We introduce an empirical formula to directly calculate the room scatter factor in the calibration of 192Ir HDR using a Farmer chamber. Compared to the data of Selvam et al (2001 Phys. Med. Biol. 46 2299), our formula is accurate to within 0.3%. Our method saves time because the room scatter can be obtained in one calculation rather than being deduced through a series of setups of different source-chamber distances. It could also be cost effective because a calibration jig might be no longer necessary. We only need to position the applicator and chamber at a fixed space in air and measure its distance. We also analysed the effects of two possible errors arising from ignoring the room scatter and the measurement error of the source-chamber distance. We recommend that the source-chamber distance should be at least 10 cm.
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