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Thread: I bought a Geiger counter.

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    Guns Network Contributor 01/2015 Altarboy's Avatar

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    I bought a Geiger counter.

    I have always wanted one and discovered that they aren't very expensive. Anyhoo, I have been checking out stuff around the house. Some things have slightly elevated readings like smoke detectors and some pottery.
    Then I put it on an old army compass I've had forever. Geez, it shows 4200cpm and .660 mR/h. It now lives out in the shop.

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    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 alismith's Avatar

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    I've had one for years. Mine doesn't have a speaker, only a meter. It doesn't react to much around here, but I managed to get some radium dust about 35 years ago and that will set the detector off rather nicely. The radium has a reactive distance of about 2'. Past that, it doesn't register.

    If you live out West, it could be fun to just walk around and see what registers on the detector.

    If your'e looking for something really interesting, get an EMF meter and watch it go nuts around your house or where you work. Anything AC really sets that one off.
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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Altarboy View Post
    I have always wanted one and discovered that they aren't very expensive. Anyhoo, I have been checking out stuff around the house. Some things have slightly elevated readings like smoke detectors and some pottery.
    Then I put it on an old army compass I've had forever. Geez, it shows 4200cpm and .660 mR/h. It now lives out in the shop.
    Is the faceplate glass cracked? (assuming the compass has a radium glow dial)?

    Also, does your counter pick up alpha and beta, or only gamma?
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    Guns Network Contributor 01/2015 Altarboy's Avatar

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    It picks up gamma, beta and xray. No alpha.

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    Senior Member Full Otto's Avatar

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    I've had one for quite awhile
    Originally got it to check pocket change also trucks as I passed by during my commute on I65
    Has the headphones
    For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe

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    Guns Network Contributor 01/2015 Altarboy's Avatar

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    You can order uranium and 50s Fiestaware online. Even Amazon has uranium. The orange bowls and plates had uranium in their paint and will register high.

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    Senior Member JTHunter's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Altarboy View Post
    It picks up gamma, beta and xray. No alpha.
    IIRC, alpha rays can be stopped by just 5 sheets of notebook paper. That is because they are 2 pairs of protons and neutrons, basically a helium nucleus. Beta rays are the electrons and much smaller.
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    Guns Network Lifetime Member #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Altarboy View Post
    I have always wanted one and discovered that they aren't very expensive. Anyhoo, I have been checking out stuff around the house. Some things have slightly elevated readings like smoke detectors and some pottery.
    Then I put it on an old army compass I've had forever. Geez, it shows 4200cpm and .660 mR/h. It now lives out in the shop.
    Yeah as Roger said, radium. I know some of the older army surplus trucks ect, had some instruments/gauges removed before sale to the public for that reason. There's a really good book called radium girls i have, about the women painting radium into gauges and watches ect. They actually dipped their brushes in radium to paint and then to keep the brushes wet would put the brushes in their mouths, needless to say you can imagine the outcome for them and eventually the industry.
    Last edited by 1 Patriot-of-many; 11-22-2020 at 05:50 AM.

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    Senior Member BISHOP's Avatar

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    I bought one of these years ago, NIB. Came with 12 Dosimers and the box to reset them. The manual. According to the manual its still within specs, wen I do its little diagnostic.

    Problem is, nothing moves the needle. I must not have anything radioactive.
    I'd like to get one of those little speaker types, that cracks every time its hit with a bit of radiation.


    BISHOP

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    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 alismith's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by BISHOP View Post


    I bought one of these years ago, NIB. Came with 12 Dosimers and the box to reset them. The manual. According to the manual its still within specs, wen I do its little diagnostic.

    Problem is, nothing moves the needle. I must not have anything radioactive.
    I'd like to get one of those little speaker types, that cracks every time its hit with a bit of radiation.


    BISHOP
    Mine is one of the older models. Looks a lot like yours, but has a screw-on, button type connector for a headset or speaker. I haven't found any headsets that have that type of connector, yet. May have to hit an electronics store and see if I can find one there.
    "Valar morghulis; valar dohaeris."

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    Guns Network Contributor 01/2015 Altarboy's Avatar

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    IIRC, those are for higher levels of radiation. I have one and it also doesn't seem to work. I need to try it on my compass. It puts out some energy. Right now, it's in a metal box on a shelf in my shop.
    Also, I ordered some uranium. Should be Interesting.

  12. #12
    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 alismith's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Altarboy View Post
    IIRC, those are for higher levels of radiation. I have one and it also doesn't seem to work. I need to try it on my compass. It puts out some energy. Right now, it's in a metal box on a shelf in my shop.
    Also, I ordered some uranium. Should be Interesting.
    Keep us posted on what happens.
    "Valar morghulis; valar dohaeris."

    "Never say, "gun control" but instead say, "victim disarmament." - L Neil Smith

    Making good people helpless won't make bad people harmless.

    Freedom isn't free.

    "Attitude is the paintbrush that colors our world." TV Series, Haven.

    My Spirit Animal has rabies.

    I'd rather be an American than a Democrat.

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    Guns Network Lifetime Member #2

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    Where'd you get yours Alterboy? I've often thought of grabbing one mil surplus never got around to it.
    .

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    Guns Network Contributor 01/2015 Altarboy's Avatar

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    Amazon. I bought the GMC 300 plus.

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    Guns Network Lifetime Member #2

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    Thanks, They have all kinds of digital ones now too real cheap! Pretty wild.

  16. #16
    Guns Network Contributor 01/2015 Altarboy's Avatar

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    I found another compass in my desk that gives out over 8000 com. Good Lord! Scary stuff.

    My son built a concrete "pig" to store this stuff in. My Amazon uranium only goes to around 1100.
    If you guys have any old compasses around, get them tested or at least keep them out away from you.

  17. #17
    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 alismith's Avatar

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    I'm wondering if it's radium that is in those compasses....?

    An older watch/wristwatch/alarm clock, with glow in the dark hands, should, probably, set your geiger counter off, too.
    "Valar morghulis; valar dohaeris."

    "Never say, "gun control" but instead say, "victim disarmament." - L Neil Smith

    Making good people helpless won't make bad people harmless.

    Freedom isn't free.

    "Attitude is the paintbrush that colors our world." TV Series, Haven.

    My Spirit Animal has rabies.

    I'd rather be an American than a Democrat.

  18. #18
    Senior Member NAPOTS's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by alismith View Post
    I'm wondering if it's radium that is in those compasses....?

    An older watch/wristwatch/alarm clock, with glow in the dark hands, should, probably, set your geiger counter off, too.
    Could be tritium like night sights right?

  19. #19
    Team Guns Network Silver 04/2013 alismith's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NAPOTS View Post
    Could be tritium like night sights right?
    If they are older compasses or watches, they should be radium, I would think.

    Isn't tritium of more modern usage? Radium goes back a long time....

    Growing up in the 50's, I remember all our bedroom clocks had radium to make them light up after a light hit them. They had to be activated by light before they would glow and the glow didn't last very long. Tritium is its own light source, right?
    Last edited by alismith; Yesterday at 12:03 AM.
    "Valar morghulis; valar dohaeris."

    "Never say, "gun control" but instead say, "victim disarmament." - L Neil Smith

    Making good people helpless won't make bad people harmless.

    Freedom isn't free.

    "Attitude is the paintbrush that colors our world." TV Series, Haven.

    My Spirit Animal has rabies.

    I'd rather be an American than a Democrat.

  20. #20
    Team GunsNet Silver 03/2014 sevlex's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by alismith View Post
    If they are older compasses or watches, they should be radium, I would think.

    Isn't tritium of more modern usage? Radium goes back a long time....

    Growing up in the 50's, I remember all our bedroom clocks had radium to make them light up after a light hit them. They had to be activated by light before they would glow and the glow didn't last very long. Tritium is its own light source, right?
    Radium dials don't need an external source. Their radioactivity is what illuminates the dial.

    You had old fashioned glow-in-the-dark stuff.
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