Aware Electronics New LCD-90 Pro Micro-Controller Data-Logger

The LCD-90 Pro Micro-Controller Data-Logger is a new device from Aware Electronics Corp. used in conjunction with any of our RMs (RM-60, RM-70, RM-80, RM-G90, etc.) or PMI-30s. The LCD-90 Pro is easy to use and includes many advanced features.

New version LCD-90 Pro now includes built-in USB interface with flashing transmit LED and flashing receive LED as-well-as a built-in serial COM port, both of which can be used simultaneously.


The LCD-90 with an RM-80 in a laboratory setup.

LCD-90 and RM-80
RM-80 plugged into the LCD-90

Photo from Bill DiPuccio's excellent Science Et Cetera Blog


The LCD-90 is very easy to use (just plug the RM in and push the on button) but includes an extensive set of advanced features. The custom-made, designed by Aware display is large and easy to read. It contains a scrolling, seven digit – text character display, a six digit real-time clock display and a full set of operational icons. Four LEDs are included, one flashes with each detection, another pulses on and off with alarm condition, another flashes with each USB packet transmit and another flashes with each USB packet receive.

Made in the USA, all components are of the highest quality including the advanced, powerful and ultra low-power TI microcontroller. All of the internal connectors are gold plated including the MOLEX battery connector.

An efficient electronic clicker-buzzer makes the classic Geiger click sound as well as a pulsing alarm sound. The alarm feature can also power up external devices.

The internal flash memory can record an unlimited number of radiation data files, up to the limit of the flash and will store up to 110,000 data points allowing for even years of continues data logging along with the date-time of each point. Data can be downloaded to a PC by-way-of a serial port, USB port or wireless connections. The LCD-90 will also act as a real-time data source for the PC software.


Shown below is a Class 1 Bluetooth wireless adapter with built-in rechargable Lithium Ion battery and stub antenna, plugged into the LCD-90's serial port (300 feet range) allowing wireless control and downloading both stored data and real-time data from the LCD-90 to a PC. Also available are wireless network adapters and GSM cellular modems. Alternatively the LCD-90 can be plugged directly into the PC’s serial and/or USB port. (For Bluetooth wireless with extended range up to 19 miles (30 km) see links at bottom of page)

LCD-90, RM-80, Bluetooth
Class 1 Bluetooth Adapter with built-in rechargable Lithium Ion battery, plugged into the LCD-90's serial port, feeding real-time data wirelessly to Aw-Radw seen in the background


LCD-90 and RM-60
A less expensive Class 1 Bluetooth Adapter plugged into the LCD-90's serial port

All the radiation data files within the LCD-90, as well as the settable menu items are stored in non-volatile flash memory such that even with all power sources removed from the LCD-90, the data and settings are retained.
LCD-90 Pro FEATURES IN DETAIL

The LCD-90 Pro includes one of TI's more advanced and newer MSP430 microprocessor platforms featuring an ultra-low power 16-bit RISC mixed-signal microcontroller with extended memory, 125-ns instruction cycle time and a 160 segment integrated LCD driver.

ABOUT THE DISPLAY:

As indicated above, the LCD-90’s custom-made liquid crystal display includes a seven-character starburst main display along with a real-time clock display. The starburst characters allow display of both text and numbers as-well-as scrolling text. Radiation units display from zero to 9,999,999 directly. Above 9,999,999 the display uses scientific notation to beyond 4 billion radiation units. The display includes a moving decimal point with leading zeros as in 0.010 µSv/hr or 0.0001 mR/hr.

LCD-90 Pro

The display is extremely efficient and uses next to zero power.

The display includes operational mode icons that activate with each display mode as follows:

The display also includes the following additional icons:


LCD-90 Pro CONTROL BUTTONS

The LCD-90 Pro includes five high-quality control button switches as follows:

“MENU” - “Up Arrow(MORE)” - “Down Arrow(LESS)” - “ENTER” - “ON-OFF”

The following describe the actions of these buttons and the menu system:

More about the “Up Arrow(MORE)” “Down Arrow(LESS)” “ENTER” Buttons:

While in MENU mode, the "MORE" and "LESS" buttons allow changing of the menu item variables and the "ENTER" button causes the LCD-90 to accept the new menu variables and store them to flash memory such that even if the power source for the LCD-90 is removed, when power is restored all the menu item variables are maintained.

When not in Menu Mode, pressing the "MORE" "(BYTES LEFT)" button causes the LCD-90 to scroll out on the display the remaining unused memory for radiation data file storage.

When not in Menu Mode, pressing the "LESS" "(RESET AVE.)" button causes the LCD-90 to reset the running average buffer for the display and alarm. This is handy in that if one enters an area with higher radiation levels, one can hit the RESET AVE. button such that the display begins displaying the higher radiation levels without the influence of the previous lower radiation values residing in the running average buffer.


POWER SUPPLY

A typical alkaline AA battery with a very low power draw will supply ~2500 ma hr. down to ~1.3 VDC. The ultra-low power requirements of the LCD-90 allow very long battery life and are as follows:

Sleep Mode (with real-time clock running and RAM retention): 1.5 micro-amps (~190 years with 2500 ma hr power source)

Active Mode: ~20 micro-amps (~14 years with 2500 ma hr power source)

Active Mode with RM-60, RM-70, RM-80, RM-G90, or any of our other RMs drawing power from the LCD-90 with background radiation levels: ~0.1 ma (~1000 days with 2500 ma hr power source).

Active Mode with RM powered as above and UART on feeding data to the PC: ~0.11ma.

The LCD-90 Pro includes a sophisticated internal regulated power circuit, which can accept voltages from less than 3 VDC to more than 12 VDC. It will automatically draw power from the standard DC power plug, the serial port, the USB port or the internal battery pack, whichever has the higher voltage. An internal power MOSFET with zero voltage drop, disconnects the internal battery when any of the other power sources approach the battery voltage. Included is an internal CMOS regulator for the microcontroller and circuits and a power MOSFET under microcontroller control that powers up the attached RM or PMI-30 directly from the power source. This is handy in that if one uses say a nine-volt battery, the full nine volts is sent to the RM or PMI-30 for greatest cable noise rejection but the internal microcontroller and circuits will run with the internal regulated voltage. Note our RMs will run with voltages anywhere between 2.7 and 20 VDC.

The power jack on the LCD-90 is a standard 2.1mm barrel jack and, as indicated above, will accept voltages anywhere between 3 VDC to above 12 VDC. The polarity of the supply is automatically sensed by the LCD-90 such that either polarity power supply can be used (i.e. positive internal negative external barrel plug or negative internal positive external barrel plug).

Battery options include two AA batteries, three AAA batteries or one nine-volt battery, any of which fit inside the LCD-90. A standard MOLEX plug inside the LCD-90 allows plugging in any of these battery packs, or other battery packs. We include a nine-volt battery clip, a two cell AA battery holder and a three cell AAA battery holder.


ABOUT THE DETECTION OF RADIATION EVENTS

With each detection of a radiation event from the attached RM or PMI-30 the LCD-90 will flash the "EVENT" LED and click the internal Geiger "Clicker" as per the menu items described above. The display is updated once per second. The detection pulse can be a fraction of a microsecond.


ABOUT THE GEIGER CLICK

The human ear is a truly remarkable instrument. It can distinguish between some 400,000 different sounds and can hear frequencies ranging from about 20 cps. to about 20,000 cps. In recognition of this, the LCD-90 contains a very high performance electronic circuit devoted entirely to creating the Geiger click sound from the built-in speaker, rather than relying on the micro-controller to generate the clicks.

This allows the ear to distinguishing between various changing radiation levels from very low to very high levels, just by the sound emitted by the LCD-90. As indicated above, the menu system includes four Geiger click modes, namely "No Click", "Short Click", "Medium Click" and "Long Click". The “Short Click” mode is handy for discriminating, by ear, changes in radiation level in a high radiation field whereas the “Long Click” mode is handy for background radiation levels where a louder “click” is desired.


ABOUT THE ALARM

When the LCD-90's running average moves to or above the alarm set point as per the menu item described above, the "ALARM" LED will flash on and off twice per second, the "ALARM" icon will light on the LCD display, and the internal alarm buzzer will pulse on and off twice per second.

The LCD-90 also includes an internal standard MOLEX connector for a cellphone type vibrator, powered-up with alarm by-way-of an internal power MOSFET. In addition, one of the unused pins in the six-conductor RJ-12 jack (which accepts the RJ-11 four-conductor RM or PMI-30 cable) is supplied with voltage when the alarm is triggered. (The other unused pin in the RJ-12 jack is connected to ground). In addition, a jumper inside the LCD-90 allows voltage to be applied to one of the unused pins in the RS-232 jack with alarm condition. Either of these alarm signals can be used to activate with alarm, external devices for example fans, strobes, sirens, etc.


ABOUT THE STORING OF RADIATION DATA INSIDE THE LCD-90 Pro

The LCD-90 Pro can record counts from 0 to over 4 billion counts per TBU. It stores radiation data to its internal flash memory without continuously erasing and writing the flash. Its FAT (file allocation table) is embedded within the data so there is no need to erase then update a FAT with each write. This allows very long flash life i.e. it is very easy on the flash.

When storing the data to flash, the LCD-90 compresses the data such that at normal radiation levels, with say a 60-second TBU, the LCD-90 can record ~110,000 data points equal to an 83-day long file. With a ten minute TBU this would approach 830 days of data. If set to store the average radiation level four times a day (a TBU of 6 hours) it has room to store ~15,000 days (41 years) of continues background radiation data. Note that even with a long TBU such as 6 hours, each radiation detection event is included within the data average.

To start storing one selects the "Store" option. To stop storing one selects the "Stop Store" option. To start another file just select the "Store" option again. One can create as many separate radiation data files as one desires, up to the limit of storage capacity. Each data point created includes the time as per the LCD-90's real time clock.

When downloading these files to the PC, Aw-Radw presents a file selection menu allowing the user to create a name and location for the file on the PC. Both a binary file and an ASCII file can be generated. With each file to download from the LCD-90, this menu pops up in turn until there are no more files left to download. Note the act of downloading the files does not erase the files from the LCD-90’s memory. The stored files can be downloaded an unlimited number of times. In fact one can download the same data file the LCD-90 is actively storing to i.e. while the LCD-90 is storing data to a file, the PC can download the same file. Only issuing the Erase Flash command (by-way-of Aw-Radw menu item or LCD-90’s menu system) is the flash memory erased making room for more data files.

As indicated previously, since the user settable menu variables and any radiation data files are stored within the LCD-90’s flash memory, even if all power is removed from the LCD-90, a later restoration of power will allow downloading of the preexisting files.

While the LCD-90 is storing radiation data to its internal memory, it also continues with all the normal display features i.e. while storing, one can change any of the features that effect the LCD-90’s display of radiation data for example the conversion to other radiation units, the alarm levels and/or any of the other features without affecting the storing. The same is true while the LCD-90 is acting as a real time data source for the PC software i.e. the process of storing data to the internal memory, downloading data to the PC and acting as a real time data source for the Aw-Radw software are completely separate processes from all the other functions of the LCD-90, which continue to run as normal while the interaction with the PC continues.

Click here for an example of using Aw-Radw to download stored data from a LCD-90


(Example uses RM-G90 to LCD-90 flash memory, downloaded through LCD-90's USB port by Aw-Radw to a binary file and an ASCII file for spreadsheet. Video starts with LCD-90 acting as real-time source for Aw-Radw with a TBU (Time Base Unit) of 2 seconds, through its USB port. Meanwhile LCD-90 is also storing data to its internal Flash memory with a TBU of 60 seconds. Aw-Radw's real time collection is stopped and then the stored data from the LCD-90 is downloaded.

The Summary Window displays various parameters including a running average of all the points as they are downloaded, the date and time of the first occurrence and the last occurrence of the maximum radiation level as-well-as the minimum radiation level. The ASCII data is then loaded into a spreadsheet. Some Aw-Radw's graphing features are also displayed. Meanwhile the LCD-90 continues to add more data to its Flash memory. Note the PC that generated the demo is also simultaneously running two additional copies of Aw-Radw, in minimized windows, which are collecting data from two additional RMs and generating all the real-time graphs seen throughout Aware’s website. During the experiment the OS system time switched from DST to standard time)


ABOUT CONNECTING TO A PC

The LCD-90 Pro can connect to a PC by-way-of the LCD-90's 9 pin RS-232 jack, the built-in USB 2.0 Micro B port or by-way-of any of a number of readily available wireless connections. When so connected, Aware's Aw-Radw software can communicate with the LCD-90. Aw-Radw includes menu items allowing one to set the LCD-90 menu items described above from the PC i.e. without using the LCD-90's menu buttons.

The software will also download any radiation data files stored inside the LCD-90, saving the data to the PC in the form of Aware's standard binary radiation file format and/or an ASCII file with all the features available for ASCII file generation by the Aw-Radw software.

The LCD-90 Pro will also act as a real time radiation data source for the Aw-Radw PC software. In this mode the Aw-Radw software first automatically sets the LCD-90'c clock to the same time as the PC's clock. Next it tells the LCD-90 the TBU (Time Base Unit) and then begins displaying the radiation data to the PC's display and storing the data with all the features of the Aw-Radw software, including auto alarms, triggers, real time graphs, binary and/or ASCII file generation etc.

In this real time mode, with each TBU the LCD-90 sends a variable size packet of data to Aw-Radw using no loss data compression and includes a time code and the count. Each packet includes 16 bit CRC (cyclic redundancy check) error detection. If Aw-Radw detects an error in transmission due to a bad CRC, an uncoordinated time code or a Windows communication error, it will request a repeat of the packet from the LCD-90. This insures that if the data is accepted, it is accurate. Aw-Radw will also optionally click the computer sound system with each radiation detection event by-way-of a secondary signal (separate from the packetized data).

Since this sophisticated real time communication uses standard baud rates and format (2400, 4800 or 9600 BAUD, 8 bits, 1 or 2 stop bits, no parity) it allows the use of wireless serial connections, wireless modems, serial to WiFi and serial to network servers between the radiation sensing equipment (LCD-90 with RM or PMI-30) and the recording/controlling PC.

A serial to network server makes it possible for one PC to monitor and control an unlimited number of remote LCD-90s located anywhere on the network (even through the internet). With the built-in CRC error detection and correction, one can be confident that the date received is correct even with wireless connections. (Note most serial servers, USB communications, wireless modems and wireless serial ports include error detection and correction. The LCD-90 to Aw-Radw CRC error correction is on top of and in addition to any such error correction).

There are hundreds of devices that can be used to wirelessly extend the LCD-90’s serial port or seamlessly connect the LCD-90 to a network. For a few examples of available wireless serial ports and serial network servers, see links at bottom of page.

The Aw-Radw software will also automatically set the LCD-90's real time clock i.e. it will set the LCD-90's clock to the same time as the PC's clock. It also allows even finer tuning of the LCD-90's clock beyond the Real Time Clock Tick Adjustment described above by allowing the selection of the LCD-90’s internal crystal load capacitance (10pf, 14pf or 18pf).

The LCD-90 has a user settable unique identification string which can be up to 80 characters long and is stored in its flash memory. Aw-Radw.Exe allows setting this identification string and also reading it by-way-of menu items “Edit MicroController ID” and “Get MicroController ID so for example one could set a LCD-90 ID string to “My Location #1”. If one forgets which COM port is associated with a particular LCD-90 one can issue command by-way-of Aw-Radw “Get MicroController Info”, the information is displayed and one will know one is connected to “My Location #1”. When one issues Aw-Radw menu item “Edit MicroController ID” first Aw-Radw queries the LCD-90 to find out the current ID string then it displays it as default in the edit box.


Some of Aw-Radw's LCD-90 Menu Items
Aw-Radw's LCD-90 Menu Items

EXAMPLE OF THE VERSATILITY OF THE LCD-90 Pro

The LCD-90’s embedded software allows, for example, the following scenario:

Display radiation data on its display in MicroSV format with a 120 second running average with once per second updates and with an alarm set point of 100 MicroSVs. At the same time store radiation data to the LCD-90's internal memory with a TBU of one minute. At the same time act as a real time data source for Aw-Radw PC software displaying radiation data on the PC with microR/hr. format and a TBU of 1 second with Aw-Radw’s auto-alarm feature activated, or any variation of the above. In addition, as indicated above, while the LCD-90 Pro is storing radiation data to an internal memory data file the PC can simultaneously download the same data file.


CONTROLLING AND DOWNLOADING DATA FROM THE LCD-90 Pro USING OTHER SOFTWARE

When communicating to and from Aware Electronics Aw-Radw software, the LCD-90 Pro uses variable size packets including time code, data compression and CRC checks, in binary format. For use with other software, for example a terminal program, the LCD-90 Pro will respond to certain standard ASCII characters sent to it through the serial port or USB port such that the user can by-way-of a terminal program, set all of the various menu items as described above, start and stop storing of radiation data to the flash memory, download stored radiation data and command the LCD-90 to send real time radiation data to the PC in ASCII format. When downloading stored data or acting as a real time ASCII data source, the LCD-90 Pro sends both a time code and the radiation count for each ASCII data line. Sending a XOFF and XON character will temporally stop and then start the data flow. Sending the ESC character aborts the sending of data.

Windows HyperTerminal program can save the received data to a file as it is received. Microsoft Excel can be set to auto load and auto refresh the same file that HyperTerminal is saving to. For information about using Excel to load and auto-refresh ASCII data see: http://www.aw-el.com/excel.htm

Excel Graph


HOW THE LCD-90 Pro USES SUCH A SMALL AMOUNT OF POWER

LCD-90’s embedded code is interrupt driven. About 99% of the time the LCD-90’s microcontroller is held in sleep mode which draws on the order of 1 micro amp. Meanwhile counting is performed by an internal high-speed CMOS counter circuit. Only when needed (by-way-of the real time clock or other interrupt) does the microcontroller awaken from its sleep for a few milliseconds, updating the display, performing communication tasks, checking for button pushes, alarm conditions, etc. The liquid crystal display is driven directly by the microcontroller and is extremely power efficient drawing next to zero current.

In addition, the LCD-90 Pro automatically senses when the USB port is plugged in or is unplugged. When first plugged in the LCD-90 Pro scrolls out on its display “USB ON” and it turns on its microcontroller’s USB chip drive pins. When the USB port is unplugged, the LCD-90 Pro scrolls out “USB OFF” and it turns off the microcontroller’s USB chip drive pins, preventing any current leakage from the microcontroller to the powered down USB chip, thereby saving power.


UPDATES AND CUSTOM SOFTWARE

The LCD-90 Pro includes an internal programming port such that Aware Electronics can update or install modified or custom embedded software for customers anytime after they have purchased the LCD-90.


ABOUT CONNECTING THE LCD-90 Pro TO THE RM OR PMI-30

One can plug the RM into the LCD-90 Pro with the 7-foot telephone cable included with the RM. As with the RM to PC connection one can extend the cable to the LCD-90 with telephone extension cord up to 1000 feet. Both the RM and LCD-90 are palm sized (about the size of a bar of soap) and one can connect the two together with Velcro to form one unit which one can then easily separate. This is a handy feature in that one will find it very useful to have the ability of separating the readout from the sensor with snap in telephone wire. For example the sensor can be mounted inside a room with the LCD-90 mounted outside the room by the door.


PLUGGING MORE THAN ONE RM INTO THE LCD-90 Pro

Aware Electronics line of RMs use an open collector output therefore one can plug more than one RM unit into the LCD-90 using a standard telephone line splitter. In such a case, the LCD-90 Pro tallies counts from all RMs. An example: A work station hood area with three RMs (one at either side of the hood area and one at the back), plugged into the same LCD-90 Pro, would be better equipped to detect a radioactive spill, as compared to a single more sensitive detector, in that flux levels drop by the square of the distance.


LCD-90 Pro SPECIFICATIONS


LCD-90 Pro ORDERING INFORMATION

LCD-90 Pro including Serial and USB interface, nine volt battery clip, two cell AA and three cell AAA battery holders: $395.50

Options include internal cell phone type vibrator and earphone jack with earphone. Contact Aware Electronics for more information about these options.

The LCD-90 Pro is covered by a limited 5-year warranty. If you are displeased for any reason, you may return the unit within 45 days for a full refund.

Typical Order:

LCD-90 $395.50
RM-60 $179.95
Optional Aw-Radw Software (includes free lifetime updates): $129.00

(Note: If you have already purchased Aw-Radw you are eligible for free lifetime updates)

(Also Note: The LCD-90 Pro works with any of our past RMs so if one already has purchased an RM or PMI-30 there is no need to purchase another one)


For additional information see LCD-90's Manual-Help File link:

  • LCD-90 Manual-Help File

    For examples of simple batch files to send commands to the LCD-90, including syncing the LCD-90's date-time to the PC's date-time, see zip file:

  • command_batch_files.zip

    To connect LCD-90 Pro to LABVIEW and/or ASCII devices:

  • Connect LCD-90 Pro to LABVIEW and/or ASCII devices

    To connect the LCD-90 Pro to Android Smart-Phones and other Android Devices:

  • Using Aware Electronics Radiation Monitors with Android Smart-Phones and other Android Devices

    For detailed info. about Sending and Receiving ASCII Data With Aware Electronics LCD-90 Pro and USB-MSP:

  • Sending and Receiving ASCII Data with LCD-90 Pro and USB-MSP
    New Firmware Update V2.6G, dated 09/15/2013 adds user selectable precision floating point number display with three digit decimal precision including automatic rounding. Allows, for example, a CPS or CPM running average with values incrementing in units of 1/1000th of a CPS or CPM, on the display, or, with a microR/hr or microSv/hr running average, in units of 1/1000th of a microR/hr or microSv/hr. (The LCD-90 Pro includes a built in display with six decimal points). The update also allows calibration factors in units of 1/1000th the previous version's factors and deadtime correction in units of 1/1000th of a microsecond versus one microsecond with the previous version. A new DECIMAL menu item has been added to support the new decimal precision feature. Our PC program Aw-Radw has also been updated to support these additional features.


    ASCII input-output to any program capable of reading and writing ASCII data from a COM or USB port (for example Window's free Hyper-Terminal) has also been greatly improved, allowing real-time and flash memory download with deadtime and calibration factors applied, in any of the supported radiation units, as-well-as the three digit decimal precision. Even accepts ASCII commands as it is downloading ASCII data.


    V2.6G also adds a new feature that works in conjunction with a new feature added to the Aw-Radw Windows program, namely, "Send LCD-90 or USB-MSP Alarm Signal On-Off" allows Aw-Radw's sophisticated alarm algorithm to activate the LCD-90's alarm, overriding its internal alarm, even over a wireless (radio) connection. The Aw-Radw menu option opens a pop-up menu with two options, namely "Send LCD-90 or USB-MSP Alarm Signal with Aw-Radw's High Alarm" and "Send LCD-90 or USB-MSP Alarm Signal with Aw-Radw's Low Alarm" They can be checked or un-checked by clicking on them. If either are checked, then, when Aw-Radw is using the LCD-90 Pro as a real time data source, it will send a command to the LCD-90 Pro telling it not to use its internal alarm system to activate its alarm, but rather, activate its alarm only when Aw-Radw sends it an alarm command i.e. when Aw-Radw enters an alarm state. The alarm actions carried out by the LCD-90 Pro depend upon the "Alarm's Action Settings".

    For information about updates to the LCD-90's firmware:

  • Aware Electronics Corp. LCD-90 Pro Firmware Updates

    SPECIAL DEALS ON FUNCTIONING LCD-90 CIRCUIT BOARDS

    During the LCD-90 manufacturing process, we occasionally accumulate fully or partially functioning LCD-90 circuit boards that don’t make it into the final product due to one or another defect. For example, the LCD module might not align perfectly to fit the box. Others might include a non-functioning LED. Never-the-less these boards might prove very useful for various projects, including unattended networked radiation monitoring, balloon launches, experienced hobbyist projects, etc. The boards do not include the box, but do include all the plugs and jacks and are fully programmed. If you are interested in one or more of these boards, contact us for details. (See bottom of page for contact info.)


    For a comparison of Aware Electronics Corp. LCD-90 + RM-80 to the Inspector EXP Probe:
  • Comparison of Aware Electronics Corp. LCD-90 + RM-80 to the Inspector EXP Probe Model

    For a comparison of Aware Electronics Corp. LCD-90 + RM-80 to the Mazur PRM-9000:

  • Comparison of Aware Electronics Corp. LCD-90 + RM-80 to the Mazur PRM-9000

    LCD-90 and RM-80. LCD-90 snap-in-place button caps are removable providing flush with face buttons

    LCD-90 and RM-80

    LCD-90 with snap-in-place button caps installed

    LCD-90, RM-80, Bluetooth
    Class 1 Bluetooth Adapter with built-in rechargable Lithium Ion battery, plugged into the LCD-90's serial port, feeding real-time data wirelessly to Aw-Radw seen in the background


    Shown below is an RM-60 plugged into the LCD-90. (The RM-60 has a radiation source from a smoke detector placed above its alpha window). The two units can be connected together with Velcro. The telephone cable can be extended 1000 feet with standard telephone cable.


    LCD-90 and RM-60
    RM-60 plugged into the LCD-90


    Aware Electronics Corp. LCD-90 Pro Micro-Controller Data-Logger with RM-80 hooked up to a custom Radon sampling fan:

    RM-80, LCD-90 Custom Radon Sampling Fan-Filter

    Four Aware Electronics Corp. RM-480s and two RM-680s all plugged into one LCD-90 Pro using snap together MOD phone line, for a total of 28 pancake tubes powered and tallied by the one LCD-90 Pro with its internal battery pack:

    RM-480s and RM-680s

    Four Aware Electronics Corp. RM-G90-BG3s, each with three thin wall Beta-Gamma tubes all plugged into one LCD-90 Pro using snap together MOD phone line, for a total of 16 thin wall Beta-Gamma tubes powered and tallied by the one LCD-90 Pro. The LCD-90 Pro is also connected to our Solid State Relay Switch which triggers the included Strobe Siren with alarm condition. Both the LCD-90 Pro and the Strobe Siren include internal batteries such that the entire system continues to operate even when the external power supply is removed:

    LCD-90 Pro and RM-G90-BG3s

    Closeup of the LCD-90 Pro in the above setup:

    LCD-90 Pro closeup

    Below are enlarged engineering diagrams showing some of the internals of the LCD-90’s liquid crystal display and printed circuit board

    LCD-90 Liquid Crystal

    LCD-90 Board

    This diagram shows the LCD-90's RJ-12 jack pins allowing one to wire any device with a pulse output to the LCD-90:

    LCD-90 RJ12 Pin Out


    Suggested LCD-90 and RM Accessories

    RS-232 Device Servers

    Connect the LCD-90 Pro to Networks, including the Internet, for real-time data feed, stored data downloading and complete control over the LCD-90 Pro. Effortlessly use Aware Electronics software Aw-Radw or the DLL, both of which include binary data transfer with CRC error correction. Control all the LCD-90 Pro’s features. For example, simultaneously receive the real-time data feed and control the instrument’s alarm features. Also use any program capable of sending and receiving ASCII characters through a COM port, including instrument control software, Labview, many various free terminal programs, etc. This allows real-time ASCII data, stored ASCII data and complete control over the LCD-90 Pro through a network (~$100):

  • www.moxastore.com/Moxa_RS232_1_Port_s/709.htm

    RS-232 Device Servers

    For 802.11 WiFi Ethernet to Serial with all the features as described above, check out Moxa'a industrial line:

  • www.moxastore.com/Moxa_NPort_W2150_2250_Plus_s/1054.htm

    hook and loop

    For connecting the LCD-90 and the RM together with reclosable fasteners to form one unit which can then be easily separated. Also for mounting the LCD-90 and/or the RM. Also for neatly bundling the telephone cord between the LCD-90 and RM:

  • Scotch(R) Ultra-Thin Reclosable Fasteners

    Pelican Case

    Waterproof, belt mount, clear carrying case for LCD-90 and RM. This case will hold both the LCD-90 and an RM-80 with room to spare. Pelican Case #1050:

  • Pelican Case #1050
  • Pelican Foam Set for 1050 Micro Case

    Outdoor Products Small Watertight Box

    Waterproof, clear carrying case for LCD-90 and RM. Outdoor Products Small Watertight Box:

  • Outdoor Products Small Watertight Box
  • Outdoor Products Small Watertight Box
  • Outdoor Products Small Watertight Box

    The Outdoor Products Large Watertight Box will hold both the LCD-90 and an RM-80 laying on their backs, side by side, facing up:

  • Outdoor Products Large Watertight Box
  • Outdoor Products Large Watertight Box
  • Outdoor Products Large Watertight Box

    A source for foam inserts:

  • Pick and Pack Foam

    Cell Phone Stand Cell Phone Stand

    Cell Phone Stand for the LCD-90.

  • Cell Phone Stands

    Coiled Telephone Cord

    Coiled Telephone Cord for connecting the LCD-90 to the RM. (We include a non-coiled cord no charge)

  • Coiled Telephone Cord 6P4C

    lithium

    Lithium AAA Batteries for performance in extreme temperatures from -40°F to 140°F:

  • Lithium Ultimate AAA

    RJ-11 Retractable

    Retractable phone cable for connecting the LCD-90 to the RM. (Aware’s RMs include a seven foot RJ-11 cord):

  • Retractable Phone Cable

    RJ-11 5-way SplitterRJ-11 Splitter

    Telephone Line Splitter for plugging more than one RM into the LCD-90:

  • Telephone Line Splitter

    For Remote Monitoring and Control. Locate the LCD-90 + RM up to 40 miles from the base station. License free versions for US-Canada and Europe:
  • XTend® RF Modems 1 Watt/900 MHz stand-alone radio modems up to 40 mile range
  • 8 dBi Flat Patch Antenna for the above:

  • 900 MHz 8 dBi Flat Patch Antenna

    For recording GPS location data simultaneously while recording radiation data with the LCD-90, purchase a GPS data logger with a push to log button. Since the LCD-90 records each data point with the date-time, the LCD-90 downloaded ASCII data and the GPS data logger data can both be loaded into a spreadsheet with the dates aligned.

    Some example GPS data loggers:

  • Amazon GPS data loggers
  • Google Shopping GPS data loggers


    Bill DiPuccio has been experimenting with his RM-80, LCD-90 and Thorium lantern mantels

    Hi Bryan,

    Here is the set up I use to test small samples (minerals, food, etc.). The RM-80 rests on a piece of plywood drilled to accommodate the window. Height is adjustable using a machinists accessory made for drill presses. I am also working on an ergonomic handle to use in the field for mineral prospecting...The more I dig into this software the more impressed I am with its sophistication. It seems that you thought of everything.

    DiPuccio's Lab1

    DiPuccio's Lab2

    Thorium Lantern Mantels

    DiPuccio's Brochure

    Bill DiPuccio is a science teacher and has an excellent blog spot. Be sure to check it out: Bill's Science Et Cetera


    One of several instrument boxes measuring Radon levels in the Outback. Inside the box is a LCD-90, RM-80, a custom air-pump-filter all powered by solar energy:

    Outback

    Open Box


    Feedback


    Bryan,

    I have had my new LCD-90 up and running continuously now for a few days and love it!!

    I can tell that you have put quite a bit of effort into the design of this unit. Its power supply flexibility and extremely long battery life make it a serious field instrument. It also feels good and has solid, high-quality buttons. It's not often that one encounters such beauty of design. This is truly a field/survival type of device. Thanks for making it available.

    I also like the fan-filter assembly. I have generated my first decay curve and then performed a pseudo curve matching exercise with an apparent high degree of agreement. See the attached gif file.

    What is the significance of 16% Pb-212? Does the Pb-212 level indicate anything about the source of radon? Does it indicate the presence of thoron gas?

    I will now be conducting a long series of tests to determine how various modes of operation of our heat recovery ventilator effect radon levels. It'll be interesting to see how high it goes when I turn off the unit.

    Thanks again for the fine product.

    Tom Phillips

    Tom's decay curve

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for the kind comments about the LCD-90. Yes, as per the makedecay manual, the 16% Pb-212 indicates Thoron is near by and its daughter Pb-212 accounts for ~ 16% of the activity seen on the filter.


    Equipping the LCD-90 with a GSM cellular modem for real-time connection from anywhere in the world with cellular phone coverage

    Ben is using LCD-90s, RM-80s, custom Radon decay product filters, pumps and GSM modems for monitoring river and creek Radon in the outback. Power is supplied by solar energy.

    A GSM modem is a specialized type of modem which accepts a cellular phone SIM card, and operates over a subscription to a cellular mobile operator, just like a cellular mobile phone. From the mobile operator perspective, a GSM modem looks just like a cellular phone.

    For debugging the setup in his lab, Ben plugged the GSM modem into the LCD-90's serial port and simultaneously plugged the LCD-90's USB port into a PC running the free terminal program Putty. The LCD-90's serial port and USB port can be used at the same time. This allowed quick debugging.

    Hi Bryan,

    The current set-up is one GSM modem on each instrument and one on my desk. I open a data connection between the office modem and the serial port of the instrument via the other modem. The modems are Siemens TC35i.

    I can now operate the LCD-90 anywhere with phone coverage! Thanks so much for the help. This might be another low cost way for other customers to access their data that is independent on distance with very low power (micro to milliamp on my modem)!

    Cheers from down under

    Ben

    Outback

    Ben Gilfedder
    Research Fellow
    School of Geosciences, Monash University, Melbourne
    National Center for Groundwater Research and Training

    Also from Ben:

    I thought you might be interested in a recent calibration exercise were we passed Rn first through a RAD7 and then through my new setup, the results look very encouraging.

    Cheers, Ben

    ps: Below is CPM from Aware (RM-80 + LCD-90) on y axis and Bq/m3 on x axis. The correlation is even better when I average over 2h, rather than 30 mins as below:

    Rad7 versus Ben's setup


    From Ken Russell who uses the LCD-90 with his RM-60 connected to the PC with Bluetooth. Ken mentions: "I have the device set-up and working beautifully as a wireless device as shown in the manual. That seemed like the simplest/cleanest way to go. The fewer cables the better... Aspire 5920 Laptop running Windows 7 as shown on the screen. It is set to monitor background radiation, usually in the high twenties micro roentgens/hr unless I have been given a radioactive iodine tracer and am close to the RM-60, then it goes much higher. As a former vice president of engineering for software controlled, medical devices I can tell you your devices are well thought out and built, I am amazed at what you have accomplished."

    Ken's setup


    Craig Brown has been experimenting with his LCD-90 and RM-80 hooked up to a custom Radon sampling fan. Also in photo another RM-80 connected to his LCD-60:

    Craig's setup

    Hi Bryan,

    Your package with the RM-60 and the LCD-90 arrived in good condition yesterday. You'll be pleased to know that the RM-60 seems to work fine as does the LCD-90 although I'm still learning how to use the many features of latter. It is a great little unit and will be very useful. Good to see you're still manufacturing in the US...nice to have some electronic gear that doesn't completely come from China!

    I plan to try and replicate and maybe even improve on the entanglement experimant on your website amongst other things. However my main interest will be using the two RM-60s...the new one and my 18 year old one to do cosmic ray detection with the coincidence box and may use a spare tracking telescope mount to try and follow possible sources across the sky over several days. Your website is a great source of ideas and information so please do keep updating it.

    Many thanks once again for producing such interesting and reliable equipment..not many of my electronic bits and pieces are still useful and working after 18 years (the only other exception is my electric fence controller for our farm fences - made by Gallagher in New Zealand...it has been operating continuously for over 30 years)!

    Cheers,
    Alastair


    Alastair & Harriette Brickell
    Stargazers B&B and Astronomy Tours
    392 State Highway 25
    R.D. 2, Kuaotunu
    Whitianga 3592
    NEW ZEALAND


    Note: We now have available for programmers Aware's AWMSP.DLL package. It includes a DLL which makes it easy for programmers to interface their 32-64 bit WIN 98, ME, NT, 2000-08, XP, Vista and Windows 7 programs to MSP microcontroller used in Aware's LCD-90 and/or USB-MSP Microcontroller.

    AWMSP.DLL contains functions that find a com port (serial port)or USB port (USB virtual COM port) into which an Aware Electronics LCD-90 or USB-MSP has been plugged, open a com or USB port, power-up and start operation of an RM by-way-of the LCD-90 or USB-MSP, buffer and return counts per unit time using CRC error detection and correction, convert a count per unit time to a standard measuring unit, apply a dead-time correction factor, provide system Unix time that is year 2038 compliant, convert a value and time into an ASCII string, provide advanced Windows DirectX-DirectSound Geiger 'click' support, and close com or USB ports after desired operations are complete.

    AWMSP.DLL is written in Microsoft C, assembly and machine code. The cost of this package is $290. To order include AWMSP.DLL on order form.
    For additional information see AWMSP.DLL Help File link:

  • AWMSP.DLL Help File
    Note: We now have available Aware's AWARE_SERVICE package. AWARE_SERVICE allows one to run Aware’s Aw-Radw.Exe windows program as a Windows Service application. Windows Service applications are long-running applications that are ideal for use in server environments. Services can be automatically started when the computer is booted. They do not require a logged in user in order to execute and can run under the context of any user including the system.

    Windows Services are controlled through the Service Control Manager where they can be stopped, paused, and started as needed.

    AWARE_SERVICE package allows an unlimited number of programs to run as a Windows service.

    AWARE_SERVICE is written in Microsoft C, assembly and machine code. The cost of this package is $99. To order include AWARE_SERVICE on order form.

    This site uses AWARE_SERVICE package:

  • Vashon Island (Seattle WA)

    For additional information see AWARE_SERVICE Help File link:

  • AWARE_SERVICE Help File

    Phone or E-Mail for more info.


    Examples of available wireless serial connections, serial to WiFi and serial to network servers

    RS-232 Device Servers

    Connect the LCD-90 Pro to Networks, including the Internet, for real-time data feed, stored data downloading and complete control over the LCD-90 Pro. Effortlessly use Aware Electronics software Aw-Radw or the DLL, both of which include binary data transfer with CRC error correction. Control all the LCD-90 Pro’s features. For example, simultaneously receive the real-time data feed and control the instrument’s alarm features. Also use any program capable of sending and receiving ASCII characters through a COM port, including instrument control software, Labview, many various free terminal programs, etc. This allows real-time ASCII data, stored ASCII data and complete control over the LCD-90 Pro through a network (~$100):

  • www.moxastore.com/Moxa_RS232_1_Port_s/709.htm

    RS-232 Device Servers

    For 802.11 WiFi Ethernet to Serial with all the features as described above, check out Moxa'a industrial line:

  • www.moxastore.com/Moxa_NPort_W2150_2250_Plus_s/1054.htm

    For Remote Monitoring and Control. Locate the LCD-90 + RM up to 40 miles from the base station. License free versions for US-Canada and Europe:

  • XTend® RF Modems 1 Watt/900 MHz stand-alone radio modems up to 40 mile range

    8 dBi Flat Patch Antenna for the above:

  • 900 MHz 8 dBi Flat Patch Antenna
  • http://www.rovingnetworks.com/bluetooth-serial-adapters.php
  • http://www.rovingnetworks.com/rnusbt.php
  • http://www.rovingnetworks.com/rnusb.php

  • http://www.rovingnetworks.com/WiFi-Serial.php
  • VSPM-Virtual Serial Port 2.5
  • Quatech Airborne Enterprise Wireless Device Servers
  • Airborne Enterprise Wireless Device Server Serial to 802.11b/g Wireless LAN (~$179.00 from Distributor)
  • http://www.quatech.com/pdf/thinqw.pdf

  • Amazon search for "Wifi RS232 Serial Server"

  • Quatech RS-232 Serial Device Servers
  • http://www.aircable.net/products/host-xr3.php (Bluetooth Extended range up to 19 miles (30 km))
  • http://www.moxastore.com/Default.asp

  • http://www.serialio.com/products/adaptors/BlueSnapStd.php

  • https://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=serial+port+server

  • http://www.google.com/products?q=wireless+rs232+serial+port&hl=en

  • http://www.bb-elec.com/products.asp
    About TI's MSP430 microprocessor platforms used by the LCD-90

  • http://www-s.ti.com/sc/techlit/slab034.pdf

  • http://focus.ti.com/paramsearch/docs/parametricsearch.tsp?familyId=914§ionId=95&tabId=1530&family=mcu

    E-mail aware@aw-el.com
    Phone:(800)729-5397 or Phone/Fax: (302)655-3800

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