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The Basement Buggers Bible

A resistive voltage divider, such as R I -R2, is one common means to do this. This text defines the band of interest asHz. Sound pressure alters the resistance of the pack and thus its conductivity.

Uncompensated types average dB more high-frequency gain than their compensated twins. High-impedance phones sound weak when driven from a low-impedance output basementt the output stage cannot generate sufficient voltage. The ceramic mic sounds quieter than an electret having the same impedance because it generates no FET self-noise. Technique does not suit circuits that are working near lower supply limit because of the 0.

Bass should be sharply attenuated before the feed gets to the compressor to avoid modu- lating the midrange. These connection modes appear in most bugging devices. Run cable up groove and secure with masking tape, or route cable through small hole in one side.

The Basement Bugger’s Bible

Muting noted in the final few degrees of travel of a volume-control pot feeding a from an op amp usually traces to ultrasonic oscillation in the op-amp output stage.

The curve resulting from this test will not show constant current, because current through the load falls with voltage. Sound can cause the wall of the cavity, rather than the air in the cavity, to vibrate.


All hardware shown in photographs has been destroyed. The positive DC offset present at electret mic output demands capacitor coupling into most circuits. Bass overwhelms useful spectra. Trim 50K and ohm pots for minimum distortion; if no scope is available, put 50K pot in center of range, and set ohm pot at ohms. D and E alter the jack to accept unmodified stereo headphones.

To drive low-Z phones from a high-Z output, couple phones to output through a matching transformer. For covert intercepts, attack and release should suit the midrange from aboutHz.

Transformer inside dotted line not part of amp, but recommended in original Popular Electronics construction article.

A conformal coating of PVDF can turn any surface into a mic. They convey readily because they flow from crude physics and common sense. Reflector does not have to be parabolic, but parabola selects parallel-incoming energy, giving it superior directivity. Cj Method of converting stereo phones permanently to mono by soldering to mono plug in series mode. The mic is usually an electret. E The most common method to power an op amp, true dual supply.

Ceramic mics are not polarized in the sense of an electret, but the negative case lead should always tie to ground to minimize hum. The process affects three variables: Shifty Counter bugman Chapter Can You Bug Pebble Beach? Coupled to a high-output piezo mic like the Mouser model specified, this demure piece will give anyone wishing to try the polytube shotgun a fighting chance. A The databook standard compressor configuration.

D Zener diodes in series give clip level roughly twice zener voltage plus one silicon diode drop Many other means exist to implement diode clip-limiting.


For simplicity, power supply terminals and bypass capacitors are often omitted from op amp schematics. Values shown tune 60 Hz. A typical analog processor contains highpass, lowpass, and parametric functions.

Calculating total noise involves identifying each separate noise source, then adding them in quadrature, the square root of the sum of the squares. Circuit inside dotted line is a preamp with roughly 60 dB of gain at 3 KHz. Microphone is now decoupled from the power bus by lowpass network R9-C 1 0.

Now replace Rx with a 1 00K resistor; note increase in noise. Mic sensitivity is a function of applied plate voltage, distance between plates, their area, and other factors, such as compliance of the diaphragm.

Full text of “The Basement Buggers Bible”

The chief gripe with discrete transistors is that inter-sample variation keeps one transistor from behaving exactly like the next. A very thin magnet glued to the mic works well with ferrous surfaces.

One obvious upshot of this observation: Though still perceptible, subsonic tones do not overwhelm to the extent implied by their spectral pre- dominance. Bypass capacitors store a reservoir of current that the rest of the circuit can draw to avoid loading the supply.

B The “ultralow-noise” configuration. Strictly speaking, the net impedance of R 1 and C 1 should be paralleled with R2, but since R2 is very much greater than Rl, the difference is small enough to ignore, and the ceramic mic impedance is mostly capacitive reactance. Piezoelectric Mics Piezoelectricity means voltage generated in a material by the application of force, and vice versa.