Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Calibrated Solid State Radiation Detector

I've been playing with radiation detectors. The common solution is a Geiger - Müller tube, but those solutions tend to be expensive, and contain high voltage connections. PIN Diodes can be used, and are very inexpensive, but are uncalibrated.

A nice in between is a calibrated (3.4 cpm/µSv/h) solid state sensor from Teviso, the RD2007. There are three such sensors in this family, but the RD2007 is a very affordable solution, applicable to civilians and citizen scientists alike.

It has three connections, 5v, Gnd, and data out. The output line ticks high when radioactivity is sensed. Connect this to an interrupt on the arduino, and you can easily display accurate radioactivity readings.

For more information on building Radiation Detectors, see



#define MAXCNT 10
#define CalFactor 3.4
volatile int counter = 0;
unsigned long oldTime = 0;
float rate = 0.0;
int speaker = 5;

void setup()
 pinMode(speaker, OUTPUT);
 int i = (int)(rate*10.0);
 attachInterrupt(0, count, RISING);
void loop() {
 unsigned long time;
 unsigned long dt;

 time = millis();
 if (counter >= MAXCNT) {
 dt = time-oldTime;
 oldTime = time;
 counter = 0;
 rate = (float)MAXCNT*60.0*1000.0/(float)dt/CalFactor;
 int i = (int)(rate*10.0);
void count()
 digitalWrite(speaker, HIGH);
 digitalWrite(speaker, LOW);

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