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Posted: 7/19/2018 3:02:54 PM EDT
I want to add thermal to the NV suite (already have a TNVC/PVS-14) and these three options are roughly the same price. Looking for advice on the best choice. Application is mostly messing around, plus some coyote hunting. Thermal is not allowed for big game hunting in WA sadly.

FLIR PTS536.
Latest Boson 12micron core at 320x256 resolution
Newest offering from FLIR
1x, 2x and 4x digital zoom (4x-16x effective)
50mm objective
60 Hz refresh

FLIR Predator 640
TAU 2 17micron core at 640x512 resolution
1x, 2x, 4x and 8x digital zoom (1x-8x effective)
25mm objective
30 Hz refresh

Pulsar Trail XQ38 (PL76501Q)
17micron core at 384x288 resolution
1x, 2x and 4x digital zoom (2.1x-8.4x effective)
32mm objective
50 Hz refresh

Alternative option, push the budget and get two:
FLIR PTS233 plus a PTQ136 Breach

The Predator 640 has the resolution advantage, but the PTS536 has more (not necessarily needed) features but a much larger objective and the newer core technology. The Pulsar is sort of splitting the difference.

So at a bit of a loss as which route to go. Although having the Breach to go along with my PVS-14 is an interesting idea.....
Link Posted: 7/19/2018 3:19:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/19/2018 3:33:51 PM EDT
I'm impressed with the image quality to cost ratio of my 233. But....

After my experiences with customer service with flir for a simple firmware update that should have come downloaded from the factory, multiple emails to which still have gone unanswered, and multiple voicemails, fuck flir.
Link Posted: 7/19/2018 4:19:07 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By TNVC_Sam:
Whats the terrain like where you are?
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Western Washington: Thicker evergreen and deciduous trees, milder temperatures (40 degrees winter to 80 degrees summer). 200 yards typical visibility, with loopholes to 400 yards.
Eastern Washington: More desert/arid area with less thick forests of mostly evergreens, wider range of temps (25 degrees winter, 100+ degrees summer). Ranges to 400 yards typical visibility, loopholes to 800 yards.

I live in Western Washington, but Eastern Washington and the mountains aren't very far.
Link Posted: 7/19/2018 4:39:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/20/2018 1:00:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2018 1:00:56 AM EDT by Scollins]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC_Sam:
I'd recommend going over to our sister company nightgoggles.com and looking at the Pulsar and the 536 and deciding which of those 2 to go with.
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Is the Pulsar Apex XQ38 basically the same as the Trail XQ38, just minus the Wifi and streaming capabilities? The performance specs look nearly identical between the 2 outside those features.
Link Posted: 7/20/2018 8:06:30 AM EDT
The apex will give you the exact same
performance as the trail. Just doesn’t have bells and whistles.

The predator in theory would provide a better image, but in reality, with the smaller lens/focal length, it doesn’t.

I’ve only used the 536 for a very short time. Even if they were readily available, I’d suggest the pulsar.

There’s been a shortage of pulsars lately. Call around to everyone you can find for availability/best price.
Link Posted: 7/20/2018 1:22:53 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Tmm1270:
The apex will give you the exact same
performance as the trail. Just doesn’t have bells and whistles.

The predator in theory would provide a better image, but in reality, with the smaller lens/focal length, it doesn’t.

I’ve only used the 536 for a very short time. Even if they were readily available, I’d suggest the pulsar.

There’s been a shortage of pulsars lately. Call around to everyone you can find for availability/best price.
View Quote
Thanks. I found a few other differences between the two:
Recharge batteries vs. CR123s
USB external power vs. proprietary external battery pack
QD mount vs. fixed mount

I think I'm going to go with an Apex XQ38. I really couldn't care less about Wifi and streaming, and I think the price difference is too wide to get the rechargeable batteries, USB external power and QD mount.....
Link Posted: 7/23/2018 2:47:19 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Scollins:I think I'm going to go with an Apex XQ38.
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Best dollar:performance value in thermal scopes today, bar none.
Link Posted: 7/24/2018 12:17:03 PM EDT
Pulsar Apex XQ38 delivered yesterday! Just a few minutes of playing around with it, and I'm pretty impressed so far. Need to get it mounted and zeroed. A friend has the Predator 640, so we'll be able to compare them side-by-side.

Now if the coyotes would just cooperate. We went out this past weekend hunting them, and saw and heard ZERO......
Link Posted: 7/25/2018 7:12:12 PM EDT
FYI, from what numerous hog hunting websites Flir customer service is somewhat lacking i.e. stay away.
Link Posted: 7/31/2018 1:11:44 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 35Remington:
Best dollar:performance value in thermal scopes today, bar none.
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Originally Posted By 35Remington:
Originally Posted By Scollins:I think I'm going to go with an Apex XQ38.
Best dollar:performance value in thermal scopes today, bar none.
Interesting, I about pulled the trigger on a pts233 before guys here started having terrible customer service issues. The XQ38 seems to have made it's way to the top of my list.

Looking forward to your review OP.
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 1:04:17 PM EDT
I like the resolution on the Pulsar and the fact that it's a large company that has good customer service. I haven't used my Trail XQ38 for hunting yet but will this fall. Had my HD38S with me in the woods last fall for hunting and outside of my rifle it's the best piece of equipment I've ever had in the woods with me. You can see anything moving before and during daylight giving you the true advantage that nothing else can offer.
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 5:07:59 PM EDT
Flir customer service is piss poor! Called 3 times to get the update for my PTS233. No one answers the dam phone. Left 3 messages in last 30 days. No response. About ready to sell mine and go to a different competitor.
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 5:32:50 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By BoxofRox:

Looking forward to your review OP.
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Only goofed around with it at the house so far. Friend with the Predator 640 wanted to go hunting this weekend, but I’m out of town. Probably be a few weeks before we can compare side by side. Still learning tricks with the Pulsar, like messing with contrast settings, etc.

I do wish the remote had a pic mount or something other than just sticky tape. Worried it will fall off in the dark and I’ll lose it.
Link Posted: 8/4/2018 12:50:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2018 1:02:14 AM EDT by blueheeler66]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 35Remington:
Best dollar:performance value in thermal scopes today, bar none.
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I agree.
Picked one up a couple months ago.
Amazing. Got the extended rechargeable battery with it.
Haven't used CR123s yet.
You're going to like it when the fog comes out also.

Since then my LGS has bought the FLIR 233? and Thors latest and greatest as demos.
The XQ38 seems to outperform them.
He got in some Pulsar digital NV also and it looks very good for an entry NV device.
Link Posted: 8/11/2018 10:20:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2018 7:35:32 AM EDT by ENGCPT]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 35Remington:
Best dollar:performance value in thermal scopes today, bar none.
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Originally Posted By 35Remington:
Originally Posted By Scollins:I think I'm going to go with an Apex XQ38.
Best dollar:performance value in thermal scopes today, bar none.
THHEAT14 gets you an additional 14% off at optics planet.

Some draw backs are no quick release, no detachable/recharagable battery
Link Posted: 8/31/2018 10:04:36 PM EDT
Does anyone know if/where you can rent these? I cant decide between the flir pts233 or the pulsar apex xq 38 and this is a lot of money for something unseen.
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 12:45:09 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By ENGCPT:
Does anyone know if/where you can rent these? I cant decide between the flir pts233 or the pulsar apex xq 38 and this is a lot of money for something unseen.
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Only place I know to rent from is ultimatenightvision, you'll have to see what models they have.
Link Posted: 9/1/2018 3:48:02 PM EDT
Good choice on the pulsar. Very user friendly compared to some other options. Great performance, great price. You certainly won’t regret the additional feild of view either, if you are doing any hunting in the woods. I’m very happy with mine.
Link Posted: 9/2/2018 10:22:28 PM EDT
I finally got my update. Customer service does suck but have to admit, the PTS233 is a great thermal for the money. Wish I could afford the 536 though. That’s a sweet thermal scope.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 4:38:38 PM EDT
Just curious. What's wrong with ATN? No mention in this thread so far. I am also looking at thermal.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 6:48:58 PM EDT
You asked what’s wrong with ATN. Other than poor quality/customer svc, and just sucking in general, nothing. All that said, I have known several people who bought them, and like them, and haven’t had problems. I’m not one of those people. I apologize if these statements are offensive to anybody other than ATN. If I spend my money on something, and it shows up nonfunctional, and get returned after “repair “ mostly nonfunctional, I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 9:56:59 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Tmm1270:
You asked what’s wrong with ATN. Other than poor quality/customer svc, and just sucking in general, nothing. All that said, I have known several people who bought them, and like them, and haven’t had problems. I’m not one of those people. I apologize if these statements are offensive to anybody other than ATN. If I spend my money on something, and it shows up nonfunctional, and get returned after “repair “ mostly nonfunctional, I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about it.
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Thanks. I was considering one, but no more.
Link Posted: 9/7/2018 6:45:09 AM EDT
Man it’s just not worth the risk . Folks all complaining about flir customer svc as of late. Try to deal with ATN, they take suck to a whole new level.
Link Posted: 9/8/2018 10:36:44 PM EDT
I haven't a chance at all to get out and use the Apex XQ38 and compare it next to the Flir Predator of my friend. Life served me a shit sandwich a few weeks ago (mom's cancer came back with a vengeance, and she passed away on 8/24.)

I did loan it to a friend who was able to get out and try it side by side with the Flir Predator, and they thought it performed better overall, partly because of the native 2x vs. the native 1x of the Predator. On a "value" basis, the Apex kills the Predator in their opinion.

Not sure when I'll get a chance to go out and give it a good test. Have to be careful around the big game hunting seasons, as thermal is not allowed. Don't want to get in trouble with Sir Game Warden for a violation, perceived or otherwise.....
Link Posted: 9/8/2018 11:03:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2018 11:07:58 PM EDT by ar15joe]
I got the Pulsar Trail XQ38 and am liking it so far. Battery life is awesome. Have used it at least an hour and it's showing barely down on level.

But- the remote viewing and control iPhone app does not work for me
I also had an issue with a missing manual and a broken usb port on the wall wart. A call to Pulsar USA resolved that issue and I got taken care of but I did not try the app until after the call. So I'll need to call them again.

I upgraded to the return to zero QD mount. It's 32g lighter and so far works well. I have not tested the RTZ but I have seen a youtube where I think the Lone Star Boar guy confirms it is GTG

The thermal is so sensitive, it can see latent heat from a cat paws or a finger writing on a wall. It's way more detailed than I expected and looks almost like night vision.
Can be used Day or night. It needs to be refocused for different ranges as the depth of field cannot be set at infinity.
Closest focusable objects are about 10 feet away.

Detail is amazing up to 100yards at which point the resolution starts to show limitations but still decent.

The PIP function is awesome also and that alone is worth considering the pulsar above the others.
Link Posted: 9/9/2018 3:11:49 AM EDT
What mount does it come with originally? The manufacturer shows it with double lever screws. I have seen it pictured with round thumb screws.
Which one would work better on a bolt rifle?
Thanks: longshot
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