The Chernobyl Project - HOME

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Geiger-Mueller counter

My Geiger-Mueller counter just arrived. Unfortunately i am not at home at the moment, so i cant play and fiddle with it as i wish, but still i managed to get a few pics - kudoz to me mom! She said its really yellow and looks like a radio ;-). Enjoy!

Customer service

I've done a little research on my own regarding the Geiger counters. I would like to have one, unless it costs an arm and a leg. So I've started to dig up some sites, have a look at e-bay and I've found one device, called Terra-P from an Ukrainian manufacturer. (Will write about the device itself some other time.) It is small, portable and not too expensive. Maybe it is not an "object of desire" like danex's Victoreen, but it might be more useful and somewhat accurate. Although I will miss the retro look:)
So I've contacted the manufacturer "Ekotect" and received a fast reply from a very nice and helpful lady, called Oxana - supposedly their sales department manager. The price of the device is acceptable, although I found the shipping price somewhat high. After I asked if it would be possible to find another ways delivery, Oxana contacted me through ICQ right away and offered me several different options. After we agreed on one, she even reserved one device for me...
That's what I take as excellent and personal customer service. I was very pleased with that. It's extremely annoying when you want to contact a company, and have to follow through endless automated forms / phone-bots and the like to actually be able to communicate with a human.
I will most probably make an order when I get home from Oxford, and will tell more about the device itself.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Impulse buyer's guide

So I've talked to danex about going to Chernobyl, about a week ago. This was not the first time, but we have not been so serious about it before. I asked him yesterday, wether he wants to come with me. He said something like: "Hell yeah I want!" So that settled, we continued on chatting.
Not more than five minutes have elapsed, and he already bought a Geiger counter on e-bay. Not any counter, but a real cold-war era relic: a civil defense dose-rate meter.
So congrats to him, I'm really curious of his new toy. Although this device (at least according to the seller) is in perfect working condition, it is not calibrated. But it looks insanely cool with all its "retro mojo", and it makes the clicking / chirping sound. The one you'd expect from a Geiger counter. Isn't all that we need?:)He chose (after 2 minutes of careful research) a Victoreen CDV 700 6b, which is a true counter for fairly low level beta and gamma radiation. Although this is just what we need on our trip, in a real nuclear event - this type of device would give a false reading. At extreme high levels of radiation, the Geiger tube tends to saturate and give a low figure. This is exactly what happened in Chernobyl, after the incident occurred. They've sent out a guy, who came back with the information that the levels are safe. For such cases a so called survey meter is needed, which can measure radiation from 1-500rad (up to 5Sv)... These are enormously high levels, 500rad would certainly kill anyone in an hour.
You can read more about the civil defense Geiger counters on Wikipedia, or you may also check out e-bay. More on the Victoreen CD survey meters on "Civil Defense Museum" (excellent site, you can even see the original manual scanned) and there is a schematics page as well.
Hopefully when danex gets his CDV-700, he will write an extensive review for us.