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20 June 2012, 16:15

Open source Geiger counter successfully kickstarted

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Zoom A first prototype of the hand-held Geiger counter
Source: The Safecast project

The Safecast project, which was co-founded by BoingBoing contributor Sean Bonner in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, has recently completed a successful Kickstarter funding round to create an open source Geiger counter. Safecast aims to supply residents of Japan with reliable, crowd-sourced radiation measurements.

The Kickstarter campaign for the Safecast X Geiger counter has raised $104,268 in a very short time, far exceeding its original $4,000 goal. The device was designed by former Xbox hacker and Chumby co-founder Andrew “Bunnie” Huang and all files for the reference design are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licence with a patent cross-licensing provisionPDF. Initial source code for the device's software can also be downloaded and more code will be made available on GitHub as it is written.

The Safecast X device can measure alpha, beta and gamma radiation, and includes an OLED display, accelerometer, six buttons and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. The Geiger counter can alert users audibly via headphones connected to a 3.5mm jack and also with a piezo buzzer that creates audible alerts. The device has enough CPU power to digitally sign its logs to prevent tampering. After the limited Kickstarter edition has been produced, Safecast is planning to manufacture a design based on the prototype in a full production run.


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