Christmas came a little early: The guys over at TDRM are extending their monitoring network and ran a small scale PiGI - Raspberry Pi Geiger-Müller Interface production batch with a little surplus, in the hope to find more people, who would like to get a pre-assembled, ready-to-fly module for themselves.
Continuing on the final aspect of JamesT's very nice exploration of PiGI, we want to further examine the possibilities to create randomness from the output of a Geiger-counter. Of course we are using a PiGI as testbed for our experiments. True randomness, in the sense of “provably unpredictable” is not easily available on a computer. Good arguments can be made that the available sources of entropy like clock jitter, floating analog inputs, network traffic etc, combined with the algorithmic magi…
It's truly awesome to see how the PiGI - Raspberry Pi Geiger-Müller Interface, born under ghetto-style conditions with zero prior knowledge or budget, has not only spread to hackers and other individuals with a sense of independence and prudence worldwide, but was now adopted by a special working group of Computer Professionals for Peace and Social Responsibility (FIfF) called Tihange-Doel Radiation Monitoring Network.
If you've missed the opportunity to get a PiGI PCB of the first batch, here's your next chance to turn your Raspberry PI into a versatile Geiger-Counter. All hail Fehlfarbe. pigi geiger pi raspberry hardware radiation monitoring research development
Last Saturday, instead of breakfast, we wanted to have more geiger counters. So we had an early morning soldering session in the open air and with plenty of sunshine we finished two more 1.0 prototype boards so that we have more active PiGI's for tests and further development.
It's been quite a while since anything was moving here because I got sick and was down for more than 3 weeks and directly after that it was time to begin the move out of the flat that I occupied for the last decade in order to clean out the rest of all the stuff I've gathered over the years and which doesn't belong onto the Apollo-NG cargo manifest. This will be the last stepping stone to finally be able to sustain myself on the road with what I have on board.
Some time ago i stumbled upon the PiGI project, joined the chatroom and somehow convinced chrono to send me a prototype board. Thanks for that! So here will be a summary of my testing of the PiGI. The Geiger-Mueller-Tube I bought an old russian SBM-20 tube on ebay for 26$ and soldered some cable to both ends and isolated the ends with heat-shrink tubing. Then i soldered it to my PiGI with some leads that I thougt had sufficient isolation for high voltages.
More and more semiconductors are produced in packages (the chip's case) which have become impossible to hand solder with a solder iron. The switch from through-hole (THT) to surface mount technology (SMT) has actually made hand soldering much easier (although still many believe the opposite to be true) but now we are faced with BGA and other packaging forms which only have contacts on the bottom of the chip.
Geiger counters are basically just devices which enable us to measure ionizing radiation. In the context of human activity we have to deal with “natural” radiation sources and “artificial” ones. Some of the materials emitting ionizing radiation are used for medicinal purposes (Radiation-Therapy), as an additive in paint and even in smoke-detectors but the majority of it is used to create electricity in nuclear power plants and to stockpile thermonuclear weapons of mass destruction (well, except …
At this point, 12 PiGI - Raspberry Pi Geiger-Müller Interface nodes are in active deployment at TDRM, helping to monitor the environment independently and so far reliably. Additional 12 nodes are on the current roadmap. That is a great success story and just in the spirit of the idea, development and open-source model of it.
Schematic V1.1 Layout V1.1 Prototype PCB's V1.0 Download Layout & Schematics (Eagle 6.2.x): <https://github.com/apollo-ng/PiGI/tree/master/hardware> Circuit Details The Pi-GI circuit is divided into two parts: * Kickback High-Voltage Switching Power supply * Impulse Inverter
Nordrunner produced and shared PiGI - Raspberry Pi Geiger-Müller Interface PCBs on pcbs.io, which are now available for everyone. If you haven't had a chance to get PCBs from fehlfarbe or shipping from Germany wasn't an option for you, you can check it out on <https://pcbs.io/share/r1Dq6>.
For the last couple of days we've been really busy pushing the pyGI/webGI software suite that goes alongside the PiGI to make it a really useful geiger counter and we're very proud and happy to show you some of our preliminary results. Our goal was simple: Build the most cost-effective, non-profit, open-source geiger counter and offer more features with an easy to use interface than any other commercially available solution. Even now in the early states we already have achieved that goal.
In the last couple of days there hasn't been much change in the numbers of the market analysis. Based on the latest numbers, it would make sense to produce a volume of 100 PiGI's as a mini series which will be the basis of the coming crowdfunding campaign.
Thanks to Maximilian Batz from <http://www.pi3g.com/>, who sponsored two Raspberry Pi B models for the cause of Apollo-NG, it was time to see what more could be done with them. This essentially forked two subprojects: * Raspberry Pi based autonomous Antenna Tracker (following a MAVLink enabled UAV/Drone) * Raspberry Pi based geiger-counter
Check it out on github: <https://github.com/apollo-ng/PiGI> Overview pyGI Server The pyGi server component is implemented in python and uses the RPi.GPIO python library to take care of handling the interrupts, generated by the impulses coming from the PiGI.