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Thread: Advice - Thermal gear

  1. #1
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    Advice - Thermal gear

    Hi All,

    I thought I would ask people who actually own and run thermal gear. I am thinking about a thermal monocular.

    Now that these have been in the market a few years, what is good advice for someone looking to buy?

    What I am asking about, is does the performance degrade over the years?
    Does the battery life degrade?
    Do they break? Are they fragile.
    What is the range in reality ie if they say 1000m , what do they actually do.

    Any other words of wisdom...

  2. #2
    Member aetchell's Avatar
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    I'm also looking for a thermal. i'm torn between the Guide IR 510 and the pulsar axion key. Both are around the same price but the Guide IR hooks up to a phone and allows recording. the pulsar doesnt have any features like this but from what I've been told, they are just better quality.

    anyone used either of the above and have any comments?

    Many thanks
    Ash

  3. #3
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    I know of a few that hunt deer and pig with them, no idea what brands but will ask, I know some of them are picking up animals way beyond their own and rifles capability...$5,500 buys a nice scope set up...the monocular seems to work well but one still needs the spot light...I have trouble going from the monocular to basic scope and light to shoot, but that could be because of vertigo.

  4. #4
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    I have pulsar monulars,very good.Thermo scopes you not allowed on doc land and not very good in middle of the hunting.Just use small torch on day scope.
    As for eyes from looking thru thermo to day scope and torch.I use my left eye for thermo at night and if theres something to shoot i use my right eye thru day scope with torch on top
    .Use same eyethru thermos then day scope you end up with a black cloud in the middle of the scope.Caus yr eye in closed up caus of the brightness looking thru thermo.Hope the eady to follow.
    gadgetman likes this.

  5. #5
    MB
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    I have used a Guide IR510x 25mm monocular. The word budget doesn't really apply when talking about thermal imaging, but it seems good value compared to the rest of the products on the market. Can pick up rabbits at 80m, maybe a little further. Larger animals, no problem at greater distances. You will know if an animal is there, but you might not be able to tell what kind of animal. Obviously, it needs to be used in conjunction with something else. I used it with a spotlight which worked well and it meant that target confirmation wasn't a problem.
    dannyb likes this.

  6. #6
    Member Chazzwazzer's Avatar
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    Iíve often wondered how thermal works in the summer heat during the day. Would hot rocks at the detection range cause confusion?

  7. #7
    MB
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    In my limited experience, any material that absorbs/emits a lot of heat will appear "hot", so metal, concrete rock etc. You have to interpret what you see with a splash of common sense. Shape, movement etc. These objects don't seem to interfere with picking up animals.
    Outdoors likes this.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chazzwazzer View Post
    I’ve often wondered how thermal works in the summer heat during the day. Would hot rocks at the detection range cause confusion?
    Yes hot rocks stand out even at 3am the following morning
    Ranal likes this.

  9. #9
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    Here a few guys are using thermal monoculars to spot game, then walk up and snapshoot it with a spotlight or NV scope. I was thinking of getting one myself but being in tropics where the heat and humidity flogs electronic gear I have been wary so far.

  10. #10
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    On a black night I can see deer 1500yds away easy as.If you out on river bed on a black night slowly walking along,deer can see you 200yds.they got bloody good eyes.In a 1/4 moon you havnt got a chance,they can see you easily at 300 to 400yds away.Great to watch them tho,you need a little bit of cover to get them in close.
    canross likes this.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chazzwazzer View Post
    I’ve often wondered how thermal works in the summer heat during the day. Would hot rocks at the detection range cause confusion?
    Design for the night really,sun light could damage them.

  12. #12
    Member canross's Avatar
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    Thank you @shellshock for starting the thread, have been thinking of going the same route but like any big purchase, it merits a lot of thought and discussion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Trout View Post
    Design for the night really,sun light could damage them.
    I think that's early generation NV gear where the intensifier fries in direct sunlight. Thermal's all digital, so is "smart" and will just dim or cut out excessive brightness unless it's malfunctioning, or just wash out the image if you didn't have enough temp contrast or are outside it's range. That's my understanding at least - have never seen any thermal equipment that has warnings against use in bright light, just against overheating.

  13. #13
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    Pulsar Axion Key XM22 review

    Been playing with my new Pulsar Axion Key XM22 which arrived last week. This is the newest and most budget of the Pulsars, cost $1999. Overall I guess itís at the lower end of the mid-range thermal imagers.

    There were warnings about performance / reliability of earlier Axion Keys but I took a chance that the new ones have sorted out the issues. So far so good, no apparent faults. Build quality feels superb.

    Still playing with the different modes etc. With practice you definitely get better at using it and interpreting the images.
    Range seems at least as good as advertised. So far, I can report it easily detects cattle-beasts on a warm day at 1000+ m , they show up as decent sized blobs. You can generally tell they are some sort of large animal with a body legs and head, but not specifically as cattle. At this distance woolly sheep, with their insulation and smaller size, show up as dots. At this range on a warm day you really need binos to tell whether you are looking at small animals or other warm objects. Cool nights and mornings give much better contrast of warm blooded animals. Last night I easily located a possum in a tree but it was only about 25 m away, could easily do much further.

    The LCOS screen image is not actually brilliant; itís small and a bit grainy and not super sharp. But still fine for detecting animals. So far Iíve been leaving it to auto-calibrate, maybe can improve image by calibrating manually. I canít post pix because the Key models donít have recording or streaming functionality. The next Pulsar model up, the Axion Key XM30, has slightly longer range and higher magnification, but I like that the XM22 magnification starts at 2x; this is useful for rapid scanning and will be good for hunting especially close up in bush etc. XM22 zooms up to 8x, but this is digital not optical zoom so not great resolution. XM22 also has fixed lens focus so no need to fiddle with that.

    It has a stadiametric rangefinder like some scopes/binos, where if you know the approximate size of the animal it gives an indication of its distance. Need to play with this feature to see how useful/accurate it is.

    Regarding sunlight damage, itís fine to use on a sunny day but the manual does state: ATTENTION! The lens of the device must not be pointed at any sources of intense energy, such as laser-emitting devices or the sun. This may damage the electronic components in the device.

    Itís new technology for me and gives a different view of the world. Iím finding it takes practice to understand and get the best out of it, still a lot to learn. But very promising.

    Overall, impressive performance, features, and quality - seems like outstanding value.

  14. #14
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    I have an old Pulsar HD38S. It has nothing on the newer ones. I've had it for 5 years maybe runs on AA so can't comment on battery life. Really shit battery compartment design. Haven't treated it too nicely and still works well, i loan it to mates often and still works.

    It's great for finding possums or rabbits. Walk around and only turn the spotlight one once you've found something, can easily find possums, rats or small birds easily out to a 200m odd. It certainly has upped the possum count per night and dropped the amount of time walking around. Can be quite frustrating when you can see a heat source in the tree tops that is clearly a possum (outline of it etc) but you just can't see it tucked in the leaves etc. End up walking circles of the tree trying to a better angle.

    Can tell the difference between a sheep and a cow at 800m+ after that can still see a heat source but it's just a blob. This one certainly isn't sharp compared to the new models.
    Have used it to find deer, could make out a heat source behind a cutty grass bush at 360m couldn't see it through the scope at all until it completely stepped out.
    Also use it for scanning forestry blocks and cuts for goats and pigs. They show up pretty well, if its been a hot day then the stumps and clay areas also show up making it hard. Best time is a cold morning after rain then animals show up very well.
    It is amazing how little heat moreporks give off mainly just around the eyes.

    If it broke i would replace it as i don't like going for possums without it now.
    Outdoors likes this.

  15. #15
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    I had a pulsar quantum xq38s, it was a great little handheld unit. Could pickup heat signs upto 1.3km away, not too heavy. The aa battery pack was good when you wanted to travel light. But I also had an additional external battery supply. Great unit, but I upgraded mine to a thermion as I have missed out several occasions where I couldnt take a shot at an animal as the light was just fading too much for a normal scope. I do have a friend selling his one of this same model. I think hes after 2800 inc track and trace - hes also got some rangefinder binos hes selling, I think hes after 1k for them also.
    Outdoors likes this.

 

 

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