It is very possible that you have already heard about the Gamma Counters. It is a versatile instrument and a very useful device that has been invented to detect radioactive emissions presence.

Gamma Counters are a relatively simple instrument. Its main component is the Gamma tube, a small chamber that contains a mix of certain gases which are equipped with two electrodes internal which must be charged with high voltage.

Various Types:

Today, there are many different types of Gamma Counters models available on the market which can react to alpha, beta, and gamma radiations. The gamma counters need 900 volts to operate and you will not believe that such a small instrument is able to generate the same voltage with a 6 V. battery.

But, do not be afraid of its high voltage, most of the Gamma Counters are harmless as its current output is very low. In spite of everything, it is better that you do not touch either the Gamma tube or the capacitors.

How to Load the Gamma Counters?

  1. It goes without saying that the first thing you have to do is give the switch to start.
  2. Go putting on the headphones.
  3. Tap the load switch (S2) firmly and quickly until you have given it about sixty times or until you hear an isolated click. Those clicks are normal background noises caused by cosmic rays.
  4. Once the instrument is loaded, give it a tap from time to time to keep it charged. Once you start using the meter, you will notice when you have to do this. The time lapse can vary from a few seconds to about a minute.
  5. When complete, fix the assembly on rubber blocks in a case. You can use any kind of case, for example, a metal toolbox. If you also want to use a metal case, make sure none of the un-insulated wires touch the metal walls.

If you have a gamma ray source and your device is ready, we can start. Notice that when you bring the meter closer to the gamma-ray source or vice versa, the clicks increase in an impressive way.

Some Important Points:

To build the Gamma Counters, start by mounting the circuit on perforated plates of those that are used for radio circuits. They use terminals with plugs that can be plugged in for the various components. The circuit diagram of the Geiger counter will show you how the connections should be made. When doing this work, remember the following points:

  1. The transistors may be damaged or it will not work if they are not connected properly as indicated in the figure. The same can be said for silicon rectifiers.
  2. Do not try to overheat the transistor or rectifiers when welding connections. It is best to hold the lead to melt with any pair of needle nose pliers while applying the iron when welding. The pliers will absorb the heat, which will protect the delicate pieces.
  3. All welded connections should be smooth and bright. Gray, granular or matte welds usually indicate poor electrical connections. This could prevent a good operation.