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5 Reasons This New Thermal-Imaging Scope Owns The Night

5 Reasons This New Thermal-Imaging Scope Owns The Night

New thermal-imaging devices, like Pulsar's Trail XP50, are a boon to predator hunters who do their hunting at night and they are also effective during daylight hours. While image-intensifying night-vision devices increase visible light, thermal imaging uses light in the infrared spectrum, making targets visible even in utter blackness. Thermal devices also can detect an animal or human hiding behind foliage.

Hog and coyote hunting, are widely conducted at night, and thermal sights, like those offered by Pulsar, allow the hunter to engage nocturnal species as if it were daylight. Most state regulations don't allow shooting deer and other game species at night. But that doesn't mean there isn't a place for thermal technology in the hunting world.

A monocular, like the Pulsar Helion XP50 Thermal Imaging Scope, is perfect for discreetly scouting game habitat and for following up wounded animals. As you might suspect from the name, the XP50 has a 50mm lens, feeding images to a 640 x 480 pixel sensor, with 17-nanometer elements. The image is refreshed 50 times every second, so moving game is rendered in lifelike fashion, with no fluttering.

A picture-in-picture feature included in the Helion XP50 monocular lets you zero in on a particular animal while keeping track of the rest of the herd.

Detection Out to 2000 Yards

The XP50 can detect big-game animals at distances close to 2,000 yards in favorable conditions. Zoom it from 2.5X to 20X magnification or use picture-in-picture zoom to get a clear view of the most distant quarry.

Use the integrated stadiametric rangefinder to get an accurate measurement of the distance to the target. The wireless remote also makes navigation easy when you want to observe from a remote location.

Built for the Elements

The case is fully sealed glass fiber reinforced nylon technopolymer, and is IPX7 certified waterproof. It can be fully immersed in water for short periods of time. With a frost-resistant AMOLED display, it's designed to deliver flawless performance from -13 to 122 F. A radiator-like heat sink, located on the body, guards against heat build-up from the sensor and other components while also significantly reducing temperature and noise sensitivity.

The Helion XP50 is lightweight and compact, yet incorporates rangefinding capabilities that help you locate game in any sort of lighting or weather conditions.

Easy to Use


The XP50 is controlled by a series of four buttons that manage all the functions. Each button has a distinctive feel so it's easy to distinguish them even in complete darkness. A full-function wireless remote control lets you operate the XP50 without touching it. That can come in handy when you use its built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. The XP50 can transmit to Android- and iOS-based phones or tablets using the free Stream Vision application. This lets you receive footage in real time, remotely operate the scope and stream images captured by the XP50 to YouTube or other online services.

Controlling the XP50 is a snap. A hot menu, activated with a quick push on the "M" button, includes settings you'll adjust often, like brightness, contrast, zoom and the stadiametric rangefinder. Features you'll only occasionally adjust are in the main menu, activated with a long press of the "M" button. Here you can control Wi-Fi, calibration, units of measure, language, etc.

At the bottom of the screen is the status bar, incorporating information you'll need continuously, like operating mode, magnification level and battery charge level. It's unobtrusive but always easily visible. Select the picture-in-picture function with a long press of the down button. This opens a small screen inside the field of view that displays a zoomed image of the target. Use it to examine one animal carefully while keeping the rest of the herd in sight.

Not only can you observe game, even in complete darkness, with the Helion XP50, you can record and even upload photos and video using Wi-Fi features.

Long Battery Life

It's a snap to attach the XP50 to a tripod or other support and maintain surveillance remotely. The quick-detachable, rechargeable IPS5 5.2-amp-hour battery pack will deliver more than eight hours of operation. Step up to the IPS10 10 amp-hour pack and you can keep on recording up to 20 hours. Maximize battery life by using the Display-off mode. This powers down the display without interrupting other operating functions, giving you a much faster restart time when you need it most.

Still Photo and Video Capable

Even if you aren't using the Wi-Fi features, the XP50 lets you capture still images and video seamlessly with the its built-in video recorder. Up to 8 GB of image and video content is stored internally and can easily be transferred to a PC or laptop using a wired connection or Wi-Fi.

When first learning to use the XP50, you can tether it to your laptop or PC using a USB to Micro USB cable. You can work with it all you want without expended battery power. The same cable lets you download your still photos and videos for editing and storage.

With the Helion XP50, every nocturnal walk in the woods is an opportunity to observe animals in a way that our ancestors could only have dreamed.

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