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My first G2 S3 1W Arctic

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Now, since my first gen Arctic was one of the rushed ones, it died the next day. I haven't had my new one for 24 hours yet, but let's hope that Wicked Lasers has learned something in the past 3 years. I won't be posting pictures on this review since all I have is a crappy Sony Cybershot DSCW200, but I will post 2 screenshots. And i'm tired from work, so this review might seem a little short and to the point.


The Wait





I placed my order with Wicked Lasers on May 9. After 3 days of nothing really updating, I decided that maybe they were just a little slow on the draw. After 3 more days, what the hell? I emailed them and they replied that day that it had already shipped.

After they finally gave me my tracking number, I started tracking it with USPS. As you can see above, the first instance of anything happening on the U.S side is on May 14. That information didn't show up until May 16. I called the post office on May 21, and they had no idea what was going on with my package. Wicked Lasers sent me a link to Packagetrackr to track my shipment. Don't rely on Packagetrackr. They will show you up-to-date info one minute, and then the rest of the time, they'll show you info from when they first started tracking your shipment.

But back to USPS. I noticed that customs didn't really have much to do this time around, and even Packagetrackr showed that customs must've just skipped it over. After May 23, everything started to update regularly until it arrived while I was at work. Good thing my dad was visiting and could sign for it.


The Package


Ugly blue-green bag with some black marker writing on it, and a USPS sticker. Inside was a white paper bag that's lined with bubble wrap. Inside that was a big mass of bubble wrap. Inside that was the laser, which was inside of its holster, the laser shades, the warning poster, an extra warning sticker, and a smaller mass of bubble wrap which contained the charger with the generic-looking red 18650 batter already in it.


The Gear


I haven't even bothered taking the laser shades out of its plastic wrap. I heard a long time ago about how they sucked, so i'll probably just throw them away.

I'm not sure whether or not to trust the battery that came. I remember hearing about how they're hazardous crap. This one is slightly shorter than the 2 Tenergy 2600 mAh PCB batteries I bought back in 2011(the size difference is a bit smaller the length of the PCB). I'll probably throw it away, just to be safe.

I could care less about the holster, which leaves a bigger portion of the Arctic exposed than I had expected.



The warning sticker shows <2000mW. Why they can't just say ~1000mW is beyond me.

The battery charger that came with it still shows a green light when I try to charge my Tenergys, but the old one from 2010 seems to work. I guess i'll throw away the charger too.


The Laser



I'm not a fan of the SmartSwitch starting my laser in low power strobe. The laser itself feels sturdy and looks good. The inside of the tailcap looks like someone tried to take a minature jackhammer to the silver outer portion, as it's kinda cracked.

I turned it on for the first time and tried to smoke my hoodie to test its power compared to my Spartan 445 1W. It smoked it pretty quick, and then I forgot that I still had it on low-power continuous mode. The lens caps I received with my first Arctic don't fit this one, so I guess they updated the threading, which means that I need to get a lens kit.


The Problems


The divergence on this thing is retarded. I measured exactly half an inch at 5 feet. I can even tell the spread is bad when I shine it into the night sky. The main thing that worries me is that the round black part underneath the lens cap moves around. I screwed it a little tighter with the hook of a fingernail file, but it still moves. I just think that if I move the laser a bit too fast, the unstable part might knock against the host and knock something out of line. Call me paranoid, but I just don't trust sensitive parts that aren't affixed to something.


Miscellaneous





I'm just going to go ahead and call bullshit out of principle.


Final Thoughts


I've known about all of the Wicked Lasers hoopla for a while. I know it was risky buying another one, after most people who came forward about their Arctic complained about it being underspec, but after getting a total piece of crap back in 2010, I was curious enough to take a gamble on how much Wicked Lasers has improved over the past 3 years. I played russian roulette, and while I didn't get the bullet, my gun is now scratched. I guess the pros outweigh the cons for me. I don't know how much a ~200mW difference would make in burning power(seeing as how many Arctics are at least 200mW underspec), but either the Arctic I have is near specification, or time speeds up slightly when I use it. I've always liked the host design, and how sturdy it feels. I do wish that the divergence was similar to my Spartan, and I get a little scared whenever the inside part moves around, but I can say that i'm happy with my purchase. I plan on getting a 1W Krypton in a few weeks, but I might just get it from an LPF member who's measured theirs at close to 1W.

Update - Just tested out my Arctic again, and now it measures a full inch at 5 feet. I can't even.

Update 2 - I screwed the cap above the collimation lens as tight as I could with the hook of a fingernail file, and now it stays in place. Before I did that, the divergence had lowered to half a centimeter at 5 feet and has stayed there.
 
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norbyx

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Well thanks for the review. I know that wicked lasers aren't very loved in this forum, but I personally owe one ( and maybe two if customs doesn't make it vanish) and I think that they are really cool. As for now I have a near 1w krypton and an artic on the way here.
Pics would be nice, but the review was nice as it is.
 
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My camera kept taking blurry photos, so I decided not to bother with it. After I get a DSLR and the Krypton, then there'll be pictures.
 
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hwang21

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Always a mixed bag... WL is better, but not great. I'm glad you're happy with your purchase, hopefully WL's going to try (very) hard to earn their rep back. Post some photos of your laser and your (inner) lens cap when you can. That cap seems to hold the collimating lens in place, so... might explain your unit's divergence
 
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Always a mixed bag... WL is better, but not great. I'm glad you're happy with your purchase, hopefully WL's going to try (very) hard to earn their rep back. Post some photos of your laser and your (inner) lens cap when you can. That cap seems to hold the collimating lens in place, so... might explain your unit's divergence
Yeah, the cap in my first Arctic never moved around, so I know something has to be wrong, especially for the dot size at 5 feet to grow half an inch 30 minutes after my first measurement. I just wish my camera didn't suck.
 

hwang21

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Yeah my Arctic comes in at around 1.2-1.3mRad actually, so a tad overspec :p what a surprise. I haven't dissected an Arctic so I wouldn't know exactly the assembly of the internal optics, but I'm quite sure the ring you're talking about holds the (only) collimating lens... Their power charts seem to be roughly accurate recently, you might not get the exact same graph (obviously) but it should output somewhere around that range
 

daguin

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Unless they have significantly altered the design, you should be able to re-focus the laser.

When you remove the crown/cap, you should be able to look down into the front of the laser and see the collimation lens

There may be a black "beauty cap" over the lens/module that you may have to remove first
Make sure that you are NOT turning the module instead of the cap!


Unless they glued that lens in place, you should be able to turn it with some sort of tool


Of course yours will still be in the laser ;)

You will have to turn it off to move the lens and then turn it back on until you have the focus the way you want it

Be careful not to scratch the lens with your tool

Once it is focused to "infinity" replace the black beauty cap and then the crown

If the laser keeps losing focus, you will have to "secure" the lens in place with a small spot of silicone
You may want to go ahead and do this anyway
There should be a spring under the lens to hold the lens in place, but sometimes they are forgotten or too weak to do the job

Peace,
dave
 
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I haven't really studied the inner workings of lasers, much less how to take apart and rebuild expensive electronics, so there's no way i'm doing this. I think i'd rather send it to someone and pay them to fix it for now. After i've had enough practice to get comfortable doing these kind of things, i'll give it a shot.
 

daguin

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It's not really scary

You will NOT be getting into the "electronics" of the laser

However, if you want, you can send to me.

**IF** nothing is "glued" in place, I will do it for just the cost of shipping it both ways

If something is glued in place, we will talk before I do anything to it

If you want me to do this, pop me a PM

Peace,
dave
 
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norbyx

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It's not really scary

You will NOT be getting into the "electronics" of the laser

However, if you want, you can send to me.

**IF** nothing is "glued" in place, I will do it for just the cost of shipping it both ways

If something is glued in place, we will talk before I do anything to it

If you want me to do this, pop me a PM

Peace,
dave
That is a great offer... I would consider it if I lived in the US. You should ....
 




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