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Globetrotter 808 / 8.104A

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Globetrotter 808
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überarbeitet am 21.10.2010

Double conversion, 1.IF 1,2 MHz, 2.IF 2,46 MHz; FM IF 10,7 MHz

Analog dial ca. +/- 20 kHz,


LW, MW, KW 1.6 - 19 MHz, 11 spread broadcast and ham shortwave bands

Selektivity -6 dB/ -60 dB
AM 6.0 / 15 and 7.0 / 18 kHz

AM ca. 4 - 5 uV

RF gain, S meter, antenna tuner

The Nordmende Globetrotter 808 is a portable multiband radio with SSB capability, bandswitching is accomplished by a turret tuner design, the bandspread dials are completely analog.

The set is with it's 4,4 kg and 40 x 24 x 11 cm (a little bit smaller then the Grundig Satellit 2100, to compare it with a set, that was a direct competitor on the market.
On the black and silver - aluminum frontpanel, the red pointers and the light blue dials and dial markings give this set a distinctive aspect.
The bandswitch pushbuttons, the telescopic antenna and the carrying handle are located at the top face of the receiver, the shortwave band selector to operate the turret tuner at the right side - the layout of the controls is similar to other multiband radios of that era so that I had no problems to use the Globetrotter 808 without a user's manual.

The big frequency dial has two parts: one facing to the top of the set and the other part facing at at the front, the long- and mediumwave dials and SW1, the tropical band covering 160 - 75 m and the FM broadcast band dial (Youn find also the VHF channel numbers as found on many German home radios) are extended over the whole width of the dial, the window for the spread shortwaev bands is much smaller and frequency marks within the single shortwave bands are quite coarse, the interval between two marks is 25 kHz so the dial accuracy might be around 5 - 10 kHz.
The main controls are located below the frequency dial: the volume control and on/off switch are combined, as in several other German shortwave radios, the Nordmende Globetrotter comes with separate bass and treble controls and a separate bass speaker and tweeter.
In the middle area, You find at the left of the signal / battery strength meter the switch for PU (amplifier) mode, squelch and AVC active on FM and on the right side the switches for the two AM bandwidths "Wide - Narrow", the "AGC - MGC" switch (the manual RF gain control is active when the switch is set to MGC) and the BFO control. Pull out this switch to activate the beat frequency oscillator for CW and single sideband reception.
The two main tuning knobs are found at the right of the frequency dials, the upper knob tunes FM and long / mediumwaves and the outer ring of the bottom knob tunes within a selected shortwave band, the inner part of the knob controls teh antenna tuning circuit active when the set is connected to an external antenna.

At the top face, next to the two pushbuttons for dial illumination and battery check, You find the pushbuttons for the wavebands and the internal / external antenna switch. The telescopic antenna is constructed similarly to the one found in Grundig Satellit sets, pull out the outer thick part for FM reception and additionally the inner thinnner elements for shortwave reception.
The other half of the main frequency dial is facing upwards, there You find the frequency marks for LW, MW and SW1 (160 - 75 m) a second time, and in addition the SW2 (60 - 31 m) and SW3 (25 - 16 m) frequency bands for continuous coverage of the shortwave range included out of band stations. The dial pointer is quite wide, so it's not very helpful for "frequency guessing" in the shortwave bands.

At the left face of the cabinet, You find the sockets for headphones, external speaker and a tape recorder, all in German DIN standard. On the rear, a switch allows to power the set from 110 or 220 V, You can also operate the receiver from 6 UM1 / D cells or 12 V DC. A small trimmer allows to set the squelch treshold.

The operation scheme of the Globetrotter 808 is not complicated: connect the set to mains or insert the batteries, switch the set on using the volume control and pull out the telescopic antenna. All small switches at the left and right of the metering instrument should be set to the down position, "Radio" mode, AGC on, AM wide. The pushbutton BANDS selects the shortwave band selector at the right side of the cabinet, turn to select the 49 meter band. and try to locate Your favourite stattion's signal. As frequency dial accuracy is poor, You will have to wait for the hourly station identification / news to be sure about the station's identity.

I have not measured the sensitivity, it appears as good enough for the reception of the signals of the major internationl shortwave broadcasters, selectivity with the "AM narrow" filter is good enough to separate two 5 kHz channels. For single sideband reception, pull out the BFO switch and tune for zero beat or optimum readibility, in most occasions, You will have to set the gain control to MGC and carefully turn down the RF gain a bit from maximum to find a good readibility and avoid overloading. Enjoy to listen to some communications between hams in the 80, 40 or 20 m amateur bands.
The set is not well suited for reception of poor tropical band signals, the dial pointer is far too wide to allow properly reading a frequency from the dial. You can use the SW2 and SW3 bands to receive strong out of band stations, but frequency guessing is as difficult as in SW1, the set has no fine tuning or clarifier control, so You have to turn the main tuning knob very carefully.

My set showed a good production quality, the set was quite reliable after many years of use, at least I found less problemss with the frequency band pushbuttons and the AM filter switch then with older Grundig sets.

Zusammenfassend kann gesagt werden, dass der Nordmende Globetrotter 808 für Stationen innerhalb der Rundfunkbänder dank des guten Tons ein schöner Zuhörempfänger ist und auch den Einstieg ins KurzwellenDX erlaubt.
Sicher gibt's weniger Enttäuschungen als mit einem für 25 Euro erworbenen Billigempfänger, der pro Band neben Spiegelfrequenzen nur ein bis zwei Stationen in akzeptabler Qualität hörbar macht.

In summary, the Nordmende Globetrotter 808 is a fine shortwave radio for home use, if You can do without a digital frequency display. It has good reproduction on mediumwaves and FM and is fun to be used for every day casual listening to Your local station with nice audio quality. If You can get one cheap at a ham fest or radio flea market - get it, it's much better to invest 50 bucks in this radio then in a cheap Chinese synthesized set giving You too much electrical noise and spurs...

further reading:
e: model page at
d: Nordmende Globetrotter, Rainer Lichte, Kurzwellenempfänger, Qual der Wahl

© Martin Bösch 26.6.2010