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 Post subject: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Tue 12, 2016 2:43 am 
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Posts: 80
Location: Chattanooga TN
Began life as a 1950ish Arvin 440-T,bought for cheap. I've recaped it,custom painted it with lesonal base/clear,added a 3.5mm mono aux jack,polished the chassis,and replaced the beat up original speaker with a late 50's motorola "golden voice" one.

Image

Figured I'd share it with the forum,see what some actual radio guys think.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Tue 12, 2016 4:40 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Albuquerque, NM 87123
Purists won't like it, but if you have a beat up radio that won't otherwise ever see the light of day, then that type of 'restoration' may be OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Tue 12, 2016 11:45 am 
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Location: Chattanooga TN
The original paint was pretty well ruined by years of being in a moist environment,at least that's my guess based on the mold that was on the plastics and the rust on the cabinet/chassis.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Tue 12, 2016 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Nov Mon 05, 2007 11:08 pm
Posts: 2115
Location: Calgary Alberta
Johnnysan is right ''the purists won't like it''.
We all have our own personal preferences as to what looks good, paint, grill cloth , knobs , cord, back etc.
Personally I would have put a more period grill cloth on it.
This is what one radio guy thinks.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Tue 12, 2016 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 24861
Location: Detroit, MI USA
Back in the 1990's it was quite common for people to paint the metal Arvins and their Silvertone cousins in a variety of colors, some were even sent out to be chrome plated. Since there are so many of these sets around, it's not like you are ruining something valuable or rare.

My personal opinion is the paint color is fine, but the grille cloth isn't working at all with that paint. It should be dark gray or black.

My biggest concern is the modification of the set to add a jack......it's very difficult to do that without creating a serious shock hazard as most of the hookups shown online are dangerous to install.

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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Tue 12, 2016 4:52 pm 
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Location: Chattanooga TN
The grill cloth is a metallic red that's more muted in person. The aux is a switched 3.5mm mono jack spliced between the tuning section and volume pot and the mount grounded to the neg. On the filter cap. I'm sure it's not the best way of doing it,but it's the only way ever got that setup to work. I have a modest collection of 35 radios (ss&tube) I have many radios that I have restored to original spec &/or fixed up all original radios. I just wanted to go crazy on one and did this one with a $15 radio and parts and materials I had on hand.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Tue 12, 2016 5:13 pm 
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It's awesome! Can you post a video of it working?


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Tue 12, 2016 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sun 01, 2010 1:12 am
Posts: 8348
Location: Minnesota
I think you did a nice job on it. But that grill cloth has to go. Looks like it's just sitting in there which makes an otherwise very nice job look very amateurish. Need to cut out some type of cardboard or thin wood frame and mount the cloth to that, nice and tight. Then it would look very good.

I'm not one to hot rod radios either, but these were almost made to have that done to them. I have no issue with people custom painting these, or common bakelites. When it's a rare console or wood set, different story.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Wed 13, 2016 1:35 am 
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Location: Chattanooga TN
My phone is being problematic,so a video will come later. Thankyou! I'm not happy with the grille cloth mounting either,its a very thin fabric that was hard to get that smooth.I thought about making a frame for it,but I couldn't find a suitable material at the time. It's an ongoing project,that's probably next on my list. Yeah,if it was even close to rare,I wouldn't have customized it.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Wed 13, 2016 1:41 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
connorthecarguy wrote:
The grill cloth is a metallic red that's more muted in person. The aux is a switched 3.5mm mono jack spliced between the tuning section and volume pot and the mount grounded to the neg. On the filter cap. I'm sure it's not the best way of doing it,but it's the only way ever got that setup to work. I have a modest collection of 35 radios (ss&tube) I have many radios that I have restored to original spec &/or fixed up all original radios. I just wanted to go crazy on one and did this one with a $15 radio and parts and materials I had on hand.


If you have the jack connected to the neg of the filter cap, you have created a potentially lethal situation because that's one side of the AC power line. Now, depending on how the wall outlet is connected and whether the radio is on or off, whatever device you have plugged into the jack is "hot" and could kill someone if they touched the device or the jack and a grounded object. You, as the person doing the modification just bought the legal liability for your modification since the set no longer meets UL standards. This is exactly why radios shouldn't be modified and why we bring this serious matter to people's attention when they do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Wed 13, 2016 1:45 am 
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Here's a before shot,after I did some cleaning on it though.

Image



And a chassis before and after (both pre-speaker replacement)

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Image


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Wed 13, 2016 1:50 am 
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Location: Chattanooga TN
Mr. Detrola, thankyou for your concerns,I already take shock precautions with this radio every time I use it,but I will make note of that. I have no intentions of selling it nor modifying radios for others in the same manner. My current aux jack location is temporary anyway as it isn't really mounted,is there a safer way to wire this jack?


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Wed 13, 2016 2:40 am 
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Joined: Dec Sat 24, 2011 9:17 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Lots of AA5 radios from that era have a phono jack and switch in the back.
Examples are the Crosley E15, Northern Electric "Panda, Zenith 12159 etc.. I'll bet B- is floating above the chassis ground on at least some of those.
You could install a step up transformer on the input for isolation and a boost, which improves impedance matching as well. Buy a little audio matching transformer. (If you like to fabricate, use the transformer from a 12 volt wall wart.)

I mounted a razor outlet transformer beside the chassis in a plastic GE radio. That's the best way to make it safe.

The Arvin is metal though, so there is no safety margin of plastic or Bakelite.
I like yours better with the new paint. Nice work. If Arvins like that ever become rare, you can paint it ivory.

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Last edited by westcoastjohn on Jul Wed 13, 2016 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jul Wed 13, 2016 3:01 am 
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Location: Chattanooga TN
westcoastjohn,that was what I meant about "shock precautions". These metal transformerless radios are inheritly dangerous to a degree,so I try to avoid handling it and grounding myself. Thankyou,I think the color scheme really suits it.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 3:17 am 
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Location: Chattanooga TN
Well,after months of being unhappy with it,I changed the grill cloth.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sun 01, 2010 1:12 am
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Location: Minnesota
Much better, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sun 01, 2013 4:10 pm
Posts: 5466
Location: Long Island NY
Complete honesty..
I like the radio but the dial numbers and letters kill me..
I believe they are indented so I always color them and then run over the area with fine sand paper.. 800 or more..
It gets rid of the excess...

Grill cloth looks MUCH better...

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No, I am not old.
I restore old things.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 5:34 pm 
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Thankyou! The lettering and numbers aren't really recessed so what I did was after painting the knobs white I went and traced the raised areas with a toothpick where the original silk screen letters under the paint. I did what I could but it annoys me too.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sun 01, 2013 4:10 pm
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Location: Long Island NY
no recess.. Ack!

I know a few guys here that make decals of numbers.. There is a paper you use on an inkjet printer,
Just print and shake a colored powder on the wet ink. Then heat the powder and it turns into a solid colored decal...

I have never tried it but have seen some real nice results...
I will be doing it at some point since someone painted my SX-25 green and I have to strip it all...

Kirk

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No, I am not old.
I restore old things.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin Custom
PostPosted: Jan Wed 11, 2017 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Dec Tue 23, 2014 6:51 pm
Posts: 411
Location: N. Palm Bch, Fl.
That original radio is 1 Ugly Radio. I'm not a purists per say, but I do like my Zenith TOs to be like the day they were bought. Electrically and visually. Now-- with a $15 very ugly radio! I think you did one fine job. I think it's pleasing to the eye and good job on new grill cloth. The old cloth looked like my grandfathers old flannel shirt. My projects are running low now and I think I'll look for an ugly 50's radio for a change-up.

Thanks for sharing this.
Freeman


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