Tech Quick Tip: EMF Probe

July 20, 2013 in communityblog, ghost, Weird Science

Let’s say you’ve found an EMF hotspot that you simply can’t account for. You can’t find any wiring and by all rights there should be no power in the area. Before declaring it paranormal, you can run a quick test to see if it’s likely man made. To do so, you’ll need a laptop and a ‘telephone pickup coil.’ The latter can be found at Radio Shack for about 10 dollars.

Telephone Pickup Coil. Image courtesy of Radio Shack

It’s original purpose was to intercept the signal from a telephone headset and provide an audio out (for recording, amplification, etc). We’re going to use it to listen in on electronic noise.

We’ll be using the program Audacity for this example. It’s free, open-source, and a great tool in the paranormal enthusiast’s (among many other’s) tool kit. It’s fairly straightforward to get things going. Treat the telephone pickup coil as a microphone and plug it in the laptop’s audio in. Start up Audacity. Select the appropriate input and set your volume settings. Find the EMF hot spot and position the coil within the area. Click record. Try not to move, as the movement may have an effect on the signal. After a few seconds, you can stop recording and review your findings.

Hit play and give it a listen. You will quickly learn the drone that is the sound of household electricity and be able to move on. However, to study the signal in detail, you should look at the frequencies involved. Highlight a few seconds of the signal. Click ‘Analyze/Plot Spectrum’ and you should see something like this:

So…how does this suggest a man made source? Here in the States, household electric is at 60Hz, while abroad it’s at 50Hz. If you take a look at the image supplied above, you can see that all of the peaks are multiples (harmonics, really) of 60 (120, 180, 240, etc.), so I can be fairly certain that the laptop charger I used for this test is not haunted. Were I abroad, this would still be cause for concern.

I’m not going to suggest that finding an EMF hot spot that isn’t 50/60Hz will automatically label it as paranormal. After all, there are many, many signals out there. What I am suggesting is that if you find a 50/60Hz EMF hot spot, leave it and move on to the next spot…unless you enjoy solving mysteries of a very physics-oriented nature.


1 response to Tech Quick Tip: EMF Probe

  1. That’s really helpful. I had no idea what the standard “normal” level of EMF was. Now I do!

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