Based on Atmega-328 and programmed with Arduino IDE. In compare to other Arduino based Geiger counters on the market, this product has reduced components amount that makes this project very easy to solder. Atmega microcontroller comes ready to use pre-programmed through IDE.
The kit has basic simple function to count GM tube events (CPM) and calculate gamma radiation DER for ambient background level or for low-moderate radioactive samples. Since it's educational Arduino IDE project, do not rely on its readings in real hazardous situations!
The software and hardware where designed to produce tube high voltage with PWM technology. No additional IC's required, everything is controlled with software. By default it programmed to 450V-480V and you can make fine adjust through software calibration from 350V to 500V.
The kit compatible with many popular Geiger tubes, such as SBM-20, SBM-19, SI-29BG, SI-180G, SBT-9, SBT-11, J305 and more 400V tubes. It suggested to trim HV to the upper plateau limit of the tube. For example set it 480V for SBM-20 on background. This technique will allow to keep HV within tube plateau recommended limits even under moderate-high radiation load.
As you can see on the graph data, the HV PWM converter works fine up to 400uSv/h (0.4mSv/h) equivalent load and it more than enough for most hobby amateur goals.
Absorbed radiation dose in uSv units logged to EEPROM memory once per hour by default or with pressing button on demand. The counter will accumulate lifetime received dose until it reach 1mSv. After that is will re-zero EEPROM value and will start a new loop. You can zero absorbed value anytime by pressing "up" button at device start up.
Current radiation dose in uSv/h or uRn/h units represented on LCD with CPM (counts per minute) readings. You can switch between LCD units with pressing "down" button. CPM value logged through UART to our "Radiation Logger" Windows program. When connected to computer, the kit can be used as nuclear radiation monitoring station for local logs, radmon or xively.
Fast bargraph on LCD for search mode represent CPS (count per second) measurement. The scale controlled through arduino sketch.
The counter has smart LCD backlight controlling for saving battery. Backlight will light on when CPM value reach presetted alert threshold or if you press any button. Alert B/L pin is combined with LCD backlight and can be connected to additional alert led or drive relay module.
You can add Active 5V Buzzer or Passive Piezo buzzer to the project. The kit makes clicker "classic" Geiger Counter sound if external buzzer soldered to A3 pin.
If you are arduino software developer you can use free atmega pins for other needs through modifying default supplied sketch. Our sketch holds about 1/3 of Atmega flash size that allows you to add additional functions to the project if you wish. The board hardware is also fully compatible with RH-K-GK-1-L model with SD Logger Shield, so you can upgrade or make your own micro SD Shield later.
Arduino sketch download link, all required libraries link and printed electrical circuit supplied to the buyer. Please download assembling manual with part list and soldering steps:
Radiation Logger Software (require UART TTL Module)
1x High Quality Manufactured PCB
1x Atmega-328 Preprogrammed Microcontroller
1x LCD Module 16x2 Green Color
1x Piezo Buzzer
1x 100R ohm Resistor
1x 220R ohm Resistor
2x 1K ohm Resistor
3x 10K ohm Resistor
1x 4.7M ohm Resistor
1x 10K Potentiometer
1x 1K Potentiometer
4x 100nF Ceramic Capacitor
1x 300pF Ceramic Capacitor
2x 22pF Ceramic Capacitor
1x 10nF 1000V Ceramic Capacitor
3x 100uF Electrolytic Capacitor
1x 1N4937 Diode
1x LED 3mm
1x MPSA44 High Voltage Transistor
2x 2N3904 Transistor
1x 100uH Axial Inductor
1x 10mH Radial Inductor
1x 16.000 MHz Crystal
1x 28 Pin IC Socket
1x Slide Switch On/Off
2x Tact Switch Side Right Angle
1x Terminal Block
1x Battery Connector Set
2x 6 Pin Female Header
1x 6 Pin Male Header Right Angle
2x 6 Pin Male Header Long
2x Standoffs for LCD
4x Screws for LCD
Sound Buzzer Mode:
The mode allows you to install the buzzer on the PCB (not with wires), see assembled kit photos. The following sketch modification required to support this hardware mode:
// configure atmega IO
pinMode(A5, OUTPUT); // Set A5 as GND point for buzzer
The buzzer itself soldered "+" to A3, "-" to A5
The kit’s hardware needs 4.6V-5.4V to operate when it drawn 20mA without LCD backlight. There is several options for powering the kit, please consider the best for you. Battery indicator in software will work only with Ni-MH batteries.
1. 4x AA 1.2V Ni-MH rechargeable batteries, 1800mAh or higher.
2. 2x AA 1.5V Alkaline batteries with 5V step-up module.
3. 3.7V LiPO battery with 5V step-up module, 1000mAh or higher.
4. 5V DC regulated power supply for indoor.
This is not ready to use device! You'll need to solder and calibrate it. You also will need to add your own Geiger Tube, Buzzer for sound, Battery and install it into enclosure.
When you are buying DIY Kit you are agree that you have certain skills and knowledge to solder it by yourself. RH Electronics is not responsible if you damage the PCB or other kit's parts due to wrong assembling or handing.
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