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AU-015
Universal UHF/FM bug · transmitter

AU-015 is a miniature crystal-controlled narrowband FM covert listening device (bug), developed in the early to mid-1990s by an unknown manufacturer in Japan. 1 It operates in the UHF band on one of two predetermined spot frequencies (marked as A or B) near 400 MHz. For reception of the bug, the matching AU-018 2-channel receiver was recommended. The range was ~ 300 metres.

The device is housed in a black brass enclosure that measures 68 × 27 × 14 mm and weights 62 grams, batteries included. It is powered by two 1.5V miniature MN 9100 batteries and has a built-in electret microphone. A removable 176 mm long whip acts a ¼λ antenna for 400 MHz.

A letter on the device reveals the frequency: (A) 398.600 MHz or (B) 399.450 MHz. The matching AU-018 receiver is suitable for both frequencies and has an A/B switch at the bottom. It was used with a helical or a ¼λ whip antenna. Under good conditions a range of 300 m should be realistic.
  
AU-015 transmitter with antenna

The device was still for sale in December 2022 for a list price of US$ 485. It was usually supplied in a black storage case, complete with the matching AU-018 receiver — which added another US$ 485 to the bill [1]. Devices like this were typically sold by specialised spy shops and at airports. To circumvent the law — the use of covert listening devices is illegal in most countries — they were commonly marked for export only. In some countries even the possession of a bug is illegal.

  1. This is not 100% certain but very likely, judging from the build style of the transmitter and the accompanying AU-018 receiver, as well as from the selected components.

Storage box
Contents of the storage box: AU-015 transmitter and AU-018 receiver
AU-015 transmitter and 1/4 Lambda antenna
AU-015 transmitter with antenna
Microphone
Antenna and power switch
AU-015 transmitter with open battery compartment
AU-015 transmitter with 3V battery
A
×
A
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Storage box
A
2 / 8
Contents of the storage box: AU-015 transmitter and AU-018 receiver
A
3 / 8
AU-015 transmitter and 1/4 Lambda antenna
A
4 / 8
AU-015 transmitter with antenna
A
5 / 8
Microphone
A
6 / 8
Antenna and power switch
A
7 / 8
AU-015 transmitter with open battery compartment
A
8 / 8
AU-015 transmitter with 3V battery

Specifications
  • Device
    Covert listening device (bug)
  • Type
    Crystal-controlled UHF transmitter
  • Purpose
    Room overhearing (covert listening device)
  • Model
    AU-015
  • Manufacturer
    Unknown
  • Band
    UHF
  • Modulation
    Narrowband FM (NFM)
  • Channels
    1
  • Frequency
    A: 398.600 MHz, B: 399.450 MHz 1
  • Range
    300 metres to 1 km
  • Power
    3V (2 x 1.5V size N)
  • Battery
    1 × CR 1200 (3V) or 2 × LR-1 (1.5V size N)
  • Life
    8 days
  • Dimensions
    66 × 27 × 14 mm
  • Weight
    46 grams (62 grams with batteries)
  1. A later version was available in three different frequencies: A,B and C.

References
  1. Advanced Intelligence, Crystal controlled UHF Voice Transmitter AU-015
    Retrieved December 2022.

  2. Cor Moerman, AU-015 transmitter — THANKS !
    Crypto Museum, December 2022.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Wednesday 21 December 2022. Last changed: Tuesday, 14 March 2023 - 15:25 CET.
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