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APT-60
Acoustic Pocket Terminal - wanted item

The Acoustic Pocket Terminal, or APT-60 for short, was a miniature hand-held message terminal with built-in encryption facilities, developed in the early-1970s by TST (Tele Security Timmann) in Rodgau (Germany). It can only send data and was available for Latin and Arabic languages [1].

The device had a built-in acoustic modem that conformed to the BELL 103 standard, and had the same size as a regular pack of cigarettes, making it it very easy to conceal on the body.

It is housed in a black aluminium enclosure and has a recessed keyboard that consists of 30 blue microswitches and a small embedded speaker. The keyboard has the German QWERTZ layout, and some buttons have an extra function that can be accessed by pressing the DEC button at the bottom left first. The SPACE button is at the bottom centre. To the left of the 'A' is a red LED.
  
Latin version of the APT-60 pocket terminal. Photograph kindly supplied by Jim Meyer [1].

When transmitting an encrypted message, the small speaker at the bottom right should be held against the microphone of a radio or a telephone handset. It transmits the message at a speed of 300 baud as a series of BELL 103 tones, pretty much like a common computer modem of the era.

The device is powered by a 6V DC voltage, which is provided by four small internal button cells. It can store messages of approx. 200 characters in its internal battery-backed CMOS RAM and is compatible with the DDT-300 suitcase terminal.

The APT-60 was also supplied to Arabic states, for which a different keyboard layout with the Arabic alphabet was available. In the image on the right, the Arabic version of the APT-60 is shown — in this case without its aluminium enclosure — concealed in an unobtrusive black luxurous leather cigarette pack holder of the era.
  
Arabic version of the APT-60 pocket terminal. Photograph kindly supplied by Jim Meyer [1].

The APT-60 was introduced shortly after Timmann's first device, the PPC-19 pocket encryptor that was somewhat bigger. The miniature APT-60 was later complemented by the more versatile but larger DDR-300 portable terminal, that was housed in an unobtrusive Haliburton briefcase. In 1980, the APT-60 was succeeded by the much improved transmit-only TST-1221 pocket cipher machine, which had an extended keyboard and an 8-position Liquid Crystal Display (LCD).

Latin version of the APT-60 pocket terminal. Photograph kindly supplied by Jim Meyer [1]. Arabic version of the APT-60 pocket terminal. Photograph kindly supplied by Jim Meyer [1].
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Latin version of the APT-60 pocket terminal. Photograph kindly supplied by Jim Meyer [1].
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Arabic version of the APT-60 pocket terminal. Photograph kindly supplied by Jim Meyer [1].

Versions
  • Latin
  • Arabic
References
  1. Helmut 'Jim' Meyer, HS0ZHK, My way to Ham - Radio and beyond
    Website QRZ.COM. Personal correspondence. Retrieved March 2018.
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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 04 March 2013. Last changed: Saturday, 10 March 2018 - 09:18 CET.
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