Body wearable covert radio
PR-35/FAUN is a small body wearable
produced by Tesla in
and introduced in 1977.
It was intended for surveillance, covert operations and observations
and was predominantly used by the secret service of the former DDR,
and the East-German Volkspolizei (People's Police, VoPo),
where it was regarded as the successor to the much larger and
less sophisticated UFT-421.
It is also known as Stasi Radio and by its codename
The image on the right shows a typical PR-35 outfit. At the left is the radio.
As it measures only 183 x 78 x 18 mm, it can easily be concealed under a
Microphone and speaker are either separate or combined,
and can be hidden under the collar of a coat.
The cable to the separate push-to-talk switch (PTT) is led
through the sleeve, so that the PTT can be held in the palm of the hand.
An external vibrator, with selective call, is present to warn the user for any incoming calls.
The radio is based on the design of the
standard PR-35 handheld radio
which was used by the police and other civil services.
The covert version was codenamed FAUN  and was intended
for secret operations.
An unknown (but large) number of FAUN radios were
produced, most of which were exported to the DDR (East-Germany),
where they were used by the Secret Police (MfS or Stasi) and the
In recent years, many PR-35/FAUN radios have appeared on the European
surplus market and many of them have found their way to collectors and
Radio Ham's, especially because they are easily converted to the 2 meter
Ham radio band (144-146).
The radio operates in the 2-meter band (160 MHz) and has three fixed
All controls and connections are at one end of the radio, making it very easy
to operate. There are two rotary switches, an antenna connector and an
accessory socket. The first rotary switch is used to turn the unit on. It has
4 settings: O (off), K (traffic), N (selective call)
and T (silent call).
The second rotary switch has 3 positions and is used for channel selection.
A standard (helical) antenna is available with the PR-35 but, as it might
attract too much attention, a short piece of wire is generally used instead.
A wire antenna can easily be hidden under the user's clothing and is
therefore part of the standard outfit.
For special operations, especially prepared coats were sometimes
used, in which the antenna wire was sewed in.
Between the channel selector and the antenna socket is a small recessed
potentiometer that allows the squelch level to be set with a screwdriver.
Volume control is not possible from the radio itself. Instead, the volume
setting has been moved to the PTT unit held in the user's hand. It allows
the user to control the volume with his thumb, whilst operating the
transmitter with the index finger.
The PR-35/FAUN is based on the standard Tesla PR-35 hand-held radio
that was used by the police and other civil services. The standard
version was housed in a black enclosure and had simplified controls.
It has the same size as the covert version (FAUN) but can be recognized
by the rather large speaker/microphone that is visible as a 'bulge'
at the front of the radio.
The image on the right shows a standard PR-35 with its typical black
helical antenna. More images are available below.
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Thursday 29 March 2012. Last changed: Friday, 22 July 2016 - 13:54 CET.