Nauen Transmitter Station
Large adjustable antenna in
or Sender Nauen
, Havelland (Kreis), Brandenburg
, is the
oldest transmitting plant in the world. It was founded on 1 April 1906
engineer R. Hirsch on a 40-hectare
property north of Nauen, leased from Fideikommissar Fritz
Before World War I, the Nauen station was a research station of
. Trial service was initiated
on 9 August 1906, and operational service began on 16 August 1906
using spark-gap transmitters
An umbrella antenna
by a steel lattice mast 100 meters high, insulated from
Since the station had no commercial power, a 35 HP steam tractor
was installed in the transmitter
building, a light half timbered house, which powered a 50 Hz
alternator producing 24 kVA output power.
were installed in
1909, which increased the range of the station to 5000
A radio link with the German colony of Togoland
was established for the first time in
1911. In the same year the antenna tower was increased to 200
meters in height; however, this tower was destroyed by a storm on
31 March 1912. A temporary replacement antenna was suspended
between two 120 meters high masts. This was replaced by a V-shaped
antenna supported by five masts at end of 1912. In 1913 the first
high power machine
was installed in the station. It worked with
frequency doubling using the Arco
A large antenna, 1037 meters long, was installed on 10 February
1914 supported by a 260 meter mast and two 120 meter masts. A new
modern transmitter building was also installed.
First World War and the interwar period
the beginning of World War I, the station became very important
because the transatlantic cables leading to Germany were cut by the
British Navy. During the war, the station was run by the Admiralty.
The British Radio Intelligence Service
the American MI-8
devoted much effort
to intercepting and decoding communications from the station during
In 1916, on urge from Bredow, major additional development of the
station took place. The antenna system was enormously increased in
size and additional longwave machine transmitters were installed.
In 1920 the main antenna, carried on two 260 meter and four 125
meter high masts, was 2484 meters long.
At a right angle to the large antenna was a smaller antenna,
carried by three masts, one of which looked like an electricity
power transmission pylon. The last longwave
transmitter was installed at Nauen in 1923. Shortwave
transmitters were installed after
From 1918 to 1931 the station was run by Transradio
AG. On 1 January 1932 the German
took over the station.
Although vacuum tube
long been the state of the art in the 1930s, the high power machine
transmitters were again modernized in 1937.
Second World War and the post-war period
In World War II, the VLF-transmitters served mainly to transmit
instructions to submerged submarines. The station survived World
War II without damage, but after May 1945 was disassembled by
Soviet occupation forces. All technical mechanisms were dismantled
and the masts of the station were blown up. Whether and where the
dismantled transmitters were used in the Soviet Union is unknown.
The Muthesius building was also planned to be blown up, but this
The station remained silent until 1955 and the building was used
for potato storage. The station began to install shortwave
transmitters in 1955, first only for diplomatic communications, and
then for foreign broadcast in 1958. 39 rhombic antennas
were erected for
In the 1960s one of the first rotating shortwave broadcast antennas
was built nearby at the Dechtower dyke. This antenna, which still
exists, has a height of 70 meters and it supports two antenna
fields weighing 40 and 70 tons.
In 1972, near the rotating antenna, a shortwave curtain antenna
was built and further
transmitters went in service. When Erich
was in Chile on a state visit, a new shortwave curtain
antenna beamed toward Chile was built.
After German reunification, all transmitters and antennas, except
for shortwave broadcast, were switched off and dismantled.
A new shortwave broadcasting system consisting of four rotating
towers and four 500 kilowatt transmitters was built by Thomcast
between 1995 and 1997.
- – transmitter building
- – longwave aerial, demolished
- – shortwave aerial
- – modern shortwave aerials