Radioactive@Home detectors

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6 years 6 months ago - 4 years 7 months ago #1858 by Bert490
I don`t know why the Radioactive@Home server is down; I hope it is just a short-term issue and it will be back up soon. In recent months there have been only a few postings on their forum, and one of their admins had previously announced an inability to maintain the project, leaving (I think) one admin to continue, but I have not seen any postings by that admin. I am writing this for any Radioactive@Home member who wants to adapt their detector to this site. It will not remove the capability to send data to Radioactive@Home, so if that server does return, your detector can send data to both servers at the same time.

I have a Radioactive@Home detector (V2.61) that is has been working with the Radmon server via the 4-pin serial RS-232 connector 'CON1' for 10 months (I was never able to get my kit's USB port to work). This RS-232 connector uses TTL level voltages that require an adapter to connect to a computer's USB port. This product will do the job: <click here> or <here> *. This does the necessary conversion and provides a cable with 4 push-on wire connections for the detector. Here is a photo of the connector (it's the 4 horizontal pins between the 2 arrows):


The adapter has + and - 5V (normally red and black) wires for powering the detector; red goes on the + pin, black goes on the opposite end. The RXD white wire goes on the third pin from the top (TXD from the detector should go to RXD of the adapter). The green wire goes on the second pin, but this is optional as there is no data sent from the computer to the detector. With the USB adapter connected this way, the original USB cable is not required.
Using a terminal program on the computer (9600 b/s and opened on the COM# of the USB adapter) the output is a single number every second, e.g. 1, 2, 2, 3, 1, while the sensor display shows uSV/hr values .01, .02, .02, .03, .01, etc.
If the original is left in so the detector continues to attempt to contact the Radioactive@home server, then it best to not connect the red +5V wire in case there is a difference in the 2 USB voltage sources. Radlog software is required, set to the COM port of the adapter and to 9600 b/s speed, if you are using a Windows machine. There is also a Linux version for a Raspberry Pi host (see other posts on this). The units are uSV/hr x 100 and not CPM, so the raw data is off by 1.7x, but with a conversion factor of .01 set in Radlog, uSv/hr on the web page is correct (there is a software change in the works for this).

If this works for you and a more finished appearance is desired, the adapter can be mounted inside the Radiactive@Home enclosure in the unused battery compartment, and the 3 wires soldered inside as I did in the photo. Then a USB extender cable is required and the case must be cut to suit.

* Note both parts are now confirmed to work as described, but can take over 6 weeks delivery.
My station: www.radmon.org/radmon.php?function=showuserpage&user=Bert490
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Last edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Bert490. Reason: embedded photo and clarified text.
The following user(s) said Thank You: mw0uzo

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6 years 6 months ago #1862 by mw0uzo
Replied by mw0uzo on topic Radioactive@Home detectors
Thanks for the extra information. With a bit of luck the server will come back up. Often developers free time and personal circumstances change and different amounts of time can be spent on maintenance and making new stuff. I'm sure r@h will be back. If there is a disaster, I will add a r@h USB compatibility mode to RadLog so the detectors can be easily used. I looked at the firmware code a while back and know how to do it. Your serial method also works :) so there are options to continue.

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6 years 6 months ago #1863 by mw0uzo
Replied by mw0uzo on topic Radioactive@Home detectors
Also if the r@h devs read this, radmon.org offers any assistance it can to help. There is server horsepower available here if needed, temporary or permanent.

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6 years 6 months ago #1864 by mw0uzo

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4 years 7 months ago - 4 years 7 months ago #3762 by Bert490
Replied by Bert490 on topic Radioactive@Home detectors
The domain radioactiveathome.org has been down for maybe a week now. After an extended silence from any admin on their forum, I fear it may be gone for good.

For any radioactive@home sensor owner looking for a place to send data, this is it. My radioactive@home detector works here after adding a USB to TTL serial converter (see post below). The raw data is a bit inaccurate (it reads lower than most detectors), but since each station has a user-selected alert level, the map colors and graphs work well. (Note I have since updated my Radmon detector to a unit with an audio output to provide accurate CPM values, and am using the serial output Radioactive@home unit for experiments.)
Last edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Bert490.

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4 years 7 months ago #3764 by mw0uzo
Replied by mw0uzo on topic Radioactive@Home detectors
Hopefully it'll come back up, probably the owner is away. I did take a look at the radioactive@home detector firmware, and noted that it shouldn't be difficult to get RadLog working with the USB interface. The kit designer made a good job of the firmware, it is nice and understandable.

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