Design Classic: Grundig Ocean Boy 210 Radio

Design Classic: Grundig Ocean Boy 210 Radio

One of the big news stories of this week has been the fact that Norway has become the first nation to switch off their FM radio transmissions, or they’re in the process of it. Now if you are watching this video a few years down the line, you’re thinking “That’s old news!” Well, I am recording this on the 13th of January 2017. So I’m talking about this week’s news at the time I am recording. Now, in the UK, there is an idea that this is going to happen, it’s not just Norway. In 2008, they predicted it would be switched off by 2017. Well, here we are and it isn’t. Although there is a new date being predicted for 2022. Now, a while ago, I did a video featuring an FM radio tuner. And here’s a real question I got under that video, somebody asked me: “What will you do when the FM signal is switched off?” Wha… what am I gonna do…? Yeah, puzzling one… Anyway, let’s move on. I want to show you something. I bought the best radio I have ever seen the other year, and I think it’s a good time to demonstrate it to you while we’ve still got FM radio broadcasts that we can receive. [radio music playing…] This is the Grundig Ocean Boy 210.
This was brought out in 1970. And it’s just a stunning looking piece of equipment.
I know people have different tastes and things, and if you see my other videos, you might now I love things festooned with buttons with a silver finish. I mean this thing really just ticks all the boxes for me. It’s a massive thing as well. It weighs quite a bit. I mean a really substantial radio. Now this thing came out in 1970, as I mentioned. Just think, that was perhaps 20 years after most people got their televisions installed, or maybe 15 years. So the people that bought this, who were like 40 years old at the time, they grew up with a period of just listening to entertainment on the radio. They took radios very seriously. It’s equivalent with me now buying an OLED TV, perhaps. So if you got a radio in 1970, you were sort of middle-aged or something, you took it seriously, you got a proper radio and this is what you got– –if you could afford it. I don’t know what it cost back then. Now this does FM and AM and shortwave, as well. It’s got four shortwave bands on there. If we open the back of this, I’ll just show you what’s in here. Now while I’m showing you this, I just mention that Grundig did have a range of these Boy radios. They first came out with the Grundig Boy, and then there was a Grundig Yacht Boy and a Music Boy, Concert Boy, there were quite a few of them. It kind of makes you wonder if the Game Boy got its name from there, but apparently I don’t think it did. The Game Boy came from the Walkman in a way, sort of playing on that name. And the Walkman came from the Pressman, which…maybe that got its name from the Grundig range I’m not too sure. Doubt it to be honest. Anyway enough blathering. You can see on the back there we had some various inputs and outputs, which would enable you to use it as a center part of a hi-fi in a way. You could record off this to tape, or have a record player play through the speaker on this. It’s got a five foot aerial on here, which is perhaps the longest aerial I’ve ever had on a radio. Which will of course help you pick up the reception. It’s got great reception, even if you just move it up a couple of inches. And brilliant quality sound as well. Grundigs are renowned for having a lovely, rich, good quality sound. And this radio is no exception. [radio music playing…] So, as you can see, we’ve got eight presets on this, and that’s more than I’ve seen on any other radio from this period. I think it’s quite sophisticated. Also, the fact is, I’ve got eight things I can listen to there. Whenever I’ve plugged in a radio in before, I pick up a couple of stations at best. With this thing, I’m getting more than I can fit on the presets. Now if you want to move across to the tuner on the right, you can do that, as you can see here. We’ve also got a little tuning needle indicator on the left there, to show us the strength of the signal we’re receiving . This is a pretty high end piece of kit. Notice the light lights up the tuner on the right when using the manual tuner, but lights up the switches when you’re using those. But the thing that fascinated me most about this radio is the preset buttons. The way you set them. Each one of them has a tiny little radio tuner behind that window there, with its own individual needle, that you twist using the button, and once you’ve got it set in position, that is the preset then for that button. I mean, what a complicated way to do things. Look, every single button has got its own tiny little radio tuner. Now with this radio being a ‘serious’ radio from the period, it does have four shortwave bands on it. Unfortunately though, I think due to the amount of interference in my house from Wi-Fi, electrical, all those kinds of things I’m unable to pick an awful lot up from there. However, if you do manage to find something, you then identify where it is, and twist that little knob there just to fine tune it, and then once you’ve found it, drag one of these little things up by the side of it so you know where it is for future reference. Now this process of manually tuning a dial and picking up faint signals, hearing voices from abroad, really took me back to childhood. I remember vividly now, being perhaps about six years old, getting my first little radio, and it only cost about £7, but it was the greatest thing ever. I used to listen to it under the covers in the bed. Pick up the comedies on Radio 2 and Radio 4, stay up much later than I should have done, but I think that’s where I got my sense of humor from, picking it up from those radio shows, for things that were obviously for people quite a lot older than me. And then later on when I got into my teens of course, radio played a big part in that. I used to listen late at night to the specialist shows, and I got a taste for rap and hip-hop, which hasn’t left me to this day. Radio really has given me a lot over the years. [radio music plays…] Anyway, enough reminiscing. This has been the Ocean Boy 210, and for me this is a design classic. Now, back to that question I got earlier on. What will I do when the FM signal is switched off? I’ve got it! I’m going to switch off my FM radio. There ya go, that was the answer. Took a while getting there didn’t it? Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this video, and as always, thanks for watching. Dad, when did you get your first television? This chap here thinks you should have got it in 1950. Oh no, we were poor in our family, we got it put in, in 1962. But there was nothing to watch, so we just used it as a shelf, to put photo frames on. That sounds just like when a new console comes out, and you use it to watch YouTube. Of course back then, the repair chap had to come round every few months to replace the valves Sounds like a firmware update. And then you had to pay the TV licence fee! Xbox Live. And then when they figured out that people couldn’t stop watching soap operas, they just kept making more! Just like Call of Duty. Yeah, it was a different time! You kids today just wouldn’t understand. Anyway, what did you think of this one? Yeah, it seemed a bit forced. Yeah, the writing definitely wasn’t up to much. It was all a bit lackluster. Yeah! Even the last line wasn’t funny! Yep! Just like this one.

100 thoughts on “Design Classic: Grundig Ocean Boy 210 Radio

  1. they will come out with a digital to fm converter for said devices and me or you or they whichever one produce this will become rich lol

  2. If FM is switched of I'll take a car FM transmitter and open my own home transmitting station. Or I order a FM transmitter (low level) kit from china for $ 1.50 including shipping and do the same like mentioned before.
    I have too much AM and FM vintage radios to let them die by the law.

  3. At 5 minutes 14s. Grandad had the silver HIRA (14). Remember it used a 9v battery and there it is in the argos page wording. PP3. Mentions carry case. It did, a cheap leather look cover with a few poppers on the back. Used it at school in later 1980's. Gone now. Not seen since then. This Grundig is posh. good video.

  4. This is where there’s a huge disconnect between the UK and the US. We don’t have any radio “entertainment” beyond National Public Radio shows like Prairie Home Companion; no game shows, dramas etc. It’s all news, talk or music. But I don’t think anyone I know really listens to FM anymore with the exception of NPR. I pretty much stream services like Pandora, Spotify etc. For “radio” I use an app like TuneIN

  5. Not sure switching off Analogue FM is viable yet or ever honestly
    my car has HD radio (in the states it's the digital standard) and it constantly switches between HD and analogue, if they switch it off, then most of my driving would be 2 seconds of digital and 8 of silence.

  6. 4:12 That's basically how TV presets used to work as well, isn't it? Each preset had its own little dial-operated tuner. Obviously they didn't (usually?) have relatively large dials and a backlit frequency display though…

  7. I own an "ITT Schaub-Lorenz Polo automatic 105"-Radio from 1974. It's a bit smaler I think, but it also has GREAT sound! It is completely original and in very good condition (not even the potentiometers are scratching! That's real quality!). The only "thing" is, that it only receives FM-stations from 87,5-104 MHz, not 104-108 MHz, so a few stations are "out of range"…

    It also does a good job as "mobile speaker" on batteries, powered via "Linex FM-Transmitter" by smartphone 😉

    Hope they will not switch off FM-broadcast in the near future, they shoud better switch off this horrible "tiny-sounding" on-air-sound-processing (especially here in Germany…, also in Austria, Switzerland, …)

    Best regards from Germany

    PS.: Go on with your great "old-technology"-videos! Some day they will be worth millions!
    (I'm 27 years now, and I still lived with MC-Cassettes, VHS and analog stuff – all important professionaly digitized now…)

  8. Interesting that in 1970 it's labelled as FM and not VHF, which seems unusually early for that. Is it a UK set, or did it come from abroad?

  9. Techmoan I have a GRUNDIG STEREO CONCERT-BOY TRANSISTOR 4000. It was purchased brand new on October 24, 1973. I have the original store receipt. It still plays beautifully!

  10. As a teen into my early 20's, I loved listening to my shortwave radio, hearing all the news stories as they broke in Europe and Asia. And of course listening to the BBC. So many memories!

  11. I just got into ham radio recently; I can tell you that shortwave suffers from similar limitations due to poor conditions these days. I can pick up shortwave from all over the world on my rig, but time-of-day is the major factor. Evening is the best time.

  12. What a Germanic item – well engineered but hideously over complicated. My Roberts of a similar vintage has, if memory serves me correctly, four knobs.

  13. Those early furniturestyle radio/turntables with built-in speakers devices always had a glorious sound. You had to wait a few moments for the tubes to warm up but it was such a warm and clear sound. Transistors were more robust and compact after that but I always felt the sound was never as good and warm as those old wooden devices that ran on tubes.

  14. Wow, it sounds surprisingly good. Which takes me back to older speakers and how well a 12", 5", 1-2" three way speaker filled the room with sound. Have you don't any old speaker reviews?

  15. well I assume if they make FM Transmitters that plug into a cd player tape player mp3 player phone whatever someone is bound to come up with a Radio emulator 🙂 probably be an app. then again you could just try the FM transmitters they have out there , bout the only way I can get a phone signal thru the Jeep. I'd install my own old Aiwa thats from 2001 and hasn't had a problem yet but it doesn't like being in a Jeep Liberty, that one has an aux input which most car stereo's don't have

  16. I have the "Concert Boy 4000" from the same series. Same power suppy, same scale markers, same tuning meter, similar design, but FM Stereo (in 1968!). But it lacks the presets and has only 2 shortwave bands. The amp gjves only 2x 1.5 W, but the 4 speaker systems sounds like my HiFi. On a set of 7 D-Cells it runs for months of normal listening. Where would our society be today, if our products would be designed and engineered with the same care as then, but with modern technology.

  17. Great video here. Very informative. Thank you. FM radio makes a fortune for the station operators via advertising in the US. Why is the FM signal in Europe being turned off? Is everything there going to satellite radio?

  18. When the FM goes off in England, just ship it over to me in South Africa, I am sure here they will keep it on for much longer.

  19. why did they shut off FM radio? millions of people (at least here in america) use FM radio daily. and also how are they going to convince all those radio stations to switch to digital? Digital gets worse reception than analog.

  20. Here in Greece in the 70's when this radio was new, people used short wave radio to get the news from BBC or DW, as we had a dictatorship here to 1974. Such a radio would be treasured back then! Respect and a great video!

  21. This is a beautiful design,it even looks great now.

    If FM radio has switch off,you can buy something like a FM transmitter with 3.5mm jack that can plug in your phone or your Walkman or discman,you can set a frequency to transmit and set the radio to the same frequency to use as a wireless speaker to listen to music,it may not be the best audio quality but you still can keep your radio running 🙂

  22. You should get DIN to 3.5 mm cable and connect bluetooth receiver or chromecast audio to it. Much, much better sound than fm. Just make shure to lower the input signal and turn radio volume almost to max. This way you can also use eq from device.

    I use my ocean boy 210, satellit 2000 and c6200 in different rooms, on picnics and smaller parties. Batteries last for ages.

    There's something special about GRUNDIG SOUND, IT ALWAYS MAKES PEOPLE DANCE and livens the party with it's looks.

    Love your channel!

  23. get a rather large antenna there will always be radio in the states,they tried to remove air TV signals but they still broadcast over the air too with a converter.


  25. Yaughtboy had fabulous sound, really deep undistorted bass, smooth mid range and pin sharp treble . All these at incredible volume. Finding one in good nick is hard as they ended up being used on building sites.But I think they are probably the best portable radio I have ever come across.

  26. I had one exactly like that 30 years ago… I got it from my grandpa in the early 80s shortly before he died. It was an amazing radio, too, even though the short wave bands were kind of pointless for me at the time.

  27. If the FM signal is ever switched off around the world (hopefully not), one can buy a cheap portable FM transmitter with a headphone jack which one can connect to any audio device and then just select an unused radio frequency to broadcast your own tunes on any radio in your room (or in your car). Here's an Amazon UK link and I bought a similar one at a dollar store in Canada for $12.

  28. Shortwave reception has a lot of dependence on the time of day depending on which wavelengths you are trying. You might get better reception at night in some cases.

  29. They'll probably make devices to transmit from the digital radio to FM (like wifi) for our old devices maybe? (if they don't already have one)

  30. heh! you nailed it at the end! kinda like the boomers and my generation bitching about the millennials, when it's the same stuff my grandparents said about the boomers and my generation.

    you need to get the early 70's zenith trans-oceanics in there for these design classic videos.

  31. That is the best looking most awesome
    Retro piece of kit ever!! Lol. I love it!
    I have to have one!! Seriously I think it’s great. My father had one when I was a boy and he brought with us wherever we went. I spent many Saturday mornings with him fishing various locations and he always had that radio with him. Sometimes I would join him in his workshop during the evening and he would be listening to the shortwave bands. He said they came in better at night. I have no idea if that’s true or not but that’s what he said lol. Lots of good memories attached to that little box. Sadly he’s been gone for quite awhile.
    I carried on the traditions with my son and now I carry them on with my grandson lol. I think it’s time I find one of these radios and teach my grandson what we used to do before digital everything lol. I do have to say he loves it when I play my vinyl records lol
    Gotta love those grand kids lol
    15 years from now I’ll probably have great grandsons lol WOOHOO!!!

  32. I love Grundig products. I still have Grundig 2065 Majestic that I listen to. I needed to replace the valves and a few of the condensers, but it gives a great stereo sound that you can only get from a valve powered system. Cheers from Austin.

  33. The DAB+ broadcasts coverage in Norway is so bad and it is just a joke when it comes to sound quality of it ,a old DAB+ program from 2007 whit AAC v2 audio codec that is only little better that 10 years old MP3 128kps crap sound and now we are in the middle of 2019s :o.

  34. When they shut off FM you can just setup a mini analog pirate FM radio station to test your future radios for review! 😉

  35. Always loved the old Grundig radios from that era. Sound quality had to be experienced to be believed. Of course today's youngsters who are happy to listen to crappy low-bitrate MP3 somgs from a tiny phone speaker won't appreciate it at all (I do wonder if there's a future market for quality hifi anymore given what the kids are prepared to put up with these days). Years ago I had a neighbour who had one of these Ocean Boys and it was fantastic. I still have a Concert Boy 225 from 1987 which has the same great quality but only 4 FM presets and 2 SW bands, but still a gorgeous radio and still works just fine after 32 years!

    They don't build them like this anymore, that's for sure 🙁

  36. I still enjoy listening to stations on Medium Wave but have found some of the stations transmit only one channel of stereo. I wonder if they are trying to make us ditch AM?

    I have a DAB radio in the car but don't use it much, the reception is not reliable enough.

  37. When you used to listen to the radio under the covers when you were 7, do you remember a show, it was on radio 2 I think, called Rick O'shea, it was like a detective skit thing? We are probably around the same age, and I too had a wee radio that I got for christmas, when I was about 7-8 and, again like you, I would listen to it until it was far too late for a young lad that had school the next, day. Not under the covers thou, as that far too hot too quickly, but I always remember this show, but I have never heard anyone else talk about it.

  38. Grundig radios were sought out by shortwave radio listeners. The Yacht Boy having the best reputation for it's era. Alas…even with a decent radio and antenna today, there's nothing that interesting on the dial, as everyone is streaming now. Gone are, Radio Canada International, Radio Moscow, China Radio International, and Radio Nederlands. Where I grew up, shortwave was the best way to keep up with what was happening in the world. I really enjoyed seeing that radio in this video, as it brought back a lot of memories. Thanks.

  39. I have watched your amazingly interesting video’s right to their end and learnt so much. Thank you. The thing with Grundig is that full sound come from an amazing little speaker with no transmition line

  40. FM broadcasts from a real radio station have a distinctive sound to them. If you don't know why, start by reading this forum thread – If analog FM broadcasts go away, that distinctive sound dies with it. And no, you can't get it by simply connecting an FM transmitter to a CD player or whatever; not even close.

    I often record songs off the radio and listen to them instead of the same songs on CD. Strictly speaking, the FM broadcasts have worse sound quality than CDs (sound quality being defined as the level of accuracy of the reproduction of the source), but they are more fun to listen to. CDs and phonograph records sound thin by comparison.

  41. Well….if the U.K. is trying to switch off FM radio, i'm assuming they've already switched off all AM radio.
    Here in the States, we still have both AM and FM, and now the choices of XM and internet radio…and of course there's a few that still like short wave….so why is the U.K. doing this?

  42. I hate the idea of analogue radio being shut down. It's just not the same as TV where we got far more than 5 stations, if anything we will lose a lot of quality. There are so many pieces of great classic equipment that shutting down would make redundant. I have a full QUAD valve tuner set up that includes an FM tuner as well as a few other high quality tuners.

  43. As a avid radio listener, I recall many years ago when my Nan and granddad returned from a holiday in Spain. They'd bought me a pair of Grundig radio headphones, but had argued whether they would be any good. You see my Nan said that they would only pick up Spanish radio!

  44. Whilst there is nothing I listen to on FM (because i'm an old git I guess), when the analogue stations are eventually forced to go digital then what is going to happen to all the old radio tuners? Landfill I expect which is hardly very green. And some of those old radios were very well built, like the Roberts models as well as the one in this video, and last for decades. Also I have found that digital radios are quite power hungry in comparison. And all it boils down to is governments wanting to auction off the analogue bandwidth and in order to do that they have to clear the analogue airwaves.

  45. Shortwave in the US is pretty lacking as well. The only things I pick up strongly are Christian propaganda stations, and a fuzzy copy of the Canadian CHU time station.

  46. I'm thankful we here in the USA hasn't abandoned FM radio. I'm just worried on how we will fare without it.

    Not everyone has the luxury of Satellite or HD radio.

  47. I wish i could ship techmoan my RCA 27" DCRT HDTV; it was RCA's final who-rah and completely stacked with options front and back.
    It's unusual in that it's a glass screen television that can do analog 320 alongside digital 480~720~1080i~1200i (all this in 2002 mind you) as well as function as a 85hz computer monitor, it can change aspect ratios, it has a built in headphone amplifier both front and back, it has a subwoofer pre-out, it has dolby and DTS and built in EQ, it has multiple sets of DVI and HD-15 inputs, it has component, S-video and composite and they're all gold connectors in back. it has a service panel in the shroud.

    It also weighs the better part of 100 pounds and would probably cost a BMW 3 series to ship to the UK. 🙁

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