Review Orcatorch sD03

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tbone1004

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A few months ago @OrcaTorch reached out to me and asked if I wanted to review the SD03 dive beacon. Customs decided to have their way with the package so it arrived just prior to me heading out for a work trip but I was able to get it in the water. Linking a stock pic below and will update with some of my own later.

So what is the need? When we teach night diving we require our students to put a glow stick on their tank valves so it's a bit easier to keep track of everyone and they are color coded by team which makes everything easy. In general it's also nice to have when night diving and you can also use it to mark things at night. I have an aversion to disposable anything so almost 15 years ago I bought an original Glo-Toob which was great but it uses N cell batteries which are basically impossible to find. I upgraded with the AAA model a few years ago which compares to the Orcatorch SD01 but is only in a single color. Mine are red and I still use them when hiking at night and when night diving.

When Orcatorch reached out and asked if I wanted to evaluate this particular model I was very intrigued because while the Glo-Toobs work as a marker light and with red you can use them as map lights, their models offer color-changing LED's which includes a soft-white on the "lantern" side. They do also include a 100 lumen "flashlight" though for underwater use that is essentially useless but when you get out on land is bright enough to get around and put your gear away without tripping on something.

To be completely transparent, this product is not going to get a lot of dive time with me. This has nothing to do with the product itself, just that it has extremely limited use for my personal dive style and will likely get used 4-5x/year in the water. It will however get a LOT of use camping/hiking and for me I am always looking for multi-taskers and this one certainly hits the nail on the head especially since it uses a more standard AA battery that I have for other devices.

The one niggle I have with it is that they didn't give a spec for the o-ring size in the battery compartment. I would obviously not only like to have the spec for the o-ring but it would have been nice if they made it a 112 or 014. This wouldn't work with the current design which has the o-rings on the outside of the battery compartment, but would be nice if that was factored into the design.

It does come with an alkaleak installed that you have to remove a paper tab to engage the contacts, but that went straight in the trash and was replaced with an Eneloop because I try to avoid alkaline batteries at all costs. You could just as easily replace with Energizer Lithium, or whatever you prefer to use, but because this is an infrequent use device for most divers I would recommend replacing the included battery.



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Stock pic
1646919407228.png
 
OP
tbone1004

tbone1004

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How do you change colors? How do you switch from flashing to solid?

This is just a glorified tank light, yeah?
multi-twist, so twist on/off rapidly and it cycles through the different modes.
yes, this is essentially a "fancy" tank light but because of the "lantern" function I do think it's worth considering if you have a use for a tank light because it does have some other multi-purpose uses on land which is nice to have.
 

rob.mwpropane

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multi-twist, so twist on/off rapidly and it cycles through the different modes.
yes, this is essentially a "fancy" tank light but because of the "lantern" function I do think it's worth considering if you have a use for a tank light because it does have some other multi-purpose uses on land which is nice to have.

Is it "off-red solid-off-red flash" or "off-red solid-off-blue solid-off..."

I can see it being of use, like you said I'm not sure how much it would pertain to me but I don't like 1 time use things either.
 
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tbone1004

tbone1004

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Is it "off-red solid-off-red flash" or "off-red solid-off-blue solid-off..."

I can see it being of use, like you said I'm not sure how much it would pertain to me but I don't like 1 time use things either.
From the website. It was pretty intuitive.

1646926596617.png
 

OrcaTorch

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A few months ago @OrcaTorch reached out to me and asked if I wanted to review the SD03 dive beacon. Customs decided to have their way with the package so it arrived just prior to me heading out for a work trip but I was able to get it in the water. Linking a stock pic below and will update with some of my own later.

So what is the need? When we teach night diving we require our students to put a glow stick on their tank valves so it's a bit easier to keep track of everyone and they are color coded by team which makes everything easy. In general it's also nice to have when night diving and you can also use it to mark things at night. I have an aversion to disposable anything so almost 15 years ago I bought an original Glo-Toob which was great but it uses N cell batteries which are basically impossible to find. I upgraded with the AAA model a few years ago which compares to the Orcatorch SD01 but is only in a single color. Mine are red and I still use them when hiking at night and when night diving.

When Orcatorch reached out and asked if I wanted to evaluate this particular model I was very intrigued because while the Glo-Toobs work as a marker light and with red you can use them as map lights, their models offer color-changing LED's which includes a soft-white on the "lantern" side. They do also include a 100 lumen "flashlight" though for underwater use that is essentially useless but when you get out on land is bright enough to get around and put your gear away without tripping on something.

To be completely transparent, this product is not going to get a lot of dive time with me. This has nothing to do with the product itself, just that it has extremely limited use for my personal dive style and will likely get used 4-5x/year in the water. It will however get a LOT of use camping/hiking and for me I am always looking for multi-taskers and this one certainly hits the nail on the head especially since it uses a more standard AA battery that I have for other devices.

The one niggle I have with it is that they didn't give a spec for the o-ring size in the battery compartment. I would obviously not only like to have the spec for the o-ring but it would have been nice if they made it a 112 or 014. This wouldn't work with the current design which has the o-rings on the outside of the battery compartment, but would be nice if that was factored into the design.

It does come with an alkaleak installed that you have to remove a paper tab to engage the contacts, but that went straight in the trash and was replaced with an Eneloop because I try to avoid alkaline batteries at all costs. You could just as easily replace with Energizer Lithium, or whatever you prefer to use, but because this is an infrequent use device for most divers I would recommend replacing the included battery.



Links
Stock pic
View attachment 711537
Thanks for the review.
 

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