This is a lack of expensive hardware that could save lives. In conjunction with a Raspberry Pi Pico W, Dmytro Panin developed a Web-facilitated Geiger counter to help monitor ionizing radiation levels every few hours.
The Raspberry Pi Pico W is connected to an M4011 Geiger, the sensor which detects radiation. The tube takes the Data Transfer to Pico W, which teaches the information for the interface once every several hours. Panin created an API for JSON that can be accessed by anyone. This API provides the current values that can be relayed to an LCD screen or simply checked periodically in the browser window.
Panin lives in Kiev, which isn’t very far from Chernobyl nuclear plant outside Pripyat, Ukraine. He decided to put the system next to his apartment window to see if all radiation levels have changed. This data is pushed to a server every couple of hours and is loaded with output to the webpage so that Panin can quickly check the readings when it isn’t the one in charge.
The hardware for this custom Geiger counter is relatively basic. For its wireless support, it’s using a Raspberry Pi Pico W module, we said. The radiation is detected using an M4011 tube, which is the most expensive part of the operation. In addition, Panin included a panel with a 128 x 64 pixel OLED screen connected via I2C. This light floats the current measurements gathered from the M4011 tube.
It is possible to programme the Pico with some languages, with the most popular being Micro-Python and CircuitPython. However, in that case, Panin used C++. According to Panin, the ionizing radiation data is measured in nanosieverts per hour and relayed to the API.
This Raspberry Pi project is in action or you can recreate one for yourself. Take a look at the original thread shared on Twitter and follow us on Twitter for the next two years.