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Skanti DS-6001
Digital voice scrambler

The DS-6001 was a digital voice scrambler, manufactured by Skanti in Værløse (Denmark) in the mid-1990s. It was the successor to the DS-6000 and was issued as part of the TRP-6000 HF full-duplex transceiver suite. The devices were intended for maritime users such as fishing vessels.
 
The image on the right shows a typical Skanti DS6001 unit that was used for many years on a fishing vessel. The scrambler measures 37 x 16 x 25 cm and is housed in a die-cast plastic case, which is identical to the case of the matching TRP-6000 LF/HF transceiver (see below).

The cryptographic key is set by means of four hex-switches at the right hand side of the front panel. Each switch has 16 possible settings, the numbers 0-9 and the letters A-F, giving a total of 65,536 key combinations. The settings can be altered with the up/down push-buttons.
  
Skanti DS-6001 digital voice scrambler on top of a TRP-6000 transceiver

In order to prevent key initialisation by an unauthorized person, the settings are hidden behind a black slide-door that can be locked with a physical key. In the image above, this key is present in the lock. If ithe lock is in the horizontal position, the black cover over the key settings can be opened by sliding it to the left. After setting the new key, the cover should be closed again.

Production of the DS-6000 and its successor the DS-6001 began around 1985 and lasted well into the 1990s. The DS-6001 and the matching TRP-6000 transceiver were also sold as OEM products under a variety of brand names. The case and the front panel were either grey or cream.
 
DS-6001 front panel Skanti DS-6001 digital voice scrambler Skanti DS-6001 digital voice scrambler on top of a TRP-6000 transceiver Selecting crypto mode Releasing the crypto key door Opening the cover of the key settings Crypto key settings Setting the key

 
Interior
The case of the DS-6001 is identical to that of the TRP-6000 transceiver. The interior can be accessed by opening the hinged control panel. This is done by removing the two screws in the upper corners of the front panel. Folding away the control panel reveils the DS-6001 interor.
 
Behind the control panel is a large PCB that holds the various selectors, switches and indicators. It also holds the AF amplifier that is used for the connection of the handset.

The main case has three slots for aliminium cassettes in which the electronics are located. In the DS-6001, only two of these slots are occupied. The upper slot is taken by the Power Supply Unit (PSU). The lowest slot holds the actual digital voice scrambler. A wide ribbon cable connects the two cassettes to the front panel. It carries power and control signals.
  
The interior of a DS-6001. At the front is the rear side of the control panel.

All cables to the outside world are fed in/out from the rear, via the gap to the left of the aluminium cassettes. Power is connected to a contact strip with screw terminals on the front panel PCB. The main PCBs are both housed in an aluminium enclosed that provides sufficient shielding against unwanted emissions. Due to the universal nature of these cassettes, that are also used in the TRP-6000 transceiver, some of the holes at the front are unused.
 
The interior of a DS-6001. At the front is the rear side of the control panel. Front panel PCB Rear view of the crypto key settings Audio amplifier

 
TRP-6000
The TRP-6000 is a full-duplex LF/HF radio set that was used aboard fishing boats from the mid-1980s onwards. The TRS-6000 consisted of a transceiver (exciter) with a power output of 125 mW and a Power Amplifier (PA) that boosted power up to 200 W (TU-6200) or even 400 W when using TU-6400 PA. The receiver had a frequency range from 100 kHz to 4.2 MHz, whilst the range of the transmitter was limited to 150 kHz - 4.2 MHz.
 
The set was used for phone communication in AM and USB. It was usually mounted in a rack and was operated directly from the front panel of the units. A telephone-style handset was used for communication. The image on the right shows a typical TRP-6000 set as it was used aboard a ship. Photograph courtesy Christiaan Roselaar (PA3FUN) [2].

The transceiver is microprocessor controlled and has two separate synthesizers; one for the transmitter and one for the receiver. 20 RX/TX frequency pairs can be stored in the radio's memory. They can be recalled from the keypad.

In distress situations, a single key-press is enough to select 2182 kHz, the international distress frequency, with the option to broadcast an automatic 45-second alarm signal.

The separate Power Amplifier (PA) is housed in a double-height nylon-coated steel case, that can be mounted up to 50 metres away from the CU (Control Unit). It has temperature controlled fans and an external heatsink for effecient cooling.
  
Skanti TRP-6000. Photograph courtesy Christiaan Roselaar (PA3FUN). Click for a larger view.

At the front right of the upper section is the antenna output with a power indicator (Watt meter) directly below it. The Transmitter Unit (TU) also contains an efficient electro-mechanical Automatic Antenna Tuner (ATU) that matches the antenna within a couple of seconds.
 
Technical specifications
  • RX: 100 kHz - 4.2 MHz
  • TX: 150 kHz - 4.2 MHz
  • Modulation: AM, USB
  • TX power output: 200W or 400 W (without exciter: 125 mW)
  • Power supply: 24V, 28A (when used with exciter)
Components
  • CU-6000 Control Unit (holding the receiver and the exciter)
  • TU-6200 Transmitter Unit, 200 W
  • TU-6400 Transmitter Unit, 400 W
About Skanti
Skanti was a manufacturer of LF, HF and VHF radio equipment, mainly for the maritime market, based in Ballerup (Denmark). The full company name was Skandinavisk Teleindustri, Skanti A/S. Skanti products were also sold under other brand names, such as Sailor Radio (SR), SAIT, Furuno, Plessey, Debeg and GE Maritime. In the late 1990s or the early 2000s, Skanti became part of EuroCom Industries, together with its partner Sailor Radio.

In June 2004, the Danish company Thrane & Thrane aquired the majority of shares in EuroCom Industries, giving it control over the well-known maritime communication brands Skanti and Sailor. Thrane & Thrane already had strong ties with both brands and continued to expand their product ranges and privde support and after sales service for existing products [5]. Thrane & Thrane itself was founded in 1981 by Lars and Per Thrane and employed at one time 600 people. The company specialized in aeronautical, land mobile and maritime communication systems.

In July 2012, Thrane & Thrane was acquired by Cobham plc and went on as Cobham SATCOM, the new SATCOM strategic business unit under the Cobham Aerospace and Security Division [4].

Last known addresses:
 
  • Skandinavisk Teleindustri, Skanti A/S
    Lautrupvang 4
    DK-2750 Ballerup
    Denmark
    Phone: +45 44748400
    Fax: +45 44748401

  • Skandinavisk Teleindustri, Skanti A/S
    34 Kirke Værløsevej
    DK 3500 Værløse
    Denmark

  • Cobham SATCOM
    Brook Road
    Wimborne, Dorset BH21 2BJ
    United Kingdom
    www.cobham.com

Brand names
Skanti radio stations and voice scramblers were built by Skanti and it successors for a variety of OEM manufactuers, which is why the same units are often found under different brand names. So far, we've seen the following names:
 
  • Skanti
  • SAIT
  • Sailor Radio
  • Furuno
  • Plessey
  • Debeg
  • GE Maritime
  • Thrane & Trane
Help required
We are currently looking for information about the Skanti DS-6001 digital voice scrambler. If you can provide us with any information whatsoever, such as the user manual and/or the service manual, please contact us.
 
References
  1. Frits Brouwer (PE1GRJ), Skanti DS-6001 and TRP-6000 - THANKS !
    DS-6001 and TRP-6000 kindly donated to Crypto Museum in Januari 2014.

  2. Christiaan Roselaar (PA3FUN), Skanti TRP-6000 LF/HF Transceiver
    Retrieved January 2014.

  3. RigReference.com, Skanti TRP-6000
    Website. Retrieved January 2014.

  4. Cobham plc, Thrane website redirected to Cobham
    Announcement on the Cobham website. Retrieved January 2014.

  5. Maritime Journal, Thrane & Thrane Expansion
    Retrieved January 2013.

Further information

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© Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 07 January 2017. Last changed: Friday, 30 December 2016 - 09:20 CET.
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