Transistor Radios Around the World

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c.1963 Stern T120 "Mikki"

Shirt pocket radio, thermoplastic cabinet
3 13/16 x 2 7/16 x 1 1/8 inches / 97 x 62 x 29 mm
MW, seven transistors (2x GC100, 2x GC121, three unidentified), one diode
Superheterodyne circuit
Two 1.5-volt cells
Manufactured by VEB Stern-Radio Berlin, DDR (GDR)

The first shirt pocket radio made by VEB Stern — very petite, just slightly smaller than Grundig's Mini Boy 200 (see photo below). This example's cabinet has a yellow front half and white back half. An interesting innovation here is that the radio's tuning dial is accessible on both the front and back of the radio (see photo below), allowing one's thumb and forefinger to work together in tuning the dial, a real plus when you're attempting to tune in a station on such a small dial! West Germany's 1960 Grundig Mini Boy 200, noted above and shown below in a comparison photo, had a similar arrangement, as did the 1961 Grundig Solo Boy 201 micro radio.

Besides Stern's Mikki T120 sharing similar cabinet dimensions with the 1960 Grundig Mini Boy 200, as well as the unusual front/back tuning wheel access and "magnifier" tuning window, the Mikki also has an easel stand nearly identical in shape, size and placement to the Mini Boy's stand (see comparison photo below) — all these similarities suggest that the Mikki's cabinet was more than a little bit "inspired by" Grundig's Mini Boy radio cabinet. And Stern had gone much further than mere inspiration with its earlier "Sternchen" model, clearly copied after the circa-1957 Japanese Kobe Kogyo KT-6's cabinet.

One really unfortunate design flaw with the Stern "Mikki" is that the tuning dial numbers are printed on a strip of paper that is wrapped around the plastic dial — water stains abound on this example's paper dial strip!

This example differs slightly from those currently shown on the Radio Museum site: It has a small depression in its grille face where a badge once must have been — all that remains is the mount and some oxidation. The other examples' grilles show no badge or grille depression.

Because the components are packed together so tightly on this radio's tiny chassis board, I can only identify four of the seven transistors here, all made by VEB — and info from Radio Museum pages indicates that the other three were also produced by VEB.

This "Mikki" model was produced for domestic consumption in the DDR — an export version of this radio went by the name of "Simonetta 7".

Stern T120 "Mikki"

Stern T120 "Mikki"

for size comparison: Stern Mikki T120 and Grundig Mini Boy 200

the Mikki and Mini Boys' back face tuning dial access and their similar easel stands —
the Mikki's stand obviously had been modified (and pretty badly!) by a previous owner

chassis — click on the image for a larger view

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