Testing the MiniRAE 2000 & MiniRAE 3000 Measurement Ranges Using 11.7 eV Lamp

Testing the MiniRAE 2000 & MiniRAE 3000 Measurement Ranges Using 11.7 eV Lamp

Many of Enviro Equipment, Inc.’s customers have asked us about the difference between the MiniRAE 2000 and MiniRAE 3000 measurement ranges with an 11.7 eV lamp, so I decided to clarify these differences by conducting my own test.

Measurement Range and Lamps
Although the MiniRAE 3000 and 2000 do not share the same 10.6 eV lamp, the 11.7 eV lamp is interchangeable.  The MiniRAE 3000 reads up to 15,000 ppm using the standard 10.6 eV lamp, while the MiniRAE 2000 only has a range of 10,000 ppm.  One thing I found interesting, the specifications for the MiniRAE 3000 with an 11.7 eV lamp show a measurement range of 0 to 2000 ppm, the MiniRAE 2000 does not list specs for an 11.7 eV lamp.

The Test I Performed
I decided to perform a test using both meters and an 11.7 eV lamp to see the difference in measurement ranges.  I used a solvent with high VOCs that was sure to spike the readings on the PID to perform my test.  When I installed the lamp on the MiniRAE 3000 and exposed it to the solvent, the readings peaked at 2,000 ppm as expected.  When I performed the same test using the MiniRAE 2000 with the same exact lamp, the readings peaked at 10,000 ppm.  You would think that the MiniRAE 3000 would have the higher measurement range in this situation, but that is not the case.  However, the reason is not because the MiniRAE 3000 is more or less capable than the MiniRAE 2000.

My Conclusions
At this point my opinion is that the MiniRAE 3000 only reads up to 2,000 ppm due to the restrictions that RAE Systems put in the firmware.  The MiniRAE 2000 does not place a restriction on the measurement range when you change the settings to the 11.7 lamp mode.  RAE Systems tech support confirmed my theory and told me that the linear range they found for the lamp when testing the MiniRAE 3000 was 0 to 2,000 ppm.  So my conclusion is that although the MiniRAE 2000 lets you view the readings past 2,000 ppm, the readings may not be very accurate past this point.  This can be either an advantage or disadvantage to the MiniRAE 2000, depending upon how you look at it.



As a stockist of both the MiniRAE 2000 and MiniRAE 3000 models, we are constantly asked which one should be chosen. We generally recommend the 3000, as it is the most up-to-date of the two, but those who have done their research often point out the fact that is only goes to 2,000ppm.

We had our suspicions as to why this was the case and they were the same as yours. Thank you for clarifying this for us, we will now be able to better answer these questions.

Eric Chew

I’m glad the article helped, Karen! Thanks for reading.

Yenbo Huang

Really Helped! Thank you.

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