Radiologically ignorant people would like you to buy their radiation detectors.

edohiguma sent this link about a rad detector accessory/app.  Very cool.  We’ve addressed DIY rad teching before, of course.  Can’t find where we talked about it during the Fukushima troubles.    But $250 to $400 is a steep entry fee.  These “Pocket Geigers” start around $50.   Still too much?  Well then, threaten to sue them for false advertising.

 …the device uses tiny PIN photodiodes, which are commonly used as light sensors for infrared remote-control devices but can also pick up Gamma-ray radiation.

Okay then.  Photodiode, Geiger-Muller tube, what’s the difference?


six region curve

They’re like Ahnold and Danny.

Ah, I kid, I kid.  “Geiger” is probably the best generic name for anything that sees single ion events.   Nope, it’s their authorized American dealer that’s got me irked.

Average individual background radiation dose for Americans is 0.34 μSv/h.

There are two big errors in that statement, one of which should disqualify someone from selling this particular item.  Suppose someone tried to sell his car by boasting, “This baby is easy on the gas.  She gets 30 miles at 70 miles!”  Leave out important clauses like per gallon and an hour and you, too, will sound severely brain-damaged.  Which usually won’t help car sales.

Can race cars exceed speeds of 200 miles?

How do you travel a distance of ten miles per hour?

So should they have said, “Average individual background radiation dose rate“?  Yep.  But then their dose rate is wrong, too. With our Bicron microrem meter we’ll see 0.02 to 0.10 uSv/h, generally hovering between that midrange.

Here’s precisely how they erred:  someone found (non-medical) average annual dose…which is around 3 mSv…and divided it by hours per year.  But that dose comes from a lot of different sources.  What you detect by poking with a Pocket Geiger is just a small part.

And, sudden realization:  I slaved over this lengthy post but possess neither Apple nor Android device that could run the Pocket Geiger in the first place.  Damn you, OCD!

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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3 Responses to Radiologically ignorant people would like you to buy their radiation detectors.

  1. Edohiguma says:

    I knew you’d love it.

  2. Dan says:

    These only detect gamma radiation….not particulate like alpha/beta. The particulate is
    what is the most dangerous as it can be ingested/inhaled and remain in your body. Gamma
    must originate from a source. If you move away from the source your dose decreases. If you
    ingest/inhale/are contaminated with particulates that are radioactive that sh*t goes where you go.
    Radiation safety is complicated in some ways yet in many ways it’s fairly simple….if you have the
    right information and the right equipment. These toys are just as likely to make someone careless
    and allow them to suffer harm as they are to make them safer.

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