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Monday, May 17, 2010

New Gear - Sony SR-11 & Creepy Hollow IR ver. 1

Just picked up some awesome new gear this week.

Before I get into the details and specs on the new equipment, I just want to point out that looking for great paranormal investigation gear can be tedious. It took me a long time to settle on the gear I wanted. Why? Because the options that I required is hard to find in one product.

For instance, I did not realize that Sony stopped producing the "nightshot" feature in their consumer line camcorders. I really wanted 0 lux in a Sony. So I had to settle on a model Sony no longer makes.

New Gear:

Sony HDR-SR11 60GB Hybrid HDD/Memory Stick High Definition Camcorder
Technical Details
5.6Mp ClearVid CMOS Sensor
Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Lens
12x Optical Zoom Super SteadyShot
Image Stabilization
Color Wide Viewfinder
HDMI Bravia Sync
3.2" Touch Panel XtraFine LCD
60GB Hard Disk Drive
Super NightShot Infrared System
Memory Stick Media Slot
and many more cool features

I also picked up a Sony 10 hour battery as well. I did not want to keep having to charge multiple batteries if I didn't need to.

Next piece is the Creepy Hollow IR. This is needed with 0 lux to enhance the night vision on a camcorder. It can get about 35 - 45ft in complete darkness. Sony does make an IR, however, I find the Creepy Hollow IR to be a bit better in distance, price, and battery life.

Creepy Hollow IR
Technical Details
Lumination up to 35 - 45ft
10 hours on 9 volt battery(not included)
Easily attaches to most camcorder rails/shoe
On/Off toggle switch
Cool design
Website: http://www.creepyhollowgear.com/

I decided to turn in my old tape recorder for an amazing audio recorder. In it's old age, I started hearing way too much noise on my recordings. Yeah.. Yeah... I know. I should have used a line mic or something. Lesson learned.

I have been a musician for many years, so I knew ZOOM made some half way decent products. What I didn't know is how awesome the H2 is for a little over $100.

ZOOM H2 Audio Recorder
Technical Details
W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90 cardioid, Rear 120 cardioid and 360 polar patterns
Finally record 360 sound as 2ch data or 4ch data simultaneously
Built-in USB 2.0 port for data storage
Records in WAV 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit, MP3 to 320kbps and Variable Bit Rate (VBR) data formats
Time Stamp and Track Marker functions in Broadcast WAV Format (BWF)

That is all for now. I am looking into a few cool places to investigate soon. Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Investigation Locations

I have finally motivated myself to look into a few investigation locations that I've always wanted to see in NJ and PA. So far I have about 5-6 different spots that I would like to investigate this summer. I am currently awaiting responses to my requests.

Burlington County Prison has been on my to-do list for some time now. The history at BCP dates back to the early 1800's. There are reports of apparitions, disembodied screams, physical interaction, etc. Many teams have investigated BCP and walked away with some great evidence over the years. Ecto-worms, EVP's, and a slew of other findings.

I can only hope that when I go, I can get the same type of evidence that others before me have collected.

Do you know of any locations worthy of an investigation?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gear Check

This weekend, I will be going with my team to one of the best paranormal investigation spots in the Tri-State area, maybe even the world. It has a history of serious paranormal activity. People have been pushed, had things thrown at them, seen shadow people and apparitions, etc.

Where is this amazing location? Ahhh... in due time...

Anyway, the task at hand is what I call a "gear check". This is the most important aspect of an investigation. Making sure your gear is in proper working order and backup plans are in place in case they are not.

This weekend I am bringing quite a few things with me on this 8+ hour investigation. Let's take a look shall we:

Voice Recorder - Check
Digital Camera - Check
Digital Video Camera - Check
IR Temperature Sensor - Check
K-II Meter - Check
Mini Mag-lite - Check
LED Mini Flashlight - Check
Motion Sensors - Check
Motorola Walkie Talkies - Check
iPad - Check
Droid Cellphone(Backup light, voice recorder, camera, video) - Check
Fold-able Chair - Check
Tripod Stand - Check
Face Masks for Dust - Check
Mini First-Aid Kit - Check
Extra Batteries - Check
Mini Cooler - Check

Is all this gear needed? Absolutely. If anything, I should be bringing more with me. My team is bringing way more gear than I am. They have flight cases full of high tech equipment and tons of glow sticks to mark locations.

The anticipation is reminiscent of Christmas as a child. I can't wait to open the paranormal gifts that await us on the investigation this weekend.

Did I miss anything?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Haunted House in Cranbury

So, I was at an anniversary party yesterday and after many drinks, the discussion turned to paranormal investigations. I had quite a few questions thrown at me about spirits, investigation practices, equipment, etc. I love talking tech and paranormal. Good times, good times...

Anyway, my brother-in-law had been speaking of this house he knew of that appeared to be haunted. It has been abandoned for about 1 year now, and no one has been seen around the property in a long time. It sits apart from other houses in the area, covered by trees from all sides but the front. He insisted on taking a few of us over there to check it out.

The house we went to is about 1/4 mile from his current place of residence. So the drive was relatively close.

When we got there, I started snapping a few photos of the house. As I was doing this, I couldn't help but feel as though I was wasting my time there. Yeah, it is a creepy looking house, but without getting inside to conduct an investigation or knowing the history of the house, it felt contrived.

I am sure this is just one instance of many towards becoming a good investigator. The 'Haunted House' feeling I used to get while looking at houses like this is gone. I look at situations like this one as an opportunity for an investigation. Not a thrill ride. If we would have had owners permission, I would have been the first one running through the door to scope the place out and investigate for paranormal activity.