Manufactured by Grundig, Fürth.
After the presentation of the not very convincing Satellit 300 (it was considered to be the worst set in the Grundig Satellit family), Grundig's developers worked hard to present a successor with all the features that the 300 had lacked. The Satellit 400 was launched in 1986 and was produced until 1989.
Due to German telecommunications regulations, the Grundig Satellit 400 Professional version was produced for the German market with a shortwave range limited to 26.1 MHz; elsewhere, the Satellit 400 International, covering shortwaves up to 30 MHz, was sold.
The Grundig Satellit 400 was launched in 1986 as the technically completely revised successor to the Satellit 300. The only things it has in common with its predecessor are the dimensions of the cabinet, the weight and the position of the most important controls - the circuitry has been completely overhauled, so it is essential to know about this difference when buying a second-hand set.
The dimensions of the Satellit 400, 30.4 x 18 x 7 cm and a weight of 2.1 kg, are identical to those of the predecessor. The receiver can be operated from 110-127 or 220-240 V AC mains voltage or from six UM-2 baby cells; three additional UM-3 AA cells are needed to retain the memory contents after switching off and to keep the clock running.
On the top face of the unit is a world time - conversion chart, the carrying handle and the telescopic antenna. The left half of the front panel is taken by the large speaker grill. Thanks to this and the generously dimensioned 6 W audio amplifier, the receiver has the excellent audio reproduction characteristics typically found in Grundig Satellit sets. The main switch is located in the lower left corner of the front panel, it also activates the timer.
Below the S-meter, which has a 0 - 10 dial and is not calibrated in S-steps according to international practice, are the slider controls for volume, bass and treble control. These sliders are susceptible to dirt and corrosion.
An LCD display indicates the frequency with an accuracy of 1 kHz, five small buttons let you select the frequency band. It should be noted that the shortwave range covers 1.6-26.1 MHz in the Professional version and goes up to 30 MHz in the unrestricted International version.
Directly below are the UP/DOWN buttons „SEARCH“ to tune the set, the number buttons for direct frequency entry, the buttons for the timer and memory functions, and the SCAN buttons to scanning the frequencies in the memory.
To tune the receiver , use the large tuning knob on the right face of the set (the display shows HA for manual tuning), SEARCH activates a station search on VHF and also long & mediumwaves (the display then shows AS for „Auto Search“), you can jump directly to the centre of a broadcast band or the lower limit of an amateur radio band with the M-BAND key. The input „6 1 5 5 FREQ/m-BAND“ makes the receiver jump directly to the known frequency of a station. Based on the input and the position of the decimal point, the satellite recognises whether it is a shortwave, mediumwave or FM frequency.
The satellite 400 has 24 memories that can be filled with stations from the entire frequency range. To prevent accidental overwriting of a memory channel, its contents can be checked by first pressing the channel number followed by the STATION key; the display shows the stored frequency or FREE in the case of an unoccupied memory channel. To store a frequency, key in the memory number followed by STORE, the receiver will respond with STAT. followed by the memory number. To recall a stored frequency, entering the memory channel number followed by STATION is the correct way, to delete a channel, the channel number followed by FREE is entered, but usually the memory contents will simply be overwritten. With the „< SCAN >“ keys, the receiver jumps from one stored frequency to the next.
For SSB reception, the small button below the BFO control on the right face of the unit must be pressed, the BFO knob is used to adjust the pitch of the CW signal or, in the case of an SSB transmission, to regulate it until the Mickey Mouse language becomes intelligible, the pitch regulation is particularly demanding in the case of a musical performance…
The coaxial 75 Ohm antenna connector is also located on the right face of the unit, and the internal telescopic antenna is switched off when the antenna is plugged in. Outside Germany, the corresponding plugs might be hard to find, usually the connection cables fit radio/TV communal antenna systems.
In summary, the microprocessor-controlled Satellit 400 fulfils all the expectations that the listening community would have had of the Satellit 300. The robustly built shortwave receiver is a bit bulky for travelling, but thanks to its double conversion design it allows reliable shortwave reception and keeps unwanted mirror signals away. The high quality audio reproduction is characteristic for the sets of the Satellit series.
The Satellit 400 is rarely found on the used market. Sometimes it is worth investing a little more in a Satellit 700, which is more often found second-hand and also features automatic synchronous detection (ECSS) and RDS station identification in the FM broadcast band.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.