Shortwave Receiver E-657 / Telefunken E-1501
AEG - Telefunken AG, Ulm

Swiss Army Communication Sets
Synoptic Table
Army Receiving Sets
Exxx Designations
E-600 / Autophon E39
E-601 / Zellweger E41
E-602 / Autophon E44
E-603 / Autophon E45
E-604 / Autophon E46
E-606 / Velectra
E-627 / Autophon
E-628 / Autophon
E-629 / Collins 51J-4
E-645 / Siemens E311
E-646 / Zellweger
E-649 / Watkins-J.
E-655 / Racal
E-657 / Telefunken
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Army Manuals
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überarbeitet am 1.9.2010

Top quality shortwave communications receivers have been in use to monitor External services of foreign countries on shortwaves, one of the receivers in use was the Telefunken E-1501, military designation E-657.
The PLL synthesized communnications receiver has a high frequency stability and a very good accuracy of the frequency display as well as a good choice of I.F. filters ordered to individual requirements of the user.
The receiver has been replaced by the Rohde & Schwarz EK070 and the AEG-Telefunken E-1800 both offering electronic frequency memories.

Double conversion, 1st I.F. 42,2 MHz, 2nd I.F. 200 kHz

Digital frequency display, max. 100 Hz


10 kHz - 30000 kHz

Selectivity -6 dB/ -60 dB
50/250, 150/500 Hz; 0,75/1,25, 3/4, 6/25 kHz; SSB +/- 0,25-3/3,5 kHz


RF Gain, two speed AGC, antenna diversity (2 antennas, optional)

The Telefunken E 1500 / 1501 is a commercial quality communications receiver, it is intended for 19" rack mount, it's dimensions are 54,4 x 14 x 40 cm and it's weight arount 17 kg.
The complete receiver has a modular construction behind the front panel. the receiver E 1500 is the main component, optional components are the DE 1500 (this second demodulator is used for independant side band / ISB reception modes A3B/A7B), the radio teletype decoder TD 1500 (F1/F4/F6A) and the AD 1500 dual antenny diversity option, which make a complete E1501.
The standard mains power supply module is the NS 1500 to power the radio from 110 / 220 V, for mobile use, a battery power option BS 1500 running from 24 V DC has been available.

The frontpanel design is very straightforward: in the top row all indicators, in the bottom row of controls at the left the main tuning knob, all other receiver controls and below the internal monitor speaker the mains switch.

The analog signal strength meter can be switched to display the A.F. level, in radioteletype modes, it can display the current and audio level of the signal driving the teletypewriter.
The big red LED display will indicate the reception frequency with a resolution of 10 Hz, two LEDs on both sides indicate the selected antenna when antenna diversity is active (the more powerful signal of two distant shortwave receiving antennas will be fed to the demodulator).
A row of LED's are used for signal analysis: for a correctly tuned AM signal, the middle red LED indicates carrier center, rows of green LEDs both sidebands. In single sideband mode, only the respective LEDs are active, in radioteletype transmissions F1, the LEDs are used to display the Mark and Space signals.

At the right, next to the LED display, You find an internal monitoring speaker, just below the mains switch and the headphones jacks.

The main tuning knob at the left hand is equipped with an electronic flywheel effect, one turn will tune the set 1,8 kHz, the tuning speed will increase to 18 kHz / revolution when the tuning knob is rotated quickly. Two UP/DOWN tuning knobs with a speed of 300 kHz and 3 MHz per second will give You access to the complete shortwave range within a few seconds. For a straight landing in the desired boradcast or amateur band, You need some practice. The following knobs at the right activate / lock the tuning mechanism and select one of the two antennas or set to automatic antenna diversity operation.
The following switches are used to select the sidebands in ISB mode A3B, to select automatic or manual gain control, to switch between normal and inverted mode and wide and narrow shift in radioteletype mode and to activate the noise limiter and the internal monitor speaker.

In the row of rotary controls, the leftmost is used as A.F. gain / volume control, next is the BFO, the manual R.F. gain control and the I.F. filter switch and modes switch at the right.
The receiver offers a great choice of high quality intermediate frequency filters: the 50, 150 and 750 Hertz filters are used for CW reception, 750 Hz for radioteletype operation, 3 and 7 kHz for AM reception. +3 is the filter for the upper sideband (in the manual, You will find OSB for Oberes Seitenband) and -3 for the lower sideband (USB stands for Unteres Seitenband, remember, this is a german set...).
To use the modes switch, You need some minimal knowledge about the international designations of transmission modes: A1 stands for CW / morse code reception, A2/A3 for normal AM reception (the wider dark bar indicates the AM position with a slower AGC decay time), A3J is for reception of single sideband transmissions and signal with reduced carrier, A3B is for independant side band telephony, A7B stands for ISB telegraphy with two independant teletype/telegraphy channels, F1 and F4 are for radioteletype reception.

Apart from the cryptic frontpanel lettering with it's many different symbols, as typically found on commercial shortwave receivers, the operation scheme of the E 1500 is straightforward and simple. Switch on the receiver with the mains switch below the monitor speaker grill and make sure, the speaker is active.
To tune in a signal in the 49 m broadcast shortwave band, set the modes switch to A2/A3, the filter to "7" and use the fast UP/DOWN tuning buttons to tune to a frequency near and the tuning knob to the exact frequency that is desired - when the receiver is tuned to 6155.00, You should hear the signal coming from Vienna. The red LED active in the signal analysis panel tells You, that the technicians in vienna have tuned their transmitter exactly on the correct frequency.
To tune in to an amateur radio station or a volmet weather report in single sideband mode, use A3J as reception mode and the -3 filter and slowly tune up and down until the speakers voice does not sound like Mickey Mouse anymore.

The Telefunken E 1500 / E-657 is a premium grade communications receiver offering You stable reception of AM and single sideband signals with a wide choice of I.F. filters; in comparison to amateur radio receivers, the set is lacking some possibilities of "postprocessing" a disturbed shortwave signal, You have to do without passband tuning and notch filter - these features are usually not present in commercial shortwave receivers and the Telefunken E 1500 makes no exception.

© Martin Bösch 15.1.2005 / transl. 4.9.2010