Civil Defense R&D Prototypes

Prototype CDV Instrument Development and Research

While the civil defense instrumentation group had plenty of money for procurement, relatively little was available for research and development (R&D). What R&D did occur was often handled by folks such as Frank Manning and Robert Maples at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Stanley Kronenberg with the Army (New Jersey).

One of the ground rules in the R&D contracts was that no contract money could be spent on packaging. Hence, the prototypes often used the yellow cases from old CD V-700 or 710 instruments.

It was also necessary that the prototypes conformed to specific physical dimensions as well as chamber and calibration control locations so that they would be compatible with calibration units such as the CD V-794.

Alas, many prototypes never went into production.

Designation Description
CD V-711BX Oak Ridge National Laboratory "remote Reading Fixed Station Radiation Monitor. Began development February 1961 and completed in FY 1962. It became the CD V-711.
CD V-715BX Bendix Corp. began development on this "remote reading survey meter" in April of 1961 and completed development in FY 1962. This became the CD V-717.
CD V-716X Victoreen prototype of what became the CD V-715. Project completed in FY 1961.
CD V-726A Anton Electronic Laboratories (aka Lionel Electronic Laboratories) began development of a "citizen survey meter" in August of 1959 and completed this work in FY 1962. This meter employed a standard GM detector and it had a logarithmic readout with a range of 1-100 R/hr. See photo below.
CD V-726BX Bendix Corp. began working on this "Citizens Survey Meter" in October 1959 and completed its development in FY 1962. This was a quartz fiber pocket dosimeter that operated in the rate mode 1-100 R/hr.
CD V-726DX Lionel developed a prototype citizens survey meter that consisted of a CD V-726AX type GM detector incorporated into a portable radio. Under development in 1961. 0-100 R/hr.
CD V-731X A quartz fiber dosimeter (a modified CD V-730) with built-in piezoelectric charger under development by Bendix in 1961. 0-20 roentgen. See photo below. This device was the brainchild of Lauriston Taylor at the National Bureau of Standards. His interview in the BRH "Vignettes of Early Radiation Workers" series shows him operating one.
CD V-746X The 1962 annual report of the Office of Civil Defense and an article in a 1962 issue of Nucleonics refer to a self charging dosimeter developed by Victoreen that was designated the CD V-746X. According to the OCD annual report, the development of a "citizens dosimeter V-746-X" was initiated by the Victoreen Instrument Company in November of 1959. This work was completed in FY 1962. The Nucleonics article indicated that the range of the CD V-746X was 0-600 R.
CD V-746BX A prototype dosimeter in the ORAU collection is identified as the CD V-746BX. It is a self-charging quartz fiber pocket dosimeter with a 0-600 R range and is very similar to the descriptions of the Victoreen prototype designated the CD V-746X. The catch is that the appearance of the ORAU CD V-746BX prototype is more similar to that of a Bendix dosimeter than a Victoreen dosimeter. A photo of what is definitely a Victoreen version of the CD V-746BX is shown below.
CD V-750BX Randam Electronics Co. produced loudspeaker attachment for CD V-700. It became the CD V-705. began in March 1961 and completed in FY 1962.
CD V-781X In November of 1959, Oak Ridge National Laboratory began work on an "aerial survey meter." This work was completed in FY 1962. This is what became the CD V-781.
CD V-794X It seems that Anton Electronic Laboratories began development of this "radiation instrument calibrator" in July of 1959, and that the work was completed in FY 1962 when the company name had changed to Lionel Electronic Laboratories.
According to the 1962 annual report of the Office of Civil Defense, Lionel Electronics Laboratories began development of "special purpose Geiger-Mueller Tubes" in July of 1961 and completed this work in FY 1962. This is almost certainly the OCD-D-101 extended range tube used to modify CD V-700s.
In September of 1961, Southwestern Industrial Electronics Co. began work on an "automatic radiation monitoring system." Work was completed in FY 1962. I do not know what became of this effort.
Trionics Incorporated began development of a "10-day Water Radiation Standard" in April of 1961 and finished this project in FY 1962. This never seems to have gone into production.

The photo below left shows the Bendix prototype of the CD V-731 self-charging dosimeter while the photo below right shows Victoreen's version of the CD V-746BX self-charging dosimeter. Unfortunately, neither of these is in the ORAU collection. Both photos provided courtesy of Carl Siebentritt.

Bendix prototype of the CD V-731
Victoreen's version of the CD V-746BX self-charging dosimeter

The photo below shows the Anton CD V-726 AX prototype citizens meter.

Anton CD V-726 AX prototype citizens meter


  • Carl Siebentritt, personal communication.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency, Radiological Instruments: An Essential Resource for National Preparedness, CPG 3-1, September. 1986.
  • How Civil Defense Measures Harmful Radiation. Nucleonics, January 1962. p. 67-68.
  • Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization. Annual Report. 1961.
  • Office of Civil Defense. Annual Report. 1962.
  • Office of Civil Defense Handbook for Radiological Monitors, FG-E-5.9, April 1963.
  • Radiation Instruments for the General Public. Unpublished OCD document. ca. 1960/1961.