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Old 08-21-2010, 12:15 AM #17
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

My Arctic is focused at about 2 feet. Burning closer than that doesn't work very well because the dot is not as small as it can be. The Arctic dot in your video is noticeably larger than the Spartan's so it probably isn't focused for 4 inches.


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Old 08-21-2010, 12:24 AM #18
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonWienke View Post
My Arctic is focused at about 2 feet. Burning closer than that doesn't work very well because the dot is not as small as it can be. The Arctic dot in your video is noticeably larger than the Spartan's so it probably isn't focused for 4 inches.
Well, I just tried both at two feet. Same result, so I dunno. Given the breadth of quality issues with the Arctic, some may simply be better than others out of the box.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:59 AM #19
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

What is the point of doing this? I'm not positive personally if the diodes in these two are the same but regardless the focus of the beam from either of these lasers if put to a tight point should be equally impressive. And the Arctic IMO sure looks more impressive then the spartan. Its really not going to be monumental. Compare apples to apples. Focus them both with the aid of a magnifying lens and then post a review on power comparison. Otherwise if the review is simply based on aesthetics of the host and beam shape/size then its just an opinion.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:02 PM #20
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itw3ak View Post
What is the point of doing this? I'm not positive personally if the diodes in these two are the same but regardless the focus of the beam from either of these lasers if put to a tight point should be equally impressive. And the Arctic IMO sure looks more impressive then the spartan. Its really not going to be monumental. Compare apples to apples. Focus them both with the aid of a magnifying lens and then post a review on power comparison. Otherwise if the review is simply based on aesthetics of the host and beam shape/size then its just an opinion.
I'm not sure I follow. The point was to compare two products of the same type out of the box with the same power output and see what happens. It's like comparing two cars in the same class. Sure they have differences, but that's the point of the comparison. If you want to do all of those things you mentioned for a more meaningful test, then we're talking about a somewhat different test, not an invalid test, just different. My test has value for those that have no plans to modify their laser and just want one that has high power output out of the box, which I'm guessing is quite a few people. Of course, that's just my opinion.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:37 PM #21
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcgrabbag View Post
I'm not sure I follow. The point was to compare two products of the same type out of the box with the same power output and see what happens. It's like comparing two cars in the same class. Sure they have differences, but that's the point of the comparison. If you want to do all of those things you mentioned for a more meaningful test, then we're talking about a somewhat different test, not an invalid test, just different. My test has value for those that have no plans to modify their laser and just want one that has high power output out of the box, which I'm guessing is quite a few people. Of course, that's just my opinion.
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Originally Posted by rcgrabbag View Post
You know what, forget I said anything. Let's start over and see if we can figure this thing out. Obviously there's a difference between our Arctics. I tried re-focusing the Arctic's lens and did manage to get a more concentrated dot at around 2 feet and it burned much more quickly, however, it was at the expense of the beam at longer distances. At about 30 feet, the "dot" projected by the laser was about a foot across. The best overall focus settings were what was set at the factory, but with those settings I'm back to square one as far as output seems to go. In browsing these forums, it seems like a mixed bag with the Arctic, with some measuring the Arctic's output at above 1W to somewhere below 1W. Again, I think this speaks to Wicked's quality control that we should have such disparate results, high failure rates, etc.
Fair enough, lets start again.

I'm bringing this discussion from the "Re: If You've Actually Received Your Spyder III Arctic - Post Here" thread. Seems you posted your video on three different threads. Let's have all the discussion on one thread.

There are two different lens in the Arctic. See post #278.
That can account for some of the differences. When mine is focused for power at 2 feet, the beam is less than 2 inches at 20 feet. The divergence is better on the Arctic. I get 1.33 mRad when set for distance. I'm happy that I can adjust the lens.

It's like buying a new car model that has just been introduced, you want to wait a little until they iron the bugs out of the first production units.

The Arctic comes shipped with a starter battery, sort of like ink jet printers.
They don't give you a full cartridge with the new printer. At least you can fire it up when you get it. The charger seems to work fine. I'd much rather use a 18650 battery than have the lesser mAh and voltage hassles of CR123.

I'm not trying to be a fanboi of Arctic, as I said earlier, their customer relations have been a disaster. I just would like to point out what the Arctic can do when it works.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:54 PM #22
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZapU View Post
Fair enough, lets start again.

I'm bringing this discussion from the "Re: If You've Actually Received Your Spyder III Arctic - Post Here" thread. Seems you posted your video on three different threads. Let's have all the discussion on one thread.

There are two different lens in the Arctic. See post #278.
That can account for some of the differences. When mine is focused for power at 2 feet, the beam is less than 2 inches at 20 feet. The divergence is better on the Arctic. I get 1.33 mRad when set for distance. I'm happy that I can adjust the lens.

It's like buying a new car model that has just been introduced, you want to wait a little until they iron the bugs out of the first production units.

The Arctic comes shipped with a starter battery, sort of like ink jet printers.
They don't give you a full cartridge with the new printer. At least you can fire it up when you get it. The charger seems to work fine. I'd much rather use a 18650 battery than have the lesser mAh and voltage hassles of CR123.

I'm not trying to be a fanboi of Arctic, as I said earlier, their customer relations have been a disaster. I just would like to point out what the Arctic can do when it works.
Which lens do you have? I have the fully threaded version. As for the battery, I'm using a (non-stock) 2400mah li-ion charged via a Triton charger (computerized R/C battery charger). Interestingly, I'm using Duracell alkalines in the Spartan (non-rechargeable). I have li-ion's on the way, with significantly higher mah ratings, so they should be able to sustain a higher voltage during usage. This may improve the Spartan's performance.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:58 PM #23
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcgrabbag View Post
Which lens do you have? I have the fully threaded version. As for the battery, I'm using a (non-stock) 2400mah li-ion charged via a Triton charger (computerized R/C battery charger). Interestingly, I'm using Duracell alkalines in the Spartan (non-rechargeable). I have li-ion's on the way, with significantly higher mah ratings, so they should be able to sustain a higher voltage during usage. This may improve the Spartan's performance.
I have the half threaded lens. I'm using a Tenergy 2600.

There was a lot of posts about 3.0v vs. 3.7v CR123 batteries on the Spartan thread.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:09 PM #24
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZapU View Post
I have the half threaded lens. I'm using a Tenergy 2600.

There was a lot of posts about 3.0v vs. 3.7v CR123 batteries on the Spartan thread.
I'll check out the thread, thanks. Unfortunately for many early Arctic adopters, what they end up with is a crap shoot. Hopefully the G2 recipients fare better.
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:28 PM #25
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

From another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coherent Light
Plexus:

I am using a 405-G-1 from Jay, and it works just fine in the Arctic You need to get His Ez-Focus assembly and remove the knurl nut. This allows to assembly to be screwed in deep enough to achieve Focus. I don't have a LPM, but I am getting a higher output.
This might be an answer for the early lens problems, if WL won't fix it.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:59 AM #26
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

UPDATED See below

Ok, I'm going to stick my neck out again and play devil's advocate for the Arctic. Actually, this whole thread should be moved to the reviews forum.

I don't want to get into a flame war about how the Arctic and WL sucks.
Let's agree that WL lied to us and doesn't communicate with us like they should. I believe that everyone that asked for it got a prompt refund.

The early models came with a bad lens, a full threaded housing.
This was corrected with an update to a half thread lens housing that doesn't suffer from loose optics and has a much tighter beam. Mine has the newer lens and I have taken the glass out of the training lens cover.

The factory battery is lame, the charger seems to work just fine.

The goggles are not as advertised, but they are OK as long as you don't shine the laser straight into them. I actually have OD4 goggles that work great, but I usually use the Arctics goggles when the laser is stationary, I like to see some of the blue.

Lets talk about cooling and battery duration.
I just finished a 1 hr run. I put a small fan on it and the temp stayed stable at 94-95 degrees. Without the fan, it was running about 112. I believe the Arctic is superior at cooling. Please correct me if the Spartan can do better.
I doubt there are many DIY handheld hosts that can cool better in a 1 hr burn.

At the end of the hour, the battery voltage was 3.71. It is a 2600 mAh Tenergy protected 18650. It is a flat top battery and fits fine.

Spartans were originally advertised as using 18650s. A WL type of misleading ad. I don't think two 900 mAh CR123s can keep pace. Plus, if you put the wrong voltage CR123 in, you can fry your Spartan.

We have seen the Spartan and the Arctic beam shots at >20ft and they are virtually the same. So the same TEM00 arguments apply to both. Beam width is 5mm for my Arctic and 3.5mm for the Spartan at the aperture. Since its the same diode, does that mean the beam is clipped on the Spartan? The Arctic has slightly better mRad than the Spartan (mine gets 1.33).

The Arctic lens can be focused for intense burning, making almost 4 times faster. Plus you can put a Jayrob 405 G-1 lens in for even more power. So far I have not heard of anyone being able to focus a Spartan.

I don't have a LPM, so I can't help there. I have only seen a couple of reviews so far for the Spartan, the one that was measured was over 1W.
I have only seen a couple of Arctics measured at 1w. Some were close, some were lower, with some of those using the first lens style, the factory battery, and the lens cover.
After multiple Spartans are measured, we can get a better comparison. Let's just say it depends on some luck due to the variability of the diodes and drivers.

Oh, and for the people that ordered for $200, the Arctic was less expensive.

So here are some videos:

Arctic focused for burning:




Arctic 1 hr burn setup:



UPDATE:

I based my Arctic's 4x burning advantage on the Spartan burning times shown in the video posted by rcgrabbag, compared to mine. His Arctic had the older lens.

I forgot another important feature. The Arctic is shipped with a training lens to cut the power to under 200mW and has a removable lockout pin.
The Spartan has no safety features.
The Arctic also has specialty effects lens available.

There was an uproar about the legality of the Arctic. It came shipped with an Federal accession number, plainly labeled as a portable laser, delivered by the US Postal Service. I don't know what paper work the Spartan gave to get by the Feds, obviously they are getting in.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:10 AM #27
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Well, provided I can get my Spartan fixed next week (something to do with taking it apart... ), I'll do some runtime tests. I've got AW LiFePO4 CR123A rechargeables that are 3.2V nominal, and seem to work fine in the laser. They're rated for 500mAh each.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:20 AM #28
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jedirock View Post
Well, provided I can get my Spartan fixed next week (something to do with taking it apart... ), I'll do some runtime tests. I've got AW LiFePO4 CR123A rechargeables that are 3.2V nominal, and seem to work fine in the laser. They're rated for 500mAh each.
I got the same batteries on the way! Looking forward to not having to buy $15 non rechargeables!

(first post was deleted because for a second there i thought it was a new thread and not just the start of a new page, duh)
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:23 AM #29
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZapU View Post
UPDATED See below

Ok, I'm going to stick my neck out again and play devil's advocate for the Arctic. Actually, this whole thread should be moved to the reviews forum.

I don't want to get into a flame war about how the Arctic and WL sucks.
Let's agree that WL lied to us and doesn't communicate with us like they should. I believe that everyone that asked for it got a prompt refund.

The early models came with a bad lens, a full threaded housing.
This was corrected with an update to a half thread lens housing that doesn't suffer from loose optics and has a much tighter beam. Mine has the newer lens and I have taken the glass out of the training lens cover.

The factory battery is lame, the charger seems to work just fine.

The goggles are not as advertised, but they are OK as long as you don't shine the laser straight into them. I actually have OD4 goggles that work great, but I usually use the Arctics goggles when the laser is stationary, I like to see some of the blue.

Lets talk about cooling and battery duration.
I just finished a 1 hr run. I put a small fan on it and the temp stayed stable at 94-95 degrees. Without the fan, it was running about 112. I believe the Arctic is superior at cooling. Please correct me if the Spartan can do better.
I doubt there are many DIY handheld hosts that can cool better in a 1 hr burn.

At the end of the hour, the battery voltage was 3.71. It is a 2600 mAh Tenergy protected 18650. It is a flat top battery and fits fine.

Spartans were originally advertised as using 18650s. A WL type of misleading ad. I don't think two 900 mAh CR123s can keep pace. Plus, if you put the wrong voltage CR123 in, you can fry your Spartan.

We have seen the Spartan and the Arctic beam shots at >20ft and they are virtually the same. So the same TEM00 arguments apply to both. Beam width is 5mm for my Arctic and 3.5mm for the Spartan at the aperture. Since its the same diode, does that mean the beam is clipped on the Spartan? The Arctic has slightly better mRad than the Spartan (mine gets 1.33).

The Arctic lens can be focused for intense burning, making almost 4 times faster. Plus you can put a Jayrob 405 G-1 lens in for even more power. So far I have not heard of anyone being able to focus a Spartan.

I don't have a LPM, so I can't help there. I have only seen a couple of reviews so far for the Spartan, the one that was measured was over 1W.
I have only seen a couple of Arctics measured at 1w. Some were close, some were lower, with some of those using the first lens style, the factory battery, and the lens cover.
After multiple Spartans are measured, we can get a better comparison. Let's just say it depends on some luck due to the variability of the diodes and drivers.

Oh, and for the people that ordered for $200, the Arctic was less expensive.

UPDATE:

I based my Arctic's 4x burning advantage on the Spartan burning times shown in the video posted by rcgrabbag, compared to mine. His Arctic had the older lens.

I forgot another important feature. The Arctic is shipped with a training lens to cut the power to under 200mW and has a removable lockout pin.
The Spartan has no safety features.
The Arctic also has specialty effects lens available.

There was an uproar about the legality of the Arctic. It came shipped with an Federal accession number, plainly labeled as a portable laser, delivered by the US Postal Service. I don't know what paper work the Spartan gave to get by the Feds, obviously they are getting in.
Good job man. Lots of quality posts. I've gathered tons of extremely helpful info/advice from your posts over the last week. This includes an 18650 battery roundup review link and modifications that can be made to the lens cap of the arctic.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:15 AM #30
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Great demo of your Arctic.

I'm just glad to see some factual opinions and reviews of the Arctic.

I also ordered a couple of those Tenergy 2600's and can't wait to try them out. The oem's from WL last about 25-30 mins on mine, max, and aren't that consistent tbh.

I bought a Spartan 1W for a mate, and have to say performance is practically identical (in terms of burning, and beam characteristics), and I think I might get one for myself too as I do like the fact it's smaller.

I still haven't decided on the 400mW or 1W for myself, as I heard the 400 doesn't use corrective optics, which does interest me; it'd be good to have an alternative bit of laser tech as opposed to the same LD in a different host.

Thanks.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:54 AM #31
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbshamsa View Post
Great demo of your Arctic.

I'm just glad to see some factual opinions and reviews of the Arctic.

I also ordered a couple of those Tenergy 2600's and can't wait to try them out. The oem's from WL last about 25-30 mins on mine, max, and aren't that consistent tbh.

I bought a Spartan 1W for a mate, and have to say performance is practically identical (in terms of burning, and beam characteristics), and I think I might get one for myself too as I do like the fact it's smaller.

I still haven't decided on the 400mW or 1W for myself, as I heard the 400 doesn't use corrective optics, which does interest me; it'd be good to have an alternative bit of laser tech as opposed to the same LD in a different host.

Thanks.
I may be mistaken, but I just assumed the 400mW Spartan used the same diode, just dialed back on power. Before the Casio diodes, a 400mW blue was very expensive.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:43 PM #32
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Default Re: Arctic Vs Spartan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZapU View Post
I may be mistaken, but I just assumed the 400mW Spartan used the same diode, just dialed back on power. Before the Casio diodes, a 400mW blue was very expensive.
Yes, I assumed exactly the same thing, but I think I read somewhere that the 400mW doesn't use corrective optics, so just guessed it was direct from the diode?

Last edited by bbshamsa; 08-29-2010 at 06:16 PM.
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