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 Post subject: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 758
Location: Crystal Bay, NV
With more time on my hands thanks to the virus, I began going through about a dozen restored TV’s
and making sure they are all in good condition. In doing so, I decided to give an alignment to one of
my more interesting sets: an 8.5” Arvin model 4080-T.

This set was made by Noblitt-Sparks Industries of Columbus, Indiana. Company name was changed
to Arvin Industries in 1950. They made car radios in 1933 and home radios in 1934.
TV production began around 1950 and continued until 1955. They even had a color TV in 1954.
1955 was the last year for TV’s, but they continued radios for another five years or so.
The company switched to producing automotive parts and other industrial goods.
They said that margins in TV sales had become too thin.

The Arvin 4080-T is a 1950 set. Some ads claimed that it was portable, but I think 40 pounds is
pretty heavy unless you're a dock worker. It sold for $129.95, making it one of the cheapest sets
you could buy. It has a metal cabinet that came in mahogany, light oak and green colors.
The green is particularly awful, but that could be a collector plus. I have the mahogany.

This set is unusual in many ways: It is small, but has a heavy power transformer;
it has magnetic deflection with flyback HV; it has a big permanent magnet for focus;
it has continuous channel tuning, and it uses the strange 8AP4A crt.
These features can be found in some other sets, but not all together in one production set.
The 8AP4A crt has a metal envelope (watch out for HV shocks).
The main purpose of a metal envelope is to reduce weight, but that makes no sense
for an 8.5” screen. On the other hand, the picture is brighter any of my 7 or 8 inch electrostatic sets.
I measured the anode voltage at 8.4KV and it held steady with changes in brightness.
Did anybody else use an 8AP4? The crt brand was GE.

I actually like the continuous tuner since I will only be using one channel with a converter.
It eliminates fine tuning slugs and the like. It’s nice to have the chassis grounded, a benefit
of a power transformer. It also allowed Arvin to combine tubes with different filament
current requirements. Arvin used tubes not often seen in combination with one another:
6AV5 for horizontal output, 6W4 for damper; 1X2 for HV, and 6AS5 for audio output.
Arvin seems to have designed this set from scratch.

The circuitry is typical for 1950: Intercarrier sound, 3 stages of IF, and a horizontal oscillator
locking circuit that looks similar to the one used in the RCA 630 (in other words, quite complex).

When I started the alignment, the IF strip was in oscillation, but you can easily pull tubes
and start the alignment, stage by stage.

It also had an occasional ticking sound, barely audible, every couple seconds. I suspected
a HV breakdown. No matter how dark the room was, I could not see any spark. By removing
the HV cage surround, the tick went way so I knew I was on the right track. I cleaned everything
but that made no difference. I concluded that some part of the flyback mount was acting like a
condenser until a breakdown voltage was reached. The fix was a piece of hard plastic between
part of the flyback and the HV cage wall.

My overall assessment is: this set is more interesting that just another 7” electrostatic set.
The small size is a plus for collectors. I don’t know about its shortcomings, or its real-world performance.
I don’t really like the metal cabinet, but that too is rather unique for a small set in 1950.
At $129.95 I can see why Arvin said the profit margins were too low.

Glad to hear your comments on this set.
=======
Ron

Here are pictures of the chassis, top and bottom.

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 4:54 pm 
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Location: Albion, CA, USA, 95410
Interesting write up, thank you. How about some pics of the entire set?


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 758
Location: Crystal Bay, NV
Here is the Arvin 4080-t in the metal case

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Aug Thu 12, 2010 6:25 pm
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Location: Durham, NC
That is a pretty nice looking set. It doesn't look like only an 8" screen - proportionality is good.
The continuous tuner is interesting. Of course I thought immediately of the Mallory Inductuner that DuMont and some others used, but that's apparently not what they used. The two little variable capacitors seen in the chassis photo reminded me of the tuner I found in a derelict Meck chassis I parted out a few years ago. Meck was a company based in Plymouth Indiana, about 2 hours north of Arvin in Columbus. As I recall, the Meck tuner was click-stop, but inside a shield were similar-looking variable caps. This surprised me enough that I saved it. For future research of course. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 10:19 pm 
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A friend of mine who's a long time radio and TV collector/restorer, always raved about what good performers they are. I also heard that their 8" electrostatic CRT's, which are often found very weak on period Motorola's, are found good on these. That's a plus because they're impossible to find without taking one from a parts set.
I always passed on them because of the metal cabinet and more "'50's" style design, but have grown to like them a lot. I particularly like the primitive continuous tuner. I would like to find a clean blonde version, but that one and the green version seem to never turn up. Only mahogany versions turn-up every once in a while.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Tue 07, 2020 10:32 pm 
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TahoeTV wrote:
..... it has continuous channel tuning ......
..... Intercarrier sound ....

With intercarrier sound the continuous tuner is somewhat wasted.
If it had split sound you would have had an FM radio in addition to a TV.

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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Wed 08, 2020 12:07 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Crystal Bay, NV
To be clear, this is not an electrostatic set. It has magnetic deflection. The tuner has a clever dial pointer that is linked with a dial cord, like an old radio. In 1950, FM radio was not widely used, so it was probably not missed. Another set using continuous tuning with variable capacitors was the Pilot TV37. The focus magnet looks like those used in early Philcos. I did not try to take picture of the screen in operation because that says more about the photography than the set. The bright raster easily fills the screen and the linearity was good in both directions.
===
Ron


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Wed 08, 2020 1:25 am 
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TahoeTV wrote:
To be clear, this is not an electrostatic set....
Ron

My bad. I forgot that's why these are better performers than similar small screen sets of the period.


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Wed 08, 2020 3:11 am 
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Location: North Syracuse NY 13212
I was given one by a local TV dealer around 1968. He had rented it out to hospital patients.
I replaced a few caps and it played fine.
A few years ago I decided to bring in some old TV sets for the 1950's themed part at work.
My Motorola VT-71 worked fine until a few days before the party. The ballast blew out and I didn't have time to replace it.
I got out my Arvin 4080 and it worked fine until a paper cap shorted.
I replaced that and a few others, then I let it play a movie (made by my favorite horror hostess!) and it ran fine.
People were amazed to see Howdy Doody and other shows on that set.
Attachment:
LucyArvin.jpg
LucyArvin.jpg [ 94.99 KiB | Viewed 648 times ]


Bob

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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Wed 08, 2020 5:34 am 
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Joined: Aug Thu 20, 2015 3:09 pm
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Location: Albion, CA, USA, 95410
Thanks for the pic, Tahoe. Nice looking set!


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Wed 08, 2020 7:16 pm 
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Location: Long Island, N.Y.
Elvirafan wrote:
I was given one by a local TV dealer around 1968. He had rented it out to hospital patients.
I replaced a few caps and it played fine.
A few years ago I decided to bring in some old TV sets for the 1950's themed part at work.
My Motorola VT-71 worked fine until a few days before the party. The ballast blew out and I didn't have time to replace it.
I got out my Arvin 4080 and it worked fine until a paper cap shorted.
I replaced that and a few others, then I let it play a movie (made by my favorite horror hostess!) and it ran fine.
People were amazed to see Howdy Doody and other shows on that set.
Attachment:
LucyArvin.jpg


Bob

Very nice example. Lucy on these old sets is a great choice. By the way, the intro heart makes for a great screen pattern to adjust height, width, and linearity. I use it all the time. If the heart looks "right", you're there! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Thu 09, 2020 1:54 am 
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As a side note, Arvin stayed in the radio business into the 1970s; they made compact stereos for Radio Shack and Sears. I worked on many of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Arvin 4080-T: An interesting small set from 1950
PostPosted: Apr Thu 09, 2020 5:49 pm 
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Location: Pewaukee, WI
Tim Tress wrote:
As a side note, Arvin stayed in the radio business into the 1970s; they made compact stereos for Radio Shack and Sears. I worked on many of them.

Yeah I have one of their AM/FM stereo table radios with phono input from 1967...All series string tubes in a year when most similar sets had gone full SS. A PP stereo amp using 4 oddball 60V heater output tubes.
It is a really nice radio.


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