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Old 02-02-2011, 05:17 PM   #1
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Default DX SD-303 200mW Review

THIS REVIEW IS NOT COMPLETE, I'LL POST MEASUREMENTS AS WELL AS SOME BEAM COMPARISONS AS SOON AS I CAN

I've bought 3 lasers from DX, a red dilda, which I sold to a friend a long time ago, a 30mW "True" Green, and a 100mW 405nm one, I still have those 2 and I think they're good lasers for the money.
I've been reading the forum, and I saw countless of times how dumb it is to expect something outstanding from a cheap laser, specially a "powerful" green.
I decided to do a risky move and I purchased this.
It took a little more than a month to arrive, but it is finally here, I'll post some impressions.

Laser with a standard sized card.


The box is made of cardboard, just like the pen sized lasers, but this one is obviously larger and has inner foam that holds all the components in place, and that's a lot better.
The 18650 and the charger are a very welcome bonus.

Laser unassembled and box contents.

From left t right; Stars effect attachment, Laser unit, Extension for the 18650 battery, Tailcap with key, 18650 Battery, Charger.

The host is actually very good, very few defects, feels a little heavy.
Sticker is made from plastic and it seems like it will fall off quickly.


note the "Class IIIb PEODUCT"


The laser comes with a pretty cool "Stars effect attachment" which can be removed easily.
The laser is also focusable:


This is the focus knob turned all the way in; focus to infinity


Knob turned all the way out, focus to aprox 5cm, for burning.


I'm using the charge that the battery came with, the laser is WAY brighter than my ~30mW one, the beam is clearly visible in a lit room and very impressive on the night sky.
It burns dark and red colored stuff immediately and lights matches in a second or two.
I'm really impressed with this laser's performance, I hope to do an output power measuring in the following days and return with the results.
I'll also do a beam comparison tonight, will post pics.

Here are some beam shots I took some minutes ago, in a very lit room.





I hope it doesn't broke soon...
Anyway, I do recommend this laser!
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Last edited by ix551; 02-02-2011 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

Nice!, maybe im wrong but judging by that beamshot and everything else u mention, seems not be just another ~50mW like most of the DX200mW's, so probably it is >100mW?

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Old 02-02-2011, 07:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

I suppose its good value for the money if it puts out a decent beam at >100 mW
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

nice laser it look powerful
do you have try to burning hard thing such cd case ?
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

Have been using it for a week now, for about 1-2 hours a day
it's getting dimmer, now is as bright as my DX "true" 30mW one.
I had to replace the included 18650 bc it didn't held a charge.
I remember I inserted the battery the wrong way once, cannot tell for sure if that has something to do.
pics are coming once i found my card adaptor :P
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

Hope is only a battery issue.
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

Hi triond

regarding the question you sent me:
Yes it can be focused, as you can see in the pictures the knob right next to the host is the focus knob, you can focus the laser even with the star effects add-on, but it doesn't look good when it's not focused to infinity.

The laser is still malfunctioning, It might be the diode, I'm thinking about somehow replacing it, even though the host seem pretty solid, I'll have to find a way to disassemble it without breaking it.
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

I still got issues with this laser, the output is way too weak.

This is a beamshot, comparing the SD-303 with a 150mw green module I just received from wlaser, which (hopefully) is going to be used for an rgv build.



The SD-303 beam can be seen under the wlaser one (barely), the difference is just ridiculous for two lasers that are supposed to have the same output power.
The SD-303 also switches between TEM22 and TEM20, does anyone know what that could mean?

Anyway
I tried to disassemble the laser to see if there's something I can do to fix it.
Upon further inspection I discovered a way to unscrew the lens assembly.



Notice the little lens that rest on the top of the module, it seems waay too disaligned IMO


After taking out that lens plus its base, I got to the crystals.


Everything seems alright, I even aligned properly the little lens, no change at all.
I want to completely remove the module from the host to see where exactly is the problem, my bets are on the diode or in the driver.

I'll keep trying later.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

Hi

This laser seems to be a very good option but you say you have a problem with it, and if i buy it (i am thinking about that) i wouldnīt like to have any problems with it (because i donīt know how to fix anything in a laser) . Do you think that, the problem of your laser can be usual?
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzym View Post
Hi

This laser seems to be a very good option but you say you have a problem with it, and if i buy it (i am thinking about that) i wouldnīt like to have any problems with it (because i donīt know how to fix anything in a laser) . Do you think that, the problem of your laser can be usual?
Can't say for sure.
It's Chinese and cheap, you can never expect a lot from that.
Just get a 50mw one and some goggles, at least don't spend as much as I did.
A chinese dpss is a very risky purchase.
Hope I helped
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A lot of spare diodes

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Old 03-31-2011, 06:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

I happen to have the DX SDLaser 301 (same host, but 50mW), and it's great. I never observed anything other than TEM00, and it's probably overspec. I think you'll be able to RMA it.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by ix551 View Post
Can't say for sure.
It's Chinese and cheap, you can never expect a lot from that.
Just get a 50mw one and some goggles, at least don't spend as much as I did.
A chinese dpss is a very risky purchase.
Hope I helped
Very true. I bought three of these: 200mW 532nm DC 3V Open-back Green Laser Pointer for Sale at GadgetTown.com when they were on sale for $39.

They were pretty powerful, but issues with all three right of the bat. I planned to use them as birthday gifts, but never did. Anyway, the most powerful one had beam coming out at an awful angle, and started flickering after about 10 minutes of use. I never kept it on for more than a minute, maybe two max. I sent that one back, and they did refund me, minus the shipping cost.

The other two, definitely different outputs, but for $39 I figured I'd keep them for myself. One died a month later after 1-2 hours of use, the other is still working, after 10+ hours of use. Although I have to shake it sometime to make it work... loose contact inside.

Moral of the story, 3 identical lasers, all from the same vendor, all with a little QC sticker on them, three totally different results.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:28 AM   #13
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

I got the same one from manafont. usd33 shipped.

Still working, probably about ~ 60 mins of use now. (60 x 1 min or less).
Still working.

I told them to junk the battery. I have lots of good 18650s from the flashlight hobby. Too risky to ship most variants of Li-ion too esp the cheap ones, not supposed to do that even with regular Air Mail/EMS. But of course the R/C crowd always does that, but they are at a totally different level. If its Sanyo/IMR well......

Moral of the story, never pay too much for such stuff, and use good cells? LOL!
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

BTW, mine's purchased from manafont, host is the same but not sure about driver/diode.
Same main factory? But most likely different order/batch.

Did some measurements. Batt voltage 3.9V, current during operation, 0.41A. 1.6 watts draw.

The sad truth over here in my country (Singapore) is that, stuff have risen and are still rising to the point that usd33 does not get you much of a retail purchase or experience as a consumer nowadays.
Eg for retail shopping, stuff here are quite a fair bit more expensive than HK or Taiwan, in rare cases the exact same model is 2-3X more expensive.
Some guys were selling stuff like these XX Laser 302/303 for usd100-150 off the local hardware tech forums (used to be more, but more caught on the bandwagon and decided to flood the market). The better looking hosts with "400-500mW" that looks beefy like those on aliexpress SE-B100 esp big ones like SE-B1008 were going for usd400 (note no LPM verification, not even a picture unlike what you see at Bob Lasers on aliexpress). Can anyone spell HIGH MARGIN? Think of it as a small scale forum version of Wicked Lasers in year 2005.

Here's an unfocused beam shot vs a Cree XM-L (at about 2.5A) 700 lumens. 40mm SMO reflector. Looks pretty powerful to me.

Last edited by 2100; 04-10-2011 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

Nice review thanks.

I just received a 100mW SD-303 (should have been an SD-301, is there any difference?) from yourlasers and must say I'm impressed with the host compared to my cheap 5mW pen. Having said that I'm not terribly impressed by the brightness. Sure it's brighter than the 5mW but I wouldn't say its 20x...and the beam isn't visible in daylight.

I was able to burn a match and I hear that requires at least 80mW, so maybe the 5mW is overspecced. Will try again tonight to see.

Still, it's not too bad for $33.80 shipped.

Last edited by webvan; 11-14-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: DX SD-303 200mW Review

Hello,

Thanks ix551 to nice review !

I bought the same kind of laser as a fellow ix551 "SD Laser 303" almost a month and was working great. Now, the last time that happens 5 times when I turn it on twice do not power on, but when I have to switch a little moving around left and right, to press harder laser is powering on. I realized it was a wrong swicher on laser. Or is dirty or bad contact.

Does anyone know how to disassemble this laser and get switcher to chek in ?

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