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Care and feeding of your Arctic beast

ZapU

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I am putting together a list of do's and don'ts for Arctic owners who don't have time to pour through the forums (of which some useful threads have been deleted). Please don't make this a "I hate Wicked Lasers and Arctics" discussion. There are plenty of those around. My wish is to help the people that ordered and have received or will soon receive their laser.

First thing: GOGGLES!
The supplied goggles WILL NOT protect you from an Arctic pointing at your eyes or reflecting off a smooth surface. You need at least OD4 protection, and the Wicked goggles are NOT OD4, no matter what they claim.
You MUST BUY other goggles!
The WL goggles still are useful if the laser is stationary. I kinda like seeing the blue :)

Also, anyone around the laser with you MUST WEAR GOGGLES! This laser will blind in a moment at 100's of feet, even reflections!

I supplied a link to some Eagle Pair goggles on Fleabay here. I posted a review on them here.
Update:
Kenom has also posted a review of the Eagle Pair goggles, testing them with a light meter and got great results also!

These also seem to be good for the price.
There will be those who insist on lab quality goggles and not $25 ones. You can decide what level suits you. Please read the sticky about them.

Next: THE BATTERY!

Warning!
One of the WL batteries provided with the Arctic has EXPLODED!
See the thread here.
This battery is basically worthless. Get a Tenergy battery (links below) and properly store the Arctic battery in case you need to send the Arctic back under warranty.
Update:
Here's a link to the proper fire and storage procedures with lithium batteries (thanks goninanbl00d!)
Fire Safety with Lithium and Lithium Ion batteries

Also, here's a link from batteryuniversity.com about battery life at different storage temps.


It goes in negative end first! The one that comes with the Arctic is like getting an ink jet printer with the starter cartridge. It will light it up, but not for long. It may also be the cause of some of the Arctics failing. It's not a protected battery and you don't want the voltage to drop below 2.5v. In mine, that was 30 minutes. Protected batteries shut off when the voltage gets to low or too high. Read this article for more info. Here is a helpful review of protected batteries. I bought the Tenergy 2600 (cyan). I was the shortest and had one of the highest outputs. It just fits in the Arctic. A good price is Amazon. Battery Junction is actually less (specify First Class Mail as shipping choice)
I also have the TrustFire TF2400 (black/red). It is longer because it has a raised positive terminal and does NOT fit exactly (you have to leave the end cap unscrewed a couple of turns. Don't worry, it won't fall off).

The charger that comes with the Arctic has worked fine for me on all the batteries. The latest charger that comes with the G2 is failing almost everyone!

Also, don't put in 2 CR123 batteries! They will exceed the voltage limit of the Arctic and kill it.

Now: THE LENS:
Take the high power cap (the large glass) and put it away. The glass reduces the power by about 100mW. Also, there is concern about light reflected off it back into the diode and damaging the diode. You can use it as a dust cap if you wish. Remove the training cap and look inside. Unscrew the retainer and take out the training lens. Put it away and save it in case you need to return your Arctic :wtf:




Now look at the threaded end of the training cap. Is there white gook (thermal grease) hanging off it? Some Arctics came with too much and you should take a q-tip and wipe out some of the excess so that is does not get on the training cap (or the main lens!)

Thanks to mickey for these three pics with text:




If you are happy with the beam focus you may choose to stop at this point. If scraping off epoxy and taking out the lens makes you uncomfortable, just screw the gutted training lens back on and you are done.

This is what the beam should look like at 20 feet when focused to distance



If you want to make your Arctic beam focusable, then proceed to access the collimation lens. You need to remove the black cap I call the "top hat".

WARNING! Make sure when you unscrew this that the main diode housing doesn't turn with it. You may need to use a needle nose pliers to hold the diode housing (just reach into the thermal grease if you have too) while you unscrew the "top hat". This piece can be put away with the lens caps also, you don't need it.




Now you can see the lens. The first Arctic came with a lens that was prone to problems:



Later G1s came with a different, improved lens. This lens comes secured with a little epoxy that has to be VERY CAREFULLY scraped off:



Image by LazyBeam:



Use a fine pick to dig it out. Be VERY careful not to slip and gouge the lens! Then take a screwdriver and work out the lens. Go slowly, some epoxy may still be sticking to the threads. If you work the lens up and down, it will push out the remaining glue.

After you get the epoxy off and unscrew the lens. Inspect it for damage or dirt. Then take some Teflon tape (about 2 wraps) and screw it back in. When you get in below flush, start checking the beam. The difference between a narrow beam focused to infinity like from the factory and focused to 1-2 feet for burning is about a 1/4 turn!
You can use a flat bladed screwdriver ground to just fit inside the lens housing but too big to slip down onto the lens, or you can order this tool. (thanks daguin)

Here's a video of the Arctic burning when focused to 14".



Jayrob sells a 405 G-1 Aixiz lens that another Arctic owner has used successfully. If you have the early style lens, this might be the way to go.
I ordered one from Jayrob, I'll report on it when I get it.

Update:
I received the 405-G-1. Nice build, great service. :thanks: Jayrob

I have difficulties focusing the lens. The lens bottoms out about 3.3mm recessed into the housing, and the 405-G-1 measures 10.3mm long. The diode is 14.5mm deep. I tried removing the spring, no difference. I'm surprised it has to be less than .9mm from the diode to focus.

Update #2

The problem I had was the same as Coherent's. It wouldn't stay focused, the lens slops around when no Teflon tape is used. As soon as you set it, it changes dramatically when you move the laser, even when you just release the screwdriver. Had to wrap 3 turns to hold it still. Could have used more.
I also had to take the spring out.

This is how I was able to focus the lens. What makes it easy is this tool.



You can focus while the laser is on:



This is the beam from the Arctic lens at 20', about a 1/2 inch wide:



You get a cleaner line from the 405-G-1.
This is the beam at 20'. About an inch wide.



It actually focuses a sharper line in this pic.




Now, the main reason for trying this lens, increased burning power.
As I showed in the vid above, I could burn a hole through a CD stack base in 2-3 secs with the stock lens (refocused).

With the 405-G-1, the burn time was ~2 seconds.

I would advise Arctic owners to just get the AixiZ 445 lens instead if they have the old style Arctic lens. The new style Arctic lens is basically the same as the AixiZ half thread and works fine. If you don't mind a wider beam, the Jayrob gives me about another 100mW. Here's a link to the test.

BEAM SHAPE:
Here is a link (originally posted by LazerRX) to a technical paper explaining the physics of the Casio diode and why it's beam is rectangular. It goes into the different methods of focusing the beam.
Kind of heavy with math but the diagrams are very clear.
http://www.coherent.com/downloads/La...eTechNote1.pdf

SAFETY SWITCH:
Some people with early Arctics had issues with the contacts. They were able to take out the small screws at the bottom and clean them. If you Arctic is working OK, I wouldn't even take the pin out to avoid problems.

photo from awesomelasers.com:



G2 Arctics have just came out. One has failed because the black wire to the diode module was short and came off, possibly when the module was unscrewed. Pictures of G1 modules unscrewed showed longer wires.

Photo by brtaman:


I do not recommend that you unscrew the module unless you are willing to void your warranty.

Use your Arctic! Mine has been run a full hour on the Tenergy battery with plenty of juice left for more. I put a small fan on it to cool it for the long test, it worked great, holding 95 degrees for the whole hour.

Update

I have posted a thread on modding the Arctic G1 for remote control.
http://laserpointerforums.com/f42/remote-controlled-arctic-56101.html#post791753



I welcome any suggestions or ideas I haven't covered. Please stay positive in your replies.

Dave
 
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Lumify

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Great guide! :gj:

I can also recommend the Dragon Lasers safety glasses. I haven't tried the other glasses, but from your description of the (yellow looking) dot, I can tell they must be up to par with DL's. To anyone trying to decide between these to pair of glasses, the Dragon Lasers glasses cost about $20 to ship to the US. This brings the total price up to around $45.

By the way, Aixiz sells lenses designed specially for 445nm lasers.
 

ZapU

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Great guide! :gj:

I can also recommend the Dragon Lasers safety glasses. I haven't tried the other glasses, but from your description of the (yellow looking) dot, I can tell they must be up to par with DL's. To anyone trying to decide between these to pair of glasses, the Dragon Lasers glasses cost about $20 to ship to the US. This brings the total price up to around $45.

By the way, Aixiz sells lenses designed specially for 445nm lasers.
Thanks!
I'll post an update for the Eagle Pair goggles when they become available.

Yes, the 445 lens should fit also. The only report of an Aixiz lens being used was a 405. I fixed the link to Jayrob to his article on the 405 lens.
 
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matrix961

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Good job on making a guide with everything in one place for maintenance of the Arctic. May I make a few suggestions? These were from my own experience with my G1 and from reading other posts.

Lens Removal:
Some of the lens assemblies may for some reason be very hard to turn as mine was. I had no epoxy and the full threaded lens. After almost stripping the top of the nut I left it alone. I was even using a good flathead that I modified to fit it perfectly. I could turn it fairly well just to focus it but trying to fully back it out I hit a point where it was almost impossible to turn anymore.

Removal of the lens to tighten the bottom ring might not be needed. Technically it should only be needed if someone experiences issues like the beam shape changing when the Arctic is moved around (Lens shift caused by loose ring). This would save someone having to remove the lens if they really don't want to especially if theirs gets stuck like mine does.

Lens Cleaning:
The LensPen Micro works great for the Arctic. I just remove my cap and I can stick it down through the top hat and hit the lens to clean it. I got mine for $10 bucks shipped on ebay.

matrix961
 

ZapU

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Thanks!

Good to know about the Dragon Lasers glasses. I'll post an update for the Eagle Pair goggles when they become available.

Yes, the 445 lens should fit also. The only report of an Aixiz lens being used was a 405. I fixed the link to Jayrob to his article on the 405 lens. He still prefers it to the 445.

The Eagle Pair goggles are back on Fleabay here.
 
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avusmaximus

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Great info!

My G2 is waiting for me (had it shipped to my brother's rather than my less-secure apartment, picking it up Thursday). I've already ordered the Tenergy battery and plan to remove the "training" lens.

I do have some questions about the lens assembly:

From what I've found, both Daguin and Coherent have successfully replaced focusing lenses (with 405-G-1 and AixiZ, respectively) in Arctics, and plexus made an attempt (with a 405-G-1). I couldn't find any info though on how much this affected the power output versus the WL lens. This compares the 405-G-1 and the AixiZ. Any insight?

I also see from Coherent's post that he replaced the assembly in full (with Jayrob's Ez-Focus assembly), while it looks like daguin simply switched the lenses in the WL assembly. Coherent also mentions using teflon tape and not using the spring (which I assume rests between the assembly and the diode) while Daguin mentions the tape but nothing about the spring.

I'm a little lost here, especially since I don't have the laser in my hands to see for myself. I like the power of the 405-G-1, but does this require a buying a new assembly? Being able to focus without the extra tool would be nice, but cost is a factor for me.
 

ZapU

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Thanks!

Good to know about the Dragon Lasers glasses. I'll post an update for the Eagle Pair goggles when they become available.

Yes, the 445 lens should fit also. The only report of an Aixiz lens being used was a 405. I fixed the link to Jayrob to his article on the 405 lens. He still prefers it to the 445.
Great info!

My G2 is waiting for me (had it shipped to my brother's rather than my less-secure apartment, picking it up Thursday). I've already ordered the Tenergy battery and plan to remove the "training" lens.

I do have some questions about the lens assembly:

From what I've found, both Daguin and Coherent have successfully replaced focusing lenses (with 405-G-1 and AixiZ, respectively) in Arctics, and plexus made an attempt (with a 405-G-1). I couldn't find any info though on how much this affected the power output versus the WL lens. This compares the 405-G-1 and the AixiZ. Any insight?

I also see from Coherent's post that he replaced the assembly in full (with Jayrob's Ez-Focus assembly), while it looks like daguin simply switched the lenses in the WL assembly. Coherent also mentions using teflon tape and not using the spring (which I assume rests between the assembly and the diode) while Daguin mentions the tape but nothing about the spring.

I'm a little lost here, especially since I don't have the laser in my hands to see for myself. I like the power of the 405-G-1, but does this require a buying a new assembly? Being able to focus without the extra tool would be nice, but cost is a factor for me.
I hope to have a 405-G-1 next week. I based my decision to get one on Coherent's review where he said it produced more power and Jayrob's glowing reviews and test results.

I would wait to buy the 40-G-1 lens. Instead, I would clean off the epoxy and just focus the original lens. It's still insanely powerful when focused down for burning. The Arctic lens does have a spring, I also used teflon tape. I did order the tool that daguin linked. For $8, and being able to adjust with the laser still on, was a no-brainer for me.

I'll post results when I get mine, then you can decide.

Don't forget goggles! The Eagle Pairs are in. They will sell out fast.
 
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Coherent Light

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Great info!

My G2 is waiting for me (had it shipped to my brother's rather than my less-secure apartment, picking it up Thursday). I've already ordered the Tenergy battery and plan to remove the "training" lens.

I do have some questions about the lens assembly:

From what I've found, both Daguin and Coherent have successfully replaced focusing lenses (with 405-G-1 and AixiZ, respectively) in Arctics, and plexus made an attempt (with a 405-G-1). I couldn't find any info though on how much this affected the power output versus the WL lens. This compares the 405-G-1 and the AixiZ. Any insight?

I also see from Coherent's post that he replaced the assembly in full (with Jayrob's Ez-Focus assembly), while it looks like daguin simply switched the lenses in the WL assembly. Coherent also mentions using teflon tape and not using the spring (which I assume rests between the assembly and the diode) while Daguin mentions the tape but nothing about the spring.

I'm a little lost here, especially since I don't have the laser in my hands to see for myself. I like the power of the 405-G-1, but does this require a buying a new assembly? Being able to focus without the extra tool would be nice, but cost is a factor for me.
I have replied to Your PM
 

daguin

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Great info!

My G2 is waiting for me (had it shipped to my brother's rather than my less-secure apartment, picking it up Thursday). I've already ordered the Tenergy battery and plan to remove the "training" lens.

I do have some questions about the lens assembly:

From what I've found, both Daguin and Coherent have successfully replaced focusing lenses (with 405-G-1 and AixiZ, respectively) in Arctics, and plexus made an attempt (with a 405-G-1). I couldn't find any info though on how much this affected the power output versus the WL lens. This compares the 405-G-1 and the AixiZ. Any insight?

I also see from Coherent's post that he replaced the assembly in full (with Jayrob's Ez-Focus assembly), while it looks like daguin simply switched the lenses in the WL assembly. Coherent also mentions using teflon tape and not using the spring (which I assume rests between the assembly and the diode) while Daguin mentions the tape but nothing about the spring.

I'm a little lost here, especially since I don't have the laser in my hands to see for myself. I like the power of the 405-G-1, but does this require a buying a new assembly? Being able to focus without the extra tool would be nice, but cost is a factor for me.
The lens in the arctic is virtually the same as the AixiZ 445nm glass lens. It is not structured the same, but the output and beam shape are.

If your has the black "beauty" aperture, you have to remove it to change the lens. Once that is done, it is a simple swap job. The lenses are all the same size and thread pattern.

The lens sits too deep into the holder to be able to focus it without using some sort of tool. The one3 that I showed allows you to focus it while it is shining :)

Peace,
dave
 

Curious

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Damn, I ordered an extra pair of goggles from WL + the free ones you get. So I guess that was wasted money. I don't expect to get a refund without somehow messing up the rest of my order so I wont even bother. What would the glasses that come with the arctic be good for? Anything? Maybe it will be my excuse to buy another laser so that my money for the extra pair of glasses wasn't wasted. ;] Any lasers you suggest. (not too pricey) Thanks.
 

ZapU

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Damn, I ordered an extra pair of goggles from WL + the free ones you get. So I guess that was wasted money. I don't expect to get a refund without somehow messing up the rest of my order so I wont even bother. What would the glasses that come with the arctic be good for? Anything? Maybe it will be my excuse to buy another laser so that my money for the extra pair of glasses wasn't wasted. ;] Any lasers you suggest. (not too pricey) Thanks.
The Arctic goggles are OK if you have the laser stationary. I like seeing a little blue. They can be handy if someone else is looking at your Arctic with you.
 

avusmaximus

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Thanks for the info guys!

For now, I'm just buying the lens adjusting tool and will wait on purchasing any lenses until there are some solid numbers as to how much another lens would improve the power.

Goggles-wise, I purchased some great OEM protective eyewear and plan to use the WL freebie goggles for onlookers. Even though they won't protect from a direct hit, I'll be the only one holding it and will take many more precautions before firing it up than any of my friends would think to.

If you plan to use the Arctic indoors, I think quality certified OD4+ goggles are a MUST.
 

Coherent Light

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Thanks for the info guys!

For now, I'm just buying the lens adjusting tool and will wait on purchasing any lenses until there are some solid numbers as to how much another lens would improve the power.

Goggles-wise, I purchased some great OEM protective eyewear and plan to use the WL freebie goggles for onlookers. Even though they won't protect from a direct hit, I'll be the only one holding it and will take many more precautions before firing it up than any of my friends would think to.

If you plan to use the Arctic indoors, I think quality certified OD4+ goggles are a MUST.
Sounds like a plan, and You have all My instructions from the pm's when You decide to change to another Lens.
 

Curious

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The Arctic goggles are OK if you have the laser stationary. I like seeing a little blue. They can be handy if someone else is looking at your Arctic with you.
Alright I ordered 2 pairs from that link anyways. You should get commission. :p
Thanks
 




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