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 Post subject: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Wed 25, 2019 2:16 am 
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So my Christmas gift from my mom was an Arrow AR-1717 AC/DC transistor radio. This is thing looks great! Leather is still soft. Aside from the paint splatter only on the power cord, it doesn't look like this thing was ever used. AC powered it works great. Dial is accurate on AM and FM. There were no batteries inside (probably a good thing), but it has a switch and power light on the front that says "battery charger". It takes 4 C's. What type? Did they have Ni-Cads back then? It's old enough to be marked in Cycles, not Hertz. I'm not going to damage this thing by trying to run it on alkalines with the voltage difference, am I? Of course I won't try to charge alkalines.

Also, can anyone tell me about the Arrow company? I can't seem to find much on them. I don't think there were very big, or even American considering the Engrish on the inside cover. It did come with a tiny schematic by the way. Better scan it and send to BAMA...


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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Wed 25, 2019 10:06 pm 
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Arrow might be another of the importers or just a name slapped on a generic circuit made by an overseas manufacturer. Order or pay enough and get your own brand with a few cosmetic changes. Some were successful while others might last as long as the current stock held out.

I didn't search much for Arrow, but didn't find any direct reference in Beitman's but they might be listed there under the manufacturer's name. It was common to find a tiny schematic in the owner's manual or glued inside the rear cover, often too small to include part values or voltages or be clear enough to read.

Nickle Cadmium batteries came out in WWII in a larger rectangular size. Common in surplus for years after. By the 1960's (or before), they were available as substitutes in the popular sizes of AA, C, D, 9v and others. Some early cells had the charging circuit built-in. Remove the top to expose an AC plug. There were also charging schemes to "refresh" carbon-zinc and rechargeable alkaline types.
-Ed

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Last edited by Ed in SoDak on Dec Wed 25, 2019 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Wed 25, 2019 10:15 pm 
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Congrats on the gift. When it was made, Zinc-Carbon dry cells were the batteries available at the time. You can use either the lowest cost (Super Heavy Duty) or Alkaline C batteries.
I've used a nine volt Transistor battery in place of four 1-1/2 volt cells for louder volume in Transistor radios as well. The Transistors are generally rated at 16 volts, and the current in the nine volt batteries is minimal, so there's no potential harm.

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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 2:40 am 
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It's funny you mention 9 volt batteries. The 4xC battery holder snaps in with a 9V snap connector.

Yep, it's not American. It says Hong Kong on the label and it's stamped in the leather. The only other clue is "Shinagawa" on the power plug, which appears to be a city neighboring Tokyo. Back when this was made, "Made In Japan" equalled "junk". Oh neat, Nippon Chemicon is HQed there. I use their caps on occasion. Sega and Namco Bandai too, if you're into video games.

Hey, what's this band stuff in the middle of the dial? The band switch on the side is 2 position only for FM and AM. The only other switch is that "recharge" or "AC/DC Play" switch on the front.


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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 3:35 am 
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ZombieElvis wrote:

Yep, it's not American. It says Hong Kong on the label and it's stamped in the leather. The only other clue is "Shinagawa" on the power plug, which appears to be a city neighboring Tokyo. Back when this was made, "Made In Japan" equalled "junk".

I don't think that items made in Japan were ever really junk. In the immediate postwar years, some of their items were crude, but by the mid to late 1950's, they were putting out reasonably good quality electronics. Your set seems to have been made late '60's to sometime in the '70's.

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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 3:39 am 
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ZombieElvis wrote:
Hey, what's this band stuff in the middle of the dial? The band switch on the side is 2 position only for FM and AM. The only other switch is that "recharge" or "AC/DC Play" switch on the front.


FM was proposed to be like TV; stations labeled by channel numbers instead of frequencies. Channels 1-100. Ended up not using channel numbers in the US but may have been used elsewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 4:09 am 
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fifties wrote:
Your set seems to have been made late '60's to sometime in the '70's.


That late? I agree, Japan was making good stuff by that time. I assumed it was from the early 60s.


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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 4:24 am 
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Look what I found. Arrow Trading Company. https://www.radiomuseum.org/dsp_hersteller_detail.cfm?company_id=18980
"Importer of the Arrow and Angel brands of products most likely from the far East"

They even have a linked model of an Arrow radio with a similar model number, made in Hong Kong : https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/unknown_a ... hedra.html


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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 8:20 am 
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Kinda looks like those "mystery bands" were added just to make the dial seem more full and important-looking. The accepted norm was to put an arbitrary 0-100 "logging scale" more discretely on the upper or lower borders of the tuning scales, not prominently displayed in the center. As noted above, FM once had channel numbers and the AM frequencies shown both in Kilocycles and in Meters are just two ways of saying the same thing. Meters denote the wavelength, i.e. 200 meters equals 656 feet. The use of Meters was more common overseas. Maybe this helped market the same radio both here and abroad.

Not sure when imported consumer radios switched over to using Kilo-Hertz and Mega-Hertz instead of cycles, but the magazines followed the newly adopted terminology sometime around 1966, albeit not without some caterwauling from the readership. But note Europe adopted Hertz well before the US finally switched to the more "modern" term. This seems to say your radio predates all that.

Radios featuring the built-in "charger" have been shown here before, but it's been a few years. I'd go with an early- to mid-60's date for yours. Somebody also posted a listing of radio importers awhile back, maybe Arrow is listed in that.

I'm another besides fifties to use a 9v alkaline on those nominally 6-volt radios using a clip-on battery pack that already has the appropriate connector. Or I'll add a 9v clip to radios with "hard-wired" battery terminals or packs. Saves a lot of weight, a bit of money, boosts performance and the modern 9v gives decent service life in light usage compared to the old carbon-zinc cells. Or I use a drilled-out length of dowel to adapt AA cells for the C-size cells. I haven't bought any C-or D-cell batteries in years.

The Zenith solid state Transoceanic models are about the only transistor radios I know about that might be sensitive to overvoltage. They use a 12-volt supply, but also sing quite happily on just a 9-volt battery. Just be wary about using unregulated wallwarts on those.
-Ed

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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 12:44 pm 
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ZombieElvis wrote: Back when this was made, "Made In Japan" equalled "junk".

BS... :shock:
Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: Arrow AR-1717 AM/FM/battery charger???
PostPosted: Dec Fri 27, 2019 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Jul Mon 01, 2019 4:42 pm
Posts: 386
Location: St. Louis, MO
Wow, they're still around today. http://www.arrowimports.com/about/history.shtml


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