Wolf-Eye
Copia 6A Finder

review by Arnie

Stock
Specifications
RRP 89USD
Weight: 145g,
175g including battery
Length: 127mm
Diameter
of body:

25mm


Introduction:
This is just
one of those reviews when you say ‘wow!’ rather a lot. If you
want a quick answer please read on (group A), for anyone that
doesn’t want the review spoiled (group B), please look away
now. Go and buy one! Okay, group B can now start reading again.
^_^

These
torches are made in China by a company called ‘Wolf-Eyes/Copia’,
having not heard of them before I was a bit skeptical when Leo
at Wargamers
offered to send me one for review. This review really breaks
down into several parts as each item in the package is a separate
product in it’s own right. Sound weird? Well read on to see
what I’m on about…

The
idea: Okay how many of you out there use torches on your Airsoft
gear? Lets see a show of hands.. right now how many people have
actually bought the CR-123A batteries for them? Don’t you just
wish that someone made a rechargeable battery that you could
replace your two fiendishly expensive 123A’s with? Well look
no further. Ladies and gents I bring you the “Copia Finder”.

Out
the box:
Stripping away the packaging I was amazed to
discover two very tidy black cardboard boxes. I don’t want to
dwell on this part for too long (I have loads to say yet), but
it’s nice to find Airsoft related products coming in tidy boxes
that you want to put your gear back into, rather than the squashed
brown boxes some gear comes in.

The
“Wolf-Eye Copia 6A Finder”, or “Finder”
for short comes in tow separate boxes. One box contains the
instructions, the torch chassis, a reflective dish with a bulb
mounted in it, and a li-ion battery. The other box contains
the charger. Each item in the boxes is carefully laid out in
a presentation style, this is good as it’s easy to see that
everything is in the box from the outset.

Okey
dokey, lets start with the torch box. The torch comprises of
two parts, the main chassis, and the end which takes the bulb
unit itself. The two parts thread together, and have a double
o-ring behind the threads, thus keeping it 100% watertight at
all times.

Wolf-Eye
recommend that if you plan to carry the unit built (in a rucksack
for example) that you unthread the top of the torch two turns,
such that if you accidentally depress the power switch it won’t
turn on and discharge itself unwontedly. This is a very simple
yet surprisingly good idea.

Battery:
The
battery bundled with the ‘Finder’ is called the “Copia
LRB-168A” and has a capacity of 1800mAh, a voltage of 3.7V,
and is equal in size and specifications (almost*)
to two 123A’s end to end (68mm). These batteries (according
to the manufacturer themselves) have almost 0% self discharge,
and even after a year still has a huge capacity after one year
of storage. The pack is spec’d to last 500 charges at peak performance,
after that it has a maximum life span of a further 1000 charges.

“Copia
Photoel Technology Co.,Ltd. created a milestone of one cell
lithium battery application with the patented LRB-168A One-Cell
Li-ion Rechargeable Battery with Re/Discharge Controlling &
Protecting Circuit” – Copia

Now
just doing the easy math here, 500 charges is equal to the complete
use of 1000 CR-123A’s. You might be wondering where this technology
comes from, well these guys use the same cell packs for satellite
phones (wow!).

*
the Copia battery is 3.7V, but if you want to fit it to your
Surefire gear, simply buy the Wolf-Eye 6P or 9P conversion,
that comes with one battery (or two in the case of the 9P),
a charger and a replacement bulb unit, making your 6P not only
brighter, but rechargeable. Not bad eh?

NOTE:
NOT USE 2x CR123As with Wolf-Eye bulbs (instead of the LRB 168A).
Failing to use the correct batteries will burn out your Wolf-Eye
bulb.

Anyone
that has had problems shorting out their Airsoft equipment by
plugging it in the wrong way around, or simply reversing the
polarity can rejoice. ^_^


“…the lithium batteries we’ve made have an absolute safe
recharge & discharge protection system. Once a short circuit
is detected, the system starts in a millisecond.” – Copia

Torch
itself:

The torch produces an amazing 80 lumens of brightness for 50
minutes per full charge. The “6A one cell torch” is
waterproof to 3 meters, made of Airsoft aluminium, and features
a sealed switch in the base. Simply press the switch lightly
for ‘momentary on’, or depress it further (until you hear/feel
a click) for continuous on. Okay now here’s where it gets a
little silly.. it’s claimed to be bomb proof, sorry but I’m
not testing that on out myself. ^_^ In short, well it’s massively
speced for an Airsoft accessory, so much so that I doubt few
could want much more from it.

At
the end of the base you’ll find a small loop hole for fitting
a landyard retension cord. You don’t get one in the box, but
I’m not that bothered about that.

The
torch is 25mm in diameter and 127mm long. AS it’s 25mm in diameter
you can either use 25mm scope rings to mount it to a RIS rail
on your replica, or the more standard 30mm rings with some rubber
pad spacing inside.

The
6A is very similar in design and function to the Surefire 6P,
which is almost certainly not a fluke. Wolf-Eyes sell the ‘Finder’
package for an RRP of 89USD, at which price you’re lucky to
get a SureFire 6p and two batteries, but with the Wolf-Eye setup
you get the charger and li-ion battery as well. Don’t forget
that the Surefire 6P only produces (normally) 65 lumens, whereas
the Wolf-Eye kicks out 80.

I
am lucky enough to have a 6P bulb unit here, with two 123A cells,
now these are bright, but the Finder is visibly brighter. The
comparison in brightness between the Copia unit and a 4 D-Cell
MagLite, and a 2 AA-cell MagLite is like comparing my home brew
chilli to a microwave dinner – there’s just no contest, MagLite,
although good, aren’t even close to the Copia’s performance.

My
only complaint (if you could call it that) is that you can’t
focus the beam. Now this is simply a design feature that hasn’t
been incorporated. My guess is that this is because it’s a:
difficult to do, and b: not really needed. The Finder
kicks out a very tight beam over a visible distance. I honestly
haven’t seen a light this bright since I saw the X-Files last,
and Mulder and Scully had those luggable carbattery-with-a-halogen-bulb-taped-on
torches.

As
a simple test I went outside and shone the torch upwards towards
the sky (at night), and you can see a visible beam shining upwards
through the night for the best part of 30-40 feet, after which
the beam finally dissipates to the point where it illuminates
rather than shines.

The
lense in the head of the torch is very clear and strong, and
has the lettering ‘Copia’ and ‘WolfEye’ around the edge. This
doesn’t mean much, but it is at least reassuring that even down
to this very small detail it’s all been built by them.

Charger:
The charger is a multi voltage/frequency unit, and should work
in all countries. It has a space for charging up to two batteries
at once, and it a well constructed unit, with plenty of cable
between the charger and the wall plug – a simple thing, but
it’s always nice to be able to place a charger on a table rather
than the floor near the socket. Again, it’s the simple things
that please me here.

The
charger takes slightly less than two hours to charge either
a single a battery or two at the same time.

Problems?
Now I don’t want you guys to think that there’s nothing wrong
with this product. There are a couple of things that I’d like
to see a little better – please do bear in mind that I am being
really picky here:


– It comes with a “shaver style” plug fitted to the
charger. Anyone in the US won’t mind, but in the UK you’ll want
to chop off the plug and fit a British one (please only do
this
if you know what you are doing). To be fair the product
was built in China, so you can’t expect it to be aimed at us
Brits specifically. On the upside, the charger will take any
voltage from 110-240V AC at 50-60Hz, so should operate in just
about any country.



The bulb wasn’t quite straight. In the one I received the bulb
inset into the lamp unit wasn’t fitted quite straight. To be
honest I didn’t notice until I looked really closely, as it
doesn’t affect performance in any way.

Assembly:
Building the lamp is easy, but it’s not that obvious unless
you read the instructions, which are (wow!) in English. Please
note they are in English, not “Engrish”, not only
are the words understandable, but it makes sense. Honest
I’m not poking fun here, but it really is nice to read things
that you can understand in Airsoft. To assemble the torch:

  • Untwist
    the cap
  • Insert
    the lamp unit into the cap by sliding it in with the two lugs
    on the lamp sliding down the grooves inside the cap. Push it all
    the way to the bottom, and then twist it 90 degrees. This stops
    the lamp falling out without warning ^_^
  • Insert
    the battery, with the anode towards the bottom (the ‘-‘/minus
    end)
  • Twist the cap
    back on


Warnings:

  • Don’t
    use other batteries in the Copia unit – it will burn out the bulb.
  • Don’t shine
    the lamp directly at a human eye within a distance of 1 meter as
    there would be a possibility of long term damage.

Performance:
The Finder can illuminate for a rough maximum distance of 150 meters,
and at a distance of 10 meters projects a cone of light 2 meters in
diameter.

Available accessories:
You can get a wealth of odds and sods for your torch including: spare
batteries, a DC (car) charger and barrel clamps.

Conclusion:
I’m not finished reviewing this product yet, as I have a few more
longterm tests that I’d like to run on it. As I carry out tests such
as how it performs over consistent charges, and in poor conditions
I shall (as ever) update this review for you all to read. At this
point though I’d have to say that I’ve become a true ‘torch fanatic’
(MrsArnie: “..but it’s just a torch”).

I have seen a
few rumblings of new products at Copia, including a range of new (cheap)
LED tactical torches, and also hints at AEG batteries constructed
from their Li-Ion battery technology. These I can’t wait to see.

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last
modified: Wednesday, May 9, 2001 9:37 AM copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft




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