High Schooler Builds Portable X-Ray Machine

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High Schooler Builds Portable X-Ray Machine

Student puts other high school science projects to shame.

With a bit of research and tenacity, a high school student by the name of Adam Munich has completed probably one of the most interesting science projects to date: a fully-operational, portable, battery-powered X-ray machine.

Munich was inspired to build the portable device after speaking with two friends online, one of whom lived in Pakistan and complained about the rolling electricity blackouts affecting his country, and another whose local hospital had problems finding a working X-ray machine to help him deal with a broken leg. After doing some research and learning that there actually aren't any portable, battery powered X-ray machines out there, Munich took it upon himself to build one from scratch.

Munich started this ambitious project by reading online about the inner workings of Coolidge tubes (the radiation-emitting cores of most commercial machines) and was able to buy one from a manufacturer located in China.

"The rest was puzzle-solving," Munich says. "For something like this, there's no guide."

Munich then spent the next two years constructing the X-ray device out of some old art suitcases, chainsaw oil and a mix of electronics he acquired from around the world. And just to be sure he wasn't going to irradiate himself, Munich also constructed a Geiger counter to measure the device's output.

The entire device cost Munich approximately $700 dollars, and while he's only used the device to X-ray some household items, he also believes it could be used for hands and limbs as well. Currently, Munich's working to make a more durable, cheaper version of his device.

Source: Popular Science

Permalink

Well, this guy is a genius or something.
Certainly more complicated than anything I've done.

My High School career is now coming to a close. I realize that I've done nothing even close as amazing as this.

It's kind of depressing.

Still, it's a nice machine. I'm sure if this guy is smart he'd be able to sell that for quite a bit. Or patent it or something.

Now if only we could attach a high speed camera to it, UFC fights would get really interesting.

WMDogma:
Munich started this ambitious project by reading online about the inner workings of Coolidge tubes (the radiation-emitting cores of most commercial machines) and was able to buy one from a manufacturer located in China.

As awesome as this is, and make no mistake it's totally awesome, this particular sentence jumped out at me. You can just buy Coolidge tubes now? Because if so, I am so going to build me some sort of awesome x-ray based thingamajig! Perhaps some sort of cannon...

Well, he needs to get this patented straight away. I can't see why this couldn't be an invention that makes him a lot of money.

If he can do it, then dammit, so can I!!

Course, I do physiology at uni, not physics; electricity and radiation aren't exactly my strong suits...

I wonder if it's medically aprroved. I would'nt want to get cancer becuase I had a broken leg.

1.) Why is this guy named after the city I live in?
2.) Well, now let's hope Adam didn't ruin the lives of all those mini-Adams to come ... On the other hand, he's a scientist... Oh well ...

wowza that's insanely cool, especially for one kid to do (2 years nonetheless, i definitely don't have that dedication if I don't have a guide on to what i'm doing)

in b4 "meh, i've done better at half that age!" old farts

WMDogma:

there actually aren't any portable, battery powered X-ray machines out there.

Such devices do exist, most radiology departments will have them for patients that are too ill to come to the department. Though the fact he built such a device from stratch is damn impressive (it's alot smaller that clinical ones too), wonder what output it can give.

I'm actually not a big fan of this.

X-ray machines are not meant as a toy or plaything - I really hope the guy is very serious when he uses it.

Thedutchjelle:
I'm actually not a big fan of this.

X-ray machines are not meant as a toy or plaything - I really hope the guy is very serious when he uses it.

Agreed, as impressive the feat is the tube is dangerous if used incorrectly...and i don't imagine he's got a system for effectivly controlling the output...or making everyone in the room wear lead..

Brb, ordering radioactive stuff in China.

Lectori Salutem:
Brb, ordering radioactive stuff in China.

Light bulbs are not radioactive.

Okay, okay, they are not light bulbs, they are vacuum tubes.

Saulkar:

Lectori Salutem:
Brb, ordering radioactive stuff in China.

Light bulbs are not radioactive.

Okay, okay, they are not light bulbs, they are vacuum tubes.

Neither are Coolidge Tubes. They use a tungsten filament. They just emit X-Ray radiation. But I'm being overly pedantic.

Andrew_C:

Saulkar:

Lectori Salutem:
Brb, ordering radioactive stuff in China.

Light bulbs are not radioactive.

Okay, okay, they are not light bulbs, they are vacuum tubes.

Neither are Coolidge Tubes. They use a tungsten filament. They just emit X-Ray radiation. But I'm being overly pedantic.

Coolidge Tubes are vacuum tubes (which look like light bulbs), just fancier. ;)

He is a genius for building it.

However, the better question is if he was smart for making a portable radiation machine that isn't weighed down by lead.

Meh... Its no powerarmor, made from a box of scraps... In a cave.

razer17:
Well, he needs to get this patented straight away. I can't see why this couldn't be an invention that makes him a lot of money.

I hope he already did patent it, because (at least according to German/European patent laws) he cannot do that anymore since the invention is now published.

Delimit:

WMDogma:

there actually aren't any portable, battery powered X-ray machines out there.

Such devices do exist, most radiology departments will have them for patients that are too ill to come to the department. Though the fact he built such a device from stratch is damn impressive (it's alot smaller that clinical ones too), wonder what output it can give.

I cannot give you numbers, but once the accelleration voltage is built up, single snapshots of Roentgen rays do not need a lot of energy. A common car battery should be sufficient to power the actual electron beam (it does not need much more energy than a high-powered light bulb).
Building the acceleration voltage might take a lot of power, but once this is built up, it should remain stable. For hospital/emergency service use, the device could remain hooked up to external components that build up the charge, so the battery would only be needed to maintain it.

I would also expect modern tubes to be more efficient than those in old CRT screens, and even those could hold their charge (about 10kV) for a surprisingly long time, putting their power consumption at about the level of a non-LED-lit flatscreen.

What I am trying to say is: Once you get over the initial burst to charge the tube, you would need about 100W, at most. Car batteries (which he likely used) can provide up to about 12kW in short bursts, and should be able to handle even the charging current.

WMDogma:
High Schooler Builds Portable X-Ray Machine

image

Student puts other high school science projects to shame.

With a bit of research and tenacity, a high school student by the name of Adam Munich has completed probably one of the most interesting science projects to date: a fully-operational, portable, battery-powered X-ray machine.

Munich was inspired to build the portable device after speaking with two friends online, one of whom lived in Pakistan and complained about the rolling electricity blackouts affecting his country, and another whose local hospital had problems finding a working X-ray machine to help him deal with a broken leg. After doing some research and learning that there actually aren't any portable, battery powered X-ray machines out there, Munich took it upon himself to build one from scratch.

Munich started this ambitious project by reading online about the inner workings of Coolidge tubes (the radiation-emitting cores of most commercial machines) and was able to buy one from a manufacturer located in China.

"The rest was puzzle-solving," Munich says. "For something like this, there's no guide."

Munich then spent the next two years constructing the X-ray device out of some old art suitcases, chainsaw oil and a mix of electronics he acquired from around the world. And just to be sure he wasn't going to irradiate himself, Munich also constructed a Geiger counter to measure the device's output.

The entire device cost Munich approximately $700 dollars, and while he's only used the device to X-ray some household items, he also believes it could be used for hands and limbs as well. Currently, Munich's working to make a more durable, cheaper version of his device.

Source & Image: Popular Science

Permalink

Your source is broken. "Page not found"

Either you did a bad link or they took it down.

Saulkar:

Andrew_C:

Saulkar:

Light bulbs are not radioactive.

Okay, okay, they are not light bulbs, they are vacuum tubes.

Neither are Coolidge Tubes. They use a tungsten filament. They just emit X-Ray radiation. But I'm being overly pedantic.

Coolidge Tubes are vacuum tubes (which look like light bulbs), just fancier. ;)

I know that, they are a very specific sort of vacuum tube. like I said I was being overly pedantic.

I also think it's wonderful that there are still places were it's OK for teenagers to do stuff like this.

It could well be a fake. The source page has been taken down and there's nothing else to go off. The only person claiming it works is the person who made it and even then they only go so far as to say it's been used on household items.

It smells and I'm calling it. Fake.

gmaverick019:

in b4 "meh, i've done better at half that age!" old farts

*que grumpy old man voice* back in my day we walked 600 kilometers through the snow with a broken spine, grazed elbows and three broken legs just to think about inventing a portable xray machine, and don't even get me started on actually building the damn thing...

Kids these days... *shakes fist*

Saulkar:

Lectori Salutem:
Brb, ordering radioactive stuff in China.

Light bulbs are not radioactive.

Okay, okay, they are not light bulbs, they are vacuum tubes.

X-ray emitting vacuum tubes... Close enough.
In before '50s X-ray gun :D

Some_weirdGuy:

gmaverick019:

in b4 "meh, i've done better at half that age!" old farts

*que grumpy old man voice* back in my day we walked 600 kilometers through the snow with a broken spine, grazed elbows and three broken legs just to think about inventing a portable xray machine, and don't even get me started on actually building the damn thing...

Kids these days... *shakes fist*

hahaha, was a nice quote to wake up to.

but, in reality, was just sayin, sometimes there are very bitter old people on here who snuff at anything young people seem to accomplish.

Grey Day for Elcia:
It could well be a fake. The source page has been taken down and there's nothing else to go off. The only person claiming it works is the person who made it and even then they only go so far as to say it's been used on household items.

It smells and I'm calling it. Fake.

http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2012-04/you-built-what-portable-x-ray-machine

source works fine for me maybe its a regional thing, can screenshot if need be.

bahumat42:

Grey Day for Elcia:
It could well be a fake. The source page has been taken down and there's nothing else to go off. The only person claiming it works is the person who made it and even then they only go so far as to say it's been used on household items.

It smells and I'm calling it. Fake.

http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2012-04/you-built-what-portable-x-ray-machine

source works fine for me maybe its a regional thing, can screenshot if need be.

Oh really? That's... weird. I don't see any reason for it to be region locked (I'm in Australia). Maybe a server issue? Odd.

Page Not Found
The page you were looking for could not be found.

Please click the following to link to open the homepage or click on one of the sections below.

That's all I get. WEIRD.

Grey Day for Elcia:

bahumat42:

Grey Day for Elcia:
It could well be a fake. The source page has been taken down and there's nothing else to go off. The only person claiming it works is the person who made it and even then they only go so far as to say it's been used on household items.

It smells and I'm calling it. Fake.

http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2012-04/you-built-what-portable-x-ray-machine

source works fine for me maybe its a regional thing, can screenshot if need be.

Oh really? That's... weird. I don't see any reason for it to be region locked (I'm in Australia). Maybe a server issue? Odd.

Page Not Found
The page you were looking for could not be found.

Please click the following to link to open the homepage or click on one of the sections below.

The reasons for the locking rarely make sense, its the reason i can't watch jon stewart :(

but OT did you want a screenshot of the page?
That's all I get. WEIRD.

bahumat42:

Grey Day for Elcia:

bahumat42:

http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2012-04/you-built-what-portable-x-ray-machine

source works fine for me maybe its a regional thing, can screenshot if need be.

Oh really? That's... weird. I don't see any reason for it to be region locked (I'm in Australia). Maybe a server issue? Odd.

Page Not Found
The page you were looking for could not be found.

Please click the following to link to open the homepage or click on one of the sections below.

The reasons for the locking rarely make sense, its the reason i can't watch jon stewart :(

but OT did you want a screenshot of the page?
That's all I get. WEIRD.

You can't watch Jon Stewart? Well that's... dumb.

Nah, no thanks. I'll take your word for it. Just super weird that it's not coming through for me. Such is life!

Dies from radiation exposure.

To be honest, this kicks ass. It´s a 700$ X-ray machine. A Seven Hundred Dollar X-ray Machine that is portable. A regular machine costs anywhere between 6000-7000 dollars. He made one for a tenth of the price. The X-ray even seems accurate enough to be used as a diagnostic device or for security checks.

If this goes through and he patents it he could make allot of money from this. Tons of benefit organizations or poorer hospitals would kill for a 700$ portable x-ray device they could just stuff in the back of a Jeep and drive to a village with.

Hoping this is not a hoax.

razer17:
Well, he needs to get this patented straight away. I can't see why this couldn't be an invention that makes him a lot of money.

Indeed. Assuming it was perfectly safe to use on people I can't see how a portable battery powered X-Ray wouldn't be useful, particularly in countries which don't have access to this stuff as readily as we do. And $700 to build? Damn that strikes me as being cheap.

DVS BSTrD:
Now if only we could attach a high speed camera to it, UFC fights would get really interesting.

It would turn into the special attacks during Mortal Kombat. I like your thinking.

So who else when they read this thought he made it to see through clothes at his high school?

Delimit:

WMDogma:

there actually aren't any portable, battery powered X-ray machines out there.

Such devices do exist, most radiology departments will have them for patients that are too ill to come to the department. Though the fact he built such a device from stratch is damn impressive (it's alot smaller that clinical ones too), wonder what output it can give.

the ones you are thinking about are indeed portable, but not something you could throw in the back seat and carry by hand where you need to go.

Even then, they cost more than $700 to buy.

For something as simple as allowing the ability to x-ray patients nearly anywhere due to being battery powered would be helpful to first responders in any country.

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