This recorder was produced by ELECTRO DATA INC in 1966 -
1967, and was freely sold to all comers. However, in fact,
its history began much earlier, since it is an almost
exact copy of the spy tape recorder UMY-25,
which was developed by the order of the CIA, was
produced approximately from 1962 to 1965, and was
naturally a secret product. After 1965, when the CIA had
a new technology, the recorder was declassified, and
began to be produced as consumer goods.
The device is really quite suitable for
spy purposes, it is very small, lightweight, with a
stabilized tape speed, and very durable, since the body
is cast from an aluminum alloy.In addition, it is stereophonic, there is a
function of auto-stop, rewind and fast forward, and the
mechanism works very quietly.
Dimensions of the recorder 130 x 72 x 25
mm, weight 225 g.The presence of all these functions in
such a small apparatus of those times is surprising.
In fact, the design is very
simple, in the presence of pinch roller and capstan,
there is no flywheel, and switching modes is done by
turning the clamping bar to different angles. In the
working position of the bar, recording or playback is
performed. If you pull the bar to the end, you rewind,
and in the intermediate position, fast-forward. To turn
on the recorder, you need to connect microphones with a
control switch, or headphones, to its connector. To
trigger the hitchhiking a metal pin is isolated from the
housing, which is located next to the supply coil. The
pin is connected to the clip by a metal tape pasted at
the end of the magnetic tape. At the same time, the
transistor is locked, which in the working condition is
the motor speed stabilizer, and it is switched off. The
two-channel amplifier is assembled on the chips of
WC183T, on a very small board, and it does not look
serious, but it works. The quality is average, but
apparently it can be considered serviceable, since both
channels work the same way, and electrolytic capacitors
have kept good parameters.
At present, the device can be considered
a conditionally working one.It records and reproduces, but the uneven
movement of the tape is quite strong.
This is due to the deterioration and deformation of the
rubber of a large roller, and it will not be possible to
fix it.You can
not use the recorder for the intended purpose.
Photos can be enlarged
The spy recorder UMY-25 had no logotype
A very small pinch roller is mounted on
the clip. In this recorder, it is metal, and capstan is
rubberized. It is clear that when storing the recorder
pinch roller is always pressed to the capstan, in
connection with which the rubber capstan strongly
deformed. Repair of such a defect is a big problem, but
I coped with this.
The electric motor was faulty, I had to
disassemble it, and repair the rubber bushes into which
the ball bearings are inserted.
In the photo below are visible white
rubber bushes, and on the right the device of the
To power the amplifier we used a mercury
battery RM-625 with a voltage of 1.4 v. Instead, I use a
modern alkaline analog V625U - 1.5 v. To power the
motor, a mercury battery RM-822 with a voltage of 1.4 v
was used. I did not find a modern analog, and I had to
assemble a 3-volt CR2032 lithium battery with a DC-DC
converter for 1.5 v.
The year of manufacture is not indicated
on the nameplate, but by indirect evidence I assume that
this recorder was made in 1967. Apparently, everything
looks very simple inside
Very interesting electrolytic capacitors.
They are white, very small, and still retain good
parameters, perhaps they are tantalum. Small size 3.5 x
1.5 mm with a capacity of 3 μf. Those that are larger,
with a size of 6 x 3.5 mm with a capacity of 35-40 μF.
In the photo below, you can see how the
tape is fed to use the auto stop function. The metal
tape includes contact between the clamp and the pin
isolated from the body
Unfortunately, I got the dictophone without accessories.
I did not make copies of them, but to
demonstrate the work I made a switch with connectors for
connecting microphones and headphones.I use the Soviet microphone
"Neva", which used to be used with Soviet special
The electric scheme of the dictaphone EDI. I copied this scheme
from a dictaphone, because on the Internet, nothing
similar could be found