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Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E


Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E

Technical characteristics. Usage impressions.

About the existence of this device, I have learned just a few days before it fell into my hands. Dosimeter - radiometer MKS-1E, produced in 2003 by State Enterprise Bila Tserkva Plant “Etalon” (Ukraine). Only one look at the solid plastic case was enough to understand - it's professional equipment. The contents of case also did not disappoint and did not leave any doubt. The device is made thoroughly: the massive aluminum frame, austere gray hammer enamel. The size of the device was pleasantly surprised. Looking at the case, I was expecting to see inside something with dimensions as in DP-5 or MKS-U... And instead found a fairly compact box with a screen, five buttons and two connectors on the side.


The delivery kit: a device MKS-1E, a block of gamma-ray detector BDG-1E (implemented on the basis of four sensors SBM-20), beta-detector block BDB-1E (implemented in the gas-discharge sensor Beta-2 with end mica window of diameter 43 mm), cable connection to a PC, a floppy disk with software for Windows and DOS, extension stem (from 0,4 m (in the folded state) to 1 m), a controlling source of type KIT-1 137Cs, screwdriver, form, an operating manual and the packing case.

Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E

Device case is metal (aluminum), rather massive (0.6 kg), consists of two parts. At the top is all electronic filling with the screen and control buttons, at the bottom - the battery compartment and two connectors for the detection unit and the cable connection to a PC. Device protection class is IP43, so it is better do not drop it down in water and do not buried it in a sand :).

Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E

Purpose of use

  • Measurement of gamma and X-ray radiation ambient dose equivalent rate (EDR).
  • Measurement of gamma and X-ray radiation ambient dose equivalent (ED).
  • Measurement of surface beta-particles flux density.


  • Simultaneous display on the display units of measurement, time of measurement, a threshold level, a numbers of memory location and real time.
  • External gamma-and alpha, beta sensitive Geiger-Muller detectors.
  • Analog indicator of the registered intensity of the radiation.
  • Manual selection of measurement intervals.
  • Two-tone audio alarm of exceeded programmed threshold levels.
  • The presence of internal memory for 2000 measurements.
  • Connects to PC via cable (COM port)
  • Five galvanic batteries, size AA
  • Impact-resistant case.
Main technical characteristics

  • Measurement ranges and basic relative errors:
  • Gamma and X-ray radiation equivalent dose rate (137Cs)
  • Gamma and X-ray radiation equivalent dose (137Cs)
  • Beta-particles flux density (90Sr+90Y)
  • Energy ranges of measurement and energy dependence:
  • Gamma and X-ray radiation
  • Beta radiation
  • Measurement time intervals
  • Battery life
  • Operating temperature range
  • Dimensions

Now more about the features of the device and work with it

Long, about 5 seconds press the second button to the right ... The device squeaked and tern on, but unlike most such devices, did not start to measure immediately the level of gamma and beta - after switching I get to the main menu, where I can enable the measurement, the count time, set the threshold, to view the stored data of previous measurements, or go to service menu (described later).

MKS-1E screen is graphic 60 x 20 mm. There are LED backlit screen (the rightmost button). Unlike Terra MKS-05 and MKS-U, there is no backlight turn off delay, so it works only as long as you keep your finger on the button. In measurement mode, displays a lot of information: in the upper right corner - the measured value, units of measurement under it, then - threshold exceeded alarm level. In the upper left of the screen - the current time, just below the memory cell, where the current measurement of written down, bellow - the type of measured radiation (gamma or beta) and the timer of measurement interval. Virtually the entire bottom of the screen is analogue scale of measuring level. Implemented scale rather unusual. It operates within a specified threshold. I still can not identify is it good or bad, so just stating.

Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E

Work with the device is simple and convenient. It is not difficult to understand the menu, even without reading the manual. I really liked the wide choice of measurement units. You can set the unit "for all tastes". Besides µSv/h (default), you can choose µSv/sec, µR/h, µR/sec. You can also select units of the flux density of beta-particles: 1/(cm ² • c) (default) or 1/(cm ² • m). Intervals of measurement, in contrast to the Terra MKS-05 or MKS-U not fixed automatically, but manually from 0.5 seconds to 1 minute. Is this good or bad - a complex question, akin to endless arguments of motorists: “Automatic vs manual gearbox”. But device is determined automatically the type of connected detector unit and immediately displays the corresponding units of the measurement intervals and the threshold excess.

A bit unusual lack of audible signal for each detected gamma ray or beta particle. The function is simple and is present by default in all devices which I know. In MKS-1E decided to restrict ourselves to two-tone alarm exceeding a threshold level (disabled by default). 

Also there are some questions about the implementation of the same "service menu", which I mentioned above. The device has nonvolatile memory that can store up to 2000 values, thresholds, measurement intervals and cumulative dose. But made in the service menu settings, is not stored in memory, and they are: the units of measurements and the switching of sound alarm exceeded threshold. That is to say if the user, for whatever reasons, do not like the default units of measurements, then he will have to put them all over again every time he will turn on the device... Such decision seemed not optimal.

Also I was surprised of the total lack of battery status display in the device. Neither sound nor visual. In the case of battery discharge, the device simply refuses to turn on..

Unfortunately I was not be able to connect the device to the PC, but this is only my problem, not the device - on my PC there is no COM port. But, software works without any problems on my PC with Windows XP.

What I like: a large graphic display with backlight. Ability to set different units of measurement. Good workmanship, durable impact-resistant case. Sensitive detection units. Easy to use. Comfortable and intuitive menu.

What I do not like: small measuring range of EDR (1 mSv/h) and flux density of beta particles (700 CPS). Low battery life (30 hours). The absence of audible signals for each detected gamma ray or beta particle. Lack of automatic subtraction of gamma during the measurement of beta. Lack of battery indicator status. Inadequate system of fixing the device on an extension stem. Low class of device protection (IP43).

The summary.

In sum I liked the device (I have a thing for devices in the massive metal cases and gray "hammer" enamel :). The device is easy to setup and use, fast, sensitive. All it need is only a slightly touch up of software, rubber gaskets in the case, expand measuring ranges and reduce power consumption. And it would be just the perfect device.

According to my personal 10-point scale, I give the device 7 points.

Dosimeter-radiometer MKS-1E in a measurement EDR mode (equivalent dose rate) -

34.78 µSv/h (3,5 mR/h)

Dosimeter-radiometer MKS-1E in a mode of measurement of beta-particles flux density -

119.5 CPM

Dosimeter-radiometer MKS-1E assembly (with the detector unit BDB-1E).

Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E Dosimeter - Radiometer MKS-1E
Huge gratitude for the given device to Andrey Fomin.

Author: Yevgen "KRANZ" Goncharenko


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Die Sperrzone von Tschornobyl

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