Forums Reviews & Commentary >> Review Discussions >> Polimaster 1208M Gamma Detector Watch

Message started by Administrator on Jul 26th, 2021, 9:14am

Title: Polimaster 1208M Gamma Detector Watch
Post by Administrator on Jul 26th, 2021, 9:14am

I have uploaded Part 1 of the Video Review of this device to the CarCynic YouTube Channel ( (

This thread will be of discussion of the Polimaster watch dosimeters, including the PM1208, PM1208M, PM1603A,B, as well are the rare vintage/prototype models.

Check back here for:

  • Part 2 (Note: There will be a delay in the upload of Part 2, as I have determined that the video must be re-shot.)
  • "Have I Found Anything Radio Active?"  -- Reports of things or places that your Gamma Detector Watch has alerted you to.
  • Links to other forums (mostly in other languages) relevant to the Polimaster or other Geiger Counter Watches
  • Getting the Polimaster devices that use IRDA connected to a PC (especially using Linux)
  • General discussion of Gamma Detector/Geiger Counter Watches

To register and participate in this discussion, follow the instructions at the top of this page.

Title: Re: Polimaster 1208M Gamma Detector Watch
Post by Administrator on Jul 26th, 2021, 9:36am

"Have I Found Anything Radio Active?"

As mentioned in the Videos, the PM1208M is very slow to react to mildly radioactive items placed near it.  Attempting to us it for -- as an example -- shopping for radioactive antiques leads to frustration, and standing around antique stores looking like an idiot.

So as of this post -- No -- My PM1208 has not alerted me to any place or item that I didn't already know was radioactive.

However, it did verify that something was radioactive.

I was at MRAM Electronics -- a local Surplus Electronics and Appliance Parts store.  The person behind the counter said they had a piece of natural ore that they thought was radioactive -- Much like my "Piece of Hyperactive Nature (".  He handed the rock to me, and after several minutes, My PM1208M verified that the stone was radioactive.

The guy seemed to feel at least a bit "validated" by my independent verification that the stone was delectably radioactive.

Title: Re: Polimaster 1208M Gamma Detector Watch
Post by Administrator on Jul 29th, 2021, 8:41pm

Part 2 of the Video Review has been uploaded. (

Title: Re: Polimaster 1208M Gamma Detector Watch
Post by Administrator on Aug 20th, 2021, 7:20pm

For completeness, and discussion, I will include the picture of the PM1208M main circuit board as shown in the review video, part 1 (

A few notes:

  • This is the actual circuit board from my watch.
  • It is interesting to note that the Quartz Watch (Mechanical hands) is powered by a buck supply on the main board.  There is a battery compartment in the Quartz watch, but it is empty.  A spring (similar to the ones shown, but on the other side of the board) makes contact with the battery terminal at the bottom of the quartz watch battery compartment.  The small metal piece that would secure the quartz watch battery in place in the quartz watch is present, but it is secured out of the way.  Ground is provided by another contact.  This is different than on the PM1208, which requires 2 batteries.
  • The spring contacts shown on this side (3) are (staring from the lower right, and going counter clockwise):  Battery connection, Case ground, and Alarm (Piezo) drive.
  • In addition to the spring contact on the opposite side of the board that connects to the quartz watch, there are two springs that connect to the electroluminescent backlight.  There are also those rubberized contacts that connect the main board to the LCD display.  These can be easily broken, and often very finicky in other devices, but fortunately in this watch, I had no problem re-assembling them, and all display segments work correctly.
  • When I received my watch, the EL backlight did not work.  I realized that the two springs were missing.  I made some tiny coiled contacts from copper wire, and inserted them into the appropriate holes on the back of the LCD display.  While my EL backlight is very dim, it does work, and is adequate to see the display in total darkness. It is my suspicion that they were intentionally not there.  They were either not included at the request of the company (or government entity -- perhaps ROSATOM) that purchased PM1208M's, or they were removed later.  I suspect this was done to reduce battery replacement from employees operating the backlight too frequently.

I often think about the person my watch was originally issued to, where he worked, what readings it would have indicated, and his fate. Wherever you are -- whatever realm you find yourself in -- I will endeavor to take care of your watch.

Happy and Safe Rad Hunting!

Title: Re: Polimaster 1208M Gamma Detector Watch
Post by Administrator on Jan 11th, 2022, 4:08pm

As promised, here is a "Have I Found Anything Radioactive" report for the Polimaster 1208M Gamma Detector Watch:

I did find something radioactive, but unfortunately, I cannot tell you about it at this time.

What I can say is the following:

  • As we know, some buildings are made with materials that contain natural radioactive substances.
  • This is not limited to drywall.  Radioactive materials can be found in the cement used to pour a buildings' floors.
  • There is no threat at all to the general public from what I found.
  • Even for people that could be exposed to the radioactivity that I found, levels are well below any level of concern.  They are far below levels in other places where people work/live continuously.
  • There is some evidence that low doses of ionizing radiation can actually be beneficial. See for example:
    In this case, the level of radiation above background could be so low as to not have any effect -- even beneficial.

What's the point of posting about something I can't actually report on?

  • It shows the advantage of having a continuously wearable device that can alert you to acute radiation dose.
  • It also clearly illustrates the difference between the Polimaster 1208M's reaction time, and it's sensitivity.  While it did take the Polimaster 1208M nearly 15 minutes to react to the situation I came across, it clearly showed me I was in an area with a higher than background ionizing radiation level.
  • I'm not saying everyone needs to run out an buy a PM1280M, or drop $2K for an MTM Rad Watch (  I also do not get any sponsorship from any radiation detector vendor. However, I do suggest that people purchase a basic alpha, beta, gamma detector device, and use it to explore anyplace then spend significant time.  This includes homes, hotels, office or work areas, and prospective new homes. Forums » Powered by YaBB 2.1!
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