Geiger counter, it's a word that most people have heard about. I'm sure everyone has seen at least one piece of media featuring the clicking box with a little dial that only tells you when you're going to die a slow painful death from radiation poisoning. It's not a very fun device. Actually, they're pretty awesome. Who doesn't want to be able to play with a gadget that can sense things that only manifest in humans as genetic decay?
The duders over at cookinghacks put together an Arduino based geiger counter. It's set up to click a speaker at every pulse for an immediate indication of radioactivity. And what's a geiger counter without ominous clicking? The Arduino microcontroller counts the pulses per minute. Using this measurement the microcontroller calculates Sieverts per hour. This is the standard measurement for the energy that the body absorbs from radiation sources.
They put together a kit that contains everything you need to put one of these babies together You can get it over this-a-way, at their store. They are marketing the device as a cheaper homebrew alternative to commercial radiation sensors. Oh yeah, it's all open source, they released everything onto the web to make sure that our friends in Japan can check themselves before they wreck themselves on stray radioactivity. But for you, do you want your kid to win the next science fair? This'll beat a paper mache volcano any day of the week.
[via Dangerous Prototypes]