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Old 02-07-2015, 08:33 PM
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Default Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot- MD-ADS

If you've seen my other thread, you know I've been threatening to buy one of these and do a review for some time. That time is now. So, get comfortable. This will take a little while and there are a lot of pictures. I promise only one thing, the truth. I have no bias and will only report what I observe. Feel free to respond to this review as you see fit.

One thing you won't see here is the ridiculous "torture" tests. If you want that, there are plenty of videos on youtube. Several are listed on the Primary Arms site. So, if you want to see it frozen, bashed, battered, dragged behind a truck or blown up, go to Primary Arms and click the links there. It's been done enough to show that this is one tough little optic.


I will only list stuff not on the Primary Arms website. You can read all the technical details here: https://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_...s_p/md-ads.htm


The basics:
Price- $169.99 + $4.58 shipping = $174.57 to my door.
Why this optic? I was hoping for a reasonably low priced optic that performed well. For me that means long battery life and clear, undistorted optics. Based on a video posted by another member, I took a chance.

Here it is mounted on my rifle:


I like the low profile and small overall size. It adds very little weight to the gun and doesn't stick out like some cancerous appendage.

I have this one mounted on a 1/2" riser. Mounting closer to the bore makes for more precise aiming qualities. I tried mounting it directly to the receiver, but that was just too low. Co-witnessing is not a big concern for me. I have no plans on going into combat/competition so, instantaneous operation of back up sights is not a high priority. However, with the 1/2" riser the MD-ADS does co-witness with my back up sights. It's kind of a top 1/3rd co-witness. I don't recommend mounting your sight this way, but it will work. (For the record, the back up sights are not sighted in at this time)


I find the controls easily accessible and easy to operate. Pressing either button turns the sight on. Pressing both together turns the sight off. I see no reason to ever turn the optic off. With a 50K hour battery life, a single battery will last for 5 years of constant use at a middle setting. So, changing the battery every 2 years should keep it running fine.

Someone questioned if this had an auto shut off; it doesn't. I turned it on as soon as it was out of the box yesterday and it's still on as I type this. I have no intention of turning it off until the battery dies or I reach the two year point.


Unlike previous models, the battery is easily accessible from the side. So changing it out will not require removing the optic. When it arrived the battery was already installed. If using the gun for defense, I'd change the battery to a new one just to be sure I started with a full up battery.

Unlike the Vortex SPARC, the adjustments are easy to access and none of the other controls got in the way of using a high tech adjustment tool.


For comparison, here is what the SPARC looked like:



The adjustment caps are not attached. This should not present a problem as adjustment should rarely need to be done. I've only had the optic for a day. Whether or not it holds zero remains to be seen. At first I thought they were plastic. It turns out they are made of aluminum and are quite nice.

The question was asked about how the controls would work with gloves:

I found them easy to operate with a pair of Mechanix gloves. In fact, they are much easier to operate than my EOTech. The buttons on the EOTech are recessed. The buttons on the MD-ADS are not recessed. Only time will tell if this is a detriment. Under normal use I don't see how it could be.


If you wanted to mount a Kill Flash or flip up caps you may be out of luck:

The objective bezel is not threaded and has precious little area to add a slip on device. If anyone knows of a source for either of these that will work on this, please let me know.

That said, the rubber bikini cover is OK:

I find it much easier to install than the cover that came with the SPARC. However, it is indeed a cheap cover and I'd be surprised if it lasts long.


A nit that I just have to pick, the mount screw:

This is one cheaply made part. The Torx shape is not well made and doesn't fit well with the supplied wrench. So, yeah, as I was tightening the screw, the wrench slipped and I scratched the optic! I find the finish on this to be very mediocre. It is very easy to mar. For those of you who like that "Boba Fett" look, you'll love this because it will take on a worn appearance quickly. Yes, this is really being picky, but I promised the truth.


Alright, now to the good stuff, shooting. In the end that's all that matters; how good it is at putting hits on target.

I fired 30 rounds at the range today. It took me a little while to get it dialed in, but not that bad. I started by bore sighting the gun to the optic. If you don't know what that is, I will explain later. By doing this, the first three shot group was on a 12"x12" target.

I found the adjustments very positive. Usually on low dollar optics the "clicks" are very spongy. Not this one. Each click is positive and easy to feel.

Once zeroed well enough, I shot this group:

Granted this was at 50 yards, but that's a sub MOA group using an optic with a 2MOA dot. You can't complain about that.

Of course a good group means nothing if you can't repeat it. So, I followed that group with a 4 shot group:

Take out the one shot on the left and it's another sub MOA group. Add that shot in and you have a group that's just over 2MOA while using an optic with a 2MOA red dot. This was all done with Wolf Gold ammo and me behind the trigger. That's as good as I'd ever expect and I'm very happy with the groups I got today.


After what I've just talked about, most people would be very happy with this optic. Relatively low price, easy to use, long battery life and seems to have the ability to provide good accuracy. Now we have to explore that oh so mysterious aspect of optics we call parallax.

Accuracy is easy when you're at a range with a bench and sand bags. However, the beauty of the red dot is that it can be accurate when conditions aren't perfect. Because you don't need to be in the physical center of the optic to be on target. In order for this to work, any red dot has to have a low incidence of parallax.

So, I attempted to recreate the nice video Chattanoogaphil made:

Watch it on youtube to see it in a larger size. Look closely at the relationship between the stump and the dot as the camera moves around. Pay no attention to the fence because it's too close. That stump is 50 yards from where the gun is sitting, +/- a yard or so.

Before I comment further, I have a question: the specifications say that this optic is parallax free beyond 33 yards. Do you think this optic meets that spec?


One thing that cannot be denied, I was able to shoot some nice groups with it. In the end, that's all that matters. I will continue to use it and continue to report on how it's working. For what it is, what I intend to use it for and what I paid for it, I'm OK with it. I will look more closely at the parallax stuff. Even so, as long as it continues to help me put rounds on target, I'm happy.
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Old 02-08-2015, 01:11 AM
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I would say it is relatively parallax free... not perfect, but good enough.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:11 AM
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Nice review.

Parallax looks fine, about on par with the PAs I have. You've already seen that vid. Here's a vid I just took with an old Tasco PDP2 I had laying round here. Other than the dot going bright and dim on camera angle, the dot barely budges.

What I liked best about your new ADS is the clarity (at least appeared so in the vid) very nice. Maybe you can take a pic up against a white wall? I suspected it would be clearer because they advertised NV capable. I looks like there's quite a difference between yours and the dingy green of my old Tasco in the vid which is about the same as the dingy green on my PAs. It won't make any difference just holding center on a paper bullseye or banging steel, but I do a fair amount of shooting with my 15-22 against a dirt bank popping shot shells and other debris with not so much contrast. Extra clarity will make a big difference for my plinking. That alone would be worth the extra $100.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUos...ature=youtu.be

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Old 02-08-2015, 11:45 AM
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Yes, the clarity is quite nice. It is an aspect I haven't done much comparison with because I have nothing to directly compare it to. Later today I will take some pics and see if I can show clarity.
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
That said, the rubber bikini cover is OK:

I find it much easier to install than the cover that came with the SPARC. However, it is indeed a cheap cover and I'd be surprised if it lasts long.
I've had PA optics for years and had the bikini covers on and off hundreds of times. I'm sure those are the same should last just fine.


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Old 02-08-2015, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChattanoogaPhil View Post
I looks like there's quite a difference between yours and the dingy green of my old Tasco in the vid which is about the same as the dingy green on my PAs.
It turns out that getting a picture of this is harder than I thought it would be. Yes, if I view a white piece of paper through the MD-ADS it does have a slight blue-green cast to it. To me it is very faint and I probably would not have noticed it had you not mentioned the issue with your other PA optics.

In trying to capture a picture, I find it difficult to replicate what I see with my eye. I'm reluctant to post this picture, but here it is:


Obviously there are a lot of factors to consider here. I'm sure your monitor is not the same as mine. So, I don't know if you see what I see. I used a piece of standard white paper. In the pic it probably has a slight grey cast to it. This is due to the lighting. The optic should have a very light blue or blue-green color to it. Yes, it's there, but most people wouldn't notice it at the range or unless they were specifically looking for it.

I'm curious to see how an Aimpoint would fair under similar conditions? I've never done this kind of a test before. My EOTech doesn't have this color cast to it. If anything, the EOTech is just limiting light transmission. There is no color, but it's obvious you're looking through something (if that makes any sense).
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChattanoogaPhil View Post
I've had PA optics for years and had the bikini covers on and off hundreds of times. I'm sure those are the same should last just fine.
That's good to know, but I'll probably be looking for something else anyway. As you can see from my pics, I live in a very dusty area. The rubber of the cover just soaks up dust and it's hard to get off.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:28 PM
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I just saw this pic from another thread:



Now I wish I had this so I could compare them side by side. Phil's optic looks obviously green to me.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:10 PM
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It's getting dark out here so there's glare from overhead lights.

My Aimpoint H1 is actually more green than it appears in this photo. Still, the ADS is clearer. No doubt about it.


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Old 02-08-2015, 07:37 PM
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I'm speechless. That just blows me away. I know that small optics like this always have problems with parallax and clarity. Even so, I never expected the MD-ADS would be better than an Aimpoint.

This makes me want to go buy one just so I can compare them side by side. Anyone got $700 or a spare Aimpoint lying around?
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
I just saw this pic from another thread:



Now I wish I had this so I could compare them side by side. Phil's optic looks obviously green to me.
That's the PA optic. Now in that pic it's actually a bit darker than it would otherwise be due to the kill flash I put on it for the photo.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
I'm speechless. That just blows me away. I know that small optics like this always have problems with parallax and clarity. Even so, I never expected the MD-ADS would be better than an Aimpoint.

This makes me want to go buy one just so I can compare them side by side.
You should. Get the new Aimpoint T2.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:01 PM
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No, as long as this one keeps working like it is, I see no reason to buy another. At the moment, the minor parallax issue is the only thing about this I'm unhappy with. Most don't even see that as an issue.

Is this an "Aimpoint Killer"? No, I don't think so. People will still pay the big bucks because it's what the military uses (even though they don't use the micro versions). For right now, I see no real advantage to another red dot and I'm really picky. Remember, I'm the guy always trying to talk people out of buying cheap optics. So, this is very unusual for me.
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:36 PM
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Just got mine in the mail. Just upgraded from a utg. I am very happy with it and the 3 x mag and mounts. Need to get to the range and try it out.


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Old 02-12-2015, 07:02 AM
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Hello,
It seems to be the same as the Hilux Micro B dot, no ?
Leatherwood Hi-Lux Optics Micro-Max B-Dot Tactical Red Dot Sight
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:09 AM
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They do look very similar


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Old 02-12-2015, 08:57 AM
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Chinese optics get different labels slapped on them. Originally Primary Arms was selling them under the Holosun name and still do. Now with a Primary Arms label also. I'm sure you'll find them with many labels.

The Primary Arms Compact 4x I bought a few years ago I have seen with countless other labels, including even Sig Arms.

I think PA got a reputation for selling better budget optics becasue they would inspect them for defects before shipping. They also claim to have some influence with the factory over some design aspects. Marshall was posting on another forum the reticle changes they had requested for a new compact scope. Turned out the factory went a different way. Maybe one day Marshall will post on the Forum and give us the inside scoop.

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Old 02-12-2015, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
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Hello,
It seems to be the same as the Hilux Micro B dot, no ?
It certainly could be. The Hi-Lux does have some differences though:


The caps are captured and have built in adjustment tools. The battery cap is larger, but that's so it can store an extra battery. This one comes with flip up caps and a kill flash. These are all extras that are very nice and better than the Primary Arms offering. Certainly not hard for a manufacturer to add these based on a particular specification from a retailer. I'm not sure I'd pay an extra $70 for them though.

Still, Phil is right, the factory that makes these could make them for multiple vendors. It's like the Mec Gar mags where they are made by one company, but for many companies.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:17 PM
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I just looked and found this:


This is the Holosun version of the same thing. Primary Arms has it listed on their site for $199. It has exactly the same specs as the Primary Arms version, but with different adjustment caps. I certainly wouldn't pay an extra $30 just for different caps.

None of this surprises me.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:58 PM
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Interesting issue with image shift for a 1x optic designed to shoot with both eyes open.
See the significant roofline shift in the Holosun pic.




Last edited by ChattanoogaPhil; 02-12-2015 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:39 AM
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How did you get those pics or are they just off the web?

The reason I ask has to do with camera position. Because of the refraction associated with any lens, a tiny shift in camera position could create the roof line differences you're seeing in those pics.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:51 AM
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Marshall acknowledges the image shift. It's a shrinking image magnification with the glass. I doubt many folks notice. Heck, half or more of the guys I see at the Club use red dots one eye closed anyway.

My Burris FastFire (another supposedly good mid-priced red dot) does the same thing but in reverse, and even worse. I hate it. Funny thing, I ranted about it in a thread where others were giving it glowing reviews. Others hadn't noticed.

I think they all have some optical image difference, but my Aimpoint and old PAs and decades old Tasco red dots have none perceivable to me. I was thinking about a Holosun, but after those images and reading Marshall acknowledge it, it's not an option for me.

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Old 02-14-2015, 11:29 AM
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I appreciate your write up on this optic, and please update as you see fit. I became an AR owner last year, and have been using it with a LMT carry handle. Although I do enjoy shooting my M&P with the irons, I have been thinking about getting a red dot to help my 56 year old eyes. I only use my AR for fun, and my hunting guns get the good glass, so this PA red dot seems like a good fit. Thanks again for the write up.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:34 PM
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I've found that taking pictures of optics can be quite challenging. Because the red dot is designed to simulate a dot projected on the target, it's impossible to have the optic housing in focus and the red dot in focus. Because of this, the pictures taken above have to be considered with that in mind.

Let's look at them again:




I've added arrows to indicate where the actual red dot is. Notice that the Aimpoint dot is almost off the optic low/left. The Holosun seems to be closer to the middle. I'm not sure about the Holosun though, that could be a reflection rather than a distorted red dot.

Only one conclusion can be drawn from what I'm showing; the pictures were not taken at the same angle with respect to the optic. Because of refraction, this is important to any refraction error noted (which is what we're talking about when looking at the broken roof line).

This kind of picture is quite difficult to set up. It's not enough to just see the roof line the same, the angle of the optic must be the same as well. This means that the photographer must take some time to position each optic (or rifle if it's mounted) not just in the same position, but the same attitude as well.

I will try to replicate a pic like these, using the MD-ADS, soon.
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Old 02-28-2015, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
I just looked and found this:


This is the Holosun version of the same thing. Primary Arms has it listed on their site for $199. It has exactly the same specs as the Primary Arms version, but with different adjustment caps. I certainly wouldn't pay an extra $30 just for different caps.

None of this surprises me.
The Holosun has a few differences - battery location, auto-off, and also the emitter is at the 6 o'oclock position instead of 4:30 or so... PA wanted side mounted battery for easier changing, 4:30 emitter b/c the 6pm one interferred with some c/w setups, and they just plain didn't want the auto-off I read - so they asked Holosun to make these changes for their branded version.

I'm torn... just built a new lightweight shorty BCM with Keymod on my ambi lower, and was thinking about trying the new T-2. Ya'll probably remember I had the T-1 on my S&W/Troy build - wound up selling it b/c I though I was going to go with something etched due to my astigmatism, ie ACOG or Leupold Prismatic - but on this build I want to stay with a very light optic, so back to a red dot lol. I have the earlier model PA on my 15-22, and pretty much hate it, so it's real hard for me to try PA again on this one. I don't "need" a T1/T2/H1, but need and want don't always line up lol...

I suspect by Monday I will have ordered one of the three, though... The BCM/KMR build is pretty naked with no optic yet Probably an Aimpoint combo from Larue to be honest. Have read several reports on the PA Advances of issues with buttons and w/e adjustments not working at all...

Not really ready for the "official" pics thread yet, probably going to grab a black Mod2 and lighter buttstock...MF maybe - but anyway...


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  #26  
Old 03-02-2015, 01:58 PM
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Well, went and looked at the H1/T1/T2, same with all.. astigmatism blows lol. I mean it's usable, but I decided to go ahead and get the ACOG. Doesn't matter if I'm wearing glasses or contacts, it's crystal clear and chevron and marks are sharp. Still may look at the Leupold prismatic too, but not to many of those floating around...

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Old 03-13-2015, 09:50 AM
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Default Rugged?

Can anyone comment on the longevity of the Primary Arms offerings as regards holding up to the recoil of medium-powered rifles? I was thinking of getting one of the Primary Arms to go on my AK until such time as I can afford an AimPoint Micro, then transfer it over to rimfire duty. In the interim, I would like to be confident that utilizing it on a 7.62X39 won't turn it into a pile of parts (to exaggerate slightly).
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:02 PM
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Well, they put these through a pretty good torture test. Just look at the videos on the site.

Mine has moved over to a Mossberg 930SPX shotgun. I'm gonna blast away with that for a while. I don't know if it has more recoil than a 7.62x39, but it has more than my AR.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:57 PM
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Ill await your results. I should be getting my tavor in and i need a sight for it
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Old 03-14-2015, 06:18 PM
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Nope, don't like it on the shotgun so, off it comes. It held up fine, I just don't like the way it works with a shotgun. Blocks too much of the target. The circle around the center blocks any kind of target acquisition. Like the ghost ring much better.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:15 PM
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I agree on the astigmatism not working well with red dots. Looking/drooling at a store, the EOtech had the same issue, but the ACOG didn't. Wish I could justify the cost.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:10 AM
tylojuky tylojuky is offline
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Default Parallax issues here too

i bought 2 Primary Arms MD-ADS as soon as they came out. One for my son & one for my "truck gun". The very first thing I noticed was the parallax shift even out at 100 yards. One of the two I bought was much worse than the other (I could compare them side-by-side on the bench along with a couple different Aimpoints).
I called PA and was told "that's normal for a red dot". After mentioning that I saw no such issue in my Aimpoint, the rep explained that it was there and I just didn't notice it (??!!!??). Then he went in to explain the merits of a consistent cheek weld (grrr!!). In spite of standing his ground on nothing being wrong with the optic, he offered to exchange it - which I did. The one I got back was - well - "better" - but definitely NOT parallax-free.

I still have both PAs some 10 months later and I may even buy another someday. Considering the intent of the rifles they are on, I can live with the parallax issue (I do practice a consistent cheek weld) and enjoy the cost savings. And I appreciate the no-questions-asked customer service (in spite of the pointless argument - everyone has a bad day now and then).

If my life depended on the weapon, I would not personally select this optic. Having said that, it appears to be one of the better bargain models. About the only choice for the battery life. In fact, having grown accustomed to leaving my dots on all the time it was a natural choice for me and the main reason I gave it a try in the first place.

Bottom line: there IS a quality difference between this optic and any given Aimpoint and you WILL notice that difference. However, that difference does not always justify paying 3-4 times more. Nothing wrong with this optic - I'll keep mine - but if you pay a LOT more, you will get a LITTLE more quality. You have to decide it that's worth it for your situation.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:54 PM
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I'd like to see someone besides me post of vid of parallax, specifically you guys complaining that your 1x red dot optics have a lot or too much parallax. I'd like to see what you guys are saying is too much.

Here is the cheapest red dot I own, a Tasco.
Pushing the dot to the edges of the optic and still it barely budges.

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Old 08-03-2015, 02:47 AM
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Here's an update on this optic:

PA claims a battery life of "up to" 50,000 hours. Hmmm, maybe not.

I started this thread on 7 Feb, the day after I got the optic. I put the date I installed the battery, 6 Feb 2015, on the sight. Yesterday I picked up the sight to show a friend, lo and behold the sight is dead. I took a battery out of a different optic, installed in the this one and it worked. So, I'm sure the battery just died. I'm very disappointed that it lasted less than 6 months when it should last at least 5 years.

Now, the battery in it was the one it came with from Primary Arms. Maybe it was worn out when I got it? I don't know. I will send a note to Primary Arms about it and install a new battery. Time will tell if it works. At the moment, I'm very disappointed. Any sight that will be used for serious defense cannot have the battery die this quickly.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:33 AM
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What brand was the battery that came with it? One of those generic Chinese ones or a recognizable brand?

I'm not totally sold on the PA made in China offerings. Made in the same factory as the cheaper clones, I suspect the price difference is a small part additional QA and a large part markup since the anchor point is the price of a real Aimpoint. Like other product sellers, they figured out average rates of fail units as they buy them by the shipping container full, and you're just covered because you paid the 4-5x markup. They could replace your unit many times over and still turn a profit.

If I had money to burn I'd buy an ebay Aimpoint clone and a PA version to disassemble and actually see what the internal differences are. Red dots are relatively simple, there are only so many ways you can slap together a battery, a rheostat, and an emitter that you'd have to intentionally try to make one that doesn't work.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:24 AM
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Rastoff, thanks for the update. The battery life is really the only question that has not been answered about this optic. Hopefully the answer is put in a quality battery and you will get the life as expected.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
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What brand was the battery that came with it?
The name on the battery is maxell. So, a decent enough name I guess.

I sent an email to PA yesterday and they responded today. They did mention that it could be an issue with the battery. I liked the one comment, "What do you want us to do to make it right?" I told them that I didn't want anything at the moment. I want to try a new battery first. Alas, it will take a while to test it.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:10 PM
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You an always extrapolate with a multimeter, measure amperage draw and compare to battery mAh. I doubt PA sat around waiting for one to die to get their hour rating (hence the "up to" terminology, just theoretical)
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:12 PM
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That's not a bad idea McE. However, I've done some testing with batteries and your suggestion really is a wag. PA probably didn't even do that. They probably calculated the current draw based on the circuit design and matched that up with the mAh of the battery.

The issue with battery drain extrapolation is that batteries don't dissipate in a linear fashion. Also, each type of battery has a different dissipation curve. In any kind of measurement, extrapolation is never a good idea. The further away from an actual measurement point you get, the worse the prediction becomes.

Most regular alkaline batteries will maintain a decent voltage right up until about 20% before failure. Then they will drop off dramatically.

Meh, nothing like a real world test. I compressed a spring for a year to prove that springs really do compress. This is no big deal. I have the optic. I'm going to leave it on. We'll see how it is as time goes by. If I remember, I'll post a blurb every month or so.

The new battery is in. It's an Energizer. Time will tell. If it lasts a year, I'll call it a success.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
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I'd like to see someone besides me post of vid of parallax, specifically you guys complaining that your 1x red dot optics have a lot or too much parallax.
See the OP.
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:33 AM
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I am looking at putting one of these on my AAC MPW 300 Blackout. I am in no hurry to buy one and I know that Primary Arms has sales. Anybody bought one of these on sale? If so, how much was the sale price?
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  #42  
Old 01-06-2016, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
That's not a bad idea McE. However, I've done some testing with batteries and your suggestion really is a wag. PA probably didn't even do that. They probably calculated the current draw based on the circuit design and matched that up with the mAh of the battery.

The issue with battery drain extrapolation is that batteries don't dissipate in a linear fashion. Also, each type of battery has a different dissipation curve. In any kind of measurement, extrapolation is never a good idea. The further away from an actual measurement point you get, the worse the prediction becomes.

Most regular alkaline batteries will maintain a decent voltage right up until about 20% before failure. Then they will drop off dramatically.

Meh, nothing like a real world test. I compressed a spring for a year to prove that springs really do compress. This is no big deal. I have the optic. I'm going to leave it on. We'll see how it is as time goes by. If I remember, I'll post a blurb every month or so.

The new battery is in. It's an Energizer. Time will tell. If it lasts a year, I'll call it a success.
Since it was August when you posted that, have you had to replace the battery at all yet? I'm really interested in the 50k+ hour assertion as well.
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
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Since it was August when you posted that, have you had to replace the battery at all yet? I'm really interested in the 50k+ hour assertion as well.
Mine was shipped to me April 17th of 2015. I don't know when I actually received it, but when I did, I turned it on a setting that was bright enough to see with a weapons lights activated. So it's on a higher setting. I've left the sight on since I bought it, and as of last night, it's still on. (Battery that came with the sight)
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:01 PM
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Coincidence that this thread got revived.
I've been playing around with designs for the circuitry to make a red dot.
Even with a 1mA draw LED, a big CR123 battery with 1500mAh is looking very simplistically at a max of 1500 hours run time.
3000 hours with very low draw 0.5mA.
The Primary Arms 50,000hr thing is working with a CR2032 hovering around only 200mAh o.O
Crudely, that's a 0.004mA draw. I don't know of LEDs that work with that, for constant on, anyway.

Then you get into methods of stretching runtime like not actually having the LED constantly be on, but actually pulsing it at a frequency above the threshold of human perception. For example, a light flashing at even just 60hz can appear to always be on, but in terms of stretching runtime, maybe you can double it by flashing it so it is imperceptibly actually off half of the time that you think it's on.

There are some simple circuitry tricks to eke out juice from batteries, but at its core, red dots are extremely simple. I've yet to figure out the kind of LED they're using, what they draw, and if they are using the pulsing trick and additional joule thief type circuitry to get more out of the battery. I will probably sacrifice a few red dots to see all of the components myself.

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Old 01-06-2016, 05:48 PM
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Anyone interested in donating an MD-ADS to me, I'll put it on my oscilloscope to see if it's pulsing that LED output
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
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Anyone interested in donating an MD-ADS to me, I'll put it on my oscilloscope to see if it's pulsing that LED output
Oscilloscope? Sounds fancy. I'd probably just tie it to a rope and swing it around in the dark
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:27 PM
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Nope, not too fancy. Very low low tech. In fact, it's older than I am. My dad built it in the 1960s from a Heathkit.

Swinging it would almost work, if it was bright enough to see at swinging distance and not tumbling all over.
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  #48  
Old 01-08-2016, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
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Since it was August when you posted that, have you had to replace the battery at all yet? I'm really interested in the 50k+ hour assertion as well.
I check it every few days. I don't have it mounted right now and it's just sitting on my desk. It's still on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Checkmate View Post
Anyone interested in donating an MD-ADS to me, I'll put it on my oscilloscope to see if it's pulsing that LED output
Funny you should mention that. I'm an electronic technician (not my actual title, but no one knows what a Metrologist is) for the Air Force. I just got a new o-scope at work. This one:


This is a Tektronix MDO 4,000 series oscilloscope. It is mixed domain which means it has a spectrum analyzer built in. Anyone who knows how to use a scope would love this thing and I'm really excited to have it.

However, there is a problem with your potential test; it requires destruction of the optic. The PA Advanced Microdot is a sealed optic. In fact, I don't know any that aren't. So, to test the circuitry, you'll have to break it open. Even if you wanted to do it, it's likely the circuit would be destroyed in the process.

As far as how they achieve the long life, who cares how they do it? Yes, even switching as slow as 30Hz would appear to be solid on to the human eye. So what? I only care that it works.

Several of the good optics claim super long life. Aimpoint and Trijicon both have optics with battery life of more than 2 years. This is essential for any optic that will be used for self-defense.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:22 PM
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I have some old oscilloscope stored away somewhere from when I dabbled in circuitry back in grade school, might have to get the parents to dig it out and ship it to me.

I'm no metrologist, but I know that every battery powered product, sights included, have their circuitry accessible at the battery, naturally. Would the use of pulse width modulation be detectable at that point in the circuitry?

When he first mentioned oscilloscope, I imagined an optical variety.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:49 PM
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Very nice! I am interested in hearing what the result is with the new battery. I'm inclined to change out a battery every year or so, not to wait the full 5+y for it to die. As long as I can rely on it beyond a year, then that would qualify it for serious purposes.
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