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Receiver 2170   92170
Stasi surveillance receiver - under construction

2170 (later: 92170) 1 is a VHF/UHF surveillance receiver, developed between 1981 and 1985 at Außenstelle Beucha (ASB) of the Institut für Technische Untersuchungen (ITU) in Berlin (DDR) [6], and manufacturered by VEB RFT Funkwerk Köpenick in Calbe 2 (DDR) especially for the repressive East-German intelligence service Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS) also known as the Stasi. The modular device came with a selection of plug-ins to cover most of the VHF/UHF spectrum.

The 2170 was the successor to the 2070 series and had the advantage that it could be remotely controlled. As the 2170 was heavily used by the Stasi for intercept of domestic and foreign radio signals, it is also known as the Stasi Receiver.

The 2170 consists of three main building blocks: a receiver unit (EE), a control unit (BE) and a power supply unit (SE). It covers all frequencies in the VHF and UHF band from 25 MHz up to 1 GHz in CW (A1), AM (A3) and FM (F3). The three building blocks are each housed in its own sub-rack, mounted together in a single enclosure.
Controls of the 2170 Stasi Receiver

The upper part contains the power supply unit (PSU). It consists of several modules each of which is responsible for a specific voltage. The mains power switch is at the top right. The section in the middle is the actual receiver. It consists of three modules: RF, IF and demodulator, each of which can be swapped easily if a different frequency range or bandwidth is required.

The 2170 was developed between 1981 and 1985 as the successor to the 2070, which was widely used in the Stasi monitoring stations. The receivers were manufactured in small quantities from 1985 until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It is currently unknown how many units were made. After the reunification of Germany, 3 the remaining stock of receivers was sold by BHS Elekronik GmbH in Calbe (Germany) [B][C]. The 2170 shown in the image above was recovered from the Stasi operations center in Berlin-Lichtenberg, right after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 [1].

  1. In the model number 94170, the prefix 9 indicates development at Aussenstelle Beucha (ASB) or ITU.
  2. Funkwerk Köpenick had its headquarters in Berlin (DDR) with a production site in Calbe (DDR).
  3. After WWII, Germany was divided in West-Germany (BRD) and East-Germany (DDR). Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the two countries were re-united in 1990.

Please note that this page is currently under construction and that new information will be added as and when it becomes available. The circuit diagrams are now available in poor quality. If you have any additional information about this receiver, its use and/or its users, please contact us.
Controls of the 2170 Stasi Receiver
Stasi Receiver 2170
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Controls of the 2170 Stasi Receiver
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Stasi Receiver 2170

The receiver consists of three modules: the RF stage, the IF stage and the demodulator. The AF stage is part of the control unit. These three modules can be swapped easily by pulling them out of the sub-assembly frame from the front. The receiver covers all frequencies between 25 MHz and 1 GHz, divided over 14 ranges that are spread over 5 different plug-in units (modules).

The lower part is the control unit where all controls and read-outs are nicely arranged. It is constructed in such a way that the entire 2170 unit can be placed on a table in front of the operator. The frequency can be adjusted at the bottom left of the control unit. Depending on the model, a jog dial or a toggle lever is used. In practice, most operators preferred the toggle lever. It allows the frequency band to be search with a speed proportional to the position of the lever.

At the center of the control unit is the digital frequency readout. At the right is the AF amplifier with a small speaker at the front. A DIN socket at the front allows a pair of headphones to be used instead of the built-in speaker. Due to the modular construction, it was possible to adapt the 2170 for a variety of applications, frequency ranges, bandwidths, modulation arts, etc.

Two versions of the receiver were available: (1) with up/down buttons for frequency adjustment, and (2) with a proportional jog-lever as shown in the image above. The latter was typically used for surveillance.

Building blocks
  • SE - Stromversorgungseinheid (Power Supply Unit, PSU)
  • EE - Empfangeinheit (Receiver Unit, RX)
  • BE - Bedienungseinheit (Control Unit, CU)
Surveillance receiver 2170
Remote Control Unit 2170/B
Plug-in units for the various frequency bands
Operating instructions and technical documentation
Receiver   2170

Remote Control Unit   92170/B
Remote Control Unit 2170/B. Pgotograph by Detlev Vreisleven [5].

Plug-in units


Remote control unit 2170B
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Remote control unit 2170B

The 2170 is housed in a heavy 19"-like metal enclosure with all controls at the front and all connections at the rear. At the left and right sides is a handle that allows it to be lifted by two persons. The case consists of three sub-assemblies: the PSU, the receiver (RX) and the control unit (CU). Each sub-assembly is housed in its own rack that can be extracted by removing the 4 bolts at the edges (2 at either side). The sub-assembly can than be pulled from the main case.

Each sub-assembly consists of a number of (removable) plug-ins or modules. Each module has a EFS-58/AB connector at the rear that connects it to a socket in the sub-assembly frame. The sub-assembly itself is slotted into the main enclosure and is connected to the other sub-assemblies by means of another set of connectors at the rear, that are permanently wired inside the case.

Plug-ins & bands
The following RF plug-in units are available:
  1. 2170 HF
    1. 25 - 36.5 MHz
    2. 36.5 - 53 MHz
    3. 53 - 67 MHz
    4. 67 - 87 MHz

  2. 2170 HG
    1. 87 - 108 MHz
    2. 108 - 144 MHz
    3. 144 - 174 MHz
    4. 174 - 240 MHz

  3. 2170 HC
    1. 240 - 320 MHz
    2. 320 - 400 MHz
    3. 400 - 480 MHz

  4. 2170 HD
    1. 480 - 680 MHz

  5. 2170 HE
    1. 680 - 820 MHz
    2. 820 - 1000 MHz
IF section
The following bandwidths can be selected on the IF unit:

  • 3.2 kHz
  • 7.5 kHz
  • 12 kHz
  • 30 kHz
  • 300 kHz
The following people have contributed to this page and to the restoration of our 2170 receiver:

  • Peter Blümer
  • Karsten Hansky
  • Cor Moerman
  • Paul Reuvers
  • Marc Simons
  • Detlev Vreisleben
  1. Bedienungsanleitung Nachrichtenempfänger 2170
    Operating instructions (German).
    92170-100. Funkwerk Köpenick GmbH, Undated.

  2. BHS-Elektronik GmbH, Beschreibung VHF/UHF-Empfänger 2170
    Description (German). 1991/1992. 1

  3. BHS-Elektronik GmbH, Beschreibung VHF/UHF-Empfänger 2170
    Operating instructions (German). 1991/1992. 1

  4. Checklist and Measurement Test Chart
    Date unknown, but later than 1 November 1984.

  5. Reparaturanleitung Nachrichtenempfänger 2170 (4 Mappen) 2
    Service Manual for Surveillance Receiver 2170 (4 parts) — large file (300 MB)!
    Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Berlin, 1981.
  1. Estimated date, based on the use of an old (DDR) telephone number, which was valid until 15 April 1992, plus the fact that BHS Elektronik was registered as a GmbH (Ltd) on 11 September 1992. Until that date it was a GmbH i.G. (Ltd. in formation) [4].
  2. The quality of these scans is sub-standard, but it's all we've got. The files have been recovered from the Heinz Lissok legacy and have been scanned at 200 dpi.

  1. Cor Moerman, Stasi Receiver 2170 - THANKS !
    Donated to Crypto Museum, August 2006.

  2. Radiomuseum, VHF/UHF - Empfänger 2170 Visited 2 February 2023.

  3. Andreas Schmidt, Hauptabteilung III: Funkaufklärung und Funkabwehr (Handbuch)
    Anatomie der Staatssicherheit, Geschichte, Struktur und Methoden (German).
    Berlin 2010. ISBN 978-3-942130-06-6. pp 94-95.

  4. Online-handelsregister, BHS-Elektronik GmbH
    Visited 2 February 2023.

  5. Detlev Vreisleben. Personal Correspondence
    February 2023.

  6. Prof. Dr. sc. techn. Reinhard Schiffel, Kommunikation und Sicherheitstechnik
    Visited 3 February 2023.
Further information
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Friday 03 May 2013. Last changed: Friday, 03 February 2023 - 16:29 CET.
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