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Old 09-19-2010, 01:34 AM #1
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Lightbulb Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

After reading many complaints and compliments on the Arctic, i'm confused now. I really want to buy a laser, and i want a 445 nm.. but what are some reason NOT to get the Arctic? I was looking to maybe buy a DIY laser or a ray foss laser. Still unsure though. Thanks, and hopefully i put this in the correct category.


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Old 09-19-2010, 02:23 AM #2
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

No one has tested the rayfoss, arctic is crap. it is not up to spec, the parts are cheap, as is the anodizing. idk if wicked is improving the quality control, but i dont think they are. you should most certainly build your own, though you need to read a lot. check out the "i want to build a laser" thread be safe, and welcome to the forum. also, some reading would have answered this question for you. use the search button, it helps you out, and keeps you from being flamed by some of the members here.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:38 AM #3
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

Buy a DIY. Better parts, better laser, cheaper than an Arctic. Even better, build one yourself, and save even more money.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:42 AM #4
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

Thanks for the reply. I was leaning towards a DIY one from the forums. About building one myself, im not sure yet lol. Ill definitely have to do some reading
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:42 AM #5
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

and Tech_Junkie, i love your pic.. best stooge there ever was
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:14 AM #6
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

I got my Arctic III a couple months ago. It is a G1 model. Form, fit and finish is good -- no problems. Steve asked me last night if I got mine so this isn't a "special" unit.
With the protective lens installed, it outputs ~ 700 mW avg for a short time. Remember that there is limited heatsinking and battery power available.
With no "window" , the power jumps to ~ 800 mW. This has been noted elswhere.
Beam quality is similar to my past builds using a BLUE aixiz lens assembly.

We all know that the 445 diode can put out more power and I have metered 1.5 sustaned watts with 18 watts of TEC cooling. A portable is a different matter and many testers have observed temperature related power limits. Yes, ambient temperature is a BIG consideration. Steve at WL has to limit the diode current because some customers want to run the S III for over a minute into overheating conditions. The diode folds back to protect itself but still gets hot.
What do you want? I've had to turn my builds down to ~700 mW because it's so bright. Once you get to class IV, you should be above popping balloons!!!!

When the weather here becomes more stable, I'll try to post some pictures and graphs of my Spyder III and my HM445 home built.

I can turn my power up to beat the WL but WL has to meet long run time specs. Go figure the QC aspects.

HMike

By the way, I do not mean to imply that the Arctic is not continuous duty cycle. Mine holds power +/- 20 mW for extended use. I just don't run my portables that long.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:16 AM #7
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

Just as a heads up, Pontiacg5 has the cheapest diodes available as of now. Driver, go with a Microboost from Dr. Lava. For the rest, Jayrob is your man. Get a host and a glass lense from him. Dont forget to make or buy a test load also. Laserbee offers 1 ohm resistors if you can't find some at your electronics store such as Radioshack. Good luck
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:31 AM #8
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

Toaster ---

You fly a Piper low wing (cream puffff)?? Ever try a taildragger??? PA16 to PA20?

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Old 09-19-2010, 04:36 AM #9
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

Lol Cream puff? It has the damn hershey bar wing. Its nicknamed "Otis the elevator" climbs like crazy 15 gallons an hour. Ha its a 235 Cherokee PA28/B
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:47 AM #10
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

A bit off topic but I have a PA20 taildragger. I have flown a 160 Cherokee. That Hershey Bar is a Creampuff to land!!!!

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Old 09-19-2010, 04:50 AM #11
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

Lol I dont get the Creampuff part but alright, HA. A 160.. Nice. You enjoy your Pacer?
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:57 AM #12
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

I have an Arctic G2 that measures over 800mW and a yobresal build (3-modes) that puts out more than 1047mW and is focusable.
The drawback to the DIY builds (depending on the host/heatsink) is that the Casio 445nm diodes heat up quite a bit and you need to observe a 60-90second duty cycle. The arctic has no duty cycle and can be left on for ~30minutes (on a full battery), but it is not focusable, so it won't be as good of a burner laser.
Remember, safety glasses are mandatory with close to a watt of blue light.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:01 AM #13
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

If you get a better heat sink and at lower power the casio should work longer cycles
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:10 AM #14
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

Ash ----
You confirm what I have said for years. We experimenters can out power the manufacturers easily. BUT, they have to meet the wants of the noobs who want full CW power in a portable until the battery dies.
Is science taught in the schools anymore? I heard today that some politician wants an Anti-bully class taught. That should precede physics and math for damn sure.

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Old 09-19-2010, 07:58 AM #15
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

Personally I chose to cancel my Arctic Order, and pick up a DIY kit from Jayrob...
jayrob Build Kits, Lenses, and Other Stuff Listed Here!

I would suggest taking a look at his builds for sure.

Arctic:
Great Looking Host
Preassembled

Not Focusable
Crappy Glasses
Crappy Batteries
May have to wait months to get it
More Expensive
Lower Power
Doesn't meet any of the specs advertised


Jayrob DIY:
Cheaper
Better Quality components
Variety of Hosts to choose from
Focusable
Higher Power
Customizable (you set the power, and some optional components)

Some assembly required
Tends to have a shorter duty cycle, but if you dropped the power as low as the Arctic it would also have longer duty cycles lol.
No Glasses
No Battery


I'm sure there may be some other factors but that should cover the major advantages/disadvantages of each option. With the Arctic you get a complete and fully assembled laser, with a DIY you obviously have to take on some risk in the assembly if you burn anything out. But with Jayrob's kit's they are pretty much 99% complete already and should be pretty easy and low risk to finish yourself.

You get a few extra perks with the Arctic like the glasses, battery, etc... however, it has been noted that all of the extras you get are pretty horrible and basically should be tossed out and replaced with quality items anyways, so there really isn't much benefit to the bonuses you are getting.

The biggest reason I chose to cancel my Arctic order and get a refund is due to their incredibly poor customer service. I have heard they produce good quality lasers but have no first hand knowledge of that and the reviews of the Arctic have shown that they pretty much do not meet any of the specs advertised for the laser, so you're not really getting what you ordered.

My short response is... I was less than satisfied with my experience with Wicked Lasers and will NEVER do business with them again. Take that as you will, I highly recommend Jayrobs kits.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:26 PM #16
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Default Re: Ahh, the controversial WL Arctic..

If you don't want to build your own 445nm get a Spartan from dragonlasers. You can read my review if you want more info about it. Atm DragonLasers is not selling it due to the massive influx of orders but they will start to sell it again in approx 2 weeks.
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