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Rundfunk- und Fernmelde-Technik

RFT—Rundfunk- und Fernmelde-Technik (“radio and telecommunications technology”)—was an East German brand and manufacturer network that represented East German communications and electronics technology on behalf of many manufacturers. See also at rft-geraete.de and funkwerk-köpenick-ersatzteile.de. RFT products were manufactured by companies such as VEB Elektronische Bauelemente and VEB Kontaktbauelemente Luckenwalde.

RFT switches are branded as “RFT eb” or “RFT eb L”, where “eb” appears to denote VEB Elektronische Bauelemente or VEB Kombinat Elektronische Bauelemente (in Teltow), and L may indicate Luckenwalde. The “eb” can either be plain letters, or the EB logo (as shown above). Although the 1979–80 component catalogue curiously omits the manufacturer for the keyboard switches, the LDT illuminated pushbuttons were made by VEB Kontaktbauelemente Luckenwalde (as seen on packaging shown on eBay, and confirmed by the RFT catalogue).

Keyboard switches


RFT products make extensive use of abbreviations that are hard to understand. For example, TSS in 1979 was divided into RKR 13 and RKG 13. The R and G appear to denote rhodium and gold switch contacts, but “RK” itself is not defined, nor is “13”. MDT (Miniaturdrehschalter) rotary switches have “ZAK(ELN)” numbers (a cryptic term in itself), with each part having a code in the form “RK x y SK”: the latter denotes Schaltkammern (switch chambers) and indicates how many separate switch units are ganged into a single assembly, but the former remains unexplained. Although rotary and reed switches are unrelated, they both have RK codes. MDTs have switch gangs joined on a common shaft to a “Rastkopf”, which may be what provides the switch detents; RK 3 could indicate three switch positions, but TSS reed switches do not have 13 switch positions!