By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

Single Channel Radio Control - RH Warring

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
TJ Alexander03/02/2018 11:19:52
105 forum posts

I have been puzzled as to how single channel RC worked, so, when I saw this 1962 book on eBay, I thought I would get hold of it and have a read.

The detail about TX/RX tech is fascinating, and the ingenuity of creating multifaceted control on a single channel through the use of increasingly complex escapements is brilliant.

I do love it when I sit reading a book, and keep saying 'Oh!'

It's now available if anyone wants a nostalgic read (the ads are wonderful, too)

Incidentally, for the balsa builders, there is an advert for a foamie in there!

Alan H03/02/2018 11:48:28
77 forum posts
2 photos

I started flying R/C when I was at school and back then most of us were flying single channel with super regen Rx's. I always preferred the simpler sequential escapements like the Elmic Conquest to the compound type. R/C gear today has never been so good and available at such reasonable cost.

FlyinBrian03/02/2018 11:54:46
526 forum posts

I bought my first s/c RC set in 1967, RCS guidance System. With the Elmic Conquest escapement it cost c£18.00

This equates to over £300 today!

Edited By FlyinBrian on 03/02/2018 11:55:02

Peter Miller03/02/2018 11:56:17
10311 forum posts
1231 photos
10 articles

Ah!!! The joy of ECC Telecomander radio. 2 45volt hearing ad batteries, 1 1 1/2V GridBias battery, 4 AA batteries for the escapement.

Spend ages with a milliameter adjusting tuning, Then use the milliameter to set the sensitivity. Finally get it all working. Start the engine and the relay chattered and you watched all the turns come off the escapement rubber as the rudder waggled away.

Only cost £10 (!!!!) in 1954. Never did get a flight with it.

First successful flight was in 1964 with RCS Guidance System.

Peter Jenkins03/02/2018 12:47:29
1288 forum posts
132 photos

+2 for first successful radio control with RCS Guidance System! I'd built a MacGregor valve Rx and Tx but carrier wave only - couldn't afford the tone control version. Predictably, my creation didn't work too well. IIRC the Tx had to have a 135 V battery and the Rx a 90 V battery. In those days, these strange batteries were readily available for valve powered equipment. Anyway, RCS Guidance System came to my rescue, I also had an Elmic Compact escpement. Can't find it now, so it must have gone in a clear out!

Cuban803/02/2018 13:04:40
2809 forum posts
13 photos

A bit before my time I'm afraid, but I also find the old radio tech fascinating. I recall reading about the cascading of escapements - what was all that about?

FastFlyer Smyth03/02/2018 14:16:51
309 forum posts
11 photos

The valve heaters must been a bit heavy on the poor old batteries...

Don Fry03/02/2018 14:21:49
4117 forum posts
48 photos


Rudder, push button, right rudder. Push button left rudder. Push button, right rudder. Ad infinitude.

Change throttle. Push button very fast, twice, and the dial in the escarpment fell back, knocking a cam, which made another escapement move the throttle lever. A choice here, 2 or three throttle positions.

Don't get confused with gradual turns. Which are button, button, but a bit slower, or you are on approach, at half power, get exited, and get full power instead of a turn

Oh the joys of it all. OS Pixie, 1964. And anyone who dares to criticise modern kit.

Bob Cotsford03/02/2018 14:30:44
8059 forum posts
444 photos

I played around with home-made single valve sets built from mag designs but I didn't really have much success until I was treated to a commercial transister set- big blue anodised folded ali case as I recall, was that RCS? With a couple of Ripmax(?) motorised escapments this worked quite well in boats. Not so succesful with an Elmic esc in a Matador which flew very nicely into the distance in the direction of Lichfield.

Peter Miller03/02/2018 14:36:53
10311 forum posts
1231 photos
10 articles

Blue folded case sounds like MacGregor

Peter Christy03/02/2018 15:05:47
1615 forum posts

I've still got a copy of that book somewhere! It was my bible when I was first starting in RC. My first receiver was a MacGregor Terrytone, built from a kit, and I borrowed a REPtone transmitter off a friend's father. He'd bought it for a boat, and never had any success with it. I had no more luck with it than he did, but eventually saved up enough money for a MacGregor transmitter and matching MiniMac receiver (still have the MiniMac, and it still works!).

I started with an Elmic Conquest sequential escapement, but never got on with it. After writing off my third model due to it skipping, I bought an Elmic Compact compound escapement, and never looked back!

About 25 years ago, I built myself a single channel 35 MHz FM set, and have been flying it on and off ever since. In 2015, I built a copy of my first successful model - a Veron MiniRobot - and went back to the site of my first successful flight for a 50th anniversary recreation:

I've replaced the engine since that video was made, and have enjoyed quite a lot of flying with it.
And you know what? I get as big a kick out of flying that, as I do any of my more conventional models!
Geoff Sleath03/02/2018 15:10:19
3485 forum posts
319 photos
Posted by FastFlyer Smyth on 03/02/2018 14:16:51:

The valve heaters must been a bit heavy on the poor old batteries...

A bit before my time for RC but I was very involved with repairing broadcast receivers in the 50s and very early 60s. Battery portables were mostly valves, though germanium transistors (invented in 1949) were gradually coming onto the market in 1958/9. The valves for RC would almost certainly have been fitted with directly heated valves with 1.5v heaters/cathodes. They were much more energy efficient than valves used in mains only radios but still ate batteries voraciously.

I spent my teens and early twenties living in either digs or a bedsitter so the opportunities for aeromodelling would have been few especially as motor cycling was my pastime, sport and only means of transport as well as being much too expensive.


Geoff Sleath03/02/2018 15:19:40
3485 forum posts
319 photos

Great video, Peter. Gives the term 'back to basics' an aeromodelling reference

In 1965 I bought my first car (An Austin A40 Farina estate) which I kept for 9 months before part exchanging it for a new BSA 650cc motor bike to get back to basics myself


PatMc03/02/2018 15:32:47
4229 forum posts
521 photos

I have a 1959 edition of "Simple Radio Control" by Harry Hundleby, it was an MAP five shilling book.
Loads of fascinating pre-transistor techniques explained.
Anyone who insists that rudder/elevator vintage models should always be flown sedately should read this book.

My first Rx was a Hill 2 valve built from an article in a 1956 Aeromodeller. It worked OK but was even heavier than expected with the batteries, relay etc so I sold it to a boat modeler [who I believe got good service from it] and bought a Macgregor Rx transistorised kit with the proceeds. I also built a new single valve tone Tx from an article.
First test with this Tx was a disaster when I accidentally connected the HT battery to the [brand new] valve's grid crying This put things back a few weeks until I could afford to buy another new valve.

My favorite rudder only S/C setup was manual pulse using a Mighty Midget motor pulling a string to the rudder for right & rubber band return for left.
First try with manual pulse was with an O/D sloper half way up the road around Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh - pure thumb aching magic ! teeth 2

PatMc03/02/2018 15:36:06
4229 forum posts
521 photos

BTW all the info on S/C is here.

John Tee03/02/2018 15:42:03
792 forum posts
65 photos

My first radio was the usual RCS Guidance system (regen - 1 model at a time) bought second hand with a Pal Joey model. Took a bit of learing but had some really good flights with it. Late 60's.


2.4g Shaun03/02/2018 16:04:47
22 forum posts

And for even more info on the rapidly growing single channel scene have a look here:-

Two big retro events where you will see restored original and 2.4g converted, single channel, reeds , galloping ghost and early propo sets are the well established PANDAS club ,Pontefract Retro and Single channel fly in on the 17th June (there is additionally a general electric fly in on the 16th) and the retro Nats at the BMFA Buckminster HQ on the 6th, 7th and 8th July

Don't miss out on these unique and ever growing events. The Pontefract do has attracted modellers from a far a field as Australia and Sweden in the past and often attended by Andrew Boddington and Alex Whittaker.


Heres a video I made a few years ago that shows a cascaded  escapement set up in operation - 6 functions from a single channel.
Can't seem to embed the link so just cut and past it your browser..



PS. Don't forget the many great classic designs from the 60's and 70's that RCM&E have covered as free plans over the last couple of years.. They all fly well. I know - they were all flown and mostly built by me. wink


Edited By 2.4g Shaun on 03/02/2018 16:34:52

Don Fry03/02/2018 16:26:08
4117 forum posts
48 photos

Cheers Shaun. Yes they did fly. After free flight, magic. And they loop, (turn into wind with speed), but rolls, (turn cross wind, hold upwind wing low, and reverse rudder, and she rolls. Lot of airframes lost on that manoeuvre.

Flyaways, batteries failing, plain don't like Sundays, motor don't start, rubber bands to maintain, lousy kits.

And the sheer cost of it.

I kept a hundred chickens as a kid, Day old, grow on, neck the cocks, sell, egg round, sell eggs, 12 months, neck hens, sell off, start again. , Even today when I eat one its revenge from me.

Not much nostalgia from me.

Peter Christy03/02/2018 17:23:22
1615 forum posts

Shaun: Retro Nats? Where's that one come from? More info needed!




2.4g Shaun03/02/2018 17:46:58
22 forum posts
Still being organised but as long as there are no problems, we should have details soon..

There will be free flight, cl, retro aerobatics, single channel, retro and vintage slots...



PS I'll call you next week...

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E! 

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Cambridge Gliding Club
Wings & Wheels 2019
Gliders Distribution
Pepe Aircraft
electricwingman 2017
Advertise With Us
Do you use a throttle kill switch?
Q: This refers to electric-powered models but do you use a throttle kill switch?


Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us