Braun released the Minisystem in two editions. The 1st edition was released in 1967. The 2nd edition replaced it (I don’t know in what year) and substituted the styrofoam packaging with a plastic tray to hold the blocks on one side and the 2 base plates on the right. The 2 manuals remained the same. Other changes are discussed in the 2nd edition section below.
The earliest known official photo of the Braun productized Minisystem is shown below. Note the inclusion of the 10K potentiometer block and the lack of the 100K bias transistor. The instruction manuals had numerous experiments that required the use of the 100K bias transistor and no experiments which used the 10K potentiometer.
The Minisystem (1st Edition) was the initial introductory Braun model and was adapted directly from the announced but not released Egger Lectron Mini-Lectron Nr. 800 model. It was also the basis of the introductory Model 800 (Electronic Dominoes) for Raytheon during their first product line phase.
Raytheon substituted the 2nd earphone block for the photo cell block and restored the 10K potentiometer which was in the original official Braun Minisystem photo. The right angle connecting block was substituted with a third T connecting block. New experiments were added to the instruction manual to highlight those blocks.
The Minisystem 1st edition was the only Braun model to use a smaller (and cheaper quality) base plate. This same base plate was used by the Raytheon 800, and 820 models. The only difference was a sticker placed in the upper left hand corner which identified the Raytheon company brand. For the Series 1, 2, and 3 models, Raytheon would actually engrave their name in that location and discontinue the use of the stick-on label.
The Minisystem model came with 2 smaller (A 5 format) instruction manuals. They featured several experiments which were not revisited in the 8000 series instruction manual. The first booklet was a 68 page manual detailing 25 experiments. The second manual was 56 pages in length and detailed experiments 26 – 50.
The Egger Lectron numbering (800) of the Minisystem can be seen in the below closeup of the Braun styrofoam mold packaging.
The 2nd edition of the Minisystem ran contrary to packaging logic and was actually larger in size than the 1st edition. This version also dispensed with the 1st edition’s base plate with the logo in the top left hand corner in favor of a even cheaper and thinner base plate. There was also a newly added block placard guide along with the two instructional manuals. These manuals were published in several languages including English.
By their final January 1st, 1972 price list, Braun had retired the Minisystem from its product line.
The Minisystem (Mini-System) would be brought back ‘to life’ both as the ‘regular’ boxed unit (shown on the left) and as the Grey Book, produced by INELCO, and sold by Lectron, GmbH (Lectron-MW). Unfortunately, this unit was not pictured in any INELCO or Lectron, GmbH catalog.
It is clear from the photo on the right that the Grey Book was sold by Lectron, GmbH prior to February of 1990 (based on price lists which show the company having moved to Niedern-hausen by that date. Note that the label has a Kronberg address). I checked under both labels and interestingly, there was no INELCO branding underneath (as there had been for the Red Book).