An open source Geiger Counter designed by Andrew Huang has made over $100,000 in Kickstarter funding in an hour. The handheld device is designed to help Japan detect radiation after the nuclear disaster that rocked the country last year. Since then there has been little reliable data on the amount of fallout produced by the disaster. SafeCast changed all that by distributing Geiger Counters to take individual data points all over Japan.
The funds raised on Kickstarter are going to Safecast group, which is in the process of creating the open source database of radiation contamination at Fukushima. So far they have 3 million data points that make for a scary picture of the actual radiation levels in the aftermath of the tsunami/earthquake/nuclear meltdown.
The design is is being manufactured by International Medcom. Those interested in having their own personal handheld Gieger counter need $400 to reach the level required to get one fo the limited edition Geigers. Their original goal was $4,000. They made $100,000 in one hour.
This is the side by side comparison of the geiger counter used by Safecast in Japan, and the new slim, clear, limited-edition model.
Here is the spec list. It detects all types of radiation, with the ability to log numerous data points and inludes an accelerometer to log sensor orientation.
LND7317 pancake tube (aka the industry standars 2″ pancake sensor which measures Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation) + iRover HV board
STM32-based microcontroller; sufficient CPU power to digitally sign logs with a unique private key as a non-repudiation/anti-tamper measure
450 mAh Li-poly battery
3-axis accelerometer so sensor orientation can be recorded
128×128 color OLED display
6-button captouch array
“hold” button on the back to lock the captouch array and prevent false triggering of the power-hungry UI elements
lanyard attachment (important for the Japanese market)
microUSB port for charging and data upload interface, featuring an FTDI-based serial chipset capable of loading firmware into the microcontroller
3.5mm jack capable of bidirectional audio
embedded hall-effect sensor (to detect attachments, e.g. for occluding alpha or beta radiation)
audible event notification via piezo buzzer
low-power visual event notification via conventional LED