Modern Era SSB Sets

To the picture gallery




  AEG 6861/12 mod
      SE 6863






  AEG 6861 / 12mod

is a German BW HF radio, developed and built by AEG and Telefunken. It is not widely known, that the last 200 radios were built by Telemit. It was developed for the Army; however it is not known where it was used.

The operating frequency is set by six mechanical up/down frequency selector switches, so the frequency can also be set when the radio is switched off. The selector switches can be operated as well in up as in down direction (some other radios allow only the up direction, like the PRC-104).

It is the first military radio ever that uses a HF- speechprozessor.

Also loudness and the memory channels are operated by the same kind of selector switches.

The antenna socket is provided for whip antennas, rod antennas or long wire antennas. The BNC- output (50 Ohms) is provided for the connection of a wideband or high angle antenna.

The automatic antenna tuning checks and corrects the optimum matching of the antenna every time when the radio is switched on or the PTT button (handset, headset or Morse key) is pressed. It is advised to press the PTT after every frequency change to match the antenna.

In CW operation the change receive/transmit is controlled through the Morse key. The first keying impulse switches to transmission; after the last signal and a delay of 0.7 seconds the radio switches back to reception.

At weak battery the radio automatically switches off; It also switches off when a transmission is attempted below 1.5 MHz or transmission is attempted on a memory channel that is not preset.

Rumors are:
In the internet you can find pictures in sandcolor with Arabic lettering. This radio was seized during Desert Storm
Some sources state that the whole factory was sold to Saudi- Arabia.
Other sources state that some radios built for Saudi- Arabia were sent there, but most of them were confiscated and are still in Germany.

Facts are:
SE 6861 as a receiver only (without the transmitter modules) was sold with AFSK 112 M receiving RTTY- modem to the Irak, about 15 years ago- sand colored and with Arabic front.
Exported into the Middle East
(Click picture to enlarge)

(Also see picture gallery)

There was a receiver-only radio with slightly changed front, named
E 6862-02. The export into the Near East consisted of transceivers where the transmitter modules had been removed. The nameplates, however, were not changed, so the pictures in the internet show the incorrect SE, though in reality it is a receiver.

And another interesting story:
In 1979 Messner, who was 34 years old then, made an expedition to the Karakorum. He wanted to climb the 8611 meter high K2. For this purpose AEG provided him with three SE 6861, together with solar panels for charging batteries. The three radios in those days had a value of
100.000 DM !

Ulrich L. Rohde, N1UL/DJ2LR, writes about the development:

These two radios (AEG 6861 und SP-20) were developed by my group at AEG Telefunken in Ulm in 1970, and the manpack, especially after a simple modification of the RF input on IP2 of 20dBm, can be enhanced abt. 20 dB to 42 dBm ( providing most of the interferences on a bigger antenna- a useful change!) and IP3 could be enhanced 10 dB to 10 dBm from 0 dBm . Still today it belongs to the best radios of the world without RF modems. Essential contributions were performed by Mr. Klaus Eichel (DL6SES) , Mr.Peter Suelzer, (DF9FJ) and by me. The concept originated while skiing in Madesimo , Italien , after we were snowed in completely. This may be interesting for the reader. A thinking break always is positive.

With kind permission of Ulrich L. Rohde DJ2LR
( N1UL ):
A picture of the tree 3 AEG Manpack "inventors", 40 years later (2012):
Klaus Eichel DJ6SES, Peter Suelzer DJ9FJ, Ulrich L. Rohde DJ2LR. (left to right)

Handset connections:
  • A: NF 600 Ohm (ground: G)
  • B: NF Output (ground: G)
  • C: Mike (2nd connector: F)
  • D: PTT (ground: G)
  • E: N/C
  • F: Mike (2nd connector: C)
  • G: Ground G
    Frequency range:
    1.5 ... 30 MHz


    Technical data:
    A1A; J3E (USB, LSB); F1B (AFSK) with external modem
    Memory channels:
    Frequency Setting:
    6 decade switches (illuminable)
    Frequency steps:
    100 Hz
    BFO for A1A:
    1000 Hz
    Receiver sensitivity:
    12 dB at 1 µV for J3E
    18 dB at 1 µV for A1A
    HF Output power:
    2W, 20W
    Antenna tuning:
    fully automatic; processor controlled; maximum tuning time 5 s
    rod antenna 3.3 m long
    long wire antenna, high angle antenna
    Built by:
    AEG- Telefunken since 1978
    Power source:
    internally 24V (2 NiCad batteries 12V, 1.8 Ah)
    or internally Lithium cell 19.2 V, 10 Ah
    exterally 22.5 ... 38 V
    protection against wrong polarity
    Dimensions and weight:
    without battery pack: 285 x 81 x 300 mm;
    with battery pack: 285 x 81 x 187 mm; 8.5 kg
    watertight up to 2 hours in 1 m water depth
    Operational temp. range for Basic Unit: -40C to +70C