Lost Places - Chornobyl Zone

Pripyat, Chornobyl area and other abandoned places

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Dosimeter-radiometer “Pripyat” RKS-20.03


Dosimeter-radiometer Pripyat RKS-20.03

Technical characteristics. Impressions of operation.

Dosimeter-radiometer "Pripyat" – the device "Legend", the device - "History".

It is developed more then 20 years ago at the Korolev Kyiv Factory (now NPO (scientific production association) "Meridian"). The best for its time and the most popular consumer dosimeter, since 90th years of the last century and till today. It let out at many factories (personally, I saw not less than three variants of this device). For example at the Lviv’s "Pripyat" the case has red color.

Dosimeter-radiometer "Pripyat" - the unique device a long-liver. What else electronic device can be boast of such age?

And so once again I will repeat, for its time it was High-End the Soviet consumer dosimeters. Better to say, there was "Pripyat" and there were all the others.

What was such special in dosimeter-radiometer  "Pripyat" RKS-20.03 that was not in "other" dosimeters in large quantities issued in the nineties of the last century? To begin we will short describe that represented those "others", using practically without changes the same checked up scheme and differing only by names and by design of the case:
  • The top limit of measurement of exposition dose rate - 10 mR/h.
  • Error +- 25-30 %
  • The measured size - gamma (well and all that it will be possible to catch in addition :)
  • Power supply - 9V

The algorithm of work was rather simple - 40 second gauging, 40 second indication of result and zeroing.

Dosimeter-radiometer Pripyat RKS-20.03


Developers of dosimeter-radiometer "Pripyat" have offered other scheme, more expensive and difficult element base (just imagine the magnificent ADC!) and accordingly more "advanced" possibilities.

Dosimeter-radiometer Pripyat RKS-20.03

All range of measurement of exposition dose rate divided into two sub-bands, switched manually:

1 -up to 1,99 mR/h.

2 -up to 19,99 mR/h.

Gauging time also could be chosen by the switch:

20 seconds - for operative estimation of exposition dose rate (so-called "a search mode")

200 seconds - for exact measurement of equivalent dose rate.

Also there was a possibility to choose by the switch a unit of measure: mR/h and mcSv/h.

For the first time in a consumer appliance there was a possibility of measurement of capacity of a stream of beta particles (clumsy enough, for today’s requirements. For measurement of beta, it was necessary to execute the whole ritual: at first in a mode "beta" was measured equivalent dose rate (gamma), then from the back panel the metal cover-filter acted in was measured gamma+beta, then the first was subtracted from the second and we received quantity of beta particles. Modern devices like the Terra MKS-05 carry out all these calculations by themselves, but then - possibility to measure in consumer dosimeter capacity of a stream of beta particles, already was the big break-through.

  • The basic technical characteristics.
Ranges of measurements Value
  • Gamma and X-ray radiation equivalent dose rate
0,01...19,99 mR/h
  • Gamma and X-ray radiation exposition dose rate
0,1...199,9 mcSv/h
  • Beta-particles flux density
10...19999 par/cm²*min
  • Limit of a supposed basic relative error (gamma/beta)
  • Operating temperature range
-20...+40 °С
  • Power supply
9,0 V
  • Weight
0,25 kg
  • Dimensions
145х73х37 мм

Besides the device had a switch of a sound signaling device (tweeter) and the button of the control of the category of the battery, at pressing on which on the screen value of pressure of the power supply was deduced (an improbable option for its time).

Quality of manufacturing - typical for the Soviet consumer appliances. Poor quality plastic, assemblage so does not differ accuracy. Using a latch of a cover-filter demands certain training and presence of strong nails :).

Dosimeter-radiometer Pripyat RKS-20.03

To that this is very weak place and a latch, at active use, breaks a maximum in a month (at many old radiometers the cover-filter keeps exclusively by means of a scotch tape). Not less weak spot of a case of "Pripyat" – is a platform of fastening of a telescopic bar. An obvious constructive defect. Because of enough big weight of the device and the thin case plastic, platform poorly strengthened by a metal plate, quickly enough breaks, pulling out the whole piece of plastic from the device case.


Now I use the newer, compact, economic, possessing the best, than at "Pripyat" characteristics and possibilities, the device Terrа MKS-05, but old kind dosimeter-radiometer Pripyat RKS-20.03 occupy a place of honor on my desktop. It has deserved it.

That is agreeable: big liquid-crystal display with accurate figures.

That is not agreeable: the careless case.

The resume.

Excellent consumer appliance. Was the best in due time. But its time has already passed.

Pripyat RKS-20.30 in a mode of measurement of exposition dose rate -

19,91 mR/h

Excess of a limit of measurement of exposition dose rate

>20 mR/h

Normal level of gamma-background -

19 μR/h

Dosimeter-radiometer Pripyat RKS-20.03 Dosimeter-radiometer Pripyat RKS-20.03 Dosimeter-radiometer Pripyat RKS-20.03

Author: Yevgen "KRANZ" Goncharenko


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