Saturday, December 21, 2013

Arduino IDE prototype of Geiger Logger with SD cart and GPS function

Arduino IDE prototype of Geiger Logger with SD cart and GPS function. Will be open source project.
I have used bargraph from BroHogan geiger kit. The project is not pin to pin compatible with BroHogan, has different schematic and different code. Schematic has less components that make the project simple to solder.
It took for me about 2 weeks to study Arduino IDE, have never used it before, so it my first Arduino project.  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

DIY Thorium Isotope Generator made by Weirdmeister

Weirdmeister provide excellent guide for DIY Thorium Isotope Generator. You can find more photos and information about this project on his website.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New version of Radiation Logger software

New version of Radiation Logger software is available for download. Now it support direct logging to

Friday, September 27, 2013

AD9850 DDS Module from eBay

Some time ago I purchased several modules from eBay AD9850. It's cheap and can be controlled almost with any micro by parallel or serial load mode. But when you see something cheap beware, there is some trick possible, especially when it come from China.

It took me several hours to read and understand how to calculate 40-bit word for loading desired frequency. I made small program that can be used for controlling HF receiver DDS VFO.

During experimenting with the module I have noticed that the board produce to much heat. The current was about 120mA that seems to be not OK. I rechecked all connections and resistors, but not found any reason. The module was stated for 5V power supply in the datasheet and also all circuits I found online use this module with 5V. My ham friend, who rapidly found the reason for exceed heating, said that probably 125MHz oscillator installed on this module originally are 3.3V and not 5.0V oscillator. We reduced the power to 3.3V and added LC-filter. The heat disappear and the current measured about 60mA that's seems to be a normal for AD9850 chip (20mA) with Oscillator (40mA).

  Unfortunately the module PCB designed in way that's it's impossible to separate AD9850 and Oscillator VDD lines. We need to run it on low 3.3V and lose some stability of chip start-up. Probably the blue potentiometer calibrating voltage on pin#15 may help with the issue.

I think this modules was originally designed for 5V Oscillators, but 3.3V was installed in the manufacturing. That's why it's was sold with cheap prices on eBay. Anyway we can use it. The stability of sine waves and module usability cost it's several bucks. The quality of total harmonic distortion are excellent for home-brew.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Geiger Kit with PIC16F648A

Geiger Kit with PIC16F628A was sold out yesterday. It was nice project for DIY soldering with big PCB and all through hole components. I didn't ordered new batch of the PCB's because I decided completely to redesign this product and make it more fun with modern SMT components. Firstly I'm going to make a SMD kit that will require hot air soldering. Sorry if you expected DIP project, but I'm going to try something new.

The new goals of this project:
  • Small size, 3.3V VDD, Lipo 3.7V battery support  and tiny current
  • CPM, CPS with new algorithm of collecting data
  • Gamma quantum counting, each particle can be counted on the display
  • uSv/h and uRn/h selection
  • UART logging
  • Audio Jack for Geiger Bot or headphones
  • Smart USB charging of Lipo.
  • PWM high voltage generating
  • Option for user to edit EEPROM table for changing settings  
Definitely it's not a project for beginners because of SMT. Maybe I'll offer assembling service option for this kit, but sure not for 9.99$ :) too much smallest parts are here.

Practical method to make prototype PCB's at home it's press-n-peel toner transfer. The photo show one of the first PCB of the prototype I have made. The design is not final.

Lipo charge circuit with 3.3V stabilizer under test. 

Almost finished board, just several components left to solder. Now PIC16F648A processor is used because the project require more memory.
And the finished prototype current only 3.50mA - 5.50mA

The work is still in progress. I like it has small power consumption that even 300mAh Lipo can be used.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Radiation Monitoring Feed back online

RH Electronics monitoring feed back online!

It was down since COSM service became, they changed API and published new Arduino libraries. My simple Arduino code for sending CPM values from Geiger Kit via Arduino is here:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Updates about Geiger Counter with Nokia LCD

The PCB's are here. While other parts are still in the way I have soldered several samples. This kit will be available as a pre-soldered assembled device. May be as as pcb+components too, I still not decided.

And some photos attached, click to enlarge:

Adafruit Distribution in Israel

Today RH Electronics became official distributor of Adafruit Industries in Israel. You can find the new products with quote "Adafruit" in search results.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Demonstration of Geiger Tube emulation with DDS generator and DIY Geiger Counter with NOKIA 5110 LCD

Here is the video where I connected DDS generator for Geiger-Muller tube emulation. It starts from 1Hz (60 cpm) and goes up to 4000Hz (240000 cpm) The accuracy is better for low background cpm. Maximum cpm error is 4% on the highest values.  Counting ability for this prototype is 500000 cpm. In real life condition with SBM20 tube we'll be able to register about 1mSv/h (or 175000 cpm) because of tube limitation (the tube has physical limitation for cpm counting).

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Geiger Counter with Nokia 5110 (3310) LCD and PIC16F876A; DIY prototype updates

I have changed the LCD design for this project. The dose now displayed with bigger font and the CPM value with smaller numbers. Dose now has only 3 digit with float point and it displayed by auto in uSv/h or mSv/h (depend on the value). Maximum value that can be displayed is 9.99 mSv/h; minimum value is 0.01 uSv/h.
Sound on/off and battery indicator was added. I also made a lot of work with internal code optimization. High voltage is supported by auto to 400V app. and it independ from battery voltage changes, so it stay stable even if batteries will go down to 4V.

I thinking if it will be right or not, to use Li-poly battery with 5V step-up IC and charge circuit. Personally I like this option, but it will require SMD components to be installed on the PCB. I still thinking about this. It can reduce weight of the final product when installed to the box. Anyway 4.8V Ni-MH battery will do the job perfect.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Radiation Logger Software updates

New 1.01 version of Logger software available. Please re-install the application if you use our Geiger Kits.

Several bugs was fixed:
1. Logger crash fixed after random device ot TTL module detach.
2. Default factor math error fixed that was caused by regional settings in Windows.

New features added:
1. Now measurement period can be longer that 5 minutes.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

DIY Geiger Counter with Nokia 5110 (3310) LCD and PIC16F876A; new prototype!

It starts here, but now I tried to work with Nokia 5110 graphic LCD. The problem I met was there no ready library for my PIC compiler! It's mean that I was forced to write my own procedures to initialize the lcd, clear screen, write texts and etc. After searching the web I found some arduino examples from sparkfun  and lcd datasheet. With Arduino library it was very simple to run this display, but my project build with PIC16F876A and I started to transfer the principles to my mcu. This forum thread was helpful for understanding how to write main display procedures. The results are in the current video. This is diy geiger counter prototype. It use only PIC16F876A for controlling all dosimeter functions. I transferred almost all program functions from version with 16x2 lcd to this version of the board. The hardware include voltage reference IC for precision voltage measurements.

The prototype work started from this:

And comes to this:

1. PWM control high voltage, the output can be tuned with 2 keys from 300V to 600V.
2. Measurement period automatically changes, depend on radiation level. See on the video how it happen when level goes up and down. Long period is better for the background.
3. Fast response scale on the display will show immediately levels changes, even before the measurement period will end. It useful when prompt response is required. The bargraph scales up to 800 cpm.
4. As before  UART, Arduino, Geiger Bot communication
5. Calibration menu (not presented in the current video) allow to changed conversion factor, alert threshold, high voltage and save all settings.

This work still in progress. Because the signal captured from tube cathode there is some problem with sensitivity to static electricity (if you touch the tube it will cause false counting) I think I need to make some small circuit changes. But if enclosure is used its unnecessary.

follow for updates... 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review of Playduino One PTH DIY Kit

I purchased this simple DIY kit from eBay ( Item number:180977979792) for 10 usd. The kit do not include MCU, but I already have several Atmega328 chips and decided to try it. I found some online description for this product here. It Arduino Duemilanove compatible PCB with all DIP components, really easy to solder. Not from the newest versions of Arduino, but still useful. After the solder work was done the kit look like:

The PCB comes without FTDI chip. External CP2102 TTL module required for communication with software on the computer. But first, Atmega328 should be pre-flashed with bootloader. Because my MCU was blank I used USBasp programmer to upload the bootloader to Atmega. The board has ISP connector with MOSI, MISO, SCK, RST, VCC, GND pins. Follow this link for "How to upload bootloader". Arduino software reported some SCK synchronization warning after programming, but seems everything was successful and  bootloader was installed correctly. I connected FTDI module and tested the default LED blinking sketch.

I would recommend this DIY kit because of low price, but it require soldering and some firmware workaround. The drawback is that you need external TTL module, MCU and AVR programmer, but if you already have all of them, then it maybe good solution for cheap Arduino board.

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Design Simple Radiation Detector DIY Kit

High voltage converter based on self-induction circuit, where square waves drives NPN transistor to produce high voltage spikes over 10mH inductor. After multiplication we can get 350V-450V anode voltage. As before the PCB include high impedance voltage divider for easy calibration.

The kit compatible with Arduino, i.e. it can be used for sending interrupts to MCU. Please download user manual for more technical details about the kit.

PCB allow installation of SBM-20, STS-5 or J305 Geiger tubes. Soldering process require moderate solder skills. 

The kit can be used as nuclear radiation detector or, if you connect it to Arduino, as a part of COSM monitoring station / dosimeter. We supply 2 simple arduino sketches for the beginners, you can modify it to your needs.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

New Geiger Counter with PIC16F876A Prototype worklog updates

I'm working on new Geiger Counter based on PIC16F876A. It has absolutely new design. All functions including high voltage generating are assigned on the processor now, its mean no additional IC's. No more 555 timers and no logic IC's. So lets say more about software:

1. Measurement time is auto adjusted, depend on radiation level. It guarantee better accuracy on low background levels and also fast response to high levels. Time countdown is also displayed on the LCD.
2. PWM controlled high voltage stage. User can calibrate high voltage from 300V to 500V in menu. The tube voltage is also displayed on the LCD in real time. The ADC use different Vref, not from supply rail.
3. UART, Arduino, Geiger Bot communication.
4. Calibration menu with Alert threshold, Conversion factor. Parameters may be saved to EEPROM.

This work is still in progress, please follow updates. When it will be finished I think I'll run it like a new kit.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Online Radiation Monitoring Feed with Cosm

For online monitoring of current radiation level I created COSM feed here:

I will try to keep it online most of the day time. The hardware that used its my DIY Geiger Counter, Arduino UNO with Ethernet Shield and SBM-20 tube. I modified the example arduino sketch to feet my conditions. Please follow.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

SPECT Bone Scan photo / video radiation levels report.

Radiation Levels at SPECT Bone Scan.

My small photo/video report about Bone SPECT Scan I did today. The examination was done in  Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital (Jerusalem). I was injected with radioactive isotope of Technetium-99m and after 3 hours my body was scanned with Gamma Camera. I have my DIY Geiger Counter in my bag and I did some radiation levels logs. Right after the injection my body produced about 20K-25K CPM (100uSv/h average) at 1 feet distance! The radiation level goes down after several hours, but even after 7 hours is stay hot.

You can find more technical info about Geiger Counter Hardware and Logger Software at: 

10 minutes after the injection. 

1 hour after the injection. Radiation level depend on the distance from my body. At 10 meters I registered about 90 CPM and at 30cm (1 feet) is very high (17K-20K CPM!) I drank a lot of water to allow the isotope to spread over the body. I mute the buzzer sound because the dosimeter "goes crazy" and may disturb the hospital workers and visitors.  

After several hours the scan was done all my dosimeters at home still detect high levels at 1 meter from me. I will attach logs files. You can open it to see the graphs with "Radiation Logger" Software or with any csv files editor. I used my phone to create this videos that's why it has low resolution quality.

The graph log screenshot: You can see the difference in CPM readings depend on the distance I marked. Download logs files

And some Hadassah Radiology Hospital photos:

Update 18/03/13:
30 hours  from the injection of the Technetium-99m and my body is still produce gamma radiation. Log file attached. During the day I felt weak and mild nausea.

Regards the Wikipedia all total radiation dose I received is about 10mSv (30mCi or 1000mrem or 500 chest X-Ray). Its probably may affect my blood count but to check this its necessary to do a blood test.

I asked the technicians who did the scan if the radiation dose from this medicine examination is high or low and they said it's not significant total dose, but it seem not to be like that (regards the CPM readings I got)! Its not seems to be low level also because all radiation detectors around goes crazy from 5 meters distance. Probably the technicians were instructed not to cause panic among patients. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

פרויקט חדש "מונה גייגר שלי"

פרויקט חדש וחינמי לדוברי עברית - "מונה גייגר שלי"
כולל הסברים, מעגל מודפס ותוכנה

Monday, February 11, 2013

Knee X-Ray with DRSB-1 Radiation Detector; Look inside the SBM-20 Geiger Tube

Got my knee x-ray pictures today. So this is me and DRSB-1 radiation detector under x-ray. Nice view of SBM-20 geiger tube internal structure (click the photo for enlarged version)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fiestaware (Uranium Oxide) hot sample testing with DIY Geiger Counter, about 11000 CPM!!

Testing Fiesta Ware (Uranium Oxide) Hot samples with SBM20 and DIY Geiger Counter and getting 11820 CPM! The samples was purchased from sciencefare (search him on eBay  with query: "Geiger Counter Test Source"). He was kind enough to send them to me quickly and well packed.
Time to seriously think about where to get the lead sheets for all my samples. Rick (sciencefare) advised this store but the shipping charges is high for outside USA. Any suggestions?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Website Update

Dear Customers,
The website was transferred today to new hosting. Please delete browser cash, cookies and flush DNS cash if you cannot access the site.
Start --> Run --> cmd --> ipconfig /flushdns
If this product is visible to you then DNS cache was successfully updated.

Thank you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Geiger Counter Dosimeter Nuclear Radiation Detector DIY Kit with Free Windows Logging Software released

The kit is released today. Now it available for purchase. I offer free shipping to Japan. For more technical details please visit product page:

The kit is supplied without Geiger Tube, TTL Module and without USB Cables. This items should be purchased separately. The PCB allow SBM-20 / STS-5 tube installation. Maybe J305B tube will also fit into the clips size, I still not received J305B tubes for test, but the PCB dimensions allow it regards J305 datasheet.

I also posted PIC16F628A source asm file, so if you are familiar with PIC's you can modify conversion factor,  alert threshold or calibrate it for your tube. The dafault filmware will be OK for most users, but if you need some special values please contact me before you buy.

Windows software can be downloaded for free. It monitor CPM readings and plot graphs. "Radiation Logger" is COM Terminal program that was written for dosimeters with UART communication. Connection settings are configurable. It was tested with my kit, but you can use it with other similar devices. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Updates about new Geiger Counter Kit

Here is some updates about my new Geiger Counter kit. The pcb boards are ready and I'm going to test it soon. The boards are good quality thanks to my Chinese friend Qiumin! 

My colleague Dima works on Windows application for the dosimeter. The PC software is still in beta-testing, but at this point I'm happy with the results. It's receive CPM readings from the dosimeter, calculate radiation dose with any conversion factor you need. It can write logs files and do some graphs. Probably we'll add alarm threshold too. 

The dosimeter can communicate with PC through FTDI FT232, PL2303 or CP2102 virtual COM port USB IC's. Of course it will do through a native COM port also, but you'll need MAX232 TTL converter chip.

On the photo above I use FTDI module for communication with prototype.
I still cannot say when the DIY kit will be available for sale, because here is many work I need to complete. If you interested please follow my updates.