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Sensors / Detectors:  Radiation Detectors

Sensors / Detectors -- Main Page
 

Last Updated: October 13, 2017 03:02 AM


Links to electronic circuits, electronic schematics, designs for engineers, hobbyists, students & inventors:

Build this Negative Ion Detector -  Figure 1 shows a schematic diagram of the ion Detector--a rather simple circuit consisting of three transistors (two PN2907 PNP, and a single PN2222 NPN type) , three resistors, one capacitor, an antenna, a mA meter, and an LED __ Designed by Vincent Vollono

CDV700 Geiger Counter Probe Rebuilding -  This article describes the process of rebuilding a geiger counter probe from the Victoreen CDV700 Geiger counter.  The process of converting the hard-wired probe to a probe with a pluggable BNC connector is also described.  The probe from the model CDV700-6B is similar, but not identical, the socket is easier to access on that model.   __ Designed by Forrest Cook

Cheap but Sensitive Radiation Detector -  This project started out as a gag project, a "Nuclear War Detector".  The idea was to make a device that would flash a little red light if a nuclear attack were underway or if there were some sort of massive radiation spill right outside the house.  it would be like a rain detector built into an umbrella, perfectly functional but totally useless __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Circuit forms gamma-photon Detector -  04/24/03  EDN Design Ideas:  LED driver delivers constant luminosity - The circuit of Figure 1 includes a PIN photodiode that detects individual photons of gamma radiation.  The reverse bias on the photodiode sometimes creates a depletion region.  When such a ph __ Circuit Design by Bruce Denmark, Maxim Integrated Products, Sunnyvale, CA

Components for Ion Chambers -  Radiation Circuits - components used in making an ion chamber __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Count Accumulator for Radiation Levels CARL -  The CARL device is an add-on numerical counter that plugs into the headphone jack of 1960s vintage geiger counters such as the Victoreen CDV700 and CDV700-6B.  it should also work with the Lionel ENi/LENI counters, and any other geiger counter that has a headphone output pulse greater than -5V.  Vintage 1960s era geiger counters don't actually count, they use an analog meter with an integrator circuit to give short-term averaged__ G. Forrest Cook

Darling SE Tube Amplifier -  Scroll down to find this circuits.  in the diagram I've put the transistor numbers as the ones I've used, although you can use standard 2n3904's etc in these positions without problems as they're similar spec.  The transformer used is a normal audio output transformer, such as an LT700 __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Experimenter's Chamber -  This experimenter's chamber is made from a 4" (10 cm) diameter, 5.5" (14 cm) tall tin with a tight-fitting lid.  A 5-way binding post is mounted in the center of the can and a 4" (10 cm) wire is suspended from the post inside the can.  The wire length is short enough to insure that it doesn't touch the lid.  Another all-metal binding post and pin are installed in the bottom of the can, and a sheet of gray insulating plastic is glued into place to keep hastily constructed experiments from contacting the can.  The electrometer circuitry will be extremely sensitive to stray electric fields, so a shield is mandatory.  Another can previously containing mints is pressed into service __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Frankenstein's Dosimeter -  Frankenstein's Dosimeter is so named because it's made from body parts removed from various dead radiation instruments.  With a little "spark" of life from a battery, these old components come alive, making a pretty decent radiation dose measurement device.  The circuit may be used with a homemade chamber, too; just leave out the three diodes and 2.2 megohm that drive the guard ring (unless your homemade chamber has one).   __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Gamma-photon Detector -  04/24/03  EDN Design Ideas:  LED driver delivers constant luminosity - The circuit of Figure 1 includes a PIN photodiode that detects individual photons of gamma radiation.  The reverse bias on the photodiode sometimes creates a depletion region.  When such a ph __ Circuit Design by Bruce Denmark, Maxim Integrated Products, Sunnyvale, CA

Geiger Counter -  Some people might like this.   __ Designed by G.L. Chemelec

Geiger counter -  Geiger counters are available in all shapes and sizes, but they tend to be quite expensive to buy (typically a couple of hundred US dollars for a simple model, rising to a thousand dollars or more for a professional instrument).  For a first-timer, and/or a reasonably experienced electronics hobbyist, building your own can be a very rewarding alternative__ 

Geiger Counter -  For the short amount of time the GM tube is detecting one particle, if another radioactive particle enters the tube it will not be detected.  This is called dead time.  The maximum dead time for our GM tube is 90 microseconds (or .00009 seconds).  There is a mathematical formula for adjusting a Geiger counter read out to compensate for the GM tube's dead time.  However the adjust is so small that for practical applications it can be ignored.  High-end nuclear work will take a tube's dead time into consideration.   __ Designed by 2007-2014 Images SI, Inc

Geiger Counters -  Techlib reader Dave Mouat modified the circuit.  These circuits generate high voltages and can cause dangerous shocks!  Do not build these devices unless you are experienced and qualified to work on high voltage devices. __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Geiger Tube Simulator -  This little gadget will simulate a 500 volt or less Geiger tube when driven by a signal generator of sufficient amplitude, typically 5 volts p-p or greater.  The purpose is to generate a steady, precise number of counts per minute so that the Geiger counter's meter may be calibrated.   __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

High Voltage Generator for Geiger Tubes -  The following two circuits are an improvement over the older circuits below.  The circuits are shown generating 500 volts but they may be modified to supply a couple of hundred to nearly 1000 volts by changing the zener diodes.  The difference is subtle; the feedback signal increases the voltage on the base of the 2N4403 to stop the oscillator instead of stealing current from the capacitor on the emitter.  The result is much lower power dissipation when there is little or no load on the high voltage __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

High Voltage Power Supply step-up converter using a MC34063 ideal for a geiger counter or nixie tube -  A basic building block for a Geiger Counter (Nixie Tube)  __ Designed by Alexander C. Frank, aka Ajarn Changpuak

Hot Rodding a CDV700 Geiger Counter -  This project involves making several modification to an early 1960s era Victoreen CDV700 or CDV600-6B geiger counter.  These counters are available on E-Bay for around $50 to $100.  The modifications use modern electronic parts to improve the counter's stability, extend the run time, and add a solar recharging capability__ 

Improved Transistor Circuit for the Ionization Chamber -  These "ion chambers" are nothing more than a bare wire stuck through a hole into a metal can!  No special gas or sealing is required.  For best performance it is probably a good idea to add a desiccant to the inside of the can to keep the humidity low. (I didn't!) Build one; its really simple!  __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Ion Chamber Bias Supply -  After discovering that one of my bias batteries was jumping around a few volts, wreaking havoc with the readings, I decided to build a floating, regulated high voltage supply.  The result is a micro-power 110 volt supply that runs on an ordinary 6V __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Large Cookie Tin Ion Chamber -  Here is a truly simple experimenter's chamber made from an ordinary cookie tin.  This experimenter's chamber is made from a 4" (10 cm) diameter, 5.5" (14 cm) tall tin with a tight-fitting lid.  A 5-way binding post is mounted in the center of the can and a 4" (10 cm) wire is suspended from the post inside the can.  The wire length is short enough to insure that it doesn't touch the lid.  Another all-metal binding post and pin are installed in the bottom of the can, and a sheet of gray insulating plastic is glued into place to keep hastily constructed experiments from contacting the can.  The electrometer circuitry will be extremely sensitive to stray electric fields, so a shield is mandatory.   __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Mercury Battery Replacement -  I have recently been trying to restore a Radector radiation survey meter, vintage 1950s.  This instrument uses a 10 atmosphere argon filled ion chamber as the radiation detector and has an electrometer type vacuum tube sealed inside the chamber.  The design is simple and, for the time, quite elegant.  Unfortunately it uses three different mercury batteries.  One large 1.35V for the filament power, one smaller 1.35V for bias and one 5.4V for the plate supply of the electrometer tube.  Because of the design, the calibration depends on the voltage of the batteries staying constant over the useful battery life.  Mercury batteries maintain a very constant voltage over most of their life, a characteristic NOT shared by present day alkaline cells or any other easily obtained batteries.   __ Designed by Craig Taylor

Modifications for CDV700 Geiger Counter -  This project involves making several modification to an early 1960s era Victoreen CDV700 or CDV600-6B geiger counter.  These counters are available on E-Bay for around $50 to $100.  The modifications use modern electronic parts to improve the counter's stability, extend the run time, and add a solar recharging capability.   __ Designed by Forrest Cook

Modify a CDV-715 Survey Meter for High Sensitivity -  This project endeavors to modify an ion chamber style radiation meter, the CDV-715, so that it has useful sensitivity, taking advantage of the internal ion chamber, high value resistor, and nice packaging.  The new circuit increases the electrical gain by 1000, converting the scales from R to milli-R.  I decided to abandon virtually all of the existing electronics for several reasons.  The chamber current is converted into a voltage by switched resistors but the ceramic switch will simply leak too much; it can only be used for range switching after amplification.  There is no need for 1.5 volts since there will be no filament to heat so the inverter that converts 1.5 volts to 50 volts and 10 volts will be unnecessary.  A 9 volt battery will power the electronics and a unique version of the Cockcroft-Walton voltage multiplier will generate the 50 volts for ion chamber bias.   __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

My First Experimental Ion Chamber -  An ion chamber is an extremely simple device that uses this principle to detect ionizing radiation.  The basic chamber is simply a conducting can, usually metal, with a wire electrode at the center, well insulated from the chamber walls.  The chamber is most commonly filled with ordinary dry air but other gasses like carbon dioxide or pressurized air can give greater sensitivity.  A DC voltage is applied between the outer can and the center electrode to create an electric field that sweeps the ions to the oppositely charged electrodes.  Typically, the outer can has most of the potential with respect to ground so that the circuitry is near ground potential.  The center wire is held near zero volts and the resulting current in the center wire is measured.   __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Negative Ion Detector -  Figure 1 shows a schematic diagram of the ion Detector--a rather simple circuit consisting of three transistors (two PN2907 PNP, and a single PN2222 NPN type) , three resistors, one capacitor, an antenna, a mA meter, and an LED __ Designed by Vincent Vollono

Negative Ion Generator #2 -  The design of the Negative-ion Generator is fairly straightforward (see Fig.1). The circuit is a high voltage generator. it contains a standard 555 timer that's used to generate square-wave pulses. The pulses are applied to the base of the TiP120 NPN Darlington transistor. The Darlington provides sufficient current to the base of the 2N3055 power transistor to turn it on. Each. __ Designed by John Lovine

Negative-Ion Detector & Tester -  Figure 1 shows a schematic diagram of the ion Detector--a rather simple circuit consisting of three transistors (two PN2907 PNP, and a single PN2222 NPN type) , three resistors, one capacitor, an antenna, a mA meter, and an LED __ Designed by Vincent Vollono

Neon Bulb Quench Experiment -  it seems to be common knowledge that a NE-2 or similar neon lamp can be pressed into service as radiation (x-ray) detector.  But can a simple lamp serve as a low-level detector, possibly replacing a Geiger tube?  initial experiments with a variable voltage source and a NE-2 in a relaxation circuit consisting of a series resistor and a small capacitor across the lamp showed no sensitivity to x-rays and moderate sensitivity to light.  No attempt was made to use the lamp as an ion chamber or proportional detector but the volume is so tiny that success seems very unlikely.   __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Neon Lamp as Resistor -  Scroll to find this one.  it seems to be common knowledge that a NE-2 or similar neon lamp can be pressed into service as radiation (x-ray) detector.  But can a simple lamp serve as a low-level detector, possibly replacing a Geiger tube?initial __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Nuclear War Detector -  The circuit is similar to the earlier darlington circuits except that the output transistor is a MOSFET transistor like the BS170 or 2N7000 and the load is an LED with a built-in flasher circuit.  The circuit as shown will draw  __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

PicAXE Ionization Chamber -  This simple radiation detector uses a PicAXE-08M microprocessor to measure the voltage drift rate on an ionization chamber's sense wire, eliminating the need for a high-value resistor.  An electrometer-grade JFET is used to buffer the voltage on a sense wire inside the chamber, and a PicAXE microprocessor measures the rate of change of that voltage, periodically discharging the wire through the JFET's gate-source junction.  This unorthodox way of discharging the ion chamber wire eliminates the need for a special, low-leakage switch, and takes advantage of the PicAXE's ability to use the same pin as an analog input or a digital output.   __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Polonium Pen -  Recent events point to the need for a simple device for testing cocktails and beers for excessive quantities of polonium.  The Polonium Pen is a pocket-sized ion chamber with LED readout that is perfect for the job.  Simply hold the Polonium Pen over your drink and, if the LED lights up, order something else __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Radon Accessory for Radiation Detectors -  Here's an interesting accessory to the ion chambers above or other radiation detectors that will allow for the indirect detection of radon gas.  Radon is a noble gas and is hard to detect directly; it doesn't react chemically or easily stick to anything and it is usually present in very small amounts.  it has a short half-life of under four days so the concentration in a home is due to a constant replenishment as the gas seeps in from the ground or the structure's building materials.  its decay products are much easier to detect because they readily stick to dust in the air and typically have a short half-life, making them more radioactive.  This accessory draws air through a filter, catching dust laden with the radioactive "daughters" of the radon present in the air.   __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Radon Detector for the Student -  This ionization chamber radon detector is designed to be easy for the student or hobbyist to build and use.  it can form the basis for a variety of experiments for Science Fair competitions, class projects, conversation pieces, or simply satisfying scientific curiosity.  Despite the extreme simplicity, the chamber can detect surprisingly low levels of radon by detecting the radioactive "radon daughters" produced when radon gas decays.  The detector could be used to investigate a variety of scientific questions and demonstrate scientific principles: __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

Super-Sensitive Ionization Chamber -  These "ion chambers" are nothing more than a bare wire stuck through a hole into a metal can!  No special gas or sealing is required.  For best performance it is probably a good idea to add a desiccant to the inside of the can to keep the humidity low. (I didn't!) Build one; its really simple!  __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

The X-ray Defender -  Detects backscatter X-ray machines - Backscatter X-ray imaging devices have been in the news of late, primarily due to their use in U.  S.  airports and other public facilities.  But, not everyone is aware that the technology is also being deployed in ordinary vans that can image the insides of passing cars and trucks, and even peer into the interior of homes and businesses.  in order to penetrate the exteriors of vehicles and buildings, the x-ray beam is substantially more intense.  in the wrong hands, the beam  __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

World's Smallest Geiger Counter -  The following two circuits are an improvement over the older circuits below.  The circuits are shown generating 500 volts but they may be modified to supply a couple of hundred to nearly 1000 volts by changing the zener diodes. __  Contact:  Charles Wenzel of Wenzel Associates, Inc.

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Radiation Sensors / Detectors / Monitors

 


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