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 2.GQ Geiger Muller Counter
 Minor firmware fixes for the Devs
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kotarak

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2020 :  14:24:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey guys,
I have a number of GM counters - Gamma Scout, Ludlum Model 3, Inspector, a few Arduino based boards, CD V-700, RAD-101 etc...and very recently I got a GMC-600 Plus.
I must say - the GMC-600+ is absolutely my favorite one so far albeit the fact that it has physical ergonomics of a brick :-)
I even had started writing some Arduino code to use with the Libelium Geiger Sensor board as I always felt that none of the other counters use the potential of features afforded by a PIC based counter.
Now, in the light of the GMC-600+ I am abandoning this effort as GMC-600+ gives me all of the features I ever wanted in a counter.
After playing with it for a few days I would like to list a few minor fixes for the next firmware release which will just polish the UI a bit:
- the bug of turning off the speaker when food testing is done (previously discussed in another post)
- In Timed Counting - the second menu item "1 MinuteCounting" needs a space between Minute and Counting
- it will be great if when Timed counting is complete and then Exit or Canceled is selected or you are at different screen like Large font and on completion to automatically switch and show the screen with the Timed Counting results. This way the user doesn't need to constantly check if the clock icon is still blinking and then scroll thru the screens in order to get to the results.
- The Normal, Medium and High msg on the Large Font screen needs to be a tad shorter (3-4 columns of pixels) to allow for the full display of the uSv value when it is 2/3 digit number before the decimal point (see the picture)
As you can see the first number for uSv is "chopped" and can be easily mistaken especially for digits 5 and 6 and also 3 and 8.

Image Insert:

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I know these are very small things but they will just make the UI polished and less "sloppy".
Reply #1

Damien68

France
241 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2020 :  23:17:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
for the last point, rather than shortening the High / Med / Low label, for a +/-7% accurency value, we could truncate the value of uSv/h on 4 digits (ie display "51.26" rather than "51.263").

Mastery is acquired by studying, with it everything becomes simple

Edited by - Damien68 on 05/06/2020 23:28:46
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Reply #2

kotarak

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2020 :  05:23:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Truncating the value to 4 digits when it becomes >9.999 or >99.99 i.e. 10.00 or 100.0 makes sense too. When you are dealing with high levels, over 100 uSv, rarely someone will need to see two significant digits after the decimal point and if this value is important to you, you can always change it to the main reading on Large Font.
I use the counter to check geological samples so I keep my display in CPM as I am most interested in the activity rather than the exposure but keeping an eye on the exposure rate is not a bad idea - that's what I like about the GMC-600 is the amount of information it displays at the same time.
Truncating will work if it is too much effort to make the alert window smaller but generally, as this is an instrument - I think actual numerical data should not be sacrificed in favor of an ambiguous 3-level alert msg that can be either abbreviated or iconized.
Not sure if you have enough space to add an empty line of pixels under the date too - this will make it more readable for both numbers and the icons. Right now they are stepping on the separating line and makes it look a bit cluttered.

Edited by - kotarak on 05/07/2020 09:29:05
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Reply #3

EmfDev

1243 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2020 :  10:33:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for your suggestions, 1 and 2 are already in the next firmware update we are working on others.
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Reply #4

kotarak

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2020 :  14:59:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
EmfDev - Thanks a lot!!!
How are firmware updates handled? is there a place where new updates and ChangeLog is posted?
I see a few people asking for firmware updates and generally the response is "email xxxx and will let you know if there is a new version for you".
Maybe you don't have enough requests (or other reasons) to maintain a dedicated link on your website but it will be great if new firmware releases are announced here or when they are slated to be released - perhaps in a sticky topic? - this way we dont have to buy a new unit every 6 months to see if it will come with a new firmware :-)

Edited by - kotarak on 05/07/2020 14:59:48
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Reply #5

kotarak

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2020 :  05:31:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another touch on the UI side - not sure if you are employing "de-bounce routine" in your firmware for the buttons - if you don't - you definitely need one! If you do, the time-constant needs to be adjusted to avoid multiple pulses from the buttons going thru...I noticed that often a single "button press" will generate more than one contact closures (due to the electrical noise from the closure) and I'll "overshoot" the intended menu item / input and need to go back.
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Reply #6

EmfDev

1243 Posts

Posted - 05/08/2020 :  15:59:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It does have some delay of 50ms I believe after pressing the button. We will still try to improve it.
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Reply #7

blargg

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2020 :  03:58:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The biggest issue I had with the GMC-600+ (and also the EMF-300) is the screen auto-rotation feature not having a dead zone when the unit is flat. I've had to turn auto-rotation off because they often switches between vertical and horizontal when I have the unit flat. With a dead zone you'd have to tip the unit a good 30 degrees or so to one angle for it to rotate, otherwise when it's nearly flat <30 degrees on each axis it wouldn't change the screen orientation.

A more minor thing is changing options. For some buttons it changes the option on first press, and for others pressing the button just shows the current setting, then more presses change the option (this seems preferable, so you can check what the current setting is without changing it).

Edited by - blargg on 07/02/2020 04:01:49
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Reply #8

EmfDev

1243 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2020 :  09:53:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi blargg, we will check the code to see if we can fix this issue.
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