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What *NOT* to get your ghost hunter for Christmas


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#16 CaveRat2

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 05:45 PM

Simply placing a voice recorder inside a Faraday cage is only a start. The voice recorder by nature is flawed in that most of these low quality devices are prone to aliasing and other forms of recorder generated artifacts. Plus, a careful analysis of the circuitry of the traditional Frank's Box itself is inherently noisy (electron noise from the design) Both of these factors could also generate artifacts that might confound the issue.

So the experiment will have to be adapted to prevent any of these, and possibly other sources that might be easily confused as EVP responses. Then we will also have to consider the degree of quality we will accept (class) of the EVP. Many people have made claims of EVPs from noise that is so poor of a quality that no two people can hear the same thing. Such claims are very likely the result of apophenia, or audio paraedolia.

But yes, if such an experiment can be conducted taking into account and addrressing each of these and possibly other problem areas, and still getting a clear, positive result, then a strong case could be made for the use of such methods. To date I know of no successful results approaching this level of validity. But yours could be the first if it is successful.

#17 AnythingButNormal

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 09:17 PM

Cool :) Your story is fascinating, it is contrary to what I would think, any holes or anything in the bulk head? Such as a window the EMF wave could "squeeze" through?


Nope, it was a solid steel door leading to the control room in a paper mill I worked at. The door later opened from the inside to let the "spirit" out as well. The odd thing is that the inside of the mill was 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and the control room was 40 degrees. The door swings out one way into the mill so the resulting differential pressure should have kept the door closed. I can attest to the fact that you really had to yank on this door for it to open. See, even when spirits are present, you have to be scientific about things :)
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#18 AnythingButNormal

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 09:28 PM

Nope, it was a solid steel door leading to the control room in a paper mill I worked at. The door later opened from the inside to let the "spirit" out as well. The odd thing is that the inside of the mill was 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and the control room was 40 degrees. The door swings out one way into the mill so the resulting differential pressure should have kept the door closed. I can attest to the fact that you really had to yank on this door for it to open. See, even when spirits are present, you have to be scientific about things :)


Just for reference, a maintenance worker was killed two years before my employment in the control room when a faulty lock-out procedure caused a 400 pound copper contact block to fall in an enclosure. He was crushed and electrocuted with 960 volts. The whole incident caused a shutdown at the mill for days. The sad part is, I know of at least 4 other deaths at this mill (which is still in operation), and one of them may have been a coverup by the management.
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#19 Washoe

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:46 PM

Thanks, guys. Please knwo I don;t knock anyone or their methods and equipment...for God sakes, have fun with it all if it makes you happy. I wrote this more for the serious researcher and how mainstream media can influence it. I respect EVERYONE'S opinions.

Makes me glad you liked it, and I appreciate the criticism...happy holidays! :)



#20 Washoe

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:53 PM

Thanks, guys. Please knwo I don;t knock anyone or their methods and equipment...for God sakes, have fun with it all if it makes you happy. I wrote this more for the serious researcher and how mainstream media can influence it. I respect EVERYONE'S opinions.

Makes me glad you liked it, and I appreciate the criticism...happy holidays! :)

Dave...I may not be a tech genius, as you propose to be, but your distinction between the "serious researcher" and "everyone" else is an insult. I certainly do not have your mechanical knowledge, but I am a VERY SERIOUS researcher. Sometimes I get good EVP, sometimes I don't. I certainly do not, as does one of your friends below, go to an investigation and falsify evidence by sitting in the corner, using an outside device to cause false positives and mock my fellows. And...I agree with Steve...you come as close to "knocking other methods and equipment" as I have ever seen. Here is hoping you can calm down.

#21 Old Guy

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 09:26 AM

Sometimes I get good EVP, ...

I don't want to sound like I'm choosing sides here, or even trying to start an argument, but there is no such thing.

The general consensus among technical types is that recorders are inherently susceptible to interference from many factors. A casual search here and on other boards will confirm that.

IMHO - Voice recorders, when used in the application of paranormal research, are only as useful as litmus paper. That is ... except for taking memos.
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#22 CaveRat2

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 08:07 PM

[I don't want to sound like I'm choosing sides here, or even trying to start an argument, but there is no such thing.

The general consensus among technical types is that recorders are inherently susceptible to interference from many factors. A casual search here and on other boards will confirm that.

IMHO - Voice recorders, when used in the application of paranormal research, are only as useful as litmus paper. That is ... except for taking memos.


I would agree here, but conditionally. It doesn't apply to all recorders. While it may hold true that cheap recorders are inherently susceptable to such problems, there are recorders that are not. Those will be the more expensive professional grade units. These have internal shielding built in, properly bonded grounding techniques employed, and in some cases, immunity designed in to the amplification circuits. (i.e. common mode rejection). As an electronics specialist I have run tests in the lab to validate this claim using several recorders of various price ranges.

Old Guy is correct about the voice recorders though. I have yet to find one of the cheapies that passes an immunity test when subjected to RF fields such as may be encountered near these sources. Some will pick up these signals as low as a few hundred microvolts/meter. Yet a good well shielded recorder can retain noise immunity in the presence of signals reaching several volts/meter, over a million times higher. Based on these tests is why I won't recommend the use of a digital voice recorder for EVP work. You can't be assured that what you get isn't manmade interference.

#23 CaveRat2

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 08:17 PM

Dave...I may not be a tech genius, as you propose to be, but your distinction between the "serious researcher" and "everyone" else is an insult. I certainly do not have your mechanical knowledge, but I am a VERY SERIOUS researcher. Sometimes I get good EVP, sometimes I don't. I certainly do not, as does one of your friends below, go to an investigation and falsify evidence by sitting in the corner, using an outside device to cause false positives and mock my fellows. And...I agree with Steve...you come as close to "knocking other methods and equipment" as I have ever seen. Here is hoping you can calm down.


It is not a matter of what one considers himself, rather the techniques and equipment used. Perhaps an analogy might apply. Would a surgeon who showed up in the operating room with a Mattel Toy surgeon's kit be considered a serious doctor? He might have all the right tools in the kit, and using his skills might even be able to pull off some rudimentary surgery with the plastic stuff! But I certainly wouldn't call it professional!

The same applies to recorders. No one is asccusing anyone of intentionally falsifying repoorts. And yes, you might even get a real EVP on one. But because of all the other possible sources one can never be certain it isn't something mundane. Thus the reason why a certain level of quality must be attained to do serious research.

#24 OMPRDave

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 12:02 AM

Thanks, guys. Please knwo I don;t knock anyone or their methods and equipment...for God sakes, have fun with it all if it makes you happy. I wrote this more for the serious researcher and how mainstream media can influence it. I respect EVERYONE'S opinions.

Makes me glad you liked it, and I appreciate the criticism...happy holidays! ;)

Dave...I may not be a tech genius, as you propose to be, but your distinction between the "serious researcher" and "everyone" else is an insult. I certainly do not have your mechanical knowledge, but I am a VERY SERIOUS researcher. Sometimes I get good EVP, sometimes I don't. I certainly do not, as does one of your friends below, go to an investigation and falsify evidence by sitting in the corner, using an outside device to cause false positives and mock my fellows. And...I agree with Steve...you come as close to "knocking other methods and equipment" as I have ever seen. Here is hoping you can calm down.

Never accused anyone of falsifying anything as far as I can remember, and like I mentioned above I hope anyone who goes out there has fun. Doesn't really look like I'm the one needing to calm down.
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#25 ChuckMcB

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:33 PM

A big chunk of that actually was my christmas list that very christmas or items I got for my bday in September and actually used in my last investigation in December. I have a modified K-II that actually stays on without you holding down the button, a new digital recorder that actually works with my new sound software, and a ghost box radio among other things.

I think the K-III model actually offers a chance to really test the meter in its reported manner of the lights going off on cue and the ghost box I consider to be an ongoing experiement. I don't see anything wrong with using any sort of equipment or method as long as you dont use any one thing as definitive proof.
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#26 Old Guy

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 08:32 AM

I don't see anything wrong with using any sort of equipment or method as long as you dont use any one thing as definitive proof.

There's just one flaw in your perspective: To date, there is nothing known to work. IOW - There isn't one thing, or any combination of things available today that can be used to provide "definitive proof." Some folks here are experimenting with new technology (I'm still dinking around with old tech). But no success yet.

Please be skeptical of anything with the term "ghost" attached to its name. Ask yourself where you can get a ghost to validate its usefulness.
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#27 CaveRat2

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 08:00 PM

The problem is not in using equipment in new ways. That is fine as long as you are careful to critique your results with a skeptical approach. Rather the issues are with those who use equipment in ways which are known to give certain results and then claiming those results are paranormal.

Cheap Digital voice recorders are one such device. These are known to produce IM distortion and artifacts due to their low sample rates. Yet there are many out there who hear these effects and because they weren't there when the recording was made, all them paranormal. Proof of this? Easy, ask why those who use good quality recorders with higher gain and better mics don't get as many EVPs as those who use junk. Yet the added gain and recording quality should produce more, not less. Unless of course the "EVP"s are actually recorder generated artifacts.....

#28 Old Guy

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 09:21 AM

I always find value in your input, Caverat. I think I already know how you'll respond to this, but please give us your position on the general use of mainstream (Trifield, K-Series, etc...) EMF detectors?
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#29 CaveRat2

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 11:23 AM

I don't personally use an EMF meter as a rule. Instead I prefer an active EMF Monitor, for reasons I'll get into shortly. However if some prefer a meter they do serve a useful purpose. I do recommend that some form of EMF scan be done prior to any investigation. A meter can do that job provided it is a reliable type not prone to false activations. Most semi-professional and professional grade meters can achieve this . The Trifield meter by Alphalabs does this job quite well as do other trifield meters. Most "ghost meters" are cheap knock-offs that are designed to attract the attention of Saturday Night ghost busters and make a few bucks for the ones selling them. So as a rule, avoid those. The trifield meter was originally designed as a means to detect EMF leakage in industry applications and as such it is simply a well built device that has found a new application as an investigative tool.

Now as to why I don't use a meter, they give a numeric value of the intensity of an EM Field. That in itself is OK, but rather meaningless. The reason is that EM Fields are subject to the laws of physics, the one in particular is the invesrse square law. Without going into the math behind it, it simply means that the closer you are to a source of an EM Field the stronger it is by a mathematical equation. The meter gives the value it is encountering, but since the source is often unknown the distance to the source is likewise unknown. Thus it becomes impossible to establish an absolute value to the field. You never know if it is a weak field originating close by, or a strong field some distance away.

I prefer the EMF monitor. That allows me to actually hear the field audibly over headphones. From that it is possible to learn certain characteristics of various fields and from that determine their source. For example, the most common field you encounter originates from a power line. Now if you hear a steady 60 Hz hum. (50 Hz in parts of Europe) you likely have a transformer or power line close by. But if the hum is raspy it probably is an arc, so maybe you have a switch making poor contact. If it is a buzz, chances are it originates from a florescent light or other ioninzing source. And a whistle is probably a switch mode power supply in a TV or computer. Of course if you hear voices directly they can be radiating from a speaker lead or maybe a telephone wire going somewhere in the building, or if you are using a demodulating probe, probably a radio transmission.

Just a few examples of why I prefer the monitor over a meter. The meter works fine, but I don't feel is quite as versitile in the field. But even a meter gives more useful information than simply turning a light on like the KII does. It's like your car; Which is more informative, an idiot light that says "Check Engine" or a temperature guage that shows you your coolant is about to boil over?

Finally, why use either a monitor or a meter at all? Neither detects ghosts, but either one can find sources of EMF radiation that may cause strange occurrances to be perceived, or may cause false positives in the course of your investigation. So it is important to isolate the source of any such field either manmade or natural. If for no other reason you need to rule out the presence of such a field as a cause of your event.

#30 Old Guy

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 12:33 PM

Elegantly stated. And exactly what I had anticipated. Thank you, Sir.

Did you have that prepeared, or did you take the time to type all that in? Either way, it's a keeper.
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