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Old 05-29-2007, 07:49 AM #1
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Default The WL Core

Dunno if this all managed to make it onto these forums, so I'm just posting the following here off my post on LC as I put a bit of time and money into it:


NOTE: Click on pictures for larger versions.

Today the Core had to visit good ol' Dr. Leadlight for some surgery (thanks to JLai for finding this pic for Gadg a while back * ):


First Mr. Core gets a checkup on a 3V power supply to see how he's doing. A nice 4mW output isn't bad - but Dr. Leadlight thinks he can do better (the crappy $3 yellow multimeter claims a 200mA draw)


Mr. Core faces some of the crudest tools of the trade to get his aperture cap removed:



Success! Here we have the Core module - which looks almost identical to the leadlight 110 at this point:


Here is it disassembled a little further:


Mr. Core wait anxiously under Dr. Desoldering Iron. He's quite scared - he knows about all the good lasers that have been lost to Dr. Desoldering Iron.


Dr. Desoldering Iron separates Mr. Core's diode from his circuit board:


Mr. Core has 3 legs, but he has nontheless learned to get by using just 1:


And Mr. Core comes out of surgery with Wal-Mart's cheapest speaker wire attached so it can be externally powered:


Now for the moment of truth. Has the heat from the soldering iron killed the diode? Have I pulled a psuedo and hooked it up reverse-polarity again? Nope! Its a success! Mr. Core is still working and as green as ever:


However it seems at ~1.9V driving ~170mA, Mr. Core is only managing 1.298mW.


Diagnosis: More Power! (Not you Craig! :P)
Result: At ~2.0V and 270mA we can get an output that peaks upwards of 8.50, but it quickly drops down to 5mW levels.


And now at ~2.1V and 350mA we can peak in the low 9mWs, but it only lasts for a second or two before falling to <3mW levels...


Unfortunately it doesn't look like this module can be pushed any further without dying an untimely death.... but why? It looks like a Leadlight but apparently doesn't walk and talk like a leadlight - this deserves investigation.

-----------------------------------------


Here we have one of Mr. Core's brothers side by side with a beat up Leadlight 110 black from AtlasNova - the pen clip was accidentally knocked out.


And now we start to see it. Despite amazing similarities to the point that one could just be a later version of the other, we do see some differences between the two (Core on the left, Leadlight 110 on the right):


Probably doesn't affect function much (if at all), but the APC sensor is positioned differently and the diverging lens is under the APC sensor on the Core (Core on the left, Leadlight 110 on the right):


AHA! As suspected. And now we get an explanation for both the price and design difference between the Core and the Leadlight - as well as an explanation why I could barely push the Core over 5mW (Core on the left, Leadlight 110 on the right):


As you can see, there is a BIG difference in crystal size (Core on the left, Leadlight 110 on the right):


These are just rough measurements, but the Core's MCA appears to be ~0.9mm square by ~2.5mm long whereas the Leadlight 110 has a ~1.7mm square by ~4.0mm MCA. I have no idea how the quality of the two compare, and a volumetric comparison by no means indicates efficiency, but that puts the Leadlight crystal assembly at nearly 6 times the size of the Core's, by volume. *:shock:

Also, I can't really test it out, but I'd be betting that the pump is not the same 200mW 808nm the Leadlights are purported to have.


--------------------------------------

So what does this all mean?

Well in conclusion/summary, the Core appears to be a scaled down Leadlight 110 basically. If you want a nice, solid 5mW green pen at an amazing price - the Core would be a great laser for you. If you're looking to go crazy and try modding your laser to shreds, stick to a good Leadlight 105 as the Core just won't take you very far.

All in all though, if you want more than 5mW, buy a >5mW pointer. Modding does not guarantee you anything except a chance for disaster. For $40, I'm definitely glad I purchased the Core (4 of them in fact).


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Old 05-29-2007, 12:24 PM #2
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Default Re: The WL Core

THAT, my friend - is a crazy, nasty review ! It definitely takes the process more than a few steps further - and shows that it is NOT a total ripoff of the leadlight 110 as initially thought by lots of folks when it was initially dissassembled. Very nice work ! Thanks for stopping by, Psuedo - informative as ever !!! 8-) 8-) 8-)
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Old 05-29-2007, 04:36 PM #3
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Default Re: The WL Core

See now that totally doesn't suprise me. MCA much smaller. Same driver circuit as the leadlight 110. Looks like it has better quality optics after the APC. I did not notice a IR filter on the core but we did not get to see what was underneath the APC on the Core. Was there a IR filter on it Psuedo?

I would have to say that I am liking the quality of the leadlight (also modability) The MCA being bigger makes it easier to Align again and (not knowing about IR filter on core) IR Filtering on teh leadlight still makes me prefer the leadlight. I like the housing on the Core as it's just a bit more stylish. which can be accomplished by removing the clip.

Conclusion: stick with leadlight it's a proven stable pointer and can be found for slightly cheaper than the core. that and why give money to WL.
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Old 05-29-2007, 05:30 PM #4
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Default Re: The WL Core

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenom
See now that totally doesn't suprise me. *MCA much smaller. *Same driver circuit as the leadlight 110. *Looks like it has better quality optics after the APC. * I did not notice a IR filter on the core but we did not get to see what was underneath the APC on the Core. *Was there a IR filter on it Psuedo?

I would have to say that I am liking the quality of the leadlight (also modability) *The MCA being bigger makes it easier to Align again and (not knowing about IR filter on core) IR Filtering on teh leadlight still makes me prefer the leadlight. *I like the housing on the Core as it's just a bit more stylish. which can be accomplished by removing the clip.

Conclusion: *stick with leadlight it's a proven stable pointer and can be found for slightly cheaper than the core. *that and why give money to WL.
Yes, the Core is well IR filtered. The optics are functionally the same as the 110 or close to it it seems - just put in different places.

I dont understand your conclusion though. Where are good leadlights cheaper than the core? I'm used to looking at Atlasnova which sells them for $70-80. I've heard of some unscruplous eBayers dumping mod-attempted leadlights around eBay pretty cheap, but normally reputable leadlight sales seem to be int he $60-110 range (I may just be looking at old prices though, so please correct me if I'm mistaken). The Cores are there for $40.

I agree, there's no doubt the Leadlight is a generally better laser. If you want to go modding, its your only choice. However, from what I've seen, the Core is cheaper, and in the IIIA range it offers the same quality and performance as a leadlight. For someone wanting a near 5mW greenie, its a great deal IMO. If reputable leadlights truly are cheaper, sure, but the Cores price is better than the reputable leadlight sales I've seen.
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:01 PM #5
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Default Re: The WL Core

I purchased my leadlight from ebay for $45 shipped. It was not a 110 but was a 105 and was very happy with it. I was stupid and modified it waaay past what it was capable of and now it's toast. was driving it with rechargable cr123's and straight off the charger I blew the diode. But before I blew it I was putting out somewhere around 75-100mw. It was very nice. I can to this day buy a leadlight from the same guy I got the other one from for about $50 shipped if I use the buy it now option.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:59 PM #6
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Default Re: The WL Core

Months ago, Dr_Lava from CPF, noted the demise of the new MCA's and their small size. He found them in rip-off 110's. I think LuckyDuck was one of them.
It was surmised then that the small MCA would overheat and drop output power if pushed.
There is still a market for basic 5 mW pointers and here is the bottom dollar pointer -- they used to cost $$$$.

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Old 05-29-2007, 09:20 PM #7
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Default Re: The WL Core

Oh yeah!! I remember when they first came out with the green dpps laser pointer. It was out of my pricerange as the blue is now. I imagine it won't take long for blues to catch up to the greens and be available in more cost efficient packages. I don't think the price of higher powered greens will likely come down any at all as anything over 5mw without the safety features is illegal and it's just the coolness factor that will keep them high.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:36 AM #8
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Default Re: The WL Core

PSEUDO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of all of the posts on all of the laser forums, this one is arguably:

The most well-written.

The most informative.

The most composed by someone who knows his way around a laser.

The most showing off his undeniably show-offable test equipment.

The most useful.

The most professionally illustrated.

The most conclusive.

AND certainly the most humorous! I almost died when I read about how Mr. Core was freaking about Dr. Desoldering Iron. Dr. D. lost quite a few when he used to run his practice out of my workbench! Him and Nurse Wick have lifted many a pad over here!

You should get this forwarded to the mighty Sam's FAQ where it can take it's place among truly great laser literature!

F****'in Well Done!!

OUT!!!
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:31 AM #9
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Default Re: The WL Core

Not sure why this laser is such a big deal. We've offered a 5mw at Destructive Gear for $40 for a few months now. I just made a one week special for $30 shipped within the USA. Try it out - I guarantee it's better than the one being discussed here.
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:04 AM #10
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Default Re: The WL Core

that is a VERY nice offer. Too bad I can't take advantage of this until the end of next week.
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:22 AM #11
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Default Re: The WL Core

Best review I have ever read! ;D
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:37 PM #12
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Default Re: The WL Core

Siska, can you make another post of the $30 deal in the buy/sell trade section?? *It may get more attention. * Can your 5mW be modded??

Also, the Core, since it's from Wicked, gets a lot of attention. Based on what we've seen, I'm not too interested in one. Looks like another cost cutting mechanism. Maybe comparing your 5mW vs theirs side by side would give us a better idea of what you can get for that price.

Thanks, Steve
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:11 AM #13
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Default Re: The WL Core

Siska - the DG ones have the shiny green LED like the leadlight 110's - I like that
The funny thing is that Wicked covered theirs up !
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:59 PM #14
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Default Re: The WL Core

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetexas
Based on what we've seen, I'm not too interested in one. Looks like another cost cutting mechanism. Maybe comparing your 5mW vs theirs side by side would give us a better idea of what you can get for that price.
Give me a break!!!!!! When was the last time you saw a laser cut open and had the guy take pictures and go "Here! Look! The @#$%! crystal is small! I'm showing it to you! This is why this laser does what it does!

Good lord! And then you want a beam comparison? How many more side by side, match lighting, balloons, shining it on a freaking wall videos, stories, pictures of the batteries, pictures of the stupid box it was shipped in, more videos, questions about this or that 200mw ebay dealextreme rechargeable duracells, POS lens got dirty, dragon case reflecting off of a goddamn wine glass does this world need?!

I'm sorry, but hands down, Psuedo's OP right here at the top of this thread is the single most greatest laser forum post in the history of laser posts. Second only to that classic pictorial of the stage I, II, and III leadlight mods on greenlaser.com.uk.

Whew, sorry about that Stevetexas, I got no right or status around here to go off on you, I'm just weird about this thread... it's a good one ain't it?
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