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Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R


Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R

Technical characteristics. Usage impressions.

For the second year in a row, early in the year the Lviv Scientific & Production Private Enterprise “Sparing-Vist Centre” announces its new developments. In early 2011, there were presented three new devices focused on the army and security forces. One of these devices was a wrist gamma radiation warning device aGent-R. On this occasion (and to present their products at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX–2011 (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)) was even created promotional video in which soldiers ran in a clouds of smoke, time to time anxiously looking at different dosimeters/warning devices. I liked the aGent-R immediately. For a long time I’ve wanted something simple, shock-resistant, waterproof, wrist, and with a wide range of measurement. A replacement of the digital display to a simple four-level LEDs threshold just added the harsh army simplicity to the device.

Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R

Almost a year has passed since the announcement of the device and finally aGent-R came into my hands.

Delivery kit: “aGent-R” gamma radiation warning device, leather case, two batteries and operating manual.

Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R

Comparing the device with a picture on the manufacturer's website and a few photos appeared on the network, I noticed some differences: cloth strap instead of leather one; Frearson caps of battery compartments, instead of slotted, thresholds marking are not in μR/h, mR/h, R/h; but in μSv/h, mSv/h. Perhaps there are different versions or I got a newer version.

The first impression of aGent-R – it looks much bigger than its actual size. Someone might found it too bulky but I, on the contrary, like this. There are no complaints to the quality of workmanship, everything looks great. Plastic looks thick and, if no seam that separates the two halves of the body, one could decide that the instrument is made from one solid piece of black plastic. The manufacturer promises the level of protection IP67, so aGent-R has no ingress of dust, complete protection against contact and protected for immersion in water at depth up to 1m. In any case aGent-R is the most secure device of the entire product line of SPPE “Sparing-Vist Centre”. Display organized simply and clearly. Display board is divided into three zones: the “green” – a flashing green LED provides information about the normal level of gamma-ray background (up to 1 μSv/h), the “yellow” zone (the level of gamma radiation above normal) consists of two yellow LEDs (above 1 μSv/h and 10 μSv/h) and “red” zone (high levels), consisting of two red LEDs (above 1 mSv/h and 100 mSv/h). In addition, the device has also vibrating alarm.

Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R


  • Wrist warning device.
  • Non-stop performance control of the warning device.
  • LED and vibrating alarm of threshold levels exceeding with the option to turn off the vibrating alarm.
  • Non-stop performance control of the built-in Geiger-Muller counter.
  • Manual control of the built-in vibration instrument and residual capacity of batteries with the corresponding LED indication.
  • Periodic vibrating and LED alarm when residual battery capacity becomes less than 10 %.
  • Automatic vibrating and LED alarm when residual battery capacity is less than 5 %, with the following switching-off of the warning device.
  • Two batteries of АААА type.
  • Shock-resistant plastic body with the IP67 ingress protection rating.


  • Dynamic range of gamma radiation registration from 0.1 μSv/h to 10 Sv/h;
  • Energy range of gamma radiation registration from 0.05 to 3.0 MeV;
  • Threshold level values of gamma radiation dose rate:
    –  1 μSv/h
    –  10 μSv/h
    –  1 mSv/h
    –  100 mSv/h
  • Relative error of threshold levels determination ± 25 %;
  • Time of continuous operation from new batteries not less than 1300 hours*;
  • Operating temperatures range from -20 °С to +50 °С;
  • Weight, not more than 80 g;
  • Dimensions without a strap, not more than 55х55х27 mm;
  • Mean time to failure, not less than 6000 hours;
  • Mean service life, not less than 6 years;
  • Mean shelf life, not less than 6 years.
* provided that background radiation is normal (less than 1 μSv/h), ambient air temperature is within 20±2°С, and the battery is tested not more than 3 times per 24 hours.

There is no need to describe the work of aGent-R, everything is simple. It has only one controlling element: button “on/off”. A long press on it and the device buzzing vibration signals and illuminates all five LEDs. By the number of light-emitting diodes one can judge about the level of battery discharge. If the remainder of the charge is 5 % – only one LED of red zone lights up: 100 mSv/h. When device is switched on, if the level of gamma background does not exceed 1 μSv/h, it is flashing with green LED, with an interval of 3 seconds. During first time of using the device, it seemed to me that it has a slow response to excess levels. So I took a stopwatch, a source of ionizing radiation and compared the time with other devices. No, not worse than other dosimeters/radiometers. On the observer simply affects the feature of perception of the threshold alarm. If the level of gamma-ray background exceed, devices with digital indication start counting the pulses and flashing numbers on the screen create a false sense, that device has measured everything, but in fact the end result of the measurement appears on the screen only after 10–20 seconds (depending on the specific device and its mode of operation). Well, in aGent-R there is no digital screen and the entire measurement process is hidden from our eyes, we get only the final result, therefore, is a feeling that the device “thinks for a long time.” Again, this is not the case.

A few things, which are not something that I had not liked, but rather raised doubts about the optimality of the solution.

Vibrating alarms of aGent-R is permanently on and is triggered on excess of one of four thresholds. At the time of trigger of the next threshold, it can be turned off by briefly pressing the “on/off” button, but only temporarily, until the next triggering threshold or re-triggering the previous one. I think it's not very convenient. I think it would not be bad, by further developing software to add the instrument function of constant vibration off, for example, by double clicking on the control button.

Strap, though comfortable, but not very long. If you choose to wear aGent-R over a jacket or protective suit, its length may not be enough.

AAAA batteries format is not very popular, is not always easy to find them in local shops, though, as I found out, that our people will always find a way out. In the absence of AAAA elements, they “extracted” them from the 9-volt Alkaline battery :).

What I like: almost everything. Wide operating range, simple visual indication, ingress protection enclosure.

What I do not like: the inability to completely disable vibrating alarm.


The summary.

I really liked aGent-R. I believe its release is a good sign, because it is somehow able to fill a niche of simple gamma radiation warning devices. Dosimetric equipment manufacturers clearly ignore such simple devices, preferring the more complex devices with more features and digital display. And all the warning devices which I saw were kind of toys – souvenirs – key chains (with a narrow range of measurement) or the old Soviet stationary devices in metal boxes, designed for bomb shelters. I have always adhered to the idea that not only the common man (person who is not working with sources of ionizing radiation), but even the professionals are not always needed and not always easy to watch and analyse the gamma-rays in digital display, often it is enough to have kind of simple scale: “normal – much – too much”. This is much more useful for rapid assessment of the situation, especially when the device is right on your hand.

The manufacturer addresses this device to security forces and army. In my turn I would recommend aGent-R to fans of various abandoned industrial and military facilities, where sometimes one can find forgotten IRS (ionizing radiation source), as well as various radioactive objects and materials.

According to my personal 10-point scale, I give the device 9 points. An excellent device.

Triggering threshold of 1 μSv/h

Triggering threshold of 10 μSv/h

Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R Gamma Radiation Warning Device aGent-R

Author: Yevgen “KRANZ” Goncharenko


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