Elektor Team

Elektor Hardware Tip: Improved Radiation Meter

December 10, 2013 | 14:37
Elektor Hardware Tip: Improved Radiation Meter
Elektor Hardware Tip: Improved Radiation Meter

The radiation meter that started out as an experiment with an accompanying short article in the June 2011 edition of Elektor evolved gradually into a project that was met with great interest with our readers. Designer Burkhard Kainka, assisted by Elektor Lab worker Thijs Beckers, went to the radiation department of Namur University in Belgium to have the basic design checked using several radiation sources. He came back with enough enthusiasm to develop a complete meter with a microcontroller and a readout which was described in the November 2011 edition. Next, Elektor logistics was prompted to assemble kits for the benefit of Elektor readers.


The radiation meter is based on a phototransistor rather than the far more expensive and elusive Geiger tube. Alpha, beta, and gamma radiation can be detected with due care exercised in the interpretation of what appears on the LCD readout and a basic knowledge of physics and the test method. Sensor screening is critical to correct operation of the meter. In a follow-up article in the January 2012 edition, a number of methods are explained to get the measurements right.


A kit of parts to build the Elektor radiation meter, including the programmed microcontroller and LCD is available now.


TIP: Do you want to learn more about this low-cost do-it-yourself instrument? Register now for the FREE Elektor Academy/element 14 webinar “The making of an Improved Radiation Meter” on Thursday February 16, 2012!

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