Geiger Counter & Graphing Program Milestone
Just recently I was able to complete one of the biggest parts of my Geiger Counter project, the actual assembly of my geiger counter. The geiger counter that I am using is from MightyOhm, and it is powered by a small ATTINY microcontroller, which uses a Muller geiger tube to detect alpha and beta particles. The geiger tube consists of 2 electrodes, one with a wire that goes through the tube, and another connected to a metal outer shell of the tube itself. Between the two is an inert gas, and when an alpha or beta particle comes into contact with the tube, a short jump of high voltage electricity passes through the inert gas, and causes a circuit to be completed, which is then picked up by the microcontroller. The microcontroller itself outputs the data in a two ways. First, every time it detects a particle of radiation, it outputs a short buzz and lights up an LED, in addition to outputting a short pulse to a “Pulse Out” port. In addition, the microcontroller also stores the most recent data, and based off of that outputs a Counts Per Second, Counts Per Minute, and an equivalent dose (expressed in µSv/hr) through a serial port. To this serial port I was able to connect an XBee transceiver, which transmitted the signal wirelessly to another XBee connected to my computer. Once I had received the signal, I wrote a sketch in processing to graph it, as well as log the data to a file for later use.
For more information, I posted the code on Github here: http://techietrekkie.github.com/Geigeriffic/
and here is a video I made of the project: