Re-visited Archon D33 torch

I did promise that when I got the torch working I would re-visit my review, well I got it working so I'm going to tell you what I think of the torch and the customer service!

Firstly customer service.

The torch is distributed by Miflex and I must say that the customer service was good, for sure there were no courtesy calls saying that the torch had been received or it was being despatched but it was sent, fettled and returned with minimal buggeration so I have no issues with the customer facing part of the business.
In my work life it's often said that the customer will give you a more positive rating if there is a problem with the goods supplied and you fix them quickly and with no fuss rather than if you simply supply something that works. Miflex ticked nearly all of the boxes.

The Torch

I haven't done any really 'orrid deep and dark dives, well the weather has been great so the vis is as good as it gets, however I still like using a torch and I have managed a few 30m+ dives here in the north east so I do feel suitably qualified to give an opinion.

The first point is mounting or carrying points, the lanyard supplied with the torch is inadequate, so don't use it! Personally and this is a personal point of view, I would have supplied the torch with no lanyard at all, most divers are funny bu**ers and have our own little ways and methods. My preferred mounting method is a small stainless steel clip tied onto a small hole in the end cap and the knot secured with gripsure, I have also added a cord handle with another stainless steel clip at the 'light end', with the cord cable tied onto the body of the torch. This works very well with the torch very well balanced when hanging from the 'light end' clip and the beam out of the way with the torch clipped onto your rig via the end clip. (I shall try to add a photo)

Picture 006

Note the strap and two cell charger!

The burn time is very good, I have managed four, one hour dives and there is no appreciable reduction in light output, my other primary, non-umbilical torch lasts for about 3 hours before starting to die.

Charging remains a bit of a pain with the charger holding two cells but the torch containing three, I guess that you just have to remember and swap a cell over after 'a while', alternatively you could organise a single charger but..........

In water the relatively slim handle of the torch means that I can hold it along with my crab-hook in one hand, this does offer advantages but bear in mind that I do have quite large hands so it may not be possible for you to hold multiple bits if you aren't blessed with prehensile digits.

The beam is perfect, not to wide and not to narrow and without a noticeable hot-spot, I would certainly feel very confident of using as a primary on a 'clear water night dive' such as might be encountered in Egypt as those pesky lionfish would not be concentrated around the pencil beam seen on some smaller and not necessarily cheaper models. My only gripe with the beam is that it is bright, too bright for lobstering and I have to use a smaller tusa torch when extrating crustaceans from more 'awkward' lairs.

Next the finish, it's a matt black which will make it popular with the tecchies, but the finish isn't very good, that's to say that it is coming adrift or more accurately rubbing off in areas, now this is a problem that I haven't seen with the tusa torches that I use and abuse for lobstering. I guess that money must be saved somewhere and unless you are a real tackle tart it isn't a big issue.

Finally the torch is high output and has an inordinate amount of cooling fins around the head, I haven't seen anywhere in the brief instructions details regards switching the torch on only just prior to entry and switch off as soon as possible after exit however I believe that this warning should be included and indeed ignored at your peril!

Richies rating 9/10 for the torch, get it working and it's great but for diving not dog walking!
Richies rating 8/10 for the customer service, verbal feedback non-existant but service great!

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