How to make a bug detection device

Written by palmer owyoung
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How to make a bug detection device
Find an electronic bug with a radio frequency detection device. (radio image by Carlos Restrepo from

Bug detectors are electronic devices that have the capability to detect the radio frequencies being transmitted by listening devices. This makes it easy to know if someone is eavesdropping on your conversations. Although these devices usually cost £65 or more to buy, you can make your own using items from an electronics or hardware store.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 meters of 41 AWG copper wire
  • Round toothpick
  • RF voltmeter
  • Wire cutter and stripper
  • Brass tube, 0.90-inch diameter
  • Soldering lead
  • Soldering iron
  • BNC male connector
  • Epoxy
  • Bonding glue
  • Cotton swab

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  1. 1

    Use the wire stripper and take off the insulation from the copper wire.

  2. 2

    Wrap the copper wire around the end of the toothpick using one end of the copper wire. Count the turns and stop at the 20th turn. Glue the end of the wrapped wire (attached to the toothpick) so that it will not loosen up.

  3. 3

    Take the brass tube and run the copper wire (from the toothpick) through it and pull it through the other end.

  4. 4

    Measure 1/2 inch of wire from the end of the tube and use the stripper to take off the insulation.

  5. 5

    Take the BNC connector and connect one wire from the stripped copper wire to the positive terminal of the BNC connector. Solder the connection to secure it in place and to ensure that they are properly connected. Solder the other wire to the negative contact of the BNC connector.

  6. 6

    Stick the BNC connector to the brass tube using the epoxy. Drop a dollop of glue on the cotton bud. Rub the cotton bud on the outer side of the coil. Before the glue dries place the coil in the brass tube. Make sure that the glued wires are attached to the sides of the tube.

  7. 7

    Connect the BNC connector to the female BNC connection on the RF voltmeter.

  8. 8

    Turn on the RF meter and test to see if it works. Move the brass tube around and observe the change in the number displayed on the RF meter. An increase in the number indicated on the display of the RF meter means an unwanted frequency has been detected in the area. That unwanted frequency may be caused by a bug installation.

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