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 2.GQ Geiger Muller Counter
 Verification - DO NOT leave power on through TSA
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desertengineer

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2024 :  19:38:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I can attest the guidance is accurate. I had an older model pancake unit a couple of years ago. Loved taking it on high-altitude flights watching the CPM skyrocket. On an international flight, a flight attendant was very curious and I showed her the numbers, explaining this is picking up a shower of various particles produced when cosmic rays hit the upper atmosphere, that I do worry about flight crews who do this 5-6 days a week. Turned out, she was a ranking member in their legislative union engagement team, and I ALMOST got an appointment, (as a scientific advisor - Engineer with radiation training), to an advisory council. Was cool to get a call from a person IN THE WHITE HOUSE. But it was at the end of the Obama administration, and they were mostly focused on what party you were on, not the scientific merit.

But I digress. On the final journey of this GCM model, I ACCIDENTALLY left the power on as it went through the TSA X-ray scanner. When I pulled it out of the bag on the plane, it was DEAD. Zero CPM. I can only surmise the applied electric field on the tube, combined with the intense X-rays, either destroyed the tube, or destroyed the board.

In any case, it was an excuse to buy a new 600+ I had my eye on. But take this as a lesson, travelers. If you are flying, VERIFY the unit is powered off before letting it go through airport X-ray machines. Mine became E-waste in a couple of seconds.
Reply #1

ullix

Germany
1121 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2024 :  22:57:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is NOT generally true! Attached pic is an example flight recording of CPS with a GMC-600+.

Note that I applied log scale in order to make the flight data visible in the presence of the monster X-ray scan peak of CPS=3603!

There are several more examples in the forum of users happily using their GMC-600 on flights.

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Reply #2

desertengineer

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2024 :  05:31:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Im not saying the flights are a problem. The TSA X-RAY SCANNER is! I left the power on accidentally and the machine killed it dead.
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Reply #3

Bobakman

USA
92 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2024 :  14:33:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Power off or power on x-ray, energy, a.k.a. gamma at exceedingly high energies can damage electronics but from what Ive read with TSA machines these use very low energy back scatter x-rays see article below..
I personally have had mine powered on for at least four different flights with no issues. I was more concerned with the pressurization of the aircraft being lost and causing it to pop the mica on the LND 7317 pancake GMT. Just my thoughts.
Bob

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936792/#:~:text=The%20doses%20of%20ionizing%20radiation%20emitted%20by%20these%20backscatter%20x-ray%20scans%20is%20exceedingly%20low%20-%20so%20low%20that%20it%20is%20really%20not%20known%20whether%20there%20is%20any%20potential%20for%20causing%20harm.%20The%20TSA%20considers%20the%20risk%20for%20causing%20harm%20trivial.%20Even%20though%20the%20doses%20are%20low%2C%20the%20cancer%20risk%20merits%20consideration%20given%20there%20are%20750%20million%20passenger%20enplanements%20a%20year%20and%20even%20a%20small%20risk%20per%20person%20could%20potentially%20translate%20into%20a%20significant%20number%20of%20cancers.

If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.
Nikola Tesla
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Reply #4

GBG12

Canada
101 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2024 :  18:26:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm glad my kit GM tube did *not* fail in the X-Ray machine on one trip. I had to demonstrate to some foreign customs inspectors what the suspicious device was before they let me in the country. The life of a GM tube is generally a function of the counts it gets, so EOL is more likely in an X-ray machine.
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