Advanced Radio Control (1965) -- Contents and Intro


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The control problem

The effect of delays. Oscillation. The basic control loop. The two loops involved. More delays. Improving the human servo. Reliability. Over-all system reliability. The probability of success. Improving the probability. Control codes. Pulses vs tones. Pulse modulation. The decoding problem. Mass-friction-forces on an aircraft.

Superregen and superhet control receivers

The relayless super-regenerative receiver. Circuit operation. The superheterodyne receiver. Superhet selectivity. How are the i.f.'s tuned? Stagger tuning. Adjusting i.f.'s. Double conversion. Automatic gain control. Narrowing the bandpass.

Frequency decoders

The problem. Reed decoder. Auxiliary relay. Considerations for proportional control. Reed relay response characteristics. Reed de coded pneumatic control. Step-type proportional control-reed decoder. Circuit operation. Commutating tones and reed decoder for simultaneous control. The tone generation problem. Discriminators and filters. R-C type discriminators. Balanced ( Foster-Seeley) type discriminators. Narrowing the bandpass. Circuits and components. Filter calculations. R-C filters.

Pulse decoders

The basic circuits. Monostable and bistable multivibrators Flip flops. Gates. Fundamental concepts of high speed pulse control. Separation of control pulses. Mechanical coder for pulse trains. Pulse sorter using ferrites and transistors. Pulse discriminator for proportional control. Pulse widths and spacing. Simultaneous trans mission of pulse rates. Frequency modulation of a pulse repetition rate. Useful pulse shapers. Mechanical decoder pulse control system.

Design and operation of proportional control servomechanisms

True servomechanisms. Stairstep voltages. Rate damping. Deter mining bandpass characteristics and linearity. Design notes. Servo with limit switches and feedback pot. Connecting driver transistors. Transistor input circuit. Motor control circuit. Biasing. Bridge amplifier. Current gain. The linearity problem. Estimating servo performance. Motor speed and torque. Relay servomechanisms. Circuits adaptable to proportional control. Proportional control servo circuits. Discriminators.

Fundamentals of rockets

Radio control of rockets. Axes and fin designations. Roll control. The gyroscope. Gyro mounting. Direction of roll. Rocket roll-control system. Aerodynamics of the rocket. Shock waves. Effect of shock waves on control. Expansion waves. Guidance systems. Preset guide. Terrestrial reference (earth reference). Radio navigation. Radio navigation paths. Hyperbolic radio navigation. Automatic celestial navigation. Inertial guidance. Accelerometer principle. Surface-to air trajectories. Command guidance. Beam rider control. Homing guidance. Active, semi-active and passive homers. Telemetry. Propulsion. Solid and liquid propellants. Chemical reactions. Proportions of propellant powders. Liquid propellant rockets. Propellant systems. Atmospheric jets. Pulse-jet. Subsonic ram-jet. Supersonic ram-jet. Turbo-jet. Turbo-jet with afterburner.

Model rocket design and construction

Safety precautions. Handling of propellants. Dangers of other propellant types. Rocket firing operations. Safety summary. Costs and equipment. Design of a model rocket. Weight of propellant burned per second. The burning surface. Nozzle construction. Design of a rocket motor when the tube is specified first. Ignition systems and launchers. Blast-off technique. The rocket launcher. Static testing of the rocket.

Robots ... facts and fancy

The robot age. Robots. Mobots. Relay Moe. Robot tractor Why have robots. Types of robots. Response to environment robot. Receptive type robot. Programmed robot. Thinking robot brain. Memory unit. Forward and reverse motion. Building robots. The robot lawn-mower. Man-type robot. Elbow joint movement. Wrist and finger detail. Robots which respond to spoken commands. Automatic walking programmer. Voice control system. Programmed action circuit.

This guide is based on the 1965 book ...

  • Pulse decoders
  • The control problem
  • Frequency decoders
  • Fundamentals of rockets
  • Robots . . . facts and fancy
  • Design and operation of proportional control servomechanisms
  • Model rocket design and construction
  • Superregen and superhet control receivers


Many books have been written on the subject of radio control. Knowledge in this area has developed in leaps and bounds and, as we become more efficient in the standard methods, we begin to wonder if there can be any further challenge.

That is the reason for this guide. It consists primarily of new thoughts ( and some old ones) revised in an advanced light. It contains suggestions for new areas of endeavor, experimentation and challenge in this wonderful and exciting field.

The first section considers the advanced radio control problem. The following sections take up the fundamentals of guidance, testing and instrumentation and the theory and design of amateur rockets.

Finally, that perennial subject, the robot, is considered and, to those who accept this challenging project, our heartfelt admiration, for this is indeed the most challenging of all control problems.

The author gratefully acknowledges the help and assistance of the following firms and agencies who have permitted the use of their material in this work: American Modeler, James G. Biddle Co., Burnell & Co., Debolt Engineering Co., Electronics Magazine, F & M Electronics Co., General Electric Co., Grid Leaks, Model Airplane News, RADIO-ELECTRONICS Magazine, Texas Instruments Co., Inc., Westinghouse Electric Corp. We also appreciate the assistance of the US Army Artillery and Guided Missile School, Fort Sill, Okla.; the US Army Air Defense School, Fort Bliss, Tex.; Helmut Bernhardt and our old friend Col. 'Bill' Sydnor.

We wish to thank the many readers in every field of electronics and modeling who have accorded such a warm reception to our previous works. We hope that this effort will also find your approval.

Finally I should like to thank Martha and Betty, my two sisters, who always find ways to help out.

- El Paso, Tex.; E. L. SAFFORD, JR.

Advanced Radio Control--$3.50 [ca. 1965]


Build basic relay and actuator. Install devices to control steering, speed and accessories. 160 pages.

No. 106 $3.20 RADIO CONTROL HANDBOOK (Revised) Build-it actuators, servos and radio devices to remote control model boats, planes, vehicles. 304 pages.

No. 93 $4.95 RADIO CONTROL MANUAL R/C systems built step by step. Additional sub-assemblies advance to control by multi-channel system. 192 pages.

No. 91 $3.20 HOW TO BUILD TINY ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS Explains "miniaturized" electronics to the hobbyist, experimenter and service technician. Not only takes the mystery out of "making it smaller," but is a veritable "how to do it" of electronic miniaturization. 192 pages.

No. 117 $4.15 MODEL RADIO-CONTROL Coders, transmitters, receivers, power control, servos, transistors. Theory and construction. 192 pages.

No. 74 ELECTRONIC HOBBYISTS' HANDBOOK Scores of practical circuits for the hobbyist. Parts lists on construction projects. 160 pages. No. 69

also see: abc's of FET's (1972)


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