Nordmende Globetraveler III. Review.
The Nordmende Globetraveller III was a high quality radio made in the late ’60s/ early ’70s.
It receives LW/MW and FM, as well as 11 shortwave broadcast bands as follows:
- (1.5 – 3.5 MHz Counted as an MF band. Nordmende calls it the “MB” band)
- 3.65- 3.85 MHz
- 4.5 – 4.65 MHz
- 4.85 – 5.1 MHz
- 5.9-6.25 MHz
- 7.0 – 7.4 MHz
- 9.4 – 9.85 MHz
- 11.5 – 12.5 MHz
- 13.85 – 14.35 MHz
- 14.9 – 15.6 MHz
- 17.5 – 18.25 MHz
- 21 – 22 MHz MHz
The set has Volume, Bass and Treble controls. Push button controls select AM/MW, LW, MB (90Metre broadcast), FM , Selectivity and AFC. The shortwave bands are selected via a rotary switch. The set has a tuning indicator.
The set is Mains/Battery and requires 5 “D” Cells. It has a large 2 stage telescopic
antenna. I don’t know the transisor line-up, but it seems to use Siemens ACxxx – gemanium transistors.
It has two speakers – a high frequency and mid-range. It is a very nice looking radio in a veneered wooden case with attractive front panel.
Technically, the set is almost 3 sets in one cabinet. The LW/MW/MB tuner is separate from the shortwave bandspread tuner, and of course, the FM section is separate. This is all very well – but it does mean that there are 3 sets of dials to string and calibrate, making the set mechanically complicated.
In the set presented to me for repair, the LW/MW/Mb tuning capacitor and the SW tuning capacitor had completely seized, requiring penetrating oil and patient, gentle pressure to get them moving again. I don’t know what causes this, I have seen it on a number of radios.
The SW dial cord had snapped, but the spring was loose inside the set. The SW guide cord had also snapped. I used the stringing diagram for the Globetraveller IV as a guide, but found re-stringing the SW dial to be very difficult indeed. (Giving up is not an option!).
The contacts on the push-button and SW wafers required cleaning and exercise.The cabinet had been exposed to the sun, and the veneer was bleached in places. I polished the cabinet with “Fiddes” polish – but it will need a few applications to get it back.
The set works well on shortwave using its built-in telescopic antenna.
The only problems I had were a small amount of drift on shortwave and the concentric arrangement of wavechange and tuning for the shortwave bands. The wavechange knob gets in the way of the tuning control. Its too late now by about 50 years to suggest to Nordmende that the tuning should have been on top and the wavechange on the bottom. Oh -well.
The bass and treble controls are very good and can render shortwave stations more readable. As I write this, I have been listening to Radio Tehran on the 31 metre band.
The set is designed for an imaginary globe traveller like the “Zenith Transoceanics” and perhaps the “Barlow-Wadley”. They belong to the age of steam-ships and luxury travel. You really would not want to stow these over your head in a modern jetliner. You would probably be arrested. Even the SONY ICF 7600 is a trifle large. The “Globetraveler III” is quite a bit heavier than a laptop computer – on which you can receive thousands of Internet radio stations.
Even that laptop is a bit outdated now that we have tiny smart phones capable of just about everything (including getting you irrecoverably lost with their ambiguous GPS directions). I think you can still buy travel radios. They are in among the plug adaptors, cheap shavers, locks and other stuff sold at airports and some travel shops. I wonder how well they work. (Pretty badly, according to reviews I have read.)
Sadly, now I have got it working again, I have to return it to its owner.