This one is all my friends fault. He gave me a little EMCO Q series high voltage power supply. This is a truly beautiful piece. About the size of a Bouillon cube. Sadly I priced them for this project and you pay dearly for such a refined piece, to the tune of just shy of $150 a pop. Urg. My goal is for this to be affordable. So, I did some eBay surfing and came up with the following..
100 UV LED's for under $3 - Note these may not be the correct wavelength to excite uranium glass. Have to gamble $3 and find out.
5 little Geiger tubes for $15. These are not sensitive, you would have to put the probe close to something you scope out by eye.
A power supply that is not too big that can crank out ~400V for the above tubes for $4.25 a pop. Not as inexpensive as I would like, but it beats $150 a pop for the EMCO units, though they win hands down in cuteness.
I am going to need a few little buck power supplies, one for driving the LED's, one for the Geiger tube, and one for charging the battery. I hope to use a single 18650 for the thing. I have used these before and like them and at 10 for under $4, what's not to love?
And, just to add a touch of elegance to the thing, lets make it charge wirelessly, that adds $10 to it but greatly extends the cool factor:
I figure there will be a bunch of 3D printed pieces, and some small components.
My goal is to make this like a flashlight. The diameter would be set by the wireless chargers receiving coil at about 2". The body would have two push buttons on it, one to turn on the UV LED's and one to turn on the HV to the Geiger tube. The front would have an aluminum foil lined parabolic reflector for the LED's and in line with the front, the Geiger tube. Think of a Geiger counter probe with LED's on the front of it. And a 3.5mm jack on the back to plug headphones into for the Geiger counter. My initial plan would be to use a cap to couple the tube to the phones. Nothing fancy. This is just for seeing if something is hot, not qualifying it.
I am still swishing this around in my head. All thoughts and ideas are welcome.