n00b Questions

7 years 10 months ago #2378 by OldMule
n00b Questions was created by OldMule
Howdy y'all!
Sorry if this isn't the right place for this. Not sure where else to put it :oops:
So I've got this GMC-300Eplus hooked up and showing on the map and all that good stuff, but the thing is...
When it's connected to the computer, it's not getting a real reading, because there's a ton of beta radiation here, which is pretty well blocked by this ol' house (solid construction in the olden days!), so I can be reading 20-30 or whatever inside, and then unplug the puppeh and take it outside and be reading MUCH higher. I've seen it as high as ~1700CPM outside while only reading in the 30s inside!
In case you're wondering why it gets so high, it's likely because I'm ~5-6 miles from a recently decommissioned uranium processing plant that has this huge leach pad thing, and I'm directly in the path of it's secondary wind pattern. When the wind blows from there, the rads go up. When it's summer and super hot and the wind blows from there, it nukes the whole town even more because of that pond evapourating (and nobody knows they're being nuked around here, and wonder why they're so ill!!) I can't prove it's coming from there, of course, but come on... really... aaaaanywho..... (bad habit of mine, going the long way 'round the barn! Sorry! :whistle: )
It's got an internal memory, but I can't figure out for the life of me how to pull the data off that memory and upload it to the RadLog proggie.
There's a program that comes with it that lets me pull the data off and view it there, but it saves to a .bin file, that nothing else seems to be able to read, so that's a no go afaik.
Anyone know how in the heck I can pull that off so I can leave it outside to collect accurate data and then come back in and plug it up and upload the info?

Also, what's the "Copy log to shared data" thingy in the Tools tab s'posed to do? I'm not finding any kind of manual or guide for this thing (if there is one, pretty please point me in the right direction!), but I am a born button pusher.
What it does when I hit that button, and then OK the thing in the confirmation window (even though I have no idea what it is I'm really confirming :silly: ) is that it says the following on the screen in that window:
(Read from bottom to top)
7/10/2016 5:33:40 PM : Successfully updated shared data viewer
7/10/2016 5:33:29 PM : Error copying log to shared data:
7/10/2016 5:33:08 PM : Copying local log to shared data...
7/10/2016 5:33:08 PM : Valid user/password.
7/10/2016 5:33:07 PM : Checking for valid user...

Though a little bit before that I see it saying:
7/10/2016 5:20:38 PM : Error in shared log FTP upload: A connection attempt failed because the connected party did not properly respond after a period of time, or established connection failed because connected host has failed to respond
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Valid user/password.
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Checking for valid user...
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Uploading shared datapoint...
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : New log datapoint complete.
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Saved trend report
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Updated long term trend graph
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Saved distribution plot data.
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Saved graph data.
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Created new datapoint directory.
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Creating new log datapoint \RadLog 20160710 172017 :
7/10/2016 5:20:17 PM : Creating new log datapoint
7/10/2016 5:20:16 PM : Successfully updated shared data viewer

What's that all mean? I imagine it's got something to do with that Shared Data tab, but I don't see my little ol' name on there or anything so I don't know if it's doing whatever it's supposed to or not. If someone could help straighten me out on this, I'd sure be appreciative!

Seems like I'd had some other questions, but I can't think of what they might be, so I'll stick with that for now.
Thanks folks! :)

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7 years 10 months ago #2379 by mw0uzo
Replied by mw0uzo on topic n00b Questions
Hi OldMule
Wow that sounds like a significant source of exposure - dust from the radioactive pond. :ohmy:
Thankfully you have discovered it, so you can measure and reduce exposure to it. It would be fascinating to see this 'fallout' on an external counter set up at your location. Also the data can form the basis of your argument to relevent authorities.
You won't be able to pull the data off your counter and into RadLog as I havent made a function to do that. However, you can email me the .bin file and I may be able to get that feature into the next release.
The Shared Log feature is suffering from a problem at the moment and new users aren't working.
I wonder if you should get a unit that detects alpha, so you can check for contamination. Perhaps turn the 300e into a permanent outdoor monitoring station. I would guess that plenty of beta/gamma would be accompanied by lots of alpha. Reallly not good if its getting breathed in...
Very interesting post, I'm sure there are plenty of people here who would have something to say and some advice to give.

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7 years 10 months ago #2383 by Frank
Replied by Frank on topic n00b Questions
Hi OldMule, wow, that is crazy getting them readings like that. What Dan said, you should get a permanent unit outside. I have one of the newer units from GMC as well, but since it has the LCD display, I didn't want to leave it running outside during the cold, winter months. So I get a couple of GMC-200 units and one mounted outside in one of then temp/hum sensor enclosure used for weather stations. They are cheap enough and use the TL-081 adapters. I ran extensions to it from the shack inside to it outside. My readings on the map are this unit. But Dan, that's a great idea, currently my unit has the M4011 tube, Beta and Gamma, but I could mod the case and install a open ended, mica window alpha tube and that would cover the 3 elements. Cool idea!
Oh ya, welcome Oldmule to the site and group if I haven't done that. Gotta find you on the map so I can see these readings. :unsure:

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7 years 10 months ago #2384 by OldMule
Replied by OldMule on topic n00b Questions
Heya :)
Thanks for the replies!
Believe me, I'd love to get a counter that reads alpha, or even a secondary counter and a long ol' honkin' cable to hook up, but I'm poor as a church mouse, and barely scraped the money together to get the cheapie I got.
I didn't know about the processing plant when I moved here. Had a job I enjoyed, bought the house, and after about a year I started getting really ill. Got a lot wrong with me now, and haven't been able to work since 2012. Still waiting on disability after all this time... it's a messed up system and I won't get going on that one :angry:
Another lady had moved in about the same time about a block away, and started getting sick too. Really weird symptoms, and we were talking one day about it and it was crazy... we both had the same kinds of things wrong with us. That's what got me wondering if it might be something environmental.
I finally found out about the mill one night about a year ago when I couldn't sleep and was just kind of looking around the area on Google maps... and had an omg no dang wonder moment. Read up on it some, but not much testing has been done, and maybe none where I am...
So getting the Geiger counter was a huge step for me in trying to figure it out, but again, hands are quite tied financially.

Frank: You won't see the high readings on the map because I can only get outside readings while it's unplugged from the computer (part of what I'm hoping can be adjusted :) )
Thanks for the warm welcome! B)

mw0uzo: I'm not sure of your email addy and I didn't see anywhere to attach a file to a PM, so I'm including it here (hope it works!). I had to change it from .bin to .txt to be able to upload it, so just change it back from .txt to .bin and it should be good to go.

File Attachment:

File Name: 20160707_06_02_14.txt
File Size:64 KB

I _think_ this is from a few of days ago when it hit around 170CPM outside.
The prog I've been using is what comes with it, called Data Viewer. Dunno if seeing it would be of any help, but it's at https://www.gqelectronicsllc.com/comersus/store/download.asp , just in case.

Thanks again! Loving it here. Seems a nifty and active community! :cheer:

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7 years 10 months ago #2386 by Bert490
Replied by Bert490 on topic n00b Questions
Hi and welcome. Drifting radioactive pollution is exactly the kind of thing the Radmon system is good at, especially with outdoor sensors. Our fixed locations and charting over time can show changes due to external events like releases and wind. I would imagine that an old Uranium processing facility might also have some "hot spots" that are more or less at specific locations on the ground that were not cleaned up properly, and are not changing much over time. Those kind of close-spaced readings that map hot locations on the ground are best shown on sites like Safecast (USA coordinates at http://safecast.org/tilemap/?y=40.2&x=-93.8&z=5 ). For example, the Hanford site in Washington State, NW of Kennewick, has a few hot avenues right in the middle, but the perimeter is cool. Chernobyl in northern Ukraine is interesting too on Safecast. But that kind of data needs GPS coordinates so is harder to compile (or more expensive to automate). It also is not good for dynamic events.
I personally think an alpha-capable tube, though nice to have, is not necessary. Alpha only travels a few centimetres in air so unless your sample it very close the detector won't see it. For radioactivity passing by in the air, Uranium dust emits gamma until it emits alpha then the resulting Thorium soon emits beta, and your tube detector can see both beta and gamma. Similarly Radon and most of it's decay progeny emit gamma, so unusually high readings from any of our detectors means the same thing: Minimise breathing in the unfiltered air. I would try and get the detector in a sheltered but open box (like a weather station box as Frank suggested or a waterproof box with 2 pipes and a fan), and remove the detector for short trips around town to measure specific locations. If it gets cold in Winter where you are, consider a GMC-200 model that has no LCD display, or just move the box indoors.

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7 years 10 months ago #2387 by Bert490
Replied by Bert490 on topic n00b Questions
This website states there are more than 10,000 Abandoned Uranium Mines in the US. It includes many AUM cleanup efforts/promises.

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