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Author Topic: Anyone into RC Aircraft?  (Read 2623 times)
KC0FTC
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Posts: 110




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« on: January 12, 2010, 03:08:36 AM »

Just wondering if any of you are into RC aircraft?  If so, do any of you use 50mhz radios?  I joined the local RC club two years ago and learned that you can control RC aircraft with 50mhz radio on the amateur bands.  Any benifit to that?  Or is that not really used any more as most people are on 2.4ghz?  

Current fleet

Align trex 450 set up for night flying
Align trex 500 for 3D
Kyosho Caliber 5 in a soon to be scale Bell 407
50 size Edge 540t with a Saito .91
.40 size trainer
few foamies

List what you have and if you've even used a 50mhz radio?  Where would someone get a 50mhz radio?  How would you give your call sign using a 50mhz RC transmitter?
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N7NBB
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 07:21:48 AM »

The only "Station ID" requirements is that your NAME & CALLSIGN info must be "affixed" to the transmitter. As far as an advantage goes, you have a (very slight) increase of transmitter power (1 watt vs 750mw) and "back in the day", you had the exclusivity of a clearer frequency since all the other RC ops were all crowded together on a small group of other frequencies. That point may be MOOT now if everyone is on the higher frequencies.
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WB5JEO
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2010, 09:47:34 AM »

The 50 mHz radios were not too hard to construct and offered a frequency that wasn't likely to produce much in the way of a signal much beyond the local field. Since all controls were analog, interference was a major problem, including another modeler inadvertently using the same frequency. (No digital codes.) Flying over a power line often resulted in you watching your model flying off into the sunset or worse. Lower frequencies would more likely invite more interference from distant stations and more amateur traffic. Amateur VHF operation was far less common than today. And constructing anything on a frequency significantly higher than 50 mHz was technically more rigorous. I spent many Saturday afternoons in the late 50's out at the field as a child where my father and his friends flew. His control radio (homebrew, as most were) was maybe 12" x 9" x 9" and required a neck strap to support it while operating. And the RC models were universally physically large to accommodate the receiver and the homemade gear arrangements and servos. Somewhat like amateur radio of that day, planes and equipment, except for engines, were more often entirely homebrew, non-kit. I can think of no reason to prefer 50 mHz and a number of reasons to use UHF for digital control.
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W0FM
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2010, 10:51:49 AM »

First started flying R/C Air in 1968 when I built a Goldberg Skylane 62 from balsa, silk and dope.  Built the Heathkit 5 channel proportional radio transmitter, receiver and five servos from kits.  Everything operated on the 6M band.  Was a breeze at the flying field cause there were only a couple of us licensed hams flying on 52 mcs.  The transmitter was different than the 27 and 72 Mcs models in as much that it had a momentary pushbutton on top that you had to use to send your amateur call sign in Morse Code.  I could never find the "code" button on newer Futaba, Airtronics and JR 52 MHz radios.  ;o)

However, improved control and reliability of today's 2.4 GHz RC systems caused me to put the old Heathkit system under glass.  Everything evolves, but the memories are solid gold.

Still fly the Skylane 62 (I've swapped all my glo engines for electric now.  Much cleaner, less noise).  Also have a 6ft J-3 Cub, a 10 ft span Hangar 9 Super Cub, Hobby Lobby Electro something, P51 Mustang, and more.

Good flying,

Terry, WØFM
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 11:05:25 AM by W0FM » Logged
AE5JU
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Posts: 231




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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 10:50:31 AM »

RE: Anyone into RC Aircraft?  
by W0FM on January 12, 2010
"First started flying R/C Air in 1968 when I built a Goldberg Skylane 62 from balsa, silk and dope.  Built the Heathkit 5 channel proportional radio transmitter, receiver and five servos from kits."

Similar here... 1970, Goldberg Falcon 56 and the Heathkit 5-ch, but I used that new stuff, "Monocote".

Few R/C'ers operate on 6 m anymore.  I haven't seen anyone on 6 m for some time now.  There are so many frequencies available now there just isn't the need.  

But back in the 60's-80's many R/C'ers got Tech licenses just for this purpose.

BTW, for those unfamilar with the terms, when an R/C'er refers to a "4 channel" or "6 channel" radio, "channel" in that context does not mean frequency... it is the number of functions or controls.  

A "two channel" radio would have two functions, such as rudder or steering on a car or boat, and throttle.

A "four channel" radio for an airplane would have four functions: aileron, elevator, rudder, throttle.

Other "channels" or functions would be auxilliary functions such as flaps, spoilers, retractable landing gear, camera operation, fuel mixture (not common, but I did that), bomb drop, or anything else you could dream up.

This term, "channel" goes back to the very early days of R/C where a rudder signal would be on one frequency, or channel, and an elevator signal on another frequency, or channel.  So for R/C'ers, "channel" means "functions" or "controls".

73
Paul
AE5JU
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WB4IUY
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 06:03:20 PM »

I've been flying RC since around '75, and love it. I used to fly on 6m, but have found the newer gear (first on AM, then FM, and now using spread spectrum up on 2.4 ghz) to be much more dependable.

Back in the day, I built some kit radio stuff from Ace R/C, World Engines, and Heathkit. Flying on 6m at the time did give me the advantage of being the only guy on those channels in our club; IE. more flying time. I don't see much on 6m these days, other than a little vintage stuff.

Both of my sons (one is KF4DBX) also fly RC, and one of our businesses is a hobby shgop specializing in RC (www.EastRC.org). We've been building a vintage collection for the last couple of years, and it now spans the entire width of our shop building on shelving up near the ceilings. You can see some of them in photos in a slideshow starting at pic #24 at:

http://www.eastrc.org/storepics/phpslideshow.php?directory=.&currentPic=24

If you've been flying a while, you'll likely spot a few rigs you'll recognise :-)

Dave WB4IUY
www.WB4IUY.net
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2010, 05:14:06 PM »

hi,

The current issue of QST has a nice article on R/C

73 james
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W0FM
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Posts: 2056




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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2010, 01:36:36 PM »

On a related matter, my son and I just did a test with his Blade CX2 R/C Helicopter and found it easily capable of hoisting a 22 GA magnet wire to the top of a 50 tree on our property. Previous attempts with launchers and fishing reels to drop an antenna wire into that tree top were sporadic at best.  

We are now fabricating a release hook servo for the chopper that would open on a command from the 5Th channel input on the radio.  We had previously equipped the model with miniature navigational and landing lights from http://flightlights.net/rcheli.html.  So a stealth nighttime antenna installation may be at hand.

Hopefully, a new use for radio controlled helicopters will evolve.

Happy flying!

Terry, WØFM
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 01:50:52 PM by W0FM » Logged
N7DM
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Posts: 671




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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2010, 06:10:45 PM »

I fly on channel 6... The benefit is that I got to build my Ace Silver Seven and receivers...and *nobody* ever has my pin !!!
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WB4IUY
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2010, 07:09:17 AM »

W0FM: That's a neat idea for hoisting antena wire. I'm assuming you'd hoist the wire to the top of the tree, drop it across and over the other side, and use that to pull up a larger wire or string? ....or is the 22ga wire the actual antenna wire?

As an aside, one of our companies is a hobby shop and we sell the CX2's. Popular bird, and lots of fun!

Dave WB4IUY
www.WB4IUY.net
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WB4IUY
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2010, 07:13:59 AM »

"I fly on channel 6... The benefit is that I got to build my Ace Silver Seven and receivers...and *nobody* ever has my pin !!!"

Those Ace Silver Seven seups were popular kits back in their day. I hated to see Ace R/C go our of business... Another company with the same name (and a very similar logo) has popped up in Ca., but they don't sell radio kits.

There was another kit that Ace offered prior to the silver 7...can't emember what it was...

Dave WB4IUY
www.WB4IUY.net
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N7DM
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2010, 03:19:31 PM »

No shock, Dave. At this stage of the game EVERYTHING I own, do, or did.... appears to be obsolete......

dm
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W0FM
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Posts: 2056




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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 10:25:48 AM »

W0FM: That's a neat idea for hoisting antena wire. I'm assuming you'd hoist the wire to the top of the tree, drop it across and over the other side, and use that to pull up a larger wire or string? ....or is the 22ga wire the actual antenna wire?

As an aside, one of our companies is a hobby shop and we sell the CX2's. Popular bird, and lots of fun!

Dave WB4IUY
www.WB4IUY.net

Hi Dave!  Exactly.  We hoisted the 22GA wire simply because it was there, having been tried with other launching techniques, but failing due to the close proximities of a busy road and neighbors' glass houses.  The weight of the 22GA wire convinced me that the CX2 could pull the load.  Our goal is to take a light fishing line with a fishing weight, fly above the desired spot on the tree, then activate the "bomb drop" servo.  Hopefully, the weight will drop straight down and we can attach the other end of the fishing line to heavier gauge wire and pull it up in a more permanent configuration.  I think it's the best shot I have at "hitting the target" from the ground.  )

73,

Terry, WØFM
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WB6RXG
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Posts: 73




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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2010, 03:13:42 PM »

WB4IUY Said:
"I've been flying RC since around '75, and love it. I used to fly on 6m, but have found the newer gear (first on AM, then FM, and now using spread spectrum up on 2.4 ghz) to be much more dependable."

I started flying r/c in 1970.  My first radio was a four channel Citizenship that I bought used for $25.00 and got repaired for abotu $40.00.  It looks like you've got two of them in your collection.  The very thick red anodized aluminum case required large hands to hold it securely while flying.  

Thanks for the photos, they took me way back in time.

Still flying after all these years!

73,
Stuart
WB6RXG
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