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Vintage Amateur and Military Radio Amateur/military receivers and transmitters, morse, and any other related vintage comms equipment.

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Old 17th Apr 2019, 10:08 am   #1
ribbonmicsrus
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Default 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

Last edited by ribbonmicsrus; 17th Apr 2019 at 10:15 am. Reason: more information.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 12:25 pm   #2
James Duncan
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Default 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
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 12:40 pm   #3
ex seismic
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Default 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.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 1:09 pm   #4
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Default 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.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 1:24 pm   #5
Steve G4WCS
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Default 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
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 1:31 pm   #6
ribbonmicsrus
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Default Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Duncan View Post
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.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 1:34 pm   #7
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Default 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.

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Old 17th Apr 2019, 1:35 pm   #8
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Default 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
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 1:40 pm   #9
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Default Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
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!
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 7:17 pm   #10
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Default 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.
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Old 17th Apr 2019, 8:11 pm   #11
ribbonmicsrus
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Default 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.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 9:54 am   #12
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Default 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.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 10:44 am   #13
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Default Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour

Hi i have an engraved LF its black Mick
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 11:11 am   #14
ribbonmicsrus
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Default Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silicon View Post
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.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 11:12 am   #15
ribbonmicsrus
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Default Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour

Thanks Mick.
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Old 18th Apr 2019, 8:34 pm   #16
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Default Re: AR88 Front Panel Colour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silicon View Post

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.
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Old 19th Apr 2019, 2:22 pm   #17
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Default 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
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