Mine arrived OK -- Appears to be a G-1. It looks good so far and I will make my review when time allows. The beam seems a slightly different color than my HM445 at the same power but that may be just me.
i got mine yesterday, works great! however i dropped it and while leaving a very nasty bruise on my foot (ouch) the end cap is kinda touchy. sometimes you will turn it on and it wont come one, but you start to tun the battery thing and it comes on. oh one nice thing is if you pop the interlock, you can use it like a momentary push button.
Here is an objective review of the Arctic laser as-shipped.
I will leave most of my opinions about WL or the arctic out of this.
Logistics:Took a little longer (two separate shipents), but my entire was filled in full.
What I got: Arctic Laser, TWO pairs of Arctic LaserShields, Charger, 1300mAh Battery, Lens Pen, Basic Lens Kit, and extra Sanyo Battery
From the time I got my shipping email until receipt was about 7 days. Not bad for coming from China. For a fragile piece of electronic equipment I felt the packaging was reasonably protected. Inside the package (I will not describe the outer package or courier... OpSec) were two bubble wrapped boxes. The Laser and lenses were in one box and the shades and power supply were in another box. The arctic case inside the package was dinged up in one corner suggesting it left the factor this way. Not a big deal... it's just a box so overall Packaging Was OK. Not lacking but nothing breathtaking either.
As you can see in the pics, cosmetically, there are some marks in the finish. They were covered with sharpie or some other black marker that was easy to spot and came off with some marker remover & a cotton swab. Embarrassing. There were also a few machine marks on the tailcap which aren't terribly noticable but still there nonetheless. I can excuse this because they are not conspicuous and, honestly, how much quality can you expect for $200?
As a mechanical design engineer (for a prominent defense company) who specifies Milspec finishes and type III hardcoat anodizing on parts & drawings regularly... I was thoroughly unimpressed with the finish. When WL says this laser has "Milspec Anodizing" they must be taking about the chinese military because this finish is NOWHERE in the same ballpark of Milspec type III Hardcoat. In the pics see what the Arctic looks like next to REAL type III milspec anodized finish (LR308C Rifle). Not only could I see the difference but a scratch test confirms this. Using a simple steel screwdriver I am able to scratch the WL finish down to the aluminum with minimal pressure (see pic, scratch is above my thumb next to the threads). Over twice the pressure applied the rifle hardcoat finish doesn't leave a mark, let alone scratch into the aluminum. The finish is cosmetic anodized at best and even then still not spectacular.
As for the infamous "white goo" mine was a little excessive but I left most of it in. I only removed it from the threads and facing so that lenses removed don’t get the user and other things messy. In the pics, I have already removed the grease from the housing face and threads. The lens clearly has a blue AR coating on it evidenced by the gold reflections. ALSO, as you can see the lens assembly has been permanently affixed to the LD housing with some sort of hard grey/black epoxy. This would make adjusting the focus quite difficult should I ever have to adjust it. I suspect WL has been checking the forums and seen Mickey's Arctic Fix. I have not confirmed if the epoxy is in the threads or just on the surface... hopefully the latter.
However, that shouldn't be a problem because my laser appears to be ~1.35mrad on the fast axis and ~0.27mrad on the slow axis. If so, I'm fine with that. You can see this in the pic of the "dot" on the 1/4" grid paper. That pic was taken during the day through the WL LaserShields measured @ 48ft from the aperture. Using PC analysis, the dot appears to be 1.02" x 0.22" and with an aperture measurement of .240" x .063"... that should yield the above mrad measurements. Can someone verify my math?
Also, does my lens assembly look installed backwards to you guys? The lens assembly retaining ring is on the outside.
I though the retaining ring was to be installed closest to the LD. At least on my bluray builds that's how the Aixiz 445 lens in installed.
The beam is pretty stunning. Probably ~700mW like most reviews but I have no idea because I lack any LPM to measure power. The first pic is in well lit room with camera flash... the beam is still visible to the eyes. In a typical indoor environment, even the training-lens beam is visible. The second pic show the room lights off but still with the camera flash (how do you turn off this f'ing flash?!?). I can't wait to see this thing at night. :evil:
The WL battery was freshly charged for all pictures. No smoke, no fog, with clean air.
The battery only took about 1.5 hours to indicate full charge, so it was probably shipped with a decent charge already.
The Santo Battery is very nice and certainly worth the upgrade. Quality battery and 2X the capacity of the standard battery.
Pictured are OEM Laser OD6+ YLW Glasses (violet & Blue) and WL OD5+ Lasershields (violet & blue & green). With the WL Lasersheilds you can somewhat see the beam on high power and the dot still retains some of it's "blue" color. Dramatically reduced and comfortable to look at... but still entertaining and blue. They feel more comfortable than the (nicer) OEM goggles and look a bit cooler but are a bit darker to wear and distort normal color vision more as well.
The OEM glasses block nearly 100% of the blue. No beam is ever visible even when looking along the beampath. The dot looks white on the wall (from flourescence) and really all you can ever see is fluorescence. Not only are the YLW lenses brighter and easier on the eyes to wear around... but they block sub-460nm light much better too. This, of course desirable, but the beam is not as "entertaining" to watch. Nevertheless, I recommend buying a pair of OD6+ YLW for this wavelength despite whatever WL sends with the arctic.
In the pics above, you can see pictures of the Arctic through either set of glasses and also compared along side of ~180mW of 405nm. You can see that the YLW lenses pick up about the same fluorescence off the wall from the 405nm as the 445nm despite the drastically different powers. Obviously, the orange tint glasses are WL Lasershields and the Yellow Tint Glasses are the OEM Laser Systems.
That's all guys. I'll be happy to answer any questions. Click pics for full size.
I'll update the review when I get my cleaning kit, optics kit, and lens kit.
Almost forgot... EPIC BEAMSHOT. Eat your heart out George Lucas.
Shot at wooden fence 50ft away. No fog, no overexposure, no flash.
Very Nice review, at least the divergence is good, kinda disappointed at having all those scuffs on it, It doesnt matter if a screw driver can cut into it to me, but having those scuffs in the beginning are a bit dissappointing, but in the end of the day, all we want is a nice beam and a working laser, it looks like they realized that the lenses were moving around so they glued them in there, which is good, the longer we wait the more fixes they will have
It's not that the lens assembly were screwing out of the housing... they were coming apart.
This could have been fixed WITHOUT gluing the lens into the housing.
Now it can never have the focus fixed. What is the divergence were bad or I wanted to change it.
I think this move by WL was not very good. Hopefully, the lens never needs any fixes or adjustments.
And yeah, the scuffs kind of suck. Sure it will have accumulated that kind of wear and tear in a few months... but it just kind of takes the "newness" out of the experience. I can forgive the cheap anodize but at least make sure it looks good before it gors out the door. It's really not a big deal though. I got a working laser with good divergence - I'm happy.