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Wristwatch Geiger Counter

Polimaster PM1208

The first time I ever heard about such a device was in the James Bond movie, "Thunderball."  All that happened with James Bond's geiger counter watch was the second hand moved when he was scuba diving under a boat which had two nuclear warheads on board.  Actually, in retrospect, that was a preposterous  premise.  First, the hull of the ship would shield alpha and beta particles, and the low energy gamma emitted by a nuclear device would have trouble penetrating the hull and water.  Never the less I had the desire for such a device for a long time. 

Jump forward about 25 years.  Currently there are two companies that produce geiger counter wristwatches!  However, I suspect that one of them purchases the finished product from the other (Polimaster and Latitude) .  The PM1208 and PM1208M are really thick, large wristwatches.  The analog dial keeps very accurate time. However, the geiger counter is not as sensitive as I would like.  It is sensitive to Hard Beta particles (very energetic) and gamma rays.  It is not sensitive enough to pick up most vaseline glass, however, uranium glazed plates, radium dialed items and thorium welding rods are detectable with this awesome device.     

The wristwatch is waterproof to 660 feet, and is analog and digital.  It has alarms that can be set to rate, and dose, and of course an alarm clock.  It also has a "search mode" that will make the watch beep any time a particle or ray is detected by the geiger tube. It is calibrated in microseiverts per hour, and the dose is displayed in milliseiverts, not in US measurements.  The geiger counter functions are digital, the primary watch function is analog.  My only complaints are the analog watch hands are sometimes hard to read, because the hands are very close in length.  They are luminous, but unlike hands that have Luminova or Lumibrite paints, they will only glow for about 1/2 hour.  There is however a digital clock, and the display will light up electroluminescent with the push of a button. 

The rate has an adjustable alarm, and is graphically represented at the top of the watch at all times, with the rate number displayed in µSeiverts/hour in the bottom LCD display, as for dose the dose amount in milliSeiverts is displayed in a LCD dial, and numerically displayed in the bottom display.  With one button you can change between rate, dose and time alarm functions in the bottom dial, with the mode displayed to the right of the dial. 

Overall, a fun watch, big too, and built like a tank.

There is another version currently being sold, which is much more aesthetically pleasing, and has the capability to store and download alarm and dose data to a computer via IrDA port.  It is the PM1208M.  More than likely I will write more about it when I finally purchase one...


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