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Vintage computer radio

1655 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  McDDD
I like old electronics, and I'm a bit of a tinkerer, having built a lot of electronic kits, etc. The Ace MicroPro 8000 computer radio has always interested me. It was way ahead of it's time and from what I read is still a very worthy radio. I'd love to get my hands on one. The MicroStar 2000 is cool too.

This website is full of stuff, including update RF decks, software, etc:

You see them on ebay every now and then, and fully functional units not missing parts will still bring a pretty penny. Has anybody here ever used one? Some day I'd like to get my hands on one.


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I have a Micro Pro 8000 I'm willing to sell. Make me an offer. NO gaurentee's that I will take it (the offer). THe one I have looks like the top pne. Only thing wrong with mine, is that after 13 years the TX batterys finally took a dump this season. Still have the original manual that goes with it.

Channel 16
If I remember correctly, thats what was used to pilot Noah's Ark.

I could be wrong. It happened once before.
I've still got a MicroPro 8000 transmitter than I built back in 1991. This particular transmitter has Proline Custom Competition sticks, which were once considered to be the absolute finest sticks available anywhere, at any price.

Although I haven't used it in several years, I'm not so sure I really want to sell it.

In their day, the MicroPro transmitters were definitely ahead of their time.
But they really can't compete with the programming power of a Futaba 9C.


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Cool, guys! I'm not in the market to buy right now. It's one of those things, though that I will have to have before I'm done with the hobby. Like I said, I just like old electronics.

McDDD: You built yours? I didn't know they came as kits, too. I knew that at that time you could get different types of the open gymbals and swap them in many of the TX's. One of the 1st TX's I ever saw was a Heathkit that one of my dad's friends had put together. I still rememebr getting heathkit magazines 8)
Yah, I put one of those Heathkit kits together for R/C. High tech at the time. Even had to put the servos together. It was one of those Single stick one, with the Rudder control in the end of the Stick.

I don't remember flying it much. It was at a time when I left the hobby after I graduated, and went to work, back in the seventies. At the time, it was my pride and joy. The only other radio's at that time were Krafts.
those radios have great ergonomics :D
I've got two MP8000's. Dave Mathewson sold me one that I thought I was going to use for parts, but it was so nice it's now my primary slope radio. The best thing about the MP8000 is that it's THE ONLY AM capable radio that offers computer mixing features. For a slope flyer with over 20 of those cheap 3 channel AM RX's, this is a great thing. AM is also a lot more efficient battery wise. I can get over 4 hours on a charge compared to just over 2 with the same size battery for the FM deck.

The only thing I really didn't like about these are the open gimbals. In a way, it's nice for slope flying when I travel to dusty location, because the blowing sand won't jam up in the plastic gimbal assembly like it does in my other radios. Then again, the sand gets all inside the radio.

But I've had one for over 10 years now, and the other for about 5.

The back cover is SO easy to open and close. ACE really wanted people to open them up to customize them. It's a true hobbyist's radio.
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Speaking of old radios, my dad has a futraba 8SGAP in really good condtion. I think this was the first PCM radio?? It has a built in tach too. Oh, and its on the "old" ham frequencies 53.55 or something. The control panel on the back is CRAZY complicated. It has most of the capability of newer computer radios all with little dials and switches, and you have to have a toothpick sized flathead screwdriver to make adjustments. Still works great too.
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.) 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. :cry:


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