Grundig Satellit 700
Manufactured by Grundig, Fürth.
After the bulky shortwave receivers from the Grundig Satellit series in the „battleship format“,Grundig presented a set in 1989 that had a size like the „small“ Satellit 400, but whose performance was superior. This receiver, called Satellit 500, was a double conversion superhet with SSB reception, it had the possibility to store the station name alphanumerically. The integrated „ROM table“ in which 156 frequencies of major European shortwave broadcasters were stored unchangeably and could thus be easily recalled - this feature was criticised by some and admired by others. In 1992, this set was replaced by Grundigs new top-of-the-range receiver, the Satellit 700. It still had a redimensioned ROM table, but in addition, a total of 2048 frequencies could be stored on up to three plug-in EEPROMs; even prepared memo files with current frequencies already stored were available.
- 304 x 178 x 66 mm, weight 1.8 kg
The last Grundig Satellit has almost the same dimensions as the first receiver of the Satellit family, but so many electronics were packed into the 30.4 x 17.8 x 6.6 cm cabinet that the Satellit 700's capabilities far outshine what was possible with the 1964 portable radio. With its size, similar to the Satellit 400 and the Satellit 500, and its weight of 2 kg, the Satellit 700 is a travel receiver, which can be carried along on a weekend by its handle, but whose performance comes close to that of a tabletop receiver.
The front panel is divided, the left half is occupied by the loudspeaker grill. In the right half, the LCD display panel, which was referred to as the LCD Data Monitor in the instructions, is located at the top, providing information on almost every setting, below the keypads for mode selection, clock/timer functions and, on the right, the numeric keypad for direct frequency entry and memory recall.
In the LCD display, the large alphanumeric display line at the top is used to display station names, these can be programmed alphanumerically (on the AM bands) or decoded from the RDS signals in FM mode, and the clock functions. The current time or world time can be read from a display field underneath, even when the unit is switched off and in parallel to the operation frequency during reception. At the bottom, the LCD bar S-meter, which has a non-standard 0 - 5 division typical for Grundig and alternatively acts as battery voltage indicator, is located. To the right, smaller than the station name, the frequency is displayed, with an accuracy of 100 Hz, the shortwave m-band, and symbols side indicate the selected sideband in SSB and SYNC reception and the locking of the synchronous detector. Small symbols indicate the narrow and wide IF filter and further symbols that an external antenna or manual RF gain control is activated.
On the right face of the set is the tuning knob, which can be used to tune in steps of 1 kHz on shortwave in AM mode, in SSB and AM sync mode in steps of 100 Hz; when switching back to AM mode, the Satellit 700 jumps back to the next whole kHz. The tuning knob is magnetically locked and clicks with each step during tuning. With a knurled screw slightly below it, the frequency can be ajusted between two 100 kHz points for radio teletype reception. Further down is the rotary control for switching from automatic to manual RF gain control. At the top of the right face you find the external antenna connector, below it two small switches for switching between telescopic and external antenna and for the attenuator.
On the left face, the separate controls for treble, bass and volume are located, below them the lock switch that blocks all keyboard functions, including the main switch, and activates the illumination of the LCD display panel when pressed. The connectors for the external power supply, headphones and two line-out output jacks - after all, the set plays in stereo on FM - are also located here. On the rear side, only a fold-out stand and the battery compartment cover are located, and thus no operating elements or connections.
The Satellit 700 is switched on with the white ON/OFF button in the left-hand upper corner of the keypad, and the FM or AM button next to it is used to select the operation mode. Now a frequency can be entered with the large black numeric keys and called up by pressing the FREQUENCY key, the corresponding two-digit entry (e.g. 2 5) calls up the 25m broadcast band, if the MEMORY FILE key is pressed instead after the numeric entry, the corresponding memory content is called up. From the recalled frequency, the tuning knob can be used to continue tuning.
Grundig has solved the problem of memory management in a special way: 96 main frequencies of 12 international foreign shortwave services are stored unchangeably in a ROM table, by entering „0 .“ you enter this Operation mode and must now enter the code of the corresponding station, „0 . 1“ calls up Deutsche Welle, for example, „DW . . D“ is shown in the display and the receiver is tuned to the first stored frequency. By pressing MEMO-AF, you can jump to the next stored frequency until the German programme can be heard (in contrast to the Sony SW-77, the transmission times cannot also be stored on the Sat 700).
Pressing „1 .“ takes you to the normal storage mode. 64 stations can be stored and alphanumerically labelled with the A-Z key and the tuning wheel; up to 8 frequencies can now be stored in each of these station memories. When a station is called up by entering the memory number and MEMORY-FILE, it is tuned to the first stored frequency; the alternative frequencies can be called up with MEMO-AF. Thus, a maximum of 64 x 8 frequencies can be stored, at least in a memory file. The Satellite 700 can be expanded with EEPROMS, the 8-legged integrated circuits are inserted behind a flap on the lower side of the front panel and hold a further 512 frequencies each, with 3 retrofitted EEPROMS you will end with more then 2000 frequency memory channels. If the set is equipped with optional memory files - the memory sets can also get an alphanumeric label - you can switch to the second memory file by pressing „2 .
For reception in the short-wave range, the long telescopic antenna or a switchable external antenna connected to the non-standard 70 Ohm coaxial socket can be used. In AM mode, the frequency is set to within 1 kHz; in synchronous detector mode, the tuning step is 100 Hz. Thanks to the synchronous detector, a weak signal subject to strong fading and disturbed by an adjacent channel signal can be made audible. It is activated by pressing the SYNC button. Similar to the Sony ICF-2001D, you don't have to tune up or down from the frequency to select the less disturbed of the two bands, the status of the sync detector is shown in the LCD display. Thanks to the synchronous detector and the switchable IF bandwidth, signals can be made audible even under more difficult conditions in densely occupied bands. To optimise intelligibility in difficult situations, the RF gain can be adjusted manually, especially for single-sideband reception. By pressing the MONO button for a longer time in AM mode, the electronically tracking preselector can be adjusted manually with the main tuning knob and the signal can be peaked.
The Satellit 700 continues the tradition of an above-average FM tuner to complement the world band receiver. The smallest tuning steps here are 25 kHz, the station name is automatically displayed when an RDS-capable station is tuned, so you can quickly check the conditions in the FM range at your holiday destination. By pressing the RDS-AF button, alternative frequency information transmitted by the station can be called up and parallel frequencies can be checked.
In practical use, the satellite is a just about portable world band receiver with above-average performance in the AM ranges and an excellent RDS-capable FM tuner. Sensitivity is not outstanding even with an outdoor antenna, and the Satellit does not cope as well with very weak signals in the high frequency bands as the even more sensitive Sony ICF-2001D. With the two selectable IF bandwidths, ceramic filters are used, the 5 kHz separation is sufficient, the synchronous detector contibuted little to improve intelligibility in my tests.
Although the catalogue price of the Satellit 700 is almost as high as that of a used amateur radio receiver, the set lacks the usual signal processing options of these sets, such as passband tuning, adjustable AGC constant or even a notch filter, but makes up for these disadvantages with its well-dimensioned AF stage, the built-in loudspeaker and, above all, the FM tuner, with the memory capacity and the timer functions. On shortwaves, the performance is inferior to that of tabletop receivers such as Yaesu's FRG-100 or the sets from AOR or JRC. In my opinion, the Sony ICF-2001D portable receiver, which is in the same price range and format, a direct comparison always has a small advance in terms of performance in the shortwave ranges.
Double conversion, PLL synthesiser
The set is equipped with semiconductors.
The Satellit 700 is the last „real“ world band receiver from Grundig; as successor the Satellit 900 was developed and pre-production units were shown at the Funkausstellung 1995; after some friction the world band receiver production was stopped by Grundig before series production of the Satellit 900 was initiated.
Follow-up „Satellit“ sets with numbers higher than 700 were developed and distributed by Grundig USA; due to trademark issues, they were sold in Europe as Lextronix or Eton - technically, they have nothing in common with the classic sets from Grundig.