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Thread: Spybuster

  1. #1

    Default Spybuster

    About 10-12 years ago, I bought a detector called Spybuster. I just found it while cleaning out my garage. It is missing the power cord and manual.

    This unit alerts you to hovering airplanes. When I bought it, there was a lot of airplane surveillance in my state and it saved my several times.

    Have any of you heard or know about this product? I have searched the net with no results. I'm sure the company who made it don't exist anymore, but I was trying to get a power cord and manual.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Spybuster

    Quote Originally Posted by tomsts
    About 10-12 years ago, I bought a detector called Spybuster. I just found it while cleaning out my garage. It is missing the power cord and manual.

    This unit alerts you to hovering airplanes. When I bought it, there was a lot of airplane surveillance in my state and it saved my several times.

    Have any of you heard or know about this product? I have searched the net with no results. I'm sure the company who made it don't exist anymore, but I was trying to get a power cord and manual.

    Thanks
    They were made by Elctrolert, the same company that made the Fuzzbuster. They weren't sold for very long because they didn't go over too well, I heard it was because they had a very high level of false alerts.

    I don't know where you could get the manual or anything for this.

    If you ever decide to sell it, please let me know. I have a small collection of vintage detectors and other items, and I have been keeping an eye out for one of these for a while. If not, could you at least maybe send me some pictures of the unit?

    Jim

  3. #3

    Default Spybuster

    I live near an airport and I just muted it while I was near there. I think another reason they didn't sell well was their price. Mine was a gift from my wife & I think it was over $300, but I just don't remember.

    I was thinking about putting this on eBay, but I want to find the power cord and confirm it is still working first.

    Thanks for your response.

    Tom

  4. #4

    Default

    I tried to google for such a thing, but it gets drowned out in some spy-ware removal software.

    So please excuse my perhaps stupid question: what exactly would such a device purport to detect? Gravity waves from the iridium crystals in the pilot's Ray-Bans? Heightened ambient nitrous oxides from the aviation fuel? An annular confinement beam to detect the quantum filament alignment in the plasma coils? Analog synthetic Betazed empathic LEO-pilot-smugness wave receptor?

    Or was it just some kind of RF scanner?

    Thanks for any insight.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Spybuster

    Quote Originally Posted by tomsts
    I live near an airport and I just muted it while I was near there. I think another reason they didn't sell well was their price. Mine was a gift from my wife & I think it was over $300, but I just don't remember.

    I was thinking about putting this on eBay, but I want to find the power cord and confirm it is still working first.

    Thanks for your response.

    Tom
    Hope you decide to list it, I'll keep an eye out for it....
    If you think about it, shoot me a PM if you do decide to list it.

    Jim

  6. #6

    Default

    Jim,

    Here is what it looks like. I used the toothpick container for size reference. I'm hoping Radio Shack has a plug that will fit it. After you told me who made it, I searched the net, but not much available info. Although, there was an Auto Week issue in the late 80's that had a story on it.

    Tom






  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EastGermanOlympicJudge
    I tried to google for such a thing, but it gets drowned out in some spy-ware removal software.

    So please excuse my perhaps stupid question: what exactly would such a device purport to detect? Gravity waves from the iridium crystals in the pilot's Ray-Bans? Heightened ambient nitrous oxides from the aviation fuel? An annular confinement beam to detect the quantum filament alignment in the plasma coils? Analog synthetic Betazed empathic LEO-pilot-smugness wave receptor?

    Or was it just some kind of RF scanner?

    Thanks for any insight.
    IIRC, it was designed to pick up air band frequencies. That does not make sense as the airborne cops don't use the air band at all do they? So maybe they were just an RF detector for low band frequencies, which were in widespread use by state police at the time. Regardless, it is an RF detector of some type.

    I was going to get one back then, but knowing what I did about police radio systems, I was skeptical. This is the first report I ever heard from an actual Spybuster user!

    GTO_04

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GTO_04
    Quote Originally Posted by EastGermanOlympicJudge
    I tried to google for such a thing, but it gets drowned out in some spy-ware removal software.

    So please excuse my perhaps stupid question: what exactly would such a device purport to detect? Gravity waves from the iridium crystals in the pilot's Ray-Bans? Heightened ambient nitrous oxides from the aviation fuel? An annular confinement beam to detect the quantum filament alignment in the plasma coils? Analog synthetic Betazed empathic LEO-pilot-smugness wave receptor?

    Or was it just some kind of RF scanner?

    Thanks for any insight.
    IIRC, it was designed to pick up air band frequencies. That does not make sense as the airborne cops don't use the air band at all do they? So maybe they were just an RF detector for low band frequencies, which were in widespread use by state police at the time. Regardless, it is an RF detector of some type.

    I was going to get one back then, but knowing what I did about police radio systems, I was skeptical. This is the first report I ever heard from an actual Spybuster user!

    GTO_04

    It detected aircraft transponders in the 1.09 GHz range.

    Here's the text from a couple of ads:



    AMBUSH DETECTOR TRACKS POLICE PLANS OVERHEAD --
    WARNS YOU WHEN THERE'S A BEAR IN THE AIR!


    OVERHEAD SURVEILLANCE -- Your speed is being clocked
    from above by a growing fleet of police-owned Cessna 172's
    and 182's. They don't use radar (it can't be used from
    airplanes), just a simple stopwatch, so your radar detector
    won't help. And by the time you notice the tell-tale white
    hash marks painted every 1/4 mile along the Interstates,
    it's too late! Using aircraft surveillance, troopers
    typically quadruple their tickets-per-hour versus radar
    (8/hr vs 2/hr!). Ohio alone has a fleet of 10 Cessnas and 3
    helicopters, with more on order. And in Florida, 1/4 mi.
    markers have been painted on 140 miles of continuous miles
    of Interstate. Clearly new technology is need to warn you
    of spies in the sky!


    A TRACKING COMPUTER -- Spybuster detects aircraft, not
    police radar! Highly specialized SMD circuitry operating at
    1-2 gigahertz [What I think they mean is that the thingy
    receives signals over that frequency range. If, however,
    they have built a computer with a clock speed of 2 GHz, I
    would like to know more...] receives signals from the FAA's
    ground-based aircraft surveillance system. As these signals
    reflect off airplanes, Spybuster locates and tracks with
    military precision [Well, that isn't saying much is it?
    Does anybody recall the precision of the DIVAD?!?] any plane
    within a 6 mile radius of your car (scans a full 360 deg.)
    [Thanks. I was always confused about how many degrees were
    in a complete radius]. With more than one plane in the
    area, Spybuster locks on to the closest one (police planes
    operate at a low 2000-5000'). It then computes that plane's
    closing rate relative to your position, ignoring fast-moving
    747's and jet fighters. Since surveillance Cessnas operate
    at only 100-140 mph [So, theoretically, I could out run one
    if I was going, oh, say 160...], Spybuster warns you
    immediately of any plane "loitering" in your area, or
    tracking a parallel course. Spybuster is occasionally [sic]
    fooled by an innocent civilian aircraft, but has proven
    uncannily accurate in identifying police planes before they
    get into position to clock your speed!


    TARGET RANGE READOUT -- Spybuster's power switch
    performs a self-test [Ok. How's it do that? Must be a damn
    complex switch.] and permits muting of the audio alert. The
    second green LED is the Tracking Indicator, and lights only
    when Spybuster has locked on to a suspect aircraft. [When
    will the surface-to-air missile option be available?] The
    4-segment Range Readout then flashes in sequence as the
    target plane or helicopter closes in. Variable Range
    Control lets you set the distance at which Spybuster alerts
    you. So when the audio is triggered, and the Range Readout
    begins to sequence, there's probably a Bear in the air!


    ...


    Price: $299



    "The SPYBUSTER(TM) is truly a star wars device. Over three years in
    design and development by the man who invented the Fuzzbuster(R), it
    will do what has been considered impossible...IT WILL DETECT
    SURVEILLANCE AIRCRAFT! Now you can defend yourself against this ever
    expanding menace."


    "The Federal Aviation Administration's new radar system now keeps
    track of virtually all aircraft in U.S. airspace. The SPYBUSTER(TM)
    utilizes Big Brother's own signals to automatically alert you to the
    presence of surveillance aircraft. This unique and highly
    sophisticated operating principle makes the SPYBUSTER(TM) effective
    and LEGAL throughout the country."


    The price of this wonder is $279.95 + $3.00 s&h, and you can order it
    from Electrolert, Inc., by calling 1-800-543-3848.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tomsts
    Jim,

    Here is what it looks like. I used the toothpick container for size reference. I'm hoping Radio Shack has a plug that will fit it. After you told me who made it, I searched the net, but not much available info. Although, there was an Auto Week issue in the late 80's that had a story on it.

    Tom
    I really appreciate the pictures! Though I had known these were out there, I had never even seen one or even a picture of one before. I kind of expected something the size of the original Fuzzbuster, but I see that isn't the case at all.

    All I had ever found in my search for one of these is an old trucker hat that had "Spybuster" on the front. Maybe I'll wear it for my next avatar

    I am sure radioshack would have a plug for it, looks pretty standard to me.


    Jim

  10. #10

    Default

    Fantastic information. Thanks, guys. I never considered the onboard transponder.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbonzzz
    [So, theoretically, I could out run one
    if I was going, oh, say 160...],
    This thread is far too factual, so I'm going to add an anecdote of questionable veracity. Back in the 80's, one of my gearhead buddies had a really worked 6.6 liter Trans Am - kind of built for acceleration, not top speed, but still. He recounted a story of having been pulled over. The quote from the Leo was "Well, when the plane lost sight of you, you were going 123 miles per hour...." Good times.

 

 

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