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[Phys-l] Minigenerator nuclear rate meter


Amidst the long-unused equipment in our stock room, we have a Union Carbide Minigenerator Nuclear Rate Meter. This is a small, battery-operated unit in a yellow and blue case that detects decays and reports them both with clicks on the internal speaker and in Counts per Minute on an analog meter.

I am preparing to lead a group of Boy Scouts through their Nuclear Science merit badge and thought that this little meter would be much better suited to the task than our fancier (and more valuable) Geiger counters, but unfortunately, the manual for this little meter is no longer to be found.

The battery is no longer in the meter (fortunately, since it would surely have leaked and probably ruined the meter). The battery is accessible by removing the lower back cover. It appears to have been about the diameter of a AA battery, but longer -- about 3 inches (7.8 cm) long.

Do any of you know anything about these meters? At the very least, I would like to know the specifications of the original battery, so I can look for a replacement. Even better, if any of you happen to have a manual and could send or fax a photocopy, that would be even better.

I hooked up a variable DC power supply, put a source near the detector, and gradually increased the voltage; the meter started detecting decays at about 6-7 volts. Thus, if all else fails, I could probably solder in a 9 volt battery clip so as to run the meter on a "modern" and more easily available battery.

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.
Charles Crook

Charles R. Crook
Instructor of Chemistry and Physics
Rappahannock Community College

12745 Campus Drive 52 Campus Drive
Glenns, VA 22573 Warsaw, VA 22572
804-758-6883 804-333-6883
FAX: 804-758-3852