April 17, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

Last year, the RSGB was approached by the BBC to find experts to contribute to its planned series ‘The Secret Genius of Modern Life’.

For episode one, which takes a look at the bank card, Neil Smith, G4DBN re-created the Great Seal Bug – a wooden seal, gifted to the US embassy in Moscow in 1945, and which contained a covert listening device. The technology developed for the bug was an early example of RFID, which is what allows contactless card payments to work.

Neil has now released a series of fascinating videos on his YouTube channel which explain the history of the Bug as well as the mechanical design and machining needed to re-create it.

You can find the videos in Neil’s playlist on ‘Machining and Microwaves’  and watch the original BBC Two programme on BBC Sounds – this episode is available for a further seven months.