Important info for new Solarmeter 6.5 owners

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lilacdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
I haven't heard of any problems with the 6.2 meter, Amyemiline. If you are happy with the brand of UVB lamp you are using, and know what distance you need it to be... i.e., you just want to monitor its decay, then a Solarmeter 6.2 is fine, and will do the job well.
But if you want to compare lamp types and lamp brands, or compare lamp readings with sunlight, it is a very difficult meter to use. This is because it doesn't measure just the wavelengths that enable vitamin D synthesis and cause sunburn, which are the shorter UVB wavelengths that the 6.5 measures. The 6.2 ALSO measures long-wavelength UVB and a little UVA. And because sunlight has a lot more of these than a UVB fluorescent tube, and a UVB fluorescent tube has a lot more than a mercury vapour lamp... well, this means that in terms of "sunburn strength", a reading of (for example) 100uW/cm2 on a Solarmeter 6.2 is not very strong UV in sunlight, but can mean quite strong UV from a tube and very strong UV from a mercury vapour lamp....
(I wish this was easier to explain... :? )
Personally, in your position I'd sit it out, and get your new 6.5 fitted with the proper replacement filter cap.... :blob5:
 

amyemiline

Hatchling Member
The main reason I bought the solarmeter was to get my lamps at the right distance to make sure he wasnt getting too much uvb because I have a MVB and a reptisun t5 10.0 tube over his viv.

From what your saying though it sounds like that I should just do what you said and wait it out.

I just want my Solarmeter! lol

You explained it well enough for me to understand though, so thank you. :)
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Frances,

Anything having to do with UVB readings, sunshine & wavelength is never ever easy to explain. :D
Thanks for helping out.

Tracie
 

sweetiepie9

BD.org Sicko
Retired Moderator
I stayed with my Solar meter 6.2 just to measure the decay in the 6 MVBs I have and so far it has worked great. I'll keep it as long as it works.

I hope everyone who has the 6.5 metres affected, get theirs fixed soon.

And thank you Frances for bringing this to our attention!
 

lilacdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Hi, guys.
I have today received good news from Solarmeter.
They have now received a new shipment of perfect filters and will be re-starting production of Solarmeter 6.5s and ZooMed UV Index Radiometers in the next few days. (And repairing and returning those that were in the affected batch, whose owners sent them back to be fixed)
:blob8:
Frances
 

Drache613

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Hello Frances,

Wow, that was pretty fast, actually, that's terrific! I am happy to hear they have gotten the glitch all fixed. :D That was so nice of them to fix the ones who people had sent in also!
Thanks for keeping us up to date on it all. Thankfully, both of ours the 6.2 & 6.5 work great, but we bought ours way before the mentioned date.


Tracie
 

diamc

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Thanks for the update Frances. That is good news. The problem was rectified quickly. :)

I have an older 6.5 too and am very happy with it.
 

lilacdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Solarmeter 6.5 meters are now available again!
A fault in a component led to recall of a batch manufactured between Sept 2015 and April 2016. The problem's been sorted. New meters are now on sale.
New Solarmeter 6.5 meters will have serial numbers 03600 and above.

If you're concerned that you might still have a faulty meter, check this web page for the affected serial numbers: http://uvguide.co.uk/Solarmeter6-5batch-problemMay2016.htm
 

Bmiller

Member
lilacdragon":bc56g86e said:
Solarmeter 6.5 meters are now available again!
New meters are now on sale.
New Solarmeter 6.5 meters will have serial numbers 03600 and above.

Apologies if this should be a new thread but looking at the Solarmeter site I see a model 6.4 VITAMIN D UV METER - Isn't that ultimately what we're trying to determine or are there other reasons to choose 6.5?
 

lilacdragon

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Hi, BMiller.

Yes, you're absolutely right! And you will be fascinated, as I was, to learn that the 6.4 and 6.5 meters have exactly the same sensors - they are "seeing" and measuring exactly the same part of the spectrum.
If you take the reading from a 6.4 meter and multiply it by 0.14, you will get the UV Index, as measured by the 6.5!
(Or take the 6.5 reading and divide it by 0.14 to get the 6.4 reading....)
The only difference is in the numbers that are programmed to appear on the LCD display.

So why use the UV Index rather than the units from the 6.4 meter, which are International Units of Vitamin D per minute?
Well, when the meters first became available, I got the 6.4 before I got the 6.5.
I soon realised two things...
The IU D3/min referred specifically to the amount of vitamin D3 it was believed that could be produced per minute by a Caucasian, untanned male aged 20 years old, with only arms, hands and head exposed to the sun. The meter is sold with a little Excel app which enables you to re-calculate in Excel, the value that your meter might read if you have a different skin type, age, and amount of body exposed to the sun!
So for starters, this is completely pointless as a calculation of the amount of vitamin D produced per minute by a totally "naked" lizard of any age, of any species.....
The second thing I realised was that the reading could be dangerously misleading, because a very high reading might be considered "good" when actually it is dangerous - because very high levels of UVB don't just create lots of vitamin D, they can burn eyes and skin, and increase the risk of skin cancers.
For example... a reading of 210 IU/minute... good or bad?
Answer - terrible. UV Index 29.4..... the highest natural UV Index on the surface of the earth, at midday in the desert on the equator, would only be around UVI 14 - 15, and no reptile would sit out in that...
The UV Index is, however, very simple and very safe. It's familiar from "Sunsmart" campaigns and weather forecasts, and the scale is easy to remember.
For example, UVI 0 - 2 is like shade on a sunny day, safe for all shade-dwellers and not strong enough to give humans a sun-tan.
UVI 3 - 5 is like gentle Spring sunlight, or early morning tropical sun from about 8.30 - 9.30am. Nice for humans, nice for basking lizards too.
UVI 6-7 is strong morning sun, maybe 9.30 - 10am in the tropics... about as high as is safe for brief Caucasian sun exposure without sun cream, and also the max that most basking species ever need, -they start moving into shade at this time in the tropics...
Higher than UVI 8 is what the World Health Organisation call "Very High" and above UVI 11 is "Extreme". Basically, read "unsafe".....
So this is an ideal scale for indicating not just appropriate "sunlight" and "lamp" levels for vitamin D synthesis (different species can be "matched" to appropriate sun exposure ranges), but it can also indicate danger from too much UV as well.
 

diamc

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
This is great information Frances. Thanks so much for always posting in such detail, gave us a great breakdown of UVI readings too. I'm glad that Bmiller asked such a great question.
 

Bmiller

Member
As diamc said - WOW! Thank you Frances for such a thorough response. Makes absolute sense that it's calibrated against a standard irrelevant to reptiles. So - off to buy a 6.5 with the right serial numbers :?
 
hello,,,,i would like to ask you,,,after doing some research on the product.
which model is better for checking the uv short wave lengths,,,,,?
the 6.5 or the 6.2 ? one is more sensitive .,
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
DracoBeard":3lpihlv4 said:
hello,,,,i would like to ask you,,,after doing some research on the product.
which model is better for checking the uv short wave lengths,,,,,?
the 6.5 or the 6.2 ? one is more sensitive .,

What purpose would you use it for?
For general reptile keeper use the 6.5 is the more useful meter; UV Index is a bit more versitile.
 

kingofnobbys

BD.org Sicko
I've invested in a http://www.solarmeter.com.au/model62.html , this gives microwatts UVB / sq-cm and is IMO much more useful for testing the performance of UVB sources than the model 6.5 which only gives an integrated UVI response.

If I were to buy a second Solarmeter , it would not be a model 6.5, but a http://www.solarmeter.com.au/model57.html. This meter gives the combination of microwatts UVA and UVB / sq-cm . The main problem I see with using UVI as your measure is UVI is an inferred measure = combination of UVA, UVB and UVC.

Where
UVA 400 nm - 320 nm
UVB 320 nm - 290 nm
and UVC 290 nm - 100 nm.

The physics behind UVI :
calculate_UVI.png

calculate_UVI_1.png

calculate_UVI_2.png


UVI only gives an estimate of UV flux for part of the UVB band and the UVA flux.

With both meters ( 6.2 and 5.7 ) , it is simple arithmetic to get the microwatts UVA / sq-cm from the readings from the model 5.7 ( UVA + UVB) MINUS the readings from model 6.2 (UVB) = UVA.

I understand why some prefer the UVI meter, it's hard to get your brain around microwatts of flux without knowing some physics.
And UVI is easily converted to IU vitD3 / min , IU/min = 7.14285714285 UVI.
 
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