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Home Instrumentation Archive for category "Photomultipliers"
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Using Surplus Photonis XP2422/SN PMTs in Scintillation Probes

We prepared a short note on how to build a dynode voltage divider network for inexpensive surplus XP2422/SN photomultiplier tubes.  The XP2422/SN PMT is especially suited for gamma-ray spectral analysis when coupled to a NaI(Tl) scintillation crystal because of its high pulse-height resolution (PHR).  The XP2422/SN is available from Sphere Research in Canada.

 
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Construction of a d.i.y. Thermoelectrically-Cooled Photomultiplier Tube (PMT) Housing

The photomultiplier tubes (PMT) is the workhorse detector in particle physics and many other fields that require detection of light at extremely low levels.  However, the long-wavelength response of PMTs is not only low because of low quantum efficiency, but also because thermionic emission at room temperature causes swamps low-level signals with noise. Reducing dark counts

 
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diy Scintillation Probe for Ludlum Ratemeters Using Surplus XP3312/SQ PMT

  Ludlum general-purpose ratemeters are professional-grade instruments that are available on the secondary market at affordable prices.  They are compatible with a wide variety of probes, making them a great choice for educators, surveyors, and advanced amateur users.  However, probes for Ludlum ratemeters are often as expensive as the meter instrument itself, making it worthwhile

 
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Using the $79 SainSmart DSO201 Pocket Oscilloscope and GammaGrapher with the PMT/Scintillation Probe

Connects directly to PMT probe shown in the book’s Figure 30 with no need for PMT amplifier!   The nice guys at the Yahoo GammaSpectrometry Group developed multichannel analyzer software for the $79 SainSmart DSO201 Pocket-Sized Digital Oscilloscope.  The upload of the MCA software to the oscilloscope is really easy (via USB), and it allows the PMT probe shown in

 
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Connecting to Surplus Scionix Miniature Scintillation Probes

Scionix in The Netherlands has taken advantage of the recent development of miniature mesh-type dynode photomultiplier tubes to construct small-diameter scintillation probes.  Scionix’s miniature probes incorporate one of those PMTs, a NaI(Tl) scintillation crystal, and a built-in dynode voltage divider.  Connection to the probe is made through a miniature high-voltage locking coaxial connector.  Finding a mating connector is the main

 
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Simple d.i.y. Bias-T for Scintillation Probes with Single Connector

Many surplus scintillation probes have a single connector through which the PMT is fed with high voltage and the anode signal is output.  However, this may require an external “Bias-T” (a high voltage / signal splitter) to connect the probe to a high-voltage power supply that is separate from the PMT amplifier/processor.

 
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Home-Built Radiac (Radiation Detector and Meter) for a Surplus DT-590A/PDR-56F Scintillation Probe

Military DT-590A/PDR-56 “x-ray” probes are widely available in the surplus market.  They were meant to be used with the military Radiac Set AN/PDR-56, which is a portable scintillation-type instrument used for detection of plutonium-239 contamination. In addition to emitting 5.1 MeV alpha particles, Plutonium-239 also emits gamma rays in the energy range of 14 to 21

 
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Prototyping PCB for d.i.y. Photomultiplier (PMT) Amplifier/Processor

We built the bulk of our PMT amplifier/processor/discriminator on a Universal PDIP Operational Amplifier Evaluation Module by Texas Instruments (model OPAMPEVM-PDIP).  Click on the picture above for a full-size version of the picture. The diagram in the following pdf file shows the connection layout for the circuit shown in the book’s Figure 34: PMT Processor PCB 

 
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diy PMT Pulse Processor Suitable For Use With “Pulse Recorder and Analyser (PRA)” MCA

Figure 34 in the book shows the schematic diagram for the photomultiplier tube (PMT) signal processing circuit that amplifies the narrow pulses detected by the PMT probe.  The discriminator stage removes small pulses produced by thermal noise in the tube.  A pulse stretcher outputs pulses that can be heard on a speaker.  In addition, the analog

 
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diy Low-Cost, Regulated, Variable, Low-Ripple High-Voltage (2kV) Photomultiplier Tube Power Supply

The book’s Figure 32 shows the schematic diagram for a low-cost, variable-voltage PMT power supply based on a BXA-12579 inverter module that is originally designed as a power supply for cold-cathode fluorescent lamps.  This under-$20 module produces 1,500VAC at around 30kHz from a 12VDC input. We are posting this picture to help you build your own power

 
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RCA 6655A PMT Data Sheet

This is the datasheet for the RCA 6655A PMT used in the probe shown in the book’s Figure 30: RCA_6655A_Datasheet This is the datasheet for Hamamatsu’s replacement of the RCA 6655A PMT: Hamamatsu replacement for RCA 6655A R2154-02 Schematic diagrams for the probe are in Figure 29.

 
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Assembly View of diy Variable-Output, High-Performance PMT High-Voltage Power Supply

We are posting this picture to help you construct the variable-output, low-ripple, high-stability, high-voltage power supply described in pages 38-40 of “Exploring Quantum Physics Through Hands-On Projects.”  The schematic diagrams for this power supply are in the book’s Figure 31.  Output voltage (up to 2 kV) and current (up to 1 mA) are monitored via

 
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Our New Photomultiplier :)

A very funny cartoon by Prof. Dr. Claus Grupen of Siegen University:  

 
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