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Fleet Control Systems

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Mike Etheridge 128/01/2014 23:52:14
1467 forum posts
403 photos

This the fleet gear I have recently sold which is yet to be handed over to the buyer. I don't think it represents the very last Fleet designs but one transmitter has most of the features found on modern gear including 'mixing' of controls etc.

It's a shame that Fleet did not standardise electrical connectors etc with other manufacturers but their connectors are positive and there would seem to be little if any chance of wrong polarity connections. Whilst my gear functioned OK I was very pleased with it. As I have indicated to the buyer there are currently glitching problems with the servos in range tests which to date I have not been able to resolve using two recievers.


007.jpg Fleet Gear

006.jpg Fleet Gear 2

Phil Green29/01/2014 00:03:46
1484 forum posts
300 photos

Just look at the positive wire soldered joint in PB's photo above! That wasnt typical, Fleet build quality was usually very good. We had a lot of trouble with the very early stuff, Derek used an acid flux which after 40 years ate through transistor legs. In Shauns Galloping Ghost transmitter I had to stand 7 of the original trannies on new legs! No such trouble with the later Fleet gear.

I still have a 27mhz AM 4-channel Fleet 'Custom' just like Steves above. Still works fine, and although I dont use the tx/rx now, its 30+ year-old servos are doing sterling service in my Impala on a Frsky rx used with the Orbit 10 reeds set.



Trevor Crook29/01/2014 13:08:11
749 forum posts
58 photos


Happily, Ernie is still with us - I see him frequently as he's my father-in-law. We still go flying when he can make it, he's still using his Fleet gear on 35MHz. I've gone to the dark side on 2.4, but still have a Fleet Omega tranny in working order.

I believe the FPS-17 servos are re-badged Futaba units. If standard plug leads are fitted they should be fine.

Robert Cracknell04/03/2014 00:43:56
126 forum posts
3 photos


Hopefully I will get to collect the gear before the dryer flying weather arrives...!

Thanks for looking after it...



Mike Etheridge 104/03/2014 13:10:24
1467 forum posts
403 photos

OK Robert, I just hope it meets your expectations, I might put one transmitter on charge in the mean time?

Best Wishes,


Robert Cracknell05/03/2014 00:19:00
126 forum posts
3 photos


Ready to go would be a bonus...!!


colin weaver07/11/2018 16:17:03
18 forum posts
1 photos

I bought my first Fleet Tx, a blue one, in 1978, then upgraded to the black ones in about 1982. I used to solder up the servo kits that Fleet then offered.

I had a couple of problems, one of which was a xtal that drifted out of tune. Somewhere along the line I went from 27 to 35 Mhz, but cannot remember when. The pots used in the very early servos were pretty `flaky'.

Ernie Strutt, John Marshall and I used geared Mabuchi 380 ACOMS motor units with 6/7 yellow Sanyo SCR cub C Nicads. We pushed them hard as motive power for motorised Gliders, and got a mention In RCM& E n the 1980's, sometime. Now look where electric flight has got to..........

regards, Colin Weaver - ex FDMAC - left in 1985 when we moved to Hertfordshire.

Trevor Crook07/11/2018 21:52:16
749 forum posts
58 photos

Colin, if you search for the Essential RC channel on YouTube, one of the latest videos is of Ernie's latest creations being test flown by my son at the FDMAC field. It's a three engined French airliner built from an old plan. A bit tail heavy, but it flew quite well once Rob got the trim sorted. Thought you might be interested that Ernie is still actively building and flying, with his venerable Fleet 35Mhz gear!

MAD Dave07/11/2018 23:16:58
75 forum posts
8 photos

I used Fleet equipment in my youth, 27MHz & 35MHz, before constructing my own set of the featured RCM&E 35MHz equipment - who remembers that? Never suffered any problems with any of it with one exception. The NiCad's provided with the 35MHz Fleet gear would not hold a proper charge; one duff cell maybe. A diversion off the M3 one day to Fleet sorted the problem. I called in, told Derek about it, there was no argument and he said "Fine". He then invited me to go upstairs in his shop, on my own, and help myself to a set of new ones; third cabinet on the left, second shelf etc. This I did and what an (unattended) Aladdin's Cave confronted me! We had not met before and he did not know me, I was amazed at the level of trust shown, a rare thing these days perhaps. The visit is something that sticks in my memory. That M3 diversion later became more of a routine but for all the good reasons. Different times perhaps.

John Duncker08/11/2018 16:02:07
50 forum posts
7 photos

If contemplating flying a 35 mhz Fleet unit in company it is a good idea to take the two adjacent pegs. I do not know if we just saw a few rogue sets but some did have a 'splattery' RF output.

colin weaver08/11/2018 18:53:50
18 forum posts
1 photos

Is that the John Duncker, ex of the Luton club, who departed to sunnier climes on retirement ?

I used to man the 35 Mhz Tx control tent, at public Club events, with the late Les Townsend , but I do not recall ever testing a Fleet Tx. Some of the PCM Futaba Tx gave strange readings at times ..... ? We discussed that with Mainlink, who supplied the Frequency Meter, and it was concluded that they were OK. My two Fleet Tx's gave `spot on' frequency read outs, but by that time I was moving to a Futaba FC-18, for helicopter use. That was fine, until I used a PCM Rx, and got `lock out' and the Heli drifted into the ground, with the usual crunching sound of an IC Heli going in. I think Mick Reay may have had the same problem with PCM lockout, but cannot be sure. The Futaba dual-conversion Rx's were fine, even in my electric heli, a Kyosho EP, which I flew for years, until spares ran out.

regards, Colin Weaver

colin weaver09/11/2018 01:11:55
18 forum posts
1 photos

The later black Tx's had a UK type approval sticker `SMAE/35/ERA.82/FCS.02' so I guess these wre not splattery re the frequency spectrum......?

Trevor Crook09/11/2018 07:36:48
749 forum posts
58 photos

Colin, when the 35Mhz band was allocated for model aircraft use, all transmitters had to be type approved by the U.K. radio testing authority - I can't remember the name of the body. Derek had to provide them with a transmitter to test, and pay quite a lot of money. The RF design then had to stay unaltered to maintain type approval. This is why most Fleet transmitters had the same, seperate, RF board. The test equipment at the shop included a spectrum analyser, which was used to check each transmitter when the r.f. section was being tuned prior to sale.

I presume Ripmax etc. had to submit imported tx's for testing but I don't recall if they came with any type approval reference, although I think it was required by law at the time.

Trevor Crook09/11/2018 07:39:58
749 forum posts
58 photos

Oh, and you can see the type approval labels in the photos earlier in this thread, to the left of the charge/buddy socket.

colin weaver09/11/2018 12:48:46
18 forum posts
1 photos

I think the type approval was with the ERA, which I think meant Electrical Research Association. I think this was at the time we were moving to 10 kHz channel spacing ?

Trevor Crook09/11/2018 23:31:55
749 forum posts
58 photos

Ah, yes that's right. The 27Mhz split frequencies were 25kHz apart I think (or it may have been split 20/30).

Andy Sephton 110/11/2018 06:19:11
106 forum posts
189 photos

I used Fleet gear successfully for just over 20 years. I had less failures with it than I ever did with it's predecessor, a Futaba 6M! I upgraded to Futaba and Spektrum programmable sets around 2005.

colin weaver10/11/2018 12:55:41
18 forum posts
1 photos

If anyone wants the black ERA stickered 35 Mhz Tx's (x2) , very clean, for a museum collection, along with various Rx's and and the odd servo kit, PM me and they are yours for the P&P cost. They have been stored in the house for the past decade, and I am getting my ear bashed re my ever expanding collection of R/C `junk', according to my Wife. (She has also sent me out in the cold to tidy up my Garage. The mere fact that she can only get 18 inches into her shed/greenohouse escapes her ! ) I am also on Facebook, with a 1990 `electro- Glider' pic.

Regards, Colin Weaver

colin weaver10/11/2018 13:12:18
18 forum posts
1 photos

early Futaba and Fleet

A friend lent me a 1960's two channel Futaba am 27 Mhz , when my son was into model cars, about 25 years ago. The internals of that looked like it had been soldered up using an 8 ounce copper bit, the type you heated up with `blow' torch, or a soldering iron `furnace', which I dimly remember from my GCE `O' level in Metalwork, in 1964. And then there were the early Micron Rx's, also available as kits ..........those were the days (not). YMMV

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