The Legendary BLF Integrating Sphere starts here! (Delivered)

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blueb8llz
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DB Custom wrote:
Did you shine it through the wall on the opposite side of the hole?

I tried what you said with my DBC-03 and got 1052 on the meter, x10, 10520 × .238 = 2503.76. The only problem with that is my other light box reads over 4000 lumens.

Using the app, I put in 1246 through hole on level 2, 22 through wall on level 2 and then 10520 through wall for 3006 lumens.

My PVC trap says 4440.15 even coming last after the other testing.

Edit: FWIW, this one fits in the hole.

Hmmm… That’s more than quite a few lumens off. I think you should try my method again with maybe some more known value lights. U have any stock lights? Or maybe even try something with less lumens. Like something easy. Something with only a single emitter. This way we know what the max that single emitter can do.

Oh, and I shined the light to the left of the hole…. On the same side as the opening. The meter and bracket is on the right side

jhalb
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Hmmm... I wonder is it possible to get an accurate reading(with doing all the math of course) just with a one inch thick piece of styrofoam? Flashlight on one side sensor on the other?

DB Custom
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blueb8llz, pretty sure Josh said to use the opposite side for through wall to make use of the baffles internally. The video shows spinning the ball around so the meter is physically on the opposite side in the box, then shining the light on the middle of the ball exactly opposite the plugged hole.

Perhaps if you try it that way, your .238 number will change.

Edit: Since a multiplier of .422 equals my other method of testing, I will try a few other lights to see how it compares. Stock? Huh? What’s that? Wink

blueb8llz
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Ok just discovered something weird, and this proves why u got that low number Dale.
I get the same low number only when using lights with those type of cute or similar optics.
I tried four different lights with those optics. Ranging from triple xpg2 and xml2.
This is odd. Something to with these no reflector optic lights causing a low lumen rating through styrophone.

blueb8llz
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jhalb wrote:

Hmmm… I wonder is it possible to get an accurate reading(with doing all the math of course) just with a one inch thick piece of styrofoam? Flashlight on one side sensor on the other?

No, that won’t work because the meter has a rounded half ball for the reading, and the back to a flat piece of styrophone is flat.

Joshk
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blueb8llz wrote:
This is odd. Something to with these no reflector optic lights causing a low lumen rating through styrophone.

Yea I experienced the same thing. The reflector definitely causes a higher percentage of light to penetrate. Without the reflector the light that bounces off the white foam the first time never gets a second chance. A good reflector gives it a second, third, fourth chance to penetrate.

This is a good group conversion, I’m going to sit back and watch for a while Smile

DB Custom
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So any TIR Optic would do the same thing then, like a big 50mm TIR I have in a MagLite?

blueb8llz
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DB Custom wrote:
So any TIR Optic would do the same thing then, like a big 50mm TIR I have in a MagLite?

I believe so. I just found two more lights with these type of optics, a total of five lights now, and they all gave lower readings.
My biggest light with this type of optics is a lumintop ps03.

And I tried redoing the test but this time shining the light on the opposite end of the sphere and got the same reading.
The sphere does a good job trapping all the light. I even shined the light right next to the meter, and still got the same number.
The only place that DOES change the number is if you shined on the crack where the two halves meet together to form the sphere. I’m assuming there’s a super tiny crack and it’s literally right across from the meter.

1dash1
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You guys have all the fun. Innocent

I’m still waiting for delivery of my sphere …

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

Joshk
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1dash1 wrote:
You guys have all the fun. Innocent

I’m still waiting for delivery of my sphere …

I can probably locate your tracking number if you need it. You are in Hawaii, so this is probably normal. I recall for a fact that your box was the second one handed across the counter at the post office.

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I received my sphere earlier this week. I have only just started messing with it, but I like it! Just need to get the hang of using it. And, I don’t have many stock lights, and even less with what I would consider reliable ratings, so there will be a learning curve.
In regards to optics not pushing the light through the wall for high lumen, multi LED lights with optic measurements. Most of the lights I have fit in to this category. I am a lighting technician in theater, and I have access to all kinds of lighting filters. This weekend, I will take some neutral density light filters home to experiment. It is a grey gel with a known translucence. I am going to try 50% and 25% to see if I might be able to measure them through hole. I can also add them together for even less translucence.
We’ll just see how it works…
Thanks again Josh for doing this!

Joshk
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I just PM’d 1dash1 his tracking number. If anyone else is still waiting on delivery, please let me know asap. I am cleaning off my desk and these receipts are getting thrown away.

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Hi, I didn’t see this thread until now. Am I too late to put in an order?

Joshk
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Hi, I didn’t see this thread until now. Am I too late to put in an order?

I have one of the surplus left. Posts 413 and 414 explain how the situation started and why I decided to offer the following… If you want (that one) immediately, I am asking $126 for shipping today. For anyone willing to wait for the next batch, just ask to be on the list and those will be $106. It will take a month to get supplies AFTER the list ends. And for anyone that wants to build their own, I am going to fully video document the next batch I make. And I will upload all my 3D printing files too. There’s a post somewhere in the 300’s or 400’s detailing my latest costs, basically it’s not profitable for me, but that’s ok, it was more an engineering hobby project for me. I really enjoy designing things.

MRsDNF
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I think we should all chip in a few bucks and pay for Toykeepers with all the invaluable work she has done here that most of us have gained from.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

SawMaster
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MRsDNF wrote:
I think we should all chip in a few bucks and pay for Toykeepers with all the invaluable work she has done here that most of us have gained from.

Start the thread Cool Count me in for $15

This is my busy season for work and I’ve been slammed. Plus I’ve been working on 4 vehicles- 2 of mine and 2 for family, all of which has left me with no time to play but tomorrow night looks good so far.

Phil

1dash1
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SawMaster wrote:
MRsDNF wrote:
I think we should all chip in a few bucks and pay for Toykeepers with all the invaluable work she has done here that most of us have gained from.

Start the thread Cool Count me in for $15

This is my busy season for work and I’ve been slammed. Plus I’ve been working on 4 vehicles- 2 of mine and 2 for family, all of which has left me with no time to play but tomorrow night looks good so far.

Phil

Done. New thread started.

“Toykeeper Appreciation Gift _ BLF Integrating Light Sphere” – http://budgetlightforum.com/node/47205

EDIT: TK indicated that she would prefer some hardware that she could experiment with to expand the boundaries of what we are able to do with flashlights. She thought that was the best way to spend the money, to benefit the BLF community. So, we won’t be buying a light sphere for her.

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

ToyKeeper
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Joshk wrote:
… for anyone that wants to build their own, I am going to fully video document the next batch I make. And I will upload all my 3D printing files too.

There’s a post somewhere in the 300’s or 400’s detailing my latest costs, basically it’s not profitable for me, but that’s ok, it was more an engineering hobby project for me. I really enjoy designing things.

Oh, definitely don’t take a loss on the project. It sounds like a fun project though, and I’ve considered making one on several occasions. Perhaps the documentation is what is really needed. Smile

Before this thread I hadn’t heard that the through-wall method has issues with non-reflector lights. It makes sense, but it hadn’t occurred to me. I should probably just stick with my convenient compact integrating milk carton, since it works well enough for my purposes and it’s easy to store.

Joshk
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Joshk wrote:
… for anyone that wants to build their own, I am going to fully video document the next batch I make. And I will upload all my 3D printing files too.

There’s a post somewhere in the 300’s or 400’s detailing my latest costs, basically it’s not profitable for me, but that’s ok, it was more an engineering hobby project for me. I really enjoy designing things.

Oh, definitely don’t take a loss on the project. It sounds like a fun project though, and I’ve considered making one on several occasions. Perhaps the documentation is what is really needed. Smile

Before this thread I hadn’t heard that the through-wall method has issues with non-reflector lights. It makes sense, but it hadn’t occurred to me. I should probably just stick with my convenient compact integrating milk carton, since it works well enough for my purposes and it’s easy to store.

I love designing things, but I like to move on to the next design project afterwards. The design was intended as a contribution to the BLF community. I took a slight loss in the beginning, but I made enough in the end that my wife won’t kill me for invading every inch of our home with a long running project Shocked

DB Custom
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Yeah, easy to see how 15-20 12” styrofoam balls could impact living quarters. lol

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2 sphere halves each, slowly rolling around as I re-positioned them for the next glue-on piece… plus all the boxes that were getting their sockets measured and glued into place. There were so many boxes! Plus random 3D prints coming off the printer… And piles of meters… Plus adhesive backed aluminum foil sheets with cups all over them… “Honey, don’t touch the AL foil – it’s like fly paper” Big Smile … It was an impressive mess Smile

1dash1
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Your wife sounds like a saint. Innocent

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

Joshk
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1dash1 wrote:
Your wife sounds like a saint. Innocent

She is Big Smile

RotorHead64
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So I'd like to know if anyone has found a sphere cal # that they're really comfortable with. The reason I ask is I have checked a few lights that I've built up and I really can't decide if what I'm seeing is real or not. 

A light I trust is my Armytek wizard pro V2 that I've had for about 3 years. It's definitely constant brightness and I haven't had any kind of complaints about this light since day 1. It's the only Armytek I have . My meter cal is 555. Battery is an Samsung 30Q at 4.2V. It's #'s are

ml1-65,

ml2-780,

low-5100,

med1-9330,

med2-20700,

high-49300,

turbo-102700.  

If I use sphere cal .0080 then those #'s pretty much line up with the manufacturers specs. 

One more light I kinda trust, an "old" ThorFire C8S with pill and "new" driver. Sony VTC5 at 4.2V.

ML-175

Low-7330

Med-thru hole 61100, thru wall 1370

High-thru hole 154600, thru wall 3580

Okay so I just checked an Trustfire 3t6 that I built up using a zener modded mtn26dd kit with guppydrv universal firmware, 3 XML2 U4 1A's on noctigons that I hot dedomed, bypassed switch board/spring, bypassed driver spring, copper contacts, 20 awg wire throughout. 3 Sony VTC5's at 12.51V. The #'s are as follows-

ML-1525,

1%-8800,

2%-16300,

5%-32000,

15% thru hole 99500 thru wall 2780, (these were the reference #'s)

25%-170300 thru hole,

40%-7680 thru wall,

100%-18000 thru wall...cool

Last night I checked a B158 pill that I built up with an A17DD-S08 guppydrv and an XML2 U3 3D that I hot dedomed, bypassed switch board/spring, bypassed driver spring, copper contacts, 20AWG. Sony VTC5 at 4.21V....

These #'s were taken without the head/lens assembly installed.

ML-882,

1%-2950,

5%-13370,

15%-41600,

40% thru hole 116700 thru wall 2900,

100% thru wall 6700.... laughing 

 

 

 

RotorHead64
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I need some feedback from the Pro’s Glasses

blueb8llz
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I like .0060 for the sphere cal number.
And for thru wall measurements I came up with my own way of measuring. You can read up on it on the previous posts.
If your lazy to read, what you can do is take your thru wall measurement and multiply that with .238

Ie…your trustfire 3t6 is 18,000 × .238 = 4,284 lumens

RotorHead64
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Convoy L2, XHP-70 P2 1C on 20mm T-PAD, Zener mod MTN-20DD kit with SIR800DP FET and guppydrv universal firmware, bypassed (20awg) switch board and springs with copper contacts, 2 Shockli 3500mAh IMR26650's at 4.2v apiece. Sphere #6 cal .0060, meter cal 555

ML 3820 lux -                                   22.9 lm

1% 12220 lux -                                 73.3 lm

2% 20000 lux -                                  120 lm

5% 41700 lux -                                  250 lm

15% 129600 hole, 3700 wall lux -  778 lm

                                     3700 x .238=880 lm

25% 6460 wall lux -           x .238=1537 lm 

40% 10300 wall lux -         x .238=2451 lm

100% 25200 wall lux -   x .238=5997.6 lm

 

Joshk
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Apologies guys, I just noticed the app was down, probably for the last week or more. I left a shared hosting environment and setup a new server. In the process I made a little typo in the Apache setup and neglected to test the BLF app. My bad, it’s fixed now.

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Warning long post ahead, bullet points at the top for those that do not care how the conclusion was arrived at

Howdy, DB custom was nice enough to donate his sphere to me to see if I could figure out the readings, So I guess I have a reason to post now. Big Smile

Bullet points

- Got DB Customs sphere
- Tested every stock light I have
- Found massive variance between readings through-hole and through-wall and general unreliability of anything over 1000 lumens
- Also notice side issue of meter readings changing when set to 10x vs 100x
- Logged all the data to an excel file and crunched numbers
- Discovered that the light lost with strike bezels is the cause of most of the unreliability in through-wall measurements
- Discovered that heads larger then hole opening cannot be measured accurately.
- Spent hours testing materials for internal diffuser to increase the reading range of the meter beyond 1000 lumens with through hole measurement accuracy.
- Finally found that Styrofoam discs seems to work well and increases reading range to at least ~6000 lumens with much higher possible with denser/thicker foam.
- Found that a fixed multiplier seems to work great with internal diffuser and thus the sphere can be used like normal for any light that fits the opening. See pics later in post.
- Realized what time it was and fell into bed after a long days work.

Before I start I want to say that Josh did an amazing job on these. I am a bit obsessed with some things, one of those is ingenuity. I positively love the overall design of the setup, the way it is self-contained, it uses the shipping box to house everything, the design of the 3d printed parts ect. It is all top notch and very well thought out. Props to you Josh!

Only changes I think I will make to the overall setup is making some kind of shelves/holder for the rings and meter on the inside of the box, so I can move it around without everything sliding to the back. Well at least for now, I tend to add bells and whistles more and more over time lol.

I want to thank DB Custom for the sphere, I would not have been able to do this otherwise!

I also need to say that I have only skimmed this thread, what I am about to say may very well already be known, although I never saw my possible solution mentioned.

I got it in on Saturday and started playing with it yesterday. I spent all of yesterday working with it trying to figure it out and I think I might have figured out the issue and a solution to the through wall / over 1000 lumen light readings that everyone has been having.

So now to the testing. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I honestly got sucked into this saga before I knew or planned on doing it and didn’t think to take pics of anything, although not sure if they would be been worth it anyways, you have already seen the sphere.

I will post a link to the Excel document with the testing from yesterday for ya’ll to look over yourselves, it is rough as I did it in a long marathon binge of flashlights flying everywhere and telling people to stay away from the box because it is “important” and not “just a box”. The overall data in it should be understandable, keep in mind that batteries were drained some by the end of the say, so numbers that are consistently lower across the board could be due to that, ask if you have any questions.

The only stock lights I have that would work for this that I could think of at the time are as follows:

Nitenumen NE01
Defiant 3c 850 lumen
Convoy L6
Supfire M6
Astrolux S1
WELL USED and abused US serial number with OP reflector Fenix P2D, carried every single day for the last 10 years. More neutral tint then HK serial
Fenix P2D HK serial number and SMO reflector, colder tint and hardly used in the last 10 years
Fenix P3D

All the rest are modded or in various states of assembly.

Batteries are HE2 or HE4 that started at 4.15v or better, most ended up around 4v +/- a bit by the end of testing.

I then tested via the normal through-hole method first for all but the Fenix, which I remember near the end of testing. I logged the readings on each mode, along with any cases of the meter reading changing on another range setting.

I then repeated the testing with through-wall measurements. I didn’t have any meter issues with these interestingly

First I started out testing some small lights and it worked great, consistent and the numbers were in line with what I expected. Exactly how actuate they are? That is for someone else to figure out which multiplier to use, I have virtually no stock lights to calibrate it with lol. The .006 multiplier seems to work well though.

The issues started when I moved up to my more normal lights which are 1000+ lumens and over what you can measure through-hole. Readings suddenly were all over the place and anything but consistent or accurate.

After an hour or 2 of messing with things I decided to get scientific with it and run the numbers. So I pulled out every stock light I have and started taking measurements. Logged everything and then studied the data.

About halfway through testing I figured out half the issue, which is that lights with “strike bezels” that let light escape from the front are impossible to calibrate no matter how you take the readings. There is simply too much variance over the output levels in light lost. The more light that escapes the worse it is to try to get an accurate reading. These became very clear when testing a SRK (not in the excel file) with 8x XM-L2 U2’s. The higher the mode, the further off the reading.

On the other hand lights with smooth fronts (such as the S1) read spot on with the through wall measurements. So this was the first major issue.

The next issue was for lights that are too big to fit in the hole, put simply, it is impossible to get a reading on these lights, it simply cannot happen. For example an L6 reads ~2500 lumens with a through wall measurement even though it is actually around 3500 lumens. This is due to the fact that the multiplier for the through wall measurement is skewed due to a lot of light being lost when taking the through hole reference. ~29% of the light is being lost to the edge of the foam.

This is impossible to account for, so unless someone has an idea on how to get all the light from a large head into the sphere and take a reading, a flashlight with a larger head then the through hole cannot be measured sadly.

Lastly the other issue that I have is that the lux meter disagrees with itself in certain ranges. For example on some lights I will get one reading in the 10x range but a completely different reading in the 100x range. I have no idea why this happens but it happened with my other lux meter as well. It only happens a few times but when it does, neither reading seems to be “accurate”.

It is repeatable, with the same light on the same setting. No earthly idea why this happens at all but it plays havoc on the averages and needs to be eliminated from the numbers in order to get an accurate multiplier IMHO. The only thing I can possibly think of is maybe the PWM of the light is somehow causing the meter to spaz? doesn’t make much sense though since it does it with my meter as well.

Once I knew these issues I then set about figuring out a way around them. We are always smarter than the problem, thats my motto and I want to know what my lights are making!

After a lot of thinking, testing and playing around I finally hit on something that seems to work quite well.

Basically the through hole measurements are great, they are reliable and besides the exact multiplier, they are accurate. The issue is measuring lights over ~1000 lumens which maxes out the meter.

The idea was to do a thorough wall measurement in order to diffuse the light enough that the meter won’t be overloaded. Great idea, one I experimented with on my own earlier this year with a PVC sphere (where I ran into the same issues, although since none of the readings were known accurate it was impossible to diagnose it). In practice though this simply does not work with most lights since they have strike bezels.

So we needed to eliminate the through wall measurements and yet still diffuse the light, so why not make it that simple? Lets simply diffuse the light inside the sphere.

I tried a bunch of things from white plastic lids to bowls ect but most of them did not diffuse the light enough to get a worthwhile increase in the measurement range to be worth it.

I then figured that if the Styrofoam wall was enough to diffuse it, why not use more Styrofoam inside the sphere?

I then found some 5” × 1.5” Styrofoam discs (well 2× .75” discs stacked) and I put that over the sensor inside the sphere. Being a circle it seals up nicely just laying it there but mounting it would indeed improve things.

Pictures of the internal diffuser:

With this internal diffuser in place I then took all the readings again. Did them just like the through-hole measurements.

All the sudden the readings on the powerful lights started lining up perfectly with the “open-hole” readings.

After taking all the new measurements and averaging the numbers, this particular diffuser setup (could easily be changed to allow for more or less lumens), a multiplier of .037 seemed to work across the board. Virtually all of the readings taken with the diffuser and using that multiplier came out to spot on what I would expect across the range (aka, the modes were spaced as they should be, if not exact on the lumen number). They also match up almost exactly with the non-diffused through-hole readings.

Every light I tried came out perfect and honestly the sphere is a lot easier to use like this since you would not have to change the test process no matter what the light output.

I am curious to hear what people’s opinions on here are about it. I welcome you to try it yourself and report back.

I have not mounted these discs yet as since these spheres were designed to be standardized I wanted to see if we could come up with a standardized way of doing this before customizing this one. Plus ideas on how to mount it while still allowing it to be removed if desired are welcomed.

Here is the excel file with all the raw data

Josh’s Standard Sphere tests Raw data

I welcome any and all comments.

Joshk
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It’s great to see more research being done on improvements. As for a standardized way to do that… perhaps the hole plug it comes with could be attached over the meter hole with some white caulk? White caulk would probably be needed instead of clear to prevent gap leaks and keep everyone standard. I wonder what the new lowest reading would be?

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