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"50mW 532nm WF-502B Flashlight-Style" Dino Direct Ultrafire

JaiNobeZ

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Sorry about my other bullet-point review. It was pretty terrible. Totally re-done it now.

First, i'll talk about the ordering process. The first thing i had to do was create an account at DinoDirect. Obviously. One good thing i noticed was that they corrected me on errors as i went rather than at the end telling me i'd done something wrong and then making me re-type everything. Something i didn't like is how much pointless information they asked for. They wanted my phone number. Why? Who knows? They haven't rang me... can't see any reason why they would need to. Funny thing. They even asked for it in the wrong order. Country code, area code, post code, then phone number. Wtf...
Otherwise it went smoothly.

Next was the wait. Order placed at 6:45, 7/6/10 (7th of June). Here it got a bit messy. My email inbox when i search "Dino":
Subject Date:
Your Gift Card - 7/6
Welcome to DinoDirect.com - 7/6
Newsletter Subscription - 7/6
Order #_______-DD Payment confirmed! - 7/6
(all fair enough so far... and then...)
Order completed information - 9/6 ~12:00 (wtf does this mean?)
Your order #______-DD Has been shipped out! - 9/6 ~1:00
Your order #______-DD Has been shipped out! - 10/6 ~5 am(ok, it's now been shipped out twice...)
(I received the laser on the 16th)
Order completed information - 7/7 (WTF... Am i receiving another? I don't think so)

Upon closer information, it said on the email entitled "Order completed information" that i would receive detailled tracking information. No such information was sent. While i probably wouldn't bother using tracking information, and i'd like to think it's just the result of poor English, this suggests to me they're using a mushroom method of management. That is, keep everyone in the dark and feed them bullshit.

However, like i said, the laser arrived in 9 days from Singapore (says singapore on the package) to the UK, so i've got nothing to complain about, but i might have been lucky.

The package says a whole bunch of stuff in Chinese. On the label it says the time it was printed, apparently 9/6/2010, 20:43:56. So who knows when it was shipped. Mehh... crazy. It's got the value labelled at $10, and it's got a box ticked for "Gift" and in a box written "Electronics" which is not lying but at the same time does not declare that it's a laser. The package has the DinoDirect logo on it.

The laser was packaged in a plain white box wrapped in two bags of bubble wrap which were torn on one side. So like two square layers of bubble wrap joined on two adjacent sides. The white box was flimsy card, sealed at neither end in any way at all. On the box was a sticker with some bar codes, and a sticker saying "Quality Certified" with a dinosaur and their URL. Also in the package (not the box) was a $10 cash coupon (for use on orders >$40), a $5 cash coupon (for use on orders >$20) and a packet of crystal mud. Instructions for which were kindly presented by Chezumss below.

So, of course, out came the laser. First thought: it's really dirty...
It was covered in lots of little white specks. They were like the dust produced when sawing plastic. It needed a good brush-down before it was all gone. Sounds petty, but i'd say it's worth companies putting their lasers in in the best condition they can because I find that the first thought i have when i pull it out of the packet tends to affect the way i think of my new toy for the rest of its working lifespan.

Concise analysis of the process of obtaining the laser:
The website has a lot of features which let you see your product better & such. Ultimately, i did get the laser in full working order. And i got several free gifts with the free gift. Nice one, Dino!
On the other hand:
It was messy. I received too many emails and had to give away details which i might have rathered not let them have. I got no tracking number, even though I was told i would and i still don't know what's happening about that last email i got confirming payment for another laser. My laser came out messy and needed a brush-down before it was clean.
Also to note:
There were two "QC passed" stickers. One on the box, another on the laser itsself. So this is the quality they apparently offer to all their customers. With that in mind, i will continue.

This laser did shake off my first thought. The host looks good. Tactical appearence. No obvious faults from the outset. Nice design. I like the belt clip. Searched the package a bit more. Dog gammit... no batteries. So then i had to pay £3 for a CR123a battery. I've been influenced a bit by Hallucynogenyc here, and I can now see CR123a battery usage is, in my opinion, a disadvantage in this laser. The reason I think this is all the obvious, expense, low capacity, hard to get ahold of, but there's something more. The inside of the host is actually pretty roomy. The battery is suspended between two springs which, if shortened, could fit something a little bigger in. Oh well. I'll live. I amused myself when i realised the warning label is at the front. Some dumb crap is going to press the button, turn it around to face them to read the sticker and end up with retinal burns. I assume we laser users are too sensible for that, but i may be assuming too soon. There are a whole bunch of mistakes on the warning sticker including it pointing out that the aperture is in completely the wrong place - a place where there is no hole. *sigh*. The host comes into four parts, assault crown, head, battery tube and tailcap with switch. The knurled parts make it easy to unscrew. The two springs holding the battery make it feel sort of bouncy. The batteries do rattle in the tube.

Concise analysis of the host:
It has a tactical appearence, a good feel to it, and a belt clip which most lasers do not have. It feels fairly heavy, which I like, although the host is flashlight-style rather than pen-style so that's to be expected. It uses a tailcap clicky switch with a good click. My opinion on these is neutral, i'd have been equally happy with a momentary. Ideally i'd have both.
On the other hand:
There is no hole for a lanyard, although i suppose this is not a problem since there is a belt clip. CR123 batteries in my opinion are a con unless they actually help reduce the size of the laser. They don't in this case, so a bigger one might as well have been put in. Lots of mistakes on the warning label.
Also to note:
There is a fair amount of space in the head between the module and the assault crown, for potential modifications or improovements like better heatsinking, an Infrared filter, or (as i'm thinking of doing) a diffraction grating being slipped in there for a different effect.

One i'd gone through the enormously arduous task of finding a shop that sells CR123 batteries at a reasonable-ish price I put them in. Squinted, not sure whether to expect a climactic green beam of light emerging or an anticlimactic fuck-all happening. I wasn't disappointed. It's bright. There is also very little scatter. My ability to analyse the power is duely limitted without an LPM, but it's bright. If i press a binliner to the aperture and turn the laser on for a few seconds it comes away with a mark on it, but no hole. Make what you want of that. I haven't tried using a magnifying glass because 50mW shouldn't provide a lot of burning and i don't see the point in burning with a green laser anyway, i've got my red for that. The divergence is not bad. I can't measure it, because i would rather not look at that dot up close for long enough to measure its width, and my cameras don't like being used for distance laser photos in the dark, tend to just produce a green speck in a black background (my photography is pretty poor). I can try to get a good photo or measure it if anyone is interested enough. Just tell me. I have two serious problems with this module though. The first is wherever it is pointed there is a wider "cone" of green light being shone out. This is not usually visible if it is being shone at somewhere far away as it is too spread out and not usually visible if it is being shone on something close as the main dot floods our eyes, but if it is being shone through a gap in something then there is a big green circle visible around the place the beam is being shot through. I don't mind it in itsself, but it's possible the laser would be more powerful if that was in with the rest of the beam. The other problem is this. It is borderline TEM00\01. There are two circles which are joined together. This is not very visible when the collimating lens is present, but when it is unscrewed it is pretty obvious. Again, this in itsself doesn't bother me. It's of no real consequence. Except that it means something, probably that a lot of IR is being outputted at the same time. Meaning that is probably being included in the measurement of "50mW". So the green light is probably less. But i guess this was to be expected.

Concise analysis of module & beam quality:
It is visually very bright. This, i guess, is a property of all 50mW lasers and is therefore not all that special. The beam is clean, only a small amount of scatter. Fair divergence, about the same as my Rayfoss.
On the other hand:
It is borderline TEM00/01. It also projects some green light at a wider angle, which is a waste.

(Don't worry folks, almost done)

Lastly, i will discuss its lasting ability. I've had it clipped to my belt and in my pocket and in my hand lasering for several weekends and then several weeks of summer. It has taken a bit of a beating, being dropped two or three times on floors of varying hardness. The first obvious bit of damage is the belt clip is now no longer as tight, and is permanently bent slightly outwards. The knurled surface has sustained some chipping to reveal a silver underneath. Obviously, this is to be expected. The laser is also black, so any dust that gets on it is instantly visible... electronics are the reverse of clothes in that respect. Here is the bit of damage it has sustained that is most bothering me though. The switch is now weird. It sometimes won't turn on when i press it and i've got to press it twice to get it on. Sometimes it needs a whack before it'll turn on at all and sometimes when i turn it on it comes on at fractional power and needs a shake then comes on at full power. So there's something wrong there. If it gets too bad i'll say "fuck it" and cut it up and replace it, but for now it's bearable.

Concise analysis of how well it's lasted:
Still fully functional. The host has sustained no unexpected damage.
On the other hand:
The switch has become faulty.

Something else i should probably mention is that there is a strong chemical smell that’s fairly noticeable when any part of the laser is disassembled – reminds me of darkroom chemicals or glowsticks, but slightly sweeter. Don’t know whether this is because of the cheap battery I used, but the whole laser, including the module which has made no contact with the battery smells of it, as does the battery itself. My lens does not rattle at all, and the module is not focussable at all. The module does appear to have a slot, as if it should be focussable, but it doesn't turn. If i were to apply more force to it it might break, so i won't try.

My judgement on it:
I like this laser. I would probably buy it again, and would DEFINITELY buy it again if it ran on a different sort of battery. I'm not going to be ordering another CR123 laser if it's aviodable. Still, for ~$30 as far as I’m concerned you are getting your money’s worth. The issues that I would suggest Dino sort out are the switch that comes faulty after some use and the TEM mode of the laser. I would reccomend this for someone who knows that they are interested in green lasers (may have already tested out something very cheap and had it break, or may have played with a lower-power green and want something more powerful) and know that they want to spend this much money, but that aren't fussy about IR or stability and that aren't expecting it to last them a lifetime.

I will post a video, I just need to set up my video camera which might take some time. It will probably just contain the same stuff that's on here though. Will take photos of anything that people want me to and will answer questions\run tests on my unit, etc. Just ask in the thread, and i'll post the response in the thread so everyone can see it.
 
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hakzaw1

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Good write-up The one I got is quite the same but no oder tht I have noticed.--mine is 27mWs.

Could ther 'dust' be from a leak in the bag that contains the 'crystal mud'?
that stuff swells once in contact with water so you prolly can tell if that is the source by getting a bit on your finger and add a tiny bit of water.
 

JaiNobeZ

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No, it's not the crystal mud. The bag of crystal mud was sealed, and it wasn't like that anyway. And adding water wouldn't reveal that very quickly, it takes several minutes to change in size and several hours to grow to its full size. They sell similar stuff in a market near me.

Oh yeah, and after adding water and sitting in a jug for a few days mine went mouldy. Lol.

Try unscrewing your tailcap and taking a sniff. Proto said his smells bad, i want to know whether it's the same for everyone.
 
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yay and here's the crystal mud review XD
i don't want anyone stealing it so i put "chezumss" on there ;p
 
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JaiNobeZ

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If anyone can explain this to Dino in (i'm assuming) Chinese, or in simple English so that they'll understand that would help.

We will remove the watermark so the graphic can be used by them, or would make a similar graphic for the laser itsself, in exchange for some merchandise.
 

hakzaw1

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Try unscrewing your tailcap and taking a sniff. Proto said his smells bad, i want to know whether it's the same for everyone.
Okay-- thats true, it is not a strong smell but I see(smell) what you mean.
.seems stronger if you smell the tailcap--

maybe it is from the glue they use to secure the switch.
 
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JaiNobeZ

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That's possible (the glue thing). I guess there's no way we can know really...

I got my Rayfoss today. I think i prefer the Rayfoss to the UltraFire, but that's expected since it was more expensive.

Here's the thing though. While the UltraFire has a lot less scatter, the Rayfoss is VISUALLY definitely brighter when shooting the beam into a dark sky. I don't know if this is a battery issue, but i need more information on the batteries before i can test that.

Here's my issue. According to Hallucynogenyc CR123s are a primary cell and the rechargeable version is a half-rate that just cuts cost on short-lived batteries. The Rayfoss came with a charger, so i'm assuming what they sent me to power it with is rechargeable. In that case, it's a CR123 primary cell in the UltraFire that's been in there since i got it and a rechargeable (and therefore crap) CR123 in the Rayfoss, and it might be the Rayfoss' power source out-amp-supply-ing the partially dead CR123 primary cells. So in order to compare them on like-terms i'm going to need to buy two identical CR123 primary cells. But the Rayfoss it seems was designed to be fed on 3V rechargeables rather than 3.6\3.7V non-rechargeables.

Sorry if that's hard to understand. Basically, (tl;dr) the Rayfoss seems brighter in its current state, but this might be due to the batteries. In order to compare them properly i would need to buy two identical non-rechargeable batteries and have them running at once. But i don't know how the Rayfoss will handle a non-rechargeable battery because it seems it was designed to run on the rechargeable kind which are apparently weaker.

Can anyone help?
 
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ook?

I am really confused..

these images are for the description "Visible green light beam in dark area" for this laser



And



Im speechless :D
 
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JaiNobeZ

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Well, a Chinese wholesale company that knows about their products is evidently too much to ask.
 

JaiNobeZ

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Btw, you probably shouldn't post in old threads. Some vet will come and bust your chops for it sooner or later. T_J and the likes are not too fond of it.
 




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