Use Americium or Photobeam To Detect Smoke?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by ajm113, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. ajm113

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 19, 2011
    176
    5
    Hello everyone!

    I know you can't buy Americium at a local Radioshack or Photobeam lasers at our local goodwill or Fry's Electronics stores, but I was thinking after I finish my project here is to maybe work on my own hybrid fire detector as a little experiment that would use temperature and smoke to determine if there is a fire. I know there is a part you can get that acts like a temperature resistor. Something the lines of RTD if I'm correct.

    But anyways my main question is, where do I buy this sort of stuff such as Americium device or a photobeam laser and also the "RTD" (if I'm correct)? And are photobeams better then Americium?

    I was impressed the fact they use Photobeams in some advanced small smoke detectors and use photobeams in 2 way smoke detectors that are aligned with each other over high places so they don't spend the money and time installing more small smoke detectors.

    Anyways correct me if I'm wrong on if it's not photobeam, but I'm kinda basing this off of memory so it could be another type of laser.

    Thank you, Ajm113.
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    I can't recall the article, but some years ago a kid accumulated enough americium to actually get a breeder reactor going. I suspect that obtaining permission to use the stuff may be quite difficult.

    A bit of research finds hits - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_detector
     
  3. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
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    I believe that you would need a license from AEC to posess or handle amerecium- maybe also tritium. For home experimentation, obscuration would be my choice, maybe a white LED & LDR. A gas detector beat out a commercial smoke detector in a live fire throw-down compitition but is more power hungry as it requires a heater.
     
  4. ajm113

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 19, 2011
    176
    5
    Thanks for the Wiki link I'll read through it! :)

    @Bernard

    Thats interesting and I was thinking it would be safe and easy to handle then having to get certified from the places I looked on the internet. Apparently you can even swallow it and nothing bad will happen from one source.

    I was thinking of the same exact same thing using a LED and a LDR, but I wanted to see if I could use other things such as a photobeam.

    Anyways seems like I found a nice schismatic here making a gas detector, so I may make a gas detector then and experiment more with it when I get the chance.

    http://www.free-circuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/toxic-gas-detector-circuit.gif
     
  5. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    The Radioactive Boy Scout

    The story has been updated since I first read it, some people never learn.
     
  6. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    IIRC, there used to be companies where you could buy small amounts (mg to μg) of various radionuclides. About the only barrier was cost, as they were quite proud of the stuff. Things may be different now since you can't own a Band-Aid without a license.
     
  7. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
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    Google Figaro Inc. for lots of information on thier gas sensors. I bought several models in 1972 from Japan- my concern was longevity- guess it passes as is still working.
     
  8. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
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  9. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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  10. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
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    It was not meant to be taken seriously. That is such a low amount of uranium that it is only for testing geiger counters.
     
  11. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
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    Also found gama ray source for free in used 4 in pipes protecting gas meters behind office. Enough to test gama ray loging probes.
     
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