TALAN: Telephone and Line Analyzer

Before i jump into explaining about the TALAN, a bit how  i came to learn about this interesting gadget. For starters, I hold a degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy ). To anyone wondering what the hell is a Telecom Engineering degree all about? To put it simply, Telecom Eng. degree explores the software and hardware aspects of all electronic devices enabling us to share information, transfer, receive, transmit over communication channels (physical such as cables) packaged in various forms such as packets/signals — and the inter-networks.

That’s the simplest way i could think of without breaking it down and making it complicated to grasp. Having said that, i am always fascinated with Telecoms/Electrical/computer world. The latest gadget that i got a chance to play with and learn tons – on it’s workings is – the TALAN.

I was privileged and honored to work briefly (up to 4 days) for ATET an Italian company that develops, manufactures and sells systems and solutions in the communication and security field, for public administration and private use, both in Italy or abroad.

They asked me to be their official translator (translate from Italian language to English) whilst on their mission here in Kenya (due to the nature of the assignment, i will not state the name of the company or location where the technical training was being held) — to offer training to the member staff on some of the recently acquired instruments that included the TALAN.

Since 1960, ATET has provided expertise in radio communications, investigation, intelligence and integrated solutions for tracking and highly detailed fleet-management. ATET has developed systems and projects for local or national purposes, which are widely considered to be milestones in their respective areas.

We looked at the following main instruments (but in this article, will focus on one):

  • The TALAN
  • CMA Countermeasures Amplifier
  • OSCOR Green Spectrum Analyzer
  • ORION 2.4 Non-Linear Junction Detector

Telephone and Line Analyzer (TALAN)


TALAN (Telephone and Line Analyzer) is a gadget packaged with multiple functionalities. Equipped with a set of tools for analyzing, inspecting and testing digital telephone lines and of course any other kind of wiring for eventual taps – and other eavesdropping devices.

Once these several different tests are performed by TALAN, the user is able to draw a comparison of the results from multiple tests on a series of phone lines — and immediately  identifying any potentially threatening anomalies.

Common tests that can be performed include: voltage, current, resistance, and capacitance test, Non-Linear Junction Detection, FDR(Frequency Domain Reflectometry) and Digital Demodulation. We performed tests on the voltage, current and resistance.

As you may be aware, any physical wire we see with our eyes, mostly is a combination of other several wires hence names like twisted pair arise. The good thing about TALAN, it uses an automatic internal pair switching matrix to automatically perform tests on all pair combinations.Therefore, this gives the user a broad base to draw conclusions from multiple phone lines. My colleague (who is also a friend) confirmed to me, there is no other product in the market today that can perform in the same way!

I must say this is a great milestone in Telephone Lines Testing.

  What are some of the main TALAN features?

  • Combines multiple testing capabilities into a single piece of equipment.
  • Automatic internal pair switching matrix performs tests on all pair combinations
  • Quickly performs common test functions including: Multimeter tests (voltage, current, resistance, capacitance)
  • RF Broadband Detector (up to 8GHz)
  • Spectrum Analyzer (up to 85MHz)
  • High Gain Audio Amplifier
  • Bias Generator ±80 VDC
  • Audio Oscilloscope with active input (20Hz to 20KHz)
  • DPA-7000 Advancements
  • Digital Demodulation to confirm that the telephone line is not passing audio
  • Frequency Domain Reflectometer (FDR) to check for taps on the line
  • Line Non-Linear Junction Detector (NLJD) Functionality to detect electronics connected to a line
  • NLJD Line Trace Probe for tracing wires and locating electronics
  • Multi-Test Database System provides the ability to perform multiple tests, on all pair combinations, storing data in a database for comparison against other lines and historical comparison

If you plan to use one — here are some of the specifications  to look out for:

  • Control System
  • Primary Computer: 32bit RISC processor, 520MHz
  • Internal Memory: 64MB SDRAM (OS), 64MB Flash
  • External Memory: Compact Flash to 2GB
  • Digital I/O
  • USB Device (A type) supports external keyboard, mouse, and USB Mass Storage devices
  • Network: 10/100 Ethernet Controller
  • USB Host (B type, for future usability)
  • Analog I/O
  • Headphone Output: 3.5mm Mono connector
  • Microphone Input: 3.5mm Mono input
  • User Interface
  • Hard Keys: 6 Soft Menu Keys, 5 Button Quadrant Navigation & other dedicated keys
  • Encoder: High-Resolution Optical Encoder
  • Integrated Touch Screen with Stylus
  • Test Inputs:
  • Dual MOD8: Supports 2, 4, 6, & 8 wire Modular Phone Jacks
  • Banana Type: Standard sleeved sockets: Ring, Tip, and Earth
  • SMB RF Input: RF/Antenna Connection to 8 GHz Broadband Detector
  • Expansion Port: Supports communication & measurement for use with future
  • accessories
  • RF System
    Spectrum Analyzer:
  • Dual Conversion, Super-Heterodyne Receiver
  • Frequency Range: 30kHz to 85MHz
  • Sweep Time: 2 Seconds
  • Step Size: 1kHz
  • Bandwidth: 18kHz
  • Sensitivity: -100dBm
  • Broadband Detector:
  • RF SMB Input: to 8GHz
  • Line Level Test: 100kHz to 600MHz
  • Sensitivity: -65dBm
  • Digital Multimeter
  • Range: Quick Response Auto-Ranging, 500msec Sample Rate
  • AC/DC Volts: 0 to 250V Maximum
  • Resistance: 0 to 40 MegOhm
  • Capacitance: 4nF to 4.2µF
  • Bias Generator
  • Optically Isolated, Direct Digital Control: High voltage DAC
  • Modulation: Fixed voltage, or variable rate Sinewave (10Hz – 300Hz)
  • Output Ceiling: ± 80V



  1. Audio Bandwidth: 20Hz – 20KHz
  2. Gain: Up to 80dB total system gain (voice band)
  3. AGC: Digitally Controlled Automatic Gain
  4. Filter: Analog Voice band filter (300Hz to 3kHz)


          Power System

  • External Input: 9 – 15VDC @ 3A
  • Universal Power Supply: 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz
  • Removable Battery: Rechargeable Lithium ion, 4-6 hours of run time



  • Dimensions: 10in x 12.9in x 2.7in (25.4cm x 32.8cm x 6.9cm)
  • Unit Weight with Battery: 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
  • Case Dimensions: 5.4in x 14.9in x 19.5in (13.7cm x 37.8cm x 49.5cm)
  • Case Weight (Including TALAN and accessories): 19 lbs (7.1 kg)
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to +50°C

That’s all for now. Thank you ATET for the opportunity to work with you! A big shout out to Emilio, we worked hand in hand as i did the the onsite translation.


Features & Specifications

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