Radiation and the Geiger Counter-are you ready?

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by dahur, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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    Originally the thought was to check out those granite slabs we were thinking about putting in the kitchen.
    Now I have two nice Geiger Counters and a Scintillator. And a better understanding of Radiation and fallout. I think a must for any survivalist is to acquire one and know how to use it. I have been reading anything concerning radiation I can get my hands on, and have a long ways to go. More than a surviving mentality, it's also a cool hobby. You might be surprised to find those rocks in your yard are 2x or 3x background! (or more)
    I remember in grade school, the Civil Defense drills we had to go through every so often. Go in the hallway and put your head between your knees and all. This was around 1962. The CDV 700 series Civil Defense counters are on E-Bay all the time.
    Just get one that's been recently calibrated and working. No "passes a battery check", or "seems to be working". You can find a calibrated one for under $100. Preferably a 7006b.
    The CDV 715's, 717's on up, are high radiation ion chamber meters, and are considered as "doorstops" by many, as you might never use them. I have a 717 as a collector item. It has a 50 ft cord with the probe on the end, so you can take readings from the safety of your bunker.
    The Civil Defense funding for these Geiger Counters ran out in in 1964, now FEMA and state agencies are dumping them, so they're real cheap.

    FYI, my PM1703M gamma pager scintillator, is something I take with me everywhere. I live in Alamogordo, NM, and we went to Las Cruces a couple weeks ago. 70 to Cruces crosses White Sands Missile range for several miles. Normal background here is 7-9 uR/hr. As soon as we hit WSMR, it spiked to 57 uR/hr, or about 8x background, for a short distance. No telling what happened out there to cause getting that on the X way, but something sure did. Trinity was at least 50 miles away.

    If an nuclear event happens, can you tell if it is safe to go outside? If a nuke plant sends up radiation, can you be sure you're not getting any of it down wind? What I've read is fallout is very dangerous the first 24 hours, then gets cut in half each day after. With that you'd have to be hunkered down somewhere for a couple weeks at least. I'm a little more reassured with my Gieger Counter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  2. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Good call, most importantly is that the units are calibrated, there are a lot of used, surplus ones that are cheap but not useful because of this. One of my counters has a small radiac disc on the side to check operation of unit, but, does not however guarantee accuracy. I also have a ion chamber from a smoke detector, in the small metal film can, that will also check the operation of most meters and dosimeters. You can purchase calibrated units, for not much more if you look around.
    I have a very useful publication from the 1980s to add to your library...http://www.orau.org/PTP/Library/cdv/CPG 2-6-4.pdf

    Also note that the use of Potassium Iodide (KI) pills are limited to nuclear power plant type radiation. Potassium Iodide Anti-Radiation Pill FAQ. Iodine pills, tablets, sources. Not very useful for nuclear weapon fallout, so don't be lulled into believing that you are protected from all radiation if you take these. By the way I keep a supply on hand due to the proximity of the San Onfre nuclear facility which could be down wind from us.
     

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  3. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    That's great info. I never thought to buy Geiger Counters.
     
  4. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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    BunkerBob,
    I also have a couple of the CDV chargers, like yours, and a couple dozen dosimeter pens. I think 138-742. Easy to use, and still work. The government was planning on paying $20 per pen, but ended up paying close to $200 ea.
    Cool cold war era stuff. In the original packing boxes. Can be had very cheap on E-Bay.
    This is my 1964 Electro-Neutronics 7006b Geiger Counter. George from Geoelectronics does the mods, (called a LENi Pro). It has a lot of modifications from the original. Including a speaker with volume control, no headphones necessary, a pancake probe, new wiring, caps, etc. and many others.
    This is what I'm taking to the Trinity site in April (open only twice a year to the public).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  5. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention something else. Remember that Fiesta Ware china that was made in 40's through 1969? Well, the most popular color was that orange-reddish.
    Guess what? They used uranium oxide to get that color. I have one of those saucers from the 1959-1969 era. It is pretty hot, radioactive speaking. A normal background in CPM, (counts per minute), is 20-100 or so. You will always get a background count, the sun, from space, the soil, building materials.
    Here where I am it's 44 CPM. The Fiesta Ware I have generates 45,000 CPM!
    The FDA says it's safe to eat off of, but don't store your food on it. Yeah right.
    SO if you ever run across that color Fiesta Ware, you've been warned.
     
  6. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the warning. By the way in my April 2008 QST magazine(HAM radio) on page 72 had a article by Charles Kitchin, N1TEV, "Repair and Upgrade Low Cost Geiger Counters". Gave info and scematics for adding a speaker to these units. Pretty good article, and surprising to see that month.
    Oh, by the way, the chargers for the dosimeters, one is military, no battery required and the other civil defense one uses a 'D' size battery.
    Are you new to the forum, if so WELCOME:welcome:, from a long time preparer. Look forward to your continued replies and posts.
    Nice looking equipment by the way.:2thumb:
    Is George from Geoelectronics in New London, MO, do you have a phone number.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  7. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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    Yes, new to the forum, and thank you. I don't have a ph# for George Dowel, but his e-mail is [email protected]
    Yes, he's in New London, MO. He also is a HAM operator. The man is amazingly knowledgeable about anything concerning radiation, and rad equipment. He has kits for the Speak2Me speaker setups for DIY's.
     
  8. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info, I need calibration of one unit. If you or anyone else are interested I can copy the article from QST and post it, just let me know.
     
  9. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in reading it.
     
  10. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Here is that article.
     

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  11. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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    Bunkerbob,
    Thanks for posting the article. If you didn't want to fool with building one, you probably know there was a CDV 705 external speaker made for the 700 Geiger counters. I have one, and I got it from George, who sells them on E-Bay.
    Here's one in action, (not mine):

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gxFFfG4xzA]YouTube - Fiesta plate : CDV 705 speaker for CDV 700[/ame]

    Here is my Inspector Alert and my Fiesta Ware saucer (cir. 1959-1969)

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkNRUR2cXLw]YouTube - Inspector Alert and Fiesta Ware radioactivity[/ame]

    45,000 to 48,000 CPM
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2009
  12. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

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    Can you tell me if these are only out on there on ebay once in awhile? I found one calibrated CDV-700 on e-bay but it's priced at nearly $200.
     
  13. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the one you want (CDV 7006b) is usually between $125, and $185, but if you keep going back to "Geiger counters", or "radiation detectors", you will see an occasional one for less than $100.
    E-mail George ([email protected])
    Recently he had some calibrated ones for sale, for much less than $100, plus $12.50 shipping.
    Also, these come with headphones-they don't have a speaker. George may be able to modify one for a speaker, although I don't know how much he charges for that.
    Once you get into it, it's a VERY interesting hobby.
    Here are a few everyday things around the house that are radioactive:

    Smoke detectors (Americium-241)
    Bananas
    Lo salt substitute(has potassium chloride)
    Kitty litter
    Brazil Nuts
    Granite countertops (a small percentage are quite radioactive)
    Granite landscaping rocks
    Old clocks, watches, compass's( painted with radium) pretty dangerous
    Some glassware and porcelain made prior to 1950 contains uranium, and usually has a greenish tint
    My GF's china
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  14. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Hey Bob-will your detectors pick up radon?

    Also, as an aside, I believe that potassium is the reason bananas are radioactive.
     
  15. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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    Yup. Potassium 40 in bananas, and cocoa powder.
     
  16. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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  17. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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  18. john2

    john2 New Member

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    Thanks dahur, you managed to convince me,
    i went on this website to find a geiger counter Geiger Counters For Sale
    But there are so many different models , what's the bestgeiger counter for home use?
     
  19. dahur

    dahur Well-Known Member

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    Well, I think the old Civil Defense ones are cool. But for me personally, my Inspector Alert is the all around one I like best. It has the built-in pancake probe that's sensitive to Alpha, Beta, and Gamma radiation. It has quite a few belles and whistles including a timed count, and speaker for the clicks. A little pricey at around $500. But I like I can put it in my pocket, or clip it to my belt. I ordered the optional metal shield that covers the probe window.
     
  20. bestgeigercounter

    bestgeigercounter New Member

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    Lets have a look at the geiger counter used in movies


    [ame="http://vimeo.com/113843868"]http://vimeo.com/113843868[/ame]

    More Geiger Counter videos :2thumb: