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K-II Enterprises was founded by electronics technician Tim Wilson in 1987 and is based in Syracuse, New York. The company has been manufacturing several electronic products since that time including an ultrasonic dog deterrent for walkers and joggers (the Dazer II), a similar pet training aid (the Pet-Agree), a pet deterrent for your furniture (the Tattle Tale), and the K-II Safe Range EMF Field Meter, the subject of today’s review.
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A Deep Dive into the K-II EMF Meter
If you read around and find articles that cover the K-II EMF Meter, you will see a lot of references to ghost hunting, since many ghost hunting enthusiasts use the meter to detect the electromagnetic fields produced by spectral entities. Indeed, the K-II with its rainbow decal and LED light system does look like a 1980s prop from the movie Ghostbusters, yet nonetheless, it is an affordable EMF meter for other purposes apart from supernatural sleuthing.
Despite all the paranormal application for the meter, which we assume does not at all hurt K-II Enterprises sales volume, the K-II Safe Range EMF Field Meter is an authentic, effective, and functional EMF field intensity measuring device. Weighing a little less than 4.5 ounces and powered by a 9-volt battery, the K-II does not report EMF as frequencies but as EMF field intensity, displaying results by LED lights ranging from zero to over 20 mG (milli-Gauss).
The device can detect in the extremely-low frequency band (50 to 1000 Hz) up to the very low-frequency band (1000 to 20,000 Hz). The LED lighting scheme provides a simple index of safety levels with the following color coding (mirrored by its colorful rainbow surface decal): Green (Normal, 0-1.5 mG), Green (next to a lighter green strip in the decal; Low, 1.5-2.5 mG), Yellow (Caution, 2.5-10 mG), Orange (High, 10-20 mG), and Red (Warning, over 20 mG). The accuracy of the device is rated at an error of 5%.
Who’s It For?
The K-II EMF Meter is a great product for conscientious homeowners and office workers who want an affordable means of measuring the intensity of EMF fields in their working or living environment. The meter has the ability to report electromagnetic energy emissions in-band ranges that are both safe and considered harmful.
It is lightweight and portable, small (about the size of a large television remote control), and stores away easily in a desk drawer or can be carried in a pants pocket.
For people who are concerned about EMF sources in their home from electronic appliances, to “leaky” wiring, to radiofrequency sources such as WiFi routers or Bluetooth-enabled devices, the K-II is a handy little meter for making area surveys and determining locations that could benefit from rearrangement of offending devices or from the installation of shielding. It is also quite useful for people who have electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome (EHS) and want to quickly survey new and unknown environments for safety issues that may cause them discomfort.
Operation of the device is simple: simply point the business end of the K-II toward a suspected EMF source and depress the center button for reading. If you happen to have a poltergeist or two hanging around, you can put the K-II to the use of detecting their presence as well. If you are into ghost hunting, this is considered a standard sidearm of the paranormal investigator.
What are Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF)?
Electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) are energies emitted from power sources, communications sources, and electrical appliances (so, hand-crank egg beaters are perfectly safe, for example). When electrical current flows through a wire or circuit, a magnetic field is produced around the circuit.
Most shielding on wiring does not prevent radiation of EMF since the shielding is meant to reduce current loss and prevent accidental contact of wiring with other electronic components, flammable materials, or people and animals.
In the modern world, there are many sources of EMF, far more than in even the past few decades. To be completely honest, we really have no idea what the long-term consequences of constant, low-intensity exposure will do to human and animal health since we only have models based on short-term, higher intensity exposures.
There are steps you can take to reduce the number of EMF sources in your daily environment (repositioning devices, installing shielding) and if this is a concern of yours, having an EMF meter to survey your home or workspace is a must. The K-II is one such tool that you can use for living space surveys.
What We Like About the K-II EMF Meter
The overall appearance of the K-II is dated,1980s funky, and the company website looks like it was made in the late 1990s. Funky appearances aside, does it work?
Keep in mind that we are evaluating the K-II as an EMF meter for surveying electronics and radiofrequency sources, but we are not evaluating it for ghost detection. This is a simple, single-axis EMF meter, meaning the readings are directional. Kenny Biddle at the James Randi Educational Foundation did a careful series of tests with the K-II which highlight its sensitivity and ease of use.
We will summarize his results here. The K-II is rather sensitive compared with other EMF meters, such as the Gauss Master, the control device used in Kenny’s testing.
Switching on a Sony Handycam video camera at a distance of 7 feet from the K-II produced a Yellow spike (Caution, 2.5-10 mG), whereas the Gauss Master at the same distance only registered a 2 mG spike on its dial. Using a Nikon Speedlight (SB-600) flash unit charging up in standby mode in a test produced between a Green LED #2 (Low, 1.5-2.5 mG) to Yellow spike in the K-II (Caution, 2.5-10 mG), but failed to register on the Gauss Master.
Tests with a two-way radio (that can transmit line-of-sight up to 16 miles) at distances of 3 to 6 feet produced Yellow spikes (Caution, 2.5-10 mG) when the talk button was momentarily depressed, but did not register a signal on the Gauss Master. These effects were replicated with a test out to 10 feet with the K-II reporting similar meter values, but at a distance of 16 feet, no signal was detected by the K-II (ergo, the inverse square law).
Tests of the K-II with smartphones produced momentary spikes when Facebook notifications were received by phone at a distance of one foot and cell phone calls (inbound and outbound) also registered meter spike responses. Interestingly, wireless computer mice will register spike responses up to a distance of a little over 2 feet on the K-II as well.
Despite looking like it is cheaply built (high-impact plastic notwithstanding) and being of a very dated design, the K-II is one of the more sensitive EMF meters on the market. Users report that the K-II works like a champ for room surveys.
The meter is very sensitive and is directional, so with some practice, you can determine the source direction of hidden EMF sources. All of these qualities collectively rank very high in our book, so we really like this little meter.
What We Don’t Like About K-II EMF Meter
The power/operation button is of simple design and does not look like it will last from frequent use of the device. The button consists of a ¾ square (3-side) cut in the plastic housing that bends along its hinge when depressed, activating an electronic switch on the circuit board.
If left in the sun or if the plastic ages and becomes brittle, this will likely break, necessitating pushing the switch on the board directly.
Screws will eventually strip out the housing posts if you are not careful since they embed in the same plastic as the case in this simple design. This will result in either having to use larger thread screws (however, there is a limit because the posts are narrow) or having to resort to duct tape.
Some users reported receiving units with damaged boards that were non-functional, however, K-II Enterprises has a return policy.
The meter also looks funky, but maybe you like that. Seriously, the case design is blocky, and with the rainbow meter decal and matching LED lights, it looks straight out of the 1980s.
It does not, however, come with a flux capacitor (we don’t even think that is an optional part, anyway). Warranty is only 60 days with a 30-day moneyback guarantee if the device is undamaged and K-II Enterprises is very good about honoring their warranty.
- Works great for its intended purpose
- Easy-to-read display
- Audible alarm for dangerous emissions
- A field intensity meter, not a frequency meter
- The button feels cheap like may break
- Funky! (maybe you like that)
A K-II EMF Meter
(Batteries not included)
Overview of Features
The electromagnetic field intensity is reported with a simple LED scale that is easy to read. For extremely unsafe EMF levels, there is also an audible alarm that will sound when detected.
This small EMF meter is powered by a 9-V power source, a battery that tends to last for months when used in small electronics. The magnetic field strength range of the K-II EMF Meter is 50-20000 mG.
The K-II can be purchased with either a grey or (newer) black plastic housing.
How to use it
After turning the device on (the power switch is also the center button), the K-II EMF Meter goes through a self-test and flashes its LEDs in sequence from the bottom of the detection scale, from green to red, then in reverse back to down to the green. The meter repeats this two times, then is ready for use.
So, if you turn it on and see it go to red, twice, don’t freak out. It’s just calibrating.
The K-II works on the 50/60 Hz level. It can detect field strengths from 50 Hz up to 20,000 mG signals but does not report the frequency of fields it detects, only the intensity in milli-Gauss.
That frequency coverage means all of the ELF bands and about 13% of the radio wavebands (VLF range). The meter is a single-axis device and measures left to right horizontally if held level to the floor, but needs to be rotated in the X-axis and reoriented through the Y and Z axes to get a full survey.
Think of it as a reverse flashlight, but with the beam coming in instead and you will get the idea. The EMF sensor itself consists of a 14-pin microchip mounted on a circuit board inside the device.
You can see this board when you open the K-II to insert a battery.
Putting aside all the supernatural stuff associated with the K-II Safe Range EMF Field Meter and despite its out-of-date aesthetic appearance, it is an effective and very sensitive EMF field intensity meter. We guess that Tim Wilson got it right in the beginning and just left the design alone.
We mean, it’s not like you will be placing this as a living room decoration or anything, but with its looks, it makes for an awesome Halloween party prop if you are going as a Ghostbuster. If you are looking for an affordable EMF field meter that works and will allow you to make room surveys in your home, at work, or in new and unfamiliar environments, then the K-II EMF Meter is what you need.
The operation of the meter is simple, the display is easy to understand (you can even read it without your glasses because it is color-coded), and the single-pole design makes mapping out EMF sources very doable.
With a little practice, you can map out the direction of EMF emissions and also use the meter to find hidden sources of EMF by doing a little direction-finding. The choice of a 9-volt battery as a power source is also great since those little cells last a lot longer than AA or AAA batteries in microelectronics.
Oh, and if you happen to have a haunting in you or your neighbor’s home, the K-II is good for ghost hunting as well. Remember, aim the business end towards the spectral entity and don’t cross the streams on the proton packs, it would be bad. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!