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Kaidomain 50mW CR2 - inital review

Benm

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I received my order from kaidomain for this laser:
http://www.kaidomain.com/WEBUI/ProductDetail.aspx?TranID=3304

The laser comes in a rather large gifbox, included is a no-name CR2 primary battery (inset: warning label, states <50mW. Note the typo 'DRIECT' and missing space in the frist line):
 

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Benm

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The laser comes apart easily in 3 pieces plus a tailcap switch (inset: both sides of the 'head', note the hardwired switch that is still there). The circuitry seems intended for a pen-style laser orginally, but is different from any DX i've seen so far.
 

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Benm

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Size compared to a metric ruler and the familiar DX30 pointer. The unit is a bit smaller than i expected.
 

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Benm

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Output compared to the DX30. The kai runs on its included battery, the DX30 is a good one running of NiMH's. The ratio is about equal when the Kai runs on a 3.6V rechargable and the DX on fresh alkalines.
 

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Benm

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Some thoughts and observations about this laser:

It comes in a sturdy giftbox, including a brandless CR2 cell so you can start playing right away. The first thing i noticed is how heavy this laser is... lacking a scale, i'd say its about has heavy without batteries as a DX laser is with batteries installed.

The hole case is covered in what looks like a matte black HA-2 anodisation, or perhaps a really good quality paint finish. All parts fit togheter very well, threads seem to be machined well and leave no room for wiggle or rattle when combined.

Regulation circuitry seems to be mediocre at best, it draws 220 mA from the included cell, and 300 mA from a 3.6V rechargable. I am unsure if it is supposed to be ran off 3.6V, but it works for now and the difference in output is significant. The unit comes on at full power within a second or so, and seems quite steady for at least a minute (haven tried much longer yet).

As for absolute power, i lack a power meter. Eyeballed, it seems to be short of the claimed 50 mW, but not by very much. At $26, it's good bang for the buck.

Optically, things are not that good. The beam has a lot of specle around it, looks like a dirty lens. I haven't attempted to clean it so far, but i will later on. Also, the beam is not in the center of the aperture, but seems to almost graze the edge of the hole.

I can't comment on durability yet, since i just received this laser.

In conclusion, i would recommend buying it at $26, if you can live with a bit of a 'dirty' output beam.
 

Benm

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Perhaps you are wondering if it does something cool? At 50-ish mW, don't expect anything major, but it does cut through thin (red printed) plastic foil... see video for a cigarette pack wrapper meeting its enemy.

Speed is realtime, and it goes through all the way.
 

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Benm

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A little addendum:

I've been playing with it a bit more, and it seems to sustain output power to a reasonable degree even with minutes of continous use. It does get a bit dimmer, i'm unsure if this is due to battery lag or thermal issues (you can feel it warm up). By now i emptied a rechargeable CR2 which equates 1-2 hours ontime, and it's still fine (so, not a semi-DOA).

The optics seem worse then i originally thought, cleaning the (outside) lens doesnt seem to help, and divergence measures in at around 1.4 mrad - not that good either. I see no obvious way to open the head, so it's impossible to clean inside or correct focus.. too bad really.

izzy007 said:
does it have a pot
It doesn't, but i'm guessing its pretty maxed out as it is.
 

eggsy

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great review mate,

the 1.4mrad measurement doesnt really tell me much (sorry im noob :-[ )
how big would the dot be say 20m or 50m away?
 

chimo

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Benm, any analysis of the board yet? Closeup pics? :)

I have not rec'd the sister product (only listed as 30mW) from DX yet - it is on the way and should be here in a couple of days (hopefully by the weekend). I'll post some pics when it arrives.

Paul
 

Benm

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eggsy said:
great review mate,
the 1.4mrad measurement doesnt really tell me much (sorry im noob :-[ )
how big would the dot be say 20m or 50m away?
1 mrad equates to 1 mm (extra) diameter per meter distance... so at 20 meters that would give a dot around 2.8 cm in diameter.

Benm, any analysis of the board yet? Closeup pics?
I'll try to take some detailed pics of the board. There is quite some glue connecting the board to the head/LD, i hope all the components will show.
 

Benm

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Here are some pics of the electronics... unfortunately, at least 1 cm of the PCB is obscured by the big blob of hotmelt (?) glue on both sides.
 

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chimo

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Thanks Benm, the RE1 spot on the second pic looks made for a pot with a couple of resistors soldered in for a fixed output. Of course, who knows what else they did...

Paul
 




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