Portable Radiation Detection

Go-Anywhere, Read-Anywhere: Multi-Color LCD Module

The Customer

A company that builds radiation detection products needed a custom portable LCD radiation detector. The unit must provide a visible indication of radiation levels, so users could work uninterrupted without having to check the numbers on the readout—unless things got hairy.

The Job

They asked FocusLCDs.com to create a uniquely sized, multi-color TFT display module that could indicate radiation levels at a glance:

  • Green to indicate levels are safe
  • Yellow and blinking slowly to warn that levels are increasing
  • Red—very bright and blinking rapidly, indicating “Run like mad!”

The unit had to operate on a battery, and be readable as easily in the dark as in direct sunlight.

The Solution

Because we care about radiation detection as much as the next guy, we immediately advised against a TFT display—they perform poorly in direct sunlight, are expensive to customize (tooling costs for their required size start around $250K), and suck power—not ideal for a unit that operates on a battery.

An off-the-shelf monochrome (photo) display also wouldn’t work on its own because of its single-color background* (as its name might suggest…) We tooled up a custom monochrome display to the customer’s exact size specifications. Then, we added a custom R.G.B. (red/green/blue) LED backlight with adjustable brightness.

The result: an LCD module with green, yellow, or red backlight, static or blinking, with adjustable brightness, readable in direct sunlight made to their exact dimensions (up to 10.4”).

The Bottom Line

The total tooling cost was $2,800 with a yearly MOQ (minimum order quantity) of 1K units.

The Satisfaction

Our customer re-orders this display year after year. And has since been back to us to customize two additional designs.

But Enough About Us

Talk to us today about your LCD needs. To help us better serve you, please let us know the following:

  1. Where will the production units be built (US/Canada or offshore)?
  2. Is the design new or crossing over from a competitor? If a competitor, please list.
  3. Does the unit need to be sunlight readable?
  4. Is it battery powered?


Contact Us Form


*Monochrome displays are excellent in direct sunlight!