Down in Crawley, West Sussex, a neat piece of new equipment has emanated from the laboratories of Winkelmann, the experts in counter-surveillance technology.

The SEARCHER-2500 is a portable hand-held scanner that detects hidden mobile phones, bugging gear and other electronic kit. It is the smallest of its kind on the market.

“It is ideal for quickly checking a single room for bugs or ensuring no-one takes a mobile into a meeting,” said Stephen Read, the company’s international sales manager and Vice Chairman of the ADS Security Export Focus Group.

It weighs in at 965g and is meant for easy operation by one person.

In today’s environment of miniaturisation, the circuitry of electronic devices, in particular mobile phones, is getting smaller and using higher frequencies.

The SEARCHER-2500 (2410-2485MHz) has a higher transmitter frequency, which makes it more likely for the signal to get through small gaps in the screening enclosure of the electronic device and to be picked up by shorter conductors in small electronic circuitry.

The SEARCHER-2500 has a narrower beam, which makes it easier to pinpoint the location of the electronic device in a site with a lot of other ‘friendly’ electronics.

On various targets SEARCHER-2500 2.5GHz detector is more efficient than detectors operating at 800-900 MHz frequencies with greater power.