What is a Geiger Counter?

“The Geiger counter is an instrument used for measuring ionizing radiation used widely in applications such as radiation dosimetryradiological protectionexperimental physics and the nuclear industry.  It detects ionizing radiation such as alpha particlesbeta particles and gamma rays using the ionization effect produced in a Geiger–Müller tube; which gives its name to the instrument.[1] In wide and prominent use as a hand-held radiation survey instrument, it is perhaps one of the world’s best-known radiation detection instruments.”


Terra, Medcom Inspector, Mazur, Soeks, Gamma Scout and many other brands are out there.

They vary from amateur ($100-400 USD) to professional models ($700-2000+USD).

Many of them have an output for data collection to a computer to generate live readings on websites, or generate a graph.

Some have Bluetooth ( not that this is a good thing for EHS people ) but some may want to be mobile and track using GPS – while sending uploads in real time via Bluetooth.

Upload Data to Online Geiger Maps



GQ Electronics / GMCmap.com   data transfer :  USB and WIFI

Soeks   – data transfer :  USB and WIFI

Mazur – data transfer :  USB

International Medcom  – data transfer :  USB Adaptor


Radex /  QuatraRad Map :  USB to Website

SafeCast   data transfer : Bluetooth to Website / USB to Website

Others that do not have USB, WIFI or Bluetooth can be Manually entered on various Geiger Map Sites


A professional stated  “some meters detect beta and gamma, but not alpha. If entering an areas such as Japan, you should really have a pancake style alpha, beta, and gamma sensitive tube before going into a contaminated area.”  Most people reading this would likely only be doing readings in Canada or the United States, but we thought we would mention this for anyone considering on getting a meter for more then basic readings.





“bGeigie” by Safecast


Most geiger counter meters can send data to computers, but SAFE CAST recently posted a meter that they have been working on for several years called the bGeigie Raku  that can send GPS data and can be mounted on cars for mobile readings.  It has been used for testing in Vancouver (see below).  Older Safecast Nano versions are available, but the official Raku version is on Kickstart


Their stationary meters can give live readings via cellphones  and their new mobile version can record the data to a card, then you can upload it to their database

Current readings from various locations


More about SafeCast


Quadcopter Radiation Imaging Drone Introduced At Fukushima Daiichi


Stay Tuned for more Articles about Geiger Counters