Creative Contraption: Ghost Gonculator


Around a week and a half ago a post on @dbuzz announced The Creative Contraption Contest Round 1. Since then I have been working on a prototype Ghost Gonculator. Earlier this year I made a DIY ouija board. Time to clean up the mess that project made.


Image Source: personal photo

The challenge part of the competition announcement reads:

  • Does it have to function? No.
  • Does it have to be an actual factual thing? No.
  • Does it have to have a wild definition and explanation of what it does, yes!

Based on this I took inspiration for my project from where I've learned almost everything I know: Television.

In the fourth season episode of Hogan's Heroes "Klink vs. the Gonculator" American POW Sgt. Carter (Larry Hovis) built a rabbit trap. The rabbit trap ends up being used by the prisoners of war to make members of the German military believe that the "gonculator" is really a secret device and to distract the Germans so an electronics expert can defect to England with an experimental radio homing device.

Catching rabbits for hasenpfeffer seems like child's play though. I aspire to take gonculator technology further to capturing ghosts. Mainly because "Ghost Gonculator" makes great alliteration.


The Ghost Gonculator is an open source alternative to the proprietary nuclear technology used by the Ghostbusters. The Ghost Gonculator is cheaper, easier to be built by the average hobbyist and more environmentally friendly.


Image Source: personal photo

I am not implying that the muon traps or proton packs used by the Ghostbusters cause cancer and pose a risk to the public. Some people allege that cellphones cause cancer and those people might then imagine what carrying around an unlicensed particle accelerator might do to one's biology. I personally don't believe cellphones cause cancer because that kind of RF is non-ionizing but, you know, amateur radio operators have been known to accidentally create ionizing x-rays with high voltage vacuum tubes. Those accidents were made by licensed radio operators. Ghostbusters messing around with unlicensed...Well, to not be sued for libel I'll let the reader draw their own conclusion on what, if any, effects the proprietary Ghostbuster tech might have on public safety.

It is important to distinguish the difference between my open source Ghost Gonculator design versus the patented(?) Ghostbuster system.

The Ghostbusters' trap is an active system. Often times the Ghostbusters will also use proton packs to position the ghost over the trap and then a foot pedal activates the trap. After the ghost is captured in the trap the trap is used to transport the ghost to a containment unit.

The Ghost Gonculator is much simpler in design compared to what the Ghostbusters use and is a passive system. The Ghost Gonculator trap is the containment unit. Since the cube that is the main part of the system is made from compact discs in plastic cases the trapped ghost can be dropped off at an e-waste recycling center. The cube along with the other electronic waste will probably be sent overseas and become Malaysia's problem. Would you rather have a bunch of ghosts crammed together in some Ghostbuster containment unit which, going by their modus operandi, is probably also nuclear based unlicensed technology?


Image Source: personal photo

An alternative to recycling an occupied cube is using it as a time machine. Capturing the Ghost of Christmas Past allows backward movement through time. Capturing the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come allows forward time travel. Capturing the Ghost of Christmas Present only causes the cube to apport from one location to another.

Since the Ghost Gonculator uses a laser beam of photons spread out using a common magnifying glass; even if two lasers were used there is no danger of "crossing the streams" like what happens with two careless Ghostbusters firing proton streams. I don't know why the Ghostbusters even have that as an issue since protons are like charges so the streams should repel. Never mind. By their own claims the Ghost Gonculator is safer.

It should also go without saying that the Ghostbusters cause huge amounts of collateral damage and don't give a price for their services until after they're finished. If you don't agree to their huge bill they use coercion tactics. A "poor man's" ghost trap is often the better alternative to unprofessional paranormal "experts".

Theory of Operation:

A class IIIB laser feeds photonic energy into a cube made from old compact discs. Both the light energy and the smell of obsolescent, dead 750 MB data storage attracts the ghost. Since ghosts exist more deeply in the holographic universe a hologram lens that I used in Gotham last year as part of a hologram-themed crime got from a broken pair of holographic sunglasses is mounted inside the containment cube.

The reflective surface of the compact discs face inward in a "Devil's toy box" kind of configuration. Not all surface area of the cube is inwardly reflective but once inside the captured ghost isn't able to escape. This is due to the something nuclear resonance something technobabble principle the Ghostbusters use for their traps.

Due to the current pandemic I am unable to go to the local community college bookstore to get polymer clay so I had to improvise and mount the hologram lens with used bubblegum. The strip of aluminum foil behind the lens is there because I am legally required by the MacGyver Act of 1988 to use aluminum foil when prototyping with any form of chewing gum.


Image Source: personal photo

The Ghost Gonculator has a 100% success rate because its quantum wavefunction is superimposed in all possible Fermi configurations. Even if you don't think you captured a ghost the Ghost Gonculator captured an alternate version of your uncle who is alive in this universe but elsewhere died and wandered a parallel Earth as a ghost.

Someone who knows electronics might try to tell you that only the LEDs on the Ghost Gonculator controls are really wired and all the other wiring just connects random components. That know-it-all might even try to point out that a few components aren't even connected to anything. Don't listen to them because that's just a three-dimension understanding of a ten-dimensional supercircuit mounted on a four-dimensional tesseract chassis. All anyone really needs to know is that this is a Ghost Gonculator. Ghosts that are on a higher plane of existence can see the elegant circuitry for what it really is - and that's the last thing they see before they are imprisoned.


Image Source: personal photo