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Satellit 300

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überarbeitet am 19.10.2010

In 1983, three years after Sony had introduced it's famous ICF-2001 first microprocessor controlled PLL shortwave receiver, Grundig came with it's Satellit 300. The disappointing fact, that Grundig's set was single conversion and suffered from mediocre shortwave performance made this set the most criticised of all Grundig Satellit sets - they should rather have given it a "Yacht Boy" designation.

Grundig Satellit 300

Single Conversion, IF 2 MHz

Digital PLL synthesis,
FM, LW, MW, SW1 (3,9-10,5 MHz), SW2 (10,5-22 MHz).

AM only, VHF FM

Sensitivity AM

S-Meter, digital frequency display 1 kHz, direct keypad frequency entry, scanning modes, clock / timer

As the first Grundig Satellit with a completely new receiver design, the microprocessor controlled Satellit 300 has been presented in 1983. It's inferior performance on the shortwave bands due to the single conversion design, suboptimal coverage and lacking CW / SSB capabilities lead - after severe criticism - to a complete redesign of the set, the Satellit 400 performed in a way, as the Satellit 300 should have done.

Thanks to the change to digital technology, the satellite 300 became a real travel set, it left enough space in the suicase to fit other than radio demands. The set with it's 30,5 x 18 x 7 cm has a weight of 2,15 kg and has an internal mains power supply running from 110-127 or 220-240 V. It can also operated from 6 UM-2 / Baby cells for radio operation and needs another three UM-3 cells to keep the microprocessor, clock and memories alive.

The bandswitches are of pushbutton type and are located at the upper edge of the receiver, it's a little bit odd, that You have to switch manually between shortwave bands 1 (3.9 - 10.5 MHz) and 2 (10.5 - 22 MHz).

The left half of the front panel is taken by the speaker grille, at least the nice audio makes this set a venerable relative within the Grundig Satellite family. In the left lower corner, You find the mains switch also operating the timer functions.
Below the analog S meter, with it's pleasing size, You find the volume, bass and treble controls. For these, slider potentiometers are used, You will encounter malfunctions quite often, as the contacts are not so reliable.
A liquid crystal display will indicate the reception frequency with an accuracy of 1 kHz, the pushbuttons below are used for bandscan, timer and memory functions. Type in SET 6 - 0 - 7 - 5 FREQ for the reception of "Deutsche Welle" from Cologne ind the 49m-band, for this operation, the corresponding shortwave band SW1 has to be activated, otherwise You will find yourself confronted with a flashing display indicating and operator's error. With the keystrokes SET - number key (from 1 - 9) - STORE, You can store frequencies in the receiver's memory in each band, AUTO-TUNING activates a scan in the selected band.
Of course, the Satellit 300 can be tuned manually using the main tuning knob with electronic "flywheel" effect.

Like with most other microprocessor controlled receivers, it may take You a while to get accostumed to the operation scheme of the Satellit 300. There are a few sets with even more challenging procedures, but there are definitely some sets that can be used more intuitively (not all of them, but some come from Sony...). As the Satellit 300 comes without technical gimmicks like an adjustable preselector, a PBT or notch filter, there are not so many possibilities to get it completely wrong.

In summary, the Satellit 300 as the first microprocessor controlled shortwave receiver from Grundig is not a honourable member of the Satellit family. It comes with restricted shortwave coverage, no CW / SSB reception possibilities, no manual RF gain control and substandard shortwave performance due to it's single conversion design.
It's high price was a tribute to very early microprocessor controlled PLL technology but is not longer justified. When You can get a second hand set for a "nice price", You may use this set for pleasant listening to the major international shortwave broadcasters and Your local AM and FM stations, but not for serious DXing. The shortwave reception performance is surpassed by e.g. the Sony 7600D family receivers, they are much smaller, will offer You SSB/CW reception and can be found for around 50 - 150 sFr / 30 - 100 Euros second hand.
The Satellit 300 is a collector's item, it still remains unclear, why this set got a recommendation from the German comsumer's organisation "Warentest", I guess, because of it's German origin. Do not confuse this set with the Satellit 400, a set with approximately the same size and similar outfit, that was the successor of the Satellit 300 and came with complete coverage, SSB capability and double conversion circuitry.

further reading:
d: Die Grundig Satellit - Story, H.-E.Roeder, Siebel-Verlag 1997, ISBN 3-89632-020-3

© Martin Bösch 10.6.2008