THEY SAY THERE ARE NOW MORE PEOPLE working on technology every single day than there have been in the whole of human history put together, and when I compare today’s torches against some of the lamps I’ve owned in the past, I’m tempted to believe that most of those people are working to improve diving lights.
To turn on one lamp I had to flick the switch, then bang the thing against my leg until the bulb glowed into life.
Another would start to flood every time I strode into the water, and so predictably that I could use it to set my dive-time.
The D570 fits the hand well and would be travel-friendly.
And then there was the actual light output achieved in the pre-LED era. Quite honestly, a candle in a jam-jar would have been a better option. It certainly would on the dive on which my main and back-up both failed, as did those of my buddy.
It’s no wonder that I have a reputation for using the Force to navigate. And don’t get me started on the size and weight of the lamps we had to carry, mostly because they used such mahoosive batteries.
By comparison, today’s dive-torches are small, lightweight, reliable and ridiculously bright, and that brings me directly to the Sea&Sea Orca range, from which I was sent the Orca D570 for test.
The Orca comes in an orange box that boldly claims that the lamp puts out 1000 lumens, has a maximum burntime of one hour and 51 minutes and comes with a built-in green (or red, your choice) laser with a range of 1 kilometre.
A built-in laser, wow, talk about shelf-appeal!
Inside the box you get the torch, a 18650 battery and charger unit, a wrist-lanyard, and a spare set of O-rings.
First job was to fully charge the battery, which is supplied part-charged, and I found that the charger unit comes with a cable to connect to a mobile-phone charger plug, which is not supplied.
But hey, no big deal, you and I both have about a dozen old mobile plugs lurking in drawers all around the house, so not being given another one doesn’t much matter.
The unit is small, so it’s lightweight but very solid. The metal body is about the thickness of your thumb, with one end broadening substantially to hold the bulb unit and the other end with a hefty lug to take the lanyard.
The torch barrel seals with two O-rings and uses an 18650 rechargeable battery.
Hold the torch in two hands to unscrew the body from the lamp-head, exposing the two sealing O-rings, and the battery slides easily into place with no rattles.
A small titanium-alloy button on top of the unit gets things going. You press and hold to get the laser beam or press twice for the torch beam proper – think double-clicking a mouse button.
Relax the pressure on the switch to turn off the laser, or double-click to turn the torch off. You can have the laser on at the same time as the torch.
The switch is a sealed unit, so it shouldn’t leak. It’s easy to feel and find with bare hands, but the button is only just proud of the lamp-head, so with gloves I needed to look to see where it was, though pushing and double-clicking was still easy.