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Tekade FS-220
Electronic telex machine

The FS-220 was a partly electronic teleprinter machine (telex), developed by TeKaDe (TKD: Telefonapparate-, Kabel- und Drahtwerke AG) in Nürberg (Germany) around 1988 when TeKaDe was operating under the Philips (PKI) umbrella 1 . The FS-220 was the successor to the FS-200.

The FS-220 came in two versions: a civil version in a cream case and a military version in a green case. The latter often had a 'Z' added to the model number (FS-220Z) to indicated that it was TEMPEST approved by the BSI [1].

The image on the right shows a military FS-220Z with its dust cover removed. The unit has a fully electronic keyboard and a built-in matrix printer (7 x 9 dots) that prints directly onto the paper roll at the rear. To the right of the keyboard is a paper-tape reader, whilst the built-in paper puncher is located to the right of the printer.
TeKaDe FS-220Z. Click for a larger view.

With the transit case, the unit weights about 34 kg and measures about 53 x 26.5 x 53.5 cm. It can be used for sending and receiving telex signals (RTTY) at 50, 75, 100 and 200 baud in simplex, half-duplex and duplex modes. It can be used off-line as well as on-line, in which cases it requires a 40mA telex lines (often connected through an ADo8 connector). The international telegraph alphabet (ITU-2) is supported and text is printed at 40 characters per second.

The FS-200Z shown here is a German version, with a German keyboard layout (QWERTZ) and additional letters. The special German characters (Ä, Ü and Ö) are automatically converted to standard ASCII characters (AE, UE and OE). When typing, the FS-220 has a buffer of 89 characters. The machine is far less noisy that its electro-mechanical predecessors, producing less then 60 dBA when printing at 50 baud. In standby, the unit doesn't produce any sound at all.

  1. At this time the company was also known as Philips Kommunikations Industrie AG.

Front view
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Front view
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  • FS200 Z
    For mobile use.

  • FS220 Z
    For stationary use.
  1. The suffix 'Z' to the model number indicates EMC TEMPEST approval (German: Zulassung).

  1. German Army, Fernschreiber FS200Z/FS220Z Teile 1 bis 3
    Description, Maintenance and Operation, Part 1 thru 3 (German).
    TDv 2515/029-13. Original version September 1988.
    August 1991. Re-issued May 1999.

  2. Jane's Military Communications 1988, Tempest Military Teleprinter
    p. 418.
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Crypto Museum. Created: Saturday 07 April 2012. Last changed: Wednesday, 14 February 2018 - 11:38 CET.
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