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Old 09-21-2012, 14:41   #1
ArmoryDoc
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Rad Meters and Gieger Counters

Ok, you learned souls who have done your homework. I am interested in possibly spending the money on a unit that would be practical for detecting radioactive fallout from a nuke blast.

I know, I know. Pretty extreme prep there Doc but, I think it prudent to think along these lines as a possibility. And yes, I do want to live through it.

Anyone studied on on which units are effective as well as budget friendly ? Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2012, 14:55   #2
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This should pull in the grande experte... da El Gee Wan.


:Tagged:

Last edited by BR549; 09-22-2012 at 12:24..
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Old 09-21-2012, 15:42   #3
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Here's a good start...

Check this out:

http://www.nukalert.com/

This is a simple little gizmo that chirps when exposed to radiation. It would seem to me to be a very good first step. It's simple enough that you don't have to have a physics PhD to use. Lots more info on the web site there. Good luck!
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Old 09-21-2012, 15:57   #4
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nukalert seems to be well liked among those who have ponied up the cash to get one.

It's on my "someday" list.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:40   #5
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Like anything else, you have hobby grade and pro series. I was issued a Thermo sceintific Radeye PRD.

There's a bit to this subject. Are you going to wear or carry it 24/7? If not, save your money and don't bother with high-end stuff, just get an old civil defense survey meter for $75.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:16   #6
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The nukalert (imo) is better for warning you that there's radiation; ie, make you aware of it when you aren't expecting it. Much like a smoke detector, I guess. The 'vigilance' aspect is on it, not on you.

For checking what the levels ARE in an area, imo a survey meter is a good thing. They can be had at ki4u.com, or at least used to be. They also (at least used to) calibrate the units they sell before shipping them out; some used surplus meters you find may be way out of calibration and you'd have about no way of knowing or testing it.

Some models of survey meters also allow the use of remote probes, to let you leave the probe in the dangerous area and monitor levels while you remain in a sheltered location. I only have one, and when I bought it, I went with the unit without remote-probe capability; I'd do it different now.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:44   #7
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there are also more practical, and common uses. i have heard that one should be carefull when selecting granite for a counter top. as some are rather radioactive ( naturally occurring )
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:28   #8
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Geotechnical Engineering. Google and see what those guys use who perform the nuclear testing, etc.

They wear things which show how much radiation to which they have been exposed.

Then again, I'm probably not going in the right direction with my response.

Last edited by BR549; 09-22-2012 at 18:44..
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Old 09-22-2012, 13:51   #9
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Subscribed... Good info
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Old 09-22-2012, 17:18   #10
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Yes, good info. Thank you.
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Old 09-26-2012, 23:18   #11
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Radiation Detection

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmoryDoc View Post
Ok, you learned souls who have done your homework. I am interested in possibly spending the money on a unit that would be practical for detecting radioactive fallout from a nuke blast.
First, LG1 should receive some credit as he has had a (previously posted) comprehensive analysis of NukAlert versus RadDetect (if memory serves correctly - so I may be way off ) After his initial review, (and some of my own research) I picked up a NukAlert device which alarms at 0.1R/hr ... This is the same minimal detection range as the "The Package" type old Civil Defense devices available at Ki4U.com (which I'll admit I also have - SIDE note, ALWAYS pick up a CALIBRATED device if you're going this route - buying a CD meter off e-bay is a generally BAD idea as you have no idea if it's properly calibrated!!). These devices detect (relatively) *extremely* high levels of radiation in the grand scheme of things, which (from my limited research) would have only alerted in areas very close to Fukishima following their disaster.

However, much lower doses of radiation (for example, dirty bomb type scenarios & radiation leaks farther away from the direct-contact of the core of a meltdown) would have never been detected by these devices. If you're worried about detecting much more localized gamma radiation-generating scenarios (anything other than a full meltdown and/or global thermo-nuclear war), you might look at something like the K8 device http://k8community.com/index.html which alerts at 5 mR/hr. To put those in perspective, the NukAlert alerts at 100 mR/hr - or 20 times the exposure limits that the K8 can detect!

NukAlert has the benefit of a ~10 year battery life and a sealed case which can withstand quite a bit (EMP, humidity, etc.). The K8 has need for ~quarterly battery replacement and cannot withstand the harsher conditions the NukAlert can withstand, but is designed for different operations (namely, more precise lower-level gamma radiation detection). Each device is on the order of $150 - $200 and serves its purpose well. Fortunately (for me!) I don't have the direct experience to discuss real-world results (in other words, I've never been exposed to true radiation), but I trust both devices (along with the calibrated Civil Defense materials) to work as they've been advertised. ... hope that discussion was of relevance. If you are looking at a K8 device, check out something like batteryjunction.com to pick up a few batteries in bulk to reduce overall operational costs

If you want something more tuned-in than either of these options, check out the wealth of information (concerning radiation detection devices) at http://radiationnetwork.com/
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:09   #12
ArmoryDoc
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Great information peeps. It has helped a lot.
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Old 09-27-2012, 17:01   #13
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<- former level II industrial radiographer

First rule- any detection is better than nothing

That being said, an alarming dosimeter that warns at 2mR is beautiful. The 2mR threshold is the "public" limit, meaning it's "ok"...but is a "...hmm, let me look around" moment.

A dosimeter that alarms at 100mR is putting you in a hot zone...real hot....before alerting.

I don't know if the following analogy is perfect, but it might help some understand:

2mR chime= you were hit with a spitball and are now alerted to "something" that may or may not actually be an issue.

100mR chime= you were hit with a major league fastball and need to run in the other direction now!

Edit:
Just to clarify, "dose" is the issue when it comes down to it. Running through a 100mR field may not be an issue in the bigger scheme of survival...it's how long you hang around that's the issue. If you detect a 2mR source, it may be a concentration of a naturally occuring element, a "blip". If you come across 100mR, it's not an accident, it's a problem.

I don't want to find out I'm driving towards a problem when it's already 100mR, I want to know much earlier....but, hey...see rule 1.

Last edited by beatcop; 09-27-2012 at 17:16..
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Old 09-27-2012, 17:09   #14
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Old 09-27-2012, 17:47   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatcop View Post
<- former level II industrial radiographer

First rule- any detection is better than nothing

That being said, an alarming dosimeter that warns at 2mR is beautiful. The 2mR threshold is the "public" limit, meaning it's "ok"...but is a "...hmm, let me look around" moment.

A dosimeter that alarms at 100mR is putting you in a hot zone...real hot....before alerting.

I don't know if the following analogy is perfect, but it might help some understand:

2mR chime= you were hit with a spitball and are now alerted to "something" that may or may not actually be an issue.

100mR chime= you were hit with a major league fastball and need to run in the other direction now!

Edit:
Just to clarify, "dose" is the issue when it comes down to it. Running through a 100mR field may not be an issue in the bigger scheme of survival...it's how long you hang around that's the issue. If you detect a 2mR source, it may be a concentration of a naturally occuring element, a "blip". If you come across 100mR, it's not an accident, it's a problem.

I don't want to find out I'm driving towards a problem when it's already 100mR, I want to know much earlier....but, hey...see rule 1.
Listen to what this man has to say.


If you're really serious about this then spend your money on a quality EPD (electronic personal dosimeter) and a survey meter. Some models of the EPD can be programmed to alarm at any desired level. The survey meter will tell you what direction to run.

Also take some time and learn about dose rates and and their effect on the body at certain levels. You'd be surprised how the body reacts to the entire spectrum. Also, you pick up a hell of a lot more than 0.1 mR in a day from natural occurrences. So don't let that "bench mark" freak you out.
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Old 09-27-2012, 22:01   #16
ArmoryDoc
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Great followup information. That really helps. Thanks !
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