Universal Radiation Meter 1700

Hey guys! I hope you are doing well. Today I want to tell you a little bit about this lovely antique gamma scintillator so grab your morning coffee or evening popcorn (depends on what time zone you’re in) and enjoy.

This unit was produced (most probably) during the 1960s in Canada by a British company called Nuclear Enterprises. The meter itself is called Universal Radiation Meter Model 1700 and the serial number on my unit is 71.

What makes this unit unique is the fact that it was purchased and used by the Polish Nuclear Agency (Państwowa Agencja Atomistyki). How do I know that? Well, Poland was a communistic country until the late 80s. This meant that it was pretty much impossible to get things from outside of Poland (not to mention scientific equipment). The only people who had the power to import things were state agencies and party members. While being used by state agencies, this unit was modified to run of 4x AA batteries or a power supply (PT-1).

After the fall of communism, this unit was sold to the private market and then it finally found its way into my hands.

This meter although designed for scientific use is not very precise. The needle on the meter doesn’t stay in place and jumps all the time making it impossible to measure things accurately. What is more, the unit was most probably designed for high-level gamma radiation detection since weak samples are not (or barely) detected.


Although not perfect, this meter is a really cool antique gamma scintillator with an amazing history behind it.

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