Grundig Satellit - Short History

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Grundig Satellit - Short History 
01.Sep.08 22:45

Alessandro Capitani (I)
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Alessandro Capitani

Satellit is the trade name for the line of multi-band radio receivers 
from the German brand Grundig.

The first model of this line was the Satellit 205, also known 
as Transistor 5000, a 17 transistors single conversion superetherodyne receiver
derived from the former Ocean Boy model. It seems that this model was
strongly inspired by Max Grundig himself. In this 
model, launched in 1964, we can find some characteristics present in all
subsequent models, such as the short-wave band selection realized 
by using a rotating drum, the availability of an 
optional BFO (beat frequency oscillator) for CW and SSB reception, and, for the audio section, a complete bass and treble tone control and a two-way loudspeaker.
The commercial success of Satellit 205 paved the way for a 
further refinement of the project with the launch in 1967 of the 
Satellit 208 (also known as Transistor 6000). There are major differences with respect to the previous model: in particular the receiver makes use of a
double conversion circuitry, therefore improving receiver's sensitivity and 
selectivity. Moreover, the management of various short-wave bands becomes more 
comfortable thanks to an innovative solution that allows 
selection a specific band or a sub-section of the same (band 
spread feature). This greately facilitates the tuning of broadcasting bands.

Compared to the previous model, the circuitry is completely revised making exclusive use of silicon transistors and for FM front-end section of Field Effect Transisors, an innovation worth of note for a product likely designed in 1967- 1968. The appearance is completely redesigned and the result is remarkable to 
the point that the 208, along with 210, is probably one of the most beautiful models in the Satellit range ever since. 

In the seventies Satellit had become synonymous of "the" receiver for the advanced radio enthusiast. The Satellit 208 project was further refined with the introduction of the Satellit 210 (Transistor 6001). According to many collectors, this is probably one of the best analog multi-band receivers ever produced. Feature wise, this model is very similar to its predecessor, both from the electronic and aesthetic point of view. The main difference distinguishing the 210 from 208 is the presence of an additional antenna trimmer. 
The Satellit range continues in 1972-1973 with the introduction of models 1000 and 2000. While the first one was a not particularly worth of praise evolution of model 210, model 2000 was a brand new project with new characteristics. 
First, a complete re-engineering of the product, now more in line 
with a serial production (the main case body is now made of plastic and printed circuit boards design is optimized to reduce extra 
wiring). In particular, the Satellit 2000 was characterized 
by a new look, more modern and in line with the aesthetical trend of early seventies. 
From a circuitry perspective, model 2000 made use of ceramic filters in the IF section, therefore improving the selectivity for LW-MW-SW reception. The audio portion was also enhanced and more powerful. The intermediate frequency circuits for AM part are now completely separated from those used for the FM section. The number of semiconductor reaches the remarkable number of 28 transistors and 22 diodes, a number which denotes the high level of sophistication reached in this design.

As a side note, the power supply circuitry is now an integral part of the receiver 
whereas in previous models an optional adapter (TN-12) was required. 
Model 2000 is replaced in 1976 by model 2100, substantially an identical model except for some aesthetic improvements and the return for the tone  and volume controls to rotary potentiometers instead of linear potentiometers ( so called "sliders"). These were very popular in the'70s but also very prone to false contact problems due to impurities that could easily enter the device. 
In 1978 Grundig launches the new flagship of the Satellit range: the Satellit 3000, the first Satellit with built-in digital frequency counter and clock. The 3000 was also equipped with a BFO, therefore making this receiver natively capable of FM, AM, SSB and CW reception. The following year Grundig introduced model 3400, substantially identical but characterized by a more aggressive look.

The Grundig Satellit line of receivers evolved through all the 80's and 90's and, despite the troubles that Grundig as a company had to face, till the turn of the century.
It must be said however that the general quality of these receivers, although making use of very sophisticated circuitry like PLL synthesizers, is not certainly comparable to the quality of the legendary models from the sixties and seventies. 
Apart from the comprehensive collection present on RMorg, a concise list of all Satellit models from the origin to our days can be found here:
"We love Satellit!" 
Alessandro Capitani

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