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New in the original box, untouched ARC-5




 
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Author Topic: New in the original box, untouched ARC-5  (Read 1545 times)
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ka1tdq
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« on: September 12, 2017, 10:40:55 PM »

I just bought from eBay a new in the original box, untouched ARC-5.  It has a date of June 1943 on it.  Frequency range is 5.3 - 7.0 MHz.  This radio is 74 years old and no ham has had their paws on it to modify it.  Everything is original.

I'll post pictures of it once it arrives.  I want to carefully take the covers off to look at the innards (in color, in person and not from a 1940's black-and-white photo). 

I was thinking about making some minor modifications; just enough to put it on the air.  But then I thought, nah, what's the point?  It's a little 10 watt transmitter.  Most everything nowadays can run circles around it.  Once I start clipping, it's no different than all the rest of the junk ARC-5's out there.  I'm going to put it back in the box and store it in my closet for as long as I'm able.  The historical value is worth more than a few QSO's with it.

Jon
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wa1knx
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 04:14:51 AM »

  Wow, its like the unbuilt kits I see people run into.  But you can't have your cake and eat it to so your right once
you start snipping, virginity lost!  await pics!
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am forever!
WA2SQQ
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 08:11:56 AM »

So I have to ask, how much did it sell for?
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 09:15:23 AM »

$127 plus $35 shipping.

Jon
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KC4VWU
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 10:42:00 AM »

Box sealed or open? Yeah Jon, I'd leave it original. Even though it's not in the ham bands, it's still a fairly rare piece of history. Get a beater to fix up and play with
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 10:52:12 AM »

It would be pretty easy to modify the frequency range, but I am keeping it all original.

The box is open, but it looks like he opened it for eBay picture purposes. I'll see for sure when I get it.

These were sold for next to nothing after the war. One of my coworkers was telling me he bought one in 1974 for $3. You see these at hamfests and they're always in junk condition.

The radio is 74 years old and I should be able to easily carry it to its 100 year mark.

Jon
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W7TFO
WTF-OVER in 7 land Dennis
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IN A TRIODE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREEN


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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 12:15:41 PM »

The necessary original things to make it functional are still available:  Mount, dynamotor, tuning knob or remote control.

Ferret out those items and you'll have a neat RX without any mods.

73DG
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 12:34:46 PM »

Yeah, after this last building spurt, I was told that I need to return to the family. I guess time flies when you're having fun. Also, I need to cool it on buying stuff.

Jon
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W7TFO
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IN A TRIODE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREEN


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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 12:40:37 PM »

I misread your post and thought you had a receiver. 

Change that list to a modulator, mic, and antenna matching/ammeter.

That would really make the setup super collectable.

Take your time and buy easy.

73DG
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KC4VWU
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 07:22:56 PM »

Jon,
       Save the nice one for the collectable it is. I've got a couple that are in nice used shape and other than doing a super detail job on them, I'm going to leave them as-is.


Some ARC 5 tx's and a couple GF series tx's.


* ARC 5 -1.jpg (891.16 KB, 2592x1456 - viewed 77 times.)

* ARC-5-2.jpg (832.24 KB, 2592x1456 - viewed 62 times.)
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W8IXY
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 08:06:40 PM »

How times have changed.  In my early years of high school in the early 60's, I bought that 40 meter version of an ARC-5, brand new and sealed in it's box, for $5.00.  I also bought one that covered from 800 kHz to 1300 kHz For $5.00.  That one was rare, because a lot of kids bought that one to use as a bootleg AM broadcast band transmitter.

73
Ted
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KA2DZT
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 09:15:54 PM »

Probably in some abandon warehouse in the south Pacific there are tons of arc 5s sitting in boxes.  I think I still have some of the shock mount bases for those radios.

Fred
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WU2D
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 10:39:00 PM »

I also got one of those 5.3-7 MHz jobs in black crackle new in the box at Fair Radio back in the early 1980's. Nobody bought it because it had a rattle. It turned out to be one of those little plastic insulator balls had popped out of the tuning variable. I have seen those missing in other hamfest ARC-5 transmitters and sometimes it happens in receivers too. I paid 19.95 of course! That is 50 bucks in 2017 dollars.
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 09:07:44 PM »

I just got it in its original box.  Here's some pictures with the top removed.  All screws still had the ring washers. 

Unfortunately I can't take the bottom off.  The heads broke off of the two screws on the corner underneath the oscillator tube.  I tried to ease them out, but they still broke and the screw itself is preventing me from sliding the cover off.  Maybe the person installed it at the factory too tight, or 74 years of storage seized them. 

Jon


* IMG_2466.JPG (2427.02 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 128 times.)

* IMG_2467.JPG (2048.68 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 109 times.)

* IMG_2468.JPG (2322.29 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 126 times.)
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 11:16:13 PM »

But, I'm not going to do anything to it.  It's now sitting prominently on a shelf in the shack.

Jon


* IMG_2472.JPG (1776.44 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 128 times.)
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W3RSW
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Rick & "Roosevelt"


« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2017, 10:03:47 AM »

Very nice. Takes me right back. Still have a lot of forgotten components in the junk box. Your pictures reminded me where they originally were placed.

When xmission op. standards are relaxed on 60 meters, fire that baby up as is !  Grin
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RICK  *W3RSW*
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2017, 10:58:10 AM »

It's a shame the old girl will never do what it was built for. But...... that's just me!
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2017, 11:39:26 AM »

Interesting to note in the first picture is a piece of string that is cinched in the front panel. It came from the factory that way. Maybe the assembler left it in by accident, or maybe she left in a little good luck charm for the boys. Anyway, it's fun to speculate.

I contacted the seller to see if he knew the history of the radio. He said that it was owned by a ham in NJ. He owned lots of ARC-5's and had many on the air. When he died, the widow gave it to a guy who worked at Bell Labs in NJ. When that guy retired and "moved south," he asked the guy I bought it from to sell it for him along with a bunch of other gear. So, lots of OM's in this story.

To put this on the air the right way, you do need to update some caps and move some variables around. To do that, I'd need to break the paint on the screws. I just can't bring myself to do it.

Maybe when it hits it's 100 year mark I can light the filaments. To do so, I'll have to have Marconi exhumed and use a piece of his hair and clothing in the ceremony.

Jon
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KL7OF
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2017, 09:11:56 AM »

My father in law was a radio man /rear gunner on a PBY in the pacific during WW2...He reconized some ARC-5 radio gear in my shack..When I asked him how those radios were when they were new, he said "About the time the station comes into view, you can work them."
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KC4VWU
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2017, 04:32:19 PM »

Yeah, a very short antenna strung from behind the cockpit to the rudder add to that about 20w out, I could imagine the performance.

Jon, to do the required surgery to fire it up into a DL wouldn't hurt. It may possibly run without exercising the internal adjustments (which would require breaking factory paint seals), and the only thing left is to address the 3x.05 cap can in the rear. A plug can be made for the rear with a piece of G-10 and if IIRC some #10 solid copper wire. Dealing with the broken bottom screws would be the biggest thing, very careful surgery that would require a slow and steady hand with a drill press.

You know you want to see it work. Grin Grin

   
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KD6VXI
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Making Amplitude Modulation GREAT Again!


« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2017, 04:55:18 PM »

Few drops of ATF onto the screws before you try to take them out will usually help.  ATF is better than any 'threadbuster' made.  If needed, use acetone to thin it to get it to seep into threads.  I don't like the acetone though:  Seems it will take paint up, too.

Otherwise, a very short bit (to protect from wander of the drill bit point) will allow you to drill the old ones out.  Then you can either tap a new thread, or insert PEM nuts and move forward.

--Shane
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2017, 04:56:03 PM »

It's like opening Pandora's box.  True, I may not have to exercise the VFO variable adjustment cap (I would though if I wanted to cover a good portion of 40 meters).  After that, the only "necessary" replacement would be that 3-cap assembly in the rear.  But once I started, it would be hard to stop incremental modifications.  

As for the two screws with the broken head, I'm going to try to use a smaller left hand bit to remove them.  I'll give it a quick shot of WD-40 and let that set for a while.  Then, I'll use the #47 drill bit to try to extract the remnant of the screws.  

Replacing those two screws will be the only modification I do to this.  Besides, a 10-watt chirpy signal?  After playing around with QRP for a while, I've come to the firm conclusion that it absolutely sucks.  Sucks to the max...  gag me with a spoon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhBTtM6rexw
(the reference for people who weren't around in the 80's)

Jon
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KC4VWU
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2017, 06:13:21 PM »

NO! Don't do it! I thought about LH drill bit for about 5 seconds the other nite. It works FB for large fasteners, but if the bit got snagged and it broke, well, tool steel is a b#tch to cut out! That small of a bit is sure to snap.  Shocked Shocked   I'd use a center drill or a mechanics length bit like Shane said, the correct dia. and using a drill press, carefullly center and take light bites till the remnant of the screws will pass the holes to take the bottom off. You can then get the remnants out with other means without the worries of wrecking the paint on the chassis, or heck. just flush them up a little and don't worry with those screws; they're on the rear anyway. 

Have you ever had the chance to read WU2D's ER articles on the tx? Mike has spent a lot of time with the ARC-5 stuff and has the dope on them up front. We can all play around and figure them out, but all the info is there already. Get a copy fo the articles, I think 3 or 4 total, and read them; very informative, especially the mods for the out of band units.

Hey, you paid the money for it and we all know you wont butcher it up, so do what makes YOU happy. I'm not happy with non functioning shelf queens either. I'm slowly working on an ARC-5 setup for 75m phone. Have all the stuff on hand finally, now the hard part, putting it all together. 
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2017, 06:23:21 PM »



Tranny fluid werks ok....  An enjiner I knew use to swear by Diesel.


KLC
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ka1tdq
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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2017, 09:36:08 PM »

You know, that's a good idea.  I used a drill press to carefully eliminate the screw head that was sticking out, enough to get the bottom plate off.  I'll then just file off the remaining screw material.  I'm not interested in machining out the rest of the screw to make it perfect.  I'm not that good enough of a machinist to do it right anyway.  But yeah, doing this much definitely required a drill press.  Doing it by hand certainly wasn't going to cut it. 

But, I did get the bottom plate off.  I've attached a photo.  All original stuff, as you'd expect. 

I guess what makes me happy is having a shelf piece.  My wife asked me if I was going to build a power supply for it and put it on the air.  I said no, and she agreed and said that I'd never get another one of these pieces again.

Jon


* IMG_2481.JPG (2272.09 KB, 4032x3024 - viewed 100 times.)
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