Uhunt Thermal Imaging

Uhunt Mag Information

  • Posted By : BRISTLE UP
  • Posted On : Jan 12, 2020
  • Views : 188
  • Likes : 8
  • Category : SHOOTING & GUNS » PRODUCT REVIEWS
  • Description : “My Experience shooting commercially using thermal imaging equipment by Pulsar”

Overview

  • BY BRETT CONIBEAR

    Helion XP50 MONOCULAR ROOF MOUNTED AS A THERMAL SPOTLIGHT WITH IN CAB SCREEN

    Every now and then a game changer comes along, whether it be the invention of the light bulb or the move from black powder to the cased shell. The development of thermal imaging equipment is right up there in the list for shooters and hunters. When Pulsar first released the handheld monocular over 4 years ago the Quantum XQ 50 two of my mates, and I all chipped in and bought one. We used it on Deer, Foxes, and Rabbits. It also proved a huge asset when chasing Pigs in the cropping country of central NSW. It even got to go on an overseas adventure on Tahr Chamois and Red Deer. 



    Now some readers may be thinking at this stage that it takes away the pure experience of raw hunting and you are correct, but when you are looking at reducing the number of Pigs for a farmer or harvesting large volumes of Deer in the fringe country they are a ‘game changer.’ Last year we made the transition to professional Deer harvesters, and I took the plunge and upgraded the scope and monocular to the current models. The handheld was a Pulsar Helion XP 50, and the rail mounted scope was a XQ 50. Now I thought the image quality of the old one was good, but the new range was excellent. 

    Both came with the ability to record video footage and link with an Ipad via a Stream Vision app. We did have a few issues with it maintaining wifi connection, so we mounted the older model XQ 50 handheld to the roof of the Landcruiser and hardwired it to a screen on the dash. It is controlled by a normal spotlight mount and is easily taken on and off by a standard air hose type fitting. It is a great set up for locating animals.

    This is a quick summary of my experiences with the thermal equipment by Pulsar. Now I don’t have any sponsors or get free products, so this is just an honest review of what works and what does not work in the field from my personal experience.

    Handheld Helion XP 50
    PULSAR HANDHELD Helion XP50 MONOCULAR




    PROS
    • Lithium Ion batteries are interchangeable between the scope and Monocular. There is also the option to purchase a long life battery pack. Battery life is excellent.
    • Wi-Fi enabled to connect an Ipad to the monocular. We attempted to use this feature when chasing Pigs in the cropping country. The Ipad was mounted on the dash so the driver could see what the guys on the back were looking at. We would then idle around the farm tracks with parker lights on to minimize any disturbance. The Pigs had become very switched on to a swinging spotlight and were often caught unaware by this technique. We did, however, have many frustrating moments as the devices continually lost wifi connection, and it always seemed to be at the most inopportune times.
    • The video feature of the monocular is excellent and produces fantastic images. The connection to a computer is very easy via the cable included. Plug it in and click a couple of buttons, and the image is transferred to the computer. You can also select between video and photo mode.
    • Ability to change the image from white hot to black hot depending on the environment.
    • Easy to place the unit in standby mode when walking around. This saves on battery life and limits the glow from the back of the monocular

    CONS
    • There are very few cons with the handheld monocular. The buttons are well placed, and it is very robust and streamlined. The only gripe I do have is its ability to maintain a continuous wifi connection. There are many other features that the handheld is capable of, but I have yet to find much use for them for my line of work. If you are the type of person that likes tinkering and using every feature, then you will be entertained for days. Overall I could not recommend the Pulsar XQ50 more highly.

    PULSAR TRAIL XQ50 THERMAL RIFLE SCOPE



    PROS
    • Battery life is excellent, and once again they are interchangeable with the handheld.
    • The ability to have picture in picture .(PIP) One picture can be set on 2.5x, and the smaller picture at the top of the screen can be wound up to 10.8x. This is a great feature due to the fact that all of the deer that we harvest must be headshot. The 10.8x is great for those first fine shots, and after the remaining deer begin to run, you can easily follow and acquire the next target with the 2.5x.
    • The ability to record the shot on video is also a great feature. This can also be set to activate via the recoil of the rifle. This feature is very handy while doing cull work to record accuracy and humane death of each animal. It is also handy to review if you miss an animal.
    • Choice of multiple reticles. You can also have a different reticle for different loads. When you are sighting in, they can be set to two different points of impact.
    • Remote control also comes with the unit and can be attached to the forend of the rifle for easy activation
    •Stadiametric rangefinder that helps you estimate the range of an object. This would be a handy feature if you have time to play with the setting prior to shooting
    • Quick release rail mount system. Some may see this as an advantage to be able to swap between different rifles. I am a bit old school and see this as a bit of a disadvantage. I would much prefer a more robust and permanent mounting system, but each to his own.



    CONS
    • Now the biggest issue that other deer harvesters and I have had with this scope is its ability to hold zero. I am now on my third replacement scope, and some other harvesters are on their 3-4 replacement. It took a long time to work out what was happening, but as the temperature changed through the night, the point of impact of the scope would move. Many a time you would take a shoot and miss, and when you have been hunting for a long time, you know exactly when you did something wrong, or if it was the equipment. 
    I would go home from a nights harvesting and download and review the footage. The placement of the crosshairs was perfect, the range was good, the animal was stationary and yet, miss. I started to sight in through the night after the first miss. 

    I would cut a small piece off the liver off the deer and place it in on the nearest white gum tree. Sometimes the scope would have moved 3-4 inches. At first, I started readjusting the scope but then ended up chasing it all night. In the end, I stopped adjusting and just started to make allowances in the crosshairs. The point of impact would change in line with the temperature drop. When the frost sets in in the early hours of the morning the scope would go left 4 inches and high 2 inches. This was extremely frustrating and for a high-end product that cost so much. The harvesters did the maths on lost revenue, and it was staggering. As a team, we have harvested in excess of 3100 deer since July last year, and if the zeroing was not an issue, then this number would be substantially higher. Every other feature is perfect, and if Pulsar can turn their attention to fixing this problem, it would be the ideal set up. Now some harvesters have even upgraded to the new XP50 LRF with the built in laser range finder, and they are having the same issues. 

    Now in fairness to Pulsar their follow up service has been great and the Australian distributor, Extravison has been extremely helpful. If I had to sum it all up and make a recommendation to anyone getting into thermal imaging, I would say save up and buy the best handheld monocular you can. One of the other harvesters is also using the Pulsar Core that attached to an existing rifle scope and is not having the same issues of holding zero. In future reviews, we will get him to review his experiences with the Core. As with all ‘ game changers’ it is still early days and with the advancement of thermal imaging there will be teething problems that we all need to work through. If large companies continue to take both good and bad feedback from the people in the field, then we will see the development of the ultimate product.