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New Solar Raptor/MegaRay

Discussion in 'Tortoise Product Reviews' started by Seiryu, Feb 21, 2011.

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  1. Seiryu

    Seiryu Member 5 Year Member

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    Anyone gotten any of these new Solar Raptor MVB from MegaRay?

    Are these the same bulbs that a lot had burn out within days of getting? Or are these the "final" product that is supposed to be good again?
  2. coreyc

    coreyc Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I have not gotten mine yet should be in this week but those are the ones from Germany the new ones. hopefully they will be better then the others
  3. Seiryu

    Seiryu Member 5 Year Member

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    Well please do keep us informed how it goes.
  4. Stewerd

    Stewerd Guest

    Feeding of turtles are different according to their kinds .For example for the Box turtle you may give him softdogfood,semi moist dog food and all types of fruit barries etc.But if you have other breed than u may have to change diet plan.
  5. Mao Senpai

    Mao Senpai New Member 5 Year Member

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    I had the solar raptor whatever bulbs... it burned out in 3 weeks anndd they have yet to return any of the 6 emails I sent.
    Among other things I noticed was, the glass ... normally has some kind of white coating over it... these do not. They are pretty much nearly clear which made me wonder....
  6. Ickisrulz

    Ickisrulz New Member 5 Year Member

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    My raptor bulb blew out within a couple weeks. Per e-mail from Reptile UV I was supposed to get a new one in 3-4 weeks. Been somewhat longer. No more replies to my last 3 e-mails and two phone calls. Starting to smell a scam.
  7. coreyc

    coreyc Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I just read this on Reptile UV website


    Hi, everyone.

    Yesterday, I spent over an hour on the phone with Bob MacCargar, owner of ReptileUV, and I put all these worrying questions across to him and he has told me the full story. I have his permission to relay everything he told me to you all. However, some of the problems were very personal family issues - which I will not go into on a public forum.

    The problems you've all been having with lamps and orders from ReptileUV are NOT because it's a scam, or a fraud, or anything like that, at all. Robert Allen recently asked a very reasonable question on this forum, he said, " I think it would help us a bit if we at least knew even a little bit about what the problem is: ie. quality of deliverables, or lack of enough manpower to run a business, or illness, etc. "

    The answer is, all three of these things. Please bear with me and I'll explain in full.

    First, "lack of enough manpower to run a business." ReptileUV is not a company like we imagine a company - with CEO and directors, offices and office staff, warehouses and research-and-development department, advertising department, sales department. ReptileUV is one of the best institutions in modern society, but one of the most vulnerable - a tiny family business. (I have known this for a fact since I first started testing lamps, and Bob MacCargar sent me a Mega-Ray to test, in 2004.) ReptileUV is one room set aside in a busy little car repair workshop, called C&G Paint and Body. http://www.candgpaintandbody.com/ The CEO of ReptileUV is Bob; the Shipping Manager right now is his very young son Sam. There are no other staff at all. The entire stock of lamps are in a room at the back of the workshop, and the R&D room consists of a bench with a long row of fixtures.... and Bob tests every single lamp by hand (more about the lamp problem later...)

    Bob runs the car workshop - also a family business - with a very small staff, including his elder son, and in the present financial climate he has to spend almost all his time under a car. Sam, his younger son, has only just started work with ReptileUV and is learning fast how to take orders, process them, find the lamps, pack them in boxes and take them to the mail, and how to answer emails from the many upset customers after the problems with the lamps (more later). Several of Bob's friends and family have acted as Shipping Managers in the past, the most recent one was Jimmy Kuhn who lives 200 miles from the premises, so he had to do almost everything online - so even though he did his very best, as you can imagine this didn't work out. Bob never intended ReptileUV to be a big online reptile lamp supply company, the sort that accepts hundreds of orders one day and ships them the next. He invented the lamp (with an idea given to him by seeing the UV curing lamps he uses on car paint) as part of his work as an iguana re-habilitator and then discovered that people wanted to buy it.

    My impression is that the demand was already almost outstripping their ability to supply it, toward the end of 2009, when everything crashed. And that brings us to point two: "quality of deliverables".

    In 2009, Bob's MegaRay mercury vapour lamps were becoming known as some of the best available, and sales were going well. Research into a metal halide version was well under way, and small numbers of metal halide kits also went into production. I tested these and the lamps got an excellent report, but unfortunately there were big problems finding a reliable ballast. All these lamps were being made on one production line, by a small Canadian company called Westron. But unfortunately, things went badly wrong. It's history, now, that towards the end of 2009, all the reptile lamps made by Westron - mercury vapours and halides, (and not just those they made for ReptileUV) started to emit very short wavelength UVB, owing to a problem sourcing the right glass. Not all reptiles were affected but some were developing photo-kerato-conjunctivitis and skin problems, because these wavelengths are hazardous. I helped in the analysis of the problem. Bob MacCargar acted immediately, and recalled hundreds of lamps and offered refunds. This was a financial disaster of course. Westron were unable to obtain the right glass, and could not find a way of re-creating the original safe lamp output. Bob spent months trying to find a way of re-coating the hundreds of lamps ReptileUV had in stock, to block the short-wavelength UVB. I tested many of their "coating" prototypes (as I have tested many prototypes for other companies, too.) Unfortunately, although they found a satisfactory coating, it turned out to disintegrate with prolonged use, so in the end it was useless - more lamp recalls, more losses. There would be no more of the original MegaRays - no mercury vapour lamps and no halides. Bob MacCargar had no option, but to source his lamps elsewhere. The problem was that the glass and interior coating that made the MegaRay such a good lamp required a very fussy manufacturing process. You can't just buy these cheaply, mass-produced and straight out of a Chinese factory.

    Lamps sourced from a variety of manufacturers never quite met Bob's specs, although all through 2010 he managed to source small batches of clear-faced PAR38 mercury vapour lamps from China, which he tested individually to ensure none had hazardous short-wavelength UVB. There were no more halides, though, once the remaining early production samples from Westron were sold.

    In the fall of 2010, Bob negotiated with Stefan Immke of Econlux, a small German lamp importer and distributor, who sells UVB reptile lamps in Germany under the brand name Solar Raptor. (As it happens, I tested the Solar Raptor mercury vapour lamp earlier that year - it had a very narrow beam, but a good UVB output with no abnormally short-wavelength UVB.) Together, Bob and Stefan arranged for the lamp to be redesigned a little, with a wider beam, made in USA voltage, and packaged in a new black box with both ReptileUV and Solar Raptor logos. This was launched in the USA and Europe in 100w and 160w versions. Solar Raptor also market 35W and 70W metal halide kits. Bob took various samples of these as well, with the aim of becoming a distributor for Solar Raptor halides if they could find a suitable USA voltage ballast.... and all went well at first.....

    But then, although both 100W and 160W European versions, and the 160w USA version of the new Solar Raptor MegaRay have been proving successful, problems soon developed with the 100w USA lamp. The filament used for 100w in USA voltage was weak, and a high percentage of 100w lamps were burning out prematurely. This has been a catastrophe. Bob is now individually testing every 100w lamp before shipping, again, and is buried under another mountain of returns and refunds. He is about to start replacing all the 100W Solar Raptor MegaRays with 130W lamps (the extra strength of a 130W filament should remove the problem) which have been ordered but - since they are being made specially for him - the order is taking a while to arrive. As soon as they have arrived, Bob says he will be shipping out both new orders and "replacements" for the warranty returns. Their ordering system is close to meltdown at the moment, with so many returns and complaints, and Sam is trying to work his way through a huge tangle of emails. People will be offered a 130W lamp instead of their 100W lamp, if it fails in the warranty period.

    ReptileUV will not be selling Solar Raptor halides, in the near future, at least. Bob wants to get the MegaRay mercury vapour lamps sorted out first. So I'm afraid there are no halides available at all, right now... (unless the 35W prototype that was initially offered to the guy who's been posting, is still there and has a working USA-voltage ballast... but I forgot to ask him about that, sorry..)

    And finally... "or illness, etc." Yes, a member of Bob's family is seriously ill. Bob himself is okay (though he's had a bad heart for years, it's fairly common knowledge) but his family life has been in turmoil these past months. There are considerable private issues ongoing.

    I hope relaying all this helps in some way. I suppose because of all that's been going on, I have never received the samples of the USA "Solar Raptor MegaRays" that Bob was going to send me in February. But during my phone conversation he has promised to send me samples of both the 100W and 160W versions and, when they finally arrive, a 130W one as well. I have, however, tested the 100W and 160W European versions, sent to me by the European distributor, Darren Dunnage. I finished testing these last week, and I'm writing the reports over the next week. Basically, these are nice little lamps with no hazardous very-short-wavelength UVB. The beams are, like all clear-faced PAR38s, a little narrow for my liking and like every mercury vapour lamp I have ever tested, from any company, their output is quite variable from lamp to lamp, but I have no major concerns with them.

    Best wishes,

    Frances
  8. Ickisrulz

    Ickisrulz New Member 5 Year Member

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    Boo Hoo. Refund peoples' money if you cannot deliver a product. Don't take orders if you cannot deliver. Be honest up front. Don't say you will return a phone call or e-mail in 24 hours if you cannot. Stop telling everyone it will just be another few weeks. They might have had the best product in the world at one time. But it doesn't seem they do anymore...just promises and excuses. I will never do business with them again and I doubt any reasonable person will either. No one needs a hassle when it comes to business transactions.
  9. Ickisrulz

    Ickisrulz New Member 5 Year Member

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    And another thing...looking at the long winded write-up above (and on their website) it seems like Reptile UV has had nothing but problems with their products from day one. Combine this with their poor customer service and lack of human resources they seem like a disaster. I'm sure that some of their diehard koolaide drinking fans will continue to support them because they are the "BEST"...buy I say from them at your own risk!
  10. yagyujubei

    yagyujubei Active Member 5 Year Member

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    He still owes me a refund. As far as I'm concerned, he's no better than a thief. I really don't care about his personal life or his business failures. I wonder what the tally is of people ripped off?
  11. myrtle651

    myrtle651 Member 5 Year Member

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    MegaRay is a rip off. This whole thing he has writing up is just another scam to make you forget about getting his product. DO NOT BUY FROM MEGARAY. I have a bad stomach reading the story that Frances writes! Who is Frances??? Stay away!
  12. John

    John New Member 5 Year Member

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    The first bulb I recieved from them did not work right out of the box, took a month but they did send me a replacement which blew out a month later, I cut my losses and moved on, no more reptile uv.
  13. myrtle651

    myrtle651 Member 5 Year Member

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    Read there reviews on the BBB. This is what I should of done before I did business with them.
  14. 81SHOVELHEAD

    81SHOVELHEAD Member 5 Year Member

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    Sorry to here about all Bobs problems but when i buy a bulb at 49.00 each i expect to get more the 3 months service out of it .
    I purchased 2 of the old mega rays in October 2010 .
    Received them 12/27/2010 (back ordered)
    Both bulbs burned out within 3 months ,
    I sent them an e-mail & 6 weeks later got a response .
    2 solar raptor 100 wt bulbs were shipped free of charge.
    The first bulb burned out 3 months later.
    Needless to say i ordered 2 100 watt powersuns From pet mountain & they are working fine in my Dragons cage .
    The torts are outside so the get plenty of natrual sun.
    The powersuns may have a faster decay rate but at least i know that my Dragon is getting good UVB for at least 6 months without worry of bulb burning out.
    FYI
    Francis Baines is lighting guru UVB BULBS
    She test all the new UVB bulbs & posts her findings on Beardered Dragon . org websight
    Mike D.
  15. tortoiseboy8o8

    tortoiseboy8o8 New Member 5 Year Member

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    Wish I seen all this before I got my bulbs. Ordered 2 SB100watts. Just got them today. I have a solar meter 6.2. @ 12" I'm only reading 40 cu2 or whatever it is. What ever happened to 150-200 @ 12" and 50-75 @ 18"????? I got readings of 180 cu2 @ 8" from bulb face which is way to close. Anyone else has this problem?
  16. Mao Senpai

    Mao Senpai New Member 5 Year Member

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    Funny this came up.... they sent me an email back and supposily sent me a new bulb. Keep in mind I sent them an email about 5 months ago and I've forgotten all about it. However the ups tracking number they gave me seems to be invalid... so we shall see....
  17. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Hi TortoiseBoy8o8:

    Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

    Please take a moment to start a new thread in the "introductions" section and tell us a bit about yourself.

    I'm sorry your having trouble with your new bulbs. Bummer!
  18. tortoiseboy8o8

    tortoiseboy8o8 New Member 5 Year Member

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  19. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    You know I can understand stuff happening and if it is true then they should have stopped taking orders until they got the problems worked out, IMHO continuing to take orders and then not fulfill them is thievery.
    My 2 cents
  20. tortoiseboy8o8

    tortoiseboy8o8 New Member 5 Year Member

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    I agree!!! After I purchased them I seen all these reviews. Wasn't too happy of what I read but it was already bought. The funny thing is about a month ago I couldn't purchase one cause there was no option to check out. About two weeks ago it came on so I quickly jumped on it before they went on back order again. So after reading all this I guess I was kinda hoping that since they just made it available again it was a new and improved batch. Boy was I wrong. I'm not even gonna bother trying to return them. I'll just run these two bulbs untill they die within weeks like everyone elses one did. I'll keep everyone posted on just how long they last and they decay rates and such.
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