Picture of Arduino Geiger Counter
Build a Geiger counter out of an Arduino
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Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
What you'll need:
-Arduino (Can be any type but must have 5V capabilities to work with Geiger counter and LCD)
-Sparkfun Geiger Counter (Other geiger counter boards might work the same but I do not know)
-LCD display
-Piezo Buzzer
-9V Battery & Battery Clip
-Slider switch
-Project Box ~ (129mm*64mm*45mm)

Step 2: Prep

Picture of Prep
Solder wires to the RX, GND, and VDD of the LCD display

Also solder wires to the 5V, TX, and GND of the geiger counter.

Step 3: Wiring

Picture of Wiring
Here is the circuit diagram for the Geiger counter

any chance of a video of it in action? Curious to see what your display shows. I'm trying to use a 7 segment display to show just the count.

iBooky (author)  RabbidSquirrle3 months ago

Unfortunately I do not have the Geiger anymore, it was a gift for someone but from what i remember the output looked something like this:

CPM: ### ##

(Displays CPM) (Countdown timer until next reset)

The display you are looking at should work fine though, i would recommend looking at any tutorials they might offer as I suspect the display functions will be a bit different than the ones in the script I provided.

Not a problem, I just like seeing videos as they show how it looks and sounds when it's active. I was originally going to only do one display that showed CPM but I had a second one laying around and figured I'd just set it up so I can see when it's going to refresh. Here's my "prototype" that's usually as far as I ever get. I'll have to figure out how to add some decimal points when I have some more time. Thanks for the great instructions.

chuckmerja5 months ago


We are having some trouble getting it going. We thought the "Friday" video on Sprakfun used analog port, but some tuts we've found use serial port (Tx on Geiger, Rx on Ardunio Uno). Like wherein he uses a serial 16x2 LCD to see data. We want to see it on our serial monitor AND log it to SD card. We get something like 214K for a value, and no, this place doesn't glow in the dark. Suggestions? Has anyone logged this to SD card (with other sensors?)

Star3168 months ago

Hey just asking again could i use this:

Instead of the spark fun geiger counter? THX

iBooky (author)  Star3168 months ago

Yes, that should work fine

Star3168 months ago

Nice work! Just asking what wires do we use for step 2?

iBooky (author)  Star3168 months ago

Thanks! The VCC, 5V and GNDs are to power the geiger counter and LCD display while TX and RX are what the Arduino uses to receive information from the Geiger tube and transmit information to the LCD display.

Star316 iBooky8 months ago

Thanks! Followed you! :) 3rd follower! :3

Star316 Star3168 months ago

Could i also use the arduino uno instead of the mini?

iBooky (author)  Star3168 months ago

Yes, just make sure your project box is big enough to fit the Uno

iBooky (author) 1 year ago
Thank you, it displays a counts per minute instead of counts per second. Measuring half life would be pretty cool and I haven't tried that yet, thanks for the suggestion.
nice work. i would have some idea of how to make the detection apparatus of the geiger-marsden tube but very well done on building a system that appears to give you a counts or counts per second(becquerels) reading. you may wish to use it to measure the half life of the source in a smoke alarm but unless it is a very sensitive system you will have to wait a long time(432 years for the count rate to halve but some calculations based on A=A0 x e^(-L x t) would allow a measurement of the half life without waiting so long.).