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Single channel, escapement radio control 2 months 1 week ago #72680

Prompted by spotting this single channel Futaba radio TX & RX on eBay :)




If you're not familiar with this sort of set up, it's what was used in the 1950s and 60s before multi-channel, proportional control was a thing (broadly, the 1970s), and got cheap in the 1980s allowing RC cars as we know them to become popular.


The basic tenets are that a single button on the transmitter causes the receiver on the boat (or plane, if you're brave) to release an escapement mechanism (sometime clockwork on boats, usually rubber band powered on planes) to momentarily power a solenoid, to turn the rudder one way. Releasing the TX button turns the escapement a bit further, returning the rudder to neutral. Press it again and your turn the other way. The shortcoming of this is that if you want to turn that other way in the first place, you have to double tap the TX.   
 


Believe it or not, this was a big step up from what went before - on boats the "control" was setting the rudder to an angle such that it would return to this correct side of the pool, bank, shore, whatever, and winding up the clockwork drive (or putting just enough water in the boiler for steam power) so that it powered down at the right point so it would come back, and not crash at speed. Cars and planes were pretty much limited to being tethered to a pole.  


Primer on RC escapements:


Shorter & more technical bit on escapements:


Flying IC plane with single channel RC:


:) ​​​​​​​
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Last edit: by Jonny Retro.

Single channel, escapement radio control 2 months 1 week ago #72686

Wahoooo I never saw that radio style. Thanks a lot jonny to share this. 

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Single channel, escapement radio control 2 months 1 week ago #72691

Nice history lesson 

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Single channel, escapement radio control 2 months 1 week ago #72702

I used plenty of single button RC's as a kid, but I wasn't aware of this even older escapement option.  Very interesting.

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Single channel, escapement radio control 2 months 1 week ago #72705

Forward, then reverse in a circle? Never really saw the appeal in those TBH ;)

Similar concept, just with solid state electronics instead of a clockwork or rubber band powered mechanism. 
 

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