Portable direction finder
The StSG-52 is a portable radio direction finder
built by Wilhelm Quante
in Wuppertal (Germany) in 1952. It was used
in the 1950s and 1960s for locating clandestine radio stations
and foreign secret agents. Officially described as a
(StSG) , the receiver was based on the earlier Störsuch-
und Meßgerät StG-50, that was developed by Quante in 1950 [B].
StGS 52 is a single conversion super-heterodyne receiver
with the intermetiate frequency (IF) at 470 kHz.
It contains 5 valves (3 x DF91, DK92 and DAF91) and is powered by
two battery sets: 6V for the heater and 72V anode voltage.
It covers three frequency bands:
- LW: 150 kHz - 350 kHz
- MW: 520 kHz - 1,4 MHz
- GW: 1.02 MHz - 1.4 MHz
The receiver is housed in a wooden case, which allows an internal
'window' coil to be used as the direction-finding antenna.
When receiving a radio station, the operator rotates the
receiver, in order to determine the direction of maximum
(or minimum) field strength, using the S-meter at the bottom left.
This procedure was repeated several times from different positions,
until the location of the transmitter could be determined.
It can also be used with an external antenna.
As the receiver is valve-based, it consumes more power from the
batteries than a modern one. For this reason, the StSG-52
is operated by a trigger-switch
that is hidden under the carrying grip. This trigger-principle
was used before on a wartime direction finder made by Siemens.
Due to its rather limited frequency range (150 kHz to 2.7 MHz),
the StSG-52 was replaced later in 1952 by its successor the ASRV-52
that was suitable for frequencies up to 11 MHz.
Störspannungs-Suchgerät = Interference Signal Finder.
The unit shown here has been used by the Dutch
Radio Monitoring Service (RCD),
in The Hague (Netherlands) until the 1960s.
A separate name tag
with the internal inventory number (12)
of the RCD is found on the front panel of the receiver,
just below the leather grip.
➤ More about the RCD
In Germany, the Quante StSG 52 was not only used for finding clandestine radio
stations, but also for locating TV sets. In the early days
of television, customers had to pay a fee for a permit to receive
television and radio broadcasts. If you did not pay for a reception permit,
you risked a fine or, worse, imprisonment. As the local oscillator (LO) of a TV
set emitted a signal that could be picked up with a sensitive receiver
outside the house, the Deutsche Bundespost (German Post Office)
used Quante direction finders to locate non-registered (and hence
The image above shows two employees of the German Post Office in front of
a Volkswagen van of the Funkmessdienst (Radio Monitoring Service) of the
Deutsche Bundespost on a street, probably somewhere in Berlin,
in September 1956.
The man on the right
carries a Quante StSG 52 on his shoulder,
whilst holding a directional antenna in his hand.
The other man holds a Telefunken Teleport 5 two-way radio in his hands
and is probably communicating with another search team.
Quante was once an idependant German manufacturer of telecommunications
equipment, with its head office in Wuppertal (Germany). They should be
seen as one of the pioneers of the telecom industry, especially in Germany.
At the height of their success (1999) they had an annual turnover
of 700 Million DM (350 Million Euro)
and a profit of 10.9 Million DM (5.4 Million Euro).
In 2000, they had 2400 employees on the payrol.
The company was founded in 1892 by locksmith Wilhelm Quante and was initially
based in Elberfeld (Germany), concentrating on the manufacture of heating
devices. Af few years later the company started to take on repair jobs
for telephone and telegraph lines of the German Post Office
In 1910, the name was changed to Fabrik für Telegrafenbaumaterialen
und Apparate and later to: Wilhelm Quante Spezialfabrik für Apparate
der Fernmeldetechnik .
During World War II (between 1942 and 1944), Quante used female convicts
from Russia and Ukraine, but not much is known about this period.
In 1967, the name of the company was changed to Quante Fernmeldemontagen
GmbH (Quante Communications Manufacturing Ltd).
In 1988 the company was changed to a Publicly Listed Company (Plc),
which and entered the stock market on 22 March 1991 as Quante AG.
In 2000, Quante AG was taken over by 3M and became a subsidary of 3M.
After a restructuring in 2003, the company's premises in Wuppertal was
given up and was moved to Neuss (Germany) .
The activities have since been integrated with 3M's and the name Quante
In 2005, after a management buy-out (MBO), Quante Fernmeldemontagen GmbH
was established. The new company specialises in the field of cableing,
networks and maintenance. In 2007, the company was renamed once again, and is
now called QFM Fernmelde- und Elektromontagen GmbH .
With offices in Berlin, Hamburg-Norderstedt, Wuppertal and Sindelfingen
(Germany), and over 200 employees, they are still
in business today (2013).
The above information is all we have at the moment. We have not been able
to find circuit diagrams and a suitable user manual for this device.
Even the manufacturer, the former Quante, has not been able to help us
any further, as details about this device are missing from their records .
If you have additional information, or additional accessories,
please contact us.
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 03 August 2009. Last changed: Tuesday, 26 September 2017 - 07:37 CET.