n00b Questions

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6 years 2 months ago - 6 years 2 months ago #2396 by Bert490
Replied by Bert490 on topic n00b Questions
I just looked on the map; OldMule, it seems your Radlog has stopped submitting data to the server. This can happen if you log out of Windows, or if you unplug and replug in your detector. I find I have to open Radlog from the system tray, and ensure it is getting readings from the sensor, as well as submitting readings (the 2 bar graphs at the bottom). Submission starts 1 minute after starting up.
Last edit: 6 years 2 months ago by Bert490.

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6 years 2 months ago #2397 by Frank
Replied by Frank on topic n00b Questions
Bert490, probably right, even our water wells are a little slow for water and my house is sitting on ledge so ya, I would suspect that dry passages may be passing radon thru-out the area and I have open areas down here for sump pumps for the springtime snow melt as the major river thats 200 yards from my house gets really high and backs up the water tables under the house pushing water up into my cellar. Good point thou, I'll grab one of my units and set it near one of the opennings and see if my readings go higher. Normally I'm around 10cpm's down there, but all week its been in the 30's, so just about doubled. : \

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6 years 2 months ago #2399 by OldMule
Replied by OldMule on topic n00b Questions
Once again, great comments & questions! <3

Frank: It's WNW of my house. I'm South of highway 115, so not in the main area of town, but not far out.
Per Google Earth, the nearest point of the mill is 5 3/4 miles / 9 1/4 kilometres away from the West edge of my house, as the chicken hawk flies. The mid-point of the big pond of doom is just at 6 miles / 9 2/3km off.

Incidentally, for those who've looked up the mill, you may have noticed a lot of articles about an uproar over the supermax being built so close to it. Their closest property line is 6 1/3 miles away from the closest point of the mill, and the mid-point of the pond is 7 1/4 miles from the mid-point of the complex. Funny there was more worry about that than for local residents.

Love the sound of your set-up! It'd be interesting to be able to have one set up at ground level and one set up higher, outside, to have an ongoing comparison (lucky to have what I've got now, of course, but it's still fun to think about :) )

I reckon Bert's onto something with the radon on the unit that's been reading so much higher than usual. I'm wondering, does that Geiger read alpha?


Bert: omg, it never even occurred to me to RIGHT-click on that map! :blink: Very interesting, indeed. Thanks for pointing it out!!

So.. at the intersection of highways 67 and 115, the right-click map (zoomed way in to get there), at this location , it shows 52CPM / 0.16uSv. I don't see where it says what kind of tube or calibration is being used, but it's definitely different from mine.

Mine's a GQ GMC 300Eplus (pretty sure I've mentioned that, but jic) with a factory Muller M4011 tube and factory default calibrated to c├Žsium 137 (I haven't quite wrapped my head around various calibrations to even touch those settings yet). The CPM to uSv seems far different (unless I'm reading that page wrong. Been up since midnight with a case of the was-wells, so could be I'm just going cross-eyed on it). For instance, on mine, 18CPM=0.09uSv (looked at the screen on it just now to get those numbers). So CPM to uSv conversion is (approximately) half the CPM, then move the decimal left 2 spaces on mine (double and move right 2 for uSv to CPM). So 0.16uSv would come out to about 32CPM on my Geiger... which is probably about right for that time of year... I hope that all made sense :unsure:

I've definitely noticed a difference in background in different seasons. It was much lower most of the time in the winter. I haven't had it a whole year yet, so it'll be interesting to see the changes as temperatures, humidity, dominant wind direction and so forth change. I never saw anything above ~50CPM in the winter, and it was usually closer to the mid-20's when I took it outside to check. Sometimes it even went as low as 17, which I found to be pretty impressively low. That's what's leading me to lean toward, predominantly, evaporation of the leach pad in the hot summer causing the massive increase.

That pond, from what I understand, consists of uranium and sulphuric acid solution. I found a brief overview of how that part works here . As a side note, it had no liner during all its years of operation. Supposedly they've put one in since, but I have no idea what kind or what condition it might be in. The whole place is pretty run down. And when it came to worker safety, caution was thrown to the wind (caution, and yellow cake). When it was fenced in (whoop-dee-do) by order of the EPA a few years back, there were unsealed barrels of yellow cake scattered about, and the fence builders, having no idea what they were really working around, would even sit on these barrels on break to eat their lunch. I know one of those fellas personally, and he's not in good health, but can't do anything about it. The fence builders, though in direct contact with this junk over a pretty good duration (big place, lots of fencing!), don't qualify for any kind of compensation, because they didn't work there long enough as far as the gov't is concerned.

Moving on...
Denver's an interesting beastie all its own, but it's not mountain land. It's also home to the infamous Rocky Flats, so not a good example of radiation increase due to altitude, alone. The Rocky Mountains, themselves, though, are a very good thing to look at to get a clearer picture. It's dang near impossible to find a high altitude spot with no uranium mines around that's also been travelled on safecast, Sooo... looking at Safecast now, I chose Vail, CO to check, which is pretty well isolated and its altitude 9,600 feet. There is a uranium mine not far East of it (according to USGS's mineral map thing ), but what's a body to do?

Tons of little dots in the map accessed from the right-click thing ( here ). I could click on little dots all day, and I did click around a fair amount. For discussion's sake, I chose the first spot on Vail Valley Drive going South from Frontage Road. It was taken 20 Feb, 2014, at 55CPM / 0.17uSv (which would be somewhere around 34CPM on mine). I'd say that gives us a pretty good reference point for high-altitude background radiation. I'd also say anything at lower altitude that's not sitting on a uranium mine (since there _is_ one nearby there) that reads higher is likely (though not necessarily) contamination from some non-natural source. I do have to speculate here on what types of radiation the Geiger counter being used can read, and knowing the mountains of Colorado in general tend to have a good amount of radon, it's likely the counter used does not read alpha, so something to bear in mind.
Do you happen to know of some way to see what kind of Geiger counter was used for the measurements on that site?

Oh, regarding the roof, I'd say it's about as solid as they get. A metal roof was installed over the original shingle roof sometime not horribly long before I bought the place. Apparently it needed it, 'cause there are signs of old water damage here and there.

Thanks for pointing out my Geiger was offline. :) I'd forgotten to stop the proggie until after I'd gotten home from my trip into town yesterday, and then I forgot to start up the proggie again after grabbing the log and screenie. Oopsie doopsie! :oops: I tend to be a wee bit (very) on the absent-minded side these days :P

And on that note, it's daylight now, so time to unplug it and hang it outside for a while to see what it's reading this morning! I'll hook it back up in a little while ;)

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6 years 2 months ago #2400 by OldMule
Replied by OldMule on topic n00b Questions
A couple of truly n00b questions I keep forgetting to ask:
*Is there a manual for the software anywhere? (I didn't already ask that somewhere, did I? :huh: )
*Is there any way to keep the alpha software from overwriting the stable version so I don't have to keep uninstalling/reinstalling to go between the two? :dry:
Thanks! B)

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6 years 2 months ago #2401 by Frank
Replied by Frank on topic n00b Questions
Manual for ? How to use the Radlog software and features? I think there is a posting somewhere here that has some stuff. I know Dan was in the process or thinking of doing up one. Did a quick search, just some stuff in the "Howtos and FAQs". Plenty of us here to give help thou, so just ask away :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: OldMule

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6 years 2 months ago #2403 by bethsalem
Replied by bethsalem on topic n00b Questions
Uranium mining operations and their proposed clean-ups in Spain

http://www.iaea.org/inis/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/29/022/29022015.pdf

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