Greeting from Finnish Lapland!

1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #6912 by OH8EFI

I stumbled here and wanted to feed data from my cheapo MeterK RadiationD-v1.1. At first I just added that counter to my Home Assistant with ESPhome. That was very easy and I am now able to log background radiation readings in Home Assistant on RPi 4. And about sending data outwards, I'm very new to coding stuff other than basic HTML and CSS, so after two days of on and off writing I was able to make a basic working http_request POST outwards. Almost lost my mental health at that process.  Gotta see if I can do the same URL formed POST here also. Or if people have made something for ESPhome to add in. That counter is still in my room but I am moving the meter outside in a month or so. Just gotta order enclosures and stuff.

My interest in radiation sparked something like 14 years ago, around the same time when I was starting other radio hobbies, like ham radio 12 years ago.

My equipment at the moment are CDV-700 and Wallac HRD-2.

Also keen on collecting different kinds of samples and sources. And got few cabinets of uranium glass at the moment.
Last edit: 1 month 3 weeks ago by OH8EFI.

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1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #6915 by Simomax
Hi OH8EFI, welcome to!

I'm assuming you have an ESP8266 or ESP32 simply connected to your RadiationD-v1.1 that sends to HA? If so you might want to try out ESPGeiger (by Steadramon). It will connect right to your coounter and has a very nice but simple web interface for configuration. It can send to, HA, MQTT, Thingspeak and GMC map, simultaneously. Very easy to set up and configure. I have three counters running ESPGeiger at the moment and they are running great. Check out this thread here and also the github page here . If you are running just the RadiationD-v1.1 then it is as simple as three wires - positive, negative and pulse. It comes with a web installer so simply connect to a pc, goto the installer page and follow the prompts. Use Chrome browser as that is the only browser I have had it working with. You don't have to use an oled screen, just the ESP itself is enough to work. For the RadiatioinD-v1.1 select the 'pulse' Geiger counter type and select if you have an oled.

It sounds like I am plugging this, and I kind of am. The reason being IMHO ESPGeger is the easiest and fastest way to get a counter online and sending to multiple platforms and I think it may help many people get their counters sending counts.

You sound like a collector in the making. I love the CDV-700. I have two, a slightly worn one (that is currently in bits as I plan to modify it), and a mint one as part of a Civil Defence CDV-777-1 set. I started collecting back in 2016 when I bought my first counter from ebay. Then found this site, then bought another and another and now I have many! Many sources and samples too. All things radiation related has become one of my favourite hobbies. The Wallac looks interesting. Does it still work? Would be a gem if it did.
Last edit: 1 month 3 weeks ago by Simomax.
The following user(s) said Thank You: steadramon

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1 month 3 weeks ago #6916 by OH8EFI
Hello! Thanks for the ESPGeiger tip! I'll see if I can make my current code to work but it things go south, I will go to that!
I am keen on collecting stuff.

One by one getting new and old counters!
Wallac was a super rare find. Found it in a flea market for 35€ (140€ is the antique store price). High voltage circuit seems to be working but I don't have anything hot enough that I could make the meter move. It starts from 0.1 R/h and ends at 300 R/h. Kata, which is a Finnish company which manufactures counters and survey meters can test any meter in their facility and will give out a certificate of the readings for sub 100€ price. I am thinking of sending it there maybe some day if I don't get anything hot enough.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #6917 by Simomax
I forgot to add the links in to my previous post, so I just have. The links are also here in case you want to have a look at ESPGeiger. Of course no worries rolling your own code. You basically just want to either POST or GET (I have had much better experience with getting than posting, though that may just be me out of touch with code.) There are many examples of code in the 'Arduino Code' forum that may help you. Also the API in the 'Howtos and FAQs' forum details the submit function for sending in your readings.

See if you can get hold of an Americium 241 disc from a smoke detector. It is a reasonable alpha emitter but also some gamma in the decay chain. It might make your counter count a little more than uranium glass, but not much. These days I take the disc out of every old smoke detector I see on it's way to the bin. Probably better taking it out than going to landfill, unless they are recycled (properly, not just shipped over to Malaysia or somewhere!) I must have 7-10 of them now. What to do with them? 

I like your Wallac, at least pictures I have seen of one. There were some very cool looking counters made in the 50's and 60's. these days we get a little plastic box with a digital display. Just not the same as an old vintage meter. I have seen quite a few various vintage counters in the US on ebay, but most have hefty prices. I think you got a very good price with yours.

This is my latest couunter. A 'FH 40 H'. German and built like a tank. It's thick and heavy and would hurt if it landed on you with some speed! Sadly non working. The HV PSU is faulty and I'm not sure about the meter. It's possible the magnets have lost some of their magnetism over time. The PSU is quite unique to Geiger counters as is based on a Tesla coil, the same as in violet ray wands, but runs off one D size battery. Quite a feat back in the day I imagine. A couple of photos of it:


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1 month 2 weeks ago - 1 month 2 weeks ago #6918 by OH8EFI
I actually now went to look for the up to date API and now got it working! Data is going now properly every 10 minutes. I wonder if I should give out latest 1min CPM count or should I create another counter for 10min average which to post to map. That would even out the readings

The hottest source I have is a bunch of different kinds of thoriated gas lantern mantles. And even that isn't able to move the Wallac meter. The mantle pile gives out 0.06 R/h on my CDV-700.

That FH 40 H looks super nice! I gotta start looking for meters abroad. I think I've seen almost everything Finland has to offer. Almost everything maybe.
Last edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by OH8EFI.

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1 month 2 weeks ago #6923 by Simomax
Personally, I would just submit every 60 seconds. Or is your counter doing the averaging itself? The graphs generated here are already averaged -  8 and 32 samples, so at 60 second submission intervals it is averaging 8 minutes and 32 minutes, if the submission was 30 seconds, then the average would be 4 minutes and 16 minutes. Then there are the weekly, monthly etc. that are averaged also.

My reasoning for this is if you were using the alert function then you may not get alerted until 10 minutes after the fact, if the counts were substantial in the first minute, and then they would be averaged and may fall below the alert threshold. The way the alert threshold works is any counts greater than the set threshold will immediately trigger an alert. That is when the email for is working properly, there are still some issues that will get sorted in time. Another reason would be if your counter is already averaging, you don't really want to average an already averaged number. I'm also a stickler for raw data, and getting it fast, but that is simply a me opinion thing, nothing technical about that, but I do like to see what is happening in real time. Averaging kind of takes a bit of that away.

Going back to your Wallac, I have just read that counter is designed for high radiation. I would like to know what tube is in it, or it may be an ion chamber like the CDV-715 and 717 in which case it is going to take a very hot source to get the meter moving. I have never managed to get any meters on any of my ion chamber counters to even flinch with the sources I have. The seller of a couple of my counters said he tested them on a hot Caesium 137 that he had in a lead pig. He would remove the lid, move the counter over the opening of the pig and if the meter moved it was good. then immediately place the lid back on the pig. He never said what the source was or if it was calibrated, just that is was enough to test ion chambers, but only slightly. My understanding is there are two types of counter - a survey meter and a SHTF meter (not sensitive so only reads hot sources). Any source that would indicate on a ion chamber will probably max out a survey meter, and when GM tubes get too much radiation they will simply stop reading and show 0 CPM and that is where the less sensitive meters come in.

I would be interested in knowing whether your Wallac has a GM tube or an ion chamber. If an ion chamber I think there is no point in trying to get the meter to move. It may be a less sensitive GM tube though, maybe shielded to put it in the SHTF category.

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