In one of our previous tutorials, we examined the development of a DIY-Geiger Counter showing the efforts of “Instructable” user Prabhat who combined the ESP8266 with a touch screen display to create a truly intuitive version of his Geiger Counter. He recently created an updated version and today’s tutorial will focus on how this new version of the Geiger Counter can be replicated.
The Geiger counter is an instrument used for detecting and measuring ionizing radiation. It is one of the worlds best-known radiation detection instrument as it can be used to detect ionizing radiation such as alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays and its is usually used as a handheld radiation survey instrument, warning users when in the region of dangerous ambient radiation levels with an all-too-familiar clicking noise.
While this project retains some of the features from the first version, like the use of the ESP8266 and a touchscreen interface, rather than just implementing the detection of radiation levels like the first version, it combines a Geiger counter, a dosimeter, and a radiation monitoring together in a single package that is 50% less thick, and with loads of new software features! Some of the new features include:
- A more intuitive GUI
- Displays counts per minute, current dose, and accumulated dose on the home screen
- Sensitive and reliable SBM-20 Geiger-Muller tube
- Variable integration time for averaging dose rate
- Timed count mode for measuring low doses
- Users can choose between Sieverts and Rems as the units for the displayed dose rate
- User-adjustable alert threshold
- Adjustable calibration to relate CPM to dose rate for various isotopes
- Offline data logging
- Post bulk-logged data to a cloud service (ThingSpeak) to graph, analyze and/or save to computer
- Monitoring Station mode: device stays connected to WiFi and regularly posts ambient radiation level to ThingSpeak channel
- 2000 mAh rechargeable LiPo battery with a 16 hour run time and a micro USB charging port
- No programming required from the end-user as things like the WiFi setup is handled through the user interface.
While most of these upgrades will not make sense to a non-radiation nerd, the updates take the device to a more powerful level when compared with some of the regular Geiger counter available in the market.