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 Post subject: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 8:24 pm 
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Any opinions on the ideal wavelength a UV light should have for scorpion hunting? Is the lower the nm better or worse?

Having broken several cheapies I've decided to invest in sturdier light, but I'm not going to break the bank either! I'm looking at a couple in the $30-$50 range. One has bulbs in the 295 nm range while the other has 275, with the lower number being the costlier. Is it worth paying more for a lowe nanometer light?

Wade


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:25 pm 
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Wade, I think they should be in the 390 to 395 nm range.

Ollie


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 11:07 pm 
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Ollie-

I re-checked the ads for the ones I'm looking at and realized my previous post was mistaken, they're 390 and 375!

If the 390 is the right range, that's good news because it's the cheaper one by about $10 :D

Wade


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 1:10 am 
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I've had good luck with these:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/51-UV-395-nm-Ultra-Violet-LED-Blacklight-Flashlight-AA_W0QQitemZ370381735776QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Flashlights?hash=item563c78c760#ht_3805wt_1167

I spent a lot of money on a "better" one several years ago and it didn't make it thru the conference. These ones are inexpensive and I can have a back up if I need it.

Ollie


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 4:07 am 
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Great price on that, Ollie, but the disadvantages of the LED vs. BLB fluorescent tubes is the white light emitted by the LED. They work great, but I definitely prefer BLB as we demonstrated on the Pena Blanca Lake field trip a couple of years ago.

By far, the second best black light unit I've had is the Night Stalker III from Bass Pro Shops:
http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_206____SearchResults

Advantage: 2 tubes, great if one goes out.
Disadvantage is no handle.

The best I've had are the two I still have, on last legs though and can't be bought anywhere:
http://www.angelfire.com/tx4/scorpiones/blacklights.html

The best I never paid for is a Cree-X pocket light promotional item from Black Light World, I reviewed it in The Forum a few years ago:
(similar to this one)
http://blacklightshop.com/dualmodebook.html

But, I heartily recommend the Night Stalker III. $32.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Ollie-

I've had a number of inexpensive LED's but they seem to break on on me after one or two trips. I'm pretty abusive on my equipment though.

Kari-

I used to use one of those Bass Pro lights years ago. It worked well, but it was so bulky and awkward without a handle, not to mention heavy with the 6 (or was it eight??) D-cells it took to power it!

The Cree light is appealing because it accomplishes one of my other goals...that is, to find a light that works well both as a regular flashlight and a UV light. Too often I find myself fumbling in my bag looking for my other light! Plus, a combo light means I no longer have to lug my 3D maglite (dependable but bulky) into the field.

The two I'm looking at are on Amazon and made by a company called Streamlight, a company that seems to be highly regarded in the world of dependable, quality flashlights. Both feature a .9 A high pressure Xenon bulb for regular light. One model has 3 375nm UV LED bulbs and 3 390nm UV LED. In addition to letting you switch between UV and white light, this one actually lets you switch between using just the 375's and both the 375's and the 390's. So, if the 375's emit less visible light, this one might be worthwhile. It's $42.64.

The other light is very similar, the primary difference is that it has 6 390nm UV's so there's no 375's. It cost about $10 less than the above.

So what I'm really trying to figure out is if 375 or 390 is better, or if there's any significant difference for our purposes. Your point about less visible light is helpful, as I was thinking that paying more for a light with fewer UV bulbs (as these light have 6 while the cheapies might have 20 or more!) might not make sense, but if the extra bulbs only add to the visible light they might not be helpful after all. Zach mentioned in another thread that he uses a LED light that only has 3 bulbs!

Wade


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 4:27 pm 
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Wade,

I just picked up a 1 watt UV bulb from one of the huge wholesalers on EBAY, it's coming in at 395 or so.

I personally like the 395nm because it throws a little visible light, which is good for dodging cacti and rattlesnakes without blowing your dark vision. But I also have a problem with sensitivity in that skin and glass will cast a glowing haze with the more powerful wavelengths (shorter wavelength).

In any case, in the biological world, the minor 5-15nm differences will mean little for exciting the molecules in the cuticle, they'll all do it. It's what your eyes and preferences are, although IF we were hunting the more "blue" scorpions, the 380 nm would work better. I think Luc posted on this a year or two ago.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing what you end up with.

Christian



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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:28 pm 
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Christian Elowsky wrote:

In any case, in the biological world, the minor 5-15nm differences will mean little for exciting the molecules in the cuticle, they'll all do it. It's what your eyes and preferences are, although IF we were hunting the more "blue" scorpions, the 380 nm would work better. I think Luc posted on this a year or two ago.



That's kind of the heart of the matter...is it worth paying more for a light that has a shoter wavelength option? Sounds like a 'no' in most cases, at least if the difference is small.

Thanks!

Wade


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:39 pm 
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Wade,

At some point I'll find the equipment to scan for the maximum excitation for a few scorpions, or run across a paper on the topic.

Has anyone ever tried the yellow glasses to reduce the light from the black lights? I know they use them in forensic applications, and biological samples fluoresce much weaker than our animals... Oy, just what I need, to look even crazier in the field!

Actually, I checked for a second and found some INSANE flashlights! Of course they run hundreds of dollars, but maybe non-destructive testing UV flashlights might be a place to look for the ultra-serious scorpion hunters.

http://www.labino.com/products-led.html

Christian



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 Post subject: Go BIG
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 5:52 pm 
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http://www.ledwholesalers.com/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=330

just spend a little more and get the Biggun^


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 Post subject: Re: Go BIG
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:16 pm 
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That's a monster! However, I don't need to see them from outer space, I think I'll go with something that will fit in my bag :D


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 Post subject: Re: Go BIG
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:28 pm 
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Wade Harrell wrote:
That's a monster! However, I don't need to see them from outer space, I think I'll go with something that will fit in my bag :D


LOL, I am going to end up getting the big one now. I got a 51 bulb for christmas and am getting stocked about using it at Hawk Creek in June.


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 Post subject: Re: Go BIG
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 7:50 pm 
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A 4D metal flashlight would make a good weapon in case of coyote attack, so maybe I need to reconsider!


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 1:05 pm 
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Chirstian- I am using yellow lenses as perscription to treat something else entirely- but it has really helped with my night vision in general and glare on rainy days. I will try to remember to bring a blacklight when I go camping this year to test that for you (oo, I could find Missouri scorpions), though mine are puny little flashlight things I got at the conference.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 4:02 pm 
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Celeste,

The human eye actually produces fluorescence when exposed to UV light. The UV would be blocked from reaching your eye with the colored glasses, there by cutting down the actual visible light from those small flashlights and the eye glow. Meaning, they might be more effective...

No idea, but I am curious about it!

Christian



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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:34 pm 
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You know of course, that sporting goods stores sell the yellow lensed glasses for target shooters- I dont know how much those run but I would think in the range of good sunglasses. It has definitely reduced glare overall for me as a positive side effect.

As to the impression you make on others- specialized equipment for anything looks cool- and it never hurts to stand out in a crowd!


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:17 am 
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Sorry for being late on this thread...

Scott and I got two of these and are really happy with them - you'll hear a scorp literally scream "look at me!!!!" when it's in the path of your light :cool:

http://www.bioquip.com/search/DispProduct.asp?pid=2921

Are we ready for the conference yet?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 5:34 am 
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Hi Anette-

A light with one really good bulb is tempting!

On the yellow glasses...

In the course of researching this, I discovered that the yellow goggles they sell as protection against the UV light are ALSO supposed to enhance the flourecence, as suggested here...

http://blacklightshop.com/goggle.html

Not sure it would work with scorpions, but I might get a set because I definitelty get eye fatigue after extended periods using the lights.

Wade


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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 4:39 pm 
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Wade Harrell wrote:
Hi Anette-

A light with one really good bulb is tempting!

On the yellow glasses...

In the course of researching this, I discovered that the yellow goggles they sell as protection against the UV light are ALSO supposed to enhance the flourecence, as suggested here...

http://blacklightshop.com/goggle.html

Not sure it would work with scorpions, but I might get a set because I definitelty get eye fatigue after extended periods using the lights.

Wade


I have lens implants that, besides correcting vision, are UV protective. When Anette and I were out with her lights, she could see the scrops just fine but I could not. Some research and experimenting makes me think it is the implants. I would be interested in what the yellow glasses may do. Years ago I used them for night/rain driving and, like Celeste, found them helpful in those situations.



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 Post subject: Re: Ideal Wavelength for scorpion hunting?
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 7:44 pm 
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They won't "enhance" the fluorescence from the scorpions, it will reduce "noise". Yellow glasses would work exactly like the UV or IR filter in your film or digital camera. They just remove unneeded light via specific wavelengths.

Huh, I wonder if I can find a pair that match my shirts?



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