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Old 07-15-2017, 12:48 PM #1
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Post My Experience with Sanwu

Well hello there fellow humans.

In May, I ordered a Sanwu Red Guardian: my first real laser, and I want to talk about my experience. There was also a deal where I got a free (200mw?) red laser pointer. This might be useful to you if you're ordering from Sanwu for the first time.

When I got the laser in the mail, it was very well packaged; consumed by a spherical mass of bubble wrap. There was so much bubble wrap I probably could have thrown it at a wall without damaging the laser. This is good because the copper host is soft and delicate.

I made a regrettable novice mistake when I used the laser for the first time. Back in May (this has since been corrected), the page for the Red Guardian on Sanwu's website claimed that it had reverse polarity protection, but this is not true. Having not dealt with lasers before, I wasn't sure which way to insert my 18350 battery. So, I relied on this claim, thinking that if I inserted it the wrong way it just wouldn't turn on and it would be no problem. Big mistake. I must have inserted the battery with the negative side to the diode, because as soon as I turned on the laser, it started smoking. Some of you lads might remember my post about this. The correct way to insert a battery into a laser with negative casing is with the positive end towards the diode. Please do not make the same mistake I did.

The driver was fried and the diode produced a very weak beam. I contacted Sanwu. Their customer service is fantastic, and so is their English. They suggested I send the laser back to them so they could fix it. But this spooked me because I knew the laser would have to go through Chinese customs. I was also concerned it would get lost, so I wanted to insure it. However, Sanwu suggested I send it with a low declare value so that it doesn't attract the attention of customs. I decided to take the risk and send the laser through the International Tracked and Signed service. As far as I am aware, this service only insures up to the value of your item as specified on the customs declaration, so this was indeed very risky.

I was particularly anxious, but Sanwu was able to confirm that they had received it 16 days later. That was a painful 16 days. Nevertheless, they were able to fix it and send it back to me with a tracking number. Professional. I also requested that they correct the information on their Red Guardian page, which they did. However, when I received the Red Guardian, I noticed that the threads in the copper where the tailcap goes had been slightly damaged. The tailcap still screws on but needs a lot of wiggling to make it horizontal. I'm going to be very careful with screwing the tailcap in the future.

So I have the Red Guardian now. A review is coming! Don't you worry guys.

As for the red laser pointer, Sanwu's website says it takes a 18650 battery, which I thought was strange considering its low power output. When I received the laser, I realised that it's a different model to the one on their website, but I had already bought the battery. It arrived with a big scratch down the host. It has the text "Laser Pointer JD-850". Turns out it takes a 16340 battery: Sanwu told me this in an email. That's 8 plus postage down the drain. It could have been more clear exactly which laser pointer I was going to receive.

I won't properly review the red laser pointer but I will inform you that it's pretty okay but lacks an adjustable focus. The metal construction feels very cheap, and I would have preferred if the button was on the side rather than the bottom. The laser dot is always very bright but the beam is only slightly visible, even at night.

So the moral of the story is: nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die.


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Old 07-15-2017, 01:30 PM #2
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

Thanks for the service review, glad they are taking care of you, hope they update their rev. pol. claim.

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Old 07-15-2017, 01:35 PM #3
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

As you just joined the hobby, I have the feeling the bug will catch you and that 18650 battery will not go to waste
14500's, 16340's and 18650's all put out from 3.7V to 4.2V..The larger battery though will have a higher run time as it's bigger and more amp capacity..
Well if your a bit dissapointed with the red's beam strength, its just the way the 650 WL is.
Scratch aside at least it was free..
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Old 07-15-2017, 01:48 PM #4
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

650nm needs some fog/smoke/mist to appreciate. Unscrew the top front piece and the lens is exposed. Use a flathead screw driver to turn the lens into focus.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:18 PM #5
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

This is terrible! As a Sanwu fan I sure hope they stand tall and reimburse you all your costs ( including shipping ) which they should do, because this was not your fault at all. And I hope they send you another laser in place of the one that's all scratched up??

I have bought many lasers from Sanwu under the impression that they ALL had reverse polarity protection, to find out some don't, even though their web site says they do. This is disturbing on so many levels. Gotta wonder, how many of mine don't, even though I read, where they did, when I bought them.

So sorry you had such a disappointment with Sanwu I've always loved their builds. Here's to hoping they stand tall.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:51 PM #6
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

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This is terrible! As a Sanwu fan I sure hope they stand tall and reimburse you all your costs ( including shipping ) which they should do, because this was not your fault at all. And I hope they send you another laser in place of the one that's all scratched up??

I have bought many lasers from Sanwu under the impression that they ALL had reverse polarity protection, to find out some don't, even though their web site says they do. This is disturbing on so many levels. Gotta wonder, how many of mine don't, even though I read, where they did, when I bought them.

So sorry you had such a disappointment with Sanwu I've always loved their builds. Here's to hoping they stand tall.
I am satisfied with Sanwu's service; especially their customer service. Perhaps I'm being naive but maybe in the future I could email them about this and request a discount on another purchase.

I don't really mind about the scratch because the red laser pointer was free. However, I do mind that I was mislead into buying the wrong battery. The 18650 doesn't fit.

The absence of reverse polarity protection is due to the copper host, I believe. So only the Red Guardian is affected.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:58 PM #7
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

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I am satisfied with Sanwu's service; especially their customer service. Perhaps I'm being naive but maybe in the future I could email them about this and request a discount on another purchase.

I don't really mind about the scratch because the red laser pointer was free. However, I do mind that I was mislead into buying the wrong battery. The 18650 doesn't fit.

The absence of reverse polarity protection is due to the copper host, I believe. So only the Red Guardian is affected.
The thread damage was unnecessary and unforgivable----I would tell LPF member Podo who represents Sanwu of it and ask an example in the same condition as when first received and was backsent to them. Yes OK they fixed the burned out driver --- but physical damage to the host was not necessary----if a good thing the guys that did the repair are not MD/Surgeons.

Is not Podo's fault--it is the unskilled workers who couldn't care less--tell Podo you want a fully functioning, pristine example which is what you originally paid for/purchased/desired.
Can't hurt to ask, especially when Sanwu caused the problem to begin with by misrepresenting that the unit had polarity protection when the opposite was the case.

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Old 07-15-2017, 03:20 PM #8
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

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I am satisfied with Sanwu's service; especially their customer service. Perhaps I'm being naive but maybe in the fouture I could email them about this and request a discount on another purchase.

I don't really mind about the scratch because the red laser pointer was free. However, I do mind that I was mislead into buying the wrong battery. The 18650 doesn't fit.

The absence of reverse polarity protection is due to the copper host, I believe. So only the Red Guardian is affected.

I think you are being very magnanimous. It's a feather in your cap.

I hope you are correct that it's only the Red Guardians that have no polarity protection, but I don't understand why??

Did you get the focusing issue solved? Because according to their web site ALL their laser are fully focusable.

Hoping this is just a terrible misunderstanding. Hoping the best.

Ps, bummers about the batteries though. As been stated hopefully you'll be able to use them.
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:25 PM #9
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

Daddy, did you get safety glasses yet? I'm hoping yes
Reason and i'm throwing this suggestion out there.
Sanwu's 532 303 series uses a extension tube to fit the 18650, that I believe will swap out with your JD 650 even with the difference of the back switch.
Your Eagle's will cover your Red Guardian blue diode and the 532. Maby ask Podo for a deal on the 532nm 303 as compensation.
You will have 3 different WL's and could use your 2 battery's..
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:21 PM #10
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

Reverse polarity protection may not be possible with some diode and driver combinations, depending upon the driver and number of batteries used, to allow enough extra voltage to overcome the driver loss so the laser diode has enough battery voltage to forward bias to full output. With a single battery and red diode a buck driver is often chosen and battery voltage drop conserved by not using protection.

For many laser diode wavelengths using two Li-ion batteries can give enough voltage to use a series protection diode, (perhaps for most boost drivers only one battery is needed when using a protection diode). Myself, I would never produce a laser pointer without reverse polarity protection.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:01 PM #11
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

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Reverse polarity protection may not be possible with some diode and driver combinations, depending upon the driver and number of batteries used, to allow enough extra voltage to overcome the driver loss so the laser diode has enough battery voltage to forward bias to full output. With a single battery and red diode a buck driver is often chosen and battery voltage drop conserved by not using protection.

However, In many cases, whether a buck or boost driver, a series diode can be used between the battery and driver to provide reverse pol protection, but depending upon the total voltage drop of the driver and other considerations, they might have chosen not to use one. Perhaps just to give longer operating time before the batteries drain too low.

For many laser diode wavelengths using two Li-ion batteries can give enough voltage to use a series protection diode, (perhaps for most boost drivers only one battery is needed when using a protection diode). Myself, I would never produce a laser pointer without reverse polarity protection.

So true Alaskan; reverse polarity protection is a feature that should be on "high end" lasers. That's why it shocked me so to find out Sanwu Red Guardian doesn't provide it. I own two solid copper units a 1watt 520 and a 2.5watt 445 that was a special request build. Glad I never put the batteries in wrong or I would have been crying like a big dog. Sorry to hear that such a new member ( Daddy ) was the one that had to learn the hard way. Glad Sanwu updated their instructions to keep other people from having their lasers go belly up.

Edit; Daddy, did you see the link for the " holisters " that I updated on your other link?
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:25 PM #12
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

Actually, reverse battery protection is such a simple thing to accomplish, I can't believe they claimed to have it and didn't. I hope this experience didn't cost you much more of your hard earned money. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:59 PM #13
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encap View Post
The thread damage was unnecessary and unforgivable----I would tell LPF member Podo who represents Sanwu of it and ask an example in the same condition as when first received and was backsent to them. Yes OK they fixed the burned out driver --- but physical damage to the host was not necessary----if a good thing the guys that did the repair are not MD/Surgeons.

Is not Podo's fault--it is the unskilled workers who couldn't care less--tell Podo you want a fully functioning, pristine example which is what you originally paid for/purchased/desired.
Can't hurt to ask, especially when Sanwu caused the problem to begin with by misrepresenting that the unit had polarity protection when the opposite was the case.
I will consider discussing some kind of compensation with Sanwu if you guys really feel that this is unacceptable.

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Originally Posted by BobMc View Post
I think you are being very magnanimous. It's a feather in your cap.
Thank you

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Originally Posted by BobMc View Post
I hope you are correct that it's only the Red Guardians that have no polarity protection, but I don't understand why??
I quote from one of Sanwu's emails to me: "We will change the description on the red guardian page since it's built by full copper, we cannot put the reverse polarity protection in this model."

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Originally Posted by BobMc View Post
Did you get the focusing issue solved? Because according to their web site ALL their laser are fully focusable.
No, the red laser pointer is not focusable.

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Originally Posted by GSS View Post
Daddy, did you get safety glasses yet? I'm hoping yes
Hahaha it's so weird to be called Daddy. When I made an account, I typed in the username as a joke and saw that no-one had taken it yet. I went for it.

Yes I have the chunky OD6+ Eagle Pair glasses that can fit over seeing glasses. They have already protected my eyeballs from instant blindness on two occasions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSS View Post
Reason and i'm throwing this suggestion out there.
Sanwu's 532 303 series uses a extension tube to fit the 18650, that I believe will swap out with your JD 650 even with the difference of the back switch.
Your Eagle's will cover your Red Guardian blue diode and the 532. Maby ask Podo for a deal on the 532nm 303 as compensation.
You will have 3 different WL's and could use your 2 battery's..
I'm not really interested in the 303 lasers.

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Originally Posted by BobMc View Post
Edit; Daddy, did you see the link for the " holisters " that I updated on your other link?
Yeah! Thank you for that. I already replied earlier today. I think they're called holsters.

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Originally Posted by paul1598419 View Post
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:05 PM #14
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Default Re: My Experience with Sanwu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daddy View Post
I will consider discussing some kind of compensation with Sanwu if you guys really feel that this is unacceptable


Yeah! Thank you for that. I already replied earlier today. I think they're called holsters.

��
Daddy do what's comfortable for you. It's your business with Sanwu, don't feel you have to. If you want to bring it up with Sanwu than do, if not, than don't. Do what works for you.

Holisters/holsters it all depends on two things;

1) if you went to public schools
2) if you've got chubby fingers and small buttons.

Enjoy and be safe.


Edit; I didn't catch your other post till now. Looking forward to see what holisters/holster you bought.
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Last edited by BobMc; 07-15-2017 at 10:22 PM.
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battery, existential crisis, red guardian, sanwu





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