The “Nano” kit for the general public is about to launch. The bGeigie, an abbreviation for Bento Geiger Counter, was named in Japan. The original was about the size of a Bento Lunch Box. The first box had an Inspector Alert by IMI-International Medcom in it, and it was strapped to the side of a car and driven into Fukushima Prefecture after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi. The data collected by that and subsequent expeditions were shared with the world on maps developed by nonprofit Safecast. Safecast developed some open source electronics,added an Arduino board to collect data, a GPS receiver, a data logger with micro SD card, a Medcom iRover board for high voltage and signal processing, and they miniaturized it.
I have designed and built my own instruments for many years, and contributed to the design of 2 geiger counter kits that were pretty cool. I have to say that Safecast has done a brilliant job on this instrument. In my opinion it’s not only the coolest Geiger Counter kit ever, but perhaps one of the coolest DIY kits ever. What it will do:
- Display radiation data on an OLED display in uSv/hr or CPM
- Display and log time and position from onboard GPS receiver
- Combine radiation data with time/date/gps to create a detailed log
- Interface to an iPhone app developed by Safecast to share data
You can also share collected data on Safecast Maps using a user friendly API. That data can then be viewed by you, your community and the world. This makes you an official “Safecaster” and you will be part of a global movement to create and share “open” data. Since the whole project is open source, you can also contribute your own ideas or modify the code to get it to do things in different ways.
When you buy this kit, a portion of the proceeds will go to nonprofit Safecast to help them build their global sensor network. It is being offered at an amazing low introductory price. Support materials will be available on a website. Phone support cannot be offered at the low introductory price of $450, so the kit builder is responsible for troubleshooting the device if there are any assembly problems.
If you are an experienced kit builder you should have no problems. If you are new to electronics you will need to learn to solder and read basic instructions. You may want a teacher or mentor to help you. As part of classroom activities with appropriate learning materials (not provided with kit) you can learn a lot about basic science, physics, electronics, software, statistics, and computer science.
The kit features a highly sensitive 2 inch Pancake Geiger Mueller detector, which will detect alpha, beta and gamma and x-radiation.
Purchaser must be at least 18 years of age. Caution is advised in assembly and handling as there is a 500 volt high voltage assembly within the instrument.