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Author Topic: Anyone with experience removing lead from a Packard Cobra Gamma counter?  (Read 7868 times)

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  • Guest
I am a HP at a university and need anyone who has removed lead shielding from a Cobra Packard gamma counter to tell me how to remove the lead without damaging the instrument. Renovations are underway and it needs to be moved. Perkin Elmer want $600 to remove the lead and another $600 to reinstall it. They said we could do it but elusive giving good instructions. I'm do not want to damage any of the crystals.


  • Guest
Seems like $1200 to guarantee against damage is cheap. Have the University sign a committment letter before the price goes up.How much would it cost to replace?

Offline retired nuke

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Would you (or your University) give away saleable skills for free? Weigh the cost of repairs (if you mess it up) against the cost of them performing the work (and warranteeing it). Then decide how you want to go about it.  ;)

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Offline HenryBlack

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I have never actually removed the lead myself but I did have the opportunity to watch a Technician remove it from one. It goes together like a puzzle and each piece has to come out in a certain order. If I were in charge at the University I would make the decision to pay someone that knows the machine  so it would work when it was moved. Just one man's opinion!         

Offline UncaBuffalo

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Any time you are dismantling a piece of equipment, it is very helpful to take a TON of digital photos.  (A minimum of one shot per piece removed). Then, you can USUALLY just re-trace your steps by looking at the pictures.  

It might also be helpful to 'match-mark' every piece of lead before you move it.  ('A' on piece being removed is next to 'A' on piece remaining stationary, 'B' on next piece being removed...).  

This sounds like a scenario where you could use these techniques.

As the others have pointed out, you have to weigh the potential costs (damage, inability to re-assemble, etc) against the benefit (lower cost).
« Last Edit: Sep 30, 2009, 06:54 by UncaBuffalo »
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  • Guest
I haven't fiddled with Packard Cobra detectors, but in my experience with Canberra gamma detector removal/installation I'd strongly recommend having the vendor do it if at all possible.  The whole removal and installation process can feel like it goes off without issue or delay, but these fancy pants crystal detectors' attitude shows when you put them back on service.

If I had the option I'd have paid the 1200 bucks out of my own pocket to avoid the hassle of the follow-up, even after painstakingly handling the instrument(s) throughout the entire process.


  • Guest
The instrument is 25 years old and no longer under a service contract. The instrument had 2 destinations scrap or a new researcher was interested in acquiring it for free. Perkin Elmer quoted him a worse case scenario $9000 to get it moved and new sensors installed.

Renovations and campus services were in a hurry and determined to have it out. Perkin Elmer gave me the go ahead to remove the lead move the instrument and they would reinstall it.

Somewhere along the lines of communication the ball was dropped between the building manager and Campus Services. Campus Services took moved the instrument to any unknown location. I knew it was all over when I heard the news they are known not to be kind to instruments when moving them as with any Campus Services group.

The building manager was notified of the location and ordered that it be delivered to the researchers lab. Upon my visit I determined it was DOA. Obvious signs of being dropped. The Perkin Elmer rep will be on campus in a few days to assess the damage but I already know the outcome.


  • Guest
Try Long Island Scientific they are much cheaper than PE-- We just recently switched our counting machine service contract to LIS and have had no problems with them


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