Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Ebay DIY Geiger Counter Kit
TheNerdyFarmer
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 130
Registered: 30-9-2016
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 16:07
Ebay DIY Geiger Counter Kit


Not sure if this belongs in the Technochemistry or Radiochemistry tab but here goes.
I have had an interest in chemistry for quite some time now but lately I have a new found interest in the chemistry of radioactive materials. It started when i read about different household things that have radioactive isotopes in them. (Smoke detectors, radium clocks, uranium glass, ect.) Anyway, I have had a delightful time reading and slowly collecting things that are thought to be radioactive. I say "thought to be" because I can't actually prove that they are radioactive because I don' t have a geiger counter.
Which brings me to the whole point of this thread. Considering this interest has not just come and gone like others before it, i would like to purchase a gieger counter. But unfortunately am a teen that has a quite limited budget for science and don't think I can afford a commercial one.
However I did find a "DIY" kit that (if soldered and put together correctly) looks like it could compete with the larger brands like ludlum and international. The kit without any GM tube or power source is $96 (w/Display adapter). It claims to be gps ready and can have SD card logging. It also has a universal wireless remote to go with it (would probably add buttons to the actual counter though) The geiger tube I planned on using is a Russian SI-8B pancake GM tube. As you can see, I would like to detect alpha particles as well. I will also likely use a polulu voltage regulator so i can use higher voltage LiPo batteries as a power supply. This will probably wind up in the $150-$175 dollar range. But it is much cheaper that the 300-500 dollar counters.
I was wondering if you all have had any experience with this kit or if you think this would be a good idea to purchase it. I am reasonably good at soldering and have some experience in putting together electronics projects. Thanks in advance for the advice. I look forward to hearing what you all have to say. :)

Geiger Counter Kit:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/DIY-Geiger-Counter-Kit-Plus-Color-gr...

SI-8B Geiger Pancake Probe:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SI8B-Ci-8B-Pancake-Geiger-Counter-Tu...


View user's profile View All Posts By User
Sulaiman
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1998
Registered: 8-2-2015
Location: Behind You
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 22:23


About ten years ago I gave away my SMB-20 based geiger counter to a friend
as after about one month I found that there is actually very little that I could do with it.

Unless you want to go prospecting or follow Marie Curie's work, or expect a nuclear holocaust, a Geiger counter is not as much use or fun as you may imagine.

Then there are the problems of purchasing, shipping and storage.

I suggest that you plan what nuclear experiments you want to do, and consider the benefits of doing those experiments vs. costs and risks.

I used to work in the nuclear industry (Harwell, long ago) so this is not idle speculation/fearmongering, just advice.

If you are in USA I believe that it is a federal offence to remove the Americium from a smoke alarm.
....................
On a lighter note; imagine me, a bearded muslim, going around all of the second-hand shops in town with a Geiger counter looking for radioactive glass etc. with not a single comment from shopkeepers, despite the occasional obvious clicking sounds !?
..................
The only 'nuclear' experiment that fascinated me was making a spinthariscope https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinthariscope,
smoke alarm Americium works well with an activated Zinc sulfide screen.
I bought a ready made screen but I believe that the phosphors from CRTs and fluorescent tubes also work.
................
If you do continue in this field, have a look at scintillation crystals and photomultipliers - for low level detection.






View user's profile View All Posts By User
Harristotle
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 123
Registered: 30-10-2011
Location: Tinkerville
Member Is Offline

Mood: I tink therefore I am

[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 23:48


There isn't much by way of nuclear chemistry you can do, that is true.

I would like to make a geiger, with a pancake detector such as the one you had to see if any Australian native plants bioaccumulate, as the Brazil nuts do.

I would also like to see if there is anything in the seaweed that accumulate iodine.

Getting some scintillant eg NaI/ag doped, or one of the aromatic plastics and doing an energy profile with a photomoltiplier/multi-channel analyser would be good. There were some interesting projects around 5 years ago, but I lost sight of them. Prutchi's website would be a good place to start- and you might like their book "Exploring Quantum Physics through Hands-on Projects"

Cheers,
H
View user's profile View All Posts By User
TheNerdyFarmer
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 130
Registered: 30-9-2016
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 16-7-2017 at 04:55


The main things a plan to use it for are things like uranium ore pospecting/collecting. Testing everyday items. I have some rock samples that are said to be radioactive but I am not entirely sure if that is true. One day I would like to make a fusor and I would like to have a reasonably sensitive counter to monitor the radiation emitted from it. And I,m sure that I could find a few other uses for it along the road but this is what I've got for now.
I have looked into scintillators but they are way too expensive for me to afford right now.
In the future I would maybe like to do some very small scale chemistry experiments with uranium and thorium compounds. Of course, I need to get used to handling and storing radioactive samples first.

[Edited on 16-7-2017 by TheNerdyFarmer]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Subverted
Harmless
*




Posts: 3
Registered: 20-3-2017
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 13:20


Quote: Originally posted by TheNerdyFarmer  

I was wondering if you all have had any experience with this kit or if you think this would be a good idea to purchase it. I am reasonably good at soldering and have some experience in putting together electronics projects. Thanks in advance for the advice. I look forward to hearing what you all have to say. :)

I know this thread is a few months old but just in case you are still thinking about this...or for anyone else curious. I have both the kits designed by brohogan and prefer the GK-B5 for checking out rock samples. It could be that I have not found the right settings on the other kit just yet.

He has a great site with info about the kits and especially the tubes you can use: https://sites.google.com/site/diygeigercounter/gm-tubes-supp...

I was also interested in checking out alpha radiation but decided to pick up a SBT-10a type tube instead of the SI-8B. Took awhile to get here (first package got lost) but they are great tubes. Careful though...this stuff gets addictive. A neutron detector is on my project list now, already have the tube but need to build the circuitry.

When I first built my geiger counters I ended up discovering a couple of samples in my mineral collection were radioactive that I had no idea about. One is a specimen of pitchblende from a mystery rock collection that now lives in the garage after I discovered how hot it was (~30k CPM). Dont think the old timer who gave me that box of random stuff even knew it was in there - I sure didnt. Also found out some gold ore I was given is slightly radioactive and the person who owns the mine didnt even know about!

All in all I have found them surprisingly handy to have around but they only get used a couple times a year.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Radium212
Hazard to Self
**




Posts: 85
Registered: 26-6-2017
Member Is Offline

Mood: Pyrophoric.

[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 13:47


I suggest you build one from the following one of the circuits http://www.creative-science.org.uk/geiger.html or purchase an old Soviet Geiger counter for around £70 on eBay (go to Militaria)
View user's profile View All Posts By User
diddi
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 659
Registered: 23-9-2014
Location: Victoria, Australia
Member Is Offline

Mood: Fluorescent

[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 20:36


you can use LW and SW UV to id a lot of uranium minerals. and you will get a more informed indication of the possible mineral species you have by the colours. if you want to swap some minerals i am in australia and have lots. (shameless self promotion)



Beginning construction of periodic table display
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top