PKE meter page three
The arms were made from 1/4" black plastic hollowed out on the back side and a series
of seven holes placed on the forward side. These were hinged to swing out from the
body. Along the forward side a series of small 1/8" clear rod pieces were placed in the
seven holes backed by small incandescent light bulbs. Originally the lighting sequence
on the arms was counting from the inside out: 3, 5, 7, 4, 1, 6, 2 sometime between
Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II the sequence was changed to: 3, 1, 6, 4, 7, 5, 2 and
remains so till this day. The reason for this is unknown, probably done when work was
done on it before Ghostbusters II after a meltdown in the electronics. Today two sets of
bulbs on the arms are shorted together so they light together in sequence twice. As seen
in Ghostbusters II it wasn't quite right and even more evident in Suburban Commando
with the arms moving out of sync. When I documented it, it was quite the same.
Another symptom of it's harsh life as a rental prop is the main power switch which was
quite worn and had to be wiggled to get it to work. You can see this as well in
Ghostbusters II when Dan Aykroyd is using it he attempts to turn it on and has to
fiddle with the switch.
The main body was painted semigloss black with a fine misting of silver giving the prop
a metallic sheen and the arms were painted hammered silver .
Moving to the interior, the brains of the PKE Meter.
The arms are moved into position by two rather large RC car style servos moving
independently. The linkage is simply stiff steel wire connected by RC car or airplane
ball joints and couplers. The rest of the interior is filled with wires, batteries and quite a
few electronic components. Everywhere there is a space there is something to fill it,
board upon board, component upon component battery on battery. I only had a couple
of hours with it and after glancing at the electronics I spent the majority of my time
documenting the exterior and the way the arms were mounted. As with most props
this thing was either built by pure geniuses or complete mad men, I suspect a bit of
The above image is an vintage image from when it was built.