Satellit 500 international / professional
überarbeitet am 19.10.2010
As the successor of the Satellit 400, Grundig presented it's Satellit 500 in
1989, it was produced until 1991.
The Grundig Satellit 500 is based on the Satellit 400 but has been extensively reengineered. It's still a double conversion set featuring a wide range of static memory, scanning and timer operations, it has a completely redesigned LCD display with alphanumeric display of station's names and in the German (i.e. Professional) version a ROM table with 156 frequencies of 40 international shortwave broadcasters permanently stored in a read-only memory segment.
The set's dimensions of 30,4 x 17,8 x 6,6 cm and it's weight of 1,8 kg are similar to the ones of the set's predecessors Satellit 300 / 400. The Satellit 500 can be powered from 4 UM-1 / Mono cells for radio operation, an internal automatically recharged Li-accumulatos keeps the microprocessor, clock and memories alive. The set can be run from NiCd accumulators, these are automatically recharged when the switch in the battery compartment is set to accumulator operation (ACCU) and the set is connected to mains power. The radio can also be powered from 9 - 12 V DC (center positive connector) from an external source or from the external mains power supply NR-90.
At the top edge of the set, You find only a world time chart underneath the carrying handle and the telescopic antenna.
At the left hand of the set, You will find vertical rotary controls for bass and treble, the volume and the electronic lock function of the set, these controls are a great improvement over the slider controls suffering from contact problems found on the older models.
The left half of the front panel is taken by the big speaker grille, this will
give You pleasant audio from the set's 1,5 Watt (for music max. 3 W) audio amplifier.
13 keys are used to switch the set on, to set it in AM or FM mode (FM in VHF band only),
they activate mono or stereo reception on the FM band, the wide or narrow bandwidth filter
and the synchroneous detection / USB / LSB reception. The MEMORY SCAN keys let You
run through the stored frequencies, the SEARCH key will activate a search to the
following signal with an adequate signal strength up or down the dial.
The easiest way to tune the set to a known frequency is to use the direct frequency keypad entry, e.g. type in 6 - 1 - 5 - 5 - FREQUENCY to listen the Austrian Radio on 6155 kHz. You can also use the main tuning knob at the right side of the receiver. The narrow/wide switch lets You select the narrow IF bandwidth in crowded conditions on the shortwave bands, when a nearby station is interfering. You might also try synchroneous detection to retune the receivers passband for about +/- 2,5 kHz to avoid an interfering carrier, or switch to single sideband band and select the sideband with less interference manually using the USB / LSB buttons. The Satellit 500 does not feature automated ECSS reception. There is a less often documented option to improve reception: pressing the mono button and using the main tuning knob allows You to detune the automatic preselection of the set, as soon as You release the mono button and turn the main tuning control, You will find the set switched back to automatic tracking preselection. You can control the RF gain manually using the MGC control (manual gain control) at the right edge of the set.
Try to connect an external antenna in difficult conditions, there is a switch below the coaxial (German DIN45325 standard a bit unusual outside Europe) connector. When using a long external antenna, You might use the attenuator active in the LOCAL setting of the SENS DX/LOC switch.
The German version Satellit 500 Professional comes with the ROM table activated. In an otherwise unused segment of the processors memory, Grundig has frequencies from 40 shortwave broadcasters permanently stored in the ROM memory. To access these permanently stored frequencies use the MEMORY recall button on channels with a leading zero. E.g. 0 - 1 - MEMORY will give You access to Deutsche Welle channels, 0 - 2 - 7 to the BBC London channels. You can switch between the stations using the MEMORY SCAN buttons and select from a number of different frequencies from each broadcaster using the SEARCH button. So press 0 - 1 - 7 - MEMORY for Radio RSA and cycle through the stored channels of Radio South Africa 5980 / 11900 / 15240 kHz using the SEARCH button. As in the last 25 years very many of the internal shortwave broadcasters have left the bands, this feature is not useful anymore today, but it will remind You those old times listening to Radio RSA or Radio Berlin International on 6115 kHz (GDR still existed in 1989, when the set was introduced, believe me...)
There is a undocumented option with the so-called "Test-Mode". When the set is
switched off, press the buttons 0 - 5 - 0 - 2 - 5 - 1 - STORE and the Satellit
500 will display the Version (PROF / ITAL / INT), press SELECT for example to activate
all segments of the LCD display or STORE to display the diodes present, these diodes
determine the Version of the set.
In summary, the microprocessor controlled Satellit 500 is a slightly bulky portable shortwave receiver offering You very very much of what You would expect from a decent shortwave portable. It's performance is very reliable, You find a good rejection of unwanted intermodulation products and spurious signals due to it's double conversion design, and the great audio. The set is not really common but can be found on the used market, usually a bit cheaper then the Satellit 700 offering You automated synchroneous detection and a RDS station identification active on FM.
© Martin Bösch 15.6.2008