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RFT EKD-500
DDR Communications Receiver - under construction

The EKD-500 was a high-end short-wave communications receiver with digital readout, developed and produced in 1986 by RFT Funkwerk Köpenick in (East) Berlin, during the days of the former DDR (East Germany) and the Cold War. The receiver was the successor to the EKD-300 and covered 14 kHz to 30 MHz. It was complemented by the EZ-100 pre-selector/FSK decoder.
 
The EKD-500 was a double conversion receiver with IF-frequencies at 70.2 MHz and 200 kHz. It had a digital frequency readout with an accuracy of 10 Hz and was suitable for the reception of AM, USB, LSB, CW, FAX and ISB signals. With a sensitivity of less than 0.5 µV at 5 MHz it was a truely professional communications receiver.

The receiver was available in a grey civil variant and a green/black military one. The image on the right shows the military version of the EKD-500. It is shown here with the optional EZ-100 pre-selector / FSK demodulator on top.
  

The EKD-500 was the successor to the EKD-300 that had been introduced in 1980. It was mechanically and electrically more robust than its predecessor. In the early 1990s, the EKD-500 was supposed to be replaced by the improved EKD-700. Due to the reunification of Germany [2] however, full production was never reached and only a modest number of them were ever built.
 

 
Models
EKD-500 is the name of this receiver family, but the actual design variant is determined by the number at the back of the unit. The units differ in frequency range, IF filter and SSB filter.
 
  • EKD-511, Range 14 kHz - 30 MHz, IF filter 5 kHz, SSB filter 3 kHz
  • EKD-512, Range 14 kHz - 30 MHz, IF filter 8 kHz, SSB filter 6 kHz
  • EKD-514, Range 10 kHz - 30 MHz, IF filter 5 kHz, SSB filter 3 kHz
  • EKD-515, Range 10 kHz - 30 MHz, IF filter 8 kHz, SSB filter 6 kHz
EZ-100 expansion unit
The EKD-500 receiver was complemented by the (optional) EZ-100 expansion unit (German: Zusatsgerät). It acted as a pre-selector, a diversity unit and an FSK demodulator. In combination with the optional AVV01S antenna selector, it was even possible to connect multiple antennas.
 
The image on the right shows a typical EZ-100 unit with green/black cover. It was usually placed on top of the EKD-500 receiver and connected via cables at the front and at the back. The EZ-100 was also suitable for use with the earlier EKD-100 and EKD-300 receivers.   

 

 
Diversity reception
When two EKD-500 receivers are available, it is possible to connect them together in a diversity setup, allowing the strongest of two signals to be selected. For this, the audio outputs of both receivers and the F1/F6 demodulator input of one of the receivers have to be connected to the EZ-100 expansion unit. Furthermore, both receivers have to be tuned in tandem (via serial port).
 
EZ-1 spare parts kit
As an extra option, a separate wooden box with spare parts was available for the EKD-500. It was known as Ersatzteilsatz E1 (spare parts kit E1) or 1340.042-01812 E1. It consisted of a wooden transport case with a 3-compartment wooden inlay in which the various parts were stored.
 
The image on the right shows the contents of the E1 spares kit. Each component is packed in greased paper and is sequentially numbered.   

 
Documentation
  1. Funkwerk Köpenick, EKD-500 Betriebsanleitung (DE)
    Operator's Manual (German). Date unknown.

  2. Funkwerk Köpenick, EKD-500 Service Manual Volume 1 (EN)
    Service Documentation. 1340.042-91700 Su 02. Edition 2/1989. Volume 1.

  3. Funkwerk Köpenick, EKD-500 Service Manual Volume 2 (DE)
    Service Documentation. 1340.042-91700 Su 02. Edition 2/1987. Band 2.

  4. Funkwerk Köpenick, EZ-100 User Manual (EN)
    Operating Instructions (English). 1399.036-90001 Eu 02. Edition 3/1979.

  5. Funkwerk Köpenick, EZ-100 Reparaturanleitung, Band 1 (DE)
    Service Manual Volume 1 (English). 1399.036-90001 Ra. Edition 4/1984. Volume 1.

  6. Funkwerk Köpenick, EZ-100 Reparaturanleitung, Band 2 (DE)
    Service Manual Volume 2 (English). 1399.036-00001 Ra. Edition 1/1984. Volume 2.

References
  1. Martin Bösch, RFT VEB Funkwerk Köpenick EKD-500
    Website. 22 October 2010. Retrieved December 2013.

  2. Wikipedia, German reunification
    Retrieved December 2013.

Further information

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