Hearing Radiation

This area is for discussions involving any fusion related radiation metrology issues. Neutrons are the key signature of fusion, but other radiations are of interest to the amateur fusioneer as well.
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Frank Sanns
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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by Frank Sanns » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:27 am

Looks good Carl but you are going way farther into it than I think necessary for the first step. I was just imagining taking the mv signal alone and translating it to a tone. Same idea that you are using but without the MCA step. More mv of signal giving higher tone while below the noise threshold giving no tone.

While calculations on the fly are good, doing them beforehand and storing the result in arrays makes for a quicker program. Populating an array with the results of the calculation before the start of the loop program takes care of that.

I will think on it some more.

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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by aka47 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:04 am

Nice one Carl. Well done.

On further ideas.

I would be looking at decoupling the Radiation and Sound making. Sounds like you are falling over the fact it is perhaps monophonic and perhaps need polyphony. But without seeing details could'nt be sure.

An alternative is to capture pulses rather than spectra and re process their essential information into a MIDI stream.

The MIDI can be saved to a file or piped to MIDI software, ie a midi player.

MIDI players will give you a range of instruments (Voices) notes etc. You can run up a full band or orchestra if you like real easy. Hell you could even play along if you had a MIDI instrument (Keyboard).

The key to it is your midi stream, which comprises channels (one per voice) and information about notes ie pitch duration etc etc.

Using this method you can use mutiple sources and or divide up energy ranges into multiple voices to map across to your chosen instrument ensemble.

The clever bit in this is mapping Pulses and Sources to MIDI channels and information, it sounds (Pun intended) like you are already well along that road. With MIDI the sound part is already done for you and gives pretty good polyphony. In the MIDI software you choose which instruments are played by which channels (Even a full drum kit, geiger that)

Plus your Rad to MIDI software will not be waiting on the sound production.

Thoughts for what they are worth.

BTW once upon a time when sound cards were optional add in's many came with freebie MIDI software.

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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by Carl Willis » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:35 am

Video will be here, once it is done uploading (another two hours, assuming no technical glitches): http://youtu.be/j4lGMW1hk4U

Andy, I think you have a good suggestion about decoupling the acquisition / spectrum processing loop and the audio signal generation and playback loop. Ideally, the nuclear module would write a simple file with timestamp and note value, and the audio generator would read this at its own pace.

I should point out that I have no good, obvious way with my MCA hardware and the EPICS software to get single-count data on the fly. I can indeed command the MCA to acquire until it has one pulse in the ROI, but in practice, it always picks up more than one at high count rates.

Frank, the sound card in-and-out approach you suggest would look at single pulses as they arrive. Unfortunately, I don't know the tricks that are behind software like PRA and Theremino, and while the techniques for signal processing used there could probably be figured out or perhaps even pillaged wholesale if the source code is available, I think that's beyond my league (and the time I have to give this idea). I may play around some more in LabVIEW and see what I can accomplish in the way of pulse-height analysis from the soundcard there (but my hopes are not high).

Again, this is a very cool concept with some real neat applications in entertainment, pedagogy, and maybe the "real world" of radiation detection.

-Carl
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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by Steven Sesselmann » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:57 am

Carl,

You may recall we also have a blind member of this forum, and I know he was experimenting with spectrometry, I imagine a gamma spectrum could be represented audibly as a scale of notes with varying volume representing the peak heights.

Steven
http://www.gammaspectacular.com - Gamma Spectrometry Systems
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Steven_Sesselmann - Various papers and patents on RG

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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by Brian_Gage » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:12 pm

Hello All and thanks for remembering Steven.
I have gotten rather sidetracked the past couple of months. I joined the local ham club to get help with soldering and building rad science related circuits. Well, the urged me to get my license last April, then set me up with a Kenwood TS-450s tranceiver and inverted V dipole on 20 metres. That was seven weeks ... or was it eight weeks? ago. I'm still trying to find a balance and get back to rad science. I purchased two RAP-47 probes from George Dowell. Still haven't attempted hooking one up to power and my computer. Joe Jarski, Doug Coulter's partner, built me a filtered variable HV supply so I've no excuse in that department.

I'm a bit hesitant when you talk about anything musical. Haven't a tin ear, but don't do to well with audio adaptations designed for the blind by well-meaning folks.

Mostly, what I hope for is a way of sorting text numeric data in a program like Excel, which I can use, so that I can find energy peaks. One of the GCE forum members wrote me a very nice "tactile" description of gamma spectrometry using marbles as photons, accumulating in vertical grooves cut into a board, energy from left to right along the base (x-axis). But I am still somewhat in the dark as to how the computer, using say PRA, can sort out the different energy pulses, and of course, most of this stuff is displayed as a graph. Some posts have gamma spectra as a list of numbers, for which I also need interpretation. The whole matter is somewhat intimidating.

Though this is only indirectly related to neutron production in a fusor, and even if I can't do much, I'm interested in getting a scintillation probe working as I've learned they make very sensitive general purpose detectors. Since reading Carl's post/article about making a long PMT probe with 8 cube crystals (BFI? forget the crystal type, just not NaI or plastic)for hunting uranium, I've wanted one something like that for rockhounding.

Still waiting on my physicist friend in Vancouver to drop over for a visit with a vacuum system he promised me back this spring. Who knows, he may have gotten sidetracked building his own fusor.
Regards, Brian
.

is

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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by Brian_Gage » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:48 pm

Hello Fran and Carl,
This business of hearing converted gamma radiation energies is facinating. I would hope some genius might eventually create a module that I could plug in one of my CsI probes, with a power supply and hook it to a computer, run software and hear what the Swedes and Carl have produced. Very useful for blind amateurs, and just plain fun physics.
Great preliminary work Carl. Can it be simplified?
Best.

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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by Brian_Gage » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:42 am

Hi Again Frank,
I like the thought you expressed. It appeals to me from a 'hearing only' perspective. What kind of circuitry would be required? Who could design and build it? And, then there's the software problem... Carl's assembly uses some of the nuclear physics modules he already has in house. I've only got a CsI(Tl) probe, the RAP-47, a filtered variable HV supply and computer running Windows XP, or a lap-top running Vista.
I've listened to the Swedish "radiation music" video, and to Carl's video, and both have me real interested. I'd love to have a system that allowed me to listen to gamma spectra this way. Course, I eventually want to be able to pull gamma spectra numbers into Excel in Windows XP, and know what I'm listening to, and be able to identify isotopes.
.
Regards, Brian, VA7BDG
(Also a Geiger Counter Enthusiasts member)

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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by Carl Willis » Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:34 am

Hi Brian,

I'd like to simplify this concept, sure. My skills are poorly matched to the job of making a lean and efficient program that can use a computer sound system in the way it needs to be used in this application, but maybe someone like Marek Dolleiser can roll a similar functionality into his C++ code for PRA.

-Carl
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Frank Sanns
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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by Frank Sanns » Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:31 am

I am feeling my age right now as I could to this with not much effort in Fortran or Basic but those are dinosaurs today. Have not done anything in C++ but maybe I will try to get some proficiency in it. It is all about syntax. What is one more language, computer or spoken.

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Re: Hearing Radiation

Post by Pascal Dennerly » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:07 am

I may not know radiation measurement but I DO know C++ - it's my day job. I'm happy to lend a hand if you need it. Even if it's just looking at one of those silly edge-case bugs that causes you pull your hair out.

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