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.