I have a Science Fair project which is due in a month, and I have decided to create an ionizing radiation detector for my project. I want to create a detector that either sends a value of the amount of radiation to a LCD screen or causes a LED to light up and a Piezo speaker to beep when detecting radiation. I'd like the project to detect the radiation from Americium in a smoke detector, assuming it is safe to do so.
I have an Arduino, a breadboard, and some other parts.
I know that for this project I'll need a Geiger Counter. I was thinking of getting a SI3BG geiger counter on Ebay, but they are all shipped from Ukraine so it would take a week or two to get here. Does anyone have an idea of how I could safely build/buy a Geiger Counter for $20-30 or less? I live in Canada so I'd prefer to buy everything from a North American store.
If it would work, I saw this article on building a Geiger counter using parts which would be easier for me to obtain. It involves 8 PIN photodiodes and uses an app on a phone for calculations. Would it be feasible to replace the app with a program on an Arduino? Is this an easier way to create a sensor?
Also, would the SI3BG detect Americium from a smoke detector, and would it be safe to do so? Would I need to take apart the smoke detector? What would I need to connect the Geiger counter to my Arduino? Is it as simple as connecting jumper cables via a breadboard? And would sending a value to a LCD/LED screen work, or would I need to use a Piezo speaker? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.