Scintillator and Gamma-ray Spectrometer Information

Created: 5/4/2016

Below is some information and photos of my various scintillator detectors. It also has information on my Teensy 3.2 based gamma-ray spectrometer.

This is one of my dataloggers. It has a GPS receiver for location and timing, Bluetooth for communications and a microSD card for data storage. 

Here I am measuring a hotspot on our marble slab in the kitchen. I use an Android tablet to display the data recorded by the radiation logger.

Here is a screenshot of the Android app I wrote.

Here are some breadboards I built.

The electronics on the left is the high voltage power supply. This datalogger is based on an Arduino MEGA 2560 microcontroller board.

Here are some photos of my high voltage power supply breadboards.

Some of my dataloggers are placed in a tin container that I purchased at The Container Store. Their part number is 10048762. The HV power supply can be seen on the left. This supply is designed around a CCFL lamp power supply. The breadboard also contains a one transistor preamp so the Photomultiplier tube is not driving the cable. 

This is another datalogger head. The shinny metal around the PMT is some Mu Metal for magnetic shielding. Inside the brass box is the HV power supply and preamp.

I use some foam rubber to hold things in place and for additional light protection. 

Datalogger head all ready for the top.

This is another datalogger head that does not need a light tight container. 

This photo shows a R6233 PMT with the resistor divider chain soldered to the tube pins.

This photo shows one of the dataloggers used to generate the gif images on this page. An Arduino Nano is used on this logger to do the pulse counting and communication using the onboard USB port.

I placed this datalogger in a rubber container.

The other scintillator is placed in a 6-pack holder. This datalogger uses RS-232 to communicate to a Raspberry Pi 2 board used to generate the GIF images. 

The two side-by-side dataloggers are placed in the garage near the roof of the house.

Here are some photos of my gamma-ray spectrometer datalogger. The Scintillators above all use plastic detectors so they cannot be used for spectroscopy. To do spectroscopy one needs to use a crystal like the Nal(Tl) like the one below. This crystal is a 63x63mm detector purchased on eBay. The seller was any-devices located in Ukraine. The cost was $157.00 + $27.00 for shipping.

The crystal was coupled with a R6233 PMT also purchased on eBay. The seller was iradinc and the cost was $65.00. 

The detector was magnetically shielded using some Ultraperm 80 MuMetal purchased on eBay.   

I used some Turnigy 100mm heat shrink tubing to make the detector light tight. This tubing was purchased at   

Below are some photos of the multi channel analyzer (MCA). It also functions as a single channel analyzer (SCA). The boards on the top are the low and high voltage power supplies. This breadboard uses a Teensy 3.2 microcomputer to analyze or count the pulses from the detector head. Like my other dataloggers it contains a GPS receiver, Bluetooth module and temperature sensor. 


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Larry Cochrane -