The goggles aren't really all that bad. As a guess, I would say they make the dot look like it came from a 5 or 10 milliwatt red. They're not really suitable if you want to burn patterns in things with precision. I had to use a small transparent blue coin shaped object in the glasses and a standard flashlight on the material to see what I was doing.
The focusing part seems to be a bit loose perpendicular to its threads so you have to be careful not to push or pull it after you calibrate it properly. You can focus it two ways. Turning it clockwise from the beam setting to its tightest gives you a spot about a third or quarter the diameter of an ordinary flashlight torch. You can turn it left too, past the focus burn setting before it comes off and it will gradually give you ~3-4x flashlight spot.
Focused at infinity, the beam can burn holes in loose bin liner. Focused to burn, it can light even a red phosphorous tipped match without marking. Focused to illuminate, it gives you a really bright, evenly illuminated (minus some imperfections) circular, flashlight spot that looks orangish ruby red at the clockwise setting which illuminates objects the light bounces off of a nice deep cherry red. Of course, you still get the interference speckling making up the spot.
I ordered a spare rechargeable ultrafire 18650 with it and it came fully charged but it comes with what I think is a non-rechargeable blue one in the case.
There is some sort of white ring sticker over the aperture end of the laser (as seen in Rayfoss's site) which I think you're supposed to remove (I did).
I didn't get a sticker identifying the specific power rating. It was the checkbox sticker that Weltall seems to have on his dilda there.
This might be useful if you have the battery out and you want it off when you put one in: when the surface rubberised button feels sort of flatter or slightly depressed when you feel it with your finger (as if the button behind it isn't pushing out as it feels with the other setting), it means the laser is OFF. I would have thought the opposite would be the case.
What battery came with?, i got the red ultrafire and still working fine, try to check if ur battery is ok using a multimeter.
Did u drop/hit the laser by any chance?, installed battery in reverse polarity? (i did this once and luckly nothing happend), also be very careful with ESD's since those could kill ur laser without even notice it. :scared:
It could be also a loose contact and/or a tailcap problem... at any case if your laser stopped working u should email Faona im pretty sure she will repair/replace your laser free of charge.
Probably u also could not see the beam very well because red beams are the dimmest specially 660nm, they arent very close to eye's sensivity peak, plus rayleigh scattering is not on their side neither.
Also it will depend on where u live, the air humidity, particles in the air, etc, etc...