**Mega Ray Issues** / Megaray RECALL

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beardie parents

BD.org Sicko
I read that yesterday and I thank Francis for letting everyone know about it. I know they have had a tough time lately and obviously it wasn't just in his business. The main reason he started selling the megaray's was so reptiles will have quality uvb and they were succeeding until the Fall of 09 when they found out that the glass that was used to make the megas wasn't the right glass and he's still trying to get them back up to quality standards by going to other companies.

I'm sure he will succeed in time. That's whey I have decided to have patience with them.
 

nordica

Hatchling Member
The problem that I have with them now, is their SEVERE lack of quality customer service and follow-up. I don't doubt that the quality control issue wasn't their fault in the beginning, and that they're trying to get their company back on the right track, HOWEVER, it won't matter if they get back to offering a superior bulb if they continue to piss off and brush aside their customers. They've been owing me money for not one, but TWO bulbs ever since last August. LAST AUGUST. My inquiries have been ignored for close to a year now, and it's because of this experience that I vow to never purchase anything from them ever again, even if they do eventually get back on track.
 

dubsteez

Member
What would be the best MVB to use? I currently use the Reptisun after my Megaray EB ballast and bulb seized but would like to stick to a quality MVB bulb
 

Mrkngpen

Juvie Member
I think until you start hearing that Megaray has all of their issues sorted out, I would stick to the Reptisun 10. That is what I plan to do. I'm going to wait until I hear consistent good reports about the Megaray bulbs for a couple months before trying to order again.
 

beardie parents

BD.org Sicko
We have 2 of the 60 watt eb mega setups. We got them just over one year ago. We have never had any problems with them, except for one of the ballasts, 2 times. It did take awhile to get the replacement ballast and now I understand why. It's hard to keep up with that high demand with only a couple of people working. I refuse to condemn them because of all these problems. I hope they don't stop making them. We had a problem (our fault, probably) with one of the bulbs on May 13th and, since then, Goldie has not had an appetite. We can get her to eat some veggies but we really have to work at it. We had the reptisun 10 (never used) on her, even put her basking spot up close enough to the uvb tube and it still hasn't increased her appetite any. We put the old t-rex on her for two days now and it hasn't seemed to work. I just found out that she ate more greens today then any day previous for the last week. I think she needs a new 60 watt eb mega but they are back ordered.
 
OK I am sorry but Boo Freaking Hoo. We all have problems and none of them Justify the way I have been treated. Bulb recall and out of stock? Simple quit, taking orders. People have paid for product you can not deliver? Simple, refund them their money, apologize and offer to send them a notice when the product is available. None of these issues justify this horrible customer service.

Now I have no reason to believe that Bob and his staff are malicious or just downright bad people. But I do have plenty of evidence that they are neglecting their customers and their business. I respect peoples decision to be patient and wait for a turn around, but those people must understand that my experience (and that of others) has destroyed any confidence I have in the company. Personal hardships and supply problems are far to common and if each one causes this reaction then I (and my beardie) can not risk a business relationship with such a company.

Bottom line is what little communication that has emerged from the company has been to try and shift blame. I would feel better with an apology along with an admission that they have wronged customers. (Or something as simple as my money back.) I mean come on, Bob can not take a few a minutes to type out a couple paragraphs for his web page?
 

coldhearted

Hatchling Member
I recently ordered two 160 watt self ballasted from reptileuv and that was around the 5-13. I was wondering after reading the messages on their website is there a delay in all bulb orders? i dont use the 100w that were recalled.

the voicemail box is full. i sent an email just asking when i could expect the order in. Now that I have read that message and the other posts im getting worried :p
I feel bad now knowing i waited too long to order replacements.
 

MikeN

Member
Ok, I am officially shocked. I just received both my Solarmeter 6.5 from Lightyourreptiles.com (an EXCELLENT experience, and the lowest price out of everywhere) and my new Powersun 100W SB from Amazon. Went ahead and tested everything I could think of - the sun outside at 3:32PM: 05.6 - 05.8 on the LCD display (I assume this is 5.6-5.8 according to previous posts about measuring UVI)... My 4-month old SolarGlo: 0.01 - 0.02 with the meter directly under the bulb at the bottom of the rock Leo basks on (the height of the meter makes that about an inch HIGHER than his back)... the "interim" compact Reptisun 10.0 I've had for a bit over a week: 01.2 - 01.4 if positioned horizontally at 12 inches or so (unfortunately it is actually installed vertically in the dome, and that gives a similar 0.02-0.04).. and the real kicker: the brand new Powersun: 0.00 - 0.01 at 12 inches, goes up to a whopping 0.04 if meter is held at about 6 inches... making it the weakest of all! The bulb is nothing like the Powersun of old, that I remember was hurting Leo's eyes. It is smaller and feels cheap and flimsy, and has that milky coating on the INSIDE of the glass.

Anyway, what the hell do I do? No wonder Leo improved only marginally since installing the Reptisun and burning it alongside the old SolarGlo... at least his temps were good, and he MAYBE got 0.5-0.6 out of it all combined. I replaced the battery just in case, no change. Do I maybe burn in the Powersun? I kinda doubt that would help. Are my readings incorrect somehow? And how the hell do I return a bulb bought online.. I'm sure there is a way, but what an inconvenience!

Also, I found a great local store literally yesterday (clean tanks, visibly happy animals, quite a variety, I was really impressed), and they had a large selection of bulbs I had never even heard of.. repti-something is all I can remember, but they were definitely MVB, and even had that in 60W, to my surprise. I may want to go back and check some of them with my Solarmeter...

Edit: I called Zoo-Med and spoke with Shane in R&D and he told me that I was essentially measuring a regular bulb, as the filament inside only starts giving out UVB after about 30 minutes of use, so I am taking that back. He also said the Powersuns have never chenged shape or supplier, so it really should be the same as the old one. Maybe I was just thinkign of something else. So I'll give it a bit more time and report. Overall a very pleasant customer service experience I must say.
 

MikeN

Member
Update: I wish I could provide some useful info on its UV, but the bulb went out in less than the necessary 30-minutes and never came back. Tried in four different sockets, swapped other bulbs in the same one - everything works but the Powersun. It is dead alright.
 

BadCon

Sub-Adult Member
MikeN":xey8k5we said:
Update: I wish I could provide some useful info on its UV, but the bulb went out in less than the necessary 30-minutes and never came back. Tried in four different sockets, swapped other bulbs in the same one - everything works but the Powersun. It is dead alright.

The Solarmeter 6.5 is not terribly accurate at measuring florescent UVB sources (such as reptisuns). In some cases they can show an unusually low reading (especially if the bulb is a good one). Your reading doesn't necessarily mean the Reptisun is bad, but it does highlight just how much weaker they are then natural sunlight! However you seem to be using a Reptisun compact, and I simply don't have any experience with those to reliably respond to its readings. However a reading of 1.4 isn't bad, as these types of bulbs simply can't match the output of the sun (nor does anyone expect them too). I would actually be reassured by this reading, as a bulb outputting dangerous levels of low wavelength UVB (the type that causes eye and skin issues), would have a much higher UVI then 1.4 (think 10+!). This should also highlight why we supplement additional calcium into the diets of captive reptiles under low output UVB sources.
Also, your experience with the output diminishing from the skiny end of the bulb is not uncommon with compacts. Their design simply dictates that most of the UVB is cast off the bulb horizontally.

HOWEVER, an MVB is not considered a "low output" UVB source...and should be reading much higher then .04! I'm not buying Shane's explanation either. If anything, and MVB is going to have a much higher initial output at first...typically stabilizing after about 3hrs of operation, then slowly degrading over a period of months. I've never heard of a bulb with Shane's special filament. There are typically coatings on the inside surface of the glass, and these can burn off, but not in 30 minutes. His explanation is crap IMO, and if the bulb is physically different from one you have used before, then its obviously not the same manufacturing, even if Shane says otherwise.


As for returns, contact the online vendor. Most do have a return policy. Also, some MVB brands have warranties. Check the packaging or call their customer service line to inquire.
30 minutes of life is completely unacceptable. In all honesty, this is exactly why I switched to Reptisun tubes. There is simply NO quality control with the current crop of MVB's on the market. When Bob MacCargar has to search high and low for a safe MVB to sell...that should tell you something. The man was heralded as the da Vinci of reptile lighting just a few years ago....now he's loathed on numerous forums, and his company can't even find a reliable bulb to sell or even a reliable vendor to buy from. For whatever reason, nobody can make a truly reliable mercury vapor bulb.
 

PuffPuff11

Hatchling Member
I got my first mega-ray back in 08 and I loved it, I think Puff did too!!... I still have a good mega-ray but when I was taking it out of the socket a few weeks ago (to install a new fixture for the repti-sun) the twisty part that screws in came apart from the rest of the bulb, we are going to try to solder it back together!
I too bought a repti-sun 10.0 and bought a huge fixture from home depot, I wish I has seen one like the one badcon posted, I would much rather that! I just bought this fixture but I already threw the box away :(
The problem is that my enclosure is sooo large, 6 ft long and 3 ft tall that there is only one place in his tank he can get to within 6 inches of the bulb and it's not at his basking area!! That is why I opted for the mega-ray to begin with! The area he can get to within 6 inches of the bulb is on the cool end by his hammock where he likes to sleep. We had the 4 ft bulb right in the middle of the enclosure but noticed he seemed unhappy (black bearding) sitting on his hammock, right after installing the repti-sun. Maybe he was getting UV there and hes not used to that, or he thought it was too much UV because he was on the cool side? So we moved the bulb down so more of it is in the warm end, and he seems happy on his hammock again!
I'll post pictures later of the set up and maybe yall give me some ideas to fix this?
I would really like a MVB because it works with my tank, but right now it seems there just isn't a good one on the market!
Not sure if I will purchase another mega-ray :?
 

MikeN

Member
Well, Zoo-Med wanted me to ship the dead bulb to them, so I filed a return via Amazon, since it's free return shipping, and got a free replacement. It measures about 2.2-2.4 at 12 inches, which is still too low as I understand. My newly acquired temp gun measures 98 degrees at Leo's basking spot, which is also a bit low. Overall, I am disappointed. I guess, this is the end of MVB's as we knew them. Kinda worried that the same may happen to the last remaining dependable product, the tubes. What will we do then?
 

BadCon

Sub-Adult Member
MikeN":12fbah05 said:
Well, Zoo-Med wanted me to ship the dead bulb to them, so I filed a return via Amazon, since it's free return shipping, and got a free replacement. It measures about 2.2-2.4 at 12 inches, which is still too low as I understand. My newly acquired temp gun measures 98 degrees at Leo's basking spot, which is also a bit low. Overall, I am disappointed. I guess, this is the end of MVB's as we knew them. Kinda worried that the same may happen to the last remaining dependable product, the tubes. What will we do then?

Honestly, MVB's were promising too much. Packing heat, UVB, and light into a single bulb was just asking for trouble. Owners using them as the primary heat source would sometimes move them closer then 12" if they didn't get sufficient heat. What they didn't realize was that the UVB scales up tremendously the closer you get to the bulb. If people treated them as just the UVB source I have a feeling the instances of eye and skin issues would have been greatly reduced. The manufacturer recommended distance of 12" was also too close....they probably chose that number more for heat output then anything else. 100w bulbs should really be no closer then 14-16", and the 160w bulbs shouldn't be any closer then 22-24". At these distances, the UVB output is still higher then the average fluorescent tube, but not so high that its going to cause issues. It is true however that some of the bulbs were just bad...but even still, the farther away the bulb gets the less likely it is to cause issues. Same goes for compact and coil UV bulbs. People reporting eye issues were probably those misusing the bulb (to their credit, they weren't provided with much info from the manufacturer).
Even Bob from ReptileUV has said numerous times that reptile lighting is a process, not a bulb. Yet they still advertised the MegaRay as an all in one bulb. There is no such thing as an all in one bulb, and there never will be.
As for the current crop of MVB's, its probably the case where manufacturers are playing it safe and reducing the overall output of the bulb. Since they know that someone is going to mess it up and place it way to close to the animal, its just easier to include a significant fudge factor in the bulbs. One of the reasons the Reptisun 10.0 tube is recommended constantly is because its virtually ***** proof. The UVI is still very safe even at 2" away...so unless the animal is straddling the bulb, they aren't likely to get a dangerous dose of UVB. The downside to this is that the overall exposure from the bulb is on the low side. Which is why calcium supplementation is constantly recommended....we need to make up for the low UVB output of our bulbs. But I would rather have something that's safe 99% of the time, then something that may have higher output but is hit or miss.
 

Aragon

Member
We have gone through at least 8 100W MV bulbs from Reptile UV. They last a month or 2 and then we have to call them to replace the bulb. They have been replacing them until recently when they ignore our emails and we get hung up on after they say "we will call you back" and never take our number. This is NO WAY to run a buisness IMO. We are done with them and their crappy bulbs. I suggest everyone call the BBB and file complaints and then move on to a better bulb company. We are. Does anyone have a recommendation? We are currently running 2 60W incandescent bulbs as well as one long flouresent UV tube the runs the length of our 95 gallon tank. We do dust crickets with calcium once a week.
 

Born4spd

Member
I too originally purchased a Mega Ray back in 2008 and was extremely satisfied with its performance! I sent mega ray an email about an issue i had with a recent bulb burning out and VOILA i got a reply with an apology the very next day, and a replacement bulb is on the way!

I call that great customer service. :)

Have Patience, its not like they are trying to rip everyone off.
They are hobbyists too and genuinely care about the health of our animals.
At least give them a chance to fix any issues before taking things to the extreme.
 
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