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Mini Review:  PALESSE 26K-86 Geiger Counter (Read 474 times)
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Mini Review:  PALESSE 26K-86 Geiger Counter
Apr 13th, 2021, 2:07pm
 
Mini Review:  PALESSE 26K-86 Geiger Counter
Part 1 of 2

 
 
Here on Linuxslate.com, I have reviewed a number of Geiger Counters/Ionizing Radiation Detectors/Dosimeters from former Soviet Union countries.
 
Here are the links to some of these reviews and also a couple of unboxing videos:
Overall Buyers Guide (Covers more than just the Soviet/Eastern ones)
Review DRSB-88 (Russian)
Review Ecotest МКS-05 "Terra-P" (Ukraine)
Review Rodnik 3 (Russia)    -     Unboxing Video Rodnik 3
Review Soeks 112 (Russia/USA)  -  Unboxing Video Soeks 112
Review SEARCH-2 (Belarus)
 
Now it's time for a confession:  When I purchased the SEARCH-2, I didn't want the Search-2. I wanted the PALESSE 26K-86 (Cyrillic: ПАЛЕССЕ 26K-86).  At the time I couldn't find anyone selling a PALESSE 26K-86.
 
Only a few months after I purchased the SEARCH-2, the same Etsy Vendor offered a PALESSE 26K-86 for sale, so I went for it.  This actually worked out pretty well since each detector has its own strengths a weaknesses.
 
I would also like to mention that the unit arrived from Belarus in about 10 days.  Etsy seller vasiltubes deserves a mention.
 
Due to the rarity of the PALESSE 26K-86, I don't think a full review is necessary. The following mini-review is all I plan to do for this collectable vintage Russian Geiger Counter.
 

          PALESSE 26K-86
 
As with all of these devices, the PALESSE 26K-86 is often referred to as a "Dosimeter".  It even has Dosimeter written on the back label in Cryllic lettering. However, of all of these devices mentioned above, only the Ecotest МКS-05 "Terra-P" is capable of measuring accumulated dose.  The PALESSE 26K-86 only shows an instantaneous radiation level reading.  Yes, instantaneous or acute dose, is still a dosimeter, but I just wanted to make the distinction clear.  These devices do not work like, nor perform the same function as a dosimeter pen or badge.
 
The PALESSE 26K-86 is, however, a true Geiger counter.  Like the SEARCH-2, it has 2 Geiger tubes that run most of the length of the device.  But the Tubes used in the PALESSE 26K-86 lack the open ends of the SBM-9 tubes in the SEARCH-2.  In addtion, the plastic case of the PALESSE 26K-86 completely surrounds both of the SBM-20 tubes.  The result is a unit that is very sensitive to Gamma Radiation, but not Alpha or Beta.
 
In a nuclear accident or attack, this would be advantageous since the real (acute) harm is done by Gamma Rays. For a use like Antique shopping or mineral prospecting however, one would want something like the removable door of the Terra-P, the open ends of the STREAM-2, or the slots on the back of the Rodnik 3.  Overall, however, Size matters in Geiger Tubes, and having 2 SBM-20's makes the  
PALESSE 26K-86 very fast and sensitive for it's intended purpose.
 
The speed at which it gives a valid reading is demonstrated when it is first powered on.  The unit starts with the top most, or highest level LED flashing.  Assuming  (hoping) you are not in an area of extreme radiation, it begins dropping.  This accomplishes two things:  First, it serves as a test of each LED.  Secondly, it never shows a falsely low radiation level -- it errs on the side of caution.
 
If the unit is started in "Search" (поиск) mode, and you are not in an area of high radiation, it will count down through each LED, until the last one goes out.  It is important to start the unit in Search mode (Right switch down).  Search mode has both a higher scale range, and a shorter time constant than "Measure" (измер).  If the unit is started in Measure mode, it will take quite some time for the reading to settle out into anything meaningful.
 
Regardless of mode, a piezo speaker gives audible clicks for each event detected as one would expect for such a device.  As mentioned, there is no accumulated dose, and no settings for alarm level.  A dangerous area or object would result in a steady stream of clicks -- just like in Chernobyl -- the place or the movie.
 
As a reviewer, I also need to point out the size of this device.  It is overall about twice the size of the SEARCH-2 or the Terra-P (about 190mm long).  It is not going to be carried in a pocket, or carried or used discretely at all.  That said, it is a nice size to hold, and it has the advantage of getting the device a bit closer to an object or area without the user getting quite as close.
 
Continued Below.
 
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« Last Edit: Apr 16th, 2021, 10:05pm by Administrator »  

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Re: Mini Review:  PALESSE 26K-86 Geiger Counter
Reply #1 - Apr 13th, 2021, 2:36pm
 
Mini Review:  PALESSE 26K-86 Geiger Counter
Part 2 of 2

 
Note:  Part 2 was lost due to administrator error.  What follows is a rewrite.
 
The enclosure of the PALESSE 26K-86 is not as sturdy or industrial as the other units I have reviewed.  The entire front of the PALESSE 26K-86 is actually the translucent red plastic typically used as a bezel filter for LEDs or LED displays. In the right light, you can actually see the components inside.  This also makes it much thinner than the plastic used on most of the other units.  The PC board is not conformal coated.  These factors all make for something that has a definite consumer or household feel to it.  It don't think fare as well as the SEARCH-2 or Rodnik 3 if it were dropped onto a hard surface or if it were sat on.  Mine arrived with some small chips out of the corners, and the case creaks if squeezed slightly or otherwise manipulated.
 
The PALESSE 26K-86 runs on 4 standard 'AA' batteries.  As I mention in the Buyers Guide, in a Civil Defense emergency, having a unit that runs on readily available batteries could be important.  
 
Overall, the PALESSE 26K-86 is fully function for both finding radioactive objects, or sampling ambient radiation levels in an area.  Both the PALESSE 26K-86 and the SEARCH-2 use only a series of LEDs as a display, and while the PALESSE 26K-86 has 14 LEDs compared to the 9 LEDs in the SEARCH-2, that is probably still not sufficient resolution to detect the radiation in a bundle of bananas or that stack of tile you are considering for your bathroom remodel.  
 
In the review of the SEARCH-2, I state the following: "In an actual radiation emergency, it would be better than nothing, but for those wanting to explore the ever present, but unseen world of ionizing radiation that surrounds us all, or have a true concern about encountering hazardous items or places, a more functional Geiger counter and true dosimeter is recommended.". While I would probably say the same about the PALESSE 26K-86, I will add that if it were a little more durable, it would actually be a good thing to have in a radiation emergency.
 
 
So Have I Found Anything Radio Active?
 
Obviously, a device like the PALESSE 26K-86 proves its worth by actually finding something radioactive. So have I actually found anything radioactive with my PALESSE 26K-86? --- Well -- Sort of.
 
As mentioned in the other review updates I like to take a radiation meter with me when going to flea markets and antique stores. I went to the same flea market where I found my "bit of hyperactive nature", and this time I was carrying my PALESSE 26K-86.  As I walked down one of the isles, I overheard one vendor loudly and emphatically telling another vendor "It's Radioactive!  Look it says it right here. It really is Radioactive!"  As you can probably guess, this got my attention.  Having actually past the booths where where this conversation was happening, I turned around, and went to see what the vendor was going on about.
 
The vendor was waiving around an old yellow Civil Defense (CD) radiation meter.  As these meters often do, it had a small test sample attached to the side. The vendor did not have any batteries for the CD radiation meter, so I offered to show him that the test source was in fact radioactive.  I produced my PALESSE 26K-86 from my back pocket (fortunately, my tactical pants have very large back pockets), and the PALESSE 26K-86 reacted almost immediately to the test source.
 
The vendor seemed very gratified by this, and mentioned that he had a dozen or so of these CD radiation meters.  I answered a few questions for him about replacement batteries, the headphones that can be used with these meters, and their value in working and non-working condition.
 
I also found out that the discussion about radioactivity actually started because the other vendor had some Vaseline glass tableware.  I placed the PALESSE 26K-86 on top of a stack of Vaseline glass plates, and after a short time, it indicated a few LEDs higher than the background level.  The vendor selling the Vaseline glass seemed to be a little disappointed at loosing the radioactivity contest.
 
I explained that the PALESSE 26K-86 reacted only mildly because first, most Vaseline glass is only mildly radioactive, and second, the PALESSE 26K-86 did not have any way to expose the Geiger-Muller tubes, and much of the radiation for Vaseline glass is alpha (α) particles.
 
So it's a bit of a stretch to say that the PALESSE 26K-86 "found" the radioactive item, when that item was bright yellow and being waived around by someone yelling "It's Radioactive!, It's Radioactive!", but it does show how a use for the PALESSE 26K-86 happened in a totally unexpected way.
 
 
Teaser:
 
Another product will be reviewed soon here on Linuxslate.com and a review/usage video will be posted to YouTube.  To be alerted to the video and review, subscribe to the CarCynic YouTube Channel.
 
And ... Yes, there will be both a Radiation, and a Linux aspect to it.   Wink
 
UPDATE:  The Product referenced above is the Polimaster PM1208M "Gamma Detector" watch.
The Review discussion (with links to videos) is here:
http://linuxslate.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1627308877
 
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« Last Edit: Aug 3rd, 2021, 4:57pm by Administrator »  

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