Making The Needle Twitch

In 1971-1974, while he was in the Sea Org, Arnie Lerma was working with a company called Delta Meter that manufactured the Mark V.

Arnie reports that the meter movement was produced by a company called Murcom in Rosecrans, Louisiana.

A document called (approximately) ``Confidential Technical Bulletin: Calibration and Checkout Specifications'' included a requirement that when the resistance across the cans changed suddenly by a specified amount, the needle must reverse direction 7-8 times, but not 9.

A normal meter movement will not do this. A typical Radio Schack ohmmeter, for example, will use a damped meter movement to eliminate spurious needle motion.

In order to achieve the required twitchiness, Lerma reports that Murcom used an undamped ``taught band'' movement that operates something like a torsion bar suspepension in a car.

If you're going to build your own E-meter and want it to work just like the Scientology Mark V model, you will not be able to use an off-the-shelf meter movement. Lerma suggests that one might be able to simulate the effect of an undamped needle by using a final driver (amplifier) stage that rings, but this has not been verified experimentally.

Bill Long Confirms Bouncy Needle Requirement

Bill Long, who was in Scientology back in the 1950s, had this to say about the Mark V needle movement:
From Sun Feb  4 00:49:58 EST 1996
Article: 151599 of alt.religion.scientology
Distribution: world
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: E-meter patents
From: (Bill Long)
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 01:45:00 -0700
Organization: Toad Hall ~ High Octane BBS ~ 415-595-2427
Lines: 91

  [ *snipped *]
I may shed a bit of light-but not much, and nothing on the
patent procedure, but --- Ron built a meter on the idea of
the whetstone bridge (sp?). It did what he wanted to do.
Then in the U.S. we used the Matthison design to build
meters and they did not do what Ron had wanted them to do
based on what he had built. They had a built in dampening
system built into them to slow the reaction on the needle.
When this was discovered to be the flaw all future meters
were built in England based on Ron's design and tested at
St. Hill against Ron's meter to make sure of accuracy.
( A link in this chain can be seen in the HCO Bulletin
"What are you waiting for, the meter to whistle Dixie".
It appeared that auditors in the U.S. using the meters were
not getting the results that they had before using the
meters. So use of them was stoped.)
Many years later I found one of the old meters in my closet and
 tested it against the new meter I had and there was a big
 difference in the operation.
As I said, I don't know what this had to do with the
patents but this is what I remember happened.
  [ *snipped* ]
___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12
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Internet: (Bill Long)

Where to Get E-Meter Needle Movements

Scientology-spec meter movements are said to be available from Jewell Electrical Instruments, P.O. box 4038 Grenier Field, Manchester NH. Tel. 603-669-6400. Our informant says: ``They'll even put the same scale on. They can also tighten the spec to get rid of the swinging about.'' Wouldn't want that, now would we?