Beolit 500

(1966-1968) FM radio, 1x1W, battery operated

Type number: 1101

 

Picture by Nick Jarman

Description

The Beolit 500 was a completely new type of transistor radio. Instead of adopting the “portable” format, the designers chose to make the Beolit 500 a domestic model of exceptional flexibility. It could either be placed on a flat surface or hung on a wall, and because there were no external cables needed a neat installation was assured. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Another very unusual feature of the Beolit 500 was the tuning. There was no “manual” tuning control as such, instead 5 large keys were fitted, which turned the set on and selected one of 5 pre-tuned programmes. The tuning controls for these were in the form of large thumbwheels placed under the set. The front panel carried an additional key to disable the AFC, whilst underneath there was another thumbwheel that acted as a tone control. The provision of pre-tuned programmes necessitated an electronic tuning circuit which required a higher voltage than the 9V that came from the 6 “D” sized cells that powered the rest of the radio, so an additional 22.5V battery of a type used in valved hearing aids was also necessary. This battery was expensive, but the minimal loading that was placed on it ensured a long life. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The only other control on the Beolit 500 was the volume knob. This worked in the usual way, and was also used as the “off” button. Pressing it in released any other key that was selected. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The Beolit 500 was fitted with a large SEAS loudspeaker and was well constructed generally, so was capable of excellent performance. It could also be used as an amplifier for a record player, a function that was selected by pressing in keys “1” and “2” at the same time. Even more strangely, it could also be used, in conjunction with another Beolit 500, as an intercom. This function was selected by pressing keys “4” and “5” at the same time, and using the AFC key to alternate between “talk” and “listen”. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Prices

196635gns 
1967£39.18.0 

Further Reading

In print:

On the web: