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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Unpacking the TERRA-P

The ECOTEST TERRA-P dosimeter finally arrived - fortunately unharmed by the journey. As you can see from the picture, the original package is very small - even compared to a pen. I was expecting the device to be relatively tiny, but in reality is even smaller than I imagined. It's like thick cellphone.The box contained the device itself, with batteries already installed. The batteries should actually last around 6000h in sleep mode and with normal radiation, but are user changeable. In addition to the device itself there is a detailed user's manual (in English:) and a colorful "Quick start" guide included by default. The manual shows the serial number of the dosimeter, quality check and calibration protocol and the warranty.
Somehow I did not expect such a nicely marketed product. I guess this is a common prejudice against post-communist countries. I have to tell that both the customer support and the product itself is flawless.
As soon as I took the device out of its plastic cradle, I managed to drop it on the floor. It is not a good idea to drop anything with a Geiger tube on the floor - since the component is pretty fragile Fortunately it survived the fall. I shall add that to the positive side of its properties;) And here is the dosimeter itself with the dose rate measurement taking place. Fortunately I have not found anything radioactive around me - and that's a good thing. :) The background radiation in my house is around 0.1microSv/h. Shows some slight variation, but that's due to the measurement precision. This is at the lower end of the background radiation still considered to be normal. I have no idea what is the actual long term exposure limit in my country, but supposedly in the Ukraine that is 0.3microSv/h. The device makes a "click" sound at each count, just as you would expect from a Geiger counter.
The back of the device has a second hinged door. It is hard to open, I'm kinda worried that it may break after a time. Anyways, under this door is the Geiger tube itself. The door has a thin lead lining, which blocks out Beta radiation. If one wants to measure Gamma radiation, leaves the door on. If you want to measure Gamma + Beta exposure you open the hatch. Logically the difference of the two measurements gives just the Beta radiation.
Well that's about it for now. These are the first impressions, I will write a review with more details as soon as I have the chance to play around with the device. I took some video footage too, will edit it into a usable form soon.


danex said...

yay! its totally awesome!

wysiwyg-UK said...

hi how much did it cost you as they are £80 buy now in ebay

i am going to chernobyl with a friend beginning of october this year.

if you have any other advice please let me know.

greatly appreciated


G said...

Dear John. I don't remember the exact price, since I purchased the device directly from the manufacturer. But 80 pounds sound very reasonable, I'd say go ahead and get that one...

propelleseo said...

Hi. I can help by Ukrainian version of this device(for home market). But it has not vital importance, because device has only 2 buttons (THRESHOLD -left key, MODE - right key). It will cost 70 pounds + £3 shipping to UK. If there are any questions please ask.

G said...

Yeah I guess the cyrillic / ukranian version would be allright too, since there are only two buttons. If anyone wants to buy this device, I suggest you snoop around e-bay a little. (Or contact the commenter above, its a good price afterall.)