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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:00 am
by chllmanthe3
Thanks for explaining things for me.
You have been very helpful.

I just recieved the semi-kit as a project from my instructor at school and wanted to make sure I had everything that is available.

The article spells it out all very clearly.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:00 am
by johnneyboy

Well I now have a scope So the test are as follows, the op amp is putting out 800Hz (square wave, not 100% 50/50 duty cycle, about 60/40) ! on the mains psu (9v)

If I put the unit on a battery, I get 630Hz. If I then take the unit down the garden, approx 60ft away from the house, although I can not measure the frequency the buzzer seems to make the same sound.

The sensor is covered in insulating tape, inside out, sticky side out. Then covered in three layers of aluminium foil..

Any ideas?


PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:00 am
by kibt

The amplifier is extremely sensitive. I had your problem and the only way I resolved it was to put the amp + sensor in its own metal box. Note the CRO can cause the problem as well. Best to use the LCD display to gauge how its working. Forget reading the elektor document and gives no hints.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:00 am
by thijsbeckers
JohnneyBoySo the test are as follows, the op amp is putting out 800Hz (square wave, not 100% 50/50 duty cycle, about 60/40) ! on the mains psu (9v)

If I put the unit on a battery, I get 630Hz.

There shouldn't be any repetitive signal, and most certainly not a square wave, on the opamp's output. Did you make a solid connection from the aluminum wrap to the circuits ground?
Although I doubt it, could it be some sort of oscillation of the opamp circuitry? Can you measure the opamp's input? And is the power supplied to the preamplifier PCB clean? Perhaps it's the 7805?

I'm afraid the article doesn't give you hints when something is wrong, that's true...

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:00 am
by johnneyboy

I have found the issue, it seems the plated though hole on R3 to ground is not plated through! I have soldered both sides of it, and R4 just in-case and now the unit seems to be working. I wonder how many more holes have the same issue.

The only issue is where should the Level be set, how does one calibrate it?

Regards John

PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:00 am
by thijsbeckers
Excellent that you found it, not so excellent that the hole wasn't plated through, though. It surely is a production error on your board. It's the first time I've heard something went wrong in that department.

Calibrate is a big word. Background radiation can be used, and should yield 0.33 counts per minute.

Have a good one.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:00 am
by sepp
I too have a some issues with the radiameter.
Should say, I'm pretty much a noob in the world of electronics.

As you can hardly see (shouldn't have used a flash ), the dots around the text stays visible, is this normal? I dont see this with other photos?

Second problem, is that even without the sensor installed, it keeps on counting. Checked every connection, seems fine..
The wires to connect the display aren't done very nice - should say that previously these were done properly and had exactly the same problem.

any ideas?

I work in radiaton security, so we are kinda curious how good or bad it would work.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:00 am
by thijsbeckers
It looks like the contrast of the LCD needs adjustment. Normally these displays are fine with just the 100 Ohms resistor (R12). Try if shorting R12 results in better readability.

Regarding your counting issue: try shorting the pads where the sensor should be.

Good luck!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:00 am
by sepp
Ok thanks,
shorting R12 results in worse contrast, so should go to bigger resistor? (or should I use a potentio?

Shorting the sensor, gives me a zero count.
Is it possible that the wiring is not good? Or the sensor is 'to' sensitive?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:00 am
by sepp
From light it was definitely shielded.
Last thing I tried was to use an aluminium mylar to cover the sensor, and connect that mylar to -
This gave the same results.
So I thought, maybe it is better if the wiring was smaller between board and sensor, but one of the pins of the diode broke during process.
To be continued.