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Alpha Lab TriField Meter


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#1 sdGH_Tech

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 02:50 PM

Hello All,

This is my first post, so excuse me if this topic has been discussed before. I did try searching for it before posting.

I have had past personal experience using three different Alpha Labs TriField Natural EM Meter units (not owned by me) and was very impressed with the "sum" setting's ability to sense human presence. Just waving one's had across the sensing plane spiked the meter like crazy!

So, with excitement, I ordered my own unit, complete with an internal red LED light.

For some reason with my purchased unit, I barely get a reading, if any, when it's set on "sum" and I do the same hand waving described above. I logically thought I had a defective unit and sent it back to Alpha Labs. They returned it re-calibrated, but it performed in the same fashion. I told them of the other units I have used, and was told by their head tech what I had in hand were not as accurate as my new one. I can say the previous units were older...up to 5+ years.

How could have they sold so many past units that were so "inaccurate" or bad? And if what I experienced was supposed be a fluke, how come I came across three in a row?

The Alpha Labs web site claims that the unit can detect human presence behind walls. I don't know how this can be the case when the meter needle won't move with my hand being 1/8" away from the unit, let alone detect a human many feet away. How can you detect the presence of anything with no meter response?

Is there someone here who can relate to this issue. Can someone set me straight with any ignorance I may have? I would be very interested in your comments and experiences. I really expected my new unit to act like the past ones I have handled. At this point, it has become useless, keeping residence in my equipment bag for over a year with little use.

Edited by sdGH_Tech, 15 August 2008 - 02:54 PM.


#2 Mark London

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 02:53 PM

Hi There and welcome to the Village, Im sure someone on here can give you answers to your questions

Mark :angry:

#3 GPPI_JMe

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 11:28 PM

As a recent purchaser of the very same unit you're discussing (minus the LED light) I can tell you a couple things about these meters, from what I've read and tested.

It is my understanding their "ability" to measure a persons presence in a connecting room is not under the Sum mode, but the Electric mode. I realize, of course, that Sum is supposed to be a combination reading of both the Magnetic and the Electric. Perhaps it does not read out as high when it is forced to gather both spectrums? Please understand, I could be wrong about this.

Also, have you interacted with these "old" meters recently? The field strength wont be the same on every person, on every occasion, or on every test. Perhaps your field isn't as strong as it was last time you used the other meters? Or perhaps there was something they updated in their newer models, because they realized the old models were producing false readings?

These are just some suggestions or thoughts to consider. Sorry I couldn't be more definitive in helping you.
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#4 CaveRat2

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 10:32 AM

A human does not in and of themseves give off sufficient electrical voltage to be detected in this manner. That said sometimes coming in close proximity to such a field detection device will activate it. The reason is that a human can cause disturbances to an existing field. So for you to be able to detect a human behind a wall some form of field would already have to be present, and the human would be detcted by disturbing this field. He would not be capable of actually generating a field with an intensity great enough to be detected in this manner.
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#5 sdGH_Tech

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 02:33 PM

A human does not in and of themseves give off sufficient electrical voltage to be detected in this manner. That said sometimes coming in close proximity to such a field detection device will activate it. The reason is that a human can cause disturbances to an existing field.


The above goes contrary to Alpha Lab's tech info found on their web site
"Human beings and animals usually emit an electric field which is easily detectable using the Natural EM Meter. In fact, the meter can be used as a motion-activated intruder alarm. It is so sensitive that it can detect the presence of a person through a wall. Though it is not foolproof in this capacity, (sometimes a person will carry no electric charge and thus be "invisible" to the meter), its sensitivity is of interest to researchers in the field of parapsychology. Every type of detectable physical manifestation requires a certain amount of energy. For example, "moving air" requires the expenditure of a small amount of energy to get the air to move initially."

http://www.trifield....EMF_natural.htm

Edited by sdGH_Tech, 18 August 2008 - 02:35 PM.


#6 sdGH_Tech

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 02:48 PM

Thanks for the interest and reply.

According to the Alpha Labs web site and general knowledge among users of the meter, it is the "SUM" setting that gives you the readings discussed.

Alpha Labs web site:
"The SUM setting in Model 1 adds together the electric and magnetic fields and detects if either field changes. Model 1 is used to find a disturbance in either type of field, but in the SUM setting it can generally detect if a person approaches to within five or ten feet, even on the other side of a wall. For this reason, Model 1 is preferred for parapsychological research, when, for example, a room to be measured is known to be vacant for an extended period (except for experimenters, who remain relatively still for that period)."

As for revisiting the old meters, no modifications have been done. They were stock from the factory and since they worked as expected, there was no need to alter them by their owners. I am the one with the odd acting unit out of the group. As for various measurements for different people, I never got that specific. I'm not really interested in exact measured readings, only a general reaction to the created field, which is a great jump in the analog needle that occurs in the presence of anyone.

I'm still holding out hope that someone else out there has experienced the same issue with this meter I have.

As a recent purchaser of the very same unit you're discussing (minus the LED light) I can tell you a couple things about these meters, from what I've read and tested.

It is my understanding their "ability" to measure a persons presence in a connecting room is not under the Sum mode, but the Electric mode. I realize, of course, that Sum is supposed to be a combination reading of both the Magnetic and the Electric. Perhaps it does not read out as high when it is forced to gather both spectrums? Please understand, I could be wrong about this.

Also, have you interacted with these "old" meters recently? The field strength wont be the same on every person, on every occasion, or on every test. Perhaps your field isn't as strong as it was last time you used the other meters? Or perhaps there was something they updated in their newer models, because they realized the old models were producing false readings?

These are just some suggestions or thoughts to consider. Sorry I couldn't be more definitive in helping you.


Edited by sdGH_Tech, 18 August 2008 - 02:53 PM.


#7 CaveRat2

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 05:27 PM

[The above goes contrary to Alpha Lab's tech info found on their web site
"Human beings and animals usually emit an electric field which is easily detectable using the Natural EM Meter. In fact, the meter can be used as a motion-activated intruder alarm. It is so sensitive that it can detect the presence of a person through a wall. Though it is not foolproof in this capacity, (sometimes a person will carry no electric charge and thus be "invisible" to the meter), its sensitivity is of interest to researchers in the field of parapsychology. Every type of detectable physical manifestation requires a certain amount of energy. For example, "moving air" requires the expenditure of a small amount of energy to get the air to move initially."

http://www.trifield....EMF_natural.htm


I am going to call that statement so much Bull$hit. First I went to the site and they gave a specification of 2 V/meter. This is not very sensitive. While there are electric fields associated with the human body, these are on the order of microvolts, not volts. You can check my facts by going to numerous medical websites where the voltage associated with taking EEG and EKG measurements are discussed. These measurements are the electrical fields AlphaLabs refers to, and they do not approach 2 volts in amplitude. Now if they would have specified 2 uv/meter then maybe....

Second, what do they mean some people have no electrical charge? Maybe someone dead doesn't, but the living all have a certain level of neural activity. This is electrical energy. Or is this just a cover statement so they don't have to explain why the first statement above doesn't hold true?

Finally the misapplication of the last statement. Certainly moving air requires energy. But it's NOT electrical in nature, it's THERMAL. Heat rises, cool air sinks, air moves. But that requires absolutely no electrical energy whatsoever. Yes you coulsd also move it electrically, but most air movement is convection.

Methinks the people at Alphalabs need to research their data a little better.
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#8 David Ring

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 02:40 AM

[Every type of detectable physical manifestation requires a certain amount of energy. For example, "moving air" requires the expenditure of a small amount of energy to get the air to move initially."

http://www.trifield....EMF_natural.htm


I am going to call that statement so much Bull$hit. First I went to the site and they gave a specification of 2 V/meter. This is not very sensitive. While there are electric fields associated with the human body, these are on the order of microvolts, not volts.**snip**Methinks the people at Alphalabs need to research their data a little better.


Hello CaveRat,

AlphaLabs makes great meters - and the owners writes great English - most of the times!

The Tri-Field meters are available in several models. The "standard" one has a sensitivity of 2 V/m at 60 Hz, but goes up to 1 V/m at 120 Hz (2nd harmonic of the USA power line frequency). By the time the meter starts measuring radio fields the sensitivity is in the millivolt range. The bottom of my meter measures about 5 mV at radio freqs.

I'm just interested in near fields of radio transmitters - you don't have to be sensitive to do that. Their web site has good information on somethings, then poor on others. When the meter sold for $40.00 it was an excellent buy, but the Ghost Busters made the price jump to $155 only three or four years later!

I just wanted to explain the wind thing - he didn't mean electric caused it - he just converted wind to watt-seconds so he could show that the electric field was the most detectible of all the manifestations of human body.

His meter has a 30% accuracy, and was excellent value when it was $30.00 - it cost five times more now but the accuracy and sensitivity haven't inproved five times!

Best
David

A change from 1 V/m to 10 V/M represents a 10 times voltage change, but a 100 times power range.

AlphaLabs is just trying to say that the static electric charge is the one that is the easiest to detect. The others ways of perceiving a human being (sound, heat, magnetic, electric, light (as in sight) require certain thresholds before they are able to be detected. If you were to make an alarm - the electric field would be the most sensitive alarm. BUT some people don't give off an electric field. I use the meter for radio measurements and it picks up everything. The settings for minimum scale readings were chosen to just be a unit or two above the background noise so the meter looks "dead" until it "hears" something.

You might be confusing field strength in volts per meter with sensitivity of electronic device to voltage itself.

http://www.profilant...k/base/11131200

Shows a wattage to V/m graph for 1, 10, 25 and 100 watts. It would be less confusing without the 25 watts.

Anyway, he is making the claim that the static electricity on a human body produces a E field that his meter can pick up.

#9 David Ring

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 02:42 AM

[Every type of detectable physical manifestation requires a certain amount of energy. For example, "moving air" requires the expenditure of a small amount of energy to get the air to move initially."

http://www.trifield....EMF_natural.htm


I am going to call that statement so much Bull$hit. First I went to the site and they gave a specification of 2 V/meter. This is not very sensitive. While there are electric fields associated with the human body, these are on the order of microvolts, not volts.**snip**Methinks the people at Alphalabs need to research their data a little better.


Hello CaveRat,

AlphaLabs makes great meters - and the owners writes great English - most of the times!

The Tri-Field meters are available in several models. The "standard" one has a sensitivity of 2 V/m at 60 Hz, but goes up to 1 V/m at 120 Hz (2nd harmonic of the USA power line frequency). By the time the meter starts measuring radio fields the sensitivity is in the millivolt range. The bottom of my meter measures about 5 mV at radio freqs.

I'm just interested in near fields of radio transmitters - you don't have to be sensitive to do that. Their web site has good information on somethings, then poor on others. When the meter sold for $40.00 it was an excellent buy, but the Ghost Busters made the price jump to $155 only three or four years later!

I just wanted to explain the wind thing - he didn't mean electric caused it - he just converted wind to watt-seconds so he could show that the electric field was the most detectible of all the manifestations of human body.

His meter has a 30% accuracy, and was excellent value when it was $30.00 - it cost five times more now but the accuracy and sensitivity haven't inproved five times!

Best
David

A change from 1 V/m to 10 V/M represents a 10 times voltage change, but a 100 times power range.

AlphaLabs is just trying to say that the static electric charge is the one that is the easiest to detect. The others ways of perceiving a human being (sound, heat, magnetic, electric, light (as in sight) require certain thresholds before they are able to be detected. If you were to make an alarm - the electric field would be the most sensitive alarm. BUT some people don't give off an electric field. I use the meter for radio measurements and it picks up everything. The settings for minimum scale readings were chosen to just be a unit or two above the background noise so the meter looks "dead" until it "hears" something.

You might be confusing field strength in volts per meter with sensitivity of electronic device to voltage itself.

http://www.profilant...k/base/11131200

Shows a wattage to V/m graph for 1, 10, 25 and 100 watts. It would be less confusing without the 25 watts.

Anyway, he is making the claim that the static electricity on a human body produces a E field that his meter can pick up.

#10 wuwei

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:44 AM

I have a Trifield Natural EM and can vouch for the fact that it will pick up hand movement around the unit. The best way to use it is to leave it set up somewhere while people remain still. You can walk around with it but it will pick up electrical field changes of people as well as magnetic field changes (as the unit moves in relation to the earth's magnetic field). I think it is the best unit for paranormal research as long as it is used properly.

We have done experiments with people on the other side of a door and it does indeed register movement.

The Natural EM is quite different from the other Trifield meters in that it only measures static field changes, and the measurement scale is in microTeslas versus miiliGauss.

Wuwei

#11 CaveRat2

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 10:28 AM

I understand the voltage to wattage factor as stated, as well as the inverse square law as it relates to EM Field strength versus distance from the source. I agree the meter is more sensitive as frequency increases, that is because the pickup responds more efficiently as frequency increases.

My argument was with the claim of 2 V / M picking up a human body. If, as stated, that is the sensitivity at 60 Hz, increasing to 1 V / M at 120 Hz, that would go along with the frequency versus sensitivity curve. But if we extrapolate this curve to even lower frequencies it would follow that sensitivity would continue to decrease, not increase. And we do have to remember most neural activty occurs at frequencies far BELOW 60Hz. Thus the ability of the meter threshold to detect human electrical activity would be even greater than 2V / M. Some brain activity occurs in the 10 - 20 Hz region, a factor of 1/3 which would put meter sensitity (projected) to as high as 6 - 8 V / M. This same activity carries a voltage level of millivolts, however. The meter only reaches this level of sensitivity in the RF region, and no body electrical activity occurs in the RF region, thus the meter will not respond to any body generated signals.

That said static electricity may cause an activation, however this form of electrical energy is not directly produced by the body. It is this description that the meter data is in error in claiming that the meter responds to the body's electrical fields. The hand movement, etc. detection is a result of static, not internal fields.
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#12 David Ring

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 01:08 PM

//snip//
That said static electricity may cause an activation, however this form of electrical energy is not directly produced by the body. It is this description that the meter data is in error in claiming that the meter responds to the body's electrical fields. The hand movement, etc. detection is a result of static, not internal fields.


That was a beautifully written answer, CaveRat. I agree with you on this. I had just stopped by because you had misunderstood some of the other claims. On this you and I agree. I also believe that the device - now that it is costing $155 and not $30 - should give some better documentation!

The bottom line problem is that the meter is adjusted so that the noise is set so that you don't see it. It is background noise. Far down into the background noise is the electromagnetic energy generated by a human or animal. Perhaps the unit can be made sensitive enough to hear this field, but it would be impossible to see it on a meter such as this (d'arsonval type meter without tuned filters). If you could eliminate the unwanted background noise you might be able to detect something - but you are not going to get a device that sells for that price to do so because of the filtering requirements.

I think that doing so with this meter is like using a heavy barn roof wind guage to detect the presence of barn mice. I'd rather get a few cats and eliminate the mice from eating the grain.

Be well - this is a good meter for doing what it was originally meant to do, however I don't think that it was made for GhostBusting.

Stay away from the ectoplasm.

David

#13 wuwei

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:53 PM

That said static electricity may cause an activation, however this form of electrical energy is not directly produced by the body. It is this description that the meter data is in error in claiming that the meter responds to the body's electrical fields. The hand movement, etc. detection is a result of static, not internal fields.


Hi Caverat,

I'm trying to understand your post. The Trifield Natural only picks up static fields, it blocks any AC fields. Therefore it isn't calibrated for any frequency as far as I know.

Since it only detects static field changes, wouldn't they by definition only be claiming to detect static field changes from a human or anything else (i.e. not internal fields)?

Thanks,
Wuwei

#14 David Ring

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 08:46 PM

The Trifield Natural only picks up static fields, it blocks any AC fields. Therefore it isn't calibrated for any frequency as far as I know.

Since it only detects static field changes, wouldn't they by definition only be claiming to detect static field changes from a human or anything else (i.e. not internal fields)?

Thanks,
Wuwei


I found the material - and others are commenting on it from one of the pages of the TRI (3) Field meters - that one responds to any of three fields, Electric, Magnetic, and Static (natural DC charge). The good question is: do ghosts produce static electricity!

AlphhaLab Meters

They have a surface DC voltmeter - but you have to get quite close to the object to get an accurate reading (or so it seems to say) - I don't know how you get a ghost to cooperate in this, I know I would high-tail it out of town if I saw such a meter!

Be well,

David

#15 CaveRat2

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 04:24 PM

The good question is: do ghosts produce static electricity!


And therein lies the crux of the whole thing. There is no evidence that ghosts produce ANY type of field, static or dynamic! The use of an EMF meter or monitor is to detect changes in the natural environment which could be misconstrued as something paranormal. In other words, if you get something, say a suspected EVP on a tape and no EM Filed disruption then there may be a possibly valid EVP captured. If you get an EVP along with an EMF disturbance then there is a good likelyhood you've captured something like a stray RF tranmission or radio interference.

EMF meters are debunking tools, not ghost detectors. We need to use them accordingly.
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