2014 m. rugpjūčio 12 d., antradienis

How to prepare using Radiation logger

Introduction

Radiation logger is a freeware Windows application developed by radiohobbystore to collect, display, log (to file, Xively and Rmon), and graph CPM data coming from their geiger counters. However it can also be used with other geiger counters which transfer data over serial ports (or virtual serial ports over USB)

Here below you can find a short how-to on installation and basic use of this software with geiger counters described on this blog. This how-to is based on my personal trial and observations.

Downloads of the application

As versions of Radiation logger change time to time this particular know-how applies to versions 1.01 and 1.4.10 .

You can download the version 1.01 from the mirror here:

DOWNLOAD RADIATION LOGGER (1.0.1)

and version 1.4.10 from the mirror here:

DOWNLOAD RADIATION LOGGER (1.4.1.0)


Getting VCP (Virtual Communication Port) drivers on your computer 

Commonly if you have built or purchased the geiger counter from my eBay store with an included Serial TTL to USB adapter, you get the adapter based on Silicon Labs (a.k.a. Silabs) CP2102 chip.

(by the way - below in a picture, you can see which adapter serial header pins connect to which geiger counter communication header pins.)


So ... you should go to the Silicon Labs downloads page and download the VCP driver for CP210X for your operating system. As an example below I shall be using Windows 7 but you might be running other.

After download simply install those drivers by running the downloaded software and following its
instructions.

Configuring the VCP adapter

After the driver is installed, please connect your adapter to the USB port and configure the virtual communication port to run at 9600bps, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit



Note which com port your CP210x device is assigned! In the example above it is (COM7) - seen on in the window name.

Configuring the Radiation Logger application

After you have installed Virtual Communication Port drivers for the SerialTTl<>USB adapter, Radiation Logger application, launch the the application, on the menu line go to:

File > Settings

After a window opens press on

Get available ports button

In the Port: drop down box select the port number you have previously noted, set the same (9600bps, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit) parameters and press Test connection button.


It might take some time for the application to check the connection (in my case it maxed one time over half a minute). Note: if application says the port is busy, probably another instance of the application is already running. To close application use File > Exit, otherwise application might simply get "hidden" in windows application tray (bottom right corner) instead of closing)


Now Press Save and Close to save COM port settings and close the Connection Settings window.

The next step is to input the Alert Threshold and Conversion Factor values

Alert Threshold is up to you to decide. 500 might be a good choice. 
As for Conversion Factor check what conversion factor is displayed during boot on your device (it depends of the geiger-tube you have connected). For example for SBM-20 tube it is 175.43 .
Then calculate the Confersion Factor for the application by taking a reciprocal of this number i.e. 1/175.43 = 0.0057 

After you input these two parameters click Save buttons near to input boxes.



Preparing your geiger counter to work with Radiation logger

Latest Arduino sketch, which I install on micro-controllers of geiger counters are configured to output data for the radiation logger by default, every one minute (so expect to wait <= 1 minute till the first data is displayed).

These are the important parameters which can be set with the iR remote control (if you need one please contact me I have them in stock) :



It is worth noting that settings for the LOG PERIOD should be from 5 seconds to 1 minute, otherwise application returns an unhanded exception, as it expect data within one minute interval.



So this is it for the installation and basic configuration for connecting impexeris  geiger counters to Radiation logger.

If you would like to get a geiger counter, geiger tubes, enclosure for your counter or any other related item or if you have any questions or you have noticed some mistakes in the above article, you are kindly invited to contact me at this e-mail address: 


Or alternatively you might find it interesting to check items I have currently listed on e-bay.

Thank you for reading! Hope it was useful.




2014 m. birželio 14 d., šeštadienis

Version 11. adaptation for the LCD shield (v.11.0.1)

v.11.0.1 - adaptation modifications are listed below:
 PIN definitions are adapted to work with LCD shield as follows:
 #define SEL_BUTTON        11  (in v.11 was 10)
 #define ALARM_PIN          10  (in v.11 was 15)
 #define NULL_BUTTON    15  (in v.11 was 11)

simplified serial port output to work with freeware Radiation Logger software by radiohobbystore

is now configured to be the default output changable back by menu (note: use of menu needs connection of IR receiver)
If you want CPM, [dose unit], Vcc to be the set as output format during the RESET_ALL (i.e. when the #define RESET_ALL true) find and change the line in Menu from:
writeParam(true,RADLOGGER_ADDR);
back to:
writeParam(false,RADLOGGER_ADDR);

Software can be configured to work with NEC, Sony or Philips remote controls.
To make it easier I have prefigured for two most popular - Sony and NEC

If you have installed Arduino IDE v.1.6.x then there are a few changes and below sketches shall give compilation errors. Adjusted sketches for Arduino IDE v.1.6.x can be found  here .

The modified sketch preconfigured for use with Sony IR remotes can be downloaded here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/shm6oqdo437zytn/GeigerKit_v11_0_1_sony.zip

The modified sketch preconfigured for use with NEC IR remotes can be downloaded here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/yugdzj099wdijj1/GeigerKit_v11_0_1_nec.zip

2014 m. balandžio 27 d., sekmadienis

Geiger counter with SBT10 tube w/ enclosure

I have recently devised CAD drawings for CNC machining openings for LCD LEDs, buttons etc. and SBT10 tube.

The result is a rather sturdy though portable Geiger Counter with a big alpha, beta, gamma capable tube.

The artwork is printed on the printable adhesive vinyl with a water resistant ink.

IR receiver for parameter setting is located the middle, below the LCD screen.

On the left there is a mode change button then On/Off switches for sound, LCD backlight and Power.

Connector for the SerialTTL<>USB connector is installed in the rear of the enclosure.

If you want one like this or just a machined enclosure please feel free to contact me.


2014 m. balandžio 17 d., ketvirtadienis

Version 10.3c. adaptation for the LCD shield (v.10.3c.1)

v.10.3c.1 - adaptation modifications are listed below:
 PIN definitions are adapted to work with LCD shield as follows:
 #define SEL_BUTTON        11  (in v.10.3 was 10)
 #define ALARM_PIN          10  (in v.10.3 was 15)
 #define NULL_BUTTON    15  (in v.10.3 was 11)

simplified serial port output to work with freeware Radiation Logger software by radiohobbystore:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dhdojkbc1a5e7co/Radiation_Logger.zip
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jm29nrq98ezv2qx/Radiation%20Logger%20how%20to.txt
is now configured to be the default output changable back by menu (note: use of menu needs connection of IR receiver)
If you want CPM, [dose unit], Vcc to be the set as output format during the RESET_ALL (i.e. when the #define RESET_ALL true) find and change the line in Menu from:
writeParam(true,RADLOGGER_ADDR);
back to:
writeParam(false,RADLOGGER_ADDR);


The modified sketch can be downloaded here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/akwmrl37zbe9o46/GeigerKit_v10_3c_1.zip

2014 m. kovo 17 d., pirmadienis

Version 10.3. adaptation for the LCD shield (v.10.3.1)

v.10.3.1 - adaptation modifications are listed below:
 PIN definitions are adapted to work with LCD shield as follows:
 #define SEL_BUTTON        11  (in v.10.3 was 10)
 #define ALARM_PIN          10  (in v.10.3 was 15)
 #define NULL_BUTTON    15  (in v.10.3 was 11)

simplified serial port output to work with freeware Radiation Logger software by radiohobbystore:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dhdojkbc1a5e7co/Radiation_Logger.zip
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jm29nrq98ezv2qx/Radiation%20Logger%20how%20to.txt
is now configured to be the default output changable back by menu (note: use of menu needs connection of IR receiver)
If you want CPM, [dose unit], Vcc to be the set as output format during the RESET_ALL (i.e. when the #define RESET_ALL true) find and change the line in Menu from:
writeParam(true,RADLOGGER_ADDR);
back to:
writeParam(false,RADLOGGER_ADDR);


The modified sketch can be downloaded here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/q08wrx45pzlvy6p/GeigerKit_v10_3_1.zip