This page has pictures and descriptions of completed projects based on the Geiger Kit. It's a way to share ideas.
If you'd like to contribute your project, just send me a photo and any description you'd like to have under it.
Dan's Geiger counter - Besides the great case with probe, Dan used the LND-712 Geiger tube with his kit. The LND-712 has a window to measure alpha radiation. He also incorporated the FTDI board into the case, so that it also outputs to a computer and can be easily reprogrammed.
You don't need to go out and buy one of those pre-made cases! David K and his daughter made this one with a cool probe for the LND 712 out of a retired (plastic) flashlight. Later, (on right) he added a new probe with both the SBM-20 and LND-712. The alpha window for the LND is behind the removable clear plastic disk on the probe. It is undoubtedly the only Lego Geiger Counter in existence!
Talk about evolution! Since building the Lego case above, David has gone on to create a bunch very professional custom enclosures with a completed Geiger kit, GM tube and other goodies inside. Very impressive work.
If you like the functionality of the kit, but want it professionally enclosed, you should check out his current eBay listings at atomic.dave.
George K found this roomy case with a built in battery compartment for 4 AA batteries. It optionally runs on external power.
Note the tiny tube (salvaged from an old dosimeter) that he's using (temporarily). He reports that it's not so good with beta and gamma, but it goes crazy over alpha!
Stefan has successfully used his kit to hunt for Uranium Glass in thrift stores. Switching off the Display and Audio makes his hunting less noticeable.
Running with a SI-1B Tube. Reported working well. Another build from Japan.
If you haven't heard about GeigerBot, this is what it looks like when connected to the Geiger Kit and reading a lantern mantle.
I don't own an iPhone (or even carry a cell!) so I can't give you connection details - or any details for that matter! However I think the connection is pretty straightforward.
What I like about Norm's case is that it's simple and yet very effective.
Daniel's build includes a machined aluminum housing for the LND-7231 GM tube. It's modeled after the housing of the LND-7232. It uses a Serpac enclosure.
I think Yukio's project is a great study on compact layout and design. His counter is fitted into the Takachi LCS135N enclosure.
He uses the two tubes in parallel. He also mentioned that he had success with a "D4345" tube, but I can't find anything on it. It's made by
It's definitely worth checking out the other photos that Tom has of his build - here.
The case he used is from here. I really like how the battery compartment was used to accept the FTDI connector, or a 9V battery.
The 2x8 display keeps the size down. Since the layout changes depending on the reading, all the important information is still provided.
Note how the little breadboard at the end of the PCB was used to hold the contrast pot.
This is a very nice build, and he did it for less than $100.
This is what Ronald put together. The case is from new age enclosures. He used a two STS-5 Russian tubes, an early version of the SBM-20. "The STS-5 gives a readout of around 1600 to 2200 cpm from a mantle, almot comparable to the CDV 700 with a 5979 end window probe which gives me a 3000 cpm or a regular CDV 700 about 2000 cpm. So it's pretty close to being calibrated as the CDV 700 is without the 5979 tube." This is a second revision of this project. L1 and D2 were changed to add 50V to the max.
Completed project by Dan F. Pic on the left shows the Geiger held near a check source. (He got 1080 CPM on contact.)
It uses this case. At ~4.8" on the wide end, it holds the SBM-20 GM tube (and presumably the board) at the top of the case. This leaves plenty of room for batteries and switches in the bottom.
(I'm thinking this might be the perfect case for the logging Geiger I'm working on.)
Gerald used a "mini" 2x16 LCD in his build. This allowed for a narrower case. I found a similar LCD here. They are HD44780 compatible, so no programming changes are needed. (my understanding) However, these displays use a 1mm pitch FPC cable. It's likely you would want to solder wires to this instead of using the rather large FPC connector.
The 3 position slide switch is ON / OFF / QUIET (no piezo). A nice portable counter with a simple interface. And having cut a few square display holes, I can appreciate the workmanship.
This is a Geiger made by Tomy. A pro job for sure. To keep the size down, it's powered by 2xAA NiMH batteries with a 5V boost converter. He gets about 30 hours on the two batteries.
"I have built one Geiger counter with Philips 18504. This tube are built in old army Geiger counter "Rudi Čajevec" model DR-M11b and DR-M3 and in CZK IT-65 (copy of DR-M3).
This tube are the same like LND-712 and has similar specifications. I run it with ratio of 123.14 like LND-712 tube and it works like a charm. This army Geiger counters are cheap and it is Ok to buy if you wont A/B/G detector (cheaper than LND-712)."
"One nice thing. This tube can detect alpha, beta, gamma and NEUTRON (thermal neutron - counter tube should be wrapped in a cadmium foil)."
David K is back from the Dark Side (see Lego case above) with a new case that supports two tubes - LND 712 and the CI-180G. With them, he is getting averages of 40-50 CPM for background. Both tubes are mounted inside with hot glue, with a screen for the LND, and some holes on the bottom for the CI tube. Switches for piezo and power.
Nori sent me a PDF of his work.
Here are his pictures and words . . . .
"I just completed two sets, and would like to share my ideas.
The one on the left uses a SBM-20U in Takachi RG-145B case. It has “SOUND-OFF” and “LCD-LIGHT” OFF switches. The red button is “DISPLAY CHANGE” button. Display 1, 2, and 3 can be selected by pushing this button. D1 shows “Total time” and “Total count.” D2 shows “uSv/h” and “CPM.” D3 shows 10 min count timer mode. This unit operates by 2 AA size batteries, with DC/DC boost circuit, or by AC adaptor (5V DC).
The right side unit uses LND-7317 pan-cake type tube in Takachi SS-160B case. It seems running fine without any modification (no register, no HV change). If someone has any idea about the conversion rate for LND-7317, please share with. In the middle of Japan, at Kofu city, I have about 27 – 35 CPM with this tube. These projects seems never reach to the end, especially, there will be no final version for arduino sketch…"
Dave C made a case for his counter from a counter (top). Amazing work."This case was made from corian counter scraps cut on a CNC router. The radiation symbol lights up with a high brightness red LED with each count (shown upper left). The radiation symbol will also glow in the dark as it is made with clear resin mixed with strontium aluminate long glow powder (shown lower left). Now I can find it in the dark! I put the FTDI connector where it is accessible when the battery cover is removed on the back and the battery taken out. The tube cage on the top exposes the SBM 20 GM tube at front and back."
When I first started selling Geiger kits, I sent my maker friend Florin a V1 board and the critical parts. Despite the brief build instructions, he managed to build it out, and then made this very functional low cost case. Note the "motherboard" idea that connects the Geiger board to the display. He wrote up this build on his blog Wise Time With Arduino which is a source for some very innovative clock kits. (He reviewed the original V1 kit here.)
Picasa album. Definitely worth a look.
This is Marek's build. It uses the SBM-20 which fits nicely in this case (N21GC) from Maplin. The 2x16 display is also from Maplin - order N27AZ.
He took it for a ride on the Shinkinsen RR from Tokyo to Sendai - going through Fukushima along the way.
He made a movie of the radiation readings along this trip, and you can see them increase as he went through Fukushima.
You can watch it here.
Nick used a case from Malpin. Inside is a SBM-20 with is disconnected when and external probe is attached.
He made two external probes - one with an LND 712 and the other is also an alpha tube - the SBT-11 which is a mica topped housing with 4 GM tubes built in.
Geiger Kit with Logging Shield . . .
It's about time I put something in a case!
This is the Geiger Kit with the GPS Logging Shield.
The enclosure is from Adafruit - about perfect, although it's a pretty tight fit. The display is an OLED character display. (It's a little quirky, and it draws more power than a regular LCD, but it's really bright and clear.) The EM-406A GPS mounts on the top of the case. I drilled a small hole that shows the LED on the GPS module which lets me know when I have a fix. The IR detector is also on the top, so I can use a TV remote to set the parameters. The bottom has the on/off switch, (and now a piezo switch) and a slot that allows removal of the microSD card.
There is also a power connector on the bottom. This is not to power the Geiger, but to recharge the batteries. The case only has room for 4 AAA NiMH batteries, so I didn't want to keep opening the case to charge them. When the plug is inserted, the batteries are disconnected from the Geiger, and are attached only to the power plug. The external charger plugs into this connector. A while ago I made a NiMH charger using a MAX712 IC, and I use it to charge the 4 batteries inside the case.
Slots in the bottom of the case expose the SBM-20 GM tube. Inside another piezo goes off when the CPM goes over the alarm point. The logger runs about 8 hours on the 4 AAA NiMH batteries.
The logging shield in a case. Gerald included a NIMH charger inside the case. (I believe this is the circuit he used.) The switch on the back has 3 positions: off - on batteries - on batteries+charge. The front has the IR sensor and 3 LEDs - IR feedback, counts and alarm. He has also made some nice enhancements to the original logging shield sketch - see the Logging Shield page, Downloads, Ver. 4d.
And now for something a little different . . . a Geiger Christmas Tree!
Using parts from the kit and old PCBs, the LEDs on Henrik's tree flash in a sequence determined by the background radiation. The "star" on top is an SI-29BG.
Here's to low counts in the new year.
The 3 way switch on Sam's build selects either 9V power (with reg) or AA power.
The toggle switch to the right will select which of the 2 Geiger counters will be displayed.
The first Geiger counter is the Geiger kit inside the case.
The second Geiger is a Russian DP-5V Geiger counter.
The idea is to capture the clicks from the DP-5V headphone jack and use them to cause the interrupt in the Geiger kits processor.
He's using a SI-180G GM tube. Great for background counts.
Also note the switch that can select 9V or 4xAA battery power.
HAM APRS + GPS interface with the Geiger Kit. Nimit said, he used the case and probe of a CDV 700 and "combined (the) Kit with extra output to AX.25 data network using 144.390 MHz VHF Ham radio for APRS (Automatic Position Report System) so the CPM and Usv will send along with GPS data out on the VHF and the the IGATE will decode the signal then put on the web."
"The main concept came from the Japan disaster (with the) need to inspect the spot, and report position back on the Internet. So I combined (the Kit) with AX.25 library (and) just added one more transistor and Resistor and Capacitor network send to the Mic jack of the Transceiver. It was a concept but I finally turn into the reality, and it worked."
I don't know enough about APRS to comment, but I do know it's a major piece of work. Nimit has a video here.
This is an environment monitor which measures radioactivity, temperature, relative humidity, light and atmospheric pressure.
The base holds the Geiger Kit with the software modified to support the sensors and output the serial data.. It's connected to a Linux server that graphs and logs the data. The power, I2C and other sensor data and the HV runs through the tube to the sensing unit on top. This holds 2 Geiger tubes (SI-29B and SI-12B - Russian pancake) and the other sensors. Project by Johan.
Michael took the Geiger kit to Chernobyl. This picture was taken at a memorial just outside Reactor 4.
In the corner I cut in the reading from another photo taken on the same spot at the same time.
It's 1236 CPM.
(click for more detail)
The Logging Shield in Japan - Akihabara, train station, with cherry blossoms (sakura) at Tama Center. Masataka's build is straightforward and effective. Looks great with cherry blossoms too!
". . .photos of the completed unit with its sensitive SBM-19 probe (top), SBM-20 probe (middle), and a probe based upon a nice, miniature East German thin wall beta/gamma tube (attached to unit) enclosed in a $0.97 Wal-Mart Equate 10-tablet acetomenephin thick wall plastic travel vial that fits the tube like it was made for it. I decided to change the larger probe housings from satin black to the much less sexy appliance epoxy white because I read about possible failures in larger tubes caused by differential expansion of the metal/glass components at high temperatures.
That NOS East German tube for only $22 delivered which took only 10 days after it was shipped to receive :
2.1" length (not including wire leads)
0.625" base flange diameter
The lower of the areal density figures given in his auction (35mg/c^2) is for the sensitive portion of the tube and is virtually the same as much more expensive LND712 (30mg/c^2). Same gas filling, too (no surprise)."
Brian's build uses a SBT-11A GM tube. This Russian alpha tube seems to be getting more popular.
There are both 9V and AA batteries inside. The 9V powers the Geiger Kit and the AA's power the backlight.
If the case looks familiar, it's the Lego case made by David K (AKA atomicDave) near the beginning of this page.
(click for larger image)
Kobayashi-san has done a wonderful job with his kit - both in hardware and software.
Hardware-wise, he used an LDN 7317 GM tube (with a CPM to uSv/h conversion rate of 334.00). 2xAA stepped up to 5V with a boost converter. (He had trouble with extra counts until he put a large cap across it's 5V output.) Note what he did to keep the board low enough to get under the battery compartment.
Software-wise, he re-wrote most of the default sketch and has added 4 screens selected by a push button:
1 Btm line: CPM based on past 60sec
M Top line: uSv/h based on past 10sec (fast response, less accurate)
2 Btm line: CPM based on past 10 sec
M Top line: Elapsed time
3 Btm line: Total count
M Top line: 1st 10 min timer (Displays Count, CPM, uSv/h)
4 Btm line: 2nd 10 min timer (Displays Count, CPM, uSv/h)
He is happy to share his sketch and you can download the english version from the Software page under the section User Contributed.
An excellent build by Ross Overstreet in a SERPAC A-42 enclosure with an LND 712 and SBM-20 in parallel.
"The kit is powered by an 18650 Li-Ion battery with integral overvoltage, undervoltage and overcurrent protection PCB. The undervoltage part is the most critical - without it the little 5V booster would suck the battery all the way down to 0.2V! It would be a one way trip. Some early testing ran the kit for 47.5 hours with
the OLED display & LED active but clicker off".
He added a LiPO charger from Sparkfun and a 5V booster from Pololu. The 2x16 OLED character display is from NKC Electronics, may no longer be available.
(If you do find one, and want to use it, I can help you with the necessary SW changes.)
He modified the default sketch to allow for an alarm when levels reach 200 and 500 CPM.
The label design was created with Adobe Illustrator and can be downloaded here in case others may want to use a similar design. The label was used as a template to cut the holes in the case.
A great looking and very functional build.
Anito's build of the kit + the Logging Shield. He added a DHT22 sensor that measures temperature and humidity. I assume it also logs this tho the micro SD card along with the counts.
He modified the default logging sketch to support that sensor and also a 4 line display. His sketch is compiled with the newest version of the Arduino IDE (1.0.1) and the full package, with the 1.0 libraries is available here. A very nice logging system.
Federico describes his build . . .
"It is actually just a very straight forward casing of the standard circuit, with a blue LCD on top and a Mullard tube with mica window. Rather sensitive to alpha, beta and gamma with the added advantage of being somewhat directional (due to the thick metal wall os the tube).
This comes handy on field when looking for radioactive minerals in a dump full of stones with various degrees of activity."
Balazs holds the record for the last one finish building the older version 2 board :-)
However, he wound up with a nice looking and very functional Geiger.
"I have changed the sketch a little bit. I added a custom micro character, three LEDs that signal the radiation level (pin 13, 12 and 11), pin 10 is for battery check mode ("Running at..." displayed on the second line while the count rate is still on the first line) and pin 9 is to display the 1 and 10 min average count rate and dose rate values ('M' changed to 'min', while 'sec' changed to 's'). I added three switches: one turns on the counter with or without the sound (2 circuit switch); one turns the micro controller on or off; and the last one selects between normal, battery check, and 1/10min average modes.I have the voltage regulator installed so the unit is powered from either a 6V DC external power supply or a 9V battery that fits in the case nicely."
A different case - a case of Matts's cat Sissan being fascinated with the LED on the Geiger Kit. Later it was mounted in true breadboard tradition on a cutting board.
This is Jim's build of the Logging Shield. A probe for the SBM-20 and another for the LND 712. "The enclosure is simply pvc with an aluminum beta shield. There are two slide
switches for sound and led light, and rotary switch for power (I used the rotary switch to keep from turning on accidentally in the field). He will soon modify the software so that the displayed CPM and location will log to the SD card when a button is pushed. This is handy for prospecting.
This beauty was created by Hendrik. "I made it of a old military housing + some plastic and metals which I formed on my cnc. I also posted something about it on my blog and also will release some firmware for a second arduino which i used for logging over ethernet using a Ethernet shield."
Hendrik's blog is here. And it's worth a look - not only to see how fabricated the case, but for the technique and code he used to put the Geiger on his network.
Geiger kit with Logging Shield
Cameron included an LND 712 and a SBM-20 in his build. "The SBM-20 sits facing the bottom of the case just above the battery pack, with the LND-712 on the LHS facing out of the side panel through the modified cable gland. I used some screen door wire to make a poke-proof screen to protect the mica window and for it to look through and the cap to keep crud out as well as block alpha." The switches (labeled later) include a tube select switch, display select, alarm, and backlight. Notice that he didn't install the DIP switch so that the connections to the case switches were easier to make. Really a nice neat job of dependable wiring. Especially considering the amount of connection points involved.
Another kit assembled with a V2 board surfaces! Although this one has probebly been in use for some time. Note the Russian pancake tube. It's identified as a "beta-2". There is some info on it here. We worked out the CPM to uSv/h conversion rate as 432 - pretty sensitive!
It looks like Magnus used the little breadboard on the PCB to get the display wiring straight. It's a one switch unit - just power. "KISS"!
I'll bet a lot of us wish they had this much room to work in when building our case. John added a BNC and made a probe for the SI-29BG.
"The shoemaker needs shoes". For as many Geiger Kits have made, I only have a few that are in a case. And I cheated on this one!
I was lucky enough to get a pre-made enclosure from Atomic.Dave so it was relatively easy to stuff in a board and wire the display.
The button on the side is for setting the alarm and switching to the second display.
As the case was designed for a 2x8 LCD I made a few changes to the v.8 SW for that format.
You can download that version here if you wish.
Peter did use the kit's circuit for this counter and also the default software I modified for the 2x8 display.
He also made an analog counter shown at left.
Vitali interfaced the Geiger Kit to a Russian calculator!
Counts and uSv/hr now appear on the calculator. I'm not sure what the calculator is capable of doing beyond that, but it seems like there are interesting possibilities.
Vitali has a blog that provides more details. It's in Russian but this link will bring it up translated. At the end of his blog there is a link to his source code.
Makes me wonder what could be done with a TI-84 and TI-Connect.
Cool! A printed case for the Geiger Kit!
Stephen printed this case on his 3D printer. It is also featured on Thingiverse - so check that out for more details. He released the files there, so if you want to print your own, you can. This is the future of many things I expect, and I'm proud that the kit was involved in it .
Geiger Kit in Pelican case.
From Tom, "My power source is a CR123A battery, rated at 1500mAh. I've used these before with other Arduino projects and like them a lot. I used a 5v boost voltage regulator from Polou, and I modified the Vcc monitor code in your sketch so that I read battery voltage on ADC input #0 instead of Vcc internally. CR123A's have a pretty flat voltage plateau until near the end when they drop off rapidly, so I just set the LOW_VCC define to be 2000mv which means I'll get a warning an hour or two before the battery dies. I've yet to run down a battery, but I calculate I'll get somewhere around 20-25hrs per battery."
Also notice the plastic window screen attached to the LND-712. A good idea to protect against the dreaded $75 "pop"!
From Mikolaj: "For the lack of a proper enclosure, I put the whole thing in a Ferrero Rocher transparent box. My wife says it now looks like a bomb with all the wires visible through the cover. :) I'm using three tubes, mostly because I like the background clicking sound, and the more the better. Of course I had to correct the CPM to uSv ratio. The rightmost tube is the Russian STS-5, the other two are Polish equivalents from pretty much the same era (BOI-33 on the left, and glass BOB-33A on top). They all have the same parameters, at least they measure the same background."
Yup, nothing you want to put in your carry-on luggage - as are all of these. ;-)
Mikolaj provided a way to display a proper 'mu' character for the microSieverts.
Instead of the string "uSv/hr "
use "\xE4Sv/hr "
xE4 is the hex representation of the 228th character, which is our μ in the LCD character table.
I will use this idea in the next releases of the Geiger Kit software. Thank you.
A build by Stanislav.
The case looks like this Hammond case which is a good way to go to avoid cutting out a square hole for the LCD.
Note the cable going to the laptop.
Ken brought the button for alarm set and scaler display on his case. Using the little 'reset' button really worked out pretty well.
It looks like he also switched the LEDs for count and alarm.
Note the hole on the front of the case to adjust the HV.
The lettering is great, and the screen around the SBM-20 GM tube is pretty amazing too.
Just a shot of Ray's 195mm (7.5") SBM-19 GM tube connected to the kit. He gets background readings that vary between 60 and 110 CBM (indoors at sea level) and 3000 CPM with Thorium-Uranium ore near the tube.
There's nothing like an OLED display.
It used to be that they were tricky to get working right, but Tinoco found a library from Adafruit that replaces the LiquidCrystal library.
I'm not sure where this particular display came from but Adafruit also sells one. They're not cheap, but they are nice.
Brian Gauge is making some nice probes from LED flashlights.The small one houses am LND-712. It's inset into a fat washer which fit inside a rear screw cap over a bathroom faucet. The large one will house a skinny PMT and scint crystal.
I don't know what to say besides wow! This is a build by Wil.
He describes it as follows:
The unit uses a v4 PCB and has the following selectable capabilities:
1. Data display mode switch
2. Internal or external probe/GM tube
3. Internal or (conditioned) external MCU interrupt pulse
4. Front GM tube (RFT MKD VA-Z-115.1) or side GM tube (SBM-20) with beta ports in enclosure
5. CPU and interrupts on/off
6. LCD backlight on/off
7. Audio on/off
Power comes from four AA Eneloop NiMH cells. Audio element is a 1.25" diameter piezo "bender" RTVed onto case behind hole in top of case. Handle is from a CDV-715. Black enclosure painted Ludlum beige. Planned addition is a 5VDC external power input jack.
More on the Gallery II page . . .