Geiger Kit - GK-Plus

The GK-Plus




The GK-Plus is a more 
deluxe kit that combines the functionality of the standard Geiger kit (GK-B5) with the Logging Shield, 
and uses a color graphic display and larger processor.






Hardware Features:

(click pictures for a larger image)
https://sites.google.com/site/diygeigercounter/geiger-kit-plus/GK+%20Done2.JPG

Some of the main hardware features of the GK-Plus:

- The board 
uses an ATmega1284P MCU with 4x the program space of the standard kit.
 - 
128x160 1.8” TFT color graphic display is used.
- Improved components provide >1000V max HV.
- SD card, GPS, IR remote, and clock features from Logging Shield kit are supported.
- The HV, click, and processor areas are separated, and have their own ground planes.
- All I/O pins broken out. The board can be used as a 1284 development platform.
- Space left to replace the voltage regulator with a buck/boost reg for more power options.

 
    
https://sites.google.com/site/diygeigercounter/geiger-kit-plus/GK+%20Brd%20+%20DI%20-1%20.JPG
https://sites.google.com/site/diygeigercounter/geiger-kit-plus/GK+%20TFT%20+%20DI%20-%202%20.JPG


The 3.3V display can be wired using a small level shifter board which is included with the kit. This board plugs into the first 11 pins on the main board and the display and SD card are wired to it.

 When the GK-Plus is put in a case, this is the method you will probably use.




https://sites.google.com/site/diygeigercounter/geiger-kit-plus/GK+%20Disp%20Bd.JPG


Another way to attach the display is with the optional "Display Adapter" pictured on the left. This board plugs into the main board, and the display plugs into it. (The display can also be soldered into it.)

The Display Adapter also includes the switches and buttons supported by the new SW on the board.

This makes for “instant gratification” J




https://sites.google.com/site/diygeigercounter/geiger-kit-plus/GkPlus%20Assm.JPG

With the optional Display Adapter mated to the main board, the unit looks like the (bad) picture on the left.

If you are going to put the counter in a case, and supply your own controls, you may not want the Display Adapter.

The controls on the Display Adapter board, or those that can be put on the case are: 

Select Button – Depending on when used; sets the alarm threshold, switches display to the scaler screen, silences the alarm for 30 seconds. 
Log Button - Used to manually log an entry to the SD card and serial output.
Null Button – Sets a new baseline when in "Tone Mode" where clicks are replaced by a tone which varies in pitch based on the CPM.
Speaker Switch - This switch just silences the speaker.
Tube Switch – Selects one of the two different CPM to dose ratios set in the menu.
Click / Tone Jumper - Selects either click sound or Tone Mode.
Count LED - Flashes for each event. On the Display Adapter this is just an extension of the LED on the main board.
Status LED - Flashes 4 times at start up, 2 times when sending serial output, and once when logging to the SD card.
Alarm - A piezo "buzzer" that sounds when you exceed the alarm threshold. 

A 128MB SD card is now included with the Display Adapter.


Software Features:

The extra program space and graphic display allowed for new features to be added in addition to those of the GK-B5 kit with the Logging Shield. It also allows all features to be configured through the setup menu rather than recompiling and uploading the modified software. 

https://sites.google.com/site/diygeigercounter/geiger-kit-plus/GK%20Screen.JPG
https://sites.google.com/site/diygeigercounter/geiger-kit-plus/Scaler%20screen%202.JPG

Main screen at far left.

Scaler screen at right. Note that 1 minute count on top has finished, and 10 minute count below is still in progress.




 A brief list of software features . . .
  • a graph on the main screen shows last 13 minutes of activity and can be set to auto-resize based on peak or avg.
  • status "LEDs" indicate logging, scaler mode on, and alarm on
  • new dose type – xBg shows the percent of average background set
  • Max CPM, speed and altitude (if GPS used), low battery and other info are shown on the "status line"
  • 3 choices for color scheme of the main screen
  • bargraph on the bottom of the screen also shows activity and is very responsive
  • Scaler screen shows two scaler periods. Second scaler period length set by menu.
  • logging to SD card and serial output

 A TV remote (supplied) is used to navigate the menu system. Other features can be briefly described by listing some of the menu options . . .

  • SCREEN ORIENTATION – screen and text adjust for 4 positions – portrait or landscape· 
  • DISPLAY SCHEME – set 1 of 3. (If you can upload a new sketch, it’s easy to change one to your own tastes.)
  • BRIGHTNESS - Adjust the backlight brightness
  • GRAPH SCALE MODE - two "Auto" modes allow the graph to update its range based on the max peak or average.
  • BACKGROUND CPM - the average background rate you enter is used if the DOSE UNIT is set to “xBg”.
  • TIME SETTINGS – set time and date if not using a GPS also Auto DST and various time date, formats and metric or imperial units
  • GPS MODULE – choice of one of the four supported GPS module types (EM-406a/411/506, U-blox 6, Adafruit MTK3339, SkyTraq ST22)
  • DISP PERIOD, SD CARD LOG PERIOD, SERIAL LOG PERIOD, SCALER PERIOD – settable
  • CPM->(unit), ALARM THRESHOLD, BARGRAPH MAX CPM, TONE SENSITIVITY - settable
You will find more information on GK-Plus features in the GK-Plus Users Guide - see below

and here's a short video (sound later in video)  . . .

(atomic.dave is selling the GK-Plus assembled and in a case. He has some videos here and here.)

Pros and Cons - GK-Plus vs. GK-B5

  • The cost of the GK-Plus kit is more than the GK-B5.
  • The GK-Plus draws more current due to its display – ~65mA (if no GPS)  vs. ~36mA for the GK-B5 (no GPS).
  • The GK-B5 is easier to read in bright sunlight.
  • The GK-Plus has more software features due to its larger processor and graphic display.
  • If you want the logging and GPS features consider the GK-Plus. If not, the choice is more difficult.
  • The GK-Plus requires a bit of surface mount soldering. The GK-B5 does not.
  • The GK-Plus is a bit larger than the GK-B5 - 5x10 cm vs 4.7x9.14 cm

 What's included / Availability

  • The GK-Plus kit will contain all parts needed to build the base board and a small level shifter board that goes between the I/O pins and the TFT Display
  • The 1.8” TFT display is included. A mini-remote is also provided.
  • The Display Adapter board is sold separately.
  • The SD card, GPS module, and GM tube are not included.
  • A case, power source, and buttons and switches are also not provided. 
  • A USB to serial adapter is needed if you want to interface the kit with a PC. See the GK-B5 Software page.
  • The GK-Plus and Display Adapter kits are available on the Buy the Kit page.

  • Please note: This kit is not recommend this kit for those who do not have experience in building electronic projects.


Build Instructions and User Guide:
See the GK-Plus Downloads page for links to the appropriate Build Instructions and User Guide for your kit.


Note:
THIS DEVICE AND IT'S MEASUREMENTS IS NOT INTENDED TO GUIDE ACTIONS TO TAKE, OR NOT
 TO TAKE, 
REGARDING EXPOSURE TO RADIATION. THE GEIGER KIT AND IT'S SOFTWARE ARE FOR 
EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. 
DO NOT RELY ON THEM IN HAZARDOUS SITUATIONS!

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