I didn't know they came as kits, too.
Yep, the Micropro transmitters were available as kits or factory built. (Here's a photo of the inside of mine.)
...you could get different types of the open gymbals...
The factory built and full kit Micropro trannys came with Ace metal sticks, either dual stick or single stick. I'm not aware of any other stick options that were available from the Ace factory.
The Ace Silver Seven transmitters preceeded the Micropros and also came as either kits or factory built. However you were given a choice of either plastic open gimbals or metal open gimbals. (Built a Silver Seven tx too, but sold it several years ago.)
The "Micropro upgrade kit" came without sticks so you could upgrade a Silver Seven tx to a Micropro. This allowed you to reuse the Silver Seven sticks, or choose any stick assembly that would fit inside the box. (My Silver Seven metal sticks were worn out, so I upgraded them to the Proline Custom Competition sticks. I also started with a blank case so I could position the sticks, levers, and switches exactly where I wanted them. Hey, when was the last time you saw a Futaba, JR, Hitec, or Airtronics transmitter with a customized layout?) :wink:
One of the 1st TX's I ever saw was a Heathkit
My first RC system was a Heathkit GD-19 that I built when I was 15. It was a 5 channel that was based on the Kraft radios of that time. One of the unique features of this radio was that the servos used a variable feedback capacitor instead of a potentiometer. The idea was to make the servos more resistant to vibration, with less maintanence. But for some reason the capacitor feedback never caught on.
I still remember getting heathkit magazines
Yep, Heath made some really good stuff back then. My first Heathkit was the GD-19 RC system. My second Heathkit was an AR-1500 stereo receiver which I built in 1975, and still works perfectly. In fact, it's in my oldest son's room blasting away right now. My third and last Heathkit was a GR-2700 TV set, which was basically a Zenith System III in kit form. That TV worked great for over 20 years before it finally died.
It used to be that you built electronic kits to save a considerable amount of money over comparable factory built gear. The Heathkit brand had a reputation of producing top-of-the-line equipment, as long as you were willing to build it yourself. 8)
Back then there were several RC radio systems that were available in kit form, such as Heathkit, Ace, Royal, and World Engines. I built at least a couple dozen Ace and Royal receivers, and gobs of Ace servos.
Then it got to the point that electronic kits cost just as much as comparable factory built stuff. The only attraction to building electronic kits was the fun of building it yourself, or the freedom to build a customized device. Economically, building electronic kits no longer made sense. :shock:
Today I'm not aware of any electronic kits being produced. It's really a shame that the electronic build-it-yourself market has completely disappeared. There are a lot of potential electronic tinkerers out there who will never have the opportunity to experience the fun and satisfaction of building an electronic kit, and will never know what they've missed.