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01-02/2015 —

TELE-audiovision International —


1. Jamming did not only target western radio

stations, but also TV channels from the

West. Thomas Krüger remembers: “Here

in the southern part of the former GDR the

television transmitter from Ochsenkopf in

the former Federal Republic of Germany

could be received very nicely. On channel 4

it transmitted the national channel of ARD,

a major West German public broadcasting

corporation. The Soviet military operated

a jamming transmitter on the channel 4

frequency from time to time in order to

create interference. To circumvent those

jamming efforts tinkering tips for a suction

circuit called ‘Russian Death’ were readily

available and widely used.” It goes without

saying that staff from an enterprise dealing

with signal amplifiers were the most capable

sources for building those circuits. “We

spent much of our time off assembling

suction circuits for friends and family. Eve-

rything that was required could be obtained

quite easily and without causing suspicion.

A standard milk pot, for example, did just

fine.” Local shops never found out why

demand for milk pots skyrocketed in the

Burgstädt area…

2. Later, professional suction circuits

became available through official channels

as well. When FM radio gained popularity in

the late 1950s antenna splitters experienced

strong demand – they could be used to

receive all local stations from East Germany

plus the offering from West Germany. It’s

hard to believe, but VEB EGB used crea-

tive marketing speech even back then: The

inconspicuous name ‚stereo splitter‘ was

given to a product whose only raison d’être

was to allow reception of western radio


3. When the number of FM stations had

started to increase this caused conside-

rable problems for the separation of those

channels by the radio tuner. Thomas Krüger

recalls the situation at the time: “Local sta-

tions of the GDR broadcasting system came

in with a very strong signal, while signals

from West Germany were much weaker.”

A so-called wave trap provided a handy

solution: It attenuated local FM signals to

an extent that all stations arrived at the FM

tuner with a roughly equal signal level.”

4. A look inside the wave trap. “A high level

of expertise and – above all – an intuitive

feeling for it were required to produce such

a wave trap. Needless to say, at VEB EGB we

had both the resources and skills for chur-

ning out those officially illegal components

in our free time.”

5. Casing of one of the first antenna ampli-

fiers produced by VEB EGB.

6. Inside the GAV16: At the time tubes were

still used for this residential amplifier for up

to 16 outlets, bundling and amplifying bands

I and III as well as FM radio.

available in other countries.” The result-

ing products were of impeccable qual-

ity and could even be exported to other

countries. “Almost 20% of our produc-

tion was sold outside the GDR,” Thomas

Krüger remembers.

Knowledge and expertise acquired dur-

ing that time ultimately equipped these

two fellows with all required skills for set-

ting up their own business, SAT-Kabel.

A visit to their museum breathes new

life into a by-gone era and lends visible

proof to their in-depth experience in the

field of antenna amplifier technology.

Sometimes a look back in time is all it

takes to discover the foundation stones

of present-day success.