GM Tube / Geiger Counter module

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futuresoundsystems
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GM Tube / Geiger Counter module

Post by futuresoundsystems » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:46 pm

I'm not TOTALLY sure myself how serious I'm being with this idea... but would anyone here be interested in a Geiger Counter module? Not to be confused with WMD's device, but definitely inspired by the name haha.

It would cost around £200.

Not totally sure how useful it would realllly be - it'll output random triggers and also give you a good radioactivity count where you play though! :lol:
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Post by SynthBaron » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:28 pm

Hey, thanks for indirectly reminding me to see if my Ludlum 2221 digital counter will gate envelopes with just the power of the audio output. Works great.

I've been planning to use it as a random trigger source. You can buy a little piece of radioactive uranium ore off eBay (far from any kind of dangerous level) and move it closer or farther away from the detector for a different random trigger rate, lol.

Here's a WAV with it gating my Macbeth M5 if anyone's curious as to what it might sound like (using a sample of pitchblende that gives 90kcpm at the surface with a pancake probe). I'm just randomly moving the probe at different distances from my radioactive source:

http://petmeats.com/radioactivem5.wav

But yeah, something like that would be fun in a module, You'd probably get 20 or so "triggers" per minute just off background radiation with a regular GM tube.

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Post by futuresoundsystems » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:07 am

:tu: Awesome! I've got some different random gate sources in mind so those will definitely come first... but the idea of having something in a modular system which is truly location-dependent is quite interesting.
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Robba
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Post by Robba » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:44 am

I like that idea!

Gives some possibilities for controlling the randomness as well. Just put a lump of uranium close to the synth to increase the output.

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Post by wyrtti » Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:51 pm

I REALLY like this idea.

Couldn't one use that piece or radioactive material from a smoke detector and put it on some kind of slider so you can move it back and forth, closer and farther from the Geiger tube's window. And of course, this would be in addition to your location's background buzz.

Are you still thinking about this module?

It could put out CVs and triggers? The triggers would be cool to make radioactive music. :)

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wyrtti
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Post by wyrtti » Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:59 pm

And now I noticed that you had specifically mentioned triggers in your original post. :doh:

But, I'm not sure what kind of voltages the GM tube puts out, but could it also give off different voltages for cv? Or are the peaks always the same amplitude and just vary in how often they appear?
:huh:

But anyway. This seems like a project I am inetersted in hearing more about. I had been thinking along the same lines for a few months, but my lack of electrical skills have kept me from really starting thinking about it.

Cheers!
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Post by futuresoundsystems » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:29 am

Hey wyrtti!

If this did ever go ahead, there'd be some comparator and slew limiting circuitry as well as the GM tube itself to generate the triggers/gates out as well as a CV out.

However, this is most probably going to be shelved. Sourcing the tubes themselves is pretty difficult and once found, they're pretty expensive. You could easily get the same kind of results from pretty cheap standard modules. I'll be working on a digital random source after the DC1s and SEQ1s come out too, so there isn't much point in developing this for the forseeable future.
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Post by wyrtti » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:04 am

Hi,

I understand that it's not really a smart idea, but it does have a coolness factor to it. Geiger-Muller tubes are relatively expensive, so it wouldn't really take wing.

It's just a sexy idea. :hihi:
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Godric
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Geiger the man

Post by Godric » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:55 pm

Was a nazi piece of work. Quite happy to "out" jewish colleagues and their families. Even when they had helped him in his work.

People died as a result.

I wouldn't want to use the name on a product.

Godric

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Post by futuresoundsystems » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:55 am

I didn't know about that Godric! It's very doubtful that this is even going to be prototyped, but that's awful considering the world of physics use GM tubes all the time :\
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Post by JP » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:20 pm

Big bump.

I actually have one of these…

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9298

Which I got as a gag gift, but I'm now thinking I might mount it to the back of a faceplate with a mesh grill hole where the tube is, stick 5v in and if I'm readying the data sheet right, it should just pop out 5v triggers for each "radioactive thing" it finds.

It has some terrifying voltages though.

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