Sputnik Era Clock Radio with never before seen illuminated clock dial – Retro Radio Farm

Sputnik Era Clock Radio with never before seen illuminated clock dial

This is a rare Arvin, a manufacturer known for some pretty cool designs and some questionable ones. This model has all the hallmarks of Sputnik era. It features the only bulb illuminated clock face I have ever come across. All other illuminated clock faces are actually glow-in-the-dark like Sylvania's 'Panelescent' design. 

The clock radio is green, my favorite color for pieces from this era because they're so rare.

This one comes to me in surprisingly good condition. The only blemish is a small chip by the 'Repeat' top button. No other cracks, chips, bends, missing pieces.

 

When I open up this unit, I am amazed by all the engineering and ingenuity in this design. Look at all the levers, pivots, and springs! I love it.

Here's a close up of the on/off switch and the sleep timer.

Amazingly, the mechanisms still function perfectly. Just needed a little adjustment and some cleaning.

The most stand-out feature is the bulb illuminated clock face. See the halogen-like bulb? It is actually a gas energized bulb, like a neon because they didn't have halogen or LED back then. So cool! The ONLY one I have ever seen. I'll bet the engineers and the accounting department were at odds over this part.

And it still works!

The components on this circuit board are top notch. See the orange drop Spragues?

The only less than optimal design feature is the tiny oval speaker. Sounds fine but I'll bet Bang and Olufsen is not losing any sleep.

After a check on the components, I find no parts need to be replaced. The alignment is perfect too. I adjusted it just a tiny bit, but it really didn't need it at all. The tubes all tested string as well. The clock mechanism needed a good cleaning, but that was it. The sleep timer springs needed re-tensioning. I was extra careful putting this bad boy back together because the gas charged bulb in the clock face bezel is hard soldered directly to the clock windings. I wanted to avoid cracking the bulb during disassembly and re-assembly. 

After a good steam clean, we have this!

 Sounds and looks great! This model has a Light Rose twin sister. Can you say, "I want one!"

 Here's what the lighted clock face looks like in the dark:

See YouTube video here

 

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