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 Post subject: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Wed 11, 2018 1:04 pm 
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Can anyone tell me about this meter I found while cleaning out my dads' workshop? If this is the wrong thread for this or forum for that matter, I apologize :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Wed 11, 2018 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 631
Location: Pasadena CA USA
What you have is a very early ionization chamber type instrument. It is from the 1930's. I collect these type things and may have a schematic around here, but the circuit is very simple. As I recall this one uses one 45 volt battery. Be a simple matter to hook it up to 45 volts and see if it works. One caution, do not "restore " it or change any internal parts or you will destroy its value.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Wed 11, 2018 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Aug Mon 04, 2014 9:42 pm
Posts: 62
Here's one meter that you hope reads "zero" all the time, providing it's working.
I used to work for a competitor of Victoreen called NRC, but they were swallowed up by Canberra.
Background radiation due to cosmic rays and the like is generally around 0.03mR/hr, as I recall


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Wed 11, 2018 11:19 pm 
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Wow. I love learning history through antiques. Was this a household item or who had these? My dad was in WWII Naval engineer, wonder where he got this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Thu 12, 2018 1:46 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 363
Location: Sandhills of Nebraska, 69170
When we still operated our tube type search radar I had to use a Victoreen meter after replacing our amplitron and magnetron tubes, and also whenever we had to break apart the waveguides. This was to verify there was no harmful radiation (xray / RF) leaking out.

I don't remember what model number of Victoreen, but I still did this up until about three years ago until we upgraded to a solid state radar. Used two different types of meters, one for stray RF and one for the Xrays.

I remember shipping it always bothered the Fed Ex folks because the meter contained a small amount of radioactive material which was used to calibrate the device (if I remember correctly), and the shipping container was labeled as such.

Travis


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Thu 12, 2018 3:01 am 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 193
Location: Houston, TX
LBF ARSR wrote:
I remember shipping it always bothered the Fed Ex folks because the meter contained a small amount of radioactive material which was used to calibrate the device (if I remember correctly), and the shipping container was labeled as such.

I wonder how they feel about smoke detectors. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Fri 13, 2018 10:49 am 
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Vin Tageman wrote:
LBF ARSR wrote:
I remember shipping it always bothered the Fed Ex folks because the meter contained a small amount of radioactive material which was used to calibrate the device (if I remember correctly), and the shipping container was labeled as such.

I wonder how they feel about smoke detectors. :shock:



Why? Whats hiding in smoke detectors?


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Fri 13, 2018 10:54 am 
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J. Hill wrote:
What you have is a very early ionization chamber type instrument. It is from the 1930's. I collect these type things and may have a schematic around here, but the circuit is very simple. As I recall this one uses one 45 volt battery. Be a simple matter to hook it up to 45 volts and see if it works. One caution, do not "restore " it or change any internal parts or you will destroy its value.



How can I test it?


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Fri 13, 2018 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 193
Location: Houston, TX
Stormyme wrote:
Why? Whats hiding in smoke detectors?


Americium typically.

It's relatively safe, and it was decided long ago that risk of potential exposure is outweighed by the benefit of the home not burning down around you while you sleep.
People shouldn't crack open the sensors in any case. :)

I was really just half-joking about carriers being concerned about shipping those. I mean, look how many millions of the devices are shipping annually. Carrier employees must be wondering what percentage are defective and leaky. Then again, they probably have radiation sensors in all their facilities, especially since 9-11, to detect dirty bombs and material that could be used to make them.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Sat 14, 2018 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 631
Location: Pasadena CA USA
The 45 volt batteries are, to my knowledge, no longer made so you would use a bench type power supply. Chances are not real good that it is still working, but the value of this device is not as a working detector, but as a collectible historic piece of equipment. That is why I recommend not changing Any parts even to make it work as that would seriously degrade the value. A collector will want it as is, someone who wants to measure radiation will just buy a Geiger counter off eBay.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Sun 15, 2018 1:13 am 
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From the 30s? Who gave a poot about measuring radiation before 1945 except scientists and researchers? After the war everyone was prospecting for Uranium or stocking their shelters, so does that mean it was a scarce lab instrument instead of a survey meter?


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Sun 15, 2018 9:28 pm 
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J. Hill wrote:
The 45 volt batteries are, to my knowledge, no longer made so you would use a bench type power supply. Chances are not real good that it is still working, but the value of this device is not as a working detector, but as a collectible historic piece of equipment. That is why I recommend not changing Any parts even to make it work as that would seriously degrade the value. A collector will want it as is, someone who wants to measure radiation will just buy a Geiger counter off eBay.


I am not going to touch it. It looks like no one has touched it. It was in my fathers workshop, in a box with other items. He labeled the box "collections 30's 40's & 50's". What would this be worth?


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Sun 15, 2018 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Mar Tue 21, 2017 3:01 am
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Vin Tageman wrote:
Stormyme wrote:
Why? Whats hiding in smoke detectors?


Americium typically.

It's relatively safe, and it was decided long ago that risk of potential exposure is outweighed by the benefit of the home not burning down around you while you sleep.
People shouldn't crack open the sensors in any case. :)

I was really just half-joking about carriers being concerned about shipping those. I mean, look how many millions of the devices are shipping annually. Carrier employees must be wondering what percentage are defective and leaky. Then again, they probably have radiation sensors in all their facilities, especially since 9-11, to detect dirty bombs and material that could be used to make them.


I never knew that. I could talk to you guys all day lol I love hearing about this stuff ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Mon 16, 2018 5:10 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
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Location: Dallas, TX
Stormyme wrote:

I am not going to touch it. It looks like no one has touched it. It was in my fathers workshop, in a box with other items. He labeled the box "collections 30's 40's & 50's". What would this be worth?


Probably not a lot unless you can link it to something historic, you would have to find a collector even then.

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It's not the Destination, It's the Journey.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Mon 16, 2018 5:28 pm 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
Posts: 876
Location: Dallas, TX
Vin Tageman wrote:
Stormyme wrote:
Why? Whats hiding in smoke detectors?


Americium typically.

It's relatively safe, and it was decided long ago that risk of potential exposure is outweighed by the benefit of the home not burning down around you while you sleep.
People shouldn't crack open the sensors in any case. :)


I've got one of those small modern radiation detectors. I also opened up a smoke detector's sensor.
The radiation source is a tiny dot in the center. I can get hundreds of counts per minute, up to about
0.5 mR/hr from it. A impressive demonstration if you don't consider it can be stopped with a piece of cardboard.

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Tim
It's not the Destination, It's the Journey.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Mon 16, 2018 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 631
Location: Pasadena CA USA
I collect the old radiation instruments, but I can not tell you what it is worth. It is one of those things that because there ars so that survived and because there are so few collectors, it is really a matter of the value being what the twopeople agree on. I know a museum that would like to have it, or you could sell it here or ebay. Unless you fond a collector who HAS to have it, the value is not as high as one might first think.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Tue 17, 2018 1:47 pm 
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Joined: May Sun 01, 2016 5:12 am
Posts: 79
Location: Nashville TN
Correct, very few of us collectors for these things out there. Even less that collect ion chamber meters. I've passed on one or two of these before because I mostly collect Geiger counters which can be used for much lower radiation levels. Still an interesting piece of early equipment.

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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Wed 18, 2018 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Aug Fri 12, 2016 1:49 am
Posts: 193
Location: Houston, TX
Stormyme wrote:
I never knew that. I could talk to you guys all day lol I love hearing about this stuff ;)

Wait till you read this page. You'll probably enjoy the whole page, but for radiation info, jump to the section "Some more nasties lurking in the workshop..." (author didn't use anchors, so I couldn't link it directly)


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Thu 19, 2018 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Mar Tue 21, 2017 3:01 am
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Vin Tageman wrote:
Stormyme wrote:
I never knew that. I could talk to you guys all day lol I love hearing about this stuff ;)

Wait till you read this page. You'll probably enjoy the whole page, but for radiation info, jump to the section "Some more nasties lurking in the workshop..." (author didn't use anchors, so I couldn't link it directly)


Wow wow. As I am reading, I keep thinking of the people making all that equipment and their exposure to all that. Also wouldn't the companies have to have mercury and radioactive components in large amounts since they were making them on site? I wonder how many casualties there were in tv and radio building and repair. The explosive charge thing alone would have me make a career change lol Very interesting read, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Victoreen A radiation meter
PostPosted: Apr Sat 21, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
Many of those dangers were well known in the "old days"; those of us who worked on vacuum-tube equipment for a living quickly learned to treat it with respect. Mercury arc rectifiers are few and far between these days, but there are still plenty of 866 tubes around.

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