[aprssig] APRS Radiation sensor

Al Wolfe alw.k9si at gmail.com
Thu Mar 24 10:53:14 EDT 2011

APRS folks,

    The Geiger Mueller detector is not the only way to detect ionizing 
radiation or necessarily the best way. We might consider some sort of 
scintillation counter that uses the principle of a weak flash of light 
generated when a particle passes through certain media. Then this light 
flash was amplified by a photomultiplier tube in the scintillation counter.

    As I vaguely recall from growing up as a science nerd in the 1950's, the 
scintillation counter was considered the ultimate in radiation detectors for 
field and lab work, costing at least twice what the Geiger counters of the 
time cost. However, the scintillation detector itself could be very 
inexpensive, so much so that they were offered as  premiums in cereal boxes. 
(I remember sitting in a dark closet for hours gazing into one of these 
hoping to see the passing of a cosmic ray.)

    Since photo detectors are far more advanced than they were sixty years 
ago, it seems to me to be an obvious avenue to pursue.

Al, K9SI

P.S:   C.P.M. or counts per minute is a meaningless term without a volume or 
at least an area term. One needs to know is this per cubic centimeter or 
cubic furlong.

> All Geiger counters work on the same principle.  When a particle enters 
> the
> tube it
> ionises the gas and generates a spike.  Counting spikes per minute
> determines the radioactivity rate in CPM and that's what you want to 
> report.

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