Common radioactive check sources available on ebay

  • Simomax
  • Simomax's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Nuts about radioactive everything!
More
3 weeks 4 days ago - 2 weeks 2 days ago #4660 by Simomax
This is a list of the common radioactive sources available on ebay (at the time of writing - 31/08/2019)

They vary a lot in radioactivity and I own all of these so I will try and give you my opinion of how active they are using an SBM-20 tube, in a rough, roundabout way. They will be marked 1 to 5 (5 being most active) based on the samples I own and based against each other. Where I have included the emission type (a, b & y (alpha, beta & gamma)) this is the overall emission. A lot of the different radiation types are caused from the main radionuclide decaying into other radionuclides. It is worth noting that different samples, even of the same type will more than likely produce different levels of radiation. For instance I have a Uranium glass sample (the one in my profile picture) and a Uranium glass vanity tray. The vanity tray is about 25x the volume/weight of the sample, yet the sample is very much more active than the tray. When buying rare samples, ores and minerals or other specific radioactive things the buyers will sometimes state 'high activity' or words to the effect.

Fiesta Ware It is a Uranium glaze on pottery. Pretty active (b & y). Does not fluoresce. Geiger click score: 4/5
Ebay search: 'fiesta ware' 'fiestaware' 'uranium glaze' 'uranium pottery'



Uranium Glass It is a glass coloured using Uranium similar to Vaseline glass. It does fluoresce. It's active (b). Geiger click score: 2/5
Ebay search: 'uranium glass' 'vaseline glass'



Vaseline Glass Just like Uranium glass but different colour. It does fluoresce. Not very active (b & y(?)). SBM-20 click score: 1/5
Ebay search: 'vaseline glass' 'uranium glass'



Thorium Gas Mantle A gas mantle impregnated with Thorium. Does not fluoresce. Goes like Billy'o (a, b & y). SBM-20 click score: 4.5/5
Ebay search: 'thorium mantle'



Thorium Tungsten Electrode A Tungsten welding rod with <2% Thorium. Does not fluoresce. Hardly active (a, b & y). SBM-20 click score: 0.5/5
Ebay search: 'thorium tungsten' 'thorium electrode'



Americium disc A small disc of Americium used in smoke detectors. Does not fluoresce. Quite active* (a, b & y). SBM-20 click score 3/5
Ebay search: 'americium' 'geiger smoke sensor'
*Goes to 11 when using a tube capable of detecting alpha - LND-712 alpha tube click score 10/5, but does have to be close.



Tritium Gas A small Phosphor coated tube of Tritium gas. It does fluoresce and glows in the dark. Hardly even noticable** (b). SBM-20 click score 0.1/5
Ebay search: 'tritium'
**Quite detectable with a scintillation meter.



Potassium Chloride Also known as Potassium salt or KCI. Preferably has to be pure >99%. Does not fluoresce. Not very active (b & y). SBM-20 click score: 1/5
Ebay search: 'potassium chloride' 'potassium salt'



Radium Ra-226 Used mainly in the past for 'glow in the dark' watch hands and clock dials. Some heavy concentrations can be found on old aircraft clocks and dials. It does fluoresce. Quite active (a & b). SBM-20 click score: 2.5/5
Ebay search: 'radium' 'raduim watch hands'



Uranium Ore Just that, also known as Pitchblende. Does not fluoresce***. Reasonably active. SBM-20 click score 3/5
Ebay search: 'uranium ore' 'pitchblende'
***If you get Pitchblende with Gummite on it, the Gummite will fluoresce.


There are other natural forms of Uranium available on ebay. I don't have any so I can't comment on them. But the search terms are:
'uraninite' 'torbernite' 'autunite' 'gummite'

It is also worth searching for the general keywords such as 'uranium' 'thorium' etc. as occasionally you will find a hidden gem amoungst the cruft. It was through that I managed to find Uranium trioxide sample, Uranium dioxide sample (yellowcake), soil contaminated with Uranium and Radium (from near a Uranium mine in Germany) and Thoriated cotton (some wierd dirty looking fluffy stuff with tiny rocks mixed in - from a mine in Wales). So with some thorough searching you can sometimes find those rare gems and some really make the Geiger click!

A note on safety.
Some of these sources can be very harmful and potentially deadly (over time) if inhaled or ingested. Take Radium watch hands for example; the sources are usually a number of years old and the Radium (paint) can crumble and fall off the watch hands very very easily. It is too easy to get this on your fingers then inadvertently be ingested. Besides the radioactivity of the substance a lot are also biologically toxic to humans and other animals. When buying any radioactive source it is prudent to know your substance and learn about the hazards involved with it. If in doubt always wear gloves, keep a clean area when using the samples and clean/wipe down surfaces and wash hands after use. Always keep sources in a suitable container. Internet search for 'Radium girls'. A very sad but informative story.
Attachments:
Last edit: 2 weeks 2 days ago by Simomax.
The following user(s) said Thank You: mw0uzo, Alpha01, FSM19

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
3 weeks 3 days ago #4663 by FSM19
You could of course add one which you can get in your supermarket, namely sodium free salt, which is Potassium chloride. Sainsbury only stock a low sodium which is 66% potassium chloride, you may be able to get a version that contains no sodium chloride in a health food shop,even then its not pure.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Simomax

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Simomax
  • Simomax's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Nuts about radioactive everything!
More
3 weeks 3 days ago - 3 weeks 3 days ago #4665 by Simomax
Thanks FSM19, I had completely overlooked that. Ebay looks to have loads of Potassium chloride for sale at high purities 99.5%. I'm going to get some to see just how radioactive it is. I suspect that an SBM-20 or similar won't even detect it, but it might give a few clicks from a scintillation meter.

Edit: I have just purchased 90g of Potassium chloride. Said it was 99.9% pure. Will have to see if it does emit any noticeable radiation when I get it, although I doubt much if any at all.

Search for 'potassium chloride' on ebay
Last edit: 3 weeks 3 days ago by Simomax.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Simomax
  • Simomax's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Nuts about radioactive everything!
More
3 weeks 20 hours ago - 3 weeks 19 hours ago #4672 by Simomax
I received my 90g of Potassium Chloride today and with a quick test produced ~180 cpm on a SBM-20. I'm very surprised it is that active as I had always assumed it was about as active as bananas! :silly:

I have edited the original post to include this. Thanks FSM19 for letting me know about that.

Edit: I have also included Radium (watch hands). I can't believe I forgot about that one, and I own some! :S
Last edit: 3 weeks 19 hours ago by Simomax.
The following user(s) said Thank You: FSM19

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 weeks 3 days ago - 2 weeks 3 days ago #4712 by RHStation
some spark gap tubes contains Cs-137, still good detectable

eBay item number:143365161928

this TG-36 sample has about 400 CPS with 63x63mm crystal, it close to 0.1uCi activity
Last edit: 2 weeks 3 days ago by RHStation.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Simomax
  • Simomax's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Nuts about radioactive everything!
More
2 weeks 2 days ago #4730 by Simomax
@RHStation, Wow, that is very active. I have a old vintage cs-137 spark gap that I found on ebay but I get no where near those kind of counts. I get about ~30 CPS with my scintillation meter and my spark gap (background about ~10 CPS) so that TG-36 must have a massive amount of cs-137 contained within. I estimate my spark gap to be about 30 years old so the cs-137 will be approximately half of when it was new, but that is a massive difference. Is it possible my scintillation probe is different so is not detecting it as much?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.371 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum