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Little Black Box Plus

K71 by Atomic.dave

This is a one of a kind custom hand-made Geiger Counter built by Atomic.Dave. It is based on a kit designed by John Giametti (username: Brohogan) All information for this kit is available at the developers website. As I have said before, this is more of a kit for someone who knows a little bit about electronics but doesnt have the time or patience to build it, or would rather someone else do all the dirty work. Having been built by me, of course there will be some imperfections, although as minimal as possible. This unit is a slimmed down version of the other units I build running the version 10.1 of the DIY software. It has only three switches. Two of them are three position slides, and the middle is a momentary switch used for 2 reasons explained in detail below.
DIY GEIGER COUNTER DEVELOPERS WEBSITE: OPERATION POWER SWITCH Three positions- Middle is OFF, Up is ON with LCD backlight on, and down is ON with backlight OFF. As soon as you power on, On Display you see the words:

Atomic.Dave K71 LND712 v10.1

This customized first welcome window can easily be changed if you want, by doing a little programming in Arduino which is explained further in the ARDUINO SETTINGS section below. For detailed instructions, please refer to the DIY (link above) and go to the SOFTWARE section. In this first window, K71 refers to the 71st DIY kit built by me, LND712 refers to the tube, and v10.1 is the DIY software version the unit is running. The second window will show something like this:

100 CPM=1 uSv/hr Running at 5.07V

The first line refers to the conversion rate of CPM to uSv/hr for your LND712 tube (100) this can be changed in the program sketch, with Arduino, but it is set so no change is necessary. The second line refers to the current voltage that your system is running at. This is a 5 volt system. The Nine volt battery are boosted down to 5v with a pololu Step up/down booster. Everytime you start up your GC (geiger counter) it will show you this so you will always know your current voltage. After that, the third window will look something like this:

CPM 48 uSv/hr

| | | | | | | | | | 0.13

On the first line is the current CPM and to the right of it is a graphical simulation of by the second CPM representation. On the second line is the converted uSv/hr. LEDS Right away, you will hear the beeping of the piezo as your LND712 GM tube picks up radiation events. There are 2 LEDs. The BLUE is for radiation events and coincides with the beeping piezo which can be muted with the SOUND switch on the right. Middle position is MUTED alarm and event click. Up is Event click only, and the Alarm only will light up RED on the LED. Bottom position, is to turn on the alarm and event beep as well as the RED Led when the alarm threshold is reached. More on that below. GREEN MENU MODE BUTTON 1. When you first turn on the unit, the third window will prompt you to set the Alarm. If you have not set it yet, it will say Alarm OFF. However if you hold the mode button down the alarm set amount will climb in increments of 10 cpm till it gets to 100, then it climbs in sets of 50 until it reaches a max of 600 cpm, until you let go, and once you let go, that is what the alarm threshold will be until you reset it. As long as you don't reset it, that is the amount it will remain at. I have preset the alarm to 150 CPM. 2. The first display that comes up is the current CPM and below it is the level of uSv/hr. To the right of the CPM is a bar graphic representative of the level of Radiation occuring by the second. The CPM and uSv portion is updated every 4 seconds. 3. Press the mode button and a new display will come up. It is like a stopwatch and as soon as you press it for the first time it will start the timer process where it will give you average counts in a 1 minute and 10 minute period. Until it reaches 1 minute or 10 minutes it will show current total counts. After it reaches those points it will show the uSv conversion on the right column. 4. Press the mode button again and it will go back to the first menu. 3.5MM MULTIPORT At the left side middle is the output multi-port used for Safecast (with the included cable 3 to 4 band cable), and for Geiger Graph and RAD OSX (with the optional USB/FTDI cable) Just plug in the cable in with the 3 conductor plug, and the 4 conductor into your iphone or ipad. Or plug the optional FTDI 3.5mm to USB cable into the port, and into a USB on your mac or PC, then follow instructions to run those programs. It also serves as an mono audio output for silent listening with headphones. I have also supplied you with a audio cable that you can use to plug your unit into your mac or pcs mic input, then you can run audio based geiger counter data logging software such as RAD OSX. However the prefered method is to use the optional cable that is listed below. Google FTDI/TTL-232R-3V3-AJ.

ARDUINO Software and Serial-USB connection information: ON the cd you will find the FTDI driver and Arduino program version 1. Install both and restart your mac. Copy the Geiger Sketch folder to the same folder as your Arduino program is and remember where that is as that will be where you go to save your sketch everytime you make a change to it. There will also be a Library folder that will also need to be in the same folder. Just remember that the folder has to be the same exact name as the sketch name is. And also within Arduino, you will have to go to preferences and show Arduino where your default sketch folder is. ARDUINO SETTINGS: 1. Open Arduino 2. Open the saved sketch .ino file, connect your Geiger counter to the USB with power switch off. 3. Verify the file by clicking the little check mark icon. 4. Click TOOLS, and Select Board type as Arduino UNO, and select serial port as the top tty choice. 5. Click Serial Monitor (top right looking glass icon). Set Baud rate to 9600 and you should see the CPM, uSv and geiger counter voltage data coming up once per minute. For more info go to website under Software section on the DIY geiger counter website. Or go to Safecast SUGGESTED SETTINGS: (You will probably have to play with it to get it just right- and I used to use Geiger Bot, but it seems that Safecast is more stable and works everytime.)

Select options

Select Geiger Counter

Select LND712 CS137

Adjust Conversion factor to your tube: 123 for LND712 175 for SBM-20 360 for LND7317 Select I/O Settings

Auto Adjust OFF (you may need to play with this setting) RMS Window 1 Delay Window 30 Volume Thresh 20000

Ultrafast Rates ON

RAD OSX free data logging for macs: (although you can use the included 3.5mm male to male 3 conductor to 3 conductor audio cable from the multiport to your PC or Macs MIC input, it works best with the FTDI/TTL USB cable below) GEIGER GRAPH FOR PC NETWORKS: (cost is around $60. Use the Optional FTDI 3.5mm to USB cable) This is a PC only software. To purchase the optional cable go to:, and do a search for: FTDI/TTL-232R-3V3-AJ HARDWARE 1. DIY Geiger counter kit V4.0 by Brohogan 2. LND 712 Geiger Muller Tube 3. Power System by Pololu A. You can power the Geiger in a couple different ways 1. With 9 volt batteries 2. With USB cable plugged into data port on RIGHT side of geiger then plugged into: a. Computer or laptop USB b. 5V USB Wall charger block (included) c. Standard 5v USB Cigarette adapter (not included) d. To power and operate the unit this way make sure POWER SWITCH IS IN OFF POSITION - Its ok to have switch the on for a little while, but DAMAGE MIGHT OCCUR if left this way for long periods- best bet is NOT to do this. e. For long usage of geiger counter (constant on for long periods) the preferred way to power it would be to use the USB cable plugged in right FTDI port and power OFF. And i would also suggest turning on the backlight only if you need it to save power. POWER and OTHER SYSTEM ITEMS: A. Pololu Step Up/Step Down Voltage Regulator S7V7F5 C. Sparkfun 5V FTDI Basic Breakout

LND-712 GEIGER MULLER TUBE Installed inside this nicely planned out kit is a LND 712 which senses Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Xray. The tube is vented in front of the Mica window for Alpha particles, and also the bottom of the kit has a vent for beta and gamma. ENCLOSURE Dimensions: Hammond Enclosures- 1593Y - 5.5" x 2.6" x 1.1" REPAIRS: I will be more than happy to do any maintenance or calibration, if you need at no charge except shipping. PACKAGE CONTENTS: In your package you will find: Geiger Counter, Lead Pig w/ Samples, (3) Cables: Geiger bot 3 to 4 conductor, Audio 3 to 3 conductor, Mini USB to standard USB2 and wall charger, CD with software and documents, Manual, stickers, extra silicon feet, and extra faceplate labels. FREE Battery.




LND 712



the little black box+plus RADIATION DETECTOR


s X R AY


Top View of Assembly SECTION A-A (Side View Inside Assembly)

55.00 [2.165] (Inlay Width)

Hand Held Instrument (1593Y)

5.60 [.220] (Bottom Assem Boss ) ) 5.60 [.220] (Top Assem Boss

Detail View of PCB Boss

(Located on Top and Bottom Cover) 4.50 [.177] P.C. Board B

140.00 [5.512]

128.50 [5.059] (Inlay Length)

4.90 [.193]

A SECTION B-B (Inside of Bottom Cover)

.50 [.020] (PCB dist from end panel)

Bottom Cover

Front Panel

66.00 [2.598]

21.90 [.862] (Inner Box Height)

End View of Assembly B

Front Panel

1.00 [.039] (Inlay Depth) 60.37 [2.377] (Inner Box Width) 50.30 [1.980]

Bottom Cover

1.57 [.062] (PCB dist from inner wall)

Enclosures can be Factory Modified ( Milling, Drilling, Printing etc. ) Solid models of this enclosure available in STEP or IGES. Contact Factory
Enclos ure m olded from GP ABS (UL94-HB) plas tic. Purchas ed as s em bly includes top and bottom cover, front panel (plas tic), battery door and 4 cover s crews .

132.89 [5.232] (Inner Box Length)

28.00 [1.102]

P.C. Board Aligned on Bosses

1593Y Enclosure Black Enclos ure Grey Enclos ure
32.64 [1.285]

Maximum P.C. Board Size

6.73 [.265] 5.66 [.223] 6.52 [.257] 6.73 [.265] 3.20 x 6 [.126]

1593YBK 1593YGY ACCESSORIES Cover Screws (Pkg 100) [#4 x 3/4" s elf-tapping oval head (19.1m m )] P.C. Board Screws [#4 x 1/4" s elf-tapping (6.4m m )] 1593QS100 (Silver) 1593QS100BK (Black) 1593ATS50 (Pkg 50) 1593ATS100 (Pkg 100)

Front/Rear Panel (Dashed Line Indicates Viewing Area)

57.23 28.00 [2.253] [1.102]

57.19 [2.252] (Viewing Area)

20.90 [.823] (Viewing Area)

22.50 [.886]

P.C. Board (Not Supplied)

14.61 [.575]

Belt or Pocket Clip Infrared Panels (Pkg 10)

1599CLIP (Black) 1599CLIPGY (Grey) 1593DIR10

58.80 [2.315] 1.70 [.067]

R3.26 [.128] 40.50 [1.594]

14.58 [.574] 31.00 [1.220] 96.89 [3.815]



3 5 6 4 1 2



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10K Pot


3.5mm Socket
1N4148 diode
1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 3 5 7 9 11 13 15


to 5V to ground


7 6 5 4 3 2

New Haven Adapter board

MDy 2 x 16 mini LCD

8 9 10 11 12 13

In 5V Up/Down BOOST Out

14 15 16 17 18 19