RadMon Monitoring Kits

RadMon - Radiation Monitoring Kits:
Please Note: These are not a traditional Geiger counters. There is no speaker for clicks, and fresh counts are displayed at five second intervals .Sleep mode can be turned off for continuous operation, but in general, the GK-RadMon kits are designed as a stationary monitors that send their data to IOT sites. 
                  RadMon (basic)                                                 RadMon Plus
RadMon kits are dedicated to radiation monitoring. Unlike a typical Geiger counter, they are designed to continuously report their readings to free monitoring and IOT sites via your home WiFi network. They are generally used from a stationary outdoor location. 
These kits are based on the ESP8266 which provide the microprocessor and the WiFi connectivity. It's likely that these are the first kits to use this architecture for Geiger counters.
The kits connect directly to your GM tube and drive it with between 360 to 1000V. At a minimum they capture CPM, uSv/h and WiFi signal strength (RSSI) for transmission. They will also capture weather data if an optional sensor is used. (see below)

After collecting the data, the kits connect to your WiFi network and send the data to the monitoring and IOT sites that you specify. The software provides support to connect to any or all of - Radmon.org, Sparkfun, and ThingSpeak . (These sites are also described on this page.)

A count and sleep cycle keeps power usage to a minimum. During the count cycle HV is supplied to the tube and events are counted. At the end of the cycle the kit connects to WiFi and sends its readings.
Following the transmission, the GK-RadMon will enter sleep mode. The power demand drops sharply. At the end of the sleep cycle the GK-RadMon wakes up and repeats the cycles.

Solar powered . . .
With the addition of good solar cell, charger and battery, powering the RadMon only with solar power works quite well. With WiFi connectivity, this makes for a totally wireless platform. I have been running these on solar power for some time with very good results. The Build and User guides (linked below) provide the power budget and a solar powered example for each kit type. Please note however, that I can't guarantee everyone's results due to the various solar components that could be used. 

RadMon basic vs. RadMon Plus:

Everything mentioned above is common to both the RadMon basic and the RadMon Plus kits. So what is the difference?
Generally speaking, the RadMon basic kit is a lower priced kit that requires the user to configure the network and IOT site credentials within the software. This is done using the Arduino IDE. Complete instructions are provided for this, but familiarity with Arduino is highly recommended.
On the other hand, the RadMon Plus is configured with your web browser on your phone or notebook. (The RadMon Plus becomes an Access Point on your WiFi network.) The software is preloaded and does not need to be modified.
Other differences between the two are mainly the PCB used and options. The table below points out most of these, but if you are uncertain it's best to look at the Build and User Guide (below) for each.
 Feature RadMon basic RadMon Plus
 Configuration Parameters are set in the source code and uploaded.
(Requires Arduino IDE with the ESP8266 core.)
 Setup through your web browser - no programming required.
 PCB Smaller -  2.95” x 1.95” (~ 7.5 x 5 cm) - yellow
(Designed for a 85x58x33 mm waterproof case.)
I/O, aux pwr, and I2C display headers provided.
 Larger -  ~4" x 3" (~10.2 x 7.6 cm) - black
(Designed for a 115x90x55 mm waterproof case.)
I/O, aux pwr, and 3x I2C display and sensor headers provided.
 OLED Display Option ($6) - mounts above ESP8266. Included - dedicated mounting. 
Optional sensors supported HDC1008 or DHT22 - temp & humidity
(future versions may support the BME280)
 BME280 - temp, humidity, pressure (available on eBay)
 Build and User Guide RadMon Build and User GuideRadMon+ Build and User Guide
 Price $34 or $40 with OLED $49 with OLED

Other features . . .
  • When counting, the LED flashes and counts are displayed on the OLED if one is present. This provides a snapshot of the current readings every 5 seconds, and a final screen showing the data sent and which sites it was sent to.
  • Two pushbuttons are used to put the kit in HV adjust mode, configuration mode (RadMon Plus) and programming mode (RadMon basic). In HV adjust mode the high voltage is set with a pot and the voltage is shown on the display (and serial output).
  • A carrier board is used to hold the ESP8266 for ease of replacement, and all common I/O pins are broken out.

Like the GK-WiFi and GK-Net, RadMon data can be displayed in Google Charts after it has been sent to either the ThingSpeak or the Sparkfun site for collection. A simple HTML page can be run from your PC or it can be put on a web site so you can see your data from 
You can see live data from my RadMon Plus solar powered system here.

If you have a (free) Google Site you can also add Google Charts to your pages. They will get the data from your ThingSpeak feed. See the Example Data page for more information on this. 

Purchasing the RadMon basic kit:
  • The kit includes the ESP8266, carrier board, and all parts needed to make the board shown in the top left picture above. 
  • The temperature / humidity sensor, GM tube, battery, case, and solar components are not supplied.
  • An OLED display can be purchased along with the kit as an option.
  • The RadMon basic kit requires that you be prepared to upload your modified sketch to the ESP8266 with the Arduino IDE after you have added your network and site credentials. Step by step instructions for this are provided in the Build Instructions, but I do not recommend this kit to those with no programming experience.
  • Kits are available for purchase on the "Buy the Kit" page.
The Build Instructions and User Guide for the current v1.4x board are here.
(Build Instructions and User Guide for the previous v1.1 board are here.)

Purchasing the RadMon Plus kit:
  • The kit includes the ESP8266, carrier board, and all parts needed to make the board shown in the top right picture above. 
  • The BME280, GM tube, battery, case, and solar components are not supplied.
  • An OLED display is included with the kit.
  • Although the RadMon Plus is in use in severial locations, it is a relatively new design. Therefore I am being cautious and prefer that international customers have familiarity with the Arduino IDE.
  • Kits are available for purchase on the "Buy the Kit" page.
 The Build Instructions and User Guide for the current v2.1 board are here.