An EU-based software and hardware designer with a passion for nuclear physics has invented a background radiation detector for the little guy – inexpensive, easy to use, unobtrusive, and – the best of them all – networked.
Have you ever wondered why some places are filled with healthy populations and incurable diseases such as cancer are rare? Part of the answer may reside in the natural (or man made) radioactivity of the place.
So if your government doesn’t tell you all about the background radiation amount in your area, or simply doesn’t care – now there’s uRadMonitor.
With a continuously-expanding network of background radiation detectors (now over 200 of them worldwide), the uRadMonitor is that breakthrough device everyone needed to have in their home, or at least one in 50 square miles.
uRadMonitor has been featured on EEVBlog, Hackaday and many other hardware hacking sites. It has even reached the semi-finals of last year’s Hackaday design contest.
As you can see, there’s big demand from the US, Australia, UK, Germany and another 33 units in transit to their new owners.
The way uRadMonitor grew is also amazing:
Want to join the network? Here’s the link.
How it works
uRadMonitor uses a military-grade Geiger tube to detect the level of background radiation. Then, this information is processed with a microcontroller, sent to a central server and displayed on a Google map on http://www.uradmonitor.com. The numbers are displayed in μSv/h (micro-Sievert per hour)
So if you want to move to a new home, you can find the background radiation amount for that area precisely, if someone has already installed the uRadMonitor in their home.
What the uRadMonitor looks like
Well, looks are not always the most important thing, especially when it comes to things that need to do one task and have to do it cheaply and reliably. The uRadMonitor radiation detector is a little black box (literally) that only needs power and an Ethernet cable – that’s all. It has been designed to be extremely simple to use, with no setup whatsoever. Just plug it in and forget it. It even comes with a 5-volt power supply and a short cable for you to connect to your home router.
If you’re worried about your electric bill – there’s little to worry about – it only works with about half a watt – 0.65W, or 130 milliamps, to be more exact, so you can power it from anything, including the router itself, or a solar cell you may have lying around.
In these uncertain times, when disasters such that from Fukushima and all kinds of pollution sources are all over the place, you want to stay safe by being informed independently. There’s even a forum where participants to the network from all over the world can post questions and find answers from others.