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Building a Cosmic Ray Detector Part 1: Introduction and Planning

Andrew Back
Open source (hardware and software!) advocate, Treasurer and Director of the Free and Open Source Silicon Foundation, organiser of Wuthering Bytes technology festival and founder of the Open Source Hardware User Group.


May 9, 2021 15:09

Hey Andrew, just to let you know that UK freight issue is a 2 way street, I have no idea why but here in the U.S. getting anything from the UK is very costly as I'm sure it would for anyone attempting to have something shipped from here to there. I have been looking at a lot of stuff online lately, and I find that it is also costly to have anything shipped from Canada to the US. It sucks too. Items can often be shipped from China to the US for free which makes very little sense. I have found some items I am in need of in the Russian Federation and freight from there is not quite as bad as from the UK or vice versa. I would assume it is something to do with the production costs along with free trade agreements which is a shaky issue with China and the region where sanctions are an issue. Again it makes little sense when you consider the distances, China to the US vs. US to UK or any other location within the Euro/Russian region then there is the distance from the US to Canada, go figure? It all comes down to how bad you want something and where it can be obtained, next is delivery time, I find myself waiting for as much as a month for many items, simply to save a dollar and much of the time, I have no option. This comment is also intended for Tony and anyone else addressing the same situation. This project looks like a lot of fun and might even be something a person could make a bit of income on to me. I have the opinion if people out there in the rest of the world knew about stuff like this, they would buy it just for the novelty of having it. After all I see people spending much money on far less useful stuff. If it turns out that way, see about getting enough parts to make this and any other neat stuff in more than just 1 for yourself and put them together then see if you can sell them locally at some shop. Many times things like this can be shipped for little on no extra fee when you order 1 or 6 or whatever.

0 Votes

April 19, 2021 09:53

Hi Andrew
Is anybody sourcing the scintillator and SiPM in the UK? As I found with the equivalent project that CERN are doing, these components are expensive in one-offs. I looked at the eBay listing for the scintillator and there is a considerable postage charge from the US.

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April 19, 2021 11:47

@Leicester Hackspace You can buy the SiPM from RS: I'm not sure about UK scintillator sources.

April 19, 2021 12:46

@Andrew Back Thanks for the link - I'd forgotten how expensive these specialist SiPM's are. I tried to get a sample for free at an exhibition, but didn't succeed ;-)

April 20, 2021 09:00

@Leicester Hackspace NP! Indeed, not cheap, but a great deal cheaper than a PM tube and particularly when you factor in the HV power supply that they need. And I'm guessing that given their performance, they're not the simplest device to reliably fabricate.

February 16, 2021 08:12

Well done Andrew. Great project, reminds me of the old Scientific American, 'amateur scientist' projects, e.g. build your own Wilson Cloud Chamber.
What is the scintillator material used, and where to get it?

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March 10, 2021 15:36

@kiwironnie The material is Bicron BC408 and the same eBay vendor also sells the optical coupling compound:

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