7
\$\begingroup\$

I'm looking for a simple electronic Geiger counter element. In my design I need to detect radiation and did not know what my options were for components to detect radiation.

What components exist for my need and what kind of complexity is associated with them?

\$\endgroup\$
7
\$\begingroup\$

Here is a technique for detecting gamma radiation using a PIN photodiode:

http://www.maxim-ic.com/app-notes/index.mvp/id/2236

\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

Sparkfun has a couple of things available: one is just the tube, the other is a module that takes care of all the analog bits. Be aware that all the sensor suppliers are pretty backed up right now, so availability may be limited.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why are the sensor suppliers backed up, and how do you know this? \$\endgroup\$ – antony.trupe Apr 21 '11 at 21:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I know this from reading Sparkfun's website at the time of my posting, and the reason was general interest in radiation monitoring after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant incident. As of today (2011-04-23) they are still back ordered on the tubes and assemblies. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Kohne Apr 23 '11 at 15:26
3
\$\begingroup\$

The only direct "sensor" of ionizing radiation I know if the Geiger-Müller tube. These are generally only available used or NOS (New, Old Stock) parts on the surplus electronic market. The tubes are often designed to only measure beta and/or gamma particles.

GM tubes are powered by a high voltage (low current) power source which makes them modestly complex if you do not have experience working with HV supplies.

The only other "sensor" I can imagine would be to adapt the ionizing smoke detector's ionization chamber, but as it is designed to detect a disruption of alpha particles (emitted from americium-241) caused by smoke absorbing the alpha particles, I don't know is such an approach is very feasible to detect all but high levels of ambient radiation (assuming you removed the Am-241).

\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

It is getting comercial: http://www.cooking-hacks.com/index.php/documentation/tutorials/geiger-counter-arduino-radiation-sensor-board

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

For some reason, the Electronics Goldmine weekly sales sheet featured radiation detectors a couple of weeks ago. There's a lot of interesting and informative material on the links. Most of the items are cold war salvage.

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

A recent write up of a repair of a geiger counter could be useful to your design process, if not for component selection.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.