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Xbox & Chumby hacker designs open source Geiger counter

Written on:March 16, 2012
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Xbox hacker and co-founder of the Chumby project, Bunnie Huang, has designed an open source Geiger counter to help citizens in Japan detect radiation in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan, Huang writes on his blog. After several design iterations, Huang writes that he created a Geiger counter design that he wanted to be “suitable for everyday civilian use,” affordable, intuitive, easy to use, and “sufficiently stylish.”

Above is the final design, and to the right, one of the prototypes. The final design included:

  • Extensive logging capabilities.
  • Ability to work in scenarios where Internet and power have been out for days.
  • Includes a sensor that can detect all three forms of radiation.
  • Doesn’t have a radio (wireless capabilities).

Huang says he doesn’t plan on manufacturing the Geiger counter, but has donated the design to the community (and open-sourced it) and that means a long time Geiger counter maker International Medcom will be able to commercialize the product if they choose. Huang says it cost $ 3,000 to make the design and the two prototypes. Not bad.

Some of the designs that Huang abandoned I’ve included below:

Images courtesy of Bunnie Huang.

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