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Intercept receivers

This section deals with receivers that have been used (or are being used) to intercept and monitor radio traffic. Please note that there are overlaps with other sections, as some of these receivers are also used for radio direction finding, or for finding the nature and source of an interference.
Intercept receivers on this website
National HRO receivers
RCA AR-88 receiver Hallicrafters SX-28 Super Skyrider receiver Siemens R-II (R2) Abwehr receiver Siemens R-IV (R4) Abwehr receiver CIA VHF intercept receiver SRR-4 SRR-8 surveillance receiver 30-1000 MHz (1963) SRR-52 listening post receiver
SRR-56 listening post receiver Improved modular surveillance receiver (vertical model) Improved modular surveillance receiver (horizontal model) Modular surveillance receiver for RP and DP masked bugs SRR-145 down-converter SRR-153 surveillance receiver Pristroj UHF 465 MHz intercept receiver, used for monitoring French counter-espionage 2170 Intercept Receiver as used by the Stasi in the former DDR
Minilock 6900 Programmable Precision Measurement Receiver Minilock 6910 Programmable Precision Measurement Receiver Rohde & Schwarz EB-100 portable surveillance receiver Czechoslovakian VHF or UHF bug receiver General coverage panoramic intercept receiver Dutch intercept receiver for 1st generation car phones

National HRO
The National HRO was a valve-based (tube) shortwave general coverage communications receiver, manufactured by the National Radio Company (National) in Malden (Massachusetts, USA) from 1935 onwards.

The receiver was intended for military and amateur use and became very popular for intercept work during WWII. Different versions of the radio were in production until the 1950s.

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National HRO-5

The AR-88 was a valve-based shortwave general coverage communications receiver, developed and built by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in the early 1940s.

Although the receiver was initially intended as the successor to the AR-77 amateur receiver, the outbreak of WWII made it evolve into a professional high-end military-grade intercept receiver for which cost was not an issue.

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RCA AR-88 receiver

Hallicrafters SX-28
The SX-28 and the later SX-28A were AM/CW communication receivers, developed and built by Hallicrafters Inc. in Chicago (USA) in 1940, a few years before the US got involved in WWII.

It is one of the most popular receivers every built by Hallicrafters, and was used heavily for intercept work during the war. The receiver is also known as Super Skyrider.

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Hallicrafters SX-28A

This valve-based surveillance receiver was developed by the CIA in 1958 and covers 50 - 200 MHz. It was used for monitoring and for the reception of covert listening devices (bugs).

The receiver is based on the military R-744, which as a similar front panel.

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Telescopic antenna mounted on the SRR-4

The SRR-8 was a countermeasures receiver, developed by the CIA between 1961 and 1963. It covers 30-1000 MHz in FM/AM and PM, and was suitable for stationary as well as mobile use.

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XRR-8 (SRR-8) CIA surveillance receiver

The SRR-52 was a surveillance receiver, used by the CIA, that was developed especially for the reception of bugs that used the Triple Pulse (TP) audio masking scheme.

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SRR-52 surveillance receiver

The SRR-56 was a surveillance receiver, used by the CIA, that was developed especially for the reception of bugs that used Rejected Pulse (RP) and Dirty Pulse (DP) audio masking schemes.

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Modular receiver for the 260-400 MHz VHF/UHF frequency range, introduced in 1974 by the NRP for use by the American CIA. Intended for the reception of pulse-based transmitters (bugs).

Modular construction, designed for transport and operation in a standard Samsonite briefcase. Succeeded by the SRR-90.

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SRR-91 surveillance receiver

SRR-90 A
Improved successor to the SRR-91, intended for the reception of a wide variety of transmitters (bugs) with various audio masking techniques. Developed by the NRP for the American CIA and introduced in 1975.

The SRR-90A is intended for desktop use and in the vertical version of the SRR-90B (below).

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SRR-90A receiver (upright model)

SRR-90 B
Horizontal variant of the SRR-90A receiver shown above. Highly modular design, developed by the NRP and introduced with the CIA in 1975. Intended for installation inside a regular executive style Samsonite briefcase.

Suitable for the reception of a wide variety of transmitters (bugs) with different audio masking schemes, including pulse-based transmissions, and subcarrier modulated signals.

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SRR-90B receiver

Special receiver for the 260 to 320 MHz band, suitable for the reception of transmitters (bugs) with subcarrier (SC) audio masking.

Developed around 1981 as part of the SRS-153 surveillance system, that was (partly) a 'chinese copy' of a bug that had been found in the desk of a US Ambassador.

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SRR-153 surveillance receiver

Kolibrie (hummingbird) was an intercept receiver for car phones (cell phones) developed by the Police Signals Service in The Netherlands in the early 1990s. It was intended for intercepting criminal conversations on the analogue ATF-3 (NMT-900) car phone networks.

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Front panel of the Kolibrie, with the unique ID plug

In the 1980s and 1990s, Schlumberger GmbH developed a series of high performance digital programmable precision receivers, under the name Minilock. The receivers were used by many agencies for intercepting, measuring and fingerprinting radio signals.

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Operating the Minilock 6900 Control Unit

The EB-100 is a small portable surveillance receiver build in the 1980s by Rohde & Schwarz in Munich (Germany). It was intended for a variety of jobs, including frequency monitoring, radio surveillance, radio intercept, EMC measurements and direction finding.

Due to its small size and wide frequency range, it is extremely useful for bug tracing. EB-100 is also known as MINIPORT.

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EB-100 at the desktop

Bodrog was a series of wideband VHF and UHF receivers, developed and built in Czechoslovakia, especially for the reception of FM radio bugs.

The version shown here is the A-variant that was used for the VHF-H band. It was supplied with a mains PSU and a removable battery pack.

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Bodrog bug receiver

2170 Stasi Receiver
During the days of the Cold War, the secret service of the former DDR (East Germany), also known as the Stasi, used this receiver to monitor domestic and foreign radio traffic.

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Controls of the 2170 Stasi Receiver

PAN-1000 was a high-end general coverage panoramic receiver, developed by the Dutch Radar Laboratory (NRP) for the Dutch Radio Monitoring Service (RCD) in the early 1980s.

The receiver covers a frequency range from 0.1 to 1000 MHz and could be fitted inside a car. It was intended for locating clandestine radio stations (pirates).

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Complete PAN-1000 set

Further information

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Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 24 December 2016. Last changed: Thursday, 18 May 2017 - 15:21 CET.
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