Who here has NVD?

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Abraham
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby Abraham » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:16 pm

LucasMcCain,

Never say never!

As a kid, I was homeless living with my alcoholic father. We hitchhiked for years all over the U.S.A. I won't go too far into my former hard luck life as a very young child , but it lasted well into my teen years. I slept under bridges, abandoned cars, went days on end without eating, slept on the bare ground at times, etc. The best part of it was it created an enormous sense of appreciation for, well, everything good, like being able to afford an NVD.

Now, without putting too fine a point on it, through honest means, I'm wealthy.

It's there for you too, if you put your mind to it...


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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby twomillenium » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:20 pm

I have been looking at night vision as well. I have had a gen 1 for years. It is ok but it is ...... gen 1. I used a thermal sight and now I am going that direction. Especially since FLIR has come out with the Scout for around 600.00. You can also use the thermal in daylight without so much caution.
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The Annoyed Man
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:55 pm

LucasMcCain wrote:
The Annoyed Man wrote:The first one lists at $3,499, and it comes down to $3,079 with the coupon code. The second (gen 3+) lists at $4,299, but comes down to $3,695.12 with the coupon code.


Sakes alive! That's more than I paid for the motorcycle I rode to work this morning! Um, the only night vision goggles I have came with the special edition of a video game. They're fun, but I'm gonna say they're not the droids you're looking for. I had no idea the real deal was so expensive. I'll add that to the list of super cool toys I'll never have. :cry:

That's why I'm giving a long hard look at some of the thermal rifle scopes. Still pricey, but there are some decent ones that are not nearly as expensive as a PVS14.

The two most expensive scopes I have are a $1,500 5-20x50 SWFA SSHD, and a Trijicon 4x32 BAC ACOG, which has an MSRP around $1,400 if I recall correctly......although I paid a steeply discounted gunshow price for mine. I know that you can spend more than that on optics, but you can see that I'm not averse to spending money for decent optics. But my sense is that - at least in daylight - image clarity in a thermal rifle scope, even a very high end one, is not nearly as good as with a good optical scope. For this reason, I don't think they would have much use for any kind of long range shooting. The one advantage the thermal scopes have is their night vision capability. But I don't think I'd actually use one as a primary daytime optic - at least not with any regularity.

OTH, when the sun is starting to set and you're talking about that last few minutes of daylight, a thermal scope probably gives you and advantage over an optical scope, especially for us old farts with mid-20th century eyeballs. And of course, at night, they beat any optical scope, including my precious ACOG with its fancy tritium illuminated reticle.
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby rotor » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:43 pm

What is your hunting plan? Hogs and coyotes you need night vision or thermal. Prices on thermal seem to be coming down. You might try looking at http://www.sportsmansguide.com/ and see if their buyers club price helps with the pricing and perhaps beat Optic Planet.
I have an ATN Xsite Gen 1 5X18 on top of a Ruger SR762. I also like to read the reviews on Amazon before buying and sometimes Amazon Prime gives you a better deal ( if there is no sales tax ). Let us know how you like your new scope.

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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:51 pm

rotor wrote:What is your hunting plan? Hogs and coyotes you need night vision or thermal. Prices on thermal seem to be coming down. You might try looking at http://www.sportsmansguide.com/ and see if their buyers club price helps with the pricing and perhaps beat Optic Planet.
I have an ATN Xsite Gen 1 5X18 on top of a Ruger SR762. I also like to read the reviews on Amazon before buying and sometimes Amazon Prime gives you a better deal ( if there is no sales tax ). Let us know how you like your new scope.

So, a weapon sight is what I want, primarily for night hunting......most probably hogs, but also for hunting during day to night transition, and at dawn. Any time the light is reduced and the game is legal to hunt at that hour.

A secondary purpose would be just for observing wildlife - which was one reason why I was originally considering a monocular that could be mounted inline, like a PVS14.

A tertiary purpose would be home security.....not as a weapon sight, but to observe what's happening outside my house when/where there's no light.

Lastly, zombies. Not really for the zombies, but to tell who's a zombie, and who isn't. :mrgreen: :lol:
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:02 pm

I just got home from picking up a nice new thermal optic.

Here's what I bought: ATN THOR-HD 384 1.25-5x THERMAL RIFLE SCOPE
Image

It's the bottom model of their higher end ThOR-HD line. MSRP is $1,999. The cheapest one I had seen till now was $1,946.30 on Amazon.com. I bought mine at Cabela's, and they were charging full price...... but because I bought the display model, which was the only one they had in house, I got 10% off of MSRP. That made the price $1,799. And, because it was the display model and the batteries were used, they threw in a pack of new lithium ion batteries at no charge. I had a few unused club points, which knocked off another $6 and change. So I was out the door, tax included for $1,941,96.

Amazon would have cost me $1,946.30 + $160.57, a total of $2,106.87.......so Cabela's was definitely the better deal. I've just taken outside now that it's dark and fooled around with it for a few minutes. It's pretty remarkable. You can get a much better thermal scope, but you'll pay more than double the price.

My only concern is that the maximum magnification is not that high, just 5X, and at full magnification, the image begins to be pixelated a bit. You'd still be able to tell a hog from a dog of same size, for instance, but the image wouldn't be that clear. Inside of Cabela's, people were still recognizable as people, but you might have trouble telling who from whom.

The scope is rated for up to .300 win mag maximum recoil, so none of my .308s will be a problem. I have it in mind to primarily use it on my SCAR 17 for hog hunting, but the software allows you to create profiles for different rifles/ammo combinations, so I could easily use it on my .300 Blackout SBR too, or one of my 5.56 guns.

The ATN software was a selling point for me. I was also very interested in the Armasight line of thermal scopes, which seem to be quite a bit more expensive across the spectrum. My attraction to them was partly that they are owned by FLIR, an American company, and they are manufactured in America. They grow they own germanium crystals, and their scopes have been well received by people named Uncle Sam who have money to spend on those things. But the Armasight firmware seems clunky (to me, anyway) compared to the ATN firmware.

The ATN scope is GPS, Wifi, and Bluetooth capable. It can link to your smartphone or tablet, where you can view whatever the scope is viewing. You can even use the larger display of your smartphone or tablet to change the various settings on the scope. However, battery life is affected by using Wifi/GPS. For instance, with the 4 AA lithium ion batteries, "Wifi, GPS - ON" reduces the battery life from 11 hours to 7 hours; alkaline batteries are reduced from 4 hours to 2 hours. The accessory ATN Battery Pack ($99 at OpticsPlanet) gets you 22 hours of use, reduced to 16 hours with "Wifi, GPS" set to On.

One thing the ATN has which the Armasight does not is a feature called RAV, for "Recoil Activated Video". When it is enabled, the scope constantly buffers the image. The shot recoil activates the video record for up to (I think) 10 seconds before the shot, the shot itself, and up to 18 seconds after, and stores it on the SD card. Video can also be recorded manually as well, and you can also take still shots even while the video is recording. The Armasight can record the video, but it is manual only.

There are a number of other features in the software, such as the above mentioned rifle/ammo profiles, multiple kinds of reticles and colors for the reticle, and multiple color pallets for the internal display. The video below is for the 2-8x model, which is the next one up from mine (and an additional $700 more expensive), but the processor and image quality is the same as on mine:


The scope comes with a olive drab canvas carrying case, 4 lithium ion batteries, and a lens cloth. It has a slot for an SD card, which is not included.

I'll post a further review, once I've had a chance to mount it to a rifle and actually do some shooting with it.
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby Liberty » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:01 am

Very kewl toy. I will be interested in how well it works out for you. What do the rifle selection profiles do for you?
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:03 am

Liberty wrote:Very kewl toy. I will be interested in how well it works out for you. What do the rifle selection profiles do for you?

The software has a ballistics feature In the setup menus that you use to zero the scope. Then you can create a ammo profile for that zero. You can store up to six (IIRC) profiles in the scope's software. They don't have to be all the same caliber, which means they don't have to be for the same gun. So you can use the scope on different guns of different calibers. You simply select the stored profile for that gun/ammo combination when you mount the scope. Theoretically, as long as you mount it on the position used on the rail for that given rifle as when the profile was first created, the scope will still be zeroed for that rifle - assuming you use the same ammo as in the profile.

We all know that dismounting/remounting a zeroed optic, even if we're very careful, will cause some shift in zero - but it shouldn't be a huge shift. If you do it right, your zero shouldn't by more than 1 MOA at most. I have mounts on other scopes that guarantee shifts of no more than 1/4 MOA. Some of that is going to depend on whether the dimensions of your rail are true to milspec too. In any case, considering that 1 MOA at 100 yards is approximately 1", and since most hog kills at night are likely to be at closer ranges than that, and given that I'll probably be using a .308 caliber rifle in that application, I'm not too worried about my POI shifting by .5" at 50 yards.

The other related thing that the ballistics component of the software does is aid you in accounting for wind and vertical angle to the target. Once you zero the rifle/scope combination, the scope's internal sensors know whether it is looking up or down, and in which compass direction, and automatically adjusts the displayed image up/down/left/right so that the reticle is still centered in the image, and what you see in the scope is properly compensated for your shooting angle. If you have a cross wind value to add, you input it in real time, and then the image/reticle display is automatically adjusted accordingly. That means that you don't have to use any hold-off to account for wind......unless you want to. If you have a wind meter (I do), you can be fairly accurate about your wind value inputs.....if it matters to you. Frankly though, if the wind is so strong that it makes a significant shift of impact point in under 50 yards, you might want to consider another hobby for that night. LOL

If you choose to turn on the Wifi/GPS feature, when you record video and/or still photos, they will be geotagged......a feature you may or may not want to use, but which will help you to track where your best hunting results happened, etc., if you're that obsessed with it.

There are some........not "bugs" per se, but inherent problems with thermal imaging. For instance, last night while looking at various things in a darkened room in my house, my wife turned on the light in the next room, which significantly altered the conditions in the room I was in. It caused a "ghost" image of whatever I was last looking at before she switched on the light to remain on the display and be superimposed over the next thing I was looking at, obscuring it somewhat. There is a very simple procedure called "NUC" built into the menus that is one of the first options available, which allows you to "clear" the screen of artifacts like that so that the scope will now be adjusted to the new conditions. In fact, when you first turn the scope on, there is about a 3 second boot-up period, in which you keep the objective lens covered - either with your hand or the provided lens cap - and you should perform a NUC before beginning to use the scope. NUC'ing it takes just a few seconds and is easily done, so it doesn't seem particularly burdensome. I understand that ALL thermal scopes have this "issue" and have the means to NUC the system built into the software. The problem is similar to the "flare out" of your display in a light amplification device if suddenly conforonted with a too-bright light source in the display......except that with it being a digital image instead of a light-amplified image, that "flare" is experienced as a "ghost" on the screen, and it must be digitally cleared. In the field, if you were to light a flashlight for instance while viewing through the scope at night, you would have to NUC the display. Similarly if you were using an SBR without a suppressor, so that there was lots of muzzle flash, you would probably experience some ghosting in your display.

That stuff doesn't bother me.....I'd be shooting suppressed anyway, and no night vision device is perfect in all things.....but it is stuff I didn't know until I actually bought one.
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby bblhd672 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:48 am

Very nice.
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby rotor » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:53 pm

I have the ATN x-site gen 1. As a trifocal wearing senior it can be hard to view the monitor (which is what you see) with glasses on. How is it with the thermal? An in the field report will be a must. This is so cool (hot)!

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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:22 pm

rotor wrote:I have the ATN x-site gen 1. As a trifocal wearing senior it can be hard to view the monitor (which is what you see) with glasses on. How is it with the thermal? An in the field report will be a must. This is so cool (hot)!

So far, mine has been just fine, with bifocals, progressives, reading glasses, and no glasses. But that's handheld, as it isn't mounted onto a rifle yet. There's two focus rings - ocular focus, and objective lens focus. The ocular focus is very easy to use, so it adjusts easily to whatever you're wearing. The display is 800x600 pixels, with 17 μm pixels, so the image is pretty fine. The zoom is digital though rather than optical, so at maximum magnification the image gets pixelated a little bit, but it is still clear enough to be usable.

A range report will be forthcoming pretty soon, but a field report will have to wait until someone decides that their pig hunt just wouldn't be the same without me, and invites me along...........or until I have recovered enough financially ( :lol: ) to go on a paid/guided hunt.
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby Bolton Strid » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:52 am

The Annoyed Man wrote:
rotor wrote:I have the ATN x-site gen 1. As a trifocal wearing senior it can be hard to view the monitor (which is what you see) with glasses on. How is it with the thermal? An in the field report will be a must. This is so cool (hot)!

So far, mine has been just fine, with bifocals, progressives, reading glasses, and no glasses. But that's handheld, as it isn't mounted onto a rifle yet. There's two focus rings - ocular focus, and objective lens focus. The ocular focus is very easy to use, so it adjusts easily to whatever you're wearing. The display is 800x600 pixels, with 17 μm pixels, so the image is pretty fine. The zoom is digital though rather than optical, so at maximum magnification the image gets pixelated a little bit, but it is still clear enough to be usable.

A range report will be forthcoming pretty soon, but a field report will have to wait until someone decides that their pig hunt just wouldn't be the same without me, and invites me along...........or until I have recovered enough financially ( :lol: ) to go on a paid/guided hunt.


Interesting unit - but man does it have a lot of bells & whistles on it. I just hope that doesn't turn out to be too much sugar for a dime - the more complex electronic gizmos are - particularly when the bells and whistles wander off from the basic function of the gizmo - the more likely things may go haywire and in some cases may cease working at all. Hope that's not the case here, but you never know. The drive to be 'the cutting edge' & market competitive will at times outstrip reliable engineering.

I like to lean on the ANPVS stuff - or "Starlighter" - for movement and general observation, FLIR for proactive detection & targeting. They compliment each other in various ways. All the wacky palettes the consumer versions have are basically useless to me - I prefer just two. The white-hot and the black-hot - using the black-hot to check out the landscape, get the lay of the terrain, white-hot to zero in with. But that's just me.

You will need to work with it a bit or "train" to get used to the FLIR experience. Go out and prowl around some outside property, you will discover all sorts of "critters", seemingly everywhere. The sun will heat up bits of metal, concrete, rocks of certain densities during the day, later to be found scattered around glowing by night. But it'll get easier to discern the inanimate from the living in short order after a while. A concern is to keep track of the dewpoint and humidity. You might think the unit is broken and no longer working right when certain weather conditions are present. High humidity density will mess you up pretty good since the moisture in the air will be "read" and detected more than the signature of the terrain, though you will still be able to detect & target something wandering around out there, it will be like a glowing figure in the midst of a fog bank. Hunting would still be doable, but with a loss of definition - the higher the humidity, the worse it will be.

You will definitely want to tune it to your visual specs if the firmware will allow it - tinker with settings (if present) like "Gain", "Contrast", "Brightness", "Sharpness" until you get to a sweet spot that has the unit working at optimum level for your eyesight. If you have AGC (automatic gain control) you will want to tweak it to be on the slow side, otherwise the view will liable to be flickering to the point of driving you batty.

So get outside, crank it up and start experimenting.
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:05 pm

Bolton Strid wrote:
The Annoyed Man wrote:
rotor wrote:I have the ATN x-site gen 1. As a trifocal wearing senior it can be hard to view the monitor (which is what you see) with glasses on. How is it with the thermal? An in the field report will be a must. This is so cool (hot)!

So far, mine has been just fine, with bifocals, progressives, reading glasses, and no glasses. But that's handheld, as it isn't mounted onto a rifle yet. There's two focus rings - ocular focus, and objective lens focus. The ocular focus is very easy to use, so it adjusts easily to whatever you're wearing. The display is 800x600 pixels, with 17 μm pixels, so the image is pretty fine. The zoom is digital though rather than optical, so at maximum magnification the image gets pixelated a little bit, but it is still clear enough to be usable.

A range report will be forthcoming pretty soon, but a field report will have to wait until someone decides that their pig hunt just wouldn't be the same without me, and invites me along...........or until I have recovered enough financially ( :lol: ) to go on a paid/guided hunt.


Interesting unit - but man does it have a lot of bells & whistles on it. I just hope that doesn't turn out to be too much sugar for a dime - the more complex electronic gizmos are - particularly when the bells and whistles wander off from the basic function of the gizmo - the more likely things may go haywire and in some cases may cease working at all. Hope that's not the case here, but you never know. The drive to be 'the cutting edge' & market competitive will at times outstrip reliable engineering.

I like to lean on the ANPVS stuff - or "Starlighter" - for movement and general observation, FLIR for proactive detection & targeting. They compliment each other in various ways. All the wacky palettes the consumer versions have are basically useless to me - I prefer just two. The white-hot and the black-hot - using the black-hot to check out the landscape, get the lay of the terrain, white-hot to zero in with. But that's just me.

You will need to work with it a bit or "train" to get used to the FLIR experience. Go out and prowl around some outside property, you will discover all sorts of "critters", seemingly everywhere. The sun will heat up bits of metal, concrete, rocks of certain densities during the day, later to be found scattered around glowing by night. But it'll get easier to discern the inanimate from the living in short order after a while. A concern is to keep track of the dewpoint and humidity. You might think the unit is broken and no longer working right when certain weather conditions are present. High humidity density will mess you up pretty good since the moisture in the air will be "read" and detected more than the signature of the terrain, though you will still be able to detect & target something wandering around out there, it will be like a glowing figure in the midst of a fog bank. Hunting would still be doable, but with a loss of definition - the higher the humidity, the worse it will be.

You will definitely want to tune it to your visual specs if the firmware will allow it - tinker with settings (if present) like "Gain", "Contrast", "Brightness", "Sharpness" until you get to a sweet spot that has the unit working at optimum level for your eyesight. If you have AGC (automatic gain control) you will want to tweak it to be on the slow side, otherwise the view will liable to be flickering to the point of driving you batty.

So get outside, crank it up and start experimenting.

Good post. I did take a long look at light intensifying devices for quite a long time before I began to consider thermal. I agree that it is going to be a transitional period of learning everything the firmware does, and adapting myself to the different display palettes. Like you, I tend to prefer the white hot and black hot palettes, but, I can see where the "predator color" -type palettes could be useful for surveying large areas for heat sources. My biggest disappointment with "predator color" is that it doesn't include that clicking noise the predator makes. :lol:

I was watching a video last night at Full30.com on the MAC channel, where he discussed a hog hunt in east Texas, and one of the things his guide was talking about was how they used different kinds of NVDs for different applications. The rifle scopes were mostly all thermal, but they used light amplification things like helmet-mounted PVS14s for driving for instance. I think that's an excellent philosophy. I don't think that one technology is necessarily superior to another. They all have their "strong suite" applications in which they are the preferred way to go. I'll tell you what though......as I was watching that segment of the video, the thought that kept coming back to me was "Man! How can the guide afford all those things?" ......and that was just looking at the NVD equipment, of which he probably had $50K-$75K at least invested......and that didn't include the suppressed, thermal-sighted belt-fed M240L they were hosing the pigs down with..... Tell you what, I've got to get to know that guy! :mrgreen:

That said, I think that the thermal imaging riflescope (regardless of brand) is probably the best choice for the person who can afford ONE item, and not 10 of them, simply because it operates very well in the area that they most need NV for - meaning hunting, particularly hog hunting - without needing an IR light source to light up the target area. Only time will tell if this ThOR scope of mine actually gets as much use as I'd like to think it will.
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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby Abraham » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:51 am

TAM,

Are you still in "decision as yet to be made mode" (hey, that rolls right off the tongue) or have you decided what you're going to buy?

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Re: Who here has NVD?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:19 am

Abraham wrote:TAM,

Are you still in "decision as yet to be made mode" (hey, that rolls right off the tongue) or have you decided what you're going to buy?

Read above......I bought a few days ago. One of these: https://www.atncorp.com/thermal-scope-thor-hd-384-1-25x-5x
"Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself."—Hookalakah Meshobbab
"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
"Id aegre et in omnibus semper."—Quod Homo Aegre


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