Author Topic: EEVblog 1621 - Mailbag: RadiaCode Radiation Monitor + LattePanda Mu Compute Modu  (Read 2244 times)

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Offline EEVblogTopic starter

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More mailbag!
A look at the RadiaCode Radiation Monitor, and the LattePanda Mu Intel N100 Compute Module.
https://www.radiacode.com/
https://amzn.to/3yV5Gp4
https://www.lattepanda.com/lattepanda-mu
https://www.dfrobot.com/kit-004.html
Github: https://github.com/LattePandaTeam/LattePanda-Mu/tree/main/Electricals/Examples/%5BDFR1141%5DFull%20EVA%20Carrier%20for%20LattePanda%20Mu

00:00 - Mailbag
00:30 - Radiacode 103 Radiation Detector & Spectrometer
07:48 - Teardown
14:09 - LattePanda Mu Intel N100 Compute Module
25:22 - Power up

 
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Offline Kleinstein

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The detector in the radiation monitor is not a classical Geiger tube, but a small scintillator with likely a photodiode read out (not the classic photo-mulitplier like in the larger ones). So not high voltage needed - maybe some 50 V for an avalanche diode. That is a really fancy and sensitive detector. A question may be how good it is with more soft radiation (e.g. lower energy X-ray like from a CRT).

The spectrum would likely need some time and maybe a reset to remove to old data from the spectrum. Chances are the curve shown is from the background and only little from the smoke detector.
 

Offline Alakis

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Does anybody know where to find radiation sensor as in the RadiaCode? I've been wanting to build a radiation sensor of my own, but can't seem to find discrete radiation sensor modules anywhere. Thanks!
 

Online KE5FX

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If that LattePanda is like their previous generation that shipped with Windows 10, that's actually a fully-licensed LTSC IoT build.  Worth the price of entry for that fact alone, IMO.
 
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Offline alxpo

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IIRC they designed the sensor. In addition, it is difficult to understand gamma spectrometer signal processing without specialised education and at least 5 years of experience.
 

Offline EEVblogTopic starter

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Offline MBY

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A word of caution about the RadiaCode. Anyone who wants one, try to find it second hand. Today RadiaCode appear as a Cyprus based company, but it's not. It's Russian and the device is to my knowledge made in Moscow. So for anyone not okay with the current Russian war of aggression and genocide, please try to find another device, just to be sure. Sadly enough, the alternatives are Chinese (also a genocidal dictatorship of course) or american (very expensive). They are rounding sanctions by selling by a frontman in Cyprus.

I have a RadiaCode 101 I bought a few years ago, from second hand in England. I did some research back then and followed up after the invasion of Ukraine and I found that the company appears to moved their "front door" to Cyprus while still being a Russian company. I don't remember the details, but I figured out somehow that the factory was just outside Moscow.   

If you need a scintillating detector, an alternative is the (Chinese) Measall KC761. It's a little more expensive, physically larger, but also better in it's performance and have more features (there are reviews here and there on YouTube). While China of course are a bloody dictatorship, we are kind of accustom to buy all sorts of tech from China, and they at least are not for the time being running wars of annihilation. Don't funnel money to tech companies based in Moscow please!

Edit: One tip is, that if you are after a simple GM-based counter and don't need spectroscopy, you can find everything and the kitchen sink from Ukraine on eBay for instance. Being a bit of a GM-tube and rad monitor nerd, I've actually bought all my other radiation related equipment from Ukraine. That feels a lot better than buying from Russia (or at least possibly from Russia)!  :)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2024, 12:17:54 am by MBY »
 
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Offline MBY

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The detector in the radiation monitor is not a classical Geiger tube, but a small scintillator with likely a photodiode read out (not the classic photo-mulitplier like in the larger ones). So not high voltage needed - maybe some 50 V for an avalanche diode. That is a really fancy and sensitive detector. A question may be how good it is with more soft radiation (e.g. lower energy X-ray like from a CRT).

The spectrum would likely need some time and maybe a reset to remove to old data from the spectrum. Chances are the curve shown is from the background and only little from the smoke detector.
Yep, you are correct. From my memory it (the 101 model anyway) can detect from 50 or 100 keV, so just out of range for typical CRT-monitors. I've tried mine with old CRTs and accumulated for about 12h and not registered anything. But kind of expected since I've only tested with small monitors with about 9-12 kV acceleration voltage.

From normal background from like natural radioactive rocks and such, you need several hours to days to get a meaningful spectra, but often it's useless for real spectroscopy if you don't have very active sources (and with access to those, you probably also have better equipment).

All in all, it's not very useful for soft radiation and won't detect soft X-rays. Again, I'm talking of my 101 model. Same form factor, but 102 and 103 are newer and supposedly have better detectors.
 

Online KE5FX

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A word of caution about the RadiaCode. Anyone who wants one, try to find it second hand. Today RadiaCode appear as a Cyprus based company, but it's not. It's Russian and the device is to my knowledge made in Moscow. So for anyone not okay with the current Russian war of aggression and genocide, please try to find another device, just to be sure.

The requirement to enable location permissions full-time was enough to keep me from hitting the 'Buy now' button.

Fortunately.

Quote
Sadly enough, the alternatives are Chinese (also a genocidal dictatorship of course) or american (very expensive). They are rounding sanctions by selling by a frontman in Cyprus.

Don't turn it on or take it apart, roll your own!  :)  These detectors seem to be usable (if not very sensitive) at lower energy levels.  I've been meaning to build a spectrometer with the one I bought a while back, but sadly have not gotten beyond the quick power-up tests on my web page.  Hopefully someone will pick up the ball and run with it.
 

Offline Ranayna

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The requirement to enable location permissions full-time was enough to keep me from hitting the 'Buy now' button.
From what i know this requirement is inherent in the way how Android accesses Bluetooth.
That does not mean that the app does not do anything shady with location information, but if you want Bluetooth, you need to give location permissions. That is also the reason why the app does not work if you deny permission.
 

Online KE5FX

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The requirement to enable location permissions full-time was enough to keep me from hitting the 'Buy now' button.
From what i know this requirement is inherent in the way how Android accesses Bluetooth.
That does not mean that the app does not do anything shady with location information, but if you want Bluetooth, you need to give location permissions. That is also the reason why the app does not work if you deny permission.

Maybe, but if so, (a) that's a reason to avoid Android as well as RadiaCode, and (b) the way the error message is written, it sounds like the developers had a choice  They just chose not to make the functionality granular enough:



Obviously it has to use Bluetooth to communicate with the device at all, but under no conditions should that require mandatory full-time location tracking permission to be granted.  :palm:
 

Offline 5U4GB

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A word of caution about the RadiaCode. Anyone who wants one, try to find it second hand. Today RadiaCode appear as a Cyprus based company, but it's not. It's Russian and the device is to my knowledge made in Moscow.

I don't think they've ever made any secret of the fact that the people behind it are Russian.  They've been operating out of Cyprus for as long as I've known about them, certainly well before February 2022, and purports to show their manufacturing facility in Cyprus.  Google Maps also says it's Radiacode at that address.  For all we know it's Russian expats living in Cyprus, i.e. people who have fled from Putin.
 

Offline EEVblogTopic starter

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Obviously it has to use Bluetooth to communicate with the device at all, but under no conditions should that require mandatory full-time location tracking permission to be granted.  :palm:

Yes, I'm used to that with even my 121GW meter requiring location for the Bluetooth, it's just standatd for Bluetooth devices on Android. But I was a taken aback by the inability to run the app at all unless I gave it constant background access to my location.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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The reason it wants the always-on location is the app has a function to overlay detection counts on a map as you walk about, letting you create a map of potential hotspots.
 
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Online KE5FX

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And if I don't care about that feature, which I don't, it apparently still requires full-time permission, as I understand it.
 

Offline EEVblogTopic starter

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And if I don't care about that feature, which I don't, it apparently still requires full-time permission, as I understand it.

Yes. I didn't want to test that feature but I had to enable it just to get the app to run at all. Reinstalled it multiple time to try and find a way around it, didn't work.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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And if I don't care about that feature, which I don't, it apparently still requires full-time permission, as I understand it.

Yes. I didn't want to test that feature but I had to enable it just to get the app to run at all. Reinstalled it multiple time to try and find a way around it, didn't work.
You may not be missing much, I could not get the map function to work on mine, though it could very well have been user error.

Just for fun I took mine to work today and near an operating ~1MW Klystron, the counts/sec went up to about 800 (background is ~5). I reset the cumulative dose meter and it showed 0.07 uSv for the 2-3 minutes I was testing it out. The X-rays are mostly emitted from the collector area of the tube, and seem to be in a rough donut shape. The counts drop off rapidly with distance, but were not affected much by the steel doors of the transmitter chassis. The tube does have a lead shield placed over the collector.

A quick read of the Wikipedia entry on radiation exposure shows that a standard chest X-ray is several hundred times more energy than what I accumulated. I suppose I shouldn't hang around the transmitter unless absolutely necessary...
 

Online tszaboo

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Don't turn it on or take it apart, roll your own!  :)  These detectors seem to be usable (if not very sensitive) at lower energy levels.  I've been meaning to build a spectrometer with the one I bought a while back, but sadly have not gotten beyond the quick power-up tests on my web page.  Hopefully someone will pick up the ball and run with it.
It just occurred to me, reading this,  that quantum dots convert photons to different energy/color photons, so it would be possible to use them to detect gamma and other radiation sources. Quick google search showed me that it's not a novel idea, others have tested this already, and seem to work, research papers are out.
 

Offline Kleinstein

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For the scintillator counters there are 2 parts to the sensititvty. The size crystal is setting how sensitive the detector is (esepcially at the higher energy). The qualtity of the optical detector sets a limit to detect low energy radiation. The lower the enery, the smaller the pulses and the chance for false detection due to noise. A poor optical detector can also reduce the energy resolution.
 


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