Types of Meters:The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

The Inspector Alert:

This meter is considered by many to be the standard in the industry by civilians with handheld Geiger counter meters. It employs the utra-sensitive 2″ Geiger Mueller pancake tube with an Alpha mica window (see photo). It is easy to use, extremely versatile and reliable. It is perhaps the best choice for a civilian Geiger counter.

RadCast also has a means to bring you a discount on this meter should you choose to purchase one. Email Mimi when ready. We will send you the coupon for savings


Radiation Alert® Inspector USB


Inspector USBThe Inspector USB has a 2 inch GM “pancake tube” with a thin mica Alpha window. It features free Observer USB Software, built in isotope efficiencies, data collection, great sensitivity, backlit display, timer, an optional wipe test plate for swipes and ruggedized boot for added protection. The free Windows® Observer USB Software reads in Total Counts, CPM, and CPS, as well as µR/hr, mR/hr, and µSv/hr and has the ability to collect, log, and perform statistical analysis on the downloaded data collected.

If you want the USB please do tell them that you are a RadCast viewer. See Purchase Meter for details.

Free Download of the Observer USB Software:


PRM-9000 Geiger Counter – Nuclear Radiation Contamination Detector & MonitorPRM-9000_180

The Mazur PRM 9000

The PRM 9000 is what we would recommend from Mazur. The PRM 8000 has readings which are much lower than the 9000 and we feel that the 9000 reads are far more consistent on average with those in any area of the location.

The PRM 9000 is similar to the Inspector in that it reads Alpha, Beta and Gamma, has the same 2″ pancake Muller monitor and is as reliable as the Inspectors. However, the PRM 9000 cannot be taken on planes or up to the top of mountains….it cannot handle being over 10,000 ft without risking damage to the Muller tube.

A difference in the PRM 9000 is that it is designed to continuously collect measurements and statistics enabling complete environment assessment.

Using only one key, users can scroll through several screens that display present, average, maximum and minimum measurements in uR/hr, mR/hr, uSv/hr, Counts per Second (CPS) or Counts per Minute (CPM).

With over 100K bytes of internal data logging memory included, this Geiger counter can autonomously (without the need for a PC) store up to 91,466 minutes or hours of time-stamped measurements. These measurements can then be uploaded later to a PC in CSV format for analysis. Details here: Mazur PRM 9000 Spec Sheet

The detection sensitivity combined with the feature-set outlined below results in one of the most compelling price/performance values in the industry.

This is a meter which is good for those who want a more advanced meter. It is also a bit more money for this one.

The SOEKS—For Soeks products please go to the link directly.

http://www.soeks-usa.com/  Order directly from the link! As easy as that!



We have watched readings from Soeks meters for the past three years. The readings we have seen are close to the readings we see for the Alert and because we are familiar with how they read, we will be accepting readings on our map from the SOEKS meters. They are also less money for those who are looking for that. The SOEKS that we have seen only give readings in uSv, not in CPM but newer models are coming out and they may have both measurements.

From Ame, a citizen reader and meter collector:

I like the SOEKS as a personal dosimeter…it is in my pocket everywhere I go… it’s fairly accurate and “tank” dependable and for about $150 it”s cheap on the pocket book for that struggling family with kids and no budget…. So yes if you’re going to allow a dosimeter it should be a SOEKS…. Preferably no less than the 01M-1CL (the standard SOEKS)….remember, the SOEKS does not read ALPHA.

by Nicklas C. Brandt Date Added: Thursday 28 February, 2013
The device has the best counter (Geiger) of today – SBM-20-1. The Ecotester is the device of tomorrow – it’s a hit. I’m buying it and sending all over the world to all of my acquaintances. His only drawback is batteries. Thus also buying AA rechargeable batteries and a charging unit. As to put to the producer – it’s not so cheap, the unit to save candle-ends. Although innovative. Rechargeable batteries should come with. Mark the defects identification as follows – as the batteries run down, the gage readings as toxic chemicals tester are not correct. For lack of the current. Fix the problem, gentlemen!! Good luck to all of you!Rating: 4 of 5 Stars! [4 of 5 Stars!]

The Ludlum 177-45

Ludlums basic radiation meter which sells for $800….. Commonly used for US government work or prospecting…. …….. The LND 7311 pancake-style Geiger-Mueller tube it uses It is a highly sensitive alpha/beta/gamma radiation detector. Compared to the smaller and more familiar LND 712…………., it is at least 3 times as sensitive. It is similar to the LND 7317., but has a higher operating voltage…..http://www.lndinc.com/products/pdf/389/

The Gamma Scout

A good quality detector with logging/graphing capabilities featuring a monthly accumulated dosage function and a closable Alpha window.

They make four models.

–One is rechargeable featuring Lithium Ion Battery

–Three have permanent batteries “hardwired” and require no recharging but to replace damaged batteries requires shipping it back to manufacturer for fee replacement “which is not so good”.

–All four use the same LND 712 “TYPE” Cylindrical Alpha tube with a 3/8” mica window…

Display units are in Sievert or Rem or it reads in total CPM


Minimal Alpha Detection Detects alpha radiation from 4 MeV

Minimal Beta Detection Detects beat radiation from m0.2 MeV

Minimal Gamma Detection Detects gamma radiation from 30keV

Memory Internal storage for 32,000 data points

It operates in most weather from -40c to +75c at 90% humidity so it’s pretty tough and weather proof.

This tube is not sensitive to elevation

It has a 2 yr warranty but it won’t warrantee its LND712 “TYPE” tube which is not so good.

Price range $440- $620 through the 4 models.

The weak point of these four detectors is its cylindrical Alpha Tube which they will not guarantee which clearly means they’re NOT using an LND product. It’s likely an aftermarket Russian Alpha Tube

Simply put, this tube while a good tube is not as sensitive as any Pancake style alpha tube which are three times more sensitive. The fault lies in the tiny alpha window.

The price range is excessive considering Pancake tube models fall in the same operating range and offer more tube sensitivity at basically the same price.

A good quality detector but you can get better for the same money.

Digalert 100………..

These people are getting clever…. they’re not publishing the tube designator nor the price any longer…. you have to call them…. That said:…. This is a Woman-owned company which services the medical community in the arena of breast cancer and cancer research…. Apparently the owner has a lot of heart and is trying to offer quality equipment…. … Reading their materials available it’s evident that this device is a step above a dosimeter …. it likely has a LND 712 Alpha tube… it’s computer ready and does logging and comes with a soft ware program for graphing…. This appears to be a fairly decent unit apparently well and above the standard of the SOEKS… However it will not match the sensitivity of the typical Pancake probe detector as it’s alpha window is only 3/8 ” in diameter reducing the sensitivity considerably…. This would account for the low numbers…. at a guess I’d place the price at about $400.00 … as far as detectors go I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse on the market so I wouldn’t turn it down but I personally wouldn’t actually buy it as I require a much more sensitive detector…. …………………………….operating Range
mR/hr – .001 (1µR) to 100 mR/hr
µSv/hr – .01 to 1000
CPM – 0 to 350,000
CPS – 0 to 5000
Total/ Timer – 1 to 9,999,000 countsGamma Sensitivity
1000 CPM/mR/hr referenced to Cs-1 37.Accuracy
±10% typical (NIST), ±15% maximum.Energy Sensitivity
•Detects alpha down to 2.5 MeV; typical detection efficiency at 3.6 MeV is greater than 80%.
•Detects beta at 50 keV with typical 35% detection efficiency.
•Detects beta at 150 keV with typical 75% detection efficiency.
•Detects gamma and x-rays down to 10 keV typical through the window, 40 keV minimum through the case. Normal background is 5-20 CPM.

The Radex 1503 now replaced by the RD1503+ is a very low quality canister tube type Gama/Beta radiation detector….. yet another example of a Russian design produced by Quarta-Rad …… very low end……..Personal Dosimeter……

RADEX RD1212 Advanced Radiation Detector / Geiger CounterIt’s a low end canister tube type personal dosimeter…. it sells for about $222.00 and comes with software for logging….. it’s limited as accuracy drops off above 0.30 uSv/h….. Like Safecast it’s a Satalite/slave meaning it self checks which is nice and reports back to it manufacturer when booted up to a computer/ which I don’t like because it means it owner pays the bill while radex reaps the benefit…… It reads primarily Gammma/beta and lacks an Alpha window so it won’t read Alpha….. Not very sensitive/not dissimilar from the from SOEKS models previous to 01M-1CL…… Stores data collected in on board memory and can download data…. features alarm/date/time and can be set for location but no GPS……. runs on two AAA’s and can run limited on just one AAA if necessary…. Fits in a shirt pocket easily….. Manufactured by Quarta-Rad and distributed out of NJ USA/ It’s Russian design bought out by a guy named Hall who apparently manufactures it out of Texas……. This one is just another of dozen’s of dosimeter’s designed to be cheap and easy to use and that is exactly what it is cheap but it is durable and easy to use….. It’s ok for the family as an air tester/dosimeter but nothing more…… It’s nice that it stores accumulated dose in on board memory which a lot of these dosimeters won’t do…. If you want a very cheap unit which works well enough for a limited dosimeter this one is right up there but it can’t be used as a sensitive survey meter/detector as it is not accurate enough so to radcast the numbers would be undependable……