Shortly after the movie Prometheus hit theaters, Phil posted this on Twitter:
“If I ever go to an alien planet, I’m bringing a Giger counter. #ThingsILearnedFomSciFIMovies”
…which, of course, made me think, “I need a Giger counter”. And what’s the first thing you do when you want to build something in the style of H. R. Giger? That’s right, go out for some ribs…
So I headed over to a local science shop I frequent. It’s a dark, dusty and foreboding mad scientist’s emporium, hidden in a back alley on the dodgy end of town, and catering to even dodgier clientele.
…or possibly it’s a well-lit (if a bit cluttered) store in a strip mall, somewhere between Space Savers and Outback Steakhouse. But they do have a giant lizard …named Ozzy.
I wandered around for a bit, until the proprietor asked me what I was looking for. I told him I needed a 1/2 scale human skeleton. He paused briefly, walked over to a shelf, picked up an unmarked white box and handed it to me.
It’s that kind of place.
The rib cage and spine looked like they’d make a good base for my H. R. Giger stuff. (Note: H. R. Gigerstuff was by far the creepiest Sid & Marty Krofft show ever. And that’s saying something.)
I figured it’d be nice if the thing contained a Geiger counter, so I picked up this kit from Adafruit. Yes, it’s an actual Geiger counter. It goes “bip” and everything.
I altered it a bit to move the LED to a more convenient spot (the base of the skull).
The case ended up being mostly bits of the skeleton, plus some flexible conduit. A piece of spine turned out to make a nice grip.
It’s pretty much just a bunch of those pieces stuck together, painted dark metallic (I think the color was Carbon Mist), with the Geiger counter crammed inside. The circuit board’s wrapped in black plastic mesh to camouflage it a bit.
Here’s a video of it in action. Unfortunately (or fortunately, to be perfectly honest), there’s not a lot of radioactivity in my house, so this is about 1 minute of me waving the thing around, and it responding by going “bip” occasionally. The spooky lighting and music help a bit.
- No, Phil didn’t make a typo. It’s a pun.
- Yes, it’s pronounced “geeger”. Just go with it.