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Paranormal Investigations and Research
During one of my research projects for equipment to use on paranormal investigations I was looking at Cell Phone Repeaters for vehicles. As luck would have it I stumbled upon something I did not know existed. I first found a Sprint CDMA extender by Samsung, but with a little more digging I found that Samsung also made not one but two Verizon models as well.
So just what is this thing you ask? Well the device is basically a mini cell phone tower for your house, with just enough range to cover the front and back yard too. It connects to your broadband internet service so that it can communicate back to Verizon. When a cell phone connected to the device places a call, that call goes through the “extender” which is then passed back to Verizon over your broadband connection. Depending on the model it can handle either 4 or 8 cell phones placing calls at the same time. I will note for the safety conscious folks both models reserve 1 line for 911 calls only, and the unit has a build in GPS which is used with the 911 calls to help locate the caller.
The two models I found in my research are the Samsung SCS-26UC4 1x EVDO Wireless Network Extender, and the current model the SCS-2U01 3G Wireless Network Extender. Where do I find one you ask, used ones and factory remanufactured units are on eBay (between $80 and $200) and Amazon (between $100 and $225).
With my research complete I purchased the SCS-2U01, as the reviews I read indicated it actually has the best range and coverage overall. My motivation to purchase the unit was to finally solve a problem which is the result of there being only one tower in town that is actually not owned by Verizon. Most days service is “spotty” at best which results in many of the incoming calls going straight to voicemail. This model according to the documentation covers about 5000 sq feet, or a distance of 50 feet from the device. I found in my research folks stating coverage areas of up to 8000 feet, and placing calls more than 100 feet from the device. In my experience I found these claims , as I can make calls 100 feet from the unit with no issues at all and it appears incoming calls no longer go straight to voicemail!
A note about the 3G service this model has which the older model does not have as for some folks this might be the reason to purchase this unit. The not so obvious limitation is that the 3G data connection will only be as fast as the broadband connection the “extender” has access too. So if you have a rather slow broadband connection the 3G the SCS-2U01 has will be worthless, so you could consider the less expensive SCS-26UC4 instead.
Another point to keep in mind is that when your phone is using the “extender” to place calls, and for data downloads you are still being charge for minutes and data usage. So if you have Wifi at the house it’s still best to have your phone use your Wifi connection to conserve your data plan usage unless you have “unlimited data” of course.
Final thoughts… This device really does work and for folks like me that live in a “extended coverage” area this resolves the suffering from dropped or poor-quality phone calls, and unreliable data coverage in my home.
The Shack-Hack was actually invented by Frank Sumption of Highlands Ranch Colorado where he still lives. As a ham radio operator and paranormal investigator, Frank combined the best of both worlds, taking radio parts and creating a device that scanned Am radio frequencies without stopping. As the Frank’s Box scanned the radio stations, clicking away from one to the next with “white noise” in between, voices came through clearly and for a longer period of time than the device stayed on a station. Frank asked questions and got answers.
This device is available to the paranormal investigator at a nominal price from Radio Shack in an old-fashioned $29 Am/FM radio. The pin that captures a station in the “SEEK” or “SCAN” mode is broken so the radio can’t capture a station. This is easy to do and there are directions on the internet. Or find a friend who knows how to do this.
This device works best at night. Set it to AM and press the SCAN button. If it sticks, which they sometimes do, hold it with your thumb. It is a good idea to have a digital recorder on while recording to capture not only what you hear on the Shack-Hack but also what you miss, usually while you are verifying something you heard on the Shack.
Ask a question. Who’s here? Is Amy here? Are you the child seen in the window? When were you here? What’s your name? Are you looking for somebody? Sometimes it takes a short time to get an answer. Be patient. Messages will come through , sometimes with specific messages for people in the room. Listen carefully and don’t discount anything. Try to get names and dates – at least a year. The FCC Doesn’t allow cursing on the AM (or FM) bands so if you hear curse words, that’s not the radio either. If the shack just cycles through stations for a while with no discernible communication, turn it off.
We have been introduced to people on the Shack-Hack that have been verified by news paper articles and other printed archival material. One night we were given the name George Deutchman and the year 1910. This name was found in the newspaper in an article published in 1910 that a George Doichman (sp) left Cripple Creek for Denver. Other names have been verified this way. Communication can also be for someone in the room.
(Authors note: There is another device out there that has 500 words programmed into it by someone who had telephone conversations with the dead. The dead would actually call him and talk to him. He programmed his device with the 500 words most used, no proper names, and no curse words. Ask it questions and it will respond with one or two-word answers. So if you get a name, or a curse word, it’s not the device. Don’t discount anything it says, write it down and/or record it. I can’t tell you the name of the device or the person because the information I originally got is erroneous. If you know about this device, please respond to this blog with information.)
Reference Blog EVP Report From Feb 2010
Reference Blog Ghost Box Session 2/19/11
©2011 Story & Photos: Nancy, MPPIR
Editor: Shack Hack is ref to Radio Shack bought and hacked/modified (its is not needed to modify the box just keep pressing the scan button). Ghost Box ref is to built or other modified AM/FM radios to permanently scan the AM or FM bands.
Having A good Visor clip light to keep your hands free for operating cameras, recorders and gauges can be essential in paranormal investigations. I have found though that the white light most of the come with is to bright. I did recently find one with red and white lights on it. Having no use for the white LED’s I decided on a little operation to modify the visor clip.
This visor has 5 LED’s, 2 red (useful) and 3 white (not so good).
Selecting which LED’s I used was simple enough. My Choice where some IR Diodes. IR diodes are commonly used in business with a IR detector Diode to create a chime that goes off when some one walks in a door. So with a quick trip to my local electronics store I returned with a cheap package of IR Diodes.
Finding visor light your able to take apart is easy enough. Getting the thing apart is harder. You have to work slow as some parts may be pressed in and require a soft touch of prying them out. This clip I use has two small screws to remove the battery case but the remainder of it I had to slower pry apart. Using a very small screw driver on two tiny clips and then prying the electronics slowly out as not to break anything.
I have already made up my mind to keep the 2 red LED’s and just get rid of the white ones. I was going to place 3 IR Diodes in this one but because of the internal design I risked too much damage. I would have had to un-solder the two boards to get to the center light. So I just broke the connection on it and replaced the 2 white LED’s on the sides with IR Diodes. Putting it all back together was no easy task either. Having to be careful when pressing the electronics back into its case without breaking anything was not fun. I actually on this one did break the battery connection and had to solder it back on.
The process took me about 2 hours to reverse engineer and rework the product but now I have a visor clip with IR Light emitters and not the white light.
Total Cost: Under $20.
Author & Photos: Frank
Editors Note: The Red Photo above is what the IR light looks like with my SLR Cannon Rebel XT digital Camera in a 30 second exposure. It would be greenish white with Video IR cameras.
I suspect most of you have watched the television show “Ghost Hunters” or have that of some other paranormal groups, will likely recognize what has commonly been referred to as the “Flashlight Game” (or experiment) by various folks in the paranormal community.
In case you aren’t familiar with it, please allow me to describe the scenario. Typically, several investigators will sit in a dark room around a flashlight which is normally set on the floor or on a flat surface of some kind, and attempt communication by asking any entity present to turn the light on and off. The light turning on or off, seemingly on its own, is then considered to be a response from entity or entities present. Sadly, it appears that a fair number of people believe it is an effective method of communication… but is it?
But let’s take a minute to think about the flashlight itself. You see, before the “flashlight experiment” can be carried out during a paranormal investigation, the flashlight must first be tampered with. In fact, what investigators do, depending on their particular model, is either push the switch or twist the cap precariously between the on and off position, thus making the instrument that much more delicate. At this position, little if any vibration from a person or the environment is required to cause the light to turn all the way on, off, or flicker.
A flashlight contains several parts that come together to make the device work. Among these parts are contact strips, the switch, and the bulb or LED. Batteries, of course, are also essential to the use of most models. Activated by a switch allowing the flow of electrons, the filament in the bulb, or an LED begins to glow thus producing light. Disrupting the flow of this electricity, which is exactly what happens when you place the flashlight between the ON/OFF positions, i.e. unscrewing the body, creates an open circuit and, as a direct result, it doesn’t work as designed.
But what, you ask, about the responses investigators seem to get from ghosts in regards to the questions asked? Now that we know the flashlight is being used improperly, and is malfunctioning as a result, these alleged responses become suspect. One of the major problems with this method is how unscientific it is used in conjunction with a paranormal investigation. By example paranormal researchers are taking the flashlight only to locations they believe may be haunted and are using the flickering light to prove their case! Why aren’t the investigators testing the validity of the method in locations they don’t believe to be haunted? Perhaps the investigators have, but where is this mentioned? If the “flashlight game” is attempted in a non-haunted setting and behaves in a similar fashion, why would anyone believe it would be any different in a reportedly haunted location?
In conclusion, the “flashlight game” as used by ghost hunting groups on television, and in amateur teams around the country, is a severely flawed method for obtaining scientific validation of ghost communication. It can be explained easily by non-paranormal means as simple manipulation of the flashlight itself and an all too eager community of believers.
Don’t get me wrong here there could be something in all this however more true science is need… so I propose a challenge to all of you playing the “flashlight game” …
1) Use 2 flashlights, one with a black body, the other some other color such as red or blue.
2) Place the units on a platform that will absorb vibration, and that has clamps to hold part of the flashlight body still.
3) Instruct the entity to turn on the black flashlight for “yes”, the red flashlight for ”no”.
Remember these entities were people once too, or so some believe, as such they should be able to understand something more simple commands.
A “Ghost Box” is a AM/FM radio that has been converted to scan either the AM or FM bands without stopping. This device is purported to pick up voices not from this plane of existence. Its principle sounds somewhat like a Ouija board.
How it works is fairly simple. One turns on the “Ghost Box” allowing it to scan the bands, typically the AM band, and the user asks questions. Then awaits a response.
You tube Link: http://youtu.be/v7l-D1qeGbk
This clip is taken from my video camera during a Ghost Tour at the Outlaw and Lawman Museum of Cripple Creek Colorado.
The Video camera was placed facing a window at night that has been known have activity. This was during a public ghost tour of the building.
Opinion: It is this writers viewpoint that because the principle is the same as a Ouija Board .I would be concerned that most of what you can get out of it would be Demonic. But I am coming from a point of view that has had a lot of bad experiences.
©2011, Photo’s and Story: Frank, MPPIR