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Sanwu Challenger II 520 nm 1 watt impressions

Pelagius

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Hi
I took the plunge and bought a quality laser from Sanwu. The 1 watt Challenger 2, 520 nm 1 Watt Multi-functional version.
Initially, I ordered a 150 mW 525 nm-but changed my mind. I must say it was very easy emailing Francis-and changing my order. Then it was time to wait.
Total? About 7 days between making my order changes-and arrival. Quick!
It was in a padded envelope-and inside each part was carefully wrapped in more padding. No instruction sheet-but having read about it that was not a problem.
I was a little confused at first-having requested the 18650 battery option-which I realized after a minute-must be for the lower power version.
First off-it feels like a quality piece. As others have said-it's a little tricky changing modes. I popped in 2 16340 button tops (3.7 each). The site suggests 18350 flat tops (on order)-but much reading says they should work for now (18350 on way).

The first setting is low power (1 mW?)- not terribly bright but fine for presentations. The spot was a line with a brighter dot in center.
A little fiddling with the button took me through strobe and SOS-then BOOM beautiful bright beam. I love the color. I noticed that it was very visible looking down the beam even in indirect daylight.
It certainly lights matches-actually, I tested it on the wooden part.
I took a few quick pictures (indirect daylight)-even without smoke, I can see the beam from the side.
It does get WARM. Within a minute, the front is not comfortable (although not burning) and the main part is above body temp. My max on time was 2 minutes (timed) and it was about the same. I understand the body is copper-nickel alloy? Which does act as a heat sink if I understand correctly. I'll post more beam shots later-perhaps with a little steam or smoke. :) I am posting a few pics of the body-copper heat sink and lens. And of course-the indirect daylight side beam shot.
 

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Gazen

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Nice first review. More pictures are always appreciated here
 

BowtieGuy

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Palagius, thanks for sharing your first Sanwu purchase with us, as Gazen mentioned, you can't have too many photos. :yh:
Remember that if it gets uncomfortably hot on the outside, it's even hotter nearer the diode; 1W in a host that size will limit your run times drastically.
 
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paul1598419

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I was about to say the same thing. ^^^^^^^^ But, you beat me to it, Jeff. That 1 watt green diode should actually be in a much larger host with a more massive heat sink. If you leave it on for 2 minutes you will lose it soon enough. I would think under a minute is the maximum time you want this on without a cool down period. Enjoy, and thanks for the review.
 

Shotgundrums

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Excellent review!! + Rep.
Enjoy, have fun and be SAFE and RESPONSIBLE with your lasers. Keep them out of unauthorized hands and away from children.
Treat and respect them much like firearms.
SGD :beer:
 
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BobMc

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Enjoy your new 520 Sanwu. I’ve got the same unit. Just love it. It does feel so good in the hand. You can find a flashlight holster on eBay that will fit the Challenge 2’s for a few bucks if you were interested, they seem to work quite well.
Nice write up and read, but I got to agree, more beam shots are always a good thing. :)

+reps
 
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Pelagius

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Thanks for the replies Gazen, Paul, BobMc, and Shotgundrums

BobMc: Holster! Do you remember which one fits?
As a fellow owner-a couple of questions: after the first time, I've been unable to make it change modes-although it did cycle it on it's own once. It's stuck at 500 mW or 1 Watt-I can't tell which.
I tried pushing halfway, and to a point just before it switches off. Any hints or is it malfunctioning? The other question was duty cycle-it gets fairly warm.
Thanks! And a few more pics-with beam expander (3X).
Shotgundrums- thanks, point well taken! I grew up in the Sierra and learned gun safety from an early age-I treat this the same way-I also de-focus as much as possible so the beam hits my dark grey rock (beam stop) spread out rather than an intense point. I got this for color and visibility more than to set matches on fire. :)
 

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BobMc

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Thanks for the replies Gazen, Paul, BobMc, and Shotgundrums

BobMc: Holster! Do you remember which one fits?
As a fellow owner-a couple of questions: after the first time, I've been unable to make it change modes-although it did cycle it on it's own once. It's stuck at 500 mW or 1 Watt-I can't tell which.
I tried pushing halfway, and to a point just before it switches off. Any hints or is it malfunctioning? The other question was duty cycle-it gets fairly warm.
Thanks! And a few more pics-with beam expander (3X).
Shotgundrums- thanks, point well taken! I grew up in the Sierra and learned gun safety from an early age-I treat this the same way-I also de-focus as much as possible so the beam hits my dark grey rock (beam stop) spread out rather than an intense point. I got this for color and visibility more than to set matches on fire. :)
Give me a little bit to see if I can find my purchase order on the holsters, it was a couple of years ago. ???

It does take a bit to learn the timing on changing modes. Don’t rush your pushes, and make sure you wait 2-3 seconds after you turn in first on to push the button and wait 2-3 seconds for it to change after you did the sequence. It’s just a matter of timing. I still mess up on them sometimes, but just got to get the timing down. Thanks for the beam shots. :drool:

Edit; you might want to try a mag lite AA holster if you got one handy ??

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/283056400137

Or

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/153098146932

I bought both, just to have a choice. Both work fine.
 
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Benm

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Nice laser!

Remember that if it gets uncomfortably hot on the outside, it's even hotter nearer the diode; 1W in a host that size will limit your run times drastically.
It's essentially a good sign: there is good thermal contact between the diode and the body, so it heats up quickly. Given the small host size and surface area combined with the electrical power dissipated at full brightness it should be no surprise that it gets very hot.

This doesn't even mean the laser diode is overheating to dangerous levels, but if it gets too hot to comfortably hold that puts a practical limit on duty cycle regardless.

The diode will be fine if it's die temperature is 100 celcius, but if that results in a case temp of 50 celcius you will not be holding it for very long :D
 

Pelagius

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Hi BobMc,
I've tried waiting, pushing half way-(waiting) pushing all the way to almost off-no change. Also-does your focused beam look like this?

It does take a bit to learn the timing on changing modes. Don’t rush your pushes, and make sure you wait 2-3 seconds after you turn in first on to push the button and wait 2-3 seconds for it to change after you did the sequence. It’s just a matter of timing. I still mess up on them sometimes, but just got to get the timing down. Thanks for the beam shots. :drool:

E
 

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BobMc

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Hi BobMc,
I've tried waiting, pushing half way-(waiting) pushing all the way to almost off-no change. Also-does your focused beam look like this?

It does take a bit to learn the timing on changing modes. Don’t rush your pushes, and make sure you wait 2-3 seconds after you turn in first on to push the button and wait 2-3 seconds for it to change after you did the sequence. It’s just a matter of timing. I still mess up on them sometimes, but just got to get the timing down. Thanks for the beam shots. :drool:

E
No mine doesn’t have the square artifact. I have a g7 lens in mine, which lens do you have?

I don’t know what more to say about changing modes. I’m
almost positive there’s nothing wrong with your unit. It’s just a matter of getting it right. Reread what Sanwu says on their site and keep at it is all I can say. You can talk to Sanwu and see if they got any tips?

Best wishes with your struggles.
 

Pelagius

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Hi BobMc
I have the G7 lens as well. I've not been able to make any mode changes-at all-after the first time one day one. I'm at least glad it's stuck on either 500 or 1000 mW.

Hi BobMc,
I've tried waiting, pushing half way-(waiting) pushing all the way to almost off-no change. Also-does your focused beam look like this?



No mine doesn’t have the square artifact. I have a g7 lens in mine, which lens do you have?

I don’t know what more to say about changing modes. I’m
almost positive there’s nothing wrong with your unit. It’s just a matter of getting it right. Reread what Sanwu says on their site and keep at it is all I can say. You can talk to Sanwu and see if they got any tips?

Best wishes with your struggles.
 

BobMc

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Hi BobMc
I have the G7 lens as well. I've not been able to make any mode changes-at all-after the first time one day one. I'm at least glad it's stuck on either 500 or 1000 mW.

Sorry to hear your having such a problem with your laser. Have you tried both the 3 push code and the 5 push code? If so, I’d send Sanwu a email.
 

Pelagius

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Hi BobMc.
I had to return the module (only) to Sanwu. I sent it off today.
I made some videos of my attempts-and Francis sent me a video of the switching technique.
They could see I was doing it right without any changes. Francis recommended I return it. It was stuck in full power mode-after dozens of tries I managed to get it stuck in 1 mW mode. I only saw the strobe and SOS on the first day. I'll post some beam shots when it comes back!
I still have my 301 532 nm (60mW?) and 450 nm "Gatling" 1W (based on instant burning not meter). I can't wait to get a properly functioning module back!
But they are nowhere as fun as the Sanwu. I loved the 1 W 520 nm beam!
I am missing the 520-so I'm tempted to buy a 150 mW 492 Guardian-as I love the color. Now if there was a 1Watt 492...

Hi BobMc
I have the G7 lens as well. I've not been able to make any mode changes-at all-after the first time one day one. I'm at least glad it's stuck on either 500 or 1000 mW.



Sorry to hear your having such a problem with your laser. Have you tried both the 3 push code and the 5 push code? If so, I’d send Sanwu a email.
 

BobMc

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Sorry to hear your going to be missing your baby for awhile. Hopefully the turn around will be quick, and she’ll be back where she belongs shortly. Glad to got a couple more laser to help take the edge off, but I do know how addicting the 1 Watts 520 can be. Such a beautiful beam they throw. Looking forward to your beam shots. As Tom Petty sang about “the waiting is the hardest part” :)

Ps, a 1watt 492, that would be the holy grail of lasers. But one can dream. :)
 
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