[aprssig] APRS Radiation sensor

Lee Mushel herbert3 at centurytel.net
Thu Mar 24 14:36:55 EDT 2011

Well, Al, I suspect a scintillation counter will be more expensive that most 
hams would want to consider!   I did find out that those old crystals in the 
scintillation counters have a very definite life and if you are remembering 
from the 50's as I am I was warned that they would have to be replaced. 
This from the same guy who converted my 22 and 67 volt batteries to C and D 


Lee  K9WRU
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Al Wolfe" <alw.k9si at gmail.com>
To: <aprssig at tapr.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:53 AM
Subject: Re: [aprssig] APRS Radiation sensor

> 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.
> 73,
> 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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