Hacking a Geiger Counter

Hacking a Geiger Counter

Akiba from Tokyo Hackerspace has been understandably interested in geiger counters of late.

The day after the nuclear problems started occurring at the plant, geiger counters started popping up on Ustream. After that, Pachube set up special accounts for radiation data feeds in Japan (thank you Pachube). Unfortunately, geiger counters were sold out everywhere. The fear of nuclear disaster and radiation spread internationally and there was a run on geiger counters. Luckily, Tokyo Hackerspace was able to obtain two of them from Reuseum . They had actually bent over backwards getting them to us quickly and was calling their warehouse for stock and UPS and FedEx to see who would still deliver to Japan. We received them two days ago and I brought them to Tokyo Hackerspace yesterday to show people how to use it. We’re keeping one at the space so that people can borrow it to check out their living area and reassure their families that its safe.

Unfortunately, the geiger counters are completely analog and there was no way to pull data from it. So, being the nerd that I am, I proceeded to hack it into what I wanted. These are the project details of the process of converting a cold-war era, analog geiger counter into a device that can digitally send data to Pachube, a public sensor feed aggregator.

Akiba uses his own creation, the Freakduino to send the geiger counter data to Pachube.

4 thoughts on “Hacking a Geiger Counter

  1. Randy Addison says:

    Geiger counters are the devices worn by the Saiyans in Japan’s most famous anime, Dragon Balls. lol Just kidding. Thanks for sharing this one. I hope Japan will be able to recover soon,

  2. Peter Lissen says:

    Hey, this nixie version is pretty cool:


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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net

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