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The APOC is a gamma particle detector that will help you learn about radiation and find radioactive things! Read more

Seattle, WA Hardware
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This project was successfully funded on April 19, 2013.

The APOC is a gamma particle detector that will help you learn about radiation and find radioactive things!

Seattle, WA Hardware
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About this project

Preorder a Radioactive Sample to Test Your APOC on!

APOC Advanced Progress Report - April 17th


iPhone & Android APOC app! Do you know what's better than an APOC?!? Nothing. BUT an app that allows you to stream data from your APOC and APOC Advanced to your phone would be pretty great! If we reach $30,000 of funding we will develop and release an app that will display and graph APOC data though audio port (Basic) or bluetooth (Advanced)!

APOC T-Shirt Design!

Designed by Mason Robison -
Designed by Mason Robison -

APOC Progress Update - Mar 24th

APOC IN ACTION! Radioactive Iodine-131!

Featured On:

"The APOC is a fully-featured, mini gamma-ray detector with an open-sourced software that allows users to see energy level data."

"APOC: Mini Radiation Detector may not help you fend off scavengers or build impromptu shelters, but it will let you know if that water bottle you found is safe to drink from."

Why a Radiation Detector?

Radiation is something we hear about quite often, whether is it in the news or brought up in a random conversation. However, what many of us don't realize is that radiation is all around us, from seemingly harmless appliances to rocks and gravel along a hiking trail.

Unfortunately, Geiger counters are expensive and bulky, so radiation remains a mystery to many.

Well, we've decided to change that with the APOC Mini Radiation Detector! It's a small, but powerful detector that's easy to use! Curious about how radioactive everyday objects are? This Kickstarter is for you!

Our Story

We're Matt & David, and we love inventing and building fun, interesting, and useful things! When we first heard that some everyday objects (like ceramic bowls) can be radioactive, we wanted to measure it. So we came up with a low-cost, easy way to measure the amount of radiation from these everyday objects.

We'd love to start doing this more, and we want to start this journey by sharing our first project, the APOC Detector.

Matt & David
Matt & David

Open Source Hardware and Software!

Our goal with the APOC is to inspire more people to be excited about hardware and radiation! For that reason, we plan to open source both the hardware and the software for the APOC Basic! Keep an eye on this Kickstarter as we start to roll out more updates for people to get an inside look of the APOC!

Bill of Materials

To Be Announced! (But we know for sure that it will include photodiodes and plastic)

Finalizing the prototype!
Finalizing the prototype!

The Rewards

We have three rewards for people who want to get their own radiation detector, from a kit, to a basic model, to a fully-featured model that you can reprogram and send/receive data through Bluetooth to your computer or smartphone!

The Kit ($50)

The kit comes with everything you need to build your own basic APOC Detector! It's great for people who want to learn more about how gamma-ray detectors work, and feel the reward of soldering and assembling your own detector!

You'll need a soldering iron and solder to assemble the kit.

The APOC ($100)

The APOC will come fully assembled, and ready to go! It runs on a standard 9V battery (included) and outputs analog data which can be interpreted by audio ports.

The APOC Advanced ($150)

The APOC Advanced comes with an onboard micro-controller and will be reprogrammable and can send data with Bluetooth, so you can write custom apps to connect the APOC to your smartphone or laptop!

The Super Combo ($200)

The super combo will include the APOC Advanced, a radioactive source disk (so you can test your detector right away!), and a T-shirt!


Compact, portable design.

The APOC is designed so that you can take it with you, whether on a hiking trip, around your house, or to a classroom!

Communicates with You

The APOC is a fully-featured gamma-ray detector, and allows you to see the data! It plugs into your computer through an audio cable or Bluetooth (advanced model only). 

Using our open-source software, you can view the energy levels of each gamma particle!

Rechargeable Battery (Advanced model only)

The advanced model comes with a rechargeable battery, so that you get a more compact and integrated design.

10 Reasons Why You Need One!

  • You're on the hunt for radioactive objects!
  • Cool Clicks and Blinking LED when Gamma is Detected
  • Great for teaching or learning about radiation!
  • Curious about potentially radioactive objects
  • Impress your physics teacher (and get extra credit!)
  • You handle/work with radioactive things and want to have a handy tool (disclaimer: not a replacement for a commercially certified detector)
  • You think nuclear armageddon is coming and want to stock pile radiation detectors. (They laugh now, but wait till the mutants come!)
  • Measure Cosmic Radiation
  • You like to build cool kits!
  • You want a gamma detector but don't want to pay hundreds of dollars

Production Plan

From prototyping to fulfillment we've split up our production process to a five part plan starting from the launch of the Kickstarter.

Phase One (Now - End of Kickstarter)

We currently have a working prototype of the basic model and the advanced model is nearly finished. We will be using the duration of the Kickstarter to finish the Advanced APOC and finalize all the components for both models. Meanwhile we will be updating our progress with all our Kickstarter backers!

Phase Two (Mid-April - May)

Once we get a good idea for the quantities of each reward level, we will order the parts from Mouser for all the APOCs. We intend to assemble the APOCs in-house to make sure our backers get the best we can offer!

Phase Three (May - June)

After we get the parts, we will begin to build and assemble everyone's rewards! To make things more interesting, we will build a robot that will assist us in the process! I think our backers would appreciate the knowledge that robotic labor went into the fulfillment of their rewards.

Phase Four (Early - Mid-July)

Packing Party! We will be packaging up everyone's rewards and shipping them out! The sooner we get fully backed the sooner you'll get your APOC Detectors!

Phase Five (July - End of Time)

We'll be sticking around and checking our inboxes to hear about the cool things you're doing with the APOC detectors! We will also be available to answer questions that you may have regarding the assembly and use of your detectors.

Risks and challenges

The challenge was making a radiation detector that could detect energy levels of individual photons while keeping it small and light enough to be used as a handheld device or mounted on a near-space balloon.

The current device we're launching is the 5th iteration and 2nd working prototype. With the funding we hope to raise from Kickstarter, we will be able to provide all our backers with the most reliable and compact gamma particle detector!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • A typical Geiger counter uses a Geiger-Mueller tube which is a tube with a thin wire inside with a high voltage delivered to it. This causes the gas inside the tube to be ionized to a specific voltage. Every time a particle (alpha, beta, gamma) passes through the tube, it causes a discharge and the voltage drops in the tube. A circuit checks for voltage drop and clicks every time it occurs. (Not all Geiger counters can detect alpha and beta)

    The APOC uses a bank of photodiodes that has been shielded to discriminate all particles except high energy X-ray and gamma particles. The photodiodes are reverse biased and create a photocurrent (flow of electrons) that correspond to the energy of the particle that passes through. The current versions of the APOC does not detect beta or alpha particles.

    Last updated:
  • The radioactive source disk included in the SUPER COMBO will be a set uranium and thorium samples in different measured quantities sealed in disks. With these source disks you will be able start detecting gamma particles from uranium and thorium right out of the box! Don't worry, the source disks are perfectly safe as long as you don't swallow them.

    Last updated:
  • it's called the APOC because it is short for APOCalypse! Matt is a big fan of the Fallout games and we thought it would be clever to name the device so that it would be suited for a post-nuclear war scenario.

    Of course it doesn't have to be used for this purpose, but it can. Just in case.

    Last updated:
  • The Advanced APOC will be built from surface mounted parts so that it will be very efficient and compact. However, this would make a poor kit for anyone that has ever tried surface mounting parts due to the tools and set up needed to do it properly.

    However, if you still really really want a kit, send us a message and we'll try to work something out with you!

    Last updated:
  • Well, both really.

    It is a small handheld gamma particle detector that detects individual quanta!

    Last updated:


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    Thanks for your support! Your name will be included on our website's backers page!

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    APOC T-Shirt: Get a custom designed APOC Radiation Detector T-Shirt as a token of gratitude for your support!

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    APOC KIT: Everything you need to build your own Basic APOC Detector! Comes unassembled with instructions and enclosure.

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    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Get a fully assembled Basic APOC detector with enclosure at this Limited Quantity price!

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    THE APOC: One fully assembled handheld particle detector with custom enclosure! Can detect gamma particles.

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    121 backers

    APOC ADVANCED: Includes all the functionality of the basic model AND is reprogrammable, communicates with Bluetooth, and comes fully assembled with a rechargeable battery.

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    23 backers

    SUPER COMBO: Get an APOC Advanced, Radioactive Source Disk, AND T-Shirt!

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    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (60 days)