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Nagra CCT
Credit Card Transmitter - wanted item

The Nagra CCT is a ultra-miniature body-wearable narrow-band VHF transmitter in the shape of a credit card, released by Nagra Kudelski in Romanel (Switzerland) in September 2013. It is seen as a complementary device to Nagra's highly successful Credit Card Recorder (CCR), and is only available to selected law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The device is also used by the US Department of Defence and is known by its National Stock Number NSN 5820-01-651-6863 [5].

The image on the right shows a selection of Nagra CCT devices, as they are shown in their brochure [A]. The device has the size of a credit card and is just 1.5 mm thick. It can be printed with any image, so that it can be disguised as a regular chest-worn identification badge, making it good enough to fool the casual observer.

Despite the fact that the exact specifications are classified, some intersting details have leaked out through official US Government procurement tenders, as listed below. The device operates in the regular 138 - 174 MHz band (FM) and can be received with any regular surveillance receiver.

The Nagra CCT was introduced shortly after the Credit Card Recorder (CCR) and is based on the same design principle. Its output power is programmable between 0.6 mW (-2dBm) and 20 mW (+13dBm), whch should be sufficient for an operational range of approximately 100 metres.

The diagram above shows the location of the microphone, the capacitive ON/OFF sensor and the LED indicator. The contact pads are identical to those on a smart card, but are used here for connection to the docking station. They are used for data transfer and battery charging. The reverse side of the credit card (i.e. the front) can be printed like a regular credit card or ID badge.

The Nagra CCR is generally used in combination with a USB docking station, that is used for charging the internal LiPo-battery, downloading the audio data stored on the card and changing any of the internal settings. In addition there are several chargers for single or multiple cards. According to the brochure [A], the following set of accessories was available in 2014. The same accessories can be used with Nagra's earlier covert body-wearable Credit Card Recorder (CCR).

  1. CCR-DS
    Docking station (USB)
  2. CCR-DS-2
    Single docking station (USB) with two extra slots for charging
  3. CCT
    Credit Card Transmitter (with example print)
  4. CCT-CC
    Mobile charger for one CCR or CCT card
  5. CCR-MCC
    Charger for five cards
Although the Nagra CCT is not featured on the Nagra website and its brochures are only supplied to approved customers, the Russian version of the brochure can be downloaded freely from the internet [A]. From the photographs and descriptions in the brochure, we can make a few guesses. The diagram below shows the interior of the Nagra CCR as seen from the front. About 2/3 of the available space is taken by the rechargable LiPo battery. The remaining 1/3 is for the actual PCB.

The PCB measures 30 x 50 mm and is soldered directly to the battery terminals. At the bottom right is the capacitive ON/OFF button, whilst the ON/OFF LED is close to the top left. A sub­mini­ature MEMS microphone is located at the top right. Sound is guided to the microphone via three small holes with a diameter of just 50 µm. At the top left is the main controller. At the centre is the actual transmitter. On the Nagra CCR recorder, this space is taken by a 4GB Micro SD card [A].

Technical specifications
  • Size
    85 x 54 x 1.5 mm
  • Weight
    < 5 g
  • Power
    5V via USB, cigarette lighter 9-16V DC (2W)
  • Frequency
    138 - 174 MHz
  • Spacing
    12.5 kHz
  • Modulation
    FM (frequency modulation)
  • RF output
    -2dBm to +13dBm (0.6 mW - 20 mW) software adjustable
  • Range
    ± 100 metres
  • Battery
    LiPo, Between 2 and 6 hours (depending on power output)
  • Standby
    2 months
  • Charge
    90 minutes
  • Clock
    Internal real-time
  1. Nagra CCR и Nagra CCT brochure (Russian)
    Nagra Audio Technology. Date unknown, but probably October 2013. Document not marked as secret or confidential.

  2. Smart card physical specifications
    Crypto Museum, 24 March 2024.
  1. Van Cleve & Associates, Inc., Announcing the release of the Nagra CCT
    October 2013 Newsletter.

  2. Van Cleve & Associates, Inc., Nagra CCR/CCT Car Charger
    April 2014 Newsletter.

  3. Nagra Audio Technology, Nagra CCR и Nagra CCT
    Brochure (Russian). Date unknown, but probably October 2013.

  4. Fed awarded $31,980 to Digital Audio Corporation in Contract Nagra CCT
    24 August 2015.

  5. PartTarget, Nagra CCT
    Retrieved January 2017.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 15 January 2017. Last changed: Sunday, 24 March 2024 - 10:28 CET.
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