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Using Cellphone Sensors For Ghost Hunting


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#1 siguie

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 01:32 PM

I'm sure everyone has seen ghost apps meant for "entertainment purposes" sold on Google Play and/or wherever iPhone users get their apps. For the most part they are good fun and really do access a phones sensors or at the very least they can.

However, what they do with the sensor information is a bit questionable and can smartphone sensors detect ghost is anyones guess.

That said smartphone really do come chock full of useful sensors which can be used in ghost hunting. They generally wont be anywhere near as sensitive as a standalone device but they can still be very handy to use.

So here is a DIY webpage I wrote  that uses the android Tasker app {currently $2.99} to access your smartphones EMF sensor and produce an alert when it reaches a level specified by you ...  Tasker EMF Alert Notifier.


The EMF detector in a cellphone is really just a compass chip and it really does detect magnetic fields quite well and you can set the levels you want an action to "trigger" at ...


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What's really important to note is that the EMF Alert Notifier is just one of the simplest examples I could come up with. Instead of an alert you can have the action after the trigger be something else like calling you, emailing you, taking a picture, turning on an audio recording app like that Memo App I saw in a thread earlier. I've even had it run the LapseIT app to take a series of time lapse photos.

So far this has just been for the EMF sensor, BUT depending on your phones tech worthiness there will likely be proximity sensors, vibration sensors {which by the way are extremely sensitive} and on many there are even temperature and RF sensors ... all of which can be accessed and used as triggers.

Honestly you are only limited by your phone and imagination :yes:

I appologize for this being a little big BUT below is a real life screen capture of when my phone popped up an alert {similar to a notice}.


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In addition to the field strength it's also quite easy to add GPS information :yes:



Now the reason I wanted to post the Tasker EMF Alert Notifier example is I made my phone use a simple chime that I can recognize. The idea is that on an investigation you will likely have your phone and if you are not working an EMF meter the chime will let you know that perchance something is there.


That said keep in mind, it takes a little time to work out what magnetic field levels are appropriate for your phone. It's basically a digital compass so you want to set the levels high enough to avoid going off near wall sockets or large metal objects.



Lastly Tasker is an App that runs continuously and some people worry that it will chew up battery life ... it doesn't :no: In fact even if you don't care about the above stuff Tasker can Greatly IMPROVE your battery life :yes: I use it to turn off or switch things I need or do not need based on location and time. So my wifi connection automagically turns off when I leave my home and turns on again when I get to work or a few other places I know have good wifi. There are a bazillion Tasker tricks to extend battery life so running it means your phone can run longer AND you can have any number of cool/useful "tasks" running :yes:


If by any chance someone is using AutomateIT Pro ... that also works, the process is different but it still pretty easy. I run both AutomateIT and Tasker :)



I know many people don't have or like smartphones and that's fine. If you do have one it's basically a hand held computer packed with sensors that can call people ... so why not use it :yes: Also old android phones are cheap and you only need the wifi connection so no carrier contract is needed :no:


FYI: an off topic use for Tasker ... you can set it up so if you send your phone a special text, Tasker will automagically call a number. This is handy for if your phone is stolen and you want the thief to call the cops and have the police go to their location 8) I haven't needed this task yet but it's a nice option to have. :yes:
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#2 KlaineyGStudy

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 11:32 PM

Thanks for sharing siguie; technically I am hopeless but I am sure there are members who  are putting your info to good use :)

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#3 siguie

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 12:49 PM

Awww klainey it's really trivially easy :yes:

Even if people do not use it for ghost hunting Tasker is one of those apps that everyone should have on their android phone. It's also one of the most requested apps to be translated for iphones :yes:

Also the DIY really is very complete so it's more follow a recipe than anything else :)

Oh and there are ways to import Tasker scripts and even create specific Tasker script apps for other phones BUT I do not recommend those for security reasons :no:


Anywho, one of the main reasons for me creating this post is the availability of cheap android smartphones. You don't need a service plan so for less than $20 you can have an emf detector, vibration detector {geophone}, motion sensor, voice recorder, photo system that runs continuously for hours on a hunt AND it's completely customizable :yes:

Oh and when you are not on a hunt you can turn them into landline phones ... I booted AT&T and save $40 a month :carrot:
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#4 KlaineyGStudy

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 10:01 PM

Sound like a good app especially the landline phone thing. Thanks

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#5 siguie

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 03:42 PM

Oh it is an eXcellent app :yes: BUT the landline phone thang comes from my Obi device. I use google voice with an  obi100 to replace AT&T as my home phone. I just wrote a Tasker script to automagically make my android phone use wifi calling when I'm at home, work or a couple of other places with good wifi. This is just to avoid using cell minutes and doing so means my cellphone becomes a landline when I'm at home :)
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#6 MichelleGStudy

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:01 PM

I am with you Klainey. Hopeless with the technical aspects of anything..... well.... technical. But  want to try this! I will study your link provided Siguie:) Thanks!!!!
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#7 KlaineyGStudy

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:30 PM

View PostMichelle, on 26 October 2014 - 08:01 PM, said:

I am with you Klainey. Hopeless with the technical aspects of anything..... well.... technical. But  want to try this! I will study your link provided Siguie:) Thanks!!!!

Peas in a pod Michelle LOL but losing the landline sounds great! Oh to be tec savvy!

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#8 MichelleGStudy

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 08:34 PM

View Postklainey, on 26 October 2014 - 08:30 PM, said:

Peas in a pod Michelle LOL but losing the landline sounds great! Oh to be tec savvy!
Truer words have never been spoken..... make some room in the pod, I have to get me the pea in there! LOL
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#9 siguie

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 10:48 PM

Oh c'mon it's a step by step DIY with pictures ... it doesn't get any easier :Picture 562:


Um are we still talking ghost stuff? 'cuz if it's telephony it's   really easy   not that hard to setup :no:

I replaced my landline with an obi100 ... http://www.obihai.com/ and use FREE Google Voice as a SIP/VoIP provider. As a geek I'm required to tweak things until they are unimaginably complicated but really an obi with Google Voice is all most normal people really want :yes:
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#10 KlaineyGStudy

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 02:21 AM

View Postsiguie, on 26 October 2014 - 10:48 PM, said:

Oh c'mon it's a step by step DIY with pictures ... it doesn't get any easier :Picture 562:


Um are we still talking ghost stuff? 'cuz if it's telephony it's   really easy   not that hard to setup :no:

I replaced my landline with an obi100 ... http://www.obihai.com/ and use FREE Google Voice as a SIP/VoIP provider. As a geek I'm required to tweak things until they are unimaginably complicated but really an obi with Google Voice is all most normal people really want :yes:

Dam he is a clever man Michelle :confused0068: I'll have what he is having ;) and try to loose the phone; and there is plenty of  room in the pod.... shuffling over :)

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#11 CDS

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 02:57 AM

We already face issues with alleged evidence being captured with devices that were not intended for such uses by skeptics. Such as the EMF meters, Voice recorders etc... and now you want to bring cell phones into the mix. Good luck with that.

#12 siguie

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 12:29 PM

Oh it is already in the mix :yes:  You can download and or purchase any number of phone apps for accessing your phones sensors many specifically geared to ghost hunting for "entertainment purposes". They mostly just suck are expensive and or drain battery too quickly and are not appropriate for field work.

Tasker just lets you craft what you want/need in a way that could be useful :yes:

Anyways this is just another tool that may or may not be helpful but it's the data collected that is most important not the tools :no:
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#13 Miraculix

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 03:45 PM

I've been reading a bunch of posts and replies regarding emf/ghost apps and the argument I came across the most was that because cell phones emit emf themselves so those apps won't work. I'll have to disagree with that because I have been getting some pretty good readings using a variety of emf and metal detector apps. Now I don't know if the fact that I used a Wi-Fi only tablet made a difference but they it definitively reacted to objects that emitted an emf or were made of metal, though probably not as good as the real thing.

#14 Vlawde

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 04:44 PM

There a separate device called a cell sensor, which can be used to check for emf. I have one and have used it. Can't speak either way whether it works for ghosts. But obviously if any cell phones are on, it'll pick them up.
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#15 CDS

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 06:26 AM

The first argument is, proving something works on sensing things that have yet to be proven to exist. Get past that one...

#16 siguie

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 02:42 PM

View PostMiraculix, on 31 January 2015 - 03:45 PM, said:

I've been reading a bunch of posts and replies regarding emf/ghost apps and the argument I came across the most was that because cell phones emit emf themselves so those apps won't work. I'll have to disagree with that because I have been getting some pretty good readings using a variety of emf and metal detector apps. Now I don't know if the fact that I used a Wi-Fi only tablet made a difference but they it definitively reacted to objects that emitted an emf or were made of metal, though probably not as good as the real thing.

Oh yeah the apps most definitely work :yes: and the fact that the devices emit EMF don't make any real difference :no:  The EMF "detector" used in cellphones and tablets are more commonly called a "compass chip" and these typically have 3 or more directional "senses". Essentially they can be involved in identification of device orientation and they know directionally where an emf field is relative to the device. A lot of the EMF meters show an X,Y, and Z and these are the magnitudes of the EMF  along those axis.

Anywho, these things were never designed to be used as metal or ghost detectors :no: BUT they were designed to get orientations with respect to the North magnetic pole AND work with GPS. SInce these things are expected to be used in RF and EMF heavy areas the common frequencies are filtered out. So if you tried getting an EMF reading of your router it will be negligible even when very close and the thing is pumping out power.

Incidentally my Natural EMF Trifield meter filters out my router BUT while it doesn't register high values it shakes like having had way too much coffee.

You "may" however find that certain metals detect easier/better when your phone is searching for cell towers or uploading/downloading from wifi. This is because the signals being emitted by your device is interacting with the metal to produce a stronger EMF signal ... or atleast one that is outside of the filtered frequencies :)


Anyways, as you may have guessed this stuff fascinates me :yes:
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#17 LouczarGStudy

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Posted 30 April 2022 - 09:39 AM

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