Ghostly Activities has used the 360° Motion Sensor Puck on a few ghost hunts. Now, get the scoop on if your team has gotta have one!
360° Motion Sensor Puck Background
GhostStop built the gadget, and you may have seen it used on the TV series, Trending Fear.
The puck has a series of 8 infrared sensors that emits a beam to detect if something unseen may be present. You can set the detection range by turning a red knob. The knob both turns on the puck and sets the detection range.
The ranges and matching colors are:
- Green (approximately 8 AM on a clock) = 1 foot
- Yellow (about 11 AM on a clock) = 2 feet
- Red (roughly 1 PM on a clock) = 4 feet
- Purple (5 PM on a clock) = 7 feet (maximum range)
When you turn on the puck, it will show the selected range color and follow that with a baseline reading. The puck will flash white while it does this. Then, a blue light will circle the top of the gadget. This means it scans the area for anomalies. If it detects something, the light will turn red, a chirping alert turns on, and a white light points to the direction of movement. The white light will stay on for a minute or two, so you have time to note the direction.
Testing Out The Puck
Ghostly Activities has used the 360° Motion Sensor Puck on 2 ghost hunts. Most recently, it was used at Fleshworks Tattoo Parlor in late January 2021 in the billiards room. Back in October 2020, Ghostly Activities used it at the old Wilson Hotel investigation in Centralia, Washington.
For this test, the puck will be reviewed for detection accuracy, its ease-of-use, and how well it works with other gadgets. For these tests, the puck was mounted on tripods of 2 different heights. One was the basic red type you can buy from the manufacturer, and the second a standard 56-inch tripod for a camera.
Ghostly Activities recommends using a tripod for this gadget. Lying it on the floor creates problems with the IR beams.
First, Ghostly Activities looked into how accurate the range is. And it did detect objects at a distance described by the maker. However, there’s a ‘gotcha’ with that.
In our test, the puck picked up movement when the object, person or dog was level with the device and below the device. It had a more difficult time with objects above the puck (as seen in video). The tester could come within inches of the the gadget from above.
Other than that, Ghostly Activities would say it operates as expected and per the maker’s instructions and notes.
While the gadget is one of the easiest devices to use, that usability had some more ‘gotchas.’
First, you couldn’t let the device baseline at one setting (like green or 1 foot), then move to a wider range. The device didn’t reset. You have to turn it off for a few seconds, then try again. Now, that’s a bit of nitpicking, but users will do this.
Next, we checked the in-between dial settings. Ghostly Activities placed the setting to about 9 AM to test if the device will ’round up’ to the 2-feet range (yellow), and the gadget did measure at 2 feet. The problem is that the light remained green. This could confuse a user.
For the 4-feet range sensor (red light), that’s the same color as the motion detection alert. Once you turn on the gadget and get red, you may think something’s broken or present. It may be a good idea to change the 4-feet color to something else.
At the farthest 2 settings (4-foot and 7-foot), we found the red detection sensor to be the most sensitive. It did pick any object around it, but if you didn’t move it quickly, then the puck got stuck chirping and flashing red lights. You have to turn it off and on again to clear it. This sensitivity may become a burden in residential settings. The owners will have furniture and other belongings that fill an area. You’d have to use the 1-foot or 2-foot settings here.
It may be a good idea to have the baseline reading map the objects about the gadget and ignore them like other IR devices. That would solve this problem.
Using With Other Gadgets
In our testing, we generally kept the puck away from other gadgets due to its sensitivity to objects and giving a false reading. On both ghost hunts, it was place well away from any people, places or things.
Infrared and night vision cameras will pick up the IR rays, but the crossflares are minor. You won’t get the large ‘bubbles’ that you see with body cameras or other camcorders.
It’s a pretty solidly built gadget. Ghost Stop made it with a 3D printer and, sometimes, that can make the products feel cheap. This one felt solid in my hand and the knob was steady, not wobbly, when used. It also lightweight and can easily fit in any bag.
As for the battery charge, Ghostly Activities used it for 3 hours straight and the battery remained charged. It took about 45 minutes to charge it for its first use. No complaints on its battery life.
Ghostly Activities does recommend the 360° motion sensor puck, but it has some gotchas dealing with the sensors and its own error-handling. It’s a lightweight, compact design that lets you take it anywhere. There’s not many ghost hunting gadgets that provide a fully surrounded sensor array.
The price tag ($200) makes it more of a nice-to-have than gotta-have-it.
Ghostly Activities will continue to use it. We’ll put it on a tripod in an open room and point a camera on it while we investigate other areas.
You can buy the 360° Motion Sensor Puck from GhostStop.com.
Disclaimer: Jake bought the puck with his own money, so there’s no expectation of a good review for the manufacturer.