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BRIEF RADONMAPPER USER MANUAL

Document Index

Copyright disclosure .....................................................................................................................................................2 1. Basics on Radon.........................................................................................................................................................4 2. RadonMapper introduction........................................................................................................................................4 3. Switching ON and OFF RadonMapper......................................................................................................................4 4. Running a simple measurement with RadonMapper..................................................................................................5 5. Accessing the RadonMapper interface......................................................................................................................5 5.1. Connection through LAN cable...................................................................................................................6 5.2. Connection through wireless WiFi..............................................................................................................7 5.3. Remote wireless connection through 3G router..........................................................................................8 5.4. Setting up a complex RadonMapper network..............................................................................................9 6. Real time monitoring...............................................................................................................................................12 7. Data Export..............................................................................................................................................................12 8. Unit configuration....................................................................................................................................................13 9. Use of the push buttons............................................................................................................................................14 Appendix A..................................................................................................................................................................16

RadonMapper User Manual pag 1 of 21


Copyright disclosure The information contained in this document are subjected to change without notice and should not be construed as a commitment by Tecnavia S.A. Tecnavia does not assume any responsibility for any error that may appear on this document. The software described in this document is supplied under licensing condition and may be used and copied only in accordance with the terms of such license. Copyright  2010-2012 by Tecnavia s.a. All rights reserved No part of this publication may be copied, distributed, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, translated into a human or computer language, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, magnetic, manual, or otherwise, or disclose to third parties without the written permission of Tecnavia s.a. Part of this manual is copyrighted by MIAM s.r.l. Via de Amicis, 5, Rivergaro, Italy.

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1. Basics on Radon. Radon is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, occurring naturally as the decay product of Uranium. It is one of the densest substances that remains a gas under normal conditions and is considered to be a health hazard due to its radioactivity. Its most stable isotope, Rn222, has a half-life of 3.8 days. Radon is formed as part of the normal radioactive decay chain of Uranium. Uranium has been around since the earth was formed and its most common isotope has a very long half-life (4.5 billion years). Uranium, Radium, and thus Radon, will continue to occur for millions of years at about the same concentrations as they do now. Radon is responsible for the majority of the public exposure to ionizing radiation. It is often the single largest contributor to an individual's background radiation dose, and is the most variable from location to location. Radon gas from natural sources can accumulate in buildings, especially in confined areas such as attics, and basements. It can also be found in some spring waters and hot springs. Radon is an alpha emitter because when an atom of Radon decays it emits an alpha particle. Therefore the Radon concentration into a specific environment can be measured by counting the alpha particles released during the decay. Radon concentration is usually measured in the atmosphere, in Becquerel per cubic meter (Bq/m 3). Typical domestic exposures are about 100 Bq/m3 indoors, and 10-20 Bq/m3 outdoors. 2. RadonMapper introduction. The RadonMapper unit is a versatile instrument designed to implement Radon detection, its quantitative measurement and support to mitigation. The unit is highly stable, maintenance free and suitable for a continuous Radon monitoring campaign indoor as well as outdoor. RadonMapper is ruggedly designed to withstand industrial and hostile environments. The equipment can be configured to accommodate several specific site requirements such as wireless operation (WiFi) , PoE network operation, remote access through mobile phones, battery operation, realtime monitoring, sniffing mode, active flow or diffusion mode detection, and can be interfaced to generic environmental sensors. RadonMapper can be energized from 3 different power sources: Power over Ethernet (PoE) in a wired network configuration, standard power supply module from the main, or from a rechargeable battery pack. Several RadonMapper units can be deployed in a measurement campaign to implement a vast network. The connection of the units is done through network cable or WiFi protocol. All data collected by the unit are stored into the internal memory card to prevent data loss in case of power failure and can be stored up to 2 years dataset. User interface of RadonMapper is accessible through standard computer browser like Firefox or Chrome via network cable or WiFi. When operating in sniffing mode, the field measurements are available on the LCD module embedded into the equipment. The unit incorporates environmental sensors to measure ambient temperature and humidity, atmospheric air pressure, and a solid state accelerometer to detect unit relocation. The unit also includes a supplementary analog sensor interface to collect other environmental parameters. 3. Switching ON and OFF RadonMapper. WARNING: If the cell or the sampling head are removed while the monitor is counting, the light can seriously damage the photomultiplier. The photomultiplier black cover and the cell can be removed from the monitor only when the photomultiplier is OFF. RadonMapper User Manual pag 4 of 21


The same applies if replacement of the cell-head is needed. The photomultiplier can be selectively switched OFF leaving the remaining part of the equipment energized to permit quick replacement of the cell (or head). To switch OFF the photomultiplier enter into the Configuration menu through the front push buttons and display the following message: Power Sensor ON Switch off ? By pressing the right button the photomultiplier will be turned OFF. Similarly, upon the replacement of the cell, or the head, enter into the Configuration menu through the front push buttons and display the following message: Power Sensor OFF Switch on ? By pressing the right button the photomultiplier will be turned ON and the monitor is now ready to operate. The equipment can be operated from several power supplies: - from the main power at 230 Vac through its power supply module; - from a PoE switch unit; - from rechargeable battery module. RadonMapper starts automatically when receives power from the Power Input plug. The green lamp “Power ON� lights up immediately when a power source is present at the power plug. The start up of the equipment takes approx. 2 minutes. At the end of the start up procedure the LCD display shows the following:

(Obviously the measurement may be different !) The equipment has an internal circuit securing appropriate power to the unit in case of short (up to 25 seconds) power failure. Therefore when removing power to the equipment, the unit continues to operate but stops recording data into the internal memory to protect the storage against loss of power while writing data. Upon 25 seconds the units switches off completely. 4. Running a simple measurement with RadonMapper. Upon the completion of the start up procedure the equipment starts measuring Radon concentration by counting alpha decays occurring into the front cell. RadonMapper implements 2 modes of measuring radioactivity: 1) diffusion mode detection; 2) active flow mode. See complete details on Appendix A of this document for different each mode implementation. In both cases the measurement of the radioactivity is given on the LCD display with 4 integration intervals: 1 minute, 10 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes. The display is updated each 30 seconds, indefinitely. The LCD display keeps blinking if the interval of 1, respectively, 10, 30 and 60 minutes is not yet passed since the power up of the unit. Radioactivity sampling is done each 2 seconds and all values are stored into the internal memory of the equipment. The unit can keep into the storage approx. 2 years of data. Data storage is accessible to the user from the web interface described later on this manual. 5. Accessing the RadonMapper interface. RadonMapper User Manual pag 5 of 21


The RadonMapper user interface can be accessed though 3 different methods: 1) by connecting a PC through LAN cable under Ethernet protocol; 2) by connecting a PC through wireless WiFi connection; 3) by connecting a remote PC through a 3G router. 5.1. Connection through LAN cable. This is the simplest method to access the user interface of RadonMapper. Each RadonMapper unit if configured at factory with a specific, physical IP address: for instance 192.168.3.62. Therefore to access this IP it is necessary to have the PC configured with a fixed IP address of the same subnet: for instance 192.168.3.100 while the subnet mask shall be 255.255.255.0. Please note that on top of each equipment it is written the virtual IP address (for instance 192.168.0.62) which works on the WiFi connection: for physical connection trough cable use the IP 192.168.3.XXX. Connect a LAN cable with RJ45 plugs between the Ethernet port of RadonMapper and the Ethernet plug of the PC as illustrated below.

The access is done through a web browser supporting HTML5, for instance Crome or Firefox. These applications are easily down-loadable from internet. Upon the launch of the appropriate web browser, enter the IP address of the RadonMapper unit (for instance 192.168.3.62) and press return. The following splash screen will appear:

RadonMapper User Manual pag 6 of 21


When the network cable is properly establishing a communication between the RadonMapper and the PC the Network Status lamp turns into flashing green color. The details of the user menu will be discussed later. In more complex installations where more RadonMapper units are deployed in the same field the connection to the PC can be done trough a net switch. If the net switch supports the PoE (Power over Ethernet) function then each RadonMapper can be powered directly by the Ethernet cable avoiding the use of several Power Supply modules. 5.2. Connection through wireless WiFi. Instead of connecting the RadonMapper through cable it may be easier to connect them through wireless WiFi. In such a case it is necessary to use a WiFi Hot Spot properly configured. Most important parameters to setup are: Hot Spot name: shall be RADONMAPPERXX Hot Spot fixed IP: 192.168.1.X Hot Spot mask: 255.255.255.0

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If the Hot Spot is configured correctly the communication between the RadonMapper unit and the same Hot Spot is automatically established and the Network Status lamp turns into steady green color. The communication between the PC and the Hot Spot shall be established with the following steps: 1) select the WiFi network called RadonMapper from the list of the wireless network available and press the connect button selecting the option to connect automatically. 2) launch the web browser supporting HTML5 (for instance Crome or Firefox) and enter the IP address of the RadonMapper unit (for instance 192.168.1.62). NOTE: each RadonMapper unit has TWO IP addresses: when connecting by cable it uses IP X.X.0.X, while, when connecting by WiFi it uses X.X.1.X 3) The same splash screen above will appear. Each HotSpot can accommodate up to 3 different RadonMapper units. To access directly the other units, simply enter their IP addresses into the address bar. Should the WiFi coverage of one single Hot Spot not be sufficient to cover the field of the measure, it is possible to install one or more WiFi Extender (see specific instructions). WARNING: by its nature the WiFi connectivity may suffer of insufficient signal strength due to obstacles or interferences in the environment. This will result into the impossibility to get connectivity with one or more RadonMapper units. Under these circumstances it shall be mentioned that data measurement are NOT lost and will be available for reading upon restore of the connectivity trough WiFi or cable. 5.3. Remote wireless connection through 3G router Remote access to the RadonMapper installation is obtained trough the use of a wireless WiFi network upgraded with the addition of a 3G router. The 3G router sends regularly the dataset collected on the field to a specific web site configured on Tecnavia cloud infrastructure. When the user wants to access the RadonMapper installation he accesses the specific web site which shows the standard user interface. Essential condition to operate this configuration is the availability of cellular phone network in the site where the installation is deployed.

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The user interface is accessed through the cloud at: http://chrad01.newsmemory.com Username and Login details will be notified upon signature of specific service order.

NOTE: by its nature the WiFi connectivity may suffer of insufficient signal strength due to obstacles or interferences in the environment. This will result into the impossibility to get connectivity with one or more RadonMapper units. Under these circumstances it shall be mentioned that data measurement are NOT lost and will be available for reading upon restore of the connectivity trough WiFi or cable. 5.4. Setting up a complex RadonMapper network When deploying a complex network it may happen to encounter problems of WiFi connectivity, 3G connectivity, and in general communication problems between the units. Please proceed with the following schedule: 1) The first step is to detect a place where the 3G field is sufficient to secure good connection to the cellular network of the selected provider. It is very important to select a reliable provided capable to secure good connectivity also in marginal areas. RadonMapper User Manual pag 9 of 21


When such a position is funded, install there the first WiFi hot spot equipped with the 3G router module. This module may be a separate unit or a pendrive device to be attached to the WiFi hot spot. 2) Through the use of the WiFi monitor detect the area which is covered efficiently by the first hot spot and do position the RadonMapper units devoted to measure radioactivity in that field. Activate the units and check that the Network lamps turns into green to indicate good communication through WiFi. 3) Should you need to place some other RadonMapper units in an area where the WiFi signal is insufficient you shall make use of a WiFi extender trough power cables. Connect the pair of Devolo extenders into the main power plug as indicated on the diagram below and establish connection between the two devices. Monitor then the area covered by the Devolo WiFi device through the WiFi monitor and place the RadonMapper units within the area covered by the Devolo device. Check then that the Network lamps indicate good connectivity. 4) Should you need to secure connectivity on a wider area there is also the option to extend the WiFi coverage by using a supplementary extender like the Fritz! WiFi repeater depicted at the bottom of the diagram below. This extender shall be in the range of the Devolo WiFi and provides further connectivity coverage to some additional RadonMapper units placed far away from the main network. The connection between the Devolo WiFi and the Fritz! is automatically established. Upon connection to the main WiFi network, check with the WiFi monitor the area coverage and place the supplementary RadonMapper units within the area. NOTE: by its nature the WiFi connectivity may suffer of insufficient signal strength due to obstacles or interferences in the environment. This will result into the impossibility to get connectivity with one or more RadonMapper units. Under these circumstances it shall be mentioned that data measurement are NOT lost and will be available for reading upon restore of the connectivity trough WiFi or cable. NOTE: the Devolo and Fritz! units as well as the 3G Router and WiFi hot spot shall be configured on purpose at factory to operate with RadonMapper system. Devices procured from the local market may not operate properly. 5) The access to the data is done through the cloud at: http://chrad01.newsmemory.com Username and Login details will be notified upon signature of specific service order.

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6. Real time monitoring This mode is quite useful to provide a quick test of the radiation intensity and in sniffing mode operating forced air circulation inside the probe. Access to realtime monitoring is available by pressing the Realtime button on the left of the user interface. The diagram presented on the right part of the screen plots the last 10 minutes of measurements and refreshes the display each 30 seconds. It is possible to select the RadonMapper unit by opening the pulldown menu and choosing the appropriate device. The realtime window is the following:

7. Data Export This operating mode of the user interface permits to display all the dataset collected by the full system on the same window.

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The system permits to choose: - the unit(s) to plot on diagram by checking their IP number (right part of the screen); - the time and the duration of the plotting; - the plotting of some environmental parameters together with Radon measure; - the option to plot the Radon measurements into one single diagram; - the sampling rate of the dataset of the CSV exported file ( NOT of the plotted diagram). The above parameters are entered by direct typing the figures or by selecting a predefined entry on the pulldown menus. Diagrams are NOT updated automatically and can be refreshed by clicking on the Draw button. The dataset of the full set of instruments can be exported into an electronic spreadsheet like MS-Excel or OpenOffice by clicking on the Get CSV button. The data format is CSV (Comma Separated Value) and the separation character is semicolon (;). The spreadsheet application can be easily configured to recognize automatically this export format in order to handle the dataset. 8. Unit configuration. Through this menu it is possible to configure the RadonMapper unit and the attached sensors. This menu is accessible only by entering the appropriate password to avoid operation by unauthorized personnel.

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The above screenshot gives a brief list of the options available whose may differed from installation to installation. Special attention shall be paid to enter the correct Gain and Offset figures related to the Radon cell mounted on the RadonMapper unit and those specific of the external sensors attached. Through the interface it is also possible to set up the complete network of sensors by detecting automatically the units installed in a specific field cluster. By pressing the Search Now button the list of RadonMapper units recognized on the field will be listed with their IP number. Other option is the capability to set the date and time on the RadonMapper unit accessed by the web browser and the command to synchronize the complete network with the same time reference. 9. Use of the push buttons. The use of the four push buttons placed on the top of the equipment permits to read many parameters of the equipment without accessing the web interface but simply on the LCD display. As mentioned above, in normal mode, the unit shows the Radon concentration sampled in two different integration periods: 1 minute and 10 minutes. By pressing several times the lower button the LCD display permits to access the following menu entries: 1) Environmental parameters: pressing the right button it reports the current values of temperature, percentage of relative humidity detected on the external sensors, plus barometric pressure. 2) Network: pressing the right button it reports the status of the two Ethernet interfaces embedded into the equipment indicating if the cable interface or the WiFi interface are positively connected to the network. Pressing once again the lower button the LCD reports the current IP number. RadonMapper User Manual pag 14 of 21


Pressing once more the lower button the LCD offers the option to “Force Remote Connection” while another lower button shot offers the option to “Force WiFi scan” 3) Date and time: pressing the right button it reports the current date and time of the unit. 4) Configuration: pressing the right button it reports the current gain and offset settings of the Radon cell. Pressing once again the right button the LCD display reports the current status of the Radon sensor power circuit and offers the capability to change status. ON means that the Radon power circuit feeds the Photomultiplier, while OFF means that the Photomultiplier is not energized and, therefore, not working. 5) USB sensors: pressing the right button it reports the number of USB sensors detected by the equipment. 6) About: pressing the right button it indicates e-mail address and telephone number to contact in case of support needed. To return to the previous menu, just press the left button. To change menu entry, press lower or upper button. Upon approx. 100 seconds of inactivity the LCD display returns to its default condition showing Radon concentration.

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Appendix A

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mi.am mi.am s.r.l. via de amicis 5 29029 rivergaro (pc) tel (+39) 0523 952385 fax 956577 email info@miam.it

MIAM MODEL CLS SCINTILLATION CELL USE WITH THE RADONMAPPER MONITOR DESCRIPTION Model CLS scintillation cell is designed to measure radon gas. Scintillation cells are sensitive to radon isotopes, radon (Rn-222), thoron (Rn-220) and actinon (Rn-219). These gases are decay products of the Uranium-238, Thorium-232 and Uranium-235 series, respectively. Radon 222 is the most important isotope. Due to its short half-life, 56 seconds, thoron concentration is normally not important as radon is. Actinon, half-life of few seconds, is rarely encountered. CLS cell is a metal cylinder with a volume of 255 ml. At one end there is a transparent window to be coupled with a photomultiplier. At the other end the sampling head is mounted. Two kinds of head are available, one for passive sampling through a membrane, one with airtight connectors used to connect the cell to a pump and draw air into the cell itself. MEASUREMENT PRINCIPLE Radon gas enters the cell either through a permeable membrane or a continuous airflow through the cell. When radon and radon daughters decay, alpha particles are emitted. The interior of the cell is covered by a scintillator, silver activated zinc sulphide. When hit by alpha particles, the scintillator produces light pulses (photons). The cell window is coupled to a photomultiplier tube. The photons are converted into electric signals that are amplified and counted. The number of pulses will be proportional to radon concentration. Through the sensitivity of the system, that is the relationship between the number of pulse and the gas activity, radon concentration can be measured. RADON AND RADON DAUGHTERS As radon gas decays, its daughter Polonium 218 is created and then, after few passages, Polonium 214. These are both alpha particle emitters and they contribute to the signal detected by the monitor. Since equilibrium between radon activity and its daughters activity is reached after 3.5 hours, the complete signal is detected after that period. However, in case of shorter analysis it is possible to correct readings taking account of time of measure. For example, after 12 minutes sampling the signal is the 65% of the total. RECOMMENDATIONS WARNING: If the cell or the sampling head are removed while the monitor is counting, the light can seriously damage the photomultiplier. The photomultiplier black cover and the cell can be removed from the monitor only when the monitor is OFF. The same applies if replacement of the cell-head is needed.

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mi.am mi.am s.r.l. via de amicis 5 29029 rivergaro (pc) tel (+39) 0523 952385 fax 956577 email info@miam.it

The photomultiplier can be selectively switched OFF leaving the remaining part of the equipment energized to permit quick replacement of the cell (or head). To switch OFF the photomultiplier enter into the Configuration menu through the front push buttons and display the following message: Power Sensor ON Switch off ? By pressing the right button the photomultiplier will be turned OFF. Similarly, upon the replacement of the cell, or the head, enter into the Configuration menu through the front push buttons and display the following message: Power Sensor OFF Switch on ? By pressing the right button the photomultiplier will be turned ON and the monitor is now ready to operate. HUMIDITY: Avoid water condensation in the cell. When using scintillation cell in high humidity environment (relative humidity greater than 70%) it is recommended to use a drying column. The column should dry air before it is drawn into the cell. FILTER It is recommended to always use an in-line filter. This prevents entering of airborne alpha particles. In this way only the radon and its daughters produced into the cell will be counted. The result will be not dependent on equilibrium factor. The use of the filter prevents also dirt and dust inside the cell and any contamination from long lived isotopes (Ra-226, Th-230, Am-241). FLUSHING CELL Radon decay products include Pb-210. This slowly accumulates on the inside walls of the cell and decays into Po-210, an alpha particle emitter. The results is a gradual buildup of the background rate. This is an unavoidable effect and depends in proportion on number of measurement, on the time the samples are in the cells and their concentration. To minimize this effect it is recommended to flushing the cell after sampling, especially when high radon level has been measured. To flush the cell use a source of nitrogen, aged air or filtered air. Connect two hose connector to the valves of the cell (be sure that the valve click open). Connect the source to a drying column, then to a filter and to one of the cell valve. Connect the second cell valve to the outdoors. It is recommended to establish a flux of 3 litres per minute for at least 10 minutes. USE OF SCINTILLATION CELL WARNING: If the cell or the sampling head are removed while the monitor is counting, the light can seriously damage the photomultiplier. The photomultiplier black cover and the cell can be removed from the monitor only when the monitor is OFF. The same applies if replacement of the cell-head is needed.

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mi.am mi.am s.r.l. via de amicis 5 29029 rivergaro (pc) tel (+39) 0523 952385 fax 956577 email info@miam.it

The photomultiplier can be selectively switched OFF leaving the remaining part of the equipment energized to permit quick replacement of the cell (or head). To switch OFF the photomultiplier enter into the Configuration menu through the front push buttons and display the following message: Power Sensor ON Switch off ? By pressing the right button the photomultiplier will be turned OFF. Similarly, upon the replacement of the cell, or the head, enter into the Configuration menu through the front push buttons and display the following message: Power Sensor OFF Switch on ? By pressing the right button the photomultiplier will be turned ON and the monitor is now ready to operate. Passive sampling mode. Use the diffusion sampling head. Unscrew the black cover that protect the photomultiplier of Radon Mapper . Screw on the cell. Do not force.

Passive sampling head and cell with head mounted Active sampling mode. Use the active sampling head. Unscrew the black cover that protect the photomultiplier of Radon Mapper. Screw on the cell. Do not force.

Active sampling head and cell with head mounted Note: the cell head can be replaced in a dust free environment. Avoid dust, dirt and water get into the scintillation cell. Warning: the basic principle of the cell is based on detection of light lamps from a photomultiplier. It is therefore evident that any light entering into the cell from any hole may influence the measurement. In order to prevent this interference it is highly recommended to use black plastic tubes to interconnect the cell with any other device. Configuration for continuous measurement:

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mi.am mi.am s.r.l. via de amicis 5 29029 rivergaro (pc) tel (+39) 0523 952385 fax 956577 email info@miam.it

Connect two hose connector to the valves of the cell (be sure that the valve click open). Connect the filter to a piece of tubing and connect the tubing to one of the cell valve. Connect with another tubing the second cell valve to the intake of the pump of Radon Mapper. In this way, air pass through the filter and enter the cell, drawn by the pump. It is recommended to establish a flux of 0.3–0.4 liter per minute. Do not exceed a flux of 0.5 lpm. A flow meter can be used to check flux rate. In high moisture ambient a drying column can be used. CONNECTION DIAGRAM FOR ACTIVE SAMPLING

flux meter (optional)

PUM

drying column (optional)

RADON MAPPER AIR INLET filter

CELL

Radon sniffing Radon sniffing is a technique used to locate radon entry point such as wall or foundation cracks, drains, etc. Some meters of tubing can be connected to the filter and then to the cell. Pump in HIGH position can be used with a rate of 1 lpm.

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mi.am mi.am s.r.l. via de amicis 5 29029 rivergaro (pc) tel (+39) 0523 952385 fax 956577 email info@miam.it

Hold the inlet tubing at the investigated location, pumping, and look at radon concentration rate on the display (reading one minute intervals). Immediately after start sampling only radon gas will be present in the cell. Then the radon daughters start growing: most of the first alpha emitter Po-218 will be generated in 10-12 minutes, along with some of the PO-214. If counted activity increases in the first sampling minutes radon gas is present and the location could be a radon entry point. If activity increases rapidly, this indicates an hot spot, that is a point with high radon concentration. The cell should be flushed for some minutes before continue sniffing in other location. If the concentration reported is too high flush the cell and use a fresh cell to continue. In such a case remember to follow the procedure to switch OFF the photomultiplier before replacing the cell.

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