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Reference, Questions and Help => Nuke Q&A => Instrument Q&A => Topic started by: childoftechnology on Feb 24, 2006, 07:02

Title: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: childoftechnology on Feb 24, 2006, 07:02
  This is my first post to this site, I'm rather new to this stuff but I was hoping someone could give me some advice. I'm looking for a geiger counter that will measure not only beta and gamma rays, but alpha and X-rays also. The reason for X-ray measurement is because I collect and work on antique TV sets, and I'm sure many of them put out far more radiation than a modern set (modern sets can also put out unhealthy levels under certain conditions). I'd like to see just what I'm getting exposed to, and make sure that if I want to have kids someday I won't have to adopt  ;)
  I'd also like some measurement of alpha rays, mostly just for curiosity like checking for radium dials on old watches and clocks. I'd also like to be able to do my own checks for radon in my basement, but I'm not sure if the average geiger counter can do that or not.
  I recently purchased a CDV-700-6b geiger counter, the machine will produce a few clicks with the built-in test strip, but that's about it. Doesn't seem to detect X-rays at all. I'm guessing it's just not designed for that purpose.
  I've been looking on Ebay at some other units that are supposed to measure alpha and X-rays. There are several Eberline units like the ASP2-E, and one or two more-expensive units by Gamma Scout. (the gamma scout doesn't specify X-ray detection however).
  So can anyone give me some recommendations? I'd like to find something that will meet these needs, without spending a fortune. I figured this was the best place to find advice on this subject.
  Thanks for any advice.
Title: Re: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: thenukeman on Feb 24, 2006, 08:17
Its been about 10 years since I have been to school but if I remember right the geiger counter will check for Alpha, Beta, Gamma and xray.   It is about 25 percent efficent for beta.  Less than 1 percent efficent for gamma and xray and Alpha efficency is actually greater than Gamma efficency but is close to 1 percent.

I would reccomend if you really want to know is to rent a gas proportional for a week that has a alpha and beta switch.  You can rent a cylinder of P10 for about 50 bucks.  or a ZnS Alpha meter. ZnS probably cheaper and easier to use if you just want to see alpha. or I can tell you that yes you will find alpha and beta to a small extent on the tv screens since I have frisked a few.  For Xrays and gammas I would rent a NaI micro R meter.  I doubt you would find much difference from background. However I never checked this.  Doing alot of area surveys including breakrooms with a NaI I have never saw a difference. But the TV is usually not on when I am working.  LOL  Maybe I check it next time and take a Hour Jerry Springer break so I can charge up the TV.  At least thats what I will tell my boss.
Title: Re: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: SloGlo on Feb 24, 2006, 10:48
before yinz buy any more instruments, it would probably be best to gain some knowledge of what is available.  take a tour of some of the instrument companies web sites to see what they have available.  there are a lot of instruments and probes available.  if you see something that may work for you, as geometry and spatial considerations will be needed since i don't think you want to shove a metal probe in the opened back end of a tv unit, they have sales personnel who will be most glad to guide you through selections.  then after you gain some insight you will be able to cruise Ebay to pick something up cheap., and (i think that's the site name) have some very good products. 
btw, in mho, there ain't a geiger counter made that will detect radon in yer basement.  unless you have a wallet pact with dead presidents.
Title: Re: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: childoftechnology on Feb 25, 2006, 10:37
  Which would you recommend; an Eberline E-530, or the Gamma Scout? There's an E-530 ending soon on Ebay and I'm wondering if I should bid. I'd like to know which of the two is more sensitive.
  I've read that you can get a vague idea of the radon in your house, by measuring some dust collected from a TV screen.....
Title: Re: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: SloGlo on Feb 27, 2006, 09:36
i wood not use the gamma scout for what you are attempting.  outside of that, what probe are you going to use with the e530?  probe is more important for detection capabilities than meter. 
there's lotsa ways to get vague ideas of radon concentrations in your house.  why would you want a vague idea?  aisle give ya a vague idea.... you have radon. 
Title: Re: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: alphadude on Feb 28, 2006, 09:31
pick the probe based on use.. thin windows are great for schools and if you never plan to take it outside or frisk grass with it.. for prospecting you need something sturdy-
Title: Re: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: childoftechnology on Feb 28, 2006, 10:48
  Well I bought an E-530, and am now just waiting for it to arrive. The seller said it includes a thin-end window G-M probe, so maybe it will be suited for my needs (anything would be better than this CDV-700 with side-window probe). As for the Gamma Scout, why wouldn't it be a good choice? It's out of my price range anyway, but I'm still curious to know why something more expensive wouldn't perform better.
Title: Re: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: alphadude on Feb 28, 2006, 02:24
sometimes the old stuff is the best. try to find a working RO2 and an E120 with a HP210 type probe. Those two instruments will do what ever you need.
Title: Re: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: SloGlo on Feb 28, 2006, 09:00
re: gamma scout query.... should answer any questions, but if you want more reading, search gamma scout on this site and read thru the techitoys thread that pops up.
re: e-530.... 'n check out the instruments section of the site for their thin-end window g-m probes to make sure one will do what you want this instrument to do. 
if you need to get an operational manual for the meter in order to calibrate for various energies, try or google eberline.
Title: Re: Geiger Counter Recommendation
Post by: SloGlo on Mar 01, 2006, 09:26
fer a quick primer on surveys....