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Radiation Detection

Geiger Counter Comparison -
Popular Models

by Vaughn Aubuchon

Below, I present a comparison of some nuclear radiation detection devices.
Are you planning to buy a Geiger Counter or ionizing radiation detector? Here are a few Geiger Counter performance data that I have measured.

30

100

60

30

80

80

30

1. Nuclear Radiation Detection Summary - for general information
2.
Geiger Counters Summary - for descriptions and pricing
3.
Geiger Counter Data Compared - for sensitivity comparisons
          1. Geiger Counter Performance Data Compared
          2.
Probe Sensitivity
          3.
Radiation Detection Scales
          4.
Geiger Counters Tested - Photos
4. Ludlum Radiation Product Summary - detection devices and probes
5. Victoreen CDV-700 6B Detector Summary - True Geiger Counter
6.
Victoreen CDV-715 1A Detector Summary - Ion chamber detector
7. Victoreen CD V-750 5B Dosimeter Charger - Charges CD dosimeters
8. Uranium Ore Summary - common types of radioactive ore

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1. Geiger Counter Performance DATA Compared - My Measurements
Model #
Measured Radiation Rates - Increasing ----->
Background
(radon, cosmic)
Uranium
Marbles
(Vaseline glass)
Removed
Smoke
Detector
Element

(0.9 µCuries americium)
CDV-700
Test
Source

(a + beta)
Daily Human Limit Rate
Old
Coleman
Mantle

(thorium)
Old Red
Fiestaware Plate
(uranium)
Uraninite in
Pitchblende

(uranium)
Uranophane
Gummite

(uranium)
CPM
µR/h
CPM
µR/h
CPM
µR/h
CPM
mR/h
CPM
mR/h
CPM
mR/h
CPM
mR/h
CPM
mR/h
CPM
mR/h

Bicron 50 (end)

30
36
120
144
25K
37K
1.2K
1
2.4K
2
4.5K
3.8
4K
3
24K
20
240K
200

Bicron 2000 (side)

30
36
120
144
300
360K
1.2K
1
2.4K
1.8K
1.5
4K
3
18K
16
240K
200

Eberline 120
(pancake probe)

30
36
100
120
35K
42K
2.4K
2
2.4K
10K
8.3
12K
10
60K
(max)
50
60K
(max)
50

Kv DRSB-01

30 CPM
Green LED
80 CPM
Green LED
140 CPM
Green LED
Fast
Clicking
RED LED

Fast
Clicking
RED LED
Fast
Clicking
RED LED
Fast
Clicking
RED LED
Fast
Clicking
RED LED

Kv DRSB-88

0 CPM
No light
12 CPM
Flashing
light
100 CPM
Flashing
Light
Fast
clicking
Flashing
Light

Fast
clicking
Flashing
Light
Fast
clicking
Flashing
Light
Fast
clicking
Flashing
Light
Fast
clicking
Flashing
Light

CD V-700

12
20
50
83
250
300
1.2K
2
1.2K
1.5K
2.5
2.5K
4
30K
50
20K
35

CD V-715
CD V-720

Useless
Useless
Useless
Useless
Useless
Useless
Useless
Useless
-
Mine is broken
Mine is broken
Mine is broken
Mine is broken

Farthest Detection Distance for noticably increased clicks above background

Infinity

0.5 inches
All gamma -thru metal shield
Pancake
1/4" = 35K
1/2" = 5K
1" = 1K
2" = 160
Alpha
Weak gamma

6 inches beta,

A + beta
(bismuth 210 & lead 210)

I feel that this limit is arbitrary.


6 inches
Gamma
+ beta
(stacking these increases the count dramatically)

12 inches
Gamma
+ beta

24 inches
Gamma
+ beta

36 inches
Gamma
+ beta

(measurable at 12" thru two 1/5" thick lead pigs)

Ludlum Model 3

-

CPM

CPM

CPM

CPM

Distance
CPM

CPM

CPM

CPM

Alpha - 43-65

-

-

-

-

1/4 inch

-

-

-

-

Beta - no shield 44-9

-

-

-

-

3 inches

-

-

-

-

Gamma shield 44-9

-

-

-

-

3 inches

-

-

-

-

Alpha - Ludlum Model 3 with Alpha Scintillator Model 43-65 at 1/4 inch.
Beta - Ludlum Model 3 with Alpha/beta/gamma pancake GM Model 44-9 - beta shield removed at 3 inches away.
Gamma - Ludlum Model 3 with Alpha/beta/gamma pancake GM Model 44-9 - beta shield in place at 3 inches away.

160

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

38

44

44

ALL the above data has been measured by me. The Eberline 120 is modified, with a built-in LND 8767 pancake mica-window detector, which is very sensitive to alpha radiation. The Bicron 50 with the "End Window" is also sensitive to alpha.


Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors contain Americium 241, which emits Alpha particles. This substance must never be ingested. Americium 241 has a half-life of 432 years. Notice the change in CPM when moving from 1/4" away to 1/2" away. Imagine what the count is at zero inches away, which is why you don't ever want to swallow Americium. The high Alpha readings can only be observed with the tin shield removed.


Radioactive Red Fiestaware
Several colors of Fiestaware were manufactured, which were coated with a glaze containing uranium. The most notable is the "Radioactive Red" color, which is what I measured above, on a 7" plate. You are exposed to Gamma radiation if you are near the plate, Beta radiation if you touch the plate, and Alpha radiation if you eat acidic foods off the plate - three modes of exposure.

Radioactive Lantern Mantles
I measured 3 different old Coleman lantern mantles, 1 old Primus lantern mantle, and 1 old Thermos lantern mantle. They were all about equally hot, but the small Coleman Silk Lite mantle Type 21A two-pack produced the highest count (like the kind we all used for years). They are detectable from 12", with a half-life of 75,000 years.

Remember when you were changing the mantles, and you reached in there and had to work the tie string off with your fingers, and then you BLEW LIKE HECK, to clean all the previous mantle ash dust out of the lantern, and onto everything else? Measuring these mantles now has given me the willies.

They were still using thorium into the 90's, I believe. What was the reason they were allowed to use thorium for so long?
"They had been doing it for so long" was the justification. Therefore, they should continue to be allowed to do it.
Incredibly cavalier logic, at the public's expense. Everybody knew it was there, but had no concept of the risk .
All this stuff is on the net, and Google will easily find it for you. Just type in various combinations of applicable key words.

Uranium Ore
The uranophane is pretty hot stuff - little tiny pieces produce very high counts - this stuff stays WAY outside, in my lead pig within a lead pig. Playing with this uranium ore for a few hours could exceed my suggested maximum annual dose. The uranophane is in plastic bags, and stays in the pig, except when I am testing. I limit exposure time to a minimum, and maintain a 10 foot distance, during most of the testing.



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2. Probe SENSITIVITY - GM Tube

CPM vs. mR/hour

Sensitivity
x0.01 Range
x0.1 Range
x1 Range
x10 Range
x100 Range

Notes

CPM
µR/h
CPM
µR/h
CPM
mR/h
CPM
mR/h
CPM
mR/h

600/mR/hour

6
10
60
100
600
1
6K
10
60K
100

Low sensitivity

1.2k/mR/hour

12
10
120
100
1,200
1
12K
10
120K
100

Bicron 2000

2.4k/mR/hour

24
10
240
100
2,400
1
24K
10
240K
100

Ludlum 5

3.3k/mR/hour

33
10
330
100
3,300
1
33K
10
330K
100

High sensitivity



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3. Radiation Detection Rate - Sensitivity SCALES
Meter
Full
Scale
Measured
Rems/Hour
Sieverts/Hour

Danger Level After 1 Hour

50 µR
500 µR
5 mR
50 mR
500 mR
5 Rem
50 Rem
500 Rem

10 µRems
100 µRems
1 mRems
10 mRems
100 mRems
1 Rem
10 Rems
100 Rems

0.1 µSv
1 µSv
10 µSv
100 µSv
1 mSv
10 mSv
100 mSv
1 Sv

Background radiation
Low level radiation
Daily human limit RATE
Do not stay here
CDV-715 lowest scale
Extreme danger
50% chance of death
CDV-715 highest scale

For years, we were told that low-level radiation won't hurt us. Most scientists now concede that ANY amount of radiation CAN be harmful. Radiation damage is accumulative. Reduce your total exposure.



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4. Geiger Counters and Dosimeters Tested - PHOTOS

Kvarts Geiger Counters
Approximately Actual Size
Victoreen CDV-715
Victoreen CDV-715 1A


 

DISCLAIMER
Although the author has tried to be as accurate as possible, errors are possible. Prices are continually changing, based upon varying supply and demand.

I could not find a Geiger counter summary, and radioactive substance comparison, like the above. So, I made this ionizing radiation detector comparison chart, to help myself understand nuclear radiation dose rates, and the measurement technology available. I hope that it helps you.

I am an electronics engineer by trade, who knows little about nuclear radiation.

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Vaughn Aubuchon
Vaughn's Summaries
©2006 Vaughn Aubuchon
www.vaughns-1-pagers.com
All Rights Reserved
This Vaughns eBay Geiger Counter Comparison summary
was last updated on 2014-07-06.