[ RadSafe ] NetCams issues

ROYCE Christopher (AREVA) christopher.royce at areva.com
Fri Apr 8 11:33:35 CDT 2016

I would like to post the following to the list:

"NetCams issues:

I am running into a number of issues with NetCams being deployed with Alpha Sentries. I would like to see if anyone has also had these issues or any issues I haven't encountered yet, and if you have any fixes. We recently upgraded our NetCam Dongles from the older serial style to the USB style and immediately ran into trouble.

1.       The software will only work on IE 7 or Mozilla 3.6.10. This is burdensome as our corporation likes to stay up to date on browser software, but it is what it is, I know how slow Canberra is with fixing their software.

2.       We immediately began to fail performance checks in regards to the energy calibration. We were using the Am 241 source Canberra recommends. We discovered that the "Region of Interest" feature no longer applies simply to an ROI that you are establishing for your viewing pleasure, but to the detectors performance checks as well. We narrowed down to see only Uranium, but then that cut out Am. When we expanded our ROI all was well EXCEPT we have this huge window that catches counts from Radon. Canberra acknowledges this is an issue and says they are thinking about it. So again I don't expect much progress, but hopefully this info will be useful for other users. We are currently looking for a sizable Uranium source to calibrate with and we think this will eliminate the problem. By the way, does anyone have a sizable 47 mm uranium source they want to give up?!

3.       We are constantly getting Acute alarms. We have bumped up the acute alarm setting and it doesn't seem to prevent a false alarm. The chronic alarm works fine most of the time.

4.       The rest of the time the chronic alarm fires off at spikes in counting. So I expect a CAM to think it has high counts every now and then when it doesn't. Especially considering I run that puppy 24/7, but it seems the NetCam doesn't take into effect time averaging at all. I've lengthened count time all the way out to 30 minutes but that doesn't seem to help. Any advice.

5.       We are unable to see efficiency on the NetCam 2.4 screen. This is merely  a preference, doesn't cause me to have staff don respiratory protection.

6.       Net Cam 2.4 does NOT update and inform the operator of the system status as Tera Term does. For example, when the system is in linearization, the operator does not know unless plugged in with Tera Term. We would like to be able to get this information remotely with NetCam.

7.       Nuisances like this that are made during updates can really trip up a user. It would be nice if Canberra put out a list of changes made and their affects to the user.

8.       We are unable to download channel by channel data from NetCam. We used to be able to from RadCom but the new dongles don't seem to let us do that anymore. I'd love to have Uranium MDC for the detectors...

9.       The algorithm seems to still bleed a tone of counts into the uranium region from radon. In Peak mode at least. On a couple of detectors I have switched to Valley for testing but I get a ton of hits in PU and AM of which I have none on the plant other than tiny check sources. So, not sure what to do there.

Does anyone else use this system? Anybody having issues, fixes? I'd love to discuss it with anyone that will sit still.

Christopher L Royce, CSP, RRPT, MS
Health Physicist

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