The SteriPEN UV wands have been through several generations of development, reaching a very satisfactory state with this SteriPEN Opti unit.
by Roger Caffin | 2010-10-05
It would seem from comparing the outside of the SteriPEN Opti and the SteriPEN Adventurer that much of the Opti is the same. So It may be worth while reading our in depth Review of the Adventurer first. Here we will focus mainly on the changes (hopefully improvements) brought to us with the Opti.
To use the Opti all you have to do is uncap the UV lamp, press the button (once for 1 L, twice for 0.5 L), wait until the white LED starts to flash, then insert the lamp end into the water. This is illustrated in the second photo, where I tried, fairly unsuccessfully, to capture the illumination of the white LED. Stir gently for 90 seconds (for 1 L) until the UV lamp goes out and the white LED stops flashing, and you are done. In point of fact, this is also how you use the Adventurer, so one might ask where are the upgrades? Well, there are several.
First of all, many of the older Adventurer units had a rather high 'off-state' current drain, of about 600 micro-amps. This meant that storing the unit with the batteries in place for a few weeks could make a bit of a dent in the battery capacity. It was not unknown for people to go to use their Adventurer during a trip only to find that the batteries were flat. It turns out (according to Hydro-Photon, the makers), that the 'off-state' current drain was never meant to be anywhere near that high: it should have been only a tenth of that.
Smart users took to removing the batteries from the Adventurer while it was not in use, and only inserting them briefly when they needed to treat water. Well, that worked, but it was a bit of a hassle putting the batteries in and taking them out. Compounding that hassle was the flat thumbscrew used to hold the battery lid in place: it was quite awkward to remove. The hassles caused by the flat thumbscrew even led to an MYOG Thumbscrew article being published!