Telefunken / AEG - Telefunken AG, Ulm

E 863 Kw/2

travel radios
portable receivers
communication receivers
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E 104
E 127 Kw/4
E 863 Kw/2
E 1501
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überarbeitet am 2.11.2010

Single conversion, ZF 525 kHz

Digital frequency disply, 100 Hz


1,5 - 30,1 MHz

Selectivity -3 dB
0.2 / 0.5 / 1.5 / 3 / 6 / 12 kHz

CW < 0,2 uV

RF gain, AGC

The E 863 Kw/2 has been constructed in the seventies, it's a solid state monitor and surveillance receiver with a modular design; it has been in use with the German Bundeswehr and Navy.
The receiver can be found in a tabletop cabinet as well as in a slightly bigger "special" cabinet with an integrated counter for the hours of operation, temperature control and an integrated fan.
In combination with a FSK demodulator and other accessories, it makes part of Telefunken Weitverkehrsempfangsanlagen (Long range communications receiving equipment) Transradio 21 to 26.

With it's dimensions of 256 x 270 x 324 mm, the receiver will only take the half of a 19 inch rack, in the tabletop cabinet it measures 274 x 315 x 350 mm and has a weight of 18 resp. 22 kg, compared to older receiver, it looks quite gracile.
The receiver E 863 can be powered from 110 or 220 V mains, during the warm up, it's power comsumption is up to 100 Watts, it can also be powered from 21,5 - 30 V DC.
Teh headphones connector is located on the front panel, all other connectors are located at the rear of the receiver.
According to the receiver variant, the frontpanel has a german language lettering or international symbols.

The arrangement of the frontpanel controls is something, You have to get used too...
In the left upper corner of the receiver, You find the main power switch with the positions OFF / PREHEAT / ON / receiver on and SPEAKER OFF. A digital display using nixie tubes at the right will indicate reception frequency with a resolution of 100 Hz.

In the left lower frontpanel area You find six controls: the switch in the left upper corner selects the I.F. filter bandwidth, the receiver comes with the bandwidths +/- 100 Hz, +/- 250 and 750 Hz for CW reception, +/- 1,5 kHz, +/- 3 and 6 kHz for AM reception as well as +/- 3 kHz for USB and LSB single sideband reception. At the right, You find the bandswitch for the band segments 1,5 - 3,48 / 3,47 - 7,49 / 7,45 - 15,5 and 15,4 - 30 MHz.
Further down, You find the BFO control (A1 Überlagerer) and the reception modes switch, another control quite difficult to use: the top three positions are for F1/F6 (radioteletype FSK), A2/A3 (AM recepetion) with long and short AGC time constant. The three middle positions inactivate AGC, manual R.F. gain control for A2/A3 (AM reception), A3J (Single sideband) and A1 (CW), the two bottom positions activate AGC for A1 (CW) and A3J (Single sideband) reception. There are other receivers which simply have four reception mode positions and and AGC on/off switch ...
The two controls in the bottom row on the frontpanel are self explaining: R.F. and A.F. / audio frequency gain, below the headphones jacks and the switch for the noise limiter.

In the right lower area You find the measuring instrument which can be set to display the R.F. signal level, the A.F. line out level and the temparatures of both ovens (should read in the green mark) - as well as the monitor speaker. The main tuning knob can be identified easily, when the pushbutton with the green pilot lamp is lit, the receiver can be tuned, otherwise it's locked. The small control FEIN can be pulled out for a +/- 50 Hz fine tuning.

To operate the receiver, turn it on with the mains switch in the left upper corner, the voltage indicator should read in the middle of red and white area for mains operation and in the white area for battery operation. After twenty to sixty minutes of heating the crystal oven, frequency stability should be within specifications.
To tune the set, select the corresponding band range, press the pushbutton above the main tuning knob until it's lit green and use the tuning knob.
For standard situations and AM reception (A3) select the mode A2/A3 with the small or big dot (short of long AGC time), You might try i.f. bandwidths +/- 6, +/- 3 or +/- 1.5 kHz depending on the interference situation. For SSB reception (A3J) select the 3 kHz upper or lower sideband filter, for CW reception (A1) one of the narrow filters. Maybe You have to change over to manual gain control when receiving CW or single sideband transmissions, adjust volume with the NF REGELUNG control and make sure, the receiver is not in the LAUTSPR AUS position, when You hear nothing from the internal monitor speaker. Under special conditions, e.g. for radioteletype reception, You can lock the main tuning knob (press the green button until the light is OFF), when your decoder needs a slightly higher or lower audio frequency, use the fine tuning control the short the reception frequency for +/- 50 Hz.

As options to go together with the E 863 Kw/2, Telefunken had the Telegraphiegerät TG 455 (a FSK - radioteletype demodulator), Sichtgerät SG 455 (a visual display for the Mark and Space signals and facilitate correct tuning) and an antenny diversity system AD 455 (not installed on my receiver) to offer to upgrade the simple receiver to a "KW Weitverkehr Empfangsanlage TRANSRADIO 21". There have been additional modules for the reception of complex multichannel single sideband transmissions...

The Telefunken E 863 Kw/2 and the E-724 Kw/2, which is similar but comes without the lock function with 100 Hz tuning steps, are both quite complex solid state monitor receivers which offer high performance reception of standard AM signals as well as radioteletype signals from radioamateurs and utility stations.
The "special" version in it's bigger cabinet does not offer further possibilities as fas as reception performance is concerned. The E 863 Kw/2 is an interesting receiver found in many collections of high end communications receivers due to it's quite unique design.

Eichvorgang / Calibrating the E 863: The E 863 should be calibrated every four weeks, in the handbook, calibration is described as follows: Let the receiver in preheat position for at least two hours, unscrew the four screws on the frontpanel and pull out the chassis for 10 cm, at the right behind the frontpanel, You find an auxiliary dial and the individual calibrating frequency of each receiver written on a small tag (5).
Select the range 1,50-3,48 MHz, set FINE TUNING to 0 and turn the main tuning knob to the left stop, i.e. fully counterclockwise. On the auxiliary dial (4), You should a red mark below the pointer. Pull out the tuning knob ABSTIMMUNG and turn it to the right, until the green mark on the auxiliary dial is exactly below the pointer.
Then adjust the calibration potentiometer R1 (2) with a screwdriver, until the frequency display will show the frequency fEich (5) individual for each receiver.
Now You are done, push the chassis back and secure the frontpanel screws.
Use > Right click on the image and "save as" command for a high resolution image.
Eichen E863

© Martin Bösch 27.10.2008 / transl. 16.11.2010