Manufactured by Blaupunkt, Hildesheim, chassis 7.658.880.
With the Blaupunkt Supernova, the Hildesheim company Blaupunkt was present with a veritable world band radio in a receiver segment that was dominated in Germany by sets from Grundig, Nordmende, Schaub-ITT and more and more by Japanese companies.
The Blaupunkt Supernova is a portable single conversion superhet with built-in power supply, VHF and six shortwave bands switched via a turret tuner.
- Principle: single conversion superhet, IF 460 kHz / FM 10.7 MHz
- Frequency range: FM, LW, MW, 7 x SW (1.6-4.6 / 4.6-6.3 / 6.2-8.5 / 8.4-11.6 / 11.5-15.9 / 15.8 - 21.8 / 21.7-30 MHz)
- Frequency dial: analogue dial, accuracy approx. 25 kHz
- Frequency memory: three VHF presets
- Signal processing: SW fine tuning
- Features: AFC (FM)
- Sensitivity: AM (A3) / Selectivity: kHz (-6/-60 dB)
- Mains operation: 110, 220 V
- 335 x 214 x 104 mm, weight 4.5 kg
The Blaupunkt Supernova is a portable multiband radio, with its dimensions of 33,5 x 21,4 x 10,4 cm and its weight of 4,5 kg without batteries, it's clearly more bulky then the modern bocket-book sized travel radios. It has an internal mains power supply running from 110 or 220 Volts and a battery compartment to house 6 UM-1 / mono cells. Next to the carrying handle on the top of the set, you can pull out two telescopic antennas.
In the lower rigth corner of the front panel, you find the mains (I0) switch; the band selector buttons in a row above this are still fully functional in my set they despite of their age. The button „MB“ (maritime band) activates the 1,6-4,6 maritime or „trawler“ band, here you will find the tropical band stations of the 90 - 60 m bands and some amateur radio traffic, too.
The button „K“ selects the turret tuner. The number visible in the tiny window will indicate which of the shortwave segments is active, the turret is operated with the band selector knob on the right side of the cabinet. Like in many similar sets from the seventies, you find a broad clearly visible dial pointer - you might find it a bit difficult to determine the exact frequency. A decimal logging scale is missing, but there is the possibility to mark the locations of your favourite stations by the means of little sliding plastic arrows.
The frequency dials will take most of the front panel, on top the dials of the six shortwave ranges (usually covering more then one shortwave broadcasting band, so finding a frequency within one band will be a challenge)are located, below the dials for the FM bands (markers for frequencies and channel numbers), the maritime, medium- and longwave bands. In the middle, a simple signal strength indicator allows you to estimate the signal strength.
Below the frequency dials, you find the separate bass and treble tone controls and the tuning knobs for the shortwave and LW/MW/FM - bands.
At the left of the frequency dials, the speaker grill and the volume control are located. When the set is operated from batteries, the dial lights will illuminate and the signal indicator will show you the battery voltage, when the button is pressed down. Next to this on the right, you find the switch to activate reception in the FM broadcast bands and three tiny potentiometers for FM presets U2 - U4, a coarse dial will tell You the frequency of the chosen FM channel.
Operating the Blaupunkt Supernova is straightforward: Switch on with the IO switch in the right lower corner and press the waveband button. The button „K“ will activate the turret tuner, turn the coil turret to waveband „1“ and tune the set. Somewhere in the left half of the 49m-band - segment, you might recognize the German spoken news from „Deutsche Welle“ from Cologne. When you have identified the station, you can improve the reception by using the „K-Lupe“, the „Shortwave magnifying glass“ is the fine tuning control.
The plus, that the Supernova is tuneable to all shortwave frequencies, is its major drawback at the same time: there is no bandspread dial covering only one single shortwave broadcast band, so finding a station on a known frequency will be quite „challenging“. I prefer the arrangement found on the Grundig Satellit models, you can switch between general coverage and broadcast band bandspread in the shortwave segments. The selectivity of the set is not really convincing, there is no choice of multiple IF bandwidths, no BFO for CW or SSW reception.
In summary, the Blaupunkt Supernova is more a collector's item then a reasonable DXing machine, but its fun using it to listen to the major international shortwave broadcasters or some mediumwave channels due to its pleasant audio. If you're interested in chasing faint shortwave signals from around the world, you would rather look around for a set with digital frequency display, a decent choice of IF filters und SSB capabilities.
A technically very similar set was also sold by Siemens as Turnier Electronic RK 16.
Single conversion, analogue technology, fine tuning on shortwaves, but without calibrated bandspread dials.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.