DIY Geiger Counters in Japan

Computers & Mobile Science
DIY Geiger Counters in Japan


In the wake of the Japanese disaster trifecta, I contacted our pal Francesco Fondi, of Wired Italy’s Otaku News and Hobby Media, to make sure he was OK (in Tokyo). He’s fine. He also sent us a link to a piece he’d done on Wired.it about DIY Geiger counters. It looked interesting, so I asked him to translate:

To follow the level of radioactivity in the Japanese capital, local makers are building DIY Geiger counters. A popular one seems to be the USB Geiger counter kit sold by Strawberry Linux. It’s a Geiger counter based on Geiger–Müller tube (or GM tube) that can be connected to a PC.

A couple of users also started live video streaming of their Geiger counter readings on Ustream (here and here).

For a better picture of the situation, a good source is the Google Map that points out many Geiger counters in Japan (both official and DIY).

DIY Geiger Counters in Japan (Link to Fra original post on Wired Italy)

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8 thoughts on “DIY Geiger Counters in Japan

  1. Tony Olsen says:

    Looks like its showing about normal background rads, Denver would be about 65-75 cpm, Chicago, about 30 to 40 cpm.

  2. Brian Lenz says:

    This is cool, but are there any translated pages, Try as I might I cannot read any of them (sorry :))

    1. Dino Segovis says:

      Just open the page in Google Chrome Browser and it will offer to translate it. :) Works great!

  3. Dave Brunker says:

    $250 seems a lot to pay for a kit. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to a fully assembled geiger counter and modify it to send its output to a computer?

    I’ve been keeping track of background radiation (in the hopes of calming radiation fears) on Twitter and RDTN.org

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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