Newest Addition (April 2019): Hobby Shack Cirrus Four, 4-Channel Radio Control System, circa 1976
A lot has changed in radio control since I purchased my first system sometime around 1974. It was a used, 3-channel OS Digital system. The servos jittered to beat all, and the range was lucky to go as far as 1,000 feet. It was sent back to the factory for re-tuning and check-up two or three times, and it came back the same every time. In that day, all the transmitters and receivers had metal cases -and it's a good thing because one time I sent the transmitter on the top of my friend's 1965 Mustang while loading the plan into the car, then forgot about it until I saw it hit the road while looking in the side mirror. It had a couple scratches, but worked as poorly as ever.
Come to think of it, the OS 3-channel was not the first radio system I owned, but it was the first I bought. The first set was actually a single-channel Citizen-Ship Model SPX job that a friend of mine gave to me because he bought it and discovered he had no interest in it. My original is long gone, but I did buy one on eBay a while back just as a reminder of the days of yore.
While looking back at some of the editions of American Aircraft Modeler from the time I first joined the Academy of Model Aviation (AMA), I ran across a lot of familiar old advertisements. As with almost all other things electronics, the quality has obviously gotten better while prices remain the same or drop. It's been a good ride for modelers. In trying to find some of the old ads online, I could not locate any, so what the heck - I scanned some of the pages and put them here. I think all of the companies are out of business now (except Futaba). A lot of these RC systems can still be bought on eBay.