Existing attempts by others

A project log for Chymes

Cheap, nondestructive atomic analysis in real time.

A. M. AitkenA. M. Aitken 05/30/2016 at 13:590 Comments

I've tried to read everything I can find about other peoples attempts to do X-ray/Gamma spectroscopy with diode detectors in the hope of building on them and avoiding any pitfalls they found in the process. Clearly this is going to make me sound high handed and a jerk but there is very little firm ground to stand on.

This work is really inspiring. When I first saw this page in about 2011 it changed my view about silicon detectors and what it might be possible to do at home. The claim they've made in some descriptions of the circuit is a complete spectrometer for 20 euros. This isn't that. They made a preamplifier and a shaper and then attached them to what looks like tens of thousands of dollars of back end equipment. There is a version in English and Polish, they both describe the construction of the same circuit and the results are completely different. After spending a lot of time reading through everything I could find on this project it seems they built more than one version. Neither has a full circuit diagram, but enough information is given to put together the first low performance version after pixel peeping details from the photos and the simple but more expensive high performance preamp is documented well.

Fantastic dedicated attempt. This is amazingly documented, the theory is spot on, great presentation and everything my project aspires to be except that it appears not to work. I am a little confused by his shaper chain, but the issue is that he has misunderstood what is possible with the X100-7 sensor. Frustratingly he also seems to understand the physics behind the sensor but he is pointing to and labeling shapes in the noise that may or may not be real. Radiation Meter.pdf

Second version of a radiation meter published in Elektor which has very strange looking results.