A University of Ghana student of Computer Engineering, Joshua Anquandah has built what he calls ‘Wireless FM Bug’ which is a surveillance device as part of his final year project.
Anquandah told ghanabusinessnews.com that the wireless FM bug is a sensitive miniature very high FM wireless microphone transmitter of the type ‘Wide Band Frequency Modulation Wireless Microphone (WBFMWM)’.
He said, basically, it serves as a detective device to secretly monitor conversation and can be used to detect lies. “We can call it a surveillance device”, he said.
“This is a hardware device which involves RF (radio frequency) circuit design. What makes the FM bug different from other devices is its sensitive nature and wireless property. In telecommunication, a bug is a hidden listening device,” he explained.
According to Anquandah, the FM bug receives sound waves preferably human voice with a range of 300-3000Hz through the microphone. The sound wave is converted into electrical energy and then back to audio signal at the output end. In view of that, there are three (3) stages (modules) involved in the implementation of the bug. They are the audio amplifier, FM oscillator and the RF buffer/ power amplifier stages. The sound wave received through the microphone is amplified to a level that can be modulated over RF or electromagnetic wave. The electromagnetic wave that is constantly generated at the FM oscillator stage is buffered with adequate power being supplied to be transmitted strongly through the antenna. Finally, the audio signal is output and retrieved from a broadcast radio FM set to a calculated FM band (88MHz-108MHz).
He indicated that the wireless FM bug is made to be hidden and to camouflage at the location of instalment. When it is installed at any premise assuming conditions are favourable, one can tune in to a set frequency channel e.g. 101.7 deduced from calculations. Listening to the audio within the range of 50-500meters is phenomenal, he added.
Favourable conditions, he said will involve wireless communication where there are little or no obstacles such as bad weather, trees and metallic structures to hinder electromagnetic wave flow. Such a miniature FM transmitter being deployed is of a simplex form of communication. The security service, police department and military service should add the wireless FM bug to their shopping cart, he suggested.
Anquandah who is waiting to do his National Service is optimistic that the device could revolutionise security operations in the country if it is adapted in surveillance and crime detection.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi