Troubleshooting Sessions

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Answers to your Questions

Getting Started
About the Brain
Training-Related Questions
The Business of a Practice

60-Hz Interference

60 Hz is always and everywhere present in any US environment. It’s like germs. I read not long ago that the human body actually has more bacteria, viruses, etc. in it, by a factor of about 2 times, than it has human cells. Rubbing a little alcohol on your hands isn’t going to change that. Keeping your immune system strong is the trick.

Think of the old analog radios that you had to tune in by turning the tuning dial. If you were dead on the center of the station you would get a stronger signal of music (back in the blessed days before talk radio) and little or no static/noise. If you were a little off the center, you’d start to get static, and the further off you were, the worse it would become until you couldn’t hear the programming any more.

The hookup is your tuning dial. If you could get absolute zero impedance and balanced impedances among all site pairs, you’d pick up your tiny little EEG signal loud and clear. The higher the impedance–that is, the greater resistance there is between the scalp and the metal of the electrode–the less effectively the EEG signal can pass and the more easily the “noise” of 60 Hz can enter the conductive paste and electrode. Any time you see 60 Hz high at one site but not another, it’s almost certainly a poor connection–poor prepping (remember you prep “long, not hard”), too much hair between the electrode and scalp or too little paste. Re-prepping and resetting the electrode will usually resolve the problem.

If you have high 60 Hz (that is, equal to or higher than the tallest other signals on the power spectrum), especially on both sides, this can indicate a problem with the power. Using an ungrounded outlet (pretty rare in the US, but very common here in Brazil) or sometimes using an ungrounded power supply for a laptop (2 prong plug instead of 3-prong) can be a problem. If using a laptop, unplugging the power supply FROM THE WALL–not just from the computer–can often result in a big drop in 60 Hz if that’s the problem.

Watching the oscilloscope is also very helpful. A good EEG signal is a thin line running along a fairly stable baseline (not “wandering” all over the screen). Most importantly, it is “organic”. The wave widths (frequencies) vary, getting wider and narrower, and the wave heights (amplitudes) also vary. When you have 60 hz interference, you’ll notice that the wave form suddenly becomes very regular: It is very fast (you can count the number of wave tops in a division on the display and calculate the frequency: it will be 60). Most important, it is unvariable–mechanical rather than organic–with every wave the same width and roughly the same height.

Using a Gauss Meter

I’d pick up a Gauss meter ($35 at http://www.lessemf.com/gaussmaster.html ) and see what the levels are inside where you’ll be doing your training. You’ll probably find that the field produced by the transformer on the AC adaptor for your computer are much larger than those from other sources (since the strength of the signal falls at a rate that is the square of the distance (my recollection of physics may be a bit rusty). (You can also use it to detect ghosts and other paranormal entities per some websites).

Even better, take your laptop and an amp and see what kind of signal you get in BE before you rent the space. I’ve only seen three situations where there was a serious environmental effect that couldn’t be resolved. One, in Zurich, was an office directly beneath a police station with major communication equipment in it (transmitting), one was in Sao Paulo where an office was less than a block from a transmission tower for a television station. The third was in an office in California–and we never did figure out what was causing that–but in all three cases doing NF was not feasible.

Cutting Down EMFs

How exactly does one cut down on EMF exposure in today’s world? Just to see, I got out my Gauss meter and tested the reading of my flat screen monitor from my usual viewing distance of about 2 feet and then tested the LED on the nIR HEG headband while it was plugged in to the Q-WIZ and blinking. Both were about the same, between 0 and 1 milligauss–WAY down at the bottom of the green end of the range. The laptop, by comparison, is much higher–up in the yellow range. When I turned on the meter and just walked around in the open are of my office, the level was the same as directly on the LED on the headband.

Re-attaching Instruments in BioExplorer

If you will bring the Instruments2 window to the front by clicking on it, you’ll see that it has a small instruments menu in the upper left corner. Re-attach is one of the options on that menu.

Sync Errors

Sync error relates to communication between the Pendant and its dongle. BE expects 256 bits of data each second to be coming through the dongle. When something less than that comes, BE warns you that something is interfering with the synchronization of the communication.

Most commonly this is the trainer or the client. The Pendant and dongle should be able to “see” each other directly. When you lean between them or put an arm between them to point something out on the screen, it’s not uncommon for that to interfere and cause sync error to blink on. If you place the Pendant on the client’s shirt collar or shoulder on the same side of him/her that the dongle is on–and maybe you sit on the other side–that should minimize these errors. If you place the pendant behind the client, blocked by the body, or with the desk, etc. interfering with its line of sight, there’s greater chance of sync errors.

When sync errors get serious enough to last for several seconds, even slowing down or stopping the display in BE, something else is probably wrong. Most common in my experience (but remember I often do workshops with 6 or 7 pendants in the same room running at the same time) is another Pendant/dongle combination. Could be you forgot to turn off the HEG Pendant when you turned on the EEG. Both will try to link up with the dongle and cause sync errors. With multiple pendants in a training area, you can reset them to different channels. This can also be the solution in the rare case that some other device is trying to communicate on the same RF channel the Pendant and dongle are using.