Nordmende Globetrotter 808
Manufactured by Nordmende, Bremen; chassis 8.104A.
The Globetrotter 808 was the last „big“ shortwave receiver from Nordmende, the conventionally built set has a turret tuner with spread shortwave bands.
- 400 x 250 x 120 mm, weight 4.4 kg
The Globetrotter 808 is a SSB-capable portable receiver made in Germany that uses a turret tuner to receive 11 spread shortwave radio bands, but still with analogue frequency readout.
The 4.4 kg portable set measures 40 x 24 x 11 cm (wxhxt) and is somewhat smaller than, for example, the Grundig Satellit 2100, to which it was a competitor. In addition to the black and aluminium-coloured front panel elements, the red dial pointers and especially the light blue dial markings add unusual colour accents to the shack. Similar to the older Grundig „Satellit“ receivers, the sturdy carrying handle, the push-button unit with the band switches and the telescopic antenna are located at the top face, and the switch of the turret tuner on the right face. Even without an instruction manual, I found my way around the Globetrotter 808 almost „blind“ right away.
The large frequency dial is arranged across the front upper corner and occupies the upper third of the front panel and half of the top face of the set. Facing to the front, the horizontal dials of the LW, MW and 160 - 75m ranges, the FM broadcast band dial with the frequency indicated in MHz as well as with old German FM channel numbers are located. Below this, in a small window, you find the dial of the spread shortwave band selected with a rotary switch on the right face of the set; frequency marks every 25 kHz allow the user to search for a specific frequency in the spread shortwave bands.
Below the frequency dial are the most important controls: the volume control is combined with the power switch, next to it are - typically for shortwave receivers of German production - the separate treble and bass tone controls. Similar to the Grundig Satellit sets, the Globetrotter 808 also has separate bass and treble speakers and has a correspondingly powerful audio.
In the middle field are the switches for radio/TB (the receiver can also be used as an LF amplifier), the squelch function and AFC for FM broadcast band, and the non-calibrated S-meter, which also provides information about the battery or battery charge status. To the right of it is the bandwidth switch „wide - narrow“, the switch for automatic or manual control of the HF gain, in position MGC (manual gain control) the MGC control next to it is active. To the right of this is the BFO control, the BFO is activated by a pull switch and allows amateur reception in SSB.
The tuning knobs are located to the right of the frequency dials, each one designed as a double knob. On the upper knob, the outer ring operates the FM broadcast band tuning and the inner ring the tuning in the LW/MW and unspread SW ranges. The outer ring of the lower knob is used for tuning in the spread shortwave ranges selected with the turret tuner, the inner ring for the antenna trimmer, which becomes active when an external wire antenna is connected.
On the top face of the unit, the push-buttons for the dial illumination and the battery test function are located, both of them are needed only when the unit is operating on battery power. Next to it are the push-buttons to select the wavebands and for switching the external or ferrite antenna. The telescopic antenna has two parts, similar to the Grundig satellite. For shortwave reception, the thinner elements can be pulled out of the thicker, shorter antenna for FM broadcast band reception.
On the upper side of the set, the horizontal dials for LW and MW and the unspread shortwave ranges 1 (maritime communications band, 160 - 75m), SW2 (60 m - 31m) and SW 3 (25m - 16 m) can be read. The dial pointer in these ranges is extremely wide, although clearly visible, but the higher frequencies, the pointer covers up half of the entire radio band, so that frequency reading becomes a guessing game. On the left face of the radio, you find the sockets for headphones, external speaker and tape, all in DIN standard, on the right face the antenna sockets. On the back of the set, the 110 / 220 V mains voltage selector, the battery compartment for 6 UM-1 mono cells (it is noticeable that the receiver also has a 12 V socket and can thus be operated from many different voltages) and a compartment for stowing the mains cable. A small trimmer on the back of the radio is used to adjust the FM squelch.
Operating the Globetrotter 808 is simple: To receive Radio Austria Intl. on 6155 kHz, the set is switched on with the volume control knob and the antenna is „extended“. The TB switch must be set to radio, the toggle switches on the front panel all down resp. to AM-wide and AGC. The push-button BANDS activates the turret tuner with the spread shortwave bands, use the rotary switch on the right face to select the 49 m band and search for the strong signal from Vienna near the next 25-kHz mark. Since the frequency display is rather imprecise, you have to wait for a spoken station identification.
The sensitivity seems to me to be quite good on the spread international broadcast bands, the selectivity in the AM-small position at least sufficient for AM reception. For single sideband reception, the BFO must be activated by pulling out the knob, set the toggle switch to MGC (manual control of the RF gain) and carefully adjust the RF gain by hand with the MGC control, the stability is sufficient to follow a transmission in SSB mode, even stronger radio amateurs can be heard.
Tuning the receiver outside the spread shortwave bands is problematic. Especially the tropical band reception in the 90- or 60m- band is extremely challenging with the coarse dial, with the wide dial pointer it is only possible to estimate whether one is listening in the upper or lower section of a band. Due to the limits of the spread bands, out of band signals cannot be tuned in satisfactorily. A clarifier or fine tuner would be helpful in these areas for optimal tuning of a station once it has been found.
The technical workmanship on this German-made set is quite good. In particular, the push-buttons and turret tuner contacts on my set still work well (without excessive corrosion), and the extremely critical contacts of the IF bandwidth switch are apparently electrically less problematic than those on Grundig's Satellit 2000 and 3000 series or even the older Panasonic sets, thanks to the toggle switches used.
In summary, the Nordmende Globetrotter 808 is a nice receiver for casual listening to stations within the broadcast bands, and also for the first steps into shortwave DX.
Single or Double conversion heterodyne, spread shortwave bands.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.