Building Your Own Randonaut Device

DIY Randonauting Device

Randonauting is an activity where random number generation is used as a tool for discovering and exploring nearby locations. The way it works is that random numbers are used to calculate the latitude and longitude coordinates of somewhere nearby and then you visit the real-world location.

There’s a metaphysical mind-matter aspect to this where your intentions are supposed to influence the randomly generated destination. The NY Times said it best – “Think: the Law of Attraction meets geocaching.”

Why would this work? Well, some believe that by using random numbers generated by quantum processes, e.g. a HWRNG device, it’s possible to mentally influence the chosen destinations. The result is the manifestation of some truly surprising, enlightening or even disturbing outcomes. Case in point, the alarming Tik Tok video where randonauting teens discover a suitcase with dead body parts.

Dujour Randonaut Device

This mind-over-matter premise might not be as far fetched as it sounds. There’s some surprising research that seems to demonstrate that it’s possible to mentally influence random numbers generated by quantum processes.

What happens if you focus on a specific intention precisely when the random coordinates are generated? That is what randonauting is all about.

There’s a few differences between my device and the other apps. First – I’ve added a feature: Time. In addition to calculating random geo coordinates I also calculate a random time for the trip. The idea being that it might be more meaningful to identify a point in both time AND space. Journey to a specific location at a specific time to maximize the experience!

The second difference is in the way that I determine the location. I use just two random numbers to calculate the geo coordinates. Other implementations include the concept of “voids” and attractors” which use statistical algorithms to determine the locations. Attractors are essentially a clustering of values that point to a geo coordinate while a void is the opposite (lack of points). In my opinion these techniques just introduce unneeded complexity.

Voids and Attractors

This is one of my more involved builds, so you’ll need to have some hardware and python expertise if you want to try this out. I call the device “Dujour” (in homage to The Matrix). To follow along you will need the following:

You might be wondering why use a hardware based RNG when a computer OS can natively create random numbers. Great question. Hardware random number generators use quantum physical processes to create truly random numbers while operating systems use an algorithm. Under the covers the OS based numbers are really pseudo-random. They’re random enough for most purposes, but numbers generated using a quantum process are truly unpredictable (at least in theory). Plus, if you buy into the underlying theory of Randonauting which involves mind-matter interaction, there’s that research seems to show that mental intention can only influence random numbers created by quantum processes.


Now you could build this device with a single Raspberry Pi by connecting the hardware RNG to a local USB port, but I prefer a separate device because I do a lot of experimenting with RNGs and it’s useful to have a remote RNG server that several devices can share.

The diagram below details the high-level Randonauting process flow. The primary script is called “” and is run on the first Pi, which I’ll call “Dujour1”. When you run it will make a REST call to the 2nd device “Dujour2” (the hardware RNG host), retrieve a few random float values, and then use those values to calculate the nearby location to explore along with the time to visit. The script then assembles a Google Maps URL and texts it to a phone via the Twilio service.

The video clip below shows the device in action.

Randonauts Device in Action

On the Dujour1 Pi, you’ll need to install and configure linux and connect your display. Follow these steps to connect a Matrix Orbital VK204-25. The image to the right shows the wiring for my display.

For my setup I housed both the Pi and the display in a bell jar and I connected a string of decorative LED lights to the 5V and ground pins on the Pi GPIO header. The jar was just a convenient way to hold it all together plus along with the LEDs I liked the aesthetic. 🙂

Dujour1 – Display Module Wiring

The script requires Python and the following libraries:

  • math
  • numpy
  • subprocess
  • sys
  • time
  • json
  • urllib2

If you get a dependency error when running the script you will need to install whatever module is missing.

There are several variables that need to be set prior to running. They’re all located in the script in the “User Defined Variables” section:

loghandle: path to a text file that logs all runs of the script

window_secs: Used to calculate the maximum seconds in the future to visit the location

meters_out: furthest distance possible for the geo coordinates in meters from your current location

latitude1, longitude1 = your current location (home base). This is used as the starting point

lcd_addr = hex address for LCD display if using I2C communications

HWRNG = IP address and port of remote HWRNG server. XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:YYYY

There are a few dependencies on external scripts: is used to send the text message with the map coordinates. is used to drive the display. Place both scripts in the same directory as on Dujour1. Note: my script was developed to work with a specific Matrix Orbital display (VK204-25). If you decide to use a different one, you’ll need to change the code to work with yours. I’ve documented in the script where the interaction with the display takes place.

The script requires two OS environment variables to be able to authenticate with the Twilio service: ‘TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID’ and ‘TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN’. Follow these steps to configure the variables. You will also need to install the Twilio Python helper library.

On the “Dujour2” Pi you’ll need to install and configure Linux as well. This is where you will be connecting your hardware RNG. I used a OneRNG USB device, you can find the setup documentation here. (You can see my server in the image to the right.) Once configured, install and run the script to start serving up random numbers to Dujour1. Check here for detail on how the REST server script works.

Raspberry Pi Hardware RNG Server using OneRNG

If you’ve followed along up until this point, you should have everything you need to experiment with Randonauting using your own device. Just run ./ from a terminal and the result should be a text to your mobile phone with a map link (like the image to the right).

I’ve had some weird synchronicities when trying out my device. If nothing else, a random journey can open your eyes to nearby wonders that you’ve never noticed before.

In the future I might consider developing a custom Amazon Alexa skill. It would give me the ability to run my Randonauting server from my phone – wherever I might be.

Hey – drop me an email if you decide to build this. Let me know about your experience and any thoughts to improve the project!

Exploring Altered States of Consciousness with the Brain Machine

I’ll take “Devices that I’ve built that I’m too afraid to use” for 200 please, Alex.

This is the Brain Machine. It’s a device created by inventor Mitch Altman that can induce altered states of consciousness through pulsing LEDs and binaural tones synchronized with different brain wave frequencies.

This was made available as a kit by Adafruit starting back in 2013 (now discontinued), but you can still build by scratch following this guide by Make magazine.

Is it an enigmatic device? Well, I’ve always been interested in consciousness studies and research on how meditation influences psi effects. This seemed like a great fit for future experimentation.

The device is reminiscent of earlier Ganzfeld telepathy experiments where participants were placed in a state of mild sensory deprivation by having a red light shown on them while listening to white noise.

The Brain Machine also involves red light and audio, but the difference is that LEDs flash and the audio tones change based on a set sequence that is meant to bring you to different mental states through brainwave entrainment.

What is it like wearing the device? An experience I can only describe as intense. I was truly surprised how strong the effect was.

My primary concern before wearing and while operating was the possibility of inducing a seizure. For about 3% of people with epilepsy, exposure to flashing lights between 5-30 Hz (which this device does), can trigger one. I do not have epilepsy, but my mother did, so I’m very aware of the danger of these types of triggers.

I started to hallucinate almost immediately after wearing it. It’s amazing how the mind can spontaneously create images and patterns based on a simple repeating stimulus. The two LEDs are just one color (red), but depending on the tone and flashing frequency I saw a spectrum of colors including yellow, blue, green, and purple.

I also saw intricate geometric patterns. Cross hatched and intersecting black lines along with repeating geometric shapes. Every time the frequency changed, so did the colors and patterns that I experienced.

The images on the right are the closest I could find to what I experienced. For the first one imagine a pairing of colors instead of black and white. For the second, imagine this type of pattern in the center of your vision field surrounded by colors on the periphery.

Particularly unnerving was when I turned off the device and the patterns and shapes continued to linger for a few moments.

Brain Machine
Brain Machine Circuit
The inventor, Mitch Altman explaining the Brain Machine
Ganzfeld subject. Image from Wikipedia
Geometric lines

Ultimately, I think I would think twice about using it on a regular basis. However, hacking the code could be useful for future projects (perhaps my own version of a Ganzfeld experiment.)

Drop me a line if you decide to build one of these. It would be great to know if your experiences were the same as mine!

Experimenting with the Raudive Diode Detector

Raudive Diode Detector

“Walking up a road at night, I have seen a lamp and a lighted window and a cloud make together a most complete and unmistakable face. If anyone in heaven has that face I shall know him again.” 

― G. K. (Gilbert Keith) Chesterton

For all those aspiring paranormal engineers, this is probably one of the more in depth examinations of the Raudive Diode detector that you’ll find on the web.

If you’re not familiar with the device or Raudive himself, you can check out my earlier post here.

I spent some considerable time building and testing different designs of this EVP recording device and wanted to share my results.

Here’s the TL;DR: There are many different schematics on the internet, the components are similar and I don’t think the specifics matter much. This is definitely a “set it and forget it” type of device. Recording through the diode is different than a microphone as no ambient noise is captured. That plus the metal shielding means there’s not much of an opportunity for a stray signal to get through. You’ll need to record for a long time.

Konstantin Raudive with one of his spirit recording devices

I didn’t get particularly startling results when testing any of the devices, but I only recorded a few minutes for each. Perhaps your mileage may vary.

I tested four different designs: three of my own builds using schematics found on the web and one commercial version. The challenge is that there are several different circuits available (Raudive himself had three different designs) and no clear examples of what successful output should sound like.

I used a Sony PX370 voice recorder for the experiments. This is a great little recorder in that you can adjust the mic sensitivity and it has built in USB for file transfers to PC.

The only modifications I made to the recorded audio was amplification. I’ve heard a lot of clips from other sites that have been heavily processed – with obvious effects like noise reduction and voice isolation. If you do enough post-processing you can make audio sound like anything, so I thought it would be be better to just present as is.

Raudive’s Circuits

Let’s start with Raudive. To the right are the three circuits that he describes in his book. Here’s an excerpt that describes the diode detector:

“A short (6-10cm long) arial is used to give a more or less broad-banded signal, which is rectified by a diode and fed directly by cable to the radio or microphone input of the tape-recorder.”

Raudive states that diagram #1 was used in his earliest experiments, success was had with Circuit #3, but Circuit #2 was only a blueprint.

Here’s a short clip of one of Raudive’s recorded sessions. He had four different methods for capturing “spirit voices”, it’s unclear if this one was from his diode detector. I’m including this as a comparison to the output from my home-built devices.

Commercial Device

To the right is the commercial device that I tested. (I pried it open to see the circuit and what components were included.)

Out of respect for the seller I’m not going to post the schematic, but the circuit is probably closest to Raudive’s third design as there’s no inductor present.

Here’s an audio clip below from a recorded session done from this device. Essentially white noise as expected.

Commercial Diode Detector

Device #1

This device below uses a slightly modified schematic from paranormal research site Many designs are similar with a common ground to a metal box as shielding. There’s much debate as to the usefulness of the shielding which effectively acts like a faraday cage. It blocks electromagnetic interference, but some say it’s useful to have some noise with the signal.

The design below calls for a 500uH inductor, but for this particular build I substituted a 470uH shielded inductor and added a 1.6K resistor between the mic and ground connections of the TRRS connector. The resistor is needed for a mobile phone to detect an external mic is connected. All other components are as specified.

Schematic #1
Diode Detector #1

Here’s an audio clip of a recording session done in a field while using this device. Again, not too exciting, just white noise for the length of the clip.

Device #2

For this device below, I used the same circuit but substituted a 500uH unshielded inductor.

Schematic #1
Diode Detector #2

Here’s a clip from a test using this device. As with the others, I tested outside in a field to avoid interference. The results are the same as well, just white noise for the duration of the recording.

Device #3

The next one below uses a schematic similar to a commercial device as depicted here by Tangram Studios.

At this point I realized I was going to be testing several different circuits and improved my build a bit. I found a larger enclosure, a terminal block and added a prototyping board so I could more quickly swap components in and out. There are two inductors in the case, but the actual parts used were the 470uH inductor and 2nF capacitor below.

Dioide Detector #3

Here’s the recording done with this one. You can hear from the clip that the device almost certainly picked up interference my phone, which was interesting considering it was a good 3-4ft away from the device during the recording. Other than that, my results were consistent with the others – a lot of white noise.


Konstantin Raudive’s “Breakthrough” book included a vinyl with some amazing audio captured from his devices.

Some of the interpretations are no doubt examples of pareidolia, but there are sessions where the “voices” captured are amazingly clear.

Dr. Konstantin Raudive

Unfortunately none of the circuits that I’ve built and tested so far have produced anything remotely close to the audio that he demonstrated. My recordings were very short in length, so perhaps longer sessions might be more productive.

I’m going to continue to test different designs, and as I do I’ll continue to update this page with the results. What’s great about this project is that the circuit is really straight forward with very few components so not a crazy time investment to try things out.

At the bottom of this post I’ve listed some resources for a deeper dive on this topic. If you decide to build one of these, drop me a line and let me know your results!

Resources – Konstantin Raudive Diode Circuit Diagram

Stray Technologies – Diode Kit Instructions – Building a Raudive Diode EVP Device – forum