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Monday, August 8, 2016

How To Setup Up a Radiation Monitoring Station and Hook it Up to Your Computer

Do-It-Yourself Exterior Installation for InspectorPlus Geiger Counter  pdf
...requires moderate electro-mechanical skills and a little imagination!
assy 1 assy 2 assy 3 assy 4

The Objective
The 3.5mm stereo jack outputs a 3.3vdc signal each time a count is detected. A matching plug (#8) is wired and connected into a computer via a serial interface. Pulses are counted by a software application running in the background. InspectorPlus Detectors (#7) have a PC based 'Observer' software available from Amazon for $99. Software can be downloaded from BlackCatSystems, for both Mac and PC, with a $39 license. BlackCatSystems also sells Geiger counters in various configurations.
Calibration Samples

Materials List for Asbuilt Unit  see picture gallery
1 8.75x5.25x3.3 inch enclosure with backplate Enclosure
1 $40.00   This box is mounted in a location easy to access and conducive to wiring. In this instance, the wires run into the attic and down into the room where the serial connection is made to the computer. An easier method is to use cable entrance bushings to pass the cable from the exterior wall through to the computer area. enclosure
2 Amico (3-6.5mm cables) Waterproof Plastic Glands Amazon 1 $.50   Use multi-conductor (4 minimum) cable suitable for outside installations. weather connector
3 4 position terminal strip Amazon 1 $3.00   Easy interface into the enclosure for wire termination term strip
4 Supply Module, 12vdc stepdown to 9vdc Amazon 1 $3.12   Provide 9vdc to the detector in order to eliminate battery mainenance. This device is supplied (input) by 12vdc to regulate supply power down to 9 volts and eliminate damage to the detector due to reversed input polarity. 12v to 9v
5 9vdc Snap Connector Amazon 1 $2.59 M snap (+)
F snap (-)
VERY IMPORTANT! The connector has to be wired to simulate a 9 volt battery. Check voltage polarity before connecting detector. Reversing poles will fry the detector power supply. 9vdc snap connecter
6 HRS8 Construction Tie Strap
1/4-20, 7/8 inch Hex Coupler (3 each)
1 1/2 inch, 1/4-20 bolts (2 each)
1/4-20 nut (1 each)
  Use 8 inch construction tie along with Hex Couplers to build a mounting plate lifted off the backplate. A third coupler, used as a nut, provides the bottom stop pin. Align and drill holes to accept 1/4 bolts to affix standoffs and plate. Use Velcro or small Bungee Cord to afix detector to plate.
hex coupler
7 InspectorUSB+ Geiger counter Amazon 1 $560.00   S.E. International Inspector USB detector. Software from BlackCatSystems is used to data log and graph detector output.
This model has a USB port and can be cabled directly to a USB port on a PC, provided the USB version of 'Observer' software is installed. A method of routing a USB cable into the box would have to be found, and for PC users, this would be the most direct way to connect.
8 3.3mm Stereo Plug Amazon 1 $1.50 tip (+)
shaft (-)
Angled stereo plug mates with the detector output jack (#8). A 3.3vdc signal is routed to the Serial Interface 3.5mm plug
not shown Power Jack
Screw terminal for 12vdc wiring
usLEDsupply 1 $2.00 12vdc (+)
12vdc (-)
12vdc, 1000ma Power Adapter (2.1mm x5.5mm) connects into this jack. Terminate two wires from Supply Module (#4 input) to screw terminals on jack. Observe polarity! power connector
not shown Breakout Connector
Female DB9 Connector with screw terminals
Amazon 1 $12.00 pin 2 (+)
pin 5 (-)
Connects to USA-19HS Serial Interface (male connector). Terminate two wires from detector output jack to screw terminals on connector. RJ45 Jack
not shown Serial Interface
USA-19HS (Tripp-Lite Keyspan Adapter)
Amazon 1 $25.00 pin 2 (+)
pin 5 (-)
Drivers for Mac USA-19HS here. DB9 male (pin 2 RX; pin 5 GND). PC's using the 'Observer' software are provided instructions how to connect. keyspan serial adapter


  1. So you hook it up and it goes bonkers. Nuclear accident? Nope. Natural radon. Its everywhere.

    1. Lucey the liar

      Lie "Don't blame nuclear because radiation is EVERYWHERE!"


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