Geiger Kits provide the electronics needed to run, and detect events from a GM tube. The events are counted and displayed as CPM and dose rate by a microprocessor running pre-loaded software. Counts can also be output to a PC via a serial connection.
Assembly requires moderately good soldering skills, and the ability to read and follow the Build Instructions supplied. Geiger Kits are not an "instant Geiger counter" ready for field use. They do not include a GM tube, battery, case and the switches and buttons you may wish to put on a case. These you must supply on your own. However, with these additions they are a fully functioning Geiger counter.
The kits will work with GM tubes that require high voltage in the range of 350-940V (which is most tubes.). For a list of tubes that have been successfully used with the kit, see GM Tube Info.
The GK-B5 and GKmini kits use an ATmega328P. The GK-Plus kit uses a larger ATmega1284P. All have all pins broken out and an FTDI connector that will allow it to be programmed with the Arduino IDE if desired. The GK-B5 and GK-Plus have a jumper connects the microprocessor to the interrupt from the Geiger circuit, so basically they are a standalone Arduino compatible. See the Software page for more info.
Check out the Gallery of finished kits to see what others have done with this kit.
If "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" then I am truly flattered! But I should first define what I call a knock-off (clone is another word).
From the beginning, the software I've written for the kit is open source, and the circuit is thoroughly defined. I did this thinking that people who wanted to build their own could reference what I have. Of course there were some who just wanted to sell a kit, and I expected they would build on my ideas by adding their own ideas and create something new and different. This has happened in a few cases. However, there are some who apparently just want to "cash in" by taking the design, software, hardware and even the documentation and the name, and adding little if anything to the project. These, I call "knock-offs" or more politely "clones". If you want to see a fun video on this subject check out EEVblog #333 - Unwritten Rules of OSHW.
Have you been reading "Sour Grapes" ? Honestly, not really - that's just the way it is. Should you buy a clone? Of course that's up to you. My only advice is that you consider the differences. Looking at what is here should help you make the best choice. I should be the last person on earth to point them out, but if you'd like my opinion on a particular point, let me know. No matter what, enjoy your Geiger counter. They are surprisingly interesting.
Types of Kits Available:
For many years only one model of Geiger Kit was available - the GK-B5. Now other models are available; the GK-Plus a more advanced kit, and the GKmini a simpler and smaller kit. In addition there are two add-on kits that provide connection to the internet. Each has their own page and description available from the sidebar on the left. Below is a snapshot of each.
(Click images to open them full screen.)
There are more details and videos on the Geiger Kit - GK-B5 page.
Geiger Kit GK-Plus
The GK-Plus provides all the features of the GK-B5 along with a graphic display, SD card, clock, GPS support, and a more powerful processor.
This kit uses one surface mount part that is not too difficult to solder. The SD card, GPS module, and GM tube are not included.
There are more details and videos on the Geiger Kit - GK-Plus page.
Geiger Kit GK-mini
This is a new, smaller version of the GK-B5 kit, with fewer components that is faster to build. However it provides virtually all the functionality of the GK-B5. The GK-mini uses an Arduino Pro-mini compatible processor on a plug-in board.
There are more details on the Geiger Kit - GK-mini page.
This is a new kit (available Nov. 9, 2015) that attaches to the serial port on any Geiger Kit. It reads the output, and sends it to monitoring and IOT websites like Radmon.org, Sparkfun, and ThingSpeak. This is an ESP8266 based kit that uses WiFi to connect to your network.
There are more details on the Connect Kit to Internet page.
This kit is another way to attach your Geiger Kit to monitoring and IOT websites like Radmon.org, Sparkfun, and Xively. It also reads the serial output from the kit, but connects to the network but with an Ethernet cable. It uses an ATmega386 for processing and either a WIZnet or ENC28J60 Ethernet module for its Ethernet connection. (The Ethernet module is not included.)