Geiger counters are one of the most commonly used tools to measure radiation levels. This is a popular sensor in other countries like Japan where power is mainly generated from nuclear plants. This type of sensor is generally deployed in numbers across different areas and are linked together to a cloud server for easy monitoring.
EVAL-CN0536-ARDZ is a low-power Geiger counter in an Arduino form factor that can run on a 3V to 5V system supply. It has a novel architecture for its ultra-low-power, high voltage generator that is robust and adjustable across a wide voltage range allowing the user to set the sensitivity of the board accordingly. This reference circuit design is compatible with most of the Geiger-Muller tube sensors available in the market today with a voltage rating between 280V to 500V. Moreover, it uses a hysteric voltage regulation scheme by controlling the power supplied to the board oscillator minimizing the overall current consumption. It has a configurable voltage reference for its output allowing the board to safely translate the Geiger pulses to the logic level of the microcontroller. Lastly, it has audio and visual indicators to qualitatively alert the user as the radiation levels increase.
The figure below shows the pins used as well as their corresponding functions. It can be seen that the output pin for the Geiger pulse can be set in four different locations. This allows flexibility in case other shields are used together with the CN0536. By default, JP1 is shorted and the Geiger pulse is read from GPIO33. Noting that some pins have specific alternate functions, all other unlabeled pins are free to be used.
This user guide will discuss how to use the EVAL-CN0536-ARDZ on the EVAL-ADICUP3029 together with the provided evaluation software. Data transfer can either be done via UART or be sent over Wi-FI to an MQTT server for remote monitoring.
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