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EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)

 
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 09:32 AM
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EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Face it, buying a Geiger Counter right now and you will have to wait for months....or pay out your life savings to buy one on Ebay IF they are available.

Luckily you can still obtain the parts to make a simple Geiger Counter that works well enough to let you know when radiation is in your area.

MATERIALS NEEDED:
-Digital Voltmeter
-9v Battery or any battery within the 1-9v range
-Transistor of the ordinary NPN Darlington type MPSAW45A
-Metal Can soup can or any metallic can
-Some insulated wire
-Wire splice/cutter or razor blades (be creative in a pinch)
-Electrical tape (or be creative in a pinch)
-Small sheet of Aluminum Foil

:geigercircuit01:

ION CHAMBER: Don't let the name intimidate you, it is very simple. Like a 3rd grade science project.

We need a wire to run through the center axis of the metal can. The center lead wire CAN NOT conduct into the metal can, keep it insulated from each other. Be clean and detail oriented as little things like wire straightness can adjust reading sensitivity.

One side of the can is cut open (can opener like is fine) and the other end is sealed.
Run one end of the lead wire out of the can (open side) and keep insulated outside the can but leave a contact point at the end.

Soder, bolt or secure some how a wire from the metal can and extend off the can insulated like the lead wire. Now we have the two terminals for the Ion Chamber. Almost done.
Next we cover the cans open side with aluminum foil (don't ground out the center lead wire). Be sure to cover well as to greatly reduce airflow in the can. This is the "screen" where the radiation will enter the Ion Chamber.

Once that is completed, wire up the remaining circuit. The transistor can be bought at most Radio Shacks or other Store which sells circuitry components.

:simplegeigerpic0:

This is about as simple as it can get. The Digital Voltmeter should be set to mV (millivolts).

Highly advisable to build it before radiation floods in so you have a back ground radiation measurement.

If the Voltmeter isn't reading then let the unit sit, powered on, for 20 minutes then check again.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/17/2011 09:39 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
bump
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 09:40 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
I built this, and it says I should be dead..........what should I do
patmac
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03/17/2011 10:27 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
I built this, and it says I should be dead..........what should I do
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1283373


Don't die! It's a trick!!
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 10:43 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
bump
craftybiatchy

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03/17/2011 10:51 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
bump

Excellent info OP. Thanks for posting this.

Pin this shit !!!
Tomato plants are notorious for being obnoxious. They're always like: "Look at me, I'm too sexy for my pot... too sexy for my pot."
Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1224016
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 10:55 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
thanks
yp0c4t

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Greece
03/17/2011 10:56 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
great thread!
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 10:59 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
I bot a NukeAlert years ago on sale for $103. So far it says that Ohio is safe.
Rey Rogers

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03/17/2011 11:03 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Thanks ºCRAPº

Last Edited by Rey Rogers on 03/17/2011 11:04 AM
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John Richter
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03/17/2011 11:09 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Good find CRAP, 5 Srats and a Nip!
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 11:10 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Could one o you graphics inclined gents enhance the pics with some arrows and a legend of the materials for the single girls here please?


I.e. -Digital Voltmeter <<<<< arrow to item on schematic/photo


Thank you.
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 11:12 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Could one o you graphics inclined gents enhance the pics with some arrows and a legend of the materials for the single girls here please?


I.e. -Digital Voltmeter <<<<< arrow to item on schematic/photo


Thank you.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1300032


The voltmeter is the yellow box with the digial readout.
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 11:14 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Stupid keyboard.

Digital.


Gonna get my son to try this out. Might make for an interesting gadget for him to take to class. He's about to become an Electrical Engineering major.
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 11:15 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
bump
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 11:15 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Could one o you graphics inclined gents enhance the pics with some arrows and a legend of the materials for the single girls here please?


I.e. -Digital Voltmeter <<<<< arrow to item on schematic/photo


Thank you.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1300032


The voltmeter is the yellow box with the digial readout.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1296015




I got that BUT that was just one part example, hence I.E (in example) but what about the rest??? which ones are these on the build schematic?

MATERIALS NEEDED:
-Digital Voltmeter
-9v Battery or any battery within the 1-9v range
-Transistor of the ordinary NPN Darlington type MPSAW45A
-Metal Can soup can or any metallic can
-Some insulated wire
-Wire splice/cutter or razor blades (be creative in a pinch)
-Electrical tape (or be creative in a pinch)
-Small sheet of Aluminum Foil
Anonymous Coward
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United States
03/17/2011 11:19 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Thanks for the info.
5*
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 11:23 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Um, this isn't going to work.

You need a geiger-muller tube instead of a soupcan... your soup can has no neon in it to excite, your multimeter will register nothing.

This would work using a geiger-muller tube(basically a sealed can filled with neon and capped with mica on one end.
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 11:29 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
[link to www.ehow.com]

The simplest geiger counter you are going to build will be a slightly more crude version of this.
Anonymous Coward
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03/17/2011 11:36 AM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Um, this isn't going to work.

You need a geiger-muller tube instead of a soupcan... your soup can has no neon in it to excite, your multimeter will register nothing.

This would work using a geiger-muller tube(basically a sealed can filled with neon and capped with mica on one end.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 672937


It will work using modern FET transistors. They are hundreds of times more sensitive then what was available back when geiger tubes were invented.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 1005671
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03/17/2011 12:24 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Um, this isn't going to work.

You need a geiger-muller tube instead of a soupcan... your soup can has no neon in it to excite, your multimeter will register nothing.

This would work using a geiger-muller tube(basically a sealed can filled with neon and capped with mica on one end.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 672937


It will work using modern FET transistors. They are hundreds of times more sensitive then what was available back when geiger tubes were invented.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1157608


AC 1157608 is correct. The basic criteria for this Ion Chamber is simple. Conductivity for the can and center wire, reduce air currents with aluminum foil kept flat (non crinkled)

It WILL work. I did this before over a year ago. My project wasn't the best looking but it worked. The smoke alarm made the mV jump.

This design does have other technical flaws but it will still detect gamma radiation (the radiation you need to be worried about)
NiNzrez

User ID: 1135433
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03/17/2011 12:31 PM

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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
excellent!
thank you so much for posting this useful info that we all may need someday very soon
hf
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Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/17/2011 12:31 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
[link to www.ehow.com]

The simplest geiger counter you are going to build will be a slightly more crude version of this.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 672937


Not true, that version you linked is a bit more complicated for the average person concerned about radiation, wants a Geiger counter but can not buy one.

Here is the link with many different types of DIY Geiger Counters. The most simplistic one is listed in this page as well. It was my source for most of the information.

There are some with improved sensitivities using neon lights and other novel Geiger circuits.

Because lets face it. Buying a Geiger Counter today is not going to happen unless you get lucky.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/17/2011 12:33 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
excellent!
thank you so much for posting this useful info that we all may need someday very soon
hf
 Quoting: NiNzrez


No problem. A working geiger can be built from lots of unusual energy sources if the grid is knocked out.

A nuclear disaster might step us back into an age prior to electricity. But the radiation will stick around for a LONG time. So primitive geiger counters and how to build them will really help.
craftybiatchy

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03/17/2011 12:36 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Here is one that uses a Altoid Tin. Very cool, looks a little tech heavy though.

[link to dwarmstr.blogspot.com]
Tomato plants are notorious for being obnoxious. They're always like: "Look at me, I'm too sexy for my pot... too sexy for my pot."
Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1224016
RARisingSon

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03/19/2011 12:34 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
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Anonymous Coward
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03/19/2011 12:38 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Um, this isn't going to work.

You need a geiger-muller tube instead of a soupcan... your soup can has no neon in it to excite, your multimeter will register nothing.

This would work using a geiger-muller tube(basically a sealed can filled with neon and capped with mica on one end.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 672937


The above post is absolute Bravo Sierra....he obviously doesn't know the difference between gieger mueller tube detection devices and ion chamber detection devices..

All of those millions of civil defense Victoreen counters did not use a GM tube, but rather the ion chamber...which is really nothing more than a tin can with an insulated conductor within.
Anonymous Coward
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03/19/2011 12:41 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)


It WILL work. I did this before over a year ago. My project wasn't the best looking but it worked. The smoke alarm made the mV jump.

This design does have other technical flaws but it will still detect gamma radiation (the radiation you need to be worried about)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 672937


Actually, we need detectors that will detect all 3 forms of ionizing radiation, alpha beta and gama.

The most dangerous product of this nuclear disaster for those not in the immediate area of the exposure are actually radio nuclide particles that can be ingested or inhaled, but emit alpha particles that have little penetrating power otherwise....

Those are what we've really got to be concerned about.
oniongrass

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03/19/2011 01:14 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
I would probably use a Geiger counter in the grocery store, to check out food before I buy it. (I know it would look weird ...) What sort of emissions should I be trying to detect?

It seems that Ebay still has Victoreen counters available, and the prices haven't even changed much from a few weeks ago before the Japan disaster.
Anonymous Coward
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03/24/2011 07:19 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
Does this really work?

I think I may try this as a science experiment with my kid and see what happens.
Anonymous Coward
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Poland
03/24/2011 07:25 PM
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Re: EXTREMELY SIMPLE DIY GEIGER COUNTER - Built it dirt cheap (nearly all vendors are sold out and back ordered for months)
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