Debeg 7500 Lifeboat Radio

It happened folks! The MIT flea market! And boy do I have a treasure. The $100 (but it’s definitely worth more to someone) Debeg 7500!

2013-07-21 21.05.04

This is the Debeg 7500 lifeboat radio. It’s basically a completely self-sufficient radio in a box, weighing only 12 kg (yikes). Not exactly sure on the vintage, but my best guess would be mid-80s give or take, given the construction of the auto-alarm morse code feature out of TTL logic gates and wires. What’s cool about it?

  1. It’s huge and bright yellow.
  2. Waterproof AND it floats.
  3. It comes with antennas and counterpoise.
  4. Internal straight key (Morse code printed on the front panel in case you need to learn real fast).
  5. Powered by turning a crank or by convenient 24V power supply. 2-5 watts of power.
  6. Three bands of operation, including a tunable 8.2-8.6 MHz
  7. Morse code and “voice” operation which may be either SSB or AM…not quite sure. Sounded like AM at first glance, but I could be wrong.

All in all, a very cool gadget. The only problem with mine is that some yipee with a hacksaw took off the headset, leaving three same-colored wires sticking out of the box. I got it for $100, and I just successfully tuned it up on 8 MHz and was able to pull in some weather fax audio to boot (of course jerry rigged onto some old headphones).

Label on the Debeg 7500
Label on the Debeg 7500

Bands Supported:

  1. 500 KHz
  2. 2182 KHz
  3. ~8200-8800 KHz

It came with a full kit including a long wire antenna, power cables, a whip antenna (very cool, actually), and the ground wire (at the bottom). If anybody has information about this (because Google does not yield any English results for one of these) feel free to leave it in the comments. I would especially like to identify a good replacement headset for it. Not sure if it requires an integral PTT button…

2013-07-23 23.22.00
Accessories, including cranks, vertical antenna, random wire antenna etc.

Then the obvious question: it’s not of much use to me operating only on 3 marine frequencies. Gut it and re-constitute a ham-band radio inside?

PS: Notice that only 8 hours after writing this article, typing the title into Google puts my article first, with my forum post referencing this article fourth. Just saying.

Updates on my particular model:

After attaching the bad boy to my service monitor, I’ve come to a couple conclusions:

  • The PA for the audio output is toast. RMS of .002V at max volume. Clips above half way.
  • The transmitted tone sounds distorted.

One thought on “Debeg 7500 Lifeboat Radio”

  1. This set is a re-badged Skanti TRP-1. DEBEEG was a german marine radio company who leased out a whole suit of marine MF/HF kit, from lifeboat sets to main transmitters. The callsign on the set appears to have been registered with two vessels; the St Magnus ( and MS Bulk Prospector (

    I have an identical unit retuned for the new 630 m band. Output is 20W (1.5 -3 W ERP on the original aerials. 500khz: MCW, 2182: AM, 8364: MCW/CW

    The 500 khz RX is MCW, but readily modified to use the BFO.

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