're not that big and I should be able to bend them without too many problems.

I'm going over to the anodized company on Tuesday and explain what I'm trying to do and see what they have to say. I still doubt that Kraft used actual gold to anodize te cases, seems way to expensive
just to "color" a case, but, with out any additional info gold it is.

I've scaled one of the pictures using photoshop to the actual size so I have the case switches layout.

My last hurdle is finding the RF meter, evidently they haven't been made for many years. I was hoping to find one, convert it to a volt meter and wire it to the power switch so when you turned on the transmitter the meter would move simulating the RF out.
I'm checking with a couple of people that may have one in their junk box. If not I can make up a dummy meter but it would be neat if I can find an original.

Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to respond to my post.
Jon
Old 05-22-2016, 08:33 AM
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The "gold" color is fairly common. The wing spars in my full size RV-4 were processed with Alodine. The end result can be clear or gold. Yellow Iridite is also commonly used. The depth of the color depends on the time in the vat. Other colors are also possible with dyes.

As to alloys, my research seems to indicate that 6061 gives the best results with the alodine process. It come in different tempers however, and works best if in the T4 or lower hardness. Most is T6, and more prone to cracking if the bend radius is too small. However the minimum bend radius is close to the thickness, so it should be no problem. Aircraft Spruce has most of what you need.
Old 05-22-2016, 11:28 AM
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I have some of the meters used by Kraft, exactly like the pictures. If interested contact me direct: [email protected]. Thanks

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