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-   -   AR88 Front Panel Colour (https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=155768)

ribbonmicsrus 17th Apr 2019 10:08 am

AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
I have nearly finished restoring an early AR88, s/n 1017, not a D or LF. This had the 2.5 and 20ohm o/p transformer. It had the wiring for the S meter, I have re-stuffed the bathtubs and all the usual suspects changed and with modern components it is working better than original specification. Gearbox rebuilt as well.

The remaining dilemma is colour of front panel. Going through the various Emers etc on this RX, since it is an early one with an engraved front panel, information appears to go towards a matt black finish. However the previous owner seemed to think it was RAF Blue. It had been resprayed a rather bright matt blue.

Has anyone a suggestion as to the correct colour and if there is a near Halfords paint match. My personal tendency is towards the matt black!

Also any recommendations as best way of filling engraving. I did an early KW Vanguard with poster paint.

Regards
Andy

James Duncan 17th Apr 2019 12:25 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
I have three AR88,8 and have one with the 2.5 ohm xmer, all are mat black except one has two horizontal chrome strips
so I suggest " BLACK"
mm0hdw

ex seismic 17th Apr 2019 12:40 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
You can get special crayons for filling in engraving. Smear on then wipe off the surplus. I haven't tried them.

HamishBoxer 17th Apr 2019 1:09 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Now you have mentioned it, yes I believe black also, but was the AR88,s ever used by the RAF in control towers?

For the record, mine is "crinkle" black, or camera crackle black as it was known.

Steve G4WCS 17th Apr 2019 1:24 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
wax

http://www.mastergrave.co.uk/catalog...Category_ID=67

paint

http://www.mastergrave.co.uk/catalog...Category_ID=67

Edding 751 paint markers or Humbrol enal applied with a cocktail stick also work

ribbonmicsrus 17th Apr 2019 1:31 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by James Duncan (Post 1137649)
I have three AR88,8 and have one with the 2.5 ohm xmer, all are mat black except one has two horizontal chrome strips
so I suggest " BLACK"
mm0hdw

Thanks James
Yes, if you have engraved panel mat black appears to be correct as crinkle finish would fill the engraving. My strips were not chromed.

Radio Wrangler 17th Apr 2019 1:34 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
I too have an early AR88 (no suffix) with engraved copper-plated panel.

It has a label inside that it was refurbed in the early 1950s, which is when I think it got its PVC wiring harness. It also has an S-meter. Tuning scale is all yellow except where the previous owner tried cleaning it and sketched the scale back in in biro!

When I got it in the mid sixties, the panel was in black wrinkle and showing a lot of age. I suspect it was black wrinkle from Camden NJ. I've heard about flat black ones, but never seen one.

Due to mum's opinion of the ratty wrinkle, it got stripped and stove enamelled in grey hammer. OK that may now be seen as sacrilege, but it wasn't then. It's now been grey hammer for most of it's life so it can stay that way.

I did however buy a new old stock all yellow tuning scale at a G-QRP doo ten or so years ago. What are the chances of finding one of those?

I'vew no clues as to where it's been used, but I've forgotten which organisation is responsible for the rebuild label, but as that was post-war it isn't any help.

DAvid

ribbonmicsrus 17th Apr 2019 1:35 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Thank you gentlemen for your replies, had never head of the crayon approach, sounds less messy! I shall do further investigation.
regards
Andy

ribbonmicsrus 17th Apr 2019 1:40 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler (Post 1137672)
I too have an early AR88 (no suffix) with engraved copper-plated panel.

It has a label inside that it was refurbed in the early 1950s, which is when I think it got its PVC wiring harness. It also has an S-meter. Tuning scale is all yellow except where the previous owner tried cleaning it and sketched the scale back in in biro!

When I got it in the mid sixties, the panel was in black wrinkle and showing a lot of age. I suspect it was black wrinkle from Camden NJ. I've heard about flat black ones, but never seen one.

Due to mum's opinion of the ratty wrinkle, it got stripped and stove enamelled in grey hammer. OK that may now be seen as sacrilege, but it wasn't then. It's now been grey hammer for most of it's life so it can stay that way.

I did however buy a new old stock all yellow tuning scale at a G-QRP doo ten or so years ago. What are the chances of finding one of those?

I've no clues as to where it's been used, but I've forgotten which organisation is responsible for the rebuild label, but as that was post-war it isn't any help.

DAvid


Luckily my scales are not too bad, it came with some spares. I have managed to get on auction site a new plastic escutcheon so it will hopefully look pretty good when done. I did the IF alignment with a Rigol Spectrum Analyser, made life easier!

turretslug 17th Apr 2019 7:17 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
I wouldn't be surprised if there are quite a few outliers from standard appearance as varying size groups of sets were overhauled by or on behalf of post-war users- the one I've had for some years is a mid-range serial (011514) generally standard AR88D, but has a thick and very crisply cut and punched (i.e. not a casual hobbyist job) aluminium front panel with fine wrinkle dark olive drab paint and engraved legends. It'd probably be nigh-on impossible to trace what has happened and whose (professional and private) hands a great many sets have passed through- they were outstanding performers in their time and continued to be useful and worthwhile sets long after WW2 had ended.

ribbonmicsrus 17th Apr 2019 8:11 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Yes, appreciate how it is virtually impossible to be sure of the originality of a particular radio. My front panel is thick steel, very heavy, could have done with the aluminium one you have!
I think I am going to go for the matt black finish and just going through the box of bits it arrived in have now found I need 2 knobs for the noise limiter and aerial trimmer, its never ending!

They still are outstanding performers, cannot believe how stable it is, even resolving sideband on 20 and 15m. And extremely sensitive, I shall do a full and accurate measurement once finished. I might also fit a more conventional
S Meter by adding another pot and resistor network.

Silicon 18th Apr 2019 9:54 am

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Several people say their AR88 front panels are Matt black.

The adjective 'Matt' makes me think of a freshly painted school blackboard. A surface with no glossiness whatsoever.

I have an AR88 with a black wrinkle finish and another that I would describe as Satin Black.

It has a surface sheen similar to the surface of a cereal packet.

mickm3for 18th Apr 2019 10:44 am

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Hi i have an engraved LF its black Mick

ribbonmicsrus 18th Apr 2019 11:11 am

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Silicon (Post 1137862)
Several people say their AR88 front panels are Matt black.

The adjective 'Matt' makes me think of a freshly painted school blackboard. A surface with no glossiness whatsoever.

I have an AR88 with a black wrinkle finish and another that I would describe as Satin Black.

It has a surface sheen similar to the surface of a cereal packet.

I must admit satin black sounds good and would not fill the engraving like thicker wrinkle paint.

However, think will stick with matt finish as this appears to be the be the norm on early AR88s with engraved front panels.

ribbonmicsrus 18th Apr 2019 11:12 am

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Thanks Mick.

Colinaps 18th Apr 2019 8:34 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Silicon (Post 1137862)

It has a surface sheen similar to the surface of a cereal packet.

Mine too - it'a an early one, s/n 640. I have an audio transformer, correct meter and choke for it in the sometime pile.

73,

Colin.

Dave757 19th Apr 2019 2:22 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Hi,

I had an LF which had sort of a buff colour panel. Also the
Tone control was replaced with an IF gain. All controls with
engraved inscriptions. Definitely the best AR88 I ever had.
Possibly a military refurb?

Kind regards,
Dave

ribbonmicsrus 3rd May 2019 10:59 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Latest update, hard wax crayon was disaster, it was more yellow than white and the temperature required to make it run started to soften the paint.

Have taken front panel to paint stripping shop who took it back to copper. It also took out two extra holes on front panel someone had drilled that I had filled so redoing those. Decide on Satin black and Arctic white car touch up paint with fine nib/brush.

Hopefully OK this time

Andy

WB6NVH-GEOFF 9th May 2019 4:31 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Well, just to complicate things, I have a front panel by itself that is black wrinkle painted with screened white letting. Couldn't even give it away here in the USA!

ribbonmicsrus 9th May 2019 10:18 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Hi Geoff
Strange, thought that was a fairly normal panel for the later versions.
I have done mine now in black satin finish and looks really good, I shall wait a week for the paint to harden properly then apply the filling paint to the engraving. Still looking for 3 of the intermediate style knobs as well
73
Andy

ian rose 15th May 2019 5:13 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
I remember seeing a 'photo of some 88's in a rack mounted situation with grey front panels.

turretslug 15th May 2019 6:01 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Do you recall if they still had the horizontal chrome strips flanking the frequency scale/logging scale/meter aperture- I'd heard it said (usual disclaimer for hearsay!) that some RAF (?) ones had the chrome strips removed and front panel finished in smooth grey paint, supposedly to assist in decontamination. I was never very convinced by this explanation, as it's far from being a sealed piece of equipment (no base or lid gaskets and lots of big ventilation slots in the rear panel, whose bottom third is cut away anyway) and front panel strips would be a very minor consideration compared to the rest of the case and innards, really,

ribbonmicsrus 16th May 2019 9:29 am

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Yes, I have seen those grey ones, also some of the "RAF" vesions looked grey but were very pale blue.
Mine came with the strips in a kind of khaki colour, no hint of chrome unlike the majority. Just trying to find someone locally who can re-chrome mine.
Andy

ian rose 17th May 2019 5:14 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
I fear I cannot remember if those grey versions in the rack sported chrome strips.

HamishBoxer 17th May 2019 5:15 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
So,were the AR88,s used by the RAF?

G6Tanuki 17th May 2019 5:43 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HamishBoxer (Post 1146071)
So,were the AR88,s used by the RAF?

Yes - many of the RAF ones were modified, with a different antenna socket and a panel with an on/off-switch and jack-socket fitted below the off/trans/rec switch on the front panel. The socket was for high-impedance headphones.

RAF had their own 'number' for these modified AR88s - they called it the R1556.

There's a thread about this here: https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=90185 and a photo of one in use here: https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...4&d=1352667668

HamishBoxer 17th May 2019 7:02 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Thank you for that,I saw a few at E.Kirkby where I went to see the Lancaster a few weeks ago and was not sure they were correct.
Now it seems they are indeed.Saved me posting pictures I took inside the control tower,although there was other interesting stuff too.

ribbonmicsrus 18th May 2019 1:45 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by G6Tanuki (Post 1146085)
Quote:

Originally Posted by HamishBoxer (Post 1146071)
So,were the AR88,s used by the RAF?

Yes - many of the RAF ones were modified, with a different antenna socket and a panel with an on/off-switch and jack-socket fitted below the off/trans/rec switch on the front panel. The socket was for high-impedance headphones.

RAF had their own 'number' for these modified AR88s - they called it the R1556.

There's a thread about this here: https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=90185 and a photo of one in use here: https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...4&d=1352667668

Mine is one of the early AR88, s/n 1017 not a D or LF, frequency range is same as D, it had two extra holes in front panel that had been filled. When I had it paint stripped to renew it and make sure engraving was good, I decided to fill them in again as the chassis appeared not to have the wiring for the extra parts. I have a feeling this particular radio has had many changes done to it in its lifetime so its ancestry is a bit difficult to define.

It had the wiring and pot for the S-meter however. Have found a local company who caan do re-chroming of the strips for a nominal sum.

I really cannot believe how sensitive and stable these radios are after replacing most of the suspect components.
Andy

Radio Wrangler 18th May 2019 2:52 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
And your tuning dial should be black lines and numbers on a yellow background for all bands.

David

ribbonmicsrus 18th May 2019 7:05 pm

Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler (Post 1146320)
And your tuning dial should be black lines and numbers on a yellow background for all bands.

David

Yes David
It does.
.
Regards
Andy


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