Grundig Yacht Boy 500 / YB-500 Notes


josephrot
 

14 August 2015...

UPDATED: After two weeks spent with a well-maintained previously owned Grundig YB-500...

Was and am surprised that even though the YB-500 seems to be known as a single-conversion receiver, it's actually dual conversion on LW / AM / SW bands -- 455KHz / 45MHz -- and single conversion on FM. Explains its remaining acceptably sensitive, good selectivity, and spurious images do not seem to present particularly nasty problems. Audio quality is a pleasant positive surprise, though not stunning, as the speak is small but with a heavy magnet and rubberized cone edge.

Sometimes wish that it had an external antenna connector, but you can clip connect external SW antenna to a collapsed whip antenna, or use a tuned loop on AM broadcast band. The Tune Up / Down press-button method sometimes "feels" strange, but it too works overall OK, and direct key entry is easy and straightforward..

SSB reception is clear, easy to tune, as are the other FM, LW, AM and SW bands.

Being a little "top heavy", I find using the YB-500 in a plastic stand is a positive. The unit is a good "traveler" as well, and quite suitable for vacation, "field DX" use and camping trips. Battery "thirst" is moderate, and definitely do NOT use a switching AC adapter.

It's size and "heft" likely places it near or outside of the Ultralight category, yet the overall performance and functionality appears to make it a good "hefty Ultralight" choice.

Sometime will compare to the Tecsun PL-660 as a "modern" receiver, yet the humble opinion here is that the YB-500 was and remains a capable all around receiver even today.

Comments and other users findings most welcome and appreciated.

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA



Joe
 

Hi Joe-

Where did you get the information that the YB-500 is single-conversion? I have an article from
Grundig "Radio Boy" with an updated (from 2005) review of the 500 which states it's dual conversion.
If you have other info I'd really like a copy for my files. Thanks in advance.

73, Joe-WA9LAE


josephrot
 

Greets, Joe to Joe...

RE: << Where did you get the information that the YB-500 is single-conversion? I have an article from Grundig "Radio Boy" with an updated (from 2005) review of the 500 which states it's dual conversion. >>

Alas, I never, until now, had access to that particular article.

In the near past, especially when I was researching "do I really want a YB-500 for the collection AND to actively use ?"...every time I located material online, it most often said or mentioned "single conversion", hence I presumed it, and stayed determined to find out for myself later.

Grin, well, I found out.
 
I believe that in many older reports, reviewers appear to have left out a line from the YB-500 Service Manual -- perhaps Owners manual -- on paper or PDF...as the first line states single conversion, meaning for the FM band -- the typical 10.7MHz IF.
 
The SECOND line down was seemingly omitted, that of course stating that the LW / AM / SW is indeed dual-conversion -- again, the typical back then 455KHz + 45MHz dual-conversions.
 
So, sorry if I was confusciobsuraced, but I am cured....:)...


RE: << If you have other info I'd really like a copy for my files. Thanks in advance. >>

My pleasure, nothing stops me or others from distributing the YB-500 Grundig Service Manual (English + German 13 pp.) at about 8.4MB as a PDF, and/or the YB-500 User Manual, 29pp, at about 3.8MB's in the copies I have here.Both PDF's appear complete, very clean and readable.

If needing, please drop me an email to below, and I can reply attach them back, OR, if too large for ones email system, I will throw them up on our web-server and send direct download links.

73...

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA
email: joerotello at windowgroup dot com
Voice: 865-633-9951 (7 AM to 11PM EST Mon through Sun)
Skype: joerotello


Rik
 

I have a question. I know some Yacht Boy model numbers from the 1960's or so where later reused. Are you talking about the modern  vertical format radio made in Asia [I believe] or a much older  European Grundig model? - FARMERIK


josephrot
 

RE: <<  I have a question. I know some Yacht Boy model numbers from the 1960's or so where later reused. Are you talking about the modern  vertical format radio made in Asia [I believe] or a much older  European Grundig model? - FARMERIK >>

Good question...in my "hunt for no-red Octobers" with the YB-500...found out:

Grundig label marked "Yacht Boy 500 9.15056-81 and/or G.RC2051" are the "usual" USA / Euro units produced in Portugal.

During same time period, Italian government proscribed "market frequency restriction", meaning those units sold to Italy would tune slightly different bands, and their units are label marked differently as to radio stocking number.

Appears 90 to 100% of YB-500's were assembled and tested in Portugal, while the later models, like the YB-550, were made in China.

Strangely, the later YB models dropped some of the "nifty and useful" features of the YB-500, although later YB models are indeed a bit more thrifty on battery consumption.

I have seen the later YB-550 / PE...and frankly, the older YB-500's come to the dance better, IMHO.

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA


Joe
 

FB Joe-

Thanks for clarification. I couldn't see Grundig at that time producing such a "glorious"
receiver with so many bells and whistles yet have it only be single conversion.
I wanted to make doubly sure the review itself is correct so I pulled up the schematic
from the service manual. Page 3-2 at the bottom shows both IF's. Looks like the 1st
is 54.5 mHz followed by the mixer which is a crystal osc. (Q401) of 54.05mHz giving the
difference freq. of 450kHz which then goes to a crystal lattice filter SFR 450J. Tough to make
out unless you blow it up. Fortunately, the res. of the schematic is very good.

73, Joe (too)


josephrot
 

Thanks for the thanks. BTW, my wonder hands (speed of light hands but thinking too slow...:)...) transposed the two IF's, they are of course 455KHz / 54.5 MHz range.

All in all, a more impressive little (well, medium) receiver, be it "vertical" or not.

BTW, one intrepid YB-500 user re-worked the Control socket -- the one above DC-IN 9V -- and uses it now as an external antenna, on his for FM... as I do here, for SW external he uses SW uses clip-on to the whip, and AM / LW use a nice performing loop inductively coupled, same as I do here.

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA


policow6@...
 

Radio is reputed to have nice audio for its size but to be a battery eater...actually that's the only negative I've every heard about it. Have you found that?


Jay

http://radiojayallen.com


josephrot
 

RE: Jay << Radio is reputed to have nice audio for its size but to be a battery eater...actually that's the only negative I've every heard about it. Have you found that? >>

The YB-500 / Yacht Boy 500 WILL munch on batteries IF one leaves the BOOST on, that straps the audio pwr out to a max of  about 1W.

BOOST is best used with the 9V transformer / linear AC adapter or when powered by non-small battery sources.

BOOST being "off" isn't too bad in that the audio is thusly limited to about 400-500 mw max, then of course the three AA alkaline batteries have a propensity to last longer...:)...

Perchance of interest...Out in the field, I use a 12v-to-9v regulated cable that I snuck an added 2200uf electrolytic filter and .01 + 7809 into. Works quite nicely.

BTW, the YB-500's 9v DC-In is sensitive, or rather is the audio amp, to any remaining AC adapter hum / ripple, and even if using say a LM317 or similar regulator -- set to 9v out of course -- where the 317 totally eliminates any ripple / hum as it regulates...

... I added a 2200uf @ 25v inside the YB-500 case on the 9v leads, and hum or no hum / ripple, it's the cat's meow, and the YB-500 remains a happy camper, er, I mean receiver.

Pssst!  Jay, you never did review this somewhat surprising and perhaps interesting receiver. No time like the present or shortly thereafter (hint, hint)

Joe Rotello / Knoxville, TN / USA