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The Basement Bugger's Bible : The Professional's Guide to Paperback – March 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1581600223 ISBN-10: 1581600224
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Shifty Bugman has war stories that often delve deeper than bug buffs are used to reading, and yet his past is shrouded in mystery. He keeps such a low profile that even his editor cannot contact him except by mail - via a drop box, of course.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581600224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581600223
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,016,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Very good, very impressive (and I don't impress easily) Most books on "covert" or "restricted" subjects are hogwash because those that know, don't tell, those that don't, do. This book offers a comprehensive, focused "build from scratch" treatment of analog audio within the skills of the mid to advanced electronic hobbyist.
The section on microphones and balanced transmission lines is by itself worth the price of admission.
Along with microphones, the book covers amplifiers, gain control, filters and compression; IR, ultrasonic and RF transmission. Unique to this book is the section on stereo bugging - rent a copy of "The Conversation" and you can see this in action in the opening scene.
As the previous reviewer mentioned, the book also contains appendixes which cover basic theory, components, design and electronic construction techniques - very hard to do well and missing from most books.
Best of all, it's fun to read (in the style of Lee Lapin) with many anecdotes of fieldcraft, even if you're just curious. If the author ever decides to do a companion book on digital/data bugging as good as this one, this truly would be the "bible" (in the literal sense of the word) of electronic survelliance.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John A. Faulkner on September 30, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book in this genre that you will read - not that there's much competition. The title sells the book a bit short because it actually covers a wide range of eavesdropping technology, not just small radio transmitters.

Despite the title there is nothing in this book that you could not find in any good text on electronics design or acoustic engineering; indeed that's what the professionals would be using. But for students who are bright but directionless "design a bug for the principal's office" is always a better motivator than "read chapter six and attempt the odd-numbered questions". For security professionals it defines the lower end of the threat spectrum - not what government agencies are using.

This book has many strong points. The author claims to have provided equipment for numerous police forces and his experience shows in his concentration on collecting good audio, so important for courtroom use. Unlike other texts in covering this topic the author has a good grounding in basic physics (eg: circuit noise) which puts this book streets ahead of any others.

Points well covered include: microphones including placement, reflectors and resonators; EQ curves; filtering; limiting; dynamic range and analogue techniques to dig out or improve weak audio. There are more advanced techniques in amplifier design and stabilization of high gain blocks than other texts cover.

Reflecting standard professional operating procedures where audio is often sent by carrier current, ultrasonics and infrared - all of which are well treated - there is little mention of RF bugs with only a few narrow band FM circuits shown. "Shifty" also mentions repeaters (something you don't read much about) and hardwire, techniques heavily used by government agencies.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Without doubt, this book is definitely THE best Electronic surveillance Reference manual available, and is just about the most informative book I have ever had the pleasure to read. I say "Reference" because that is how I would define its contents - as a true reference, both theoretical & practical. From cover to cover, this book is packed with information regarding all aspects of analogue electronic surveillance, and includes detailed circuit diagrams (yes, with component values too!) of working examples throughout. Also included are sections on actual surveillance operations, along with a detailed "How to build bugs" section covering necessary construction techniques. Many of the circuits & techniques described can be applied in areas other than surveillance, but if it's surveillance information you're after, this book cuts through the chaff to give "hands-on" specific details which would be difficult, if not impossible to find elsewhere.
The text is written in a truly interesting style, and is a refreshing change from the usual monotonous reading of electronic textbooks. The author knows his stuff, and has obviously had many years of experience in constructing & implementing bugs & taps, the level of detail proving this beyond any doubt. A word of caution, it is aimed at the competent to advanced electronic hobbyist, and/or Electronic Engineer. Some sections may prove too in-depth for the novice, and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone with no electronic knowledge at all. Far from being a criticism, this is a complement to the technical detail contained throughout - well worth the money!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Troy Brown on April 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Cover to cover, this book is THE reference for building bugs and wiretaps. Book contains not only theory, but schematics, descriptions, detailed assembly photographs, and a section full of circuit board layout negatives for those "do it yourself" types. I was suprised to see up-to-date wiretapping methods (Especially with photos!). Every possible electronic surveillance circuit is covered in this manual, along with two or three different modifications of each. Testing information and results also included with each circuit. Check this one out. I'm glad I did.
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