DIY: Home-made light and sound devices, and also home-made TMS (magnetic stimulation)

With the rising popularity of brainwave entrainment, it is not surprising that Do-It-Yourself-ers are taking on the challenge of creating Light and Sound devices on the cheap.

Last week a user on our forum sent us a link to his outstandanding tutorial on how to create an AudioStrobe decoder in a box of Altoids.

Altoids brand AudioStrobe Decoder!

You can find the steps for building this device, here.

Make Magazine has also taken on the challenge of creating a stand-alone light/sound machine. View the video below:


DIY Magnetic Stimulation

Another recent bit of DIY from our forum involves “magnetic entrainment”, or what could be called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It was found that the magnetic coils used in some entrainment devices are really just a simple telephone pickup device which you can find here.

It responds to sound, so technically speaking our software should already be completely compatible with it. Just create a tone track, set the rate to zero and the pitch to whatever frequency you would like to stimulate your brain with.

I have bought a few of these and hope to do some experimentation when I find the time. However, a word of caution: Magnetic entrainment can be extremely powerful. Be sure you know what you are getting into before DIYing this.

16 Comments to “DIY: Home-made light and sound devices, and also home-made TMS (magnetic stimulation)”

  1. Anonymous 4 November 2007 at 2:20 pm #

    Can a “Telephone Pickup Suction Cup” actually be used for TMS? What is the basis for believing it can?

  2. Adam 4 November 2007 at 2:40 pm #

    You can always use a gauss meter to measure the output. It is much weaker than the majority of TMS work, but I believe it is equal or stronger than what was used in Persinger’s research, and what is used in some devices.
    Here is where I originally heard about this.

  3. Anonymous 4 November 2007 at 10:20 pm #

    Ok, I think I understand it, but is it worth trying to use one or two of them if you were trying to induce hypnosis? 10 milligauss doesn’t really seem strong enough to actually accomplish much, is it?

  4. Anonmyous 5 November 2007 at 1:41 am #

    Is 10 milligauss really enough for entrainment? Could it be used for hypnosis?

  5. Adam 5 November 2007 at 10:21 am #

    I tried it, and believe that it did have an effect. According to Persinger, the arrangement of coils is a big factor. I got best results with just one or two. More than that gave me a headache.

    For hypnosis I would just recommend sticking to light/sound entrainment methods that already have tried and tested protocols for that purpose.

  6. Anonymous 5 November 2007 at 10:46 pm #

    If It’s not good for hypnosis, what is it good for?

  7. Adam 6 November 2007 at 10:56 am #

    So far, it’s mostly been used by persinger to induce “spiritual” states. If you do a search on persinger you’ll find more info. Here’s an article to get you started:

  8. Anonymous 6 November 2007 at 11:26 pm #

    What’s the difference? Some of the “spiritual states” effects resemble some of the effects of hypnosis I’ve read about. Namely the nickel on the third page. It all seems to be a matter of what frequency they use.

    Thank you for your replies.

  9. Nick 14 January 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    You can’t use the coils with just any frequency like you do with a light/sound machine. The problem is that because the coils are such low power, they do nothing to the brain unles a very specific pattern is sent through them. The brain recognizes that pattern as one of it’s own (it understands the language of the pattern) and then it treats the signal like it’s own and responds. It will not respond to just any frequency being pulsed at it when the power is this low. That’s why the inventor of the “God Helmet” had to do so much research first, and then he had to actually record REAL brain electrical signals from people having mystical experiences. These patterns are very complex and are NOT anything like pulse frequencies used in light/sound machines.

    Trust me, I’ve look high and low, and joined forums searching for the coveted secret patterns, but they are owned by the inventor and can’t be found anywhere on the net. You need the software that comes with the device like the one at

    There is simply no way to cheat and make your own. The coils are inexpensive, but you need the software to play the correct brainwave patterns through the coils — there is simply no way around it.

    Unless you can find someone who has the program and will send you a copy, you will have to pay the absurd hundreds of dollars (up to 700 for psychic one) just for a computer program and a set of cheap coils.

  10. Dennis Croonenberg 4 June 2009 at 8:51 am #

    I think you can get around this ‘magic’ frequency by adding power. The tms-machine I use for psychological research rises and drops to about 2 tesla. The biggest problem you would face in achieving this is getting tot 2 tesla without your coil folding in half. Once you get there frequency isn’t a problem, you can even deliver single pulses and it will have an effect.

  11. Zoky 5 December 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    Here you can find some explenation on how the sound brain stimulation works. I am wondering if the TMS thing can be very dangerous if you are not completely sure what are you actually doing?

  12. CognitiveNeuroscientist! 10 February 2010 at 8:18 am #

    PLEASE consider that you’re pretty much a bunch of overly optimistic amateurs who mess about with some pretty nontrivial stuff in a horribly pseudoscientific manner. Let me tell you a few things:
    a) Whatever brain stimulation you’re trying w/ pickup coils won’t work. Period.
    b) Forums contain 99.99% bullshit, and considering your own stuff you won’t be able to tell the difference. If you want to learn something, get access to peer reviewed journals over your local (university) library.
    c) DON’T attempt to build your own TMS unless you have an engineering degree or something. Someone will (!) get hurt. (The voltage/current necessary WILL kill you if you make a mistake, if you succeed and stimulate at the wrong place OR the wrong person you will likely induce seizures.)
    d) EVERYTHING is good to induce hypnosis. (Idiot!) Actually you don’t need ANYTHING to induce hypnosis… What has TMS to do with that anyways???
    e) Once again. The information you find in forums is shit. READ THE REAL STUFF. (Start with some Nature Neuroscience Reviews, then use its bibliography to get further.)

  13. Bioenergetics and Energy Medicine…

    The soul sees opportunities for healing, expansion and enlightenment in the adversity that we encounter in our lives as it is the way in which we face and handle our predicaments, dilemmas and difficulties that defines who we are and why we are here. T…

  14. Hip 28 September 2010 at 10:41 am #


    I understand your pain, and your right the research on this is interesting, and more informative than what is out there on open forums. But never discredit the amateur. I’ve seen amateur radio ops do some amazing things, Einstein himself said “if we knew what we were doing they wouldn’t call it research” Some of the most talented computer engineers get hacked by ‘amateurs’ It’s entirely possible Bell was an amateur, as was Edison, Gates and Jobs.. just to name a few off the top of my head. I think we are close to direct communication with the brain, some research shows that they have to a limited degree. Perhaps all it takes is a “hacker’ to give us the right algorithm.

  15. gb 14 October 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    @ ADAM

    what effects have you noticed? spiritual effects/psychic experience perhaps? where did you put the coils? on your temporal lobes? frontal lobe? occipital lobe?

    or any other out there tried this telephone pickup coil entrainment?


  16. David Spiller 18 January 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    I bought a used Earthpulse sleep entrainment device and a telephone
    pickup from Radio Shack. In the recovery mode I recorded the pulse
    wave with the telephone pick up through a 4inch foam mattress pad
    that produces a EMF of around 2 gauss. The Earthpulse sleep entrainment
    seems to work pretty well giving us a deeper sleep, at least for the first
    two weeks we have owned it plus it covers two sleepers. The recording can be loaded into
    Audacity (free software) and amplified the feed back into the telephone pickup from
    RS it measures up to 5 gauss’s output with full volume. If you know someone with another device like the one at you can record it and do the same thing using Audacity. Audacity
    will generate a square wave at what ever frequency you like, if you
    want to generate your own 10 hz signal, I don’t know how low the telephone pickup impedance (without attinuation) will accept, but it works with 10 hz for sure if you
    add a stereo channel at 10.1 hz, with a second pick up on the opposite
    side of the temple then your brain will entrain .1 hz out of the modulation of the two signals

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