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Cold War
BE-20/2 →
← BE-20
Berger BE 20/1   Prototype
Austria spy radio set - this page is a stub

BE-20 was a three-piece short-wave spy radio set, built around 1948 by Dr. Hermann Berger in Innsbruck (Tirol, Austria). The device was intended for several customers, including the Austrian Army, the armies of the occupying forces 1 and the state security services. It was also used for a secret Austrian Stay-Behind network that would be activated in case of problems with the USSR.

The BE-20/1 is the protype of the radio set, that was presented to the French Army around 1948. After a few modifications, the set was approved and went into production as the BE-20/2 (Poste Cunzi) for the French Army, and BE-20/3 for all other customers, such as the B-Gendarmerie and the secret stay-behind organisation ÖWSGV.

Although the circuit diagrams of the BE-20/1 prototype have been retrieved (see below), there are no surviving samples of the device that we are aware of. The circuits are very similar to the actually released devices BE-20/2 and BE-20/3.
No image of the prototype BE-20/1 is currently available

Note however that the pinouts of the various connectors and sockets on the body of the device are completely different from the ones on the released devices. The circuit diagrams below are provided for reference only. Please use the information with care when restoring a device.

 Other versions of the BE-20

  1. Shortly after WWII, Austria was occupied by the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and France. It became fully independent again on 12 May 1955.  Wikipedia

Technical specifications
Power supply unit
  • Power
    95 - 220V AC, generator 6 - 45V, 6V or 12V DC with inverter
  • Frequency
    3 - 5.6 MHz, 5.6 - 9 MHz
  • Sensitivity
    2µV (phone), 1µV (CW)
  • Modulation
    Phone (A3), Telegraphy (A1, CW)
  • Frequency
    3 - 9 MHz (crystal)
  • Output
    6 Watt (phone), 18 Watt (CW)
  1. Berger BE-20/1 Power Supply Unit (PSU) circuit diagram 1
    19 July 1949.

  2. Berger BE-20/1 Transmitter (TX) circuit diagram 1
    19 July 1949.

  3. Berger BE-20/1 Receiver (RX) circuit diagram 1
    19 July 1949.
  1. Note that this circuit diagram is for the BE-20/1 prototype and does not fully match the circuit of the production units (BE-20/2). Ignore the connections of the 6-pin LIST connectors as they are wrong. Documents kindly supplied by Günter Hütter [3].

  1. AR ObstLt Johann Prikowitsch (OE1PQ), Auf den Spuren eines Genies...
    In the footsteps of a genious (German).
    FMTS Forum, December 1992. pp. 8-10.

  2. Heinz Binder, Berger Legende OE7HB
    Website (German). Retrieved July 2017.

  3. Günter Hütter, Berger BE-20/1 circuit diagrams
    Personal correspondence. June-July 2016.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 19 December 2016. Last changed: Thursday, 15 December 2022 - 17:04 CET.
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