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A transtator was a piece of technology which formed a basic part of numerous devices, including communicators, transporters, and phasers. It was, in fact, the fundamental component in almost every piece of Federation technology. (TOS novel: The Starship Trap) It was a necessary component for detecting and manipulating subspace energy. (TOS novel: Prime Directive)
Captain James T. Kirk was concerned, after Leonard McCoy left his communicator on Sigma Iotia II, that the Iotians might learn how the transtator worked, and replicate this technology. (TOS episode: "A Piece of the Action")
Transtators continued to be used into the 24th century, aboard the Intrepid-class and Defiant-class of starships and the Starfleet personnel on AR-558. (VOY episode: "Time and Again", DS9 episodes: "Rejoined", "The Siege of AR-558")