Berkeley Model 2080 Scaler Counter (ca. 1950s)


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The Berkeley Model 2080 is a real treasure. Still, I can't help but wish we had its predessor, the Model 80. Maybe one day.

The Model 80 was the first commercially available portable scaler. It came along in 1950. Until then all survey meters were ratemeters, that is they recorded a count rate (e.g., cpm) or exposure rate (e.g., mR/hr). Being scalers, the Model 80 and Model 2080 recorded the count over a specific time interval. The result was a measurement with less statistical uncertainty.

The Model 2080 doesn't seem to have been produced for any significant period of time. The earliest advertisement I have found for it was from November 1953 and the last was from June of 1954. I am guessing that it was simply outperformed by a compeditor, the Hoffman Countmaster, that appeared on the market in 1955 or perhaps late 1954. The problem with the Berkeley Model 2080 was that it employed a cumbersome "scale-of-eight" system whereas the count on the Countmaster could be read directly from the display.

The scale-of-eight system worked as follows: With the first count, the needle on the dial (upper left) would move from 0 to 1. With the second count, the needle went to 2. When the count reached 8, the needle went back to 0 and the mechanical register (upper right) turned over to 1. To determine the total count, you multiplied the number on the register by eight and added the number indicated by the needle. The count was started and stopped with the push of a button and the count time was determined with a watch.

Detector:  One 1B85 GM tube Model 2080A. Two other models (2080H and 2080T) employed Anton Model 201H and 201T end window GM tubes.

Meter scale: 0 7 (analog), 0-9999 (digital register)

Size: ca. 6 x  10 x  6

Batteries:  six 1.5 volt D cells plus one 45 volt  


Nucleonics. May 1950, p. 83. advertisement.

Nucleonics. November 1953, p. 79. advertisement.

Nucleonics. May 1954, p. 67. advertisement.

Nucleonics. May 1954, p. 67. advertisement.

Thanks go to Chuck Abraham for helping locate this item.

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Last updated: 05/10/11
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