Who invented the world’s first car radio?
It is now easier to see a car without a steering wheel than without a music player. Moreover, this player is crammed with an incredible number of functions. It can play FM radio, music files from a memory card, flash drive, via bluetooth (Bluetooth) or directly from the Internet. Show video, news, weather, navigation and much more. Whatever fancy device is, we habitually call it “MAGNITOLA".
However, the history of the invention of the car radio was very difficult.
The radio in the car appeared very quickly, almost with the beginning of radio broadcasting. Although the first models were very expensive, the demand for them was simply rush.
In the mid-30s, a reel-to-reel tape recorder was invented, but it was not at all suitable for use in a car.
With the advent of long-playing records, a boom in electric turntables began. Naturally, a model was made for installation in a car. Motorola Highway Hi-Fi 1956.
Despite the enhanced advertising campaign, the autoplayer was not widely used. The fragile tracks of the phonograph record quickly deteriorated from shaking.
Next came the turn of the TV: in 1959, the first cars with a built-in TV appeared:
Meanwhile, the quality of recording and playback of reel-to-reel tape recorders improved significantly, and the option of placing a tape recorder in a car suggested itself. However, replacing the tape reel on the move, especially with one hand, was unrealistic. An extraordinary solution was required.
In 1964, the German company SABA proposed an interesting solution: place reels of magnetic tape in a special container, which was called the Sabamobil.
Specially for this container with coils, the Sabamobil TK-R12 radio was made, which was destined to become the world’s first car radio.
The radio tape recorder played in mono mode, two tracks on each side. Coil diameter -3 inches (7.5 cm). The playback speed is only one – 9.5 cm / s. The tape was rigidly attached to the reels and a simple hitchhiking was invented to stop it: a piece of metal foil was pasted onto the tape. The foil closes the contacts and stops the motor.
The radio receiver in the radio was single-band, only on the SW. When using the radio outside the car, 5 1.5 Volt batteries were used.
In the installed form, the radio in the car looked like this:
In the year of release, the radio tape recorder cost 423 German marks, and in the USA it was sold for $136 (now it is about $1,400). It was also necessary to buy a bracket for installation in a car, which cost $ 45.
The Sabamobil cassette cost $14.
A modification for sightseeing buses with an external microphone was also produced.
Although Philips introduced its compact cassette a year earlier, it was not even considered as a competitor – the quality of the recording was still very low.
The main competitor was the Track 8 format, which quickly captured the US and Japanese markets.
The Track 8 cartridge was more compact and more convenient to use, although it had the same drawback – there was no rewind.
The Sabamobil TK-R12 radio tape recorder was produced until 1968. Track 8 cartridges were the market leaders until the 70s, losing to compact cassettes. In turn, compact cassettes have replaced CDs. Now there are multimedia complexes in cars, which are still, in everyday life, called RADIO.