Happy Holidays everyone! The image above is a nixie tube Christmas ornament project that I started last year but didn’t finish in time for Christmas. In typical fashion I did one or two revs to the PCB in late December and early January and then got busy and shelved the project until last weekend. It’s still not quite finished but the first two ornaments look pretty good!
The year is 2011. It’s early summer. Mitch has been soliciting workshop ideas for Chaos Camp 2011. The Fukushima Daiichi disaster had just occurred in March of that year, so radioactivity and nuclear monitoring was on everyone’s mind. I had been working on a (still unfinished) project to detect cosmic rays, so I had some Geiger tubes and a bunch of AVR microcontrollers on hand.
When I packed the first 30 kits in my suitcase and flew to Berlin to give my first Geiger Counter workshop at Chaos Camp 2011, I had no idea how successful this kit would become. I did not expect that the kits would sell out within minutes of arriving at Camp. I certainly did not expect that I’d still be building and selling Geiger Counter kits ten years later, at least in part because Geiger tubes were in very short supply at that time.
Here’s a taste of Chaos Camp 2011, thanks to Maurice Wessling. Remember when quadcopters were new and 3d printers were made of wood?
Here’s a video of me demonstrating the kit at Camp:
Note that there is no case! There wasn’t time to design a case before Camp. Some of the workshop attendees learned the hard way that you get a mild shock if you touch the PCB in the wrong place – it rained a lot that year, which made things worse! By the end of camp I saw at least one 3d printed case, and when I got home I designed the laser-cut case that I still sell today.
I want to sincerely thank everyone who has purchased or built a kit over the past decade. It’s been a huge amount of fun, from the first workshop at Chaos Camp 2011 and the US debut at the NY Maker Faire to the years of online sales and subsequent workshops at Toorcamp, Congress, and Chaos Camp 2019.
MightyOhm Geiger Counter Kit Bundle – This version of the kit includes a sensitive SBM-20 Geiger tube, laser-cut case, and 2xAAA batteries. If you already own a soldering iron, wire cutters, and have a spool of solder handy, this bundle includes everything you need to build the kit. This is a great project for a snowy afternoon this winter and these kits make great gifts.
MightyOhm AVR HV Rescue Shield – This is the kind of kit that you don’t know you need until you REALLY need it. Great for AVR microcontroller enthusiasts.
I’m also selling SBM-20 Geiger Counter tubes on Amazon. These tubes are getting more challenging to source so grab one before they are all gone.
Update: As of July 1st, 2020 the sale is officially over! A huge thank you to everyone who placed an order during the sale, you helped keep my mind off of the current crisis. I hope you enjoyed building your kit! Also, a huge thank you to everyone who has helped support MightyOhm since it began in 2008! I am thankful for each and every one of you. Stay safe!
Here’s the original post:
Well, here we are. It’s June 1st, 2020, and like most folks in the Seattle area, I’ve been stuck at home for months, making few cautious trips out into the world to get some exercise, go to the post office and pick up groceries. Most folks I encounter outside are wearing masks. This is the new normal around here.
Most of us here in Seattle were cautiously optimistic that our city would start to re-open on June 1st. However, over the weekend it became clear that this won’t happen for at least a few more weeks. This time, there’s no specific date to look forward to.
As a result of the ongoing stay at home order in Seattle and various other parts of the US and the world, I’m extending the quarantine sale again.
I know that there are still a lot of folks who are stuck at home, looking for opportunities for personal growth or just a way to pass the time. This is certainly true for me – over the past few weeks I’ve been taking online 3D modeling courses and just passed the Solidworks CSWA exam last week (CSWP here I come!) My goal is to continue to make discounted Geiger Counter Kits available until we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
There is a catch, however. My inventory of Geiger counter tubes is very limited. Tubes have become more difficult to source this year, and prices have gone up. Once I sell out of my existing inventory of tubes, the sale will end. If you are interested in taking advantage of the sale, please order soon or you might miss out.