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K2 Meter - An Analysis

PSI takes a cursory look over the international excitement about the newish ‘must have’ accessory for ‘serious ghost hunters’: the K2 (or KII) EMF Meter.   K2 Meter 

In many ways, the K2 meter story is a familiar one. An enterprising manufacturer invents a piece of kit for a more-or-less legitimate purpose; in this case the K2 meter was invented measure man-made electromagnetic fields marketed to people concerned about the health risks of power lines and the like. The next step is for several TV shows to declare – without any scientific basis – that the meter can communicate with ghosts. Finally, a lot of people unquestioningly accept the idea, and suddenly it appears on every paranormal investigation from here to Canada.    

But we have seen all this nonsense before with EMF meters, as previously reported by PSI and many others, so what makes the K2 meter different? The meter’s popularity seems to rest on a) celebrity endorsements that the meter ‘is specially configured for paranormal research’ and b) that it produces more results than other meters.    As for the first claim, there is no evidence (and certainly none from the manufacturers) that the calibration of the K2 meter is any different to various other EMF meters on the market. On further research it seems that its difference is not in its technical specifications, but on its ability to visually respond to yes or no questions, in the style of a dowsing crystal or Ouija board. But this brings us, really, to the second claim.    

Anecdotally, it seems fairly clear that the K2 meter does respond more than other EMF meters. Hey, why make do with a dull meter where you need to look for a response and doesn’t flash up more regularly in a visually pleasing way? So why does the K2 meter respond more? Its key difference seems to be that you need to hold a switch down in order to operate it. Whenever the switch is depressed it lights up like a parade. This is a useful function for the hoaxer but, more seriously, presents the problem that continuous use is not possible without the thumb becoming fatigued and the K2 accidentally being turned off and then on. The second flaw relates to the switch itself, introducing a mechanical element – a switch – that is inferior to the electronic equivalent introduces a strong possibility of malfunction that does not exist with other meters.    

Thirdly, the fact that the K2 meter lends itself to use when ‘contact’ is expected – you cannot just leave the meter on all the time – brings in the idea that the meter will ‘perform’ when a paranormal event is taking place rather than being left to register a baseline. Finally, if you ‘wave around’ any EMF meter it will cause spurious readings; the fact that you have to hold the K2 rather than leave it to do its job means that additional false readings are incredibly likely.  

 In conclusion, the K2 is not designed for paranormal investigation. Its popularity seems to draw from people not questioning its highly questionable endorsements, and from the awe caused by flaws in the design leading to false readings. The fact that is it pretty and cheap are probably factors too. If you are using it for the reason the  manufacturers intended then fair enough. But, as with most EMF meters, serious paranormal investigators should avoid the K2 like the plague.