Arduino, Geeky, HACMan, Physics, Science, Tool October 26, 2014 Skippy 3 comments

Building a Geiger Counter

A while ago I bought a DIY Arduino Geiger Counter kit from ebay and a SBT-11A Russian Geiger counter tube.

The SB-11A is a very sensitive alpha tube, comparable to the LND 7317 in some ways. It also seems sturdier and is certainly cheaper. The data sheet gives: 44-49 cps/uR/sec, so the CPM to uSv/h conversion ratio becomes 318 CPM/uSv/hr. SBT-11A Pinouts.

The kit came in the post a few days ago:

IMG_2946.JPGMost of the components were stuck to a sheet of A4 paper with the values, and the number printed on it, the screen, the PCB, and a bag full of some other components separate.

Out of the box there was a small modification that needed to be made to the PCB, some solder resist needed to be removed round holes drilled for an additional capacitor

The SBT-11A Russian Geiger counter tube

Assembling the kit using the supplied instructions was OK, however a lack of silkscreen and some of the package holes being the wrong spacing for the components made for an interesting assembly process (Also some of the assembly was performed on my Dremel Gas Soldering Iron).

Connecting up the Tube and turning it on illicit a serious of chirps from background radiation.

The Kit also came with a RT162 LCD screen, however I have not got round to wiring that up yet.

3 thoughts on “Building a Geiger Counter

  1. Do you have to connect all three (+) pins to voltage, and both (-) pins to ground? Or are the +/- pins internally connected so that only one connection has to be made? I see that you made five leads to cover all pins, but design logic is for all pins would be connected internally, requiring only one pin to receive (+), and one grounded (-).

    I’ve ordered an SBT-11 GM tube. When it gets here I’ll check for VOM continuity between related pins. If continuity exists, I’ll only need one power connection and one ground.

  2. The spec sheet shows four tubes in the SBT-11A. Two are connected to the center of three pins, the other two are connected, one each, to the other two of three pins. Negative side can be shorted together.

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