Things have been busy at Global Radiation Monitoring Network Central Command. As a semifinalist in the Hackaday Prize, project creator [Radu Motisan] has quite a bit of work to do. He’s not slacking off either. With 33 project logs (and counting), [Radu] has been keeping us up to date with his monitoring network and progress on uRADMonitor , the actual monitoring hardware.
[Radu’s] latest news is that he’s ready to go into production with model A of the uRADMonitor. Moving from project to production can be an incredible amount of work due to sourcing parts, setting up assembly houses, and dealing with any snags that come up along the way. We’re sure [Radu] can handle it, though.
The network of uRADMonitors is also growing. A new monitor was just installed in Prescott, Arizona. This is the 10th unit in the USA. You can view the map, data, and graphs of global radiation live on the uRADMonitor website.
The project featured in this post is a semifinalist in The Hackaday Prize.
30 thoughts on “Global Radiation Monitoring Network Update”
Really nice distribution -.- not even one in every continent.
@Pedro – Really stupid comment – the project is just getting started.
Give it time to grow!
What’s the cost of these puppies? They say it’s low, but I don’t know what order of magnitude that is.
They’re supplying some pretty scary power adapters with them. They’re $1 ones from ebay that are almost certainly death traps if they fail.
One sold on ebay for $140.
Working on one at the moment, in the Channel Islands.
One thing Radu could add to this would be an alpha sensor of my own design, this would be useful indeed even if the efficiency was only a fraction of an end window mica tube.
It should use vacuum tube based ethernet circuitry if you want it to be usefull in case of thermonuclear war. Otherwise EMP will destroy it… I know you can still tell it’s been nuked when it stops responding to pings, but there’s still good chance it’s a false positive :-D
Right… because if an EMP went off it wouldn’t oh idk, disrupt the power grid or the servers providing internet access.. -__-
Fair point though.
I think there were vacuum tube based GM counters back in the day, these days old VFDs taken from a VCR would be a way to reduce build complexity a lot.
IIRC there is a schematic online that uses 4 of these to make a basic counter using Nixies as the readout.
Yes, vacuum tubes were in geiger counters, later models even kept them for the voltage regulator tube.
What would you do with an old VFD from a vcr in a geiger?
use VFD as tube(s)? http://www.hpfriedrichs.com/radioroom/vfd/rr-vfd.htm
Ah, I see. But real tubes are very cheap and you know what you are getting yourself into. And if someone wants to copy it will be a lot easier.
Actual G-M tubes aren’t that cheap. Though they’re not complex, maybe dude could produce a way of making them at home.
No, GM tubes are not cheap, at least not the good mica windowed tube. But making a reliable GM tube at home may be difficult without a significant investments. You will need a setup to make the tubes, the simplest would be a glass tube with crimped ends and a wire anode with a cylindrical cathode. Then you need a pretty good vacuum system to evacuate and then fill with the gasses needed, some sort of ionizing gas like argon and a quench gas. Not a trivial project and not going to be made from a vfd.
[jimmy] Thanks for the link! I love it!
[Greenaum] are you suggesting using a VFD as a G-M tube?
Thanks Bother and jimmy- some good info for some fun :) I actually have a few of these in a box for (previously) no good reason. Pretty neat :)
The efficiency, sensitivity, and detection area of those SBM-20 tubes leaves a lot to be desired. Why are these crappy tubes being shielded further by a metal housing?
I’m not sure what the use-case for such a device would be.
All out thermonuclear war. Just as they were originally intended.
In fact, geiger tubes used for dose measurement are always surrounded by metal shields, it’s called energy compensation.
But I doubt that this really works here.
I may be blind, but I can’t see the schematic anywhere.
As a true hacker, I’d like to build my own one, and I even have all necessary components laying around.
Also I’d prefer a version with PoE, and in a watertight housing, so I can place it outsides, far away from buildings.
For remote areas, a version running on solar power and transmitting the data over a rf link would be nice. Something like JT65 springs to mind.
Ok, I found it, it was somewhat hidden:
I’d say the bridge rectifier is overkill, this is a flyback converter, so one diode will do.
If you have a mains supply, and don’t mind about energy efficiency, a simple inductor salvaged from an energysaving bulb will also do:
But I’m surprised that the code fits in an ATMega8.
The reason he is building all of them is the Geiger tubes have all been calibrated from the same source so the measurements can be related to each other.
I believe POE is planned but can always make your own POE system as I did for mine:
Pretty cool, but what is the difference between this project and Safecast ? Why not share the resulting data between the two projects?
Looking at the global map, I wondered why Florida was the lowest (I saw) at 0.09,
then it occurred to me, it might have the lowest elevation (above Sea Level) therefore less Cosmic radiation. But I’m not sure what is the precision of the readings between individual units (it might be posted, I didn’t look for it.)
To get any meaningful results these things have to be calibrated. They also have to be calibrated periodically in the field. I was just wondering how this done during construction and how was to be accomplished in the field?
This project creator is a bit too invested into google, the site uses google (there are open source and less nosy alternatives) and I see here in the comments that the build details are on google too.
Whasn’t there already a monitoring network developed by tokyo hackarspace? I remember seein the graphs and maps a few years ago but could not find the link now. My point being, if such a network already exists then it and GRMN should shared the data so that both networks have more data points.
Nice, but there is already a Radioactive@Home project http://radioactiveathome.org/map/ tracking world-wide radioactivity and using (probably cheaper?) self-made USB attached Geiger-Müller Counter devices.
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