room 6 exhibit 5
 
Grundig 1600
   
 
 
 
FORMAT: V2000  
 
DATE: 1983

PRICE: £?
[2005: £?]

50x31x13cm
9.7 kg

 
 
The 1600 was the "baby" budget model in Grundig's second generation range. It is much smaller and lighter than the earlier machines (particularly the Philips decks), and if there was a tape slot on the left, rather than a blank space, it could be mistaken for a "normal" VHS deck from five or ten years later.
It's a very simple, basic machine. It's a top-loader, of course, and the tape carriage lifts vertically up like many top-loaders of the day -- but there's no tape-viewing window in the lid, unlike VHS and Beta top-loaders.

Apart from pause and picture search there are no trick-play features, no audio dub and no special functions other than the usual stop-at-zero counter memory.
The normal operating controls are on the front of the machine, along with the display and station buttons. The channel tuners and clock / timer setting buttons are under a flap on the bottom right, along with a very neat sliding mode control, which is used to program the machine.
Sliding the knob left from the "normal" position allows the clock to be set, while sliding it right goes through the timer setting process: start time, stop time and day, then finally into "automatic" -- which means timer record.
This is somewhat similar to the step-by-step process of the Philips V2000 machines, but since the position of the slider shows you exactly where you are in the programming process, I think this is a very neat and easy to understand interface. Many of these early machines - especially Grundigs - were hard to program, so it's surprising that such a good idea didn't catch on.
By the time these second generation machines appeared, V2000 was already fading away in the UK -- though the format continued to be popular in Europe. The 1600 was sold mainly in Germany - and although this particular machine is a British model, all the buttons are still labelled in German. A "handy" translation chart was stuck inside the tuner flap - an amazingly cheapskate solution, but perhaps not surprising, if you already believed that the format was failing...
Internally the 1600 is also very simple, a single circuit board with none of the usual plug-in modules so common in the Philips machines, just a single large "can" containing the interferance-sensitive circuits.
As for the other Grundig V2000 machines, the Betamax-style "C" lacing pattern is used, rather than the "M" pattern used by Philips.


The white loading ring can be seen around the head drum. As for Beta and U-Matic, this rotates and pulls the tape out and around the drum and head assemblies.
Another unique feature of the 1600 is that it is the only V2000 machine not to use the Dynamic Track Following system. Instead it has a much simpler Automatic Tracking system, which adjusts only the tape speed and "phase". The heads are fixed rigidly on the drum, like a VHS or Beta machine.
Despite being one of the most dust-filled machines I've ever seen, this 1600 is in perfect working order. I didn't clean out the dust, in case it was all that was keeping it going...
This machine was very kindly donated to the museum by the Reverend and Mrs Davies.