UPDATE January 2014: This page is in serious need of updating. Our primary device at this point is the bGeigie Nano which we make ourselves as well as sell kits that others can make and use on their own.
At Safecast we have a number of devices in our arsenal that we use to collect data. To maintain consistency across these devices we have tried to standardize around the 2″ Pancake sensor produced by LND for the main devices we take readings with at it is highly sensitive and we’re confident in it’s ability to measure alpha, betas and gammas. On some of the devices that we distribute to the public we have also used the LND 712 which is a smaller and slightly less expensive sensor but still very good quality. We made this decision to enable more devices to be deployed into the field sooner.
Off the shelf
- Inspector Alert – The Inspectors are the work horses of the Safecast collection. This is the device that most team members prefer to use personally for individual readings as well as to test the sensitivity of other devices. This is produced by International Medcom and is based around the 2″ pancake sensor. Additionally we use these inside of our bGegie devices.
Cost per unit: $700
Number of units currently deployed: 40
- CRM 100 – The CRM-100 is something like the little brother to the Inspector and from a distance the two look very similar. Same size housing and similar looking controls. This device uses the smaller LND 712 tube and take a little longer to register a measurement, which is perfectly fine for an individual taking a single reading which is mostly the application for which we use these. When we give out devices to volunteers to take measurements around their homes and neighborhoods this is primarily the device we like to distribute.
Cost per unit: $450
Number of units currently deployed: 30
- bGeigie – The vast majority of the data we’ve collected has been with our bGeigie devices. The “b” stands for “bento” as the device itself looks like a cute little lunch package. The bGeigie is essentially an off the shelf Inspector Alert that is connected via the data out port to some custom electronics that record a data point every 5 seconds, tag with with a GPS location and then saves it to an SD card. This whole package is then put into a weather tight box with a special window that keeps moisture out but allows radiation in, and can then be mounted on a car and driven around logging data. The initial versions of the bGeigie did not have an SD card and required a PC (in the car) to be connected via a cable to log the data. The newest versions of the bGegie have wifi in addition to the SD card.
Cost per unit: $1000
Number of units currently deployed: 25
*Please see the note about ‘drives’ below.
- nGeigie – This is our custom built fixed sensor that is meant to be installed in a single location. From there it takes readings on a regular basis and reports back to us so we can see a history of measurements from a specific point and identify changes as they happen. This device uses our favorite 2″ pancake sensor and is driven by a Chumby Hacker Board. Early prototype versions actually have Inspectors built in similar to our bGeigies. Wired and wireless versions of this exist depending on the installation needs. The nGeigie will be the core of our fixed sensor network and we plan to rapidly increase the number of these in the field soon.
Cost per unit: $500
Number of units currently deployed: 20
- iGeigie – The iGeigie is a concept sensing device that can be coupled with a mobile device such as an iPhone. While the iGeigie has received a lot of press, currently it’s still firmly in the prototype stage with only two functioning models in existence. The top 10 donors to the initial Safecast Kickstarter fundraiser will be receiving a limited edition version which will bring the number in the field up to 12 and a kit version is currently being designed.
Cost per unit: $200
Number of units currently deployed: 2
Drives – It’s worth noting that with many devices, once they exist the cost to take readings is nothing. That isn’t entirely true with out bGeigies since they are designed to take readings while driving across the country. Taking toll roads and gas into account, each ‘drive’ with a bGeigie costs around $300, but we can easily collect over 10,000 data points on a drive so this is totally justifiable for us. Still it’s a cost that adds up and often comes out of volunteers own pockets, so if you’d like to donate something to help cover the costs of a drive we’d be greatly appreciative.