Pocket-sized geiger counter
Posted on Apr 24, 2012 4472
A single 6.75 V mercury battery powers the counter, which features a 1 mA count-rate meter as well as an aural output. A regulated 900 V supply provides stable operation of the counter tube. A multivibrator, built around a differential power amplifier IC2, drives the step-up transformer. Comparator IC1 varies the multivibrator duty cycle to provide a constant 900 V. The entire regulated supply draws less than 2 mA. A one-shot multivibrator, built with IC3, provides output pulses that have constant width and amplitude.
Thus the average current through the meter is directly proportional to the pulse-rate output from the counter tube. And the constant-width pulses also drive the speaker. Full-scale meter deflection (1 mA) represents 5000 counts/min, or 83.3 pulses/s. A convenient calibration checkpoint can be provided on the meter scale for 3600 ppm (60 pulses/s.)