Retro Transmitter to 2.4

Radio, Battery and General Electronic discussions.

Re: Retro Transmitter to 2.4

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 9:52 pm

The conversion to Arduino of the first Heathkit GD-19 is a success! I just got done completing a short test flight of an electric PBF foamie in my yard, and it worked perfectly. The one on the left is a future conversion project, and the one on the right is my first conversion. The encoder is a Nano on a modified redboard shield. The RF section is an original Anylink. The software is Phil Green's 7 Channel Encoder sketch, with some modifications for dual aileron servos, flapperons, 100:100 elevons, and some other things. The stick pot wiring was scavenged from some dead 9 gram servos, which worked great to plug into the redboard. Extra spektrum bind plugs are used to enable/disable the elevon mixers, the calibration mode, and the channels 5 and 7 swap. The redboard, buzzer, and battery are held in place with velcro for now.......maybe permanently. The switch on the top right is the throttle safety/cutoff, and the one on the left is the flapperon enable/disable. I didn't install a channel 7 switch yet, since I doubt this transmitter will ever be used to fly something that needs 7 channels.

I haven't figured out how to make the original meter work with the 2S life battery yet. I've seen some photos of others with a digital display, which would be even better. Still need to do some more researching.
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Re: Retro Transmitter to 2.4

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 10:38 pm

That is awesome and looks great :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

you went down the rabbit hole on this one
Some people are putting a resistor in series with the meter, don't know the value
It's pretty cool to fly a transmitter that hasn't seen air time in 50 years
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Re: Retro Transmitter to 2.4

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 5:36 am

Looks awesome.
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Re: Retro Transmitter to 2.4

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 8:17 pm

:tu: :tu: Very nice Dave! Wow!
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Re: Retro Transmitter to 2.4

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 2:36 pm

Very cool Dave
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Re: Retro Transmitter to 2.4

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 4:18 pm

Over my head for sure, but cool :rockon:
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Re: Retro Transmitter to 2.4

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:54 pm

McDDD wrote:The conversion to Arduino of the first Heathkit GD-19 is a success! I just got done completing a short test flight of an electric PBF foamie in my yard, and it worked perfectly. The one on the left is a future conversion project, and the one on the right is my first conversion. The encoder is a Nano on a modified redboard shield. The RF section is an original Anylink. The software is Phil Green's 7 Channel Encoder sketch, with some modifications for dual aileron servos, flapperons, 100:100 elevons, and some other things. The stick pot wiring was scavenged from some dead 9 gram servos, which worked great to plug into the redboard. Extra spektrum bind plugs are used to enable/disable the elevon mixers, the calibration mode, and the channels 5 and 7 swap. The redboard, buzzer, and battery are held in place with velcro for now.......maybe permanently. The switch on the top right is the throttle safety/cutoff, and the one on the left is the flapperon enable/disable. I didn't install a channel 7 switch yet, since I doubt this transmitter will ever be used to fly something that needs 7 channels.

I haven't figured out how to make the original meter work with the 2S life battery yet. I've seen some photos of others with a digital display, which would be even better. Still need to do some more researching.


So... Now that you've got it all figure out... How much will you charge to convert and old radio? Somewhere I've got an old Futaba or Kraft.... It would be fun for my glider.
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Re: Retro Transmitter to 2.4

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 1:10 am

Sorry Doug, but I'm not interested in doing any conversions for hire.

These conversions really aren't that hard to do, especially If you want to skip over learning anything about Arduino. Phil Green over in the UK sells pre-programmed Arduino encoder boards, which pretty much eliminates the need to learn anything about how the magic works. Nearly all of the connections to the encoder board use servo plug type connections, which can be salvaged from dead servos, or servo extensions, or you can make your own. So the only real skill that's required is being able to solder the wiring connections to the stick pots and switches. The rest of it is pretty much like stuffing the radio into an airplane. The wires plug into the correct location on the encoder, and everything has to fit inside the transmitter case. You can contact Phil from his website at http://www.singlechannel.co.uk/

The most popular RF modules for the 2.4 conversions are the FrSky DHT and the Orange DSM2/DSMX modules. Unfortunately the FrSky DHT modules are now out of production and hard to find. So in my case I chose an Anylink for this conversion because I had one collecting dust, and it was super simple to hook up to the Arduino encoder. The downside is that the Anylink is only compatible with the now obsolete Tactic SLT receivers, and the original Anylink only has a maximum range of 1000 feet. For the planes that I intend to fly with this old Heatkit, those downsides won't really be an issue. But the next conversion will most likely use the FrSky ACCST system.
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