The Type 5 Pocket Geiger Radiation Sensor from Radiation Watch is a highly sensitive radiation sensor designed for the embedded systems market. Capable of detecting Gamma and Beta radiation, this sensor has a simple pulsed output that can be used with any microcontroller. Radiation Watch has a handful of documents and example Arduino code to get you up and running. They have also written a Windows example program in C# (source included!) to output graphs to a computer using an Arduino as the reader.
These small Geiger sensors feature a measurement range of 0.05uSv/h to 10mSv/h at 0.01cpm to 300Kcpm with a required measurement time of two minutes. The Pocket Geiger has an onboard DC boost circuit, so the board can be supplied with a friendly 3V to 9V. Using only 30mW (10mA @ 3V), it is very low power. Additionally, the counter comes with an optional enclosure and 3.5mm cable.
Note: This product is for educational purposes and should not be directly relied upon for determinations regarding one’s health or safety.
Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.
Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
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If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 5 ratings:
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I hooked the device up to 4.5V power and connected the signal pin to my oscilloscope. I brought a highly active (checked with another Geiger counter) sample of radioactive ore near sensor and there was nothing, just a D.C. level.
Sorry to hear about the trouble with getting it working. Have you contacted our technical support department at Techsupport@sparkfun.com - they're usually the best people around here for getting things working.
3 of 3 found this helpful:
Hooked it up to a 3.3V Pro Mini and it reads fine. You must pull up the input and noise pins, the internal pullup resistors in the Mini give about a 100 microsecond pulse which is perfect, but can be adjusted by wiring external pullups. Sensitive to vibration, and I have seen signals associated with the noise signal when it gets jostled around, so don't do that. Gives very consistent background readings over long intervals.
0 of 4 found this helpful:
The Sparkfun write up says the pocket geiger can be connected to mobile phones and used with a downloaded app. It didn't work with my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Spark fun Tech Support confirmed it didn't work with their Galaxy S5 or iPhone 6, and suggested that I could build a small interface and power supply circuit, which they said worked great on the iPhone 6, and sort of worked for their Galaxy S5. I explained that I wasn't looking for a new project, just a sensor that worked. I returned it.
Yeah unfortunately it only works with some phones. We're unable to confirm its compatibility with all types of phones.
I'm working with my granddaughter on sensor servers implemented using the SparkFun Arduino Blackboard. One of the sensors we selected is the Pocket Geiger. Got it to work on the first attempt. I used the supplied TRRS cable to connect to a breadboard that was jumpered to the Blackboard. I powered up, uploaded the example sketch, and the Pocket Geiger began generating data. I measured background radiation and radiation from a piece of uranium ore from eBay. The uranium ore measured at about 100x the background. Very happy with our choice.
This sensor is impressive, and cheap for what it is.
Purchasers need to be aware of how it works. It's NOT a Geiger–Müller tube, so it won't instantly output pulses/clicks as soon as a radioactive source is brought close to it.
It takes a relatively long time between a radiation event happening and a pulse appearing on the output, hence the "required measurement time of two minutes" in the description.