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Satellit 400 international / professional

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überarbeitet am 19.10.2010

After the disappointing Satellit 300, Grundig's development laboratories worked hard for a successor model with all features omitted in the '300, they presented the Satellit 400 in 1986, it was produced until 1989.
Due to shortwave band restrictions in Germany, reception above 26,1 MHz was considered as illegal for all those not holding an amateur radio license, the set came in two variants: The Satellit 400 professional with a limited shortwave coverage of 1,6 - 26,1 MHz and thus omitting the CB and the 10m amateur band and the unrestricted Satellit 400 international version with a shortwave coverage vom 1,6 - 30 MHz.

Grundig Satellit 400

Double Conversion, IF 54,5 MHz / 450 kHz

Digital PLL synthesis,
FM, LW, MW, SW (1,6 - 26.1 (prof.) / - 30 MHz (intl.Version)).

AM, CW/SSB, VHF FM

Sensitivity AM

Selectivity (-6/-60 dB): 4,6 / 7,2 kHz

S-Meter, digital frequency display 1 kHz, direct keypad frequency entry, 24 memories, scanning modes, clock / timer

The Grundig Satellit 400 came as a completely reengineered successor of the Satellit 300 in the year 1986. In common with it's older brother, You find only the cabinet's dimensions, the weight and the position of the major controls on the front panel - but the circuitry has been completely redesigned, so make sure not to get mixed up with the earlier Satellit 300 when looking for a second hand set.

The set's dimensions of 30,4 x 18 x 7 cm and it's weight of 2,1 kg are identical to the Satellit 300. The set can be powered from mains 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.

At the top edge of the set, You find only a world time chart underneath the carrying handle and the telescopic antenna.

The left half of the front panel is taken by the big speaker grille, this will give You pleasant audio from the set's 6 Watt output power audio amplifier. In the left lower corner, You find the mains switch also operating the timer functions.
Below the analog S meter, calibrated in non-standard 1 - 10 units, You find the volume, bass and treble controls. For these, slider potentiometers are used, You might encounter malfunctions, as the contacts are not so reliable.
A liquid crystal display will indicate the reception frequency with an resolution of 1 kHz, five small pushbuttons below switch the wavebands, the shortwave band extends from 1,6 - 26,1 MHz in the restricted coverage "professional" version and up to 30 MHz in the unrestricted "international" version.
Below, there are the Up- / Down buttons called SEARCH used for tuning the set, the 0 - 9 keys of the direct frequency input keypad, the buttons for timer operation and memory store and recall und the SCAN buttons activating a memory scan facility.
To tune the set, You can either use the main tuning knob at the right hand of the radio (the display indicates HA (manual tuning), the SEARCH buttons activate a scan facility on FM, medium- & longwaves (display indicates AS (auto search) while searching, CH while checking signal level of a found signal) or let You directly jump to the center of a shortwave broadcast band or to the lower limit of a amateur radio band when the set ist switched to shortwave band. You may also directly type in 6 - 0 - 7 - 5 FREQ/m-BAND to directly access a known station's frequency. The set will automatically detect whether You intend to jump to a shortwave band, a frequency in kHz or MHz or an FM frequency, depending on the use of the decimal point.

The Satellit 400 has a capability of storing 24 individual frequencies, all these memories can be used independently from the selectad waveband. To avoid overwriting a memory channel, You check it's contenct pressing the number of the memory channel and the STATION button, the display will indicate the frequency stored or FREE for an empty memory channel. For storing a frequency in the memory, key in the number of the memory channel and STORE, the receiver will verify the operation with STAT. and display of the memory channel. To recall a frequency in the memory use the command "Channel No." and STATION, to erase a memory, You can use "Channel No." and FREE. The "< SCAN >" keys will allow You to jump directly from one memory channel to the next one.

For SSB/CW reception press the small button underneath the BFO control at the right edge of the receiver, use to BFO for fine tuning of the BFO pitch for CW reception or until the Mickey Mouse voice will become intelligible.
On the right hand of the cabinet, You find also a coaxial 75 ohms antenna socket, (German standard DIN 45425), when an antenna is switched in, the telescopic antenna will be disconnected. The matching plugs might be hard to find, the plugs of German community antenna systems as found in German blocks of flats will do the match.

In summary, the microprocessor controlled Satellit 400 is what You had expected from the Satellit 300, a slightly bulky portable shortwave receiver offering reliable performance, good rejection of unwanted intermodulation products and spurious signals due to it's double conversion design, and the great audio You expect from a shortwave receiver from Grundig's Satellit series. The set is not so common on the used market, it might be easier but more expensive to find a Satellit 700 offering You automated synchroneous detection and a RDS station identification active on FM.

further reading:
d: Die Grundig Satellit - Story, H.-E.Roeder, Siebel-Verlag 1997, ISBN 3-89632-020-3
d: Testbericht Grundig Satellit 400, GŁnther Schellhorn, wwh 4/1986

© Martin Bösch 10.6.2008