Pocket Geiger Detector

A simple, compact geiger detector with rechargeable lithium battery

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When I discovered that decent geiger tubes could be purchased on ebay for only $20 CAD, I knew I had to make a geiger detector. I researched some high-voltage power supply designs and built my own regulated supply. I experimented with a few different configurations to find the solution that consumed the least amount of power.

In the end I settled on a design that is mostly made with inexpensive, common parts. The current consumption is 29mA at 4.2V, approximately 130mW. This is very reasonable and allows the 18650 lithium battery to power the device for a few days.

The operation of the device is very basic. Each event detected by the geiger tube is indicated by a click of a speaker and a flash of an LED.

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Tony wrote 05/27/2019 at 17:13 point

do you have a list of components?

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logan1691987 wrote 12/06/2016 at 09:03 point

Hello Adam, 

Could you detect radon with your device?

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Adam Oakley wrote 01/04/2017 at 21:10 point

Sorry for the late reply - I never got a notification about your message.

I don't think this device could be used to detect radon for a couple reasons. The geiger tube I used (STS-5) is mostly sensitive to high energy gamma and beta radiation, not alpha radiation which is what radon produces. Alpha radiation is also unable to penetrate the metal casing of my device. 

Another issue with the sensitivity of the geiger tube I use is that the count rate from background radiation is about 20 counts per minute. If you were to put the device in a higher radiation field giving 30 counts per minute, it would be hard to notice the difference just by ear. This device is better for directly measuring stronger radiation sources. 

Of course, this circuit could be used with a superior geiger tube in which case you could measure weaker fields more accurately. 

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