This page provides links to downloading the software for the GK-B5 kit. and also describes uploading new software.
DIY Geiger invests a lot time and resources, not only in providing this open source code, but in its documentation.
Please support it by considering the original DIY Geiger Kit on this site, rather than knock-off versions that link to this page.
Changing the Software If you're familiar with Arduino then you probably know all of this.
The program ("sketch") that is pre-loaded on the Geiger kit's microprocessor has evolved to provide good functionality for most users. However, you may want to load the latest software on your kit, or even enhance or modify the default sketch.
The software is based on the Arduino. This is a development environment for microprocessors. The Arduino environment makes it easy to program the Atmega328 microprocessor that is on the Geiger board. It includes an "IDE" that lets you write, compile and upload your code to the chip from your computer. Best of all, the whole thing is free, open source. You will find tons of information on this, but you should start here.
I have made step by step instructions on installing the Arduino IDE and uploading new software on the GK-B5 kit. You can get it here.
USB to Serial Adapter (aka FTDI cable):
The connection between your computer and the Geiger kit is made through a USB to serial adapter (dongle). These are sometimes referred to as an "FTDI cable or board". One end plugs into USB on your computer and the other end plugs into the FTDI connector on the kit. On the computer side it makes a virtual serial port, and on the kit side, it's TTL level serial. Drivers must be loaded for your OS. On Windows they are generally installed automatically.
These adapters allow you to do two things:
There are a lot places to get these. Sparkfun makes a popular FTDI board (my preference). If you want a very low cost board, this one on eBay works for me. Strangely, it uses uses a male header, and the pins are reversed so it must be connected upside down or with a 1:1 cable with a twist in it. However compared to others on ebay it uses an FTDI chip (instead of the CP2102) and there are Tx & Rx activity LEDS . I've made a connection diagram for that particular board here. [10/31/14] I just heard that there are counterfeit FTDI chips. The FTDI board on eBay linked here may have one. FTDI drivers newer than version 2.10 will not work with non-genuine FTDI chips. If v2.12 is installed non-genuine chips will no longer work - even if you version down to v2.10. FTDI drivers (old and new) can be downloaded here.
Note: When you use a USB to serial device that also supplies power to the board, it's not a good idea to also power the board with batteries at the same time. I've made this mistake often with no apparent harm, but normally, I just plug the cable in with the battery disconnected and it powers the board.
Geiger Kit Customers: If you want to upgrade to the v11.0 software and above, and you'd like to use the mini-remote supported by this version, you can get the remote here. If you are in the US you can also get one faster through me. Just write for information.
Previous versions of the Geiger kit software may be found on the Archive Page.
Geiger Kit PC Setup Tool - loading this sketch will allow you to set the menu options using the serial monitor screen in the Arduino IDE instead of a TV Remote.
User Contributed Versions
These are sketches that were created by some of the users of the Geiger Kit. They can be loaded as an alternative to the default sketch. I do not support them in any way. They are also based on older versions of the software and have less features.
Andrei Komarov's "ZX Counter" (3/10/13)Among other features it provides:
Kobayashi-san's sketch (5/8/12):
Near the end of the Gallery page is a description of a sketch contributed by Kobayashi-san. He re-wrote most of the default sketch and has added 4 screens selected by a push button. He is happy to share his sketch and you can download the english version here. You may need to download the new MsTimer2 lib he mentions in the header. [6/6/12 Please note, I have changed some "ints" to "unsigned longs" so counts won't roll over at > 32767. I have also updated it for the Rel 1.0.1 IDE].
This is about as far as I'd like to go regarding the subject of software. My sense is, that for some, the Geiger board may be an introduction into the whole world of microprocessors. I am truly happy about this, but if you need answers to questions about programming, adding new devices (WiFi, SD cards, etc.), and the like, your best bet is to use the Arduino forum.
Finally my apologies to the AVR Freaks out there, many of whom are sick about hearing about Arduino. (Although you're too smart to be reading this far anyway!) Just to say there are other ways to work with the Atmega328 on the Geiger board besides Arduino.
Here's a really old video that shows communication between the Geiger board and the computer . . .