Posted on March 29th, 2012
A what? No you haven’t misread the title; basically it’s a non-permanent demarcation of the throw line which uses laser technology to produce a red line on your carpet/laminate or whatever floor covering you have in situ. The Winmau laser oche was released earlier this year, and is designed to be mounted on the underside of a cabinet or if you have a board and surround setup, it should be fixed directly onto the wall underneath the surround. There is plenty of scope for adjustment which means mounting heights can be varied.
Buy the Winmau laser oche now in the DartsMad darts shop.
For the purpose of the review I actually mounted the test unit by hanging it off the number ring of a Blade 4, which was adequate for testing but would not be acceptable for permanent use. The unit needs to be fixed solidly to prevent misalignment through vibrations in play and contact from dart retrieval etc. The throw line produced is bright and straight (assuming correct mounting) and can be fine tuned via the thumb wheel on the front of the body and a tiny screw inside the battery cover to faciliate approximately 15 degrees of movement either way. The line breaks when overstepped, so basically if you spot a line running across the top of your opponent’s shoe, he’s trying to nick a couple of inches!
The technology used here is light emitting diodes (LED’s) and works on the same principals as laser levels that are used for DIY applications.The Laser oche is powered by 2 No. AA batteries, which I would suggest would last for many hours play. Housed in a tough plastic case, if you somehow manage to strike it with tungsten, it should stand up to the abuse. The tilt/hinge mechanism and mounting plate are of even sturdier metal construction. A red on/off button sits atop the neat little unit, as does the Winmau Laser Oche TM branding in white font.
Setting up the unit is a little fiddly and still requires measuring tapes etc. Once the unit is fixed in place (screws and plugs included), the throw distance then has to be measured and the tilt adjusted by slackening off an allen bolt, which is then re-tightened to lock the laser oche into position when the desired 7’9 1/4″ is reached by the single red line. However, once the regulation distance is achieved (which might be 8′ if softip is your game) it is unlikely that the unit will need to be reset. It might be prudent to check following a heavy handed battery change, but the hinge/tilt mechanism does feel very solid when locked.
So why would you want a laser oche? Well it’s basically wife friendly and negates the need for tape, velcro, battens of wood (or whatever other DIY or after market throw lines) to be stuck to your floor covering, and doesn’t bunch up or smell like a rubber mat. In addition it looks good and should impress your mates! It could be seen as a gimmick, but it does serve a more than useful function and can be switched on and off when required which means it’s unobtrusive when not in use. Also worth mentioning is that when in use, the light from the laser isn’t a distraction when throwing. In terms of negatives, I would liked to have seen batteries included; and if you like something solid to toe up to like myself then the laser oche may not be suitable for you.
Here is the manufacturers blurb: (in use the red lines projecting to the sides are not visible, just the throw line!)
The Laser Oche’s sleek design is a true 21st Century darts product and will take your dart set up to the next level.
The Laser oche is perfectly adjustable as all you need to do is move the Laser Body up and down.
With a perfect beam you can easily see when your foot is over the line, even in poorly lit areas and there’s nothing to trip over.
- Hi-tech laser beam to mark your throw line
- Adjustable line distance
- Compact unit, which easily attaches to a wall or cabinet
- Battery operated (not included)
With an rrp of around £25 it won’t break the bank and is cheaper than most rubber mats and really is a decent bit of kit. For those who like gadgets it ticks all the right boxes. For the chance to get your hands on our review model (I’ll even chuck in some batteries) just email the answer to the following question:
What does LED stand for?
Winner – Harry Southey