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AquaStar™ Plus UV Spectracidal Water Purifier, retail $69.00 (
Manufactured by AquaStar™ (
Last updated 09-16-12

This is the AquaStar™ Plus, a 1 liter water bottle with a UV purifier and a bright white LED lantern built right in. It has a special UVC (ultraviolet C) fluorescent tube that uses UVC radiation at 253.7nm to sterilise the contents of the water in the bottle, and a bright white LED (a Nichia NSPW500CS) inside the bottle to use as a camping lantern.


To use the AquaStar™ as a water purifier, unscrew and remove the cap/core assembly (this consists of the cap itself, the UVC fluorescent tube "core", the driving electronics, and the batteries), and fill the bottle with up to 33 ounces (1 liter) of water. Use water that *looks* clean (such as from a clear-running creek); do not fill it with murky or muddy water, and para los motivos de Cristo please do not pee in it.

Screw the cap/core assembly back on, push and hold down the rubber button on the cap for 0.5 to 1.0 second, then release it. The tube inside the bottle should now be glowing a dim whitish-blue, and two small LEDs above the switch should come on together and emit a yellowish or orangish glow. It will then turn itself off automatically after 80 seconds, the LED above the switch will flash green and the white LED will come on inside the bottle - this continues for ~10 seconds, then the entire unit shuts off. While the disinfection process is in progress, you may swirl the bottle around and even turn it upside-down and swirl it - this reportedly increases the effectiveness.

• If the LED in the cap blinks or glows red, the cycle was interrupted. This could be due to low batteries, an impact to the bottle, or a loose battery cover. Re-run cycle to ensure water is thoroughly treated.
• When the bright white spot at the top of the tube turns a dimmer orange, the batteries are getting low; you will have about 5 cleaning cycles left at this point. When the batteries are too low for a complete cleaning cycle, the cap will flash red and abort the cycle.

To use the bottle as a camping lantern, quickly press and release the button two times. A bright white LED inside the bottle should now come on, and it will turn itself off after 15 minutes, after one minute of dimmer operation. Pressing the button between minute 14 and minute 15 turns the LED back on at full brightness and starts the 15 minute timer at zero again. If you want it off before the 15 minutes are up, just press the button once to turn it off.

The AquaStar™ bottle is not dishdoucher-safe; handwash the bottle with a mild detergent and water prior to first use and whenever it needs to be washed. Clean it and store it in a dry environment when not in use.

To change the batteries when necessary, use a medium standard screwdriver or lift the ring above each of the two screws in the top of the cap, and unscrew these screws. Unscrew them approximately three full turns; you need not actually remove them from the lid.

Lift the lid away, and set it aside.

Remove and dispose of or recycle the two used CR123A cells from the cap.

Install two new CR123A cells into the cap, observing the polarity markings at the bottom of each chamber.

Place the lid back in place, observing the (+) and (-) signs embossed into it; orienting it so the (+) emossing faces the button-end (+) of one cell, and the (-) embossing faces the flat-end (-) of the other cell.

Tighten the screws gently, and be done with it.

Measures 32mA on the LED, and 958mA on the UVC fluoro tube.

This is a water purification device, not a flashlight meant to be carried around, thrashed, and abused, so I won't whack it against the corner of a concrete stair, try to drown it in a toilet bowl, throw it against a wall, run over it with a 400lb electric wheelchair, let my housemate's kitty cat's ghost tinkle on it, or inflict other punishments on it that I might inflict upon a flashlight, so this section of this web page will be significantly more bare than this section of the web page on a page about a flashlight.

This product comes in a plastic body, so "The Smack Test" would really not be appropriate here in any case.

In my opinion, "The Toilet Test" is also inappropriate. There is a gasket between the battery lid and the cap, but it leaks very slowly around the screws and may also leak slowly around the rubber switch button. The AquaStar™ *DOES* appear to be splash-resistant, but I don't believe it is waterproof or submersible. So please try not to drop it in creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceansides, docksides, puddles of lab rat pee, slush piles, mud puddles, tubs, toilet bowls, cisterns, sinks, fishtanks, dog water dishes, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found. A little rain or snow probably wouldn't hurt it though, so you need not be too concerned about using it in lightly to at most moderately bad weather.

It will leak very slowly around the screws, so water-testing would not be the best thing for it - water and high voltage generally do not play well together. The inside portion of the cap seems very well sealed though, so it won't spring a leak there.

The unit is *DUNKABLE* though, so if it falls into a pond or lake, it will float (when screwed onto a water bottle), and if you fish it out right away you should be alright. So you need not be concerned about using it near water - after all, that's what it's for.

I said this one time before, but I'll say it again for safety sakes. The AquaStar™ bottle is not douchewasher-safe; handwash the bottle with a mild detergent and water prior to first use and whenever it needs to be washed. Clean it and store it in a dry environment when not in use. The bottle itself is made of polycarbonate, so it *MIGHT* do alright in the top rack of a dishdoucher, but I cannot guarantee good results here.
I do not have a dishwasher so I cannot actually test this, but the manufacturer may perform this test just to see what happens.

(Update 09-13-05): I heard back from the manufacturer this evening, and here's what they had to say:

Nope. It took a few drops through the button cover. I could dry it out and it still works but I wouldn't call it dishwasher safe yet. If we use some hydrophobic silicone oil on the button and battery gasket to repel water then it doesn't leak more than 1/2 a drop. Maybe we'll add that step.

(Update 10-04-05): I heard back from the manufacturer again this afternoon, and here's what they had to say:

Now they are dishwasher safe. We swab some of this silicone grease from McNett around the button and battery cap seals and it survives dual dishwasher runs.
It won't take it forever without opening up the cap and letting it air out occasionally but it's a vast improvement.

A system reset should never be needed, but if necessary can be achieved. Remove the battery lid, hold the button down for 2 seconds to discharge the control circuit, and then replace the lid. On system reset, the red light in the cap will blink for 5 seconds and then allow normal functioning.

Speaking of high voltage, the striking (startup) voltage is only 100 volts, and the running voltage is just ~35 volts, so this is a lot safer than most other battery-operated fluorescent lamps where several hundred volts is rather readily accessible. Meaning, even if it gets douched inside the cap, you're liable to find just 35 volts or so in there when that fluoro is operating.

The user manual in .PDF format (474,668 bytes) is available at this link if you're interested.
Link opens in a new window; the file is also stored on my server (vs. being "hotlinked").

The fluorescent tube emits UVC radiation at 253.7nm; this radiation is quite dangerous to skin and eyes. Under no circumstances should you operate the bottle's core without the bottle in place!!! The bottle does shield you from 100% of this invisible radiation, so you need not be concerned about viewing the tube when it is on WHEN IT IS IN THE BOTTLE ONLY!!!

Photographs showing the bottle with the UVC fluorescent tube on (left) and the white LED on (right).

Same as above; different camera used.

With the unit outside the bottle, it measures 8,406mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.
Because of the bottle, this value is of little use to the average user, but there it is anyway.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVC tube in this product.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVC tube in this product, deliberately overexposed to show weaker spectral lines.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the white LED in this product.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVC fluoro tube in this product; newer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis
Broadband spectrographic analysis of the UVC fluoro tube in this product; yet newer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis
Narrowband spectrographic analysis of the UVC fluoro tube in this product; yet newer software & settings used.
Spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 175nm and 379nm (UV radiation only) and deliberately "overloaded" to allow weaker UV spectral features to be seen.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVC fluoro tube in this product (deliberately "overexposed" to show weaker spectral lines in the UV); newer software & settings used. Spectrometer's response narrowed to a range of 174nm to 384nm to show *ONLY* UV emission!!!

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the UVC fluoro tube in this product; bottle left in place to show that harmful UVC radiation is indeed filtered out by it.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the white LED in this product; newer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of the white LED in this product; yet newer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis
Narrowband spectrographic analysis of the white LED in this product; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 440nm and 490nm to show LED's native emission peak of 462.950nm.

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

Video on YourTube showing how the AquaStar Plus™ UV Spectracidal Water Purifier would be used.

That music you hear is the song "Transistor" by Kraftwerk.
This product is not sound-sensitive; the audio may be ignored or even muted if it pisses you off.

This video is approximately 6.48834785235 megabytes (6,692,687 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than thirty two to load at 48.0Kbps.

Test unit was sent by K.K. of AquaStar™, and was received late on the morning of 09-06-05.

UPDATE: 09-08-05
Unit has been awarded 4 1/2 stars and placed in The Trophy Case on this website.

UPDATE: 10-04-05
As a test, I put water in the bottle - water that normally tastes horrible - and activated the 80-second disinfecting cycle, and when the cycle was complete, took a test taste. And another. The water tasted fine. I know, the product isn't meant to improve the taste of already potable but terrible-tasting water, but it did do just that.

UPDATE: 10-05-05
I have some of the silicone grease from McNett on the way, and will run the bottle (the top and the bottle itself) through the shower (since there is no dishdoucher in this house) after performing the waterproofing treatment and will see for myself how effective this waterproofing treatment is.

UPDATE: 10-07-05
After applying the furnished lubricant, I somehow managed to push the rubber switch button down inside the cap, so unless I can retrieve & mount it properly, I will not be able to perform "The Shower Test" that I was asked to perform.

UPDATE: 10-07-05
Yes, a same-day update. No, you aren't seeing things.
I asked my contact at AquaStar™ to send me another rubber switch cover. If he does, I can repair my unit that way and will not have to send it back or otherwise do anything drastic.

UPDATE: 10-11-05
I was informed this afternoon that a replacement button is on the way.

UPDATE: 10-15-05
I received the replacement switch rubber a short time ago, lubed it with the McNett silicone grease, and installed it.
I started a disinfecting cycle and placed it in the shower, approximately 18" from the shower head (it's a handheld hose with shower nozzle on the end), and kept the shower on it for the entire disinfecting cycle (~80 seconds), being certain to direct (aim) the shower spray at the top of the bottle's core and around its edges, and no leakage or malfunctions were detected.

I have decided to increase its rating to 4.95 stars.

UPDATE: 10-17-05
O o, the unit malfunctioned this morning, and water was found on the batteries when I changed them to see if that was "it". So the unit DID NOT pass "The Shower Test" after all. As a result, I'll have to take off that last 0.45 star, and restore it to its original 4 1/2 star rating. It still stays in "The Trophy Case" on this website if that's any consolation.

UPDATE: 10-17-05
Yes, a same-day update. No, you aren't seeing things.
As of 7:09pm PDT this evening, the unit operates correctly. It spent most of today drying out on top of my computer monitor at a temperature of ~100°F (~37.7°C).

UPDATE: 03-20-12
I *FINALLY* got a chance to use this product in the manner in which it was intended...yesterday, the water main serving this area became broken (resulting in loss of water service of course); when the pipe was repaired, the water that was poured into sinks, tubs, and toliets had a turbid (cloudy, somewhat brownish) appearance to it. Once the water was run long enough until it ran clear, I used this bottle to sanitise all water for drinking purposes (for use in "to-go" cups, bottles, ice cube trays, etc) and instructed the other family members on how to use it as well. Although the water was very likely fine, I used the AquaStar™ Plus just "to be sure it's Westinghouse" {as my now-deceased best friend & housemate used to say} and drank it only after sanitising it.

UPDATE: 03-21-12
What do you see in this photograph?
Or, more accurately, what DON'T you see?

If you guessed, "The screws for the battery door" then ¡¡¡HUSOOS CRISTO EN UNA MULETA!!!

It's the switch rubber (the external part of the switch). It went inside the cap (the second one now) and is irretrivable. However, my new contact at Meridian Design is going to replace the entire cap/core assembly as soon as I mail my existing one back to them (and I already have the green light from Meridian Design to do just that).

UPDATE: 03-25-12
Guess what came in yesterday's mail?

If you guessed, "a replacement cap/core ass'y", then YAAAAAYYYY!!! YOU GOT IT CORRECT!!!

Note if you will the differences between the new cap (right) and the old cap (left). However, these differences appear to be mainly cosmetic; the functionality of the new AquaStar™ Plus appears to be totally unchanged from what it was in 2005.

The customer service that I received from D. C. at Meridian Design was absolutely stellar to say the least! She answered my email promptly, and sent the new cap/core assembly to me equally promptly -- it wouldn't surprise me one bit if she had the cap/core ass'y in the mail that same day!!!

Mega, giga cheers...wait, better make that TERA CHEERS for D.C.
Hip hip hurrah!!!
Hip hip hurrah!!!
Hip hip hurrah!!!

She also included this polyester mesh drawstring pouch; one was not furnished with my original AquaStar™ Plus, but judging by the size and the fact that it has a drawstring closure, I would surmise that the pouch is for carrying spare CR123A cells.

Batteries have a longer-than-expected life
Tool-free battery changing process
Unit as a whole appears reasonably durable
LED used for lantern portion is of the brigher Nichia "CS" variety
Low running voltage on the fluorescent tube
Somewhat water-resistant
Customer service is absolutely fan-freakin-tastic!

Core may not be dishwasher-safe; but bottle should be OK in the top rack
Batteries it uses can be expensive and difficult to find in an emergency

    PRODUCT TYPE: Portable water steriliser w/built-in lantern
    LAMP TYPE: UVC fluoro (sterilisation), 5mm white LED (lamp)
    No. OF LAMPS: 2 (1 fluoro, 1 LED)
    SWITCH TYPE: Rubberised pushbutton on lid for fluoro on/off & LED on/off
    BEZEL: N/A
    BATTERY: 2xCR123A cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 32mA (LED), 958mA (UVC fluoro tube)
    WATER- AND PIDDLE-RESISTANT: Splash-resistant at min.
    ACCESSORIES: 2xCR123A cells, drawstring pouch for spare batteries
    SIZE: ~230mm L x 90mm Dia.
    WEIGHT: 239.70g (8.460 oz)
    COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: Not stated; though presumably USA
    WARRANTY: Two years


AquaStar Plus™ UV Spectracidal Water Purifier *

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