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home-made GEIGER Tube

Posted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:44 pm
by ki3u
For anyone interested, I've written up some info on Geiger Tube home-construction and operation :

Homemade Geiger Tube - some brief notes

Happy clicks ;-)

Berj / KI3U

Re: home-made GEIGER Tube

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:44 pm
by mightyohm
Wow, thank you for sharing this very detailed and genuinely interesting construction article!
I am really impressed by your results, particularly given your very simple vacuum pump!
The article mentions that it was published, but doesn't say where - was this a submission to a magazine or newsletter? Which one?

Re: home-made GEIGER Tube

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:05 am
by ki3u
Hi Jeff - tnx!

The publishing history is as follows: as you can see from the schematic I did the work in 2011; at the time I kept a few friends informed of it by emails. Then this last September 16 I scrounged up my notes from back then and wrote the article. On September 22 I obtained a free (and so far satisfactory) website account with for the purpose of putting up some odds and ends which may interest others out there, and I uploaded the Geiger article to it. Since a brand-new free website is unlikely to get views right away (other than from my friends) I looked for a user-friendly open technical forum in which to announce the article - that same day I found mightyohm and here we are. Thus the effective far and wide dissemination of the article as of 22 SEP 2013 is due to mightyohm - so again, thank you!

I hope the article stimulates other Geiger guys (and maybe gals) to experiment with these relatively simple C-3 type tubes which do not require special and expensive equipment to fabricate, and report their discoveries - I believe much more can be realized with them as regards improvements and special applications, for example one possibility is a gently tapered tube geometry, sort of like a stemless funnel - how would that affect results?

This simple type Geiger tube, i.e. not internally quenched with a special gas mixture, special internal surface treatments etc., seems to have been long neglected with the ever increasing availability of commercial internally quenched tubes. These days, due to Fukushima, more and more people around the world are becoming Geigerized, and so we have more and more Geiger experimenters out there - lets get more of them to build their own tubes and report their results.

As I point out in the article, a bare bones working system need not employ electronic quenching (although the circuit shown for that really is simple), but can be just the homebuilt Geiger tube, a current-limiting RC resitor, and the source of high voltage, plus an AM radio receiver placed in proximity serving to enunciate the Geiger clicks. Then bring in your wristwatch and you can obtain counting rates. That's all that's needed to enter an exciting and evermore urgently relevant field of exploration.