Gizmos by Category

Sinclair Stuff

Cameras & Optical

Clocks Watches Calcs

Computers & Games

Geiger Counters & Atomic Stuff

Miscellaneous & Oddities

Phones & Comms

Radio & Audio

Tape Recorders & Players

Test & Scientific Instruments

TV & Video

 

Psst...looking for cheap 

nuclear stuff?

Gizmos A - Z

Accoson Sphygmomanometer

Acoustic Coupler

Advance PP5 Stabilised PSU

Aibo ERS-111 Robotic Pet

Aiwa LX-110 Linear Turntable

Aiwa TP-32A Tape Recorder

Alcatel Minitel 1 Videotex

Aldis Folding Slide Viewer

Alpha-Tek Pocket Radio

Airlite 71 Aviation Headset

Aitron Wrist Radio

Aiwa TP-60R Tape Recorder

AKG K290 Surround 'Phones

Amerex Alpha One Spycorder

Amstrad NC100 Notepad

AN/PRC-6 Walkie Talkie

Apple Macintosh SE FDHD

Amstrad CPC 464 Computer

AlphaTantel Prestel

Astatic D-104 Desk Microphone

Atari 2600 Video Game

Atari 600XL Home Computer

Audiotronic LSH 80 'Phones

Avia Electronic Watch

Avid Pneumatic Headphones

AVO Multiminor

AVO Model 8 Multimeter

Bambino Challenger Radio

Bandai Solar LCD Game

B&O Beocom 2000 Phone

Baygen Freeplay Lantern

Bellwood, Bond Spycorder

Benkson 79 Mini Tape Recorder

Betacom BF1 Pianotel Phone

Betacom CP/6 Ferrari Phone

Binatone Digivox Alarm

Binatone Long Ranger 6 CB

Binatone Mk6 Video Game

Binotone Radio Binoculars

Bio Activity Translator

Biri-1 Radiation Monitor

Bolex Paillard 155 Cine Camera

Bowmar LED Digital Watch

Boots CRTV-50 TV,Tape, Radio

Brydex Ever Ready Lighter

BSB Squarial

BT Genie Phone

BT Linesmans Phone 282A

BT Rhapsody Leather Phone

Cambridge Z88 Computer

Candlestick Telephone

Canon Ion RC-260 Camera

Cartex TX-160 Multiband Radio

Casio VL-Tone Keyboard

CD V-700 Geiger Counter

CD V-715 Survey Meter

CDV-717 Survey Meter

CD V-742 Pen Dosimeter

Central C-7980EN Multimeter

Channel Master 6546

Chinon 722-P Super 8 ciné

Citizen Soundwich Radio Watch

Citizen ST555 Pocket TV

Clairtone Mini Hi Fi Radio

CocaCola Keychain Camera

Coke Bottle AM Radio

Commodore 64 Home PC

Commodore PET 2001-N

Computer Novelty AM/FM Radio

Compact Marine SX-25

Concord F20 Sound Camera

Coomber 2241-7 CD Cassette

Contamination Meter No.1

Craig 212 Tape Recorder

Craig TR-408 tape recorder

C-Scope ProMet II Detector

Dansette Richmond Radio

Daiya TV-X Junior  Viewer

Dancing Coke Can

Dawe Transistor Stroboflash

Decca RP 205 Record Player

Decimo Vatman 120D Calc

Diamond Rio Media Player

Dictograph Desk Phone

Direct Line Phones x2

Dokorder PR-4K Mini Tape

DP-66M Geiger Counter

Duvidal FT-66 Tape Recorder

Eagle Ti.206 Intercom

Eagle T1-206 Intercom

Eagle International Loudhailer

Electrolysis Cell

Electron 52D Spycorder

Electronicraft Project Kit

Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart Radio

EMS Stammering Oscillator

Ericsson Ericofon Cobra Phone

Etalon Luxor Light Meter

Euromarine Radiofix Mk 5

Exactus Mini Add Calculator

Fairylight Morse Set

FEP Microphone & Earphone

Ferguson FC08 Camcorder

Ferguson FHSC 1 Door Cam

Fi-Cord 101 Tape Recorder

Fi-Cord 202 Tape Recorder

Fidelity HF42 Record Player

Fisher-Price 826 Cassette

Fleetwood Globe AM Radio

Franklin LF-390 Guitar Radio

Gaertner Pioneer Geiger Counter

Garmin GPS III Pilot Satnav

GE 3-5805 AM CB Radio

GE 3-5908 Help CB Radio

GEC C11B2 Electricity Meter

GEC Transistomatic

GEC Voltmeter

General Radiological NE 029-02

Giant Light Bulbs

Giant Watch-Shaped  Radio

Gowlland Auriscope

GPO Headset No. 1

GPO Keysender No 5

GPO RAF Microphone No. 3

GPO Telephone Series 300

GPO Telephone Type 746

GPO 12B/1 Test Meter

GPO Trimphone

GPO Ring Microphone No 2

Gramdeck Tape Recorder

Grandstand Video Console

Grundig EN3 Dictation

Grundig Memorette

Grundig TK-141 Tape Recorder

H&G Crystal Radio

Hacker Radio Hunter RP38A

Hacker Radio Mini Herald

Hanimex Disc Camera

Harvard Batalion Radio

Heathkit GR-70 Multiband Radio

Henica H-138 Radio Lighter

Hero HP-101 Intercom

Hitachi MP-EG-1A Camcorder

Hitachi WH-638 Radio

Hitachi VM-C1 Camcorder

HMV 2210 Tape Recorder

Homer KT-505 Phone Amplifier

Homey HR-408 Recorder

Horstmann Pluslite Task Lamp

Ianero Polaris Spotlight

Ingersoll XK505 TV, Radio

International HP-1000 Radio

Internet Radio S-11

ITT KB Super AM/FM Radio

Ivalek De Luxe Crystal Radio

James Bond TV Watch

Jasa AM Wristwatch Radio

Juliette LT-44 Tape Recorder

Jupiter FC60 Radio

JVC GR-C1 Camcorder

JVC GX-N7E Video Camera

JVC HR-C3 VHS-C VCR

JVC HR-3300 VHS VCR

King Folding Binoculars

Kodak Brownie Starflash

Kodak 56X Instamatic

Kodak 100 Instamatic

Kodak Disc 6000

Kodak EK2 'The Handle'

Kodak EK160 Instant Camera

Kodak Pony 135

Koss ESP-6 Headphones

Kvarts DRSB-01 Dosimeter

Kvarts DRSB-88 Dosimeter

Kvarts DRSB-90 Geiger Count

Kyoto S600 8-Track Player

La Pavoni Espresso Machine

Macarthys Surgical AM Radio

Magnetic Core Memory 4kb

Maplin YU-13 Video Stabilizer

Marlboro Giant  AM Radio

Mattel Intellivision

Maxcom Cordless Phone

McArthur Microscope OU

Memo Call Tape Recorder

Micronta 22-195A Multimeter

Micronta 3001 Metal Detector

Micronta S-100 Signal Injector

Microphax Case II Fiche

Midland 12-204 Tape Rccorder

Mini Com Walkie Talkies

Mini Instruments 5.40 Geiger

Minifon Attaché Tape Recorder

Minolta 10P 16mm Camera

Minolta-16 II Sub Min Camera

Minolta XG-SE 35mm SLR

Minolta Weathermatic-A

Minox B Spy Camera

Mohawk Chief Tape Recorder

Motorola 5000X Bag Phone

Motorola 8500X ‘Brick’

Motorola Micro TAC Classic

MPMan MP-F20 MP3 Player

Music Man Talking Radio

Mystery Microphone

 

  

Widget Of The Week

Binatone Worldstar Multi Band Radio, 1976

Some sections of the consumer electronics market have often shown a fairly relaxed attitude towards technical specifications and feature descriptions. It started in earnest in the early sixties and lasted until the late eighties, when legislation was introduced. Throughout that period some pretty big whoppers appeared in promotional and advertising material. The claims made for this late 70s vintage Binatone Worldstar multi-band radio are quite ambitious and must have suckered a good few punters -- including me -- into thinking that it was a lot more sophisticated than it actually was. This model, also sold under a number of other names, was widely touted as a sophisticated 9-band ‘World Radio’, capable of pulling in transmissions from around the globe. At first glance it does have the air of an advanced communications receiver, more so when shown with the flip-up cover for the tuner scale in the open position, displaying a fancy looking time zone calculator and a world map.

 

Unfortunately, like so much about the Worldstar, this was cosmetic fluff, like those alleged 9 wave bands. On the tuning scale they are listed as AM Broadcast, Sport, B1 Marine, B2 Marine, LW Long wave, FM Music, VHF Aircraft, VHF High and VHF Weather. It all sounds rather exotic but in reality it has only 5 switchable wavebands, namely: Long Wave, Medium Wave, VHF FM and High Band VHF. At least four of the nine purported wavebands were unused in Europe but in any case, even in the US, the market it was originally designed for, it would still have been next to useless for the applications suggested by the waveband names. Incidentally the two so-called Marine bands, covering 200 to 300kHz, were almost exclusively used by the Loran directional beacons. It is highly unlikely that American mariners trust a basic radio like this for navigational purposes, except in the direst emergency.

 

Three of the five actual bands (AM, LW and FM) work well enough for receiving regular broadcast radio stations, and the VHF Aircraft can sometimes pick up brief snatches of Air Traffic Control and Pilot exchanges, though you would need to be fairly close to an airport or flight path. However, if you were a UK buyer expecting it to pick up anything to do with sport, maritime matters or the weather you would have been sadly disappointed. Other questionable features include the twin telescopic antennas; only one of them really does anything, the other is largely for show, as is the red LED attached to the tuning needle. This glows whenever a station is received, which is most of the time on a busy broadcast band. The sliding Squelch control – a useful feature on communications receivers for eliminating background hiss – is also a bit superfluous on this radio since the opportunities for it to pick up the sort of intermittent transmissions it is meant for would have been few and far between.

 

But let’s not get too carried away with the imaginative feature list and pretensions. As a largish mains portable radio it stacks up quite well. Don’t be fooled by the faux stitched leather case covering though, it’s all plastic. It is quite sturdily built, though, and there’s even room inside the battery compartment for the mains lead and a US or continental 2-pin plug (but not a bulky UK 3-pin plug). FM reception isn’t too bad either, and you can take it as read that this one works, though it wasn’t always so.

 

My first encounter with the Worldstar was probably soon after it went on sale, in the mid 1970s. I recall that at the time it was widely advertised in the national press, weekly publications like Exchange and Mart and specialist magazines. It definitely caught my eye but after reading the small print I must have figured out that it was all a bit of a sham. We met again some 40 years later when I spotted this one lurking in a box of junk under a wallpaper-pasting table at a local car boot sale. It appeared to be in reasonably good physical shape, though the top flap with the map was missing but I didn’t have the heart to haggle over the  £1.00 asking price. Even if it were a complete write-off it would have been worth it for the mains plug and any salvageable parts.

 

It cleaned up well but as expected it was a non-runner. Luckily it was the simplest of all faults, a mucky power switch. A few squirts of contact cleaner bought it back to life, and while I was at it, a few more squirts fixed the scratchy slider controls. Inside, the circuit board is typical of Hong Kong made radios of the time. It’s not a pretty sight with a rat’s nest of wires and loads of wax all over the place, meant to stop sensitive components, like coils and capacitors moving around and upsetting the tuning. Everything is quite well spaced, though and it looks like it should be relatively easy to fix should anything go wrong. I would quite like to find a new flip cover for this one but unfortunately it’s going to have to come from another Worldstar. For that to make economic sense it would need to be the only useful part on a complete basket case costing no more than 50 pence, so that’s not going to happen any time soon...

 

What Happened To It?

It feels like the Binatone brand has been around forever but the company, founded by the Lalvani brothers actually started trading in 1958. Initially Binatone was mostly involved with importing and distributing badged-up electronic products made in the Far East. From the 80s onwards they took a more hands-on approach to design and manufacture and nowadays they are focused on home entertainment and telecomms products and small electrical appliances. Binatone’s success was largely due to its ability to spot trends and react quickly by bringing affordably priced products to the market. These included first generation home video games, audio and video gadgets galore and the Worldstar, which was one of several similarly specified radios around at the time. It appears to have sold quite well, there’s usually a few on ebay, with prices ranging from £15 to £40, and the fact that most of them are still going strong confirms that they were solidly built. This one I’m valuing at only £15 because of the missing flap, and whilst it doesn’t actually do much except let you work out the time in other parts of the world, useless, it is one of the radio’s most visible features and it looks a bit lost without it.   


GIZMO GUIDE

First seen:                           1976

Original Price:                    £25.00

Value Today:                      £15.00 (0817)

Features:                            5-Band (listed as 9): ‘. Frequency coverage: 150 – 300kHz, 540 – 1600kHz, 1.6 – 4.4MHz, 88-108MHz, 108 – 175MHz, 18 transistor superhet, rotary tuning, LED tuning indicator, 10cm speaker, twin telescope & single internal ferrite antennas, volume, tone & squelch sliders, earphone socket (3.5mm jack), hinged world time zone map and calculator

Power req.                        4 x 1.5 volt D cells and 240-volt AC mains

Dimensions:                      320 x 260 x 104mm

Weight:                             2.4kg

Made (assembled) in:       Hong Kong       

Hen's Teeth (10 rarest):     5



Web

dustygizmos

Dusty Navigation

About Dustygizmos

Crystal Radios

Transistor Radios

Mini Tape Recorders

Spycorders

Sinclair TVs

Manuals

Tape Recorder Gallery

A - C    D- M     N - Z

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Gizmos A - Z

Nagra SN Tape Recorder

National Hyper BII Flashgun

National RQ-115 Recorder

National Panapet AM Radio

National Toot-A-Loop Radio

NatWest 24 Hour Cashcard

Nife NC10 Miner's Lamp

Nimslo 3D Camera

NOA FM Wireless Intercom

Nokia 9210 Communicator

Novelty AM Radio Piano

Nuclear Enterprises PDM1

Olympia DG 15 S Recorder

Onkyo PH-747 Headphones

Opax Stereo Microscope

Optikon Binocular Magnifier

Oric Atmos Home PC

Panda & Bear Radios

Panasonic AG-6124 CCTV VCR

Panasonic EB-2601 Cellphone

Panasonic Toot-A-Loop Radio

Panasonic RS-600US

Parrot RSR-423 Recorder

Penguin Phone PG-600

Pentax Asahi Spotmatic SLR

Philatector Watermark Detector

PH Ltd Spinthariscope

Philips CD 150 CD Player

Philips Electronic Kit

Philips EL3302 Cassette

Philips EL3586 Reel to Reel

Philips PM85 Recorder

Philips P3G8T/00 Radio

Philips VLP-700 LaserDisc

Philips SBC RU 098 TV Remote

Phonotrix Model 1 Recorder

Pifco 888.998 Lantern Torch

Pion TC-601 Tape Recorder

PL802/T Semconductor Valve

Plessey PDRM-82 Dosimeter

Polaroid Automatic 104

Polaroid Land Camera 330

Polaroid Supercolor 635CL

Polaroid Swinger II

Polavision Instant Movie

POM Park-O-Meter

Prinz 110 Auto Camera

Prinz Dual 8 ciné Editor

Prinz TCR20 B&W TV

Psion Series 3a PDA

Psion Organiser II XP

Pye 114BQ Portable Radio

Pye TMC 1705 Test Phone

R2D2 Lazerbuilt Novelty Phone

Rabbit Telepoint Phone

Quali-Craft Slimline Intercom

RAC Emergency Telephone

Racal Acoustics AFV Headset

Radofin Triton Calculator

Raytheon Raystar 198 GPS

Realistic TRC 209 CB

ReVox A77 Tape Recorder

Roberts R200 MW/LW Radio

Rolling Ball Clock

Rolls Royce Car Radio

Ronco Record Vacuum

Royal/Royco 410 Recorder

Sanyo G2001 Music Centre

Sanyo MC-1/1A Mini Recorders

Sanyo MR-115 Tape Recorder

Sanyo M35 Micro Pack

Satellite AM/FM Radio

Satvrn TDM-1200 Sat Box

Science Fair 65 Project Kit

Seafarer 5 Echo Sounder

Seafix Radio Direction Finder

Seiko EF302 Voicememo

Seiko James Bond TV Watch

Sekiden SAP50 Gun

S.G. Brown Stick Earphone

Shackman Passport Camera

Sharp CT-660 Talking Clock

Shira WT106 Walkie Talkies

Shira WT-605 Walkie Talkies

Shogun Music Muff

Silma 120M Projector

Simpson 389 Ohmmeter

Sinclair Calculator

Sinclair Black Watch

Sinclair FM Radio Watch

Sinclair FTV1 Pocket TV

Sinclair Micro-6 Radio

Sinclair Micro FM Radio

Sinclair Micromatic Radio

Sinclair Micromatic Kit (Unbuilt)

Sinclair MTV1A Micovision TV

Sinclair MTV1B Microvision TV

Sinclair PDM-35 Multimeter

Sinclair System 2000 Amp

Sinclair Super IC-12

Sinclair X1 Burtton Radio

Sinclair Z-1 Micro AM Radio

Sinclair Z-30 Amplifier

Sinclair ZX81

Smiths ECS Process Timer

Smiths SR/D366 Gauge Tester

Speak & Spell

Sony Betamovie BMC-200

Sony CFS-S30 'Soundy'

Sony DD-8 Data Discman

Sony CM-H333 Phone

Sony CM-R111 Phone

Sony FD-9DB Pocket TV

Sony M-100MC Mic'n Micro

Sony MDR3 Headphones

Sony MVC-FD71 Digicam

Sony TC-50 Recorder

Sony TC-55 Recorder

Sony TR-55 Camcorder

Sony Walkman TPS-L2

Sony Rec Walkman WM-R2

Speedex Hit Spy Camera

Standard Slide Rule

Standard SR-V07 Miniature TV

Starlite Pocket Mate Tape

Staticmaster Static Brush

Steepletone MBR7 Radio

Stellaphone ST-456 Recorder

Stuzzi 304B Memocorder

Stylophone

Talkboy Tape Recorder

Tamrom Fotovix TF-56WE

Taylor Barograph

Tasco SE 600 Microscope

Teacup Novelty AM Radio

Technicolor Portable VCR

Telephone 280 1960

Telequipment Servicescope

Telex MRB 600 Headset

Thunderbirds AM Can Radio

Tinico Tape Recorder

Tokai TR-45 Tape Recorder

Tomy Electronic Soccer

Toshiba HX-10 MSX Computer

Triumph CTV-8000 5-inch TV

TTC C1001 Multimeter

Uher 400 RM Report Monitor

Vanity Fair Electron Blaster

Vextrex Video Game

VideoPlus+ VP-181 Remote

Vidor Battery Radio

View-Master Stereo Viewer

Vivalith 301 Heart Pacemaker

VTC-200 Video Tape Cleaner

Waco Criuser AM Radio

Waco TV Slide Lighter

Wallac Oy RD-5 Geiger Counter

Weller X-8250A Soldering Gun

W E Co Folding Phone

White Display Ammeter

Wittner Taktell Metronome

Wondergram

Yamaha Portasound PC-10

Yashica AF Motor 35mm

Yupiteru MVT-8000 Scanner

`

All information on this  web  site  is provided as is without warranty of any kind. Neither dustygizmos.com nor its employees nor contributors are responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, direct or consequential, resulting from your choosing to use any of the information contained  herein.

Copyright (c) 2006 - 2017 dustygizmos.com

 

 

counter statistics