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Skyleader Clubman Super 35Mhz TX battery wiring

TX Wiring help please

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Skippers Walker28/06/2019 16:43:43
80 forum posts
21 photos


I'm an older radio modeller having just acquired the above R/C TX and RX. It appears in very good order but the TX is minus the two 4.8v Nimh batteries. Please can anyone advise about wiring in new units. There are 3 wires loose in the TX: Blue, Red and Green. No signs of the dreaded black wire issues. I'd like to attempt to restore this to useable condition. I also have a Skyleader charger.

Hoping for a response. Thanks

Chris Coe

Former Member28/06/2019 17:51:32
8090 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Skippers Walker28/06/2019 20:24:23
80 forum posts
21 photos

Many thanks Percy for such a prompt reply.

Upon closer examination of the Skyleader TX it does appear that this particular model held 2 x 4.8v Nicad batteries (there are two plastic 'straps' in the shape of 4 cell AA packs. I owned a Fleet 35Mhz set up (circa early 1980's) and I do know that had two 4.8v Nicad packs in the TX, but I believe that the charging system differed to the Skyleader units.

I'll be patient for a while and see if a knowledgeable person online can help me, failing that I will contact Mike Ridley as you kindly suggested. Thank again

Chris Coe

Peter Beeney28/06/2019 21:31:09
1594 forum posts
59 photos


I think you’ll find that the Skyleader battery charging system was necessary due to Skyleader’s unique charger. This had a mains input but could also be driven by a 12V DC source as well. 12 volts are not really sufficiently high enough to properly fully charge 2 x 4.8V nickel packs in series so when the Tx switch is OFF the packs are connected in parallel (4.8V each) for charging and when it’s ON the packs are connected in series (9.6V) to provide the requisite volts for operation.. At least I could only ever think this was the reason for using this complicated system anyway.

If your Skyleader charger is ok, (please be careful with the first mains power connection!!), then I’d say you should be able to get this all working as per again. The original packs would have been 500 mAh AA sized nicad’s but NiMh’s should slot in nicely as replacements. They will be of higher capacity but you can just adjust the time for a full charge accordingly.

Good luck!


Cuban828/06/2019 22:34:51
3106 forum posts
1 photos

Nice nostalgic piece of modelling history..........clean it up and put it on display in your workshop. Forty years old electronics? How well had it been stored away? Dried out capacitors, resistors no longer within tolerance perhaps? The odd dry joint here and there? Old PCB track lifting? Even mould growth lurking within. I've encountered all the above on old electronics over my professional life and it worries me.

By all means get it going to bench demonstration standard to show your mates, but do you really want to take a chance with a model's, your own or others' safety?

Yes, you could have it looked over and on the face of it, be given the ok, but it'll be impossible to guarantee its condition with any degree of certainty.

However.........many older classic sets have been very successfully converted to 2.4 and new electronics, hence given a new lease of life whilst still retaining the classic appearance - the way to go IMHO.

Good luck, whatever you choose to do.

gangster29/06/2019 06:13:18
1065 forum posts
29 photos

Unless I am overlooking an older model that had been converted to 35 and I don’t believe that was the case if it’s the clubman super. It won’t be old enough to have deacs or the TX based charger. The clubmAn super however did have a pretty unique charging system for reasons I mever worked out. It would have had two square 4.8 volt square nicad packs in plastic cases with the Maltese cross holding them tight. Unless you have the original big cream charger you will have an even bigger job working out the charge arrangement. Unless you are a stickler for originality it could be simpler to wire a 9.6 volt pack or two 4.9 square packs in series and charge as a 9.6. I am sure there is no reason not to. I have some diagrams of the clubman super FM and will look them out and PM you. You have got a great radio there and with a little work there is no reason why it cannot be brought up to spec and flown. It will work with almost any receivet

Edited By gangster on 29/06/2019 06:15:26

Edited By gangster on 29/06/2019 06:16:34

gangster29/06/2019 06:18:08
1065 forum posts
29 photos

Edited for stupid smart phone changing the words cos it never heard of deacs and other things.

Former Member29/06/2019 07:13:22
8090 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

gangster29/06/2019 07:48:12
1065 forum posts
29 photos

Christopher. I have looked out the diagram and it confirms my suspicion that it does work on 9.6v and the split is for charging.

If you have the original charger life will be simple just a matter of dropping in two 4.8 packs and thenpainstaking checking that area of wiring as well as the switch for black lead corrossion.

If you dont have the charger it may be a case of charging in the more traditional way as a 9.6 system. The transmitter uses a multi contact Noble switch. I cannot remember but I dont believe that the switch is involved in the mix The din charge socket however is.

Personally I might make life simpler for myself to work out what is going on by testing the transmitter on 2 precharged 4.8 packs. This will help identify where on the noble switch the 9.6 supply from the battery comes in and connect your 9.6 supply there. You may still need eventually to do in in two packs anyway to fit the box.

As far as a 2.4 conversion this TX lends itself to it as the RF board and the modulator are separate and a hack module will drop right in.

The biggest issue is the switch and battery wiring as far as aging is concerned , dont be too alarmed about electrolytics drying out there is probably only one in there.

If you PM me Christopher I will email the circuit diagram, it however does not clarify the battery issue. Good luck, I am almost jealous of your project there.

stu knowles29/06/2019 08:46:40
619 forum posts
53 photos

There is a movement to use older TXs for vintage RC and classic aerobatics bit usually only after they have been converted to 2.4 using the FRSky hack module.

Personally I wouldn't contemplate using it as is or even consider spending money on it. I had a Skyleader set back in the mid 70's. it wasn't that good!

Google will be your friend regarding the conversion. I still have my Futaba M set in the cupboard which is waiting for conversion.... after a I build the Pete Russell Striker that I have lusted after for the last 50 years.

gangster29/06/2019 09:13:07
1065 forum posts
29 photos

Stu You must have had a bad experience with your sky leader. I had both the clubman Super 5 AM and the FM both on 27 I later did an illegal 35 conversion using Futaba crystals which I later changed to the official mod once the proper ones became available. Both transmitters were well built and easy matched contemporary Japanese ones ie OS cougar and Futaba M for quality. The src1 servos however were rubbish and let the whole brand down. The TX is so simple and so well made that I’m my opinion is perfect for refurbishment for use as is or with a hack midule for 2.4

Nightflyer01/07/2019 13:29:44
207 forum posts

Hi Chris,

My first set of gear was a second hand set of Skyleader Clubman which had the two 4.8v DEAC's which had a split to enable charging of each. I learnt as a Teenager having to replace the DEAC's. My dad had a set of Clubman Super 27FM and that had 4.8v packs. My understanding (if I was told correctly) was that while splitting to two 4.8v packs made charging off a 12v battery achievable was in part true, it also made it easier and cheaper for Skyleader in bulk buying 4.8v packs.

As a professional engineer I would echo other comments about using the equipment now for models as the reasons about age of components are all true. That said, returning it to functional use is still nice. But if looking to use it for flying I would convert to 2.4GHz.

Former Member01/07/2019 15:39:11
8090 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Nightflyer10/07/2019 13:22:23
207 forum posts

I agree in part with you Percy on the quality of the Skyleader gear. The original Clubman set gave pretty good service for me even with it being second hand. At the time I started flying the Clubman Super (27 AM) was very popular and when the 27FM set was released we had a set fairly early on and it did have to go back twice (first time was a recall as they had identified a problem with the stick potentiometers (and showed how good they were communicating to owners via model shops and I think model press). That said though I think Futaba were starting to take a lead in quality come late 70's and start of the 80's.

I think with 35 FM the Courier did look more appealing and did perform well.

I certainly miss Skyleader as a manufacturer as I do think thy did much to develop rc flying in the UK and also with the Skyleader team were very entertaining in their day. I certainly like seeing the retro 2.4GHz transmitters.

FlyinBrian10/07/2019 13:38:22
685 forum posts
4 photos

I bought a Skyleader SLX6 (27Meg) in about 1975/6, I had an initial issue with glitching which took a few visits to Croydon airport to get sorted, the rx was eventually changed and from then on I never had a problem.

I eventually sold it to a mate who had emigrated to Australia & already was using Skyleader. He used for several more years. Excellent radio.

Former Member10/07/2019 13:46:37
8090 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Nightflyer11/07/2019 13:05:18
207 forum posts

Hi Chris,

I replied to your message separately but yesyou are right the Courier transmitter was a lot more appealing than the boxy tx's. I think one reason I liked the Futaba M series was it was less boxy and more comfortable to hold (which as a teenager made for smoother control). I had used a couple of other people's Courier's and they were comfortable.

After the M series I had a Sprengbrook modular FM set before having Futaba gear ever since until a few years ago when I switched to a DX9 Black Edition, although my 35MHz FF8 is still good.

Multiplex gear is good and has stood the test of time. Understandably, if in europe it is very popular and has very good support.

Peter Christy11/07/2019 13:54:42
1921 forum posts

Chris: Sorry, I've come a bit late to this thread! If you look here (and scroll down a bit):


You will find the complete circuit diagrams for a Skyleader Courier set, including the (in)famous split circuit charging. It even has the colour code for the wires on it!

I appreciate that your set isn't a Courier, but the battery wiring should be the same - probably the RF boards, as well!

I wouldn't be too worried about the age of the equipment. There is no reason why it shouldn't work as well today as when it was first made. As long as there is no sign of black wire corrosion, just fire it up and try it.

Do a careful range check, and also check all the pots. This is best done by moving each control SLOWLY from one end to the other. Banging the sticks hard over won't show up any potential rough spots on either the transmitter or servo pots.

If you don't find any problems, you are good to go!

I still have a couple of 27 MHz AM sets from the mid 60's and early 70's in perfect working condition. I keep getting tempted to put them in a model again, as CB seems to have died the death unless you are close to a motorway!



Nightflyer12/07/2019 08:41:33
207 forum posts

Great link Peter - Chris that should give you all you need to get you out of trouble. Looking at teh wire colours I would say from memory that they are the same for the Clubman Super. Very useful having the charger circuit too as you can double check.

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