Thursday, April 01, 2010

Geiger counter problems interfacing with PC

I've been unable to get the DOS software AW-SRAD to work with the geiger counter for some time, on multiple machines, with Windows XP. It's a bummer. I can input the sound pulses from the clicker unit I made into a sound card, but I have no idea how to then get the PC to do something with that. I'm not a programmer. The original geiger counter set up was really simple: it toggled the RING indicator on the serial port.


Milligan said...

I pulled up AW-SRAD and saw that the page appeared to have been last updated in 2001. That's not really a good sign, even if the page does *say* that it works on WinXP. And I suppose you're not especially interested in shelling out for their Windows-native readout program.

My suggestion would be to get your hands on an Arduino board with USB port (around $30) and wire up a count logger. The USB chip implements a serial port from the computer's perspective. It's not a no-programming solution, but that would be much easier than kludging up some kind of sound card DSP.

Dean W. Armstrong said...

See, the thing is that's just sticking another computer in between. I should be able to do this via the PC's serial port.

Milligan said...

And you probably can, too. However, from what I can tell, setting up an event handler to treat some serial port pin as an edge-triggered interrupt generator is exactly the sort of low-level thing that needs some detailed knowledge of Windows programming. (Heck, even if I was trying to do this under Linux I'd probably wind up fiddling with the C API.)

Here's a VB-oriented tutorial, if you're so inclined: