← Nevo FX
Embeddable covert audio recorder
Nevo Deep is an ultra-thin embeddable audio recorder,
developed around 2015 by Gedion Ltd. in Vilnius
(Lithuania) as part of its covert surveillance portfolio.
The device can be embedded in virtually any type of concealment
— such as the spine of a book or the hem of a dress —
and can be controlled remotely by means of a car key fob.
The device is available to the law
enforcement and intelligence community. In is the uncased
version of the Nevo FX Radio credit card recorder.
The device is bascially an ultra-thin printed circuit board (PCB) with a
total hight of just 1.4 mm. This allows
it to be hidden in virtually any type of concealment, including books, furniture
and even clothing. Sound is picked up by a sub-miniature sensitive digital
MEMS microphone and processed by a Freescale KL26 microcontroller
Contrary to an RF radio bug,
the device does not transmit a continuous
signal, as a result of which it is more difficult to detect. Instead, it
records conversations onto the onboard memory, either voice-activated,
remote controlled or scheduled.
The device can be configured from a regular Windows PC running
Nevo Manager. It is connected to the USB port of the
PC by means of a special adapter. Inside the adapter are 4 spring
loaded needles that mate with 4 gold plated contact pads at the
bottom of the PCB.
Nevo Deep behaves as a regular USB Mass Storage Device (similar to a
memory stick) but uses a proprietary storage format. To prove that the recordings have not been manipulated, a digital signature is embedded in the recording, allowing the recorded sessions to be used as legal evidence in a
Nevo Deep was available in 2017 for a price of EUR 1400 excluding VAT.
A variant of the device
with an external microphone was available for EUR 1640.
The Nevo series of covert surveillance audio recorders is regarded as a serious competitor
of the Nagra CCR credit card recorder.
The image below provides a quick overview of the hardware features of the
Nevo Deep. The unit measures 62 x 25 mm and is just 1.4 mm thick. All parts
are at the top side of the printed circuit board (PCB). At the right is
a rechargeable LiPo battery that is charged from the USB port of a PC.
Central to the design is a Freescale Kinetis K26 microcontroller with 2GB
of flash storage to capture audio from the onboard digital MEMS microphone.
The input port of the microphone is accessible through a
tiny hole at the bottom of the PCB. A variant of the board with an external microphone
is available as an alternative. ➤ More hardware details below.
The device is fully configurable via the USB port of a Windows (7-10) PC,
using the Nevo Manager software. This port is also used for
charging the onboard LiPo battery. For connection to the PC a special
spring-loaded clamp is provided that mates with
4 contact pads at the bottom of the PCB.
When the device is hidden inside, say, the hem of a dress, the
contact pads can be accessed through the clothing. An LED can be enabled
remotely to mark the position of the contact pads.
The device has a built-in radio transceiver that allows a recording to be
started and stopped remotely from a distance up to 15 metres, using the supplied
car key fob. Communication is two-way, so that the key fob
provides a feedback when the device is on. The key fob can also
be used to request the status of the rechargeable LiPo battery
and the remaining storage capacity.
The device can make recordings in three different ways:
- Predetermined schedule (via Nevo Manager)
- Voice activated system (VAS)
- Remote controlled (via car key fob)
The actual audio recorder is a bare printed circuit board (PCB) that is
just 1.4 mm high. It is fully self contained, which means that even the battery
is included. The device is small enough to be concealed in the spine or
cover of a book, or in the hem of a piece of clothing.
The battery can be charged by connecting the device to the USB port of
a PC. The PC is also used for configuring the device, altering the
recording schedule, setting the Real Time Clock and downloading the recorded
A special spring-loaded clamp is provided for connecting the Nevo Deep PCB
to the USB port of a PC. There are no electronics inside the clamp, just
four spring-loaded contact pins that mate with the four gold-plated contact
pads at the bottom of the PCB (marked J1).
The image on the right shows how the device is correctly inserted into the
USB clamp. When correctly installed, the PC will automatically recognise the
device. Note that this may take some time when the battery is empty.
When enabled in the configuration of the device, it can be controlled
remotely by means of the car key fob shown in the image on the right.
It works on a channel in the 868 MHz ISM band.
There are three buttons: (1) on, (2) off and (3) function.
Button (1) and (2) are used to turn the device ON and OFF. Button (3)
allows the status of the device to be checked remotely. It can also be
used to turn on the LED on the device, so that the USB contacts can be
found more easily.
The device can be configured via a regular PC running Windows 7 to 10,
using the proprietary Nevo Manager software that is supplied with the kit.
It controls the recording schedule, the use of the remote control unit and
the voice activiation system (VAS). It also allows the digitally signed
audio recordings to be downloaded to the PC.
The Nevo Manager software is protected with an installation key.
The device is built on a very thin printed citcuit board (PCB)
that measures just 62 x 25 x 1.4 mm, including all components, even the battery.
All parts are fitted on the top side of the board, whilst the bottom holds
the antenna for the remote control. There are two microcontrollers, 2GB of
flash memory, a sensitive microphone, an RF transceiver, power circuitry
and a rechargeable battery.
The main circuit is built around a Freescale (now: NXP)
(marking M26M7VFT), which is part of the NXP
Kinetis KL26 family [a].
It contains an ARM Cortex-M0+ core running at 48 MHz, 128 KB flash,
16 KB RAM, 16-bit ADC, 12-bit DAC, Real Time Clock (RTC), lots of
timers and several digital interfaces, including GPIO, I2C, SPI,
I2S, UART and USB.
When the KL26 controller is in deep sleep mode, power consumption
is as low as 2 µA, with full state retention and a wakeup time of 4.5µs.
Connected to this controller is a sensitive
INMP-441 digital MEMS microphone
made by InvenSense (now: TDK). Also connected to the controller are two 8Gb
(1GB) NAND flash devices made by Spansion, in which the recorded audio is stored.
A smaller microcontroller of the Freescale KL03 family is present to control
the entire circuit, communicate with the RF remote control transceiver,
and wake the main controller when necessary. This
— also an ARM Cortex-M0+ — has a deep sleep state with a standby current of
just 77nA. Full state retention is possible from 50µA onwards [b].
A CC1101 integrated Radio Frequency (RF)
transceiver made by Texas Instruments (TI) [c]
is used for remote control via the car key fob.
It provides 2-way communication and allows the device to
be remote controlled from a distance of approx. 15 metres. Furthermore, it
can be used to check the status of the battery and the storage
capacity of the onboard memory remotely. The CC1101 can operate in the
315/433/868/915 MHz ISM/SRD bands . These bands do not
require a permit. The unit shown here,
operates on channel 3 in the 868 MHz ISM band.
The antenna for this frequency is integrated with the bottom side of the PCB,
and is visible in the image above.
DeviceEmbeddable ultra-thin low-power audio recorder
MicrophoneInvenSense INMP-441 (built-in)
Dynamic range87 dB
Response60 - 15000 Hz (- 3dB)
Noise supp.-75 dBFS
Sampling rate8, 16 or 24 kHz (16 kHz default)
Resolution16- or 24-bit (24-bit default)
Compression4-bit ADPCM (optional) 1
Signature1024 bit RSA
Standby time135 hours 2
Recording2 - 5.5 hours
Capacity150 hours (ADPCM, 8 kHz) subject to 2 GB limit
Schedules5 (for scheduled recording)
RTCPowered by main battery
InterfaceUSB 2.0, USB 3.0
Power2.2 - 5.5V DC (from USB port)
CompatibilityWindows 7 - 10
Remote controlRF, 868 MHz ISM band, 15 metres
Temperature-10°C to +40°C
Dimensions62.0 × 25.0 × 1.4 mm
Weight< 1 gram
Lossy compression which shrinks 16-bit files approx. 4 times.
In Voice Activated Mode (VAS).
- Kinetis K26, MKL26Z128VFT4 (M26M 7VFT)
Freescale/NXP, KL26P64M48SF5, Rev. 5, August 2014.
- Kinetis K03, MKL03Z8VFG4 (M3T4 AFGV)
Freescale/NXP, KL03P24M48SF0, Rev. 5.1, August 2017.
- CC1101, Low-Power Sub-1GHz RF Transceiver
Texas Instruments, SWRS0611, 2023.
➤ CC1101 Silicon Errata
- 8Gb NAND Flash Memory, S34ML08G1
Spansion, Rev. 06, 1 April 2014.
- INMP-441 digital MEMS microphone
- TPS62743 (TPS743) 300 mA High Efficiency Buck Converter
Texas Instruments, SLVSCQ0B, June 2015 (Rev. March 2021).
- Nevo Deep - Operating instructions
Gedion Ltd. Undated.
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 28 May 2023. Last changed: Saturday, 03 June 2023 - 07:25 CET.