Geiger counter experiment with 1B22 tube


Recently I bought an awesome Geiger Counter on ebay: restored Ludlum Model 3 with 44-9 pancake probe.  I had fun with it testing around the house but didn’t see anything spectacular.   I had a piece of “uraninite” ore I got from eBay a while ago and it sure can detecte elevated radiation levels coming from it.

Few days ago however I stumbled upon a video that was talking about an old vacuum tube 1B22. Apparently it contains Radium 226 and it’s among strongest legal radiation sources you can find. To my surprise I had no problem locating it online and it only cost $15 plus shipping. So I ordered one and it just arrived in the mail. Keep reading, pictures are after the break! 🙂

It’s a real deal folks!  Looks like it was made around 1945 and box does look really old. Box actually has a warning about tube containing Radium and they suggest that old tube should be sunk in the ocean or buried! :O

Tube itself was wrapped in the something that looks like old gauze. After unwrapping it I took some readings with my Ludlum and immediately ran to wash hands and wear some gloves, readings were really high, higher than anything I’ve seen before…  It was around 1.6K CPM on x10 setting, and if my calculations correct it equals to 16,000 CPMs. Not sure exactly what it equals in Sievert… Anywhere here are more pictures.


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