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11/9/2018 9:21:38 PM
Posted: 5/3/2018 2:41:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/3/2018 2:42:57 AM EST by Blacknite098]
Hi everyone,

Im plenty used to using night vision but know little about thermal. Recently my grandfather (im 20yrs old, hence how hes still here) who is a big gun guy and hunter, recently acquired an ATN Smart Scope (X-Sight) and slapped it on his AR-10. He loves the thing (and i can see why, a whole lotta scope for the money) and plans on hunting pigs soon in some of the deep southern territories. During a conversation we had a little while ago, he mentioned he's looking into acquiring a budget handheld thermal device to help track groups of pigs and blood trails at night, in poor tracking conditions, et cetera.

He has his eyes set on the Leopuld Tracker. Any shot he takes will probably be <=200yds and he may encounter some nasty swamp or brushy conditions. He just needs something that will get the job done. I know a lot of you folks on here use your night/thermal optics to hunt pigs and the like, and i know price and performance wise the Leopuld and the Scout TK are comparable. But in the real world, which budget device (FLIR TK, Leopuld Tracker, maybe another im unaware of) would be best suited for this task? Thanks!
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 2:49:21 AM EST
I just got a Tracker HD last week. No experience with any other thermal except bigger handhelds for industrial maintenance situations. Tag to see other options.
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 7:10:34 AM EST
Can't say which device would be best, but I can say the consensus here about thermal and blood trails is that the blood reaches ambient temp way too fast to be used that way typically. I tried to test this once myself and found the same thing.

Spotting a downed animal, different story.
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 1:46:00 PM EST
LTO has a few more pixels (206x156 vs. 160x120) so more pixels on target. Not too happy with the eye relief on the LTO. Interface of the TK is better, in my opinion.
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 1:48:21 PM EST
There are several threads about the TK on here.

just search.
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 2:49:26 PM EST
Thanks all! Good to know about the ambient temperatures lowering the temp of blood tracks quickly, I'll dig some more into this.
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 2:54:10 PM EST
I sold my lot because I hated that it isn't really a monocular that you can put up to your eye. You have to hold it away from your face, which I found extremely annoying. I considered the scout tk but decided to just save for a pulsar monocular.
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 3:46:05 PM EST
I think the newest Tracker HD has a 320 core, it should perform quite a bit better than the TK.
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 3:49:02 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 5:24:59 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Daggertt:
I sold my lot because I hated that it isn't really a monocular that you can put up to your eye. You have to hold it away from your face, which I found extremely annoying. I considered the scout tk but decided to just save for a pulsar monocular.
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I took a short piece of PVC pipe and a 25mm FL eyepiece and put it on the back of the LTO works well with one problem, it's to bright. After looking through it at night one can't see with that eye for about a minute. Would be good if you could turn the brightness down.
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 9:54:53 PM EST
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Originally Posted By hugh1:

I took a short piece of PVC pipe and a 25mm FL eyepiece and put it on the back of the LTO works well with one problem, it's to bright. After looking through it at night one can't see with that eye for about a minute. Would be good if you could turn the brightness down.
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That sounds like a good idea. The new LTO tracker HD has adjustable brightness, along with the increase in sensor and screen resolution. The lack of it acting like a true monocular has kept me away but this may bring me back. Both the standard LTO and Flir TK have too many hold ups for me to spend the money. At the sub $700 mark I think I’d get the Seek compact pro, an extension cable, and then rig up a shield for the phone to block glow a bit. Still not my ideal setup but quite a bit more resolution than either of the two originally mentioned.
Link Posted: 5/3/2018 10:45:31 PM EST
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Originally Posted By benzy2:
That sounds like a good idea. The new LTO tracker HD has adjustable brightness, along with the increase in sensor and screen resolution. The lack of it acting like a true monocular has kept me away but this may bring me back. Both the standard LTO and Flir TK have too many hold ups for me to spend the money. At the sub $700 mark I think I’d get the Seek compact pro, an extension cable, and then rig up a shield for the phone to block glow a bit. Still not my ideal setup but quite a bit more resolution than either of the two originally mentioned.
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Originally Posted By benzy2:
Originally Posted By hugh1:

I took a short piece of PVC pipe and a 25mm FL eyepiece and put it on the back of the LTO works well with one problem, it's to bright. After looking through it at night one can't see with that eye for about a minute. Would be good if you could turn the brightness down.
That sounds like a good idea. The new LTO tracker HD has adjustable brightness, along with the increase in sensor and screen resolution. The lack of it acting like a true monocular has kept me away but this may bring me back. Both the standard LTO and Flir TK have too many hold ups for me to spend the money. At the sub $700 mark I think I’d get the Seek compact pro, an extension cable, and then rig up a shield for the phone to block glow a bit. Still not my ideal setup but quite a bit more resolution than either of the two originally mentioned.
Yeah, I bought my LTO about a month ago and did not know about the HD.
Link Posted: 5/7/2018 3:47:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/7/2018 4:06:10 PM EST by C3N4-1]
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Originally Posted By hugh1:

I took a short piece of PVC pipe and a 25mm FL eyepiece and put it on the back of the LTO works well with one problem, it's to bright. After looking through it at night one can't see with that eye for about a minute. Would be good if you could turn the brightness down.
View Quote
hugh1, what if you just put a Neutral Density filter in the PVC pipe between your LTO and 25mm eyepiece?

My other question would be: How well does your eye focus on the LTO's output image at such a short distance with the 25mm eyepiece/PVC pipe solution? Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the LTO designed with extended eye relief?
Link Posted: 5/7/2018 10:40:48 PM EST
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Originally Posted By C3N4-1:
hugh1, what if you just put a Neutral Density filter in the PVC pipe between your LTO and 25mm eyepiece?

My other question would be: How well does your eye focus on the LTO's output image at such a short distance with the 25mm eyepiece/PVC pipe solution? Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the LTO designed with extended eye relief?
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Originally Posted By C3N4-1:
Originally Posted By hugh1:

I took a short piece of PVC pipe and a 25mm FL eyepiece and put it on the back of the LTO works well with one problem, it's to bright. After looking through it at night one can't see with that eye for about a minute. Would be good if you could turn the brightness down.
hugh1, what if you just put a Neutral Density filter in the PVC pipe between your LTO and 25mm eyepiece?

My other question would be: How well does your eye focus on the LTO's output image at such a short distance with the 25mm eyepiece/PVC pipe solution? Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the LTO designed with extended eye relief?
I had not thought about that thanks, I will try that. The eyepiece I am using does not quite give me the hole display and it is not focused real well but it does get me by. It was out of a old gen two 25mm tube monocular, and I think it is 25 mm focal length.
Link Posted: 5/7/2018 11:32:19 PM EST
Could you post a picture of your setup? Couldn't you just use a longer/shorter piece of PVC until the image was in focus? I'm kind of interested in the LTO HD as a cheap scanner and a makeshift eyepiece that puts it at the correct distance for eye relief seems like a good upgrade. How is the battery life in cold weather?
Link Posted: 5/10/2018 8:52:25 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Greyhunter:
Could you post a picture of your setup? Couldn't you just use a longer/shorter piece of PVC until the image was in focus? I'm kind of interested in the LTO HD as a cheap scanner and a makeshift eyepiece that puts it at the correct distance for eye relief seems like a good upgrade. How is the battery life in cold weather?
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It would be a real pain to post pictures. I used a 25mm F/L lens and there was some machining on the pvc pipe so the pvc slips on up to the control switches and I use the adjustment on the lens to focus. I just machined on the pvc until I got the thing to focus mid range on the adjustment. hope that helps.
Link Posted: 5/10/2018 9:20:01 PM EST
Yep, I get what your doing and why it would be tough to photograph all that. Seems like a good idea but I have no way to machine the pvc, would have to come up with something different. Thanks
Link Posted: 5/11/2018 9:05:39 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Greyhunter:
Yep, I get what your doing and why it would be tough to photograph all that. Seems like a good idea but I have no way to machine the pvc, would have to come up with something different. Thanks
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I tried a piece of the temporary sun glasses that eye doctors give out after eye exams for a neutral density filter seems to help quite a bit.
Link Posted: 5/14/2018 11:09:44 AM EST
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Originally Posted By hugh1:

I tried a piece of the temporary sun glasses that eye doctors give out after eye exams for a neutral density filter seems to help quite a bit.
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Glad that it's working out!

So were you able to get it to focus any better than before? Just wondering how useful the output from your LTO setup is relative to a FLIR Scout. After all, if the output is somewhat blurry, that might negate some of the benefit of the slightly higher res sensor of the LTO vs the Scout.
Link Posted: 5/14/2018 12:04:35 PM EST
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Originally Posted By C3N4-1:
Glad that it's working out!

So were you able to get it to focus any better than before? Just wondering how useful the output from your LTO setup is relative to a FLIR Scout. After all, if the output is somewhat blurry, that might negate some of the benefit of the slightly higher res sensor of the LTO vs the Scout.
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Originally Posted By C3N4-1:
Originally Posted By hugh1:

I tried a piece of the temporary sun glasses that eye doctors give out after eye exams for a neutral density filter seems to help quite a bit.
Glad that it's working out!

So were you able to get it to focus any better than before? Just wondering how useful the output from your LTO setup is relative to a FLIR Scout. After all, if the output is somewhat blurry, that might negate some of the benefit of the slightly higher res sensor of the LTO vs the Scout.
It focuses OK just the image is blurred I see a grid between what I assume is each sensor very well.
Link Posted: 5/14/2018 12:49:32 PM EST
Both of them pretty much suck beyond 30 yards, 50 max. Personally I'd save my money and take my chances with a flashlight for tracking.

If you don't find the downed hogs the coyotes will.
Link Posted: 5/15/2018 12:37:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/16/2018 11:35:48 PM EST by Greyhunter]
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Originally Posted By hiih8r:
Both of them pretty much suck beyond 30 yards, 50 max. Personally I'd save my money and take my chances with a flashlight for tracking.

If you don't find the downed hogs the coyotes will.
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I have to agree. I borrowed one to play with tonight (LTO) and I honestly have no use for this thing at all. It's not that it doesn't work, it's just that it doesn't show me anything useful at any distance. I'm pretty sure I saw a couple coons at 10-40 yards and a deer at 60 yards but the image was so bad that it was useless. I did see something that was probably(??) a deer at about 120 yards. No offense to anyone who owns one, but I'm not sure what it is really good for? 75% humidity tonight.

Edit: Tried the LTO tonight with lower humidity and it was quite a bit clearer. The image, and every object in it, is still pretty tiny so it is of limited use but tonight it was definitely better. I'd still rather save up for something better.
Link Posted: 6/6/2018 11:20:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/6/2018 11:23:04 AM EST by GySgt_D]
Haven't yet been able to locate a single first-hand review of the new HD version of the LTO. All the video I've seen of the original version looked awful.

The question remains- does two times "awful" = useful?

With eBay's 20% off coupon (expires tonight), that would put the price at about $700 for one.
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