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Kovoc
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[*] posted on 8-8-2019 at 15:45
Radioactive Minerals


Can someone tell me where I could find radioactive rocks and what they look like? I'm not sure to tell which ones could possibly be radioactive and which ones are just rocks (I don't have a Geiger counter)
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[*] posted on 8-8-2019 at 17:45


check mindat.org for minerals in your area. also you so need a geiger. i bought a custom designed alpha / beta / gamma setup for under $100 and it is really good. if you can find a friend in US the can post you rocks from United Nuclear.
the rocks look no different from other rocks. unless you are pretty skilled, you will have difficulty in ID them in the field. many are just fine coloured powders on matrix.




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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 9-8-2019 at 00:34


Quote: Originally posted by diddi  
i bought a custom designed alpha / beta / gamma setup for under $100 and it is really good.


I'd be very interested in more details as I am looking to buy one.




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[*] posted on 9-8-2019 at 01:38


I have heard of someone scouting for uranium ore in the dark armed with a bottle of nitric acid. After reacting with the acid the uranium compounds glow. Details are on the board here somewhere.



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Ubya
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[*] posted on 9-8-2019 at 03:41


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
I have heard of someone scouting for uranium ore in the dark armed with a bottle of nitric acid. After reacting with the acid the uranium compounds glow. Details are on the board here somewhere.

glow under uv light





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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 9-8-2019 at 04:08


There are a lot of things underground that stand out with UV light :)



The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant. - Ira Remsen
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[*] posted on 9-8-2019 at 04:29


Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  
Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
I have heard of someone scouting for uranium ore in the dark armed with a bottle of nitric acid. After reacting with the acid the uranium compounds glow. Details are on the board here somewhere.

glow under uv light


Oh yeah. Left out that detail.




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Ubya
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[*] posted on 9-8-2019 at 14:34


Quote: Originally posted by Herr Haber  
There are a lot of things underground that stand out with UV light :)


you are right, but uranium 6+ has a characteristic color, that nice green/Yellow that not many minerals have





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[*] posted on 29-5-2020 at 22:52


-diddi, under 100$ for all three measurements? sounds *far better that what I've see searching lately. Lingering in the high 300$ to low 400$ range. Also seemed like the wording could be problematic if you don't know enough. A couple poorly thought out purchases could hamper real progress.

Just started with this side of rock collecting. Absorbing information, while trying to weed out misconceptions. Wishful thinking can be directly fought with a measuring device. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

There are a few samples I've found deer hunting, probably nothing. I was hoping for heavy metals, never thought about radioactive minerals though. I've found quartz with pyrite, dark oxides, some green crystals, but northern California isn't known for direct ore body from my reading, though placers and grains could be concentrated downstream from some rock types. the green I was thinking adventurine probably, and not radioactive. Probably nothing at all, but a couple hours south are know minerals on mindat.org https://www.mindat.org/minlocsearch.php?frm_id=mls&cform...

That's within planned trip range. <100$ sounds unbeatable for a meter... Tell me more. I'd love to build something one day. Till then, plenty of reading to do.
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[*] posted on 30-5-2020 at 08:43


i bought my Geiger counter on Ebay for 60$ (https://www.ebay.com/itm/NetIO-Geiger-Counter-Embedded-Modul...)
it can read beta and gamma, but doesn't have an housing, so i had in mind to ask a friend to 3d print one for me (thingiverse has a case for this model), but i've not been able to do so.
in the end what i did was to upgrade this counter for 10$ total i think. i added a 5000mAh powerbank as the main battery instead of using AAA batteries, i added a micro USB cable extension/panel adapter so i could charge the powerbank from outside the case, i soldered wires and buttons to go on the case, and i bought some BNC connectors and a BNC cable so i could build a probe for the geiger tube. the case is just an electrical box.

it is based on arduino so it can be connected to a pc via USB-TTL, and via serial commands you can tweak a few things(like the voltage to the probe)

20200530_181110-1.jpg - 2.8MB

20200530_181251.jpg - 1.7MB



i'm trying to find a cheap mica pancake tube so i can see some alpha :)





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[*] posted on 4-6-2020 at 02:55


Nice job customizing it, was wondering how well that kit worked out. Have you tried it on any samples or done prospecting with it? An around the lab/house safety sniffer seems like it's a first priority maybe. How ya like it so far?

I see some vintage equipment for not too much. Looks like a decent way to get an enclosure and external probe ... But I've no idea yet what tubes are good for what circumstances, not to mention some of it is OLD. Some looked to have a check source built in for calibration...

The newer 200$ variety seem to have some basic graphical representations and a short memory which is kinda impressive from the short vid I saw.

350$ and up starts looking like real equipment.

This hobby, learning as they call it, is damn expensive. I was quite impressed with the equipment I saw on neptunium's vid at the end of the radioisotope identification thread. That was a great video with a lot of fun science and I found it very enjoyable.

Here are a couple of the rocks I found. To me looks like quartz with calcite and possibly some barite dispersed around interesting(to me) dark flecks and pyrite like minerals. It was on a slide side of a peak neat a fire look out. Couldn't pass them by ...

IMAG7625.jpg - 755kB IMAG7634.jpg - 1.1MB

IMAG7630.jpg - 780kB IMAG7629.jpg - 1MB IMAG7638.jpg - 1000kB

Plenty of rust bleeding veins of quartz, some pyrite and lots of rock to pour your eyes on. I don't expect them to be anything fantastic, but the little mineralization seemed like a good target for a chem project some day, probably boring, but finding out won't be so, win.
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[*] posted on 4-6-2020 at 07:28


i'm pretty happy with it.
i tested it against a few sources, i have an autunite sample, a few tungsten-ThO2 electrodes, 2 americium-241 sources, 5g of uranyl acetate, a tritium vial (can't detect anything from tge vial).

i went prospecting a bit, but italy is not famous for its uranium giaciments, at the moment i could just test a few volcanic rocks, and i could get a few big piles where the background radiation got to 1microsievert/h.

the only thing i don't like about it it's the time needee to get a reading, it doesn't extrapolate the CPM from a few counts, to get the real value you have to wait one minute each time.






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[*] posted on 28-8-2020 at 18:34


I snagged a cheap detector, and it came a day early. There are probably better units, I did little reading, but it works and <100$. I can't 3D print casings and have very little spare time. Thanks for sharing though Ubya.

Detecting immediately my purchased samples, welding electrodes 4% Thoriated and then the rocks I've found ... Nada on the latter which, seems 100% fitting, but still disappointing. I checked a Vaseline pony statue of about 7" tall and it was underwhelmingly above background. The thorium welding rod 10pack wasn't great... But this little orange vase that's been sitting on our mantle was hot by comparison.

IMG_20200828_182833007.jpg - 2.4MB IMG_20200828_183019821.jpg - 2.3MB

The vase topped out around 650cpm with the detector on top of it. What a surprise, we'd no idea, it's now in another ventilated room only accessable from outside...

VID_20200828_183436110_exported_92322_1598666909671.jpg - 192kB

The Tyuyamunite was ok, but the thorianite sample however was HOT topping out ~4150cpm for 7 small pieces!

So it begins, time to check the shale banks around or ranch. Maybe some stream bed near granite, also not far. Eventually a geo minded trip to known sources in California. Of course, plenty to learn still.
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[*] posted on 28-8-2020 at 23:48


Quote: Originally posted by Kovoc  
Can someone tell me where I could find radioactive rocks and what they look like? I'm not sure to tell which ones could possibly be radioactive and which ones are just rocks (I don't have a Geiger counter)

Without a Geiger counter or similar,
. there is not much point in colecting radioactive rocks,
. finding radioactive rocks will be more difficult.

Radioactivity sounds interesting,
but unless you have an application for it,
you will soon wonder why you started.
Buying, shipping and storage are worse than for 'chemicals'




CAUTION : Hobby Chemist, not Professional or even Amateur
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[*] posted on 29-8-2020 at 07:28


I can recommend this ebay seller for geiger counters. For about $50 I got his arduino geiger counter kit with an SBM-20 tube a year ago and it's been working fine! I'm not affiliated, just a happy customer.

I've upgraded the tube to an SBT-10a tube which can detect alpha particles too (SBM-20 can't). You also need a handful of 15 megaohms resistors for this.

The SBT-10a was only $50 (vintage surplus from russia or ukraine I believe) which is pretty cheap as far as alpha probes go. It has a huge sensitive area and a mica window.

I have not gone mineral hunting with yet, but I think it will work really well.
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violet sin
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[*] posted on 29-8-2020 at 20:31



Let it sit and get a nice long reading on potash fertilizer from a garden store, on exposed 4%thoriated rod, and just sitting for background reading. B/c I just didn't actually wait to observe yesterday. Too much to excitement, not enough play time.

Potash 28-33 cpm often with deviation both ways
Exposed TIG for was as pictured mid 500's cpm.
Background was 11-15 cpm

IMG_20200829_160620182.jpg - 2.5MB IMG_20200829_110001210.jpg - 2.6MB IMG_20200829_111335659.jpg - 2.5MB

It does some graph views to so that's nice, the full manual had to be downloaded. It only came with a bare bones start up instructions. The battery is lasting forever so it barely dinged it after hours of use.

I'd say the detector was worth finding a vase in our living room to be wary of. Everything else is bonus at this point. I've no plans to stockpile or extract, but a couple samples bought and a couple found would be nice.

Owning any samples should mean owning a cheap detector. They're not bad cost wise, for the peace of mind they offer.
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[*] posted on 19-10-2020 at 19:28


Ordered some cheap tubes from LND in newyork, the 713(b,g), 712(a,b,g).

"The 712 is the cheapest mica window alpha detector we make", to quote bill in sales. There is no paper catalog, only online, and you have to inquire for price, no pdf or spreadsheet etc.

IMG_20201019_180345247.jpg - 2.9MB IMG_20201019_180304379.jpg - 2.8MB

They are pretty small which is nice for addition to my current device. 48$ / 60$ respectively, and they had a 100$ min order so it worked out good. 10 days to ship out after order, I'm happy with them for sure. They run suggested @500v as opposed to the M4011 tube in it now @380v. So it's not 100% plug and play, but worth the effort.

I'll have alpha sensing capabilities after a good build. Someone has already installed a 712 on the GQ forum. they are used in several wands Ive seen for sale online. I don't think the 713 was used there, but it's small enough it could piggyback easily enough.

Getting to learn along the way is fun.
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[*] posted on 26-10-2020 at 00:56


Granite is easily available and is radioactive
Otherwise, you can try to get some smoke detectors. They contain americium in them.
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[*] posted on 18-3-2021 at 14:43


This is not granite, lol, and it is through lead sheet.

IMG_20210315_232439915~2.jpg - 2.1MB IMG_20210315_231858681.jpg - 3.7MB

Thorianite, ordered from Michael at minresco.com
It was packed in a MUCH bigger box obviously. I look forward to being able to purchase other samples later. Guess they acquired a new wolframite mine too. Always loved the colors of that stuff.

(Whoops) it was a wulfenite source, not wolframite. The former is nice red/Orange. The latter is apparently much less attractive dark, sometimes metallic mineral. So saying I loved the colors would be silly.

[Edited on 19-3-2021 by violet sin]
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[*] posted on 21-3-2021 at 09:00


Here are a couple pics that could be integrated with my above posts. I got some time to fiddle with the sample and take a look at the actual minerals giving such high numbers.

Pictures of angry pebbles!


Screenshot_20210320-201447.png - 3.1MB Screenshot_20210320-201745.png - 3.1MB Screenshot_20210320-201901.png - 3.4MB

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[*] posted on 21-3-2021 at 20:45


Probably an unpopular opinion but I feel you need at least a 2" pancake detector to have a fun time prospecting for radioactive minerals. The large surface area means you don't need to get close to every rock. Look for a PalmRad, Ranger Alert, Inspector Alert on eBay and they can be had for around 300USD. A step up would be something like a Ludlum with a scintillation probe, but those are 500USD and up.
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[*] posted on 11-4-2021 at 09:25


The collection is growing. I've ordered samples of minerals from several vendors.

1) Minresco.com more than a year ago,
2) nuclear scientific, small pebbles and one small grit
3) mineresco.com this year also from the new owner, Michael Shannon.
4) Etsy from arizona explorations (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArizonaExplorations?ref=simple-sho...)
5) and finally from bonanza site Rockhound_Steve (https://www.bonanza.com/booths/Rockhound_Steve)

The last site purchase was made too recently to judge anything from.

I liked the first interaction with (1), I got a cool laminated ID card for the minerals. First go around w/ new owner (3) was successful and easy for thorianite, but the second inquiry was less satisfying, Michael is BUSY right now. The inventory was not available but still listed for the uranium minerals book. I tentatively asked about when the website might be updated or an actual priority... Think I pissed him off. Just trying to be realistic so I don't bug someone. We are people, life happens, my money doesn't secure the right to be pushy, but I can ask for a better time to check in = said site fixed in maybe 1-5 years :( he has to merge his horde and the purchased flats from minresco and has only one employee, so it's totally understandable, I'm not trying to offer insult at all.

(2) Nuclear scientific was easy peasy, nice vials of rock. It's not much to look at, and your forbidden from messing with the samples chemically refining etc. So some of its a mere curiosity/check source.

(4) etsy purchase from arizona explorations was cool. Some nice bits. I did not care for the shipping method. The samples are fragile and spent some time rubbing on interior of their box = flat spot in an interesting portion of the rock :( also if you don't plan on physically touching your samples... Hahahah, they are taped over each end of box not around circumference of the lid = grit... Grit everywhere, alpha emitting grit, open the parcel out side. Padded envelope, interior plastic envelope, double gang metal outlet box for electrical wiring of a house, nice move. Clunky, but safe.

I'm patiently waiting for the last fellow to ship. man he has some at a great price for the size. Good colors, some banding, numerous types.

Things I've noticed. 1) look at what device they use to claim activities... Huge! A ludlum 3 with 44-9 pancake probe definitely sees more than an GQ GMC-320+ good grief. Aka 20k CPM => ~1k CPM. The last buyer I hit up uses a ludlum 2200 rate meter not sure of the probe.

Everyone basically has you acknowledge your not going to refine or concentrate the natural minerals. So buying to do chem might not be the best thing. Seems like it leaves your tail in the door so to speak. I am adding to the mineral collection, not doing chem with these, but others may seem them for different reasons, be aware of your limitations via residence locale.

Etsy buy from arizona explorations. Came super quick, looks nice, could have been padded a touch better between interior cardboard box and mineral, but I'm happy for sure.
IMG_20210407_193047857.jpg - 2.7MB IMG_20210407_193058937_HDR.jpg - 2.4MB

IMG_20210407_191955632.jpg - 2MB

I also headed out to the fam ranch and tested some shale banks, no love... My uncle was A-OK with the lack of radiation on our property. But I did find a nice calcite crystal in with cruddy ones and some weird tube concretions, was fun. My son spent the time beating up the ground/rocks and banks with a stick. We had fun.

IMG_20210409_234831458~2.jpg - 197kB IMG_20210404_165819295_HDR.jpg - 5MB
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[*] posted on 12-4-2021 at 11:14


Very nice!! I’ve been searching for some radioactive rocks here in the Ottawa, Canada area and let me tell you.... there ain’t much!

I just ordered a SBT-11 tube for my GMC-320 counter and am looking forward to seeing if the higher sensitivity tube changes anything at all... gotta love COVID boredom purchases :D

Speaking of calcite... I found this enormous crystal that tumbled out from the wall of a gravel quarry years and years ago..



1416535B-2073-4668-BFF9-E2FB11878E3C.jpeg - 92kB

[Edited on 12-4-2021 by Mailinmypocket]




Note to self: Tare the damned flask.
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[*] posted on 14-4-2021 at 10:25


SBT-11 NICE! That sounds fun and should be a direct plug and play if memory serves. I saw something on the GQ forum about being careful not to saturate the big counters on small machines or something. Because they are more sensitive, it's easier to max it out for the counter. 320+ has a lower count rate limit than the GM tube. Hope you can get some readings off low level stuff more favorably showing up off fertilizer or granite. My 320+ didn't see anything sp cual about counter tops. It's all stated here, better than I can remember. https://www.gqelectronicsllc.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40...

I look forward to seeing it all assembled and clicking away :)

What a chunky crystal! Beautiful! It just fell out and laid at the bottom of the gravel pit? Woulda though it's nice enough for a trucker to snag. Ours are MUCH smaller. Sometimes clear-ish but this is the first real clear guy I've found. Maybe 1/16" though. The frosty ones often fluoresce orange/salmon/pink color and on occasion yellow. A big slab of it can be flashed with a flashlight to write, it fades fast though. Almost immediately. Looking forward to going out there again soon.

I've several GM tubes ordered back in February that haven't shown up yet. From GSTube.com outta ukraine I believe. Got high centered on March 8th no check in since. Mailed the seller and he's writing an email to see what's going on. So that project(s) will have to wait. Been destin my the pcb from a schematic online for my own clicker see if it can work.

My covid boredom purchases are gonna get me in trouble. I don't have any more science budget for a while now. A WHILE. Purchased a Si-8b GM tube from seller on bonanza ... Attached to a ludlum 3... what comes with 4 lbs of minerals too...

And all because I almost bought a thermal camera (man toy) I've been wanting for years, that was on sale, but the price approached that of an actual tool. I could see that thing never getting used.

Turns out one of the sellers I bought from was/is a federal employee, trained to use a geiger counter for DHS. He had some good information on the do's and don'ts. Make yellow cake sure, not a problem. Affect any change in the isotopic balance is felony. Leaching minerals for natural uranium all peachy. Taking a purchased certified disc source, break open and add to another disk source is felony. General chem ok, critical mass not. It all stands to reason. Good thing I don't plan on selling or shipping these minerals, the postage has some nuances. Contact robert from arizona explorations, he's a knowledgeable fellow. Plus, I'm sure he could use the business. We've exchanged a few emails and he's on the level.

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[*] posted on 18-4-2021 at 07:48


I'm excited to see how the GMC-320 responds to the new tube. It left the Ukraine a couple days ago so pretty soon we should get an idea of how it all comes together. The idea will be to have a wired probe so building an enclosure and connecting everything together might be a challenge since I have no 3D printer or soldering skills (both of which would make the task much easier) but oh well. At least I don't need to mess with the voltage or add resistors or anything like that. I'll update the GQ thread you quoted above (I'm actually "Radioman" over there!) since I'm not sure it's a totally relevant post for this thread.

The quarry is in a forest and the calcite crystals (there were many, mostly kiwi to baseball sized clear crystals) were in a layer of sand at the edge of the quarry, directly underneath the forest floor layer of organic material, it was very strange to find them just suspended in the sand...Too bad it's all fenced in with security people there. Back in the day it was less of a big operation and you could just walk in after hours and snoop around :(

Hopefully those tubes turn up or the seller can at least send more! A Ludlum 3, lucky!

A smaller member of the quarry calcite family:

DBCF3E2B-A847-48C0-88B4-B217D591595F.jpeg - 89kB

[Edited on 18-4-2021 by Mailinmypocket]




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