As an alternative to large domestic radios (the ones with the „piano keys“ and the green glowing „magic eye“) and the small transistor radios, designed to be carried with you on trips, portable sets with above average reception qualities have been designed in the sixties.
These „world band radios“ provided not only reception of the domestic broadcasting stations on long and medium waves, or even the FM band, but they also gave access to foreign radio stations in the shortwave bands.
In these years, technical progress allowed the shortwave segment to be spread over several dial segments, which covered only one small part of the shortwave spectrum each, but allowed to read the transmitting frequency of an unknown station to help station identification or even to tune in a desired frequency with adequate accuracy to find a stations's signal, without listening to several interval signals while sweeping the band.
Turret tuners with a rotary drum made small parts of the shortwave spectrum visible in a dial window. In the eighties, as digital frequency counters became affordable, these portable radios became genuine „world receivers“, followed by portable sets with digital PLL synthesis of the desired reception frequency. You could even store frequency information in memory channels without having to order a specific frequency crystal.
|Barlow Wadley portable receivers||Dr. T. L. Wadley, who had developed the famous RA-17 shortwave receiver for Racal, moved to his native country South Africa for his retirement and developed a travel receiver based on the Wadley loop circuit, which was manufactured by the South African company Barlow's Television Co.|
|Blaupunkt portable reseivers||The German radio manufacturer Blaupunkt, which had production facilities in German Hildesheim from 1950 onwards, had only a few multiband world receivers ever produced.|
|Braun portable receivers||The German manufacturer Braun developed a few portable transistor radios, their T1000CD was their only serious world band receiver; it got cult status due to its design by Dieter Rams.|
|Grundig portable receivers||The world band radios from the „Grundig Satellit“ series of the German manufacturer Grundig were the epitome of the shortwave „world receiver“ for over three decades, at least in the German-speaking countries.|
|Portable receivers from ITT - Schaub-Lorenz||ITT Schaub-Lorenz produced several transistor radios in their „Touring“ series, but only a few of them can be considered serious „world receivers“.|
|Japanese World Band Radios||In the 1970s, Japanese manufacturers brought a big number of multiband radios radios, some of them with exotic brand names, to the market as an alternative to the expensive German receivers from Grundig and Nordmende and the American Zenith multi band receivers. These japanese radios were often distinguished by a multitude of features and chrome-glittering controls, but also by poor workmanship, and by omitting essential but expensive components (linear VFO, digital frequency display, high-quality filters), they led to poor reception results for economic reasons. Only a selection of these receivers, some of which have exotic brand names, are listed here; the excellent receivers from the well known brands Sony and Panasonic, which are also Japanese manufacturers, can be found in the corresponding articles.|
|Multiband Receivers from Pan Intl.||In the 1980s, the German importer Pan International offered various multiband receivers from the „Crusader“ series covering VHF ranges. In Germany, reception of these signals was illegal so the sets were sold „for export only“.|
|Panasonic portable radios||The Japanese company Panasonic, part of the industrial group Matsushita, first entered the shortwave receiver market around 1965 with their T-100. With their radios, Panasonic often aimed at the same customer segment as Sony, the partly not all that brilliant reception performance of the sets was compensated by an extraordinary price-performance ratio and good manufacturing quality.|
|Nordmende portable radios||In the sixties, there was a big competition in the field of portable multiband receivers between Grundig and Nordmende's Globetrotter series. Nordmende did not keep up with the transition to sets with digital frequency display and quickly lost its position in the favour of the shortwave listeners.|
|Russian Multiband Radios||In the seventies and eighties, Russian multiband receivers also were sold in Germany and Switzerland - partly via the GDR, the German partner of the COMECON countries. It was considered a possibility to make business with „hard currency“ countries.|
|Sony Portable Receivers||The world receivers of the Japanese company Sony were usually outstanding because of their extraordinary innovation when they were introduced in the late 1970s/80s. The design and technology found in a few of them were copied by other small Japanese brands.|
|Zenith portable receivers||The American company Zenith introduced their model „Transoceanic“ in 1941, a multi-band shortwave travel receiver that preceded a whole series of high-quality world receivers. In the 1970s, Zenith missed the step to the era of digital shortwave receivers and production was discontinued.|