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Spiritcom, Psychophone, "Franks Box"


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#1 Ghost_hunter_1954

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:21 AM

I have recently analyzed all of these devices and found them to be crude noise generators/synthesizers. I have been unable to communicate with any dead relatives, inspite of the huge success these devices reportedly have. Because I am an audio Engineer, I find it important to dissect these devices and analyze the claims made by the makers. I have talked to many people who feel they have received personal messages. When I post the debunking of these devices (I have received my neighbors cordless phone, wirelss microphone signals, wiFi interference and even walkie talkie bleadover, I am told that only thirty people can ever use the box. To me this screams hoax. Electronics doesn't pick and choose who it works for, it either does or it doesn't work. These boxes are so uinstable in design, and so open to a myriad of interference, it is hard to pinpoint any of the sources of the voices that emit from them. In my opinion, scientifically, any evidence gleaned from such a device is useless.
Of course I am catching a lot of flak for my views, but as I have stated in my blog on Iamhaunted.com, I will gladly change my mind should a dead relative come through and tell me something only they could know. So far, I am apparently not one of the chosen few.
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#2 spiritalk

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 02:49 PM

Just a thought...when voices were heard on tape recorders in the early days...it was the type of real to real, large, unweildy machine...it was with someone who had also experienced other mediumship phenomena. It appears the operator is a big part of the operation.

God bless, J

#3 earth_spirit

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 04:40 PM

Have either of you read Jeff Belanger's Communicating with the Dead? I think you'll find it enlightening as well as fascinating. The part about Thomas Edison's efforts to communicate with the Great Beyond definitely makes it worth reading . . .
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#4 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 01:10 AM

I have never heard of "Spiritcom", "Psychophone", or "Franks Box". It sounds though that they don't work very well from what you have told us. I think it's excellent that an audio engineer has looked into devices that have to do with the supernatural!

I understand that recording devices are unable to pick up stray transmissions of various sorts due to their electronic makeup. Is this true? If not, I've never experienced anything that resembled part of a transmission of any sort in the five years that I've been collecting EVP. Most EVP that I have I have no explanation for, especially the ones that answered questions I posed. :P :P :clap:

#5 Redhead

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 08:19 AM

I've never heard of those devices either, only the Edison one. I can add that the Smithsonian Institution has a wing of medical 'machines' that are all quack devices. People believe what they want to believe, especially if they are desperate. During and after World War I, there were millions of people desperate to speak one last time to their soldiers who were killed in action. A great many phony spiritualists/mediums cropped up in order to cash in on that. Lots of people were bilked out of money. I would imagine that the same is still true - people wanting something so badly that they'll pay any amount of money to get it. Thanks, Ghosthunter1954, for debunking more of these things - hopefully it will save some suckers their hard earned cash!! And for pointing out that not everything is as it is advertised!!
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#6 Ghost_hunter_1954

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 09:26 PM

I have never heard of "Spiritcom", "Psychophone", or "Franks Box". It sounds though that they don't work very well from what you have told us. I think it's excellent that an audio engineer has looked into devices that have to do with the supernatural!

I understand that recording devices are unable to pick up stray transmissions of various sorts due to their electronic makeup. Is this true? If not, I've never experienced anything that resembled part of a transmission of any sort in the five years that I've been collecting EVP. Most EVP that I have I have no explanation for, especially the ones that answered questions I posed. :ghost: :) :ghost:


Thanks! I love researching this stuff, believe me. I talk it over with co members of the Audio Engineering Society.

In order for an audio recording device to pick up stray RF transmission, it has to demodulate them from the carrier, which requires an antenna, and a simple detector, such as a diode. Then it is posible to detect and unmodulate audio from an RF carrier. My point, And I am in dissagreement with the AA-EVP on this, Why inject a foriegn noise to your medium, when that allows a scientist more fuel to debunk your findings? An EVP in its pure form recorded directly to your medium via a midrophonew is the hardest evidence to debunk of an EVP. Detuned radio receivers can pick up stray background stations and thus faint vopices can be heard. As a researcher, how do you eliminate these as evidence, or non-evidence?
“It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.”Michio Kaku

#7 Ghost_hunter_1954

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 09:27 PM

I've never heard of those devices either, only the Edison one. I can add that the Smithsonian Institution has a wing of medical 'machines' that are all quack devices. People believe what they want to believe, especially if they are desperate. During and after World War I, there were millions of people desperate to speak one last time to their soldiers who were killed in action. A great many phony spiritualists/mediums cropped up in order to cash in on that. Lots of people were bilked out of money. I would imagine that the same is still true - people wanting something so badly that they'll pay any amount of money to get it. Thanks, Ghosthunter1954, for debunking more of these things - hopefully it will save some suckers their hard earned cash!! And for pointing out that not everything is as it is advertised!!


I believe the succes of these devices have more to do with the operator, than the device.
“It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.”Michio Kaku

#8 spiritalk

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 08:58 AM

If these devices worked, there would be consistency and quality. It just seems that EVP is not all its cracked up to be as yet. No door to investigation should ever be closed.

God bless, J

#9 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 11:23 AM

Thanks! I love researching this stuff, believe me. I talk it over with co members of the Audio Engineering Society.

In order for an audio recording device to pick up stray RF transmission, it has to demodulate them from the carrier, which requires an antenna, and a simple detector, such as a diode. Then it is posible to detect and unmodulate audio from an RF carrier. My point, And I am in dissagreement with the AA-EVP on this, Why inject a foriegn noise to your medium, when that allows a scientist more fuel to debunk your findings? An EVP in its pure form recorded directly to your medium via a midrophonew is the hardest evidence to debunk of an EVP. Detuned radio receivers can pick up stray background stations and thus faint vopices can be heard. As a researcher, how do you eliminate these as evidence, or non-evidence?


Thanks for the input, Ghosthunter1954.
So, what I think you're saying is, unless I modify my recorders, it's impossible for it to pick up stray transmissions? I own two dictaphones and a standard size tape recorder. They are all analog and none of them have antennas or the ability to tune into radio frequencies.

Thanks for you're help! This is an excellent learning experience. :lol:

#10 krcguns

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 02:47 AM

Ahhhh...Franks Hoax...ummmm, I mean Box. Yeah, this whole thing is a throwback to the days of the old snake oil salesman. Any of us can listen to the box and perhaps get a word or two out of it that we can understand but in order to make any sense of it youi must be one of the 30 magically gifted 30 people in the world (which are all friends by the way...imagine that) in order to interpret what it is saying. So I may hear "____ ____ ____ here___ ____bill and one of the magical 30 will tell you that youi just heard "It is cold here, hello there Bill" Wow, isn't it impressive what these 30 people can understand and pick up? It is a way of parting innocen, gullible people from their hard earned money.
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#11 AbbeyGal

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 11:14 AM

Your description does sound like the box is hooey. However, recently I'd heard an interview with a researcher who went to see a demonstration of Frank's box who had no affiliation with Frank and who was going into it with a very skeptical viewpoint. I listen to so many different paranormal radio shows that I have trouble remembering which is which, but I think it was on Haunted Voices Radio and might have been the interview with Diana Avena. Anyway, this woman seemed to have a good head on her shoulders about debunking things in general. She stayed as close as possible to the box to hear for herself. What she did hear made a believer out of her. <shrug>

I'm still casting a fish eye at the device, but want to see a demonstration myself before writing it off entirely.

Edited by AbbeyGal, 15 April 2007 - 11:15 AM.


#12 ghost-tech

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:29 AM

Hello All,

While I do not disagree with the problem with franks box, I do disagree that an analog cassetterecorder will not pick up stray radio signals rather easily, just drive up to any radio station tower and you will see what I am talking about. I am a ham operator of 20 years + and own several radio transmitters which cover a wide range of frequencies. Any of these transmitters can be picked up on an analog cassette recorder regardless of what frequency I am transmitting on (AM, FM, or even fast scan television). All analog recording devices incorporate an amplification circuit which can easily act as a mini radio receiver, though the amplifier is only designed to amplify the signal coming from the microphone, any stray signals can easily "infect" the circuit with extra noise which will get amplified along with the microphone signal. Obviously the quality of the recorder will make a big difference as to whether it will pick up radio signals easily or not, cheaper recorders have less buffer circuits which will most likely pick up stray signals if the signal is strong enough. You may be out in the field recording EVP and know that you are no where near a radio tower, but that does not mean a strong radio signal can not bounce your way. At certain times of the year I am able to communicate with people in places like North Carolina and Virginia from Pennsylvania where I live using very little power due to a phenomenon called ducting which carries my radio signal quite a bit of distance. This phenomenon can happen at any time and easily send a stray transmission your way when you are least expecting...

If you are receiving intelligent responses to your questions via an EVP session, I personally consider that a scientific result, but if you are receiving random words not based on any logic, it may be a stray radio signal. Just remember there are tons of radio transmitters all around you and not just the broadcast stations that you can pick up on your AM or FM radio, they are a very small percentage of the total radio transmissions happening around you all the time.

Also keep in mind that most recorders use an "Automatic Level Control" to keep the audio at a constant level. When you are standing in total silence, this ALC will turn itself up to maximum since there is no noise. This is considered "gain", increasing the gain is increasing the amplification process by ten fold and also increasing your chances of picking up a stray radio signal by 10 fold.

Digital is a different animal, and though its not impossible for them to get infected with stray radio signals as they also incorporate amplification circuits, its going to be less likely.

Read part 15 of the FCC rules :-)

One of the best quotes I have seen in awhile

"Electronics doesn't pick and choose who it works for, it either does or it doesn't work." ~ ghost_hunter_1954

Edited by ghost-tech, 16 April 2007 - 09:31 AM.


#13 Sheal

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 05:21 PM

I know Frank myself and used to talk to him (online) daily back in the day...I didn't think much of the box then, don't think much of it now. Too much room for error and personal interpretation (ie: electrical current nearby, weather, and what not affect the box - or at least that's my theory)

Sheal

#14 Ghost_hunter_1954

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 10:07 PM

Thanks! I love researching this stuff, believe me. I talk it over with co members of the Audio Engineering Society.

In order for an audio recording device to pick up stray RF transmission, it has to demodulate them from the carrier, which requires an antenna, and a simple detector, such as a diode. Then it is posible to detect and unmodulate audio from an RF carrier. My point, And I am in dissagreement with the AA-EVP on this, Why inject a foriegn noise to your medium, when that allows a scientist more fuel to debunk your findings? An EVP in its pure form recorded directly to your medium via a midrophonew is the hardest evidence to debunk of an EVP. Detuned radio receivers can pick up stray background stations and thus faint vopices can be heard. As a researcher, how do you eliminate these as evidence, or non-evidence?


Thanks for the input, Ghosthunter1954.
So, what I think you're saying is, unless I modify my recorders, it's impossible for it to pick up stray transmissions? I own two dictaphones and a standard size tape recorder. They are all analog and none of them have antennas or the ability to tune into radio frequencies.

Thanks for you're help! This is an excellent learning experience. :wave:

There is something we are working on. When two RF signals interfere with each other, a situation called Beat frequency occurs, in which each RF signal cancels out leaving the difference in the two frequencies. For example, say a 2.4 GHz signal and a 2.41 GHz signal interfere with each other forming a "beat" The resulting frequency would be 1000 Hz, clearly in the voice spectrum, although instead of sound it would propagate electromagnetically. It would be picked up by the coil in the microphone and come out as a tone on playback. If the two parent signals were varying, it would produce a variable frequency in the audio spectrum,. Would it be an EVP or a voice? Possibly. We are doing further research on this aspect of EVP research. We have the outline of the research along with plans for the equipment we are using at our website, www.spinvestigations.org in the research area.
“It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.”Michio Kaku

#15 Ghost_hunter_1954

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 10:15 PM

Your description does sound like the box is hooey. However, recently I'd heard an interview with a researcher who went to see a demonstration of Frank's box who had no affiliation with Frank and who was going into it with a very skeptical viewpoint. I listen to so many different paranormal radio shows that I have trouble remembering which is which, but I think it was on Haunted Voices Radio and might have been the interview with Diana Avena. Anyway, this woman seemed to have a good head on her shoulders about debunking things in general. She stayed as close as possible to the box to hear for herself. What she did hear made a believer out of her. <shrug>

I'm still casting a fish eye at the device, but want to see a demonstration myself before writing it off entirely.


I know of at least twelve independant researchers who have built the box. They came to the same conclusion I did, that any success is due to the user, not the box. In this case, the box employs an AM tuner that randomely tunes in stations rapidly, creating bits and pieces of words. While on occaison a word makes since, and at times even a phrase, it is nothing mnore than AM broadscasts being mixed together. The current user out there "interprets" the noise and tells the audience what is being said, and this indicates that the successful communications is due to the user's potential psychic/medium abilities and not the electronics involved. Also, if this box really could communicate with the Dead, it would be all over the national news networks.
Noise generators, oscillators and other devices have been used for years in EVP research, with varying degrees of results. This tyype of evidence is emediately debunked by scientist due to the injection of the noise on the recording medium, "muddling up" the recording. This makes software analysis difficult as well. The best quality EVPs are captured using a dynamic omni-directional microphone and the recording device of your choice.
“It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.”Michio Kaku




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