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SE-660   CRYPTOVOX
Mobile radio with voice encryption

The SE-660 is half-duplex mobile two-way VHF/UHF FM/PM radio, manufactured by ASCOM in Switzerland around 1992 and sold by a variety of companies, including ASCOM, Bosch, Motorola and Crypto AG (Hagelin). The radios operate in the VHF-L, VHF-H or UHF band. Some versions have built-in voice encryption made by Crypto AG and implemented as an embedded crypto chip.

The crypto-version of the SE-660 is compatible with the crypto-version of the handheld SE-160, and can be recognised by the letter 'C' at the end of the model number. It is also compatible with Crypto AG's CRYPTOVOX SE-580 portable radio.

The radio has the same form factor as a common consumer car radio, and can therefore be fitted easily in the dashboard of a car in the slot that is normally reserved for the car stereo. If such a slot is not available, the SE-660 can also be used with detached front panel, in which case the actual radio is mounted in the trunk of the car.
  
SE-660 mobile radio with microphone

The SE-660 was a very popular two-way radio with police forces in Europe, in the years prior to the introduction of digital communication systems like TetraNet. 1 It was used in particular by special intervention teams and for VIP protection, not least because of its excellent audio quality and its high-grade digital encryption. In the Netherlands, the SE-660-C was used by several special police departments, often alongside the handheld crypto-capable SE-160-C radio. The price of a single crypto-enabled SE-660-C unit in 1997 was NLG 9195 (approx. EUR 4180) [3].

  1. In the Netherlands, TetreNet is known as C2000.  Wikipedia

SE-660 TOP model Rear view SE-660 ECO model SE-660 with remote control head SE-660 mobile radio with microphone Controls Front panel Remote front panel
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SE-660 TOP model
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Rear view
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SE-660 ECO model
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SE-660 with remote control head
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SE-660 mobile radio with microphone
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Controls
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Front panel
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Remote front panel

Controls
All controls of the SE-660 are at the front panel, that has the same size as a regular car stereo, allowing it to be integrated in the most vehicles without any adapters or special mounts. In addition it was possible to use the radio with detached front panel, by using the BG-660 kit.


At the top right is a small plastic lid, behind which is a socket for a special codeplug, that could (optionally) be used to protect the radio against unauthorised use. As far as we know, the code­plug was only used by the German Police. At the bottom right is an 8-pin RJ-45 socket to which peripherals can be connected, such as the microphone and the HC-3400 crypto key entry device.

The ON/OFF button at the top left - commonly printed with the logo 1 of the manufacturer, also acts as the shift-key. When it is pressed briefly, the rightmost symbol of the display lights up. When it is lit, all buttons have a different (shift) function. Shift-mode is cancelled automatically after three seconds. Pressing the ON/OFF/SHIFT button for two seconds turns the radio off.


The display of the SE-660 has a multi-colour backlight. When in crypto-mode, the display will be green when receiving a compatible secure signal that is encrypted with the same key. Signals that are encrypted with a different key will be ignored. When receiving a standard analogue signal, the display turns red, indicating that the conversation is non-secure. This is very useful if, say, a policeman presses his red distress button, after which the voice signal is no longer encrypted. 2

The symbols at the top edge of the display have the following meaning:

  1. Receive
  2. Transmit
  3. Speaker on (tone squelch off)
  4. Call waiting
  5. Battery empty
  6. Scanning
  7. Encrypted
  8. Keypad locked
  9. Crypto default
  10. Shift (additional features)
  1. In most cases the button is printed with ASCOM or BOSCH.
  2. Note that when CTCSS is used, the programmed CTCSS frequency has to match the CTCSS frequency of the received signal, in order to hear the conversation.

SE-660 TOP model Rear view Front panel Rear side Rear side of SE-660 with optional interface SE-660 ECO model Rear view of SE-660 with optional interface SE-660 ECO front panel
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SE-660 TOP model
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Rear view
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Front panel
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Rear side
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Rear side of SE-660 with optional interface
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SE-660 ECO model
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Rear view of SE-660 with optional interface
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SE-660 ECO front panel

Models
The following models of the SE-160 are currently known:

Version
In addition to the model (see above), different version and variants of the SE-660 were available. Check the model number to see which features are available on your radio. The following versions are known:

  • Standard
    This is the standard version of the SE-660. Although it features digital frequency control by means of a programmable synthesizer, it is only suitable for analogue (voice) communication. Data communication can be added as an option.

  • Crypto
    This version is suitable for analogue (clear) voice communication, as well as digitally encrypted speech and (optionally) data. It features the Crypto AG (Hagelin) HC-3400 embedded encryptor, that is implemented as a chip on the control board of the radio.

  • Digital
    This version is suitable for digital voice communication, like P-25. At present, no further information is available about this version.

  • Trunking
    This version made especially for Trunking Radio networks, such as Actionet, SpeedCom, RegioNet, Chekker and Traxys. It is based on the same hardware as the standard version, but the firmware and the font panel are different.

 Model number decoder


Crypto
The crypto-variant of the SE-660 is suitable for secure voice communication with other HC-3400 compatible radios, such as the SE-160-C handheld radio. For this purpose, the standard control board (CPU) of the SE-660 has been replaced by one that contains the embedded HC-34xx chip.

The HC-3400 is made by Crypto AG (Hagelin) in Zug (Switzerland), and provides professional high-grade speech encryption with an excellent voice quality. The data is protected by a 128-bit key that can be generated with the so-called Key Entry Device KED-3400, also from Crypto AG.

Alternatively, keys can be entered manually as 32 hexadecimal digits. In addition to single keys, the device also supports the 3-KEY strategy, in which a past, present and future keys are used. The same KED key entry device and the same keys can be used for the SE-160 handheld radio.
  
KED 3400 key entry device

In addition to speech, the radio can also be used for data transmission, by adding the optional LP-660 serial interface board. When placed in the crypto-capable version of the SE-660, the serial data can also be encrypted by the HC-3400 controller.

 More about the KED-3400
Accessories
DC power cable Handheld microphone MI-660
Mic
BG-660 extension kit
Kit
LP-660 serial interface board
I/F
PAG-660 test box for service engineer
Power cable
The SE-660 is powered directly from the 12V (13.8V) DC voltage of a car battery, which is connected to the 4-pin socket at the rear. A suitable cable with a 4-pin female plug was provided with the radio. The plug is identical to the 4-pin plug that was used to power the harddisc drives of the 1990s.

Two wires are used for 12V (red) and 0V (black). The two remaining (green) wires are used for the connection of an external loudspeaker.
  
Power cable

Microphone   MI-660
The SE-660 came with a standard handheld microphone, such as the MI-660 shown in the image on the right. The microphone is fitted with an 8-pin modular RJ-45 plug at the end of the spiral cable, that mates with the RJ-45 socket on the front panel of the radio.

Alternatively, it can be fitted to the detached front panel in case the BG-660 extension kit is used (see below).
  
MI-660 microphone

Extension kit   BG-660
When the SE-660 can not be fitted in a slot on the dashbord of the car, it is possible to convert it into a remote controlled radio.

This is done by removing the front panel and replacing it with a so-called control head. The detached control panel is then fitted to a long inter-connection cable that is connected to a multi-pin socket on the control head. Note that different (incompatible) versions of the front panel exist. The front panel of a VHF version, does not work on an UHF unit and vice versa. 1
  
Remote front panel

  1. Test at Crypto Museum with an SE-660-459-2-C and an SE-660-169-2-C.

Interface card   LP-660
The SE-660 can be extended with an (optional) interface that is installed in the empty space at the bottom of the radio. The board measures 93 x 52 mm, and is connected to the unsused red 20-pin socket on the power board, by means of a short 20-way ribbon cable. 1

The interface to the outside world consists of a 9-pin sub-D female socket and a 15-pin sub-D male socket, that protrude 2 the pre-cast holes at the rear. The 9-pin socket provides an RS-232 serial port and allows the connection of a data processing device, such as a message terminal.
  
Two different optional interfaces

  1. There are at least two different types of interface. Both are shown in the image above.
  2. Note that the holes for the connectors are normally covered by a metal panel, that has to be removed first.


Test unit   PAG-660
Programming of the frequencies and features of the SE-660 radio is fully under control of the Interactive Parameter Programming software IPP-660, in combination with a special programming cable, of which one side connects to the 8-pin RJ-45 socket at the front of the SE-660, and the other side to the parallel port of a standard DOS PC. The cable contains an IIC interface.

Especially for Ascom dealers and service centres, Ascom developed the PAG-660 test box, shown in the image on the right. The box has a fixed cable with a modular RJ-45 jack at the end, that can be fitted directly to the socket at the front.

At the rear side of the box is a 9-pin sub-D socket to which the programming cable can be connected. The programming cable should be connected to the parallel port of an old DOS PC that runs the IPP-660 programming software. Once installed between the PC and the radio, the software can be used to program all features.
  
PAG-660 test unit

The PAG-660 has several switches for direct control of some functions of the SE-660, such as the squelch, the push-to-talk switch (PTT), the microphone and the speaker. It has a small built-in speaker, and a socket for a microphone at the rear. At the rear are also some test sockets.

Power cable Power connector Power socket at the rear MI-660 microphone MI-660 microphone Expansion kit BG-660 Remote front panel SE-660 with remote control head
Socket on the remote control head Multi connector for control head PAG-660 test unit PAG-660 test unit for SE-660 Rear view Two different optional interfaces Interface board Interface board with provisions for a daughter board
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Power cable
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Power connector
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Power socket at the rear
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MI-660 microphone
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MI-660 microphone
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Expansion kit BG-660
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Remote front panel
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SE-660 with remote control head
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Socket on the remote control head
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Multi connector for control head
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PAG-660 test unit
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PAG-660 test unit for SE-660
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Rear view
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Two different optional interfaces
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Interface board
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Interface board with provisions for a daughter board


Interior
The SE-660 is extremely well-built. It is based on a die-cast aluminium frame with compartments at the top and bottom. All electronic circuit boards are mounted either at the top or at the bottom of the frame. The frame is enclosed in two blue case shells that are simply clicked in place.

Getting access to the interior, requires no more that a screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver into one of the small gaps at the side, and bend out the case shell. Do this at both sides to remove the shells. The interior should now be visible.

The RF parts (i.e. the actual radio) are at the top side of the frame. They are usually covered by metal shielding panels that are easily removed. In the images below, these shielding panels have been removed in order to shows the RF parts. Most of the transceiver is not immediately visible as it is shielded by solder-fixed metal panels.
  
Interior top side

The bottom side of the frame holds the internal power supply unit (PSU) and the control board, or central processing unit (CPU). The CPU is additionally shielded by means of a die-cast aluminium panel, that is held in place by four crews at the corners. Remove these to access the CPU board.

Depending on the model, version and variant of the radio, different CPU boards are used. The image on the right shows the CPU board of the crypto-capable version of the SE-660 on which the large HC-3400 encryption chip, made by Crypto AG, is clearly visible at the bottom right.

The board has components on both sides. The top side holds the HC-3453 crypto chip. Note that on non-crypto radios, it contains far less components. The bottom side of the board holds the actual (customised) Hitachi microcontroller, memory, flash storage and additional glue logic.
  
Crypto unit

The CPU board is connected to the PSU board by means of a ribbon cable, and also to the RF unit at the other side of the frame, via a 16-pin header. The radio can optionally be expanded with a serial interface board that can be fitted in the empty space between the CPU and the rear panel.

Interior top side Interior bottom side Top side Bottom side Internal power supply unit Antenna filter Transmitter PA Analogue section
Digital and crypto unit Crypto unit Crypto unit Control unit Bottom view of SE-660 interior with LP-660 interface fitted LP-660 interface Interface board Bottom view of interface board
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Interior top side
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Interior bottom side
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Top side
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Bottom side
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Internal power supply unit
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Antenna filter
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Transmitter PA
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Analogue section
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Digital and crypto unit
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Crypto unit
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Crypto unit
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Control unit
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Bottom view of SE-660 interior with LP-660 interface fitted
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LP-660 interface
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Interface board
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Bottom view of interface board

Connections
Front panel socket
At the bottom right of the front panel is an 8-pin RJ-45 socket for connection of the microphone, a handset, a programming device or a key loader. The diagram below shows the pinout when looking into the socket from the front of the radio.

  1. Ground
  2. Microphone
  3. Speaker
  4. PTT
  5. Hook switch 1
  6. ZCL (IIC Clock)
  7. ZDA (IIC Data)
  8. 12V(+) switched
  1. Inside the handheld microphone is a reed switch.

Power socket
At the rear side of the radio is a 4-pin socket for connection of the 12V DC supply voltage and the speaker. This 4-pin socket is identical to the ones that were formerly used on IDE disc drives. Below is the pinout of this socket, when looking into the socket from the rear side of the radio.

  1. Speaker green
  2. Speaker green
  3. Ground (-) black
  4. 12V (+) red
Interface 9-pin sub-D   option
  1. Relay contact (n.o.) 1,2
  2. Serial RX data
  3. Serial TX data
  4. Relay contact (common) 1
  5. Ground
  6. not used
  7. IO-1
  8. IO-2
  9. Relay contact (n.c.) 1,3
  1. The Dutch Police used the relay for a Mute circuit.
  2. n.o. = Normally open (will be closed when the relay is activated)
  3. n.c. = Normally closed (will be opened when the relay is activated)

Interface 15-pin sub-D   option
  1. Microphone (2)
  2. Microphone (3)
  3. Ground
  4. PTT (2)
  5. PTT (3)
  6. TX audio out
  7. TX audio in
  8. RX audio out
  9. RX audio in
  10. IO-3 (squelch)
  11. IO-4
  12. IO-5
  13. Speaker
  14. Hook switch
  15. 12V (1A max.)
Model number
The model number is printed on a label at the side of the radio and always starts with the model number: SE 660. The meaning of the remaining parts is given in the diagram below, based on the model number of the radio that is featured on this page. It is constructed as follows [2]:


Use the tables below to decode the actual digits found at the side of the radio. In our case, the radio covers the 425 to 450 MHz band (45) with a channel spacing of 20/25 kHz (2). It has an output power of 15 Watts (9) and features build-in voice encryption (C). SE-660-459-2-C.

Frequency band
  • 04
    33-45 MHz
  • 05
    45-58 MHz
  • 08
    68-88 MHz
  • 14
    132-148 MHz
  • 16
    146-174 MHz
  • 20
    173-224 MHz
  • 21
    205-207 MHz
  • 33
    300-344 MHz
  • 42
    400-425 MHz
  • 43
    400-440 MHz
  • 45
    425-450 MHz
  • 46
    430-470 MHz
  • 47
    450-470 MHz
  • 92
    892-980 MHz
TX power
  • 0
    Driver only
  • 1
    1 W
  • 2
    2.5 W
  • 5
    5 W
  • 6
    6W
  • 7
    10 W
  • 8
    15 W
  • 9
    25 W
Channel spacing
  • 1
    12.5 kHz
  • 2
    20/25 kHz
  • 3
    25 kHz
  • 5
    50 kHz
Version
  • S
    Standard
  • E
    SBB 1 with keyboard
  • C
    Crypto
  • D
    Digital
  • T
    Trunking
  • X
    Eplosion safe variant (EEX)
Variants
  • CT
    Crypto Trunking
  • DT
    Digital Trunking
  • EC
    SBB 1 with keyboard and Crypto
  • ET
    SBB 1 with keyboard and Trunking
  • TX
    Trunking and EEx (147-156 MHz)
  • Seco
    Standard and low-grade
  • Teco
    Trunking and low-grade
  • TXeco
    Trunking and Ex and low-grade
  1. SBB = Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (Swiss Federal Railways).

Examples
  • SE-660-459-2-C
    425-450 MHz, 25 W, 20/25 kHz, Crypto
  • SE-660-169-2-C
    146-174 MHz, 25 W, 20/25 kHz, Crypto
Use in the Netherlands
The SE-660, and in particular the crypto-enabled SE-660-C, was used in the Netherlands by several special police departments and security organisations, including the ones listed below. Note that some of these organisations have meanwhile been renamed, merged or disssolved.

KLPD   Korps Landelijke Politiediensten
National Police Services.

LRT   Landelijk Recherche Team
National Police Investigation Team.

NR   Nationale Recherche
National Police Investigation Team.

CRI   Centrale Recherche Informatiedienst
Central Investigation Intelligence Service.

KTR   Kern Teams Recherche
Core Investigation Teams.

DKDB   Divisie Koninklijke en Diplomatieke Beveiliging
Division Protection Royal Family and Diplomatic Missions. Part of the KLPD.

DTOO   Dienst Technische Operationele Ondersteuning
Technical Operationsl Support Service. Part of the KLPD.

BSB   Brigade Special Beveiligingsopdrachten
Special Protection Branch. Department of the Dutch Military Police (Konklijke Marchaussee) taksed with the protection of VIPs.

DNB   De Nederlandse Bank
Dutch Nation Bank.

NS   Nederlandse Spoorwegen
Dutch National Railways.

VNT   VN-Tribunaal
United Nations Tribunal Court.

Brands
  • Ascom SE-660
    actual manufacturer
  • Bosch SE-660
  • Motorola SE-660
Documentation
  1. Accessory set BG-660, fitting instructions
    Motorola (Ascom). 2003.
References
  1. Anonymous, Bosch SE-660-495-2-C mobile radio with encryption - THANKS !
    June 2017.

  2. Oppermann Telekom, Ascom SE660
    Retrieved December 2016.

  3. Anonymous, Invoice for SE-160 and SE-660 equipment to the BSB
    Retrieved June 2017 (considered confidential).
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 24 June 2017. Last changed: Friday, 07 July 2017 - 12:16 CET.
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