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#6128909 - 01/10/16 02:45 PM Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a
DocHorton Online   content
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Registered: 12/06/10
Posts: 3433
Loc: DFW
In final stages of picking my second thermal scope. Looks like I'm down to the Pulsar Apex XD50A and the ATN Thor 640 1.5x. I need some real world experience with those who have these units. I have found the ATN for about $700 more than the XD50A. Is the ATN worth the extra money? Is the picture of the ATN that much better? From what I've seen the XD50A has a really good picture for a 388 resolution scope and the extra magnification seems like a great feature with the PIP. However the ATN is a smaller and lighter unit and has a higher resolution.

Opinions and real world experience appreciated!

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#6129653 - 01/10/16 09:01 PM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
Dirtsaver Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 08/05/13
Posts: 18
Loc: Grapevine
I have no experience with either, but I had a flir handheld with the instant red feature and it was pretty awesome. If either one of the above mentioned scopes have that, I would opt for that one.

Did you look at or consider the flir riflescopes?

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#6129736 - 01/10/16 09:53 PM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: Dirtsaver]
DocHorton Online   content
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Registered: 12/06/10
Posts: 3433
Loc: DFW
Originally Posted By: gmcrec
Did you look at or consider the flir riflescopes?


No, I didn't. One of my buddies rented a Flir and wasn't happy with it compared to the ATN so I ruled it out.

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#6129767 - 01/10/16 10:12 PM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
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Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Doc, You can get the Pulsar Apex XD50a for about $3500. The cheapest Thor 640 I can find is 1.1x and it is still well over $5000. The 1.5x is still over $5500. Would you mind posting a link so that the scope details are shown?

dfwroadkill has some ATN gear and has the Apex XD50a. I have used an ATN thermal sight and have hunted with the XD50 and XD38a. I have not compared them side by side.

The ATN is going to have manual NUCing (you have to manually cover the lens yourself when you NUC), smaller push button operation (harder with gloves on), compact and smaller solid aluminum body, cantilever mounts, many color palettes, and run at 30 hz or 60 hz depending on which you get.

The Apex will have automatic, semiautomatic, or manual NUCing (your choice, but semi seems most ideal), easier to use controls, longer polymer body, nut/bolt mounts, limit palettes, run at 50 hz, and I suspect will have a larger lens (but don't know which unit you are considering, exactly).

Chances are that many of the features in the firmware of both will be things that you will play around with until you settle on what you like and then not deviate much from there, such as choosing the type of reticle you like, palette color (probably either white hot or black hot), and then you won't use a lot of the features once you find what you like. In other words, both scopes do several things more than what you will use. That is normal. Having the options is nice, then unnecessary once you decide, LOL.

I suspect that the ATN is going to give you the better image given that it will be at higher resolution (relative to the level of magnification). If you can get it for $4200, that sounds pretty darned good.
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#6129960 - 01/11/16 07:46 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
dfwroadkill Offline
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Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 3260
Loc: D/FW, TX
I do not have the 1.5X, mine is the 640, 5X, however...

I would say that if you can indeed purchase a ThOR 640, 1.5X for just $700.00 over the Pulsar XD50a, DO IT! I don't see it anywhere for near that price. Ultimate Night Vision does give you a MDVR, cable and pouch for the Pulsar at the $3,500.00 price. The sight image at the same mag will be much better on the 640 core however. The weight of the two scopes is basically the same unless I missed something. The ATN ThOR 640, 1.5X is a discontinued model. Maybe the pricing you have is because someone just wants to get it out of inventory?

It isn't an apples to apples comparison. If you throw the pricing and 640 vs 388 core out and just consider operation, then I would favor the Pulsar. It is a simpler, more ergonomic scope and is backed by a better company. The PiP is cool, but I haven't settled on it being something I would use regular. I use the semi NUCing option so that it doesn't auto NUC right when I take a shot. Just press a button on top of the scope. It is easy to find with your fingers in the dark. The ATN requires depressing two buttons at the same time and stepping through a menu. Something else I like about the Pulsar, and you will relate because I know you have a IR Defense MKII (as I do, along with the IR Patrol), you don't have to turn on the video out. It is always there...and I believe the Pulsar actually produces better video.

Better sight image - ATN. Ease of use, better functionality - Pulsar.

Hope this helps! up


Edited by dfwroadkill (01/11/16 07:50 AM)

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#6129963 - 01/11/16 07:47 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
dfwroadkill Offline
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Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 3260
Loc: D/FW, TX
I would steer clear of the FLIR also...

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#6130037 - 01/11/16 08:23 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
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Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Yeah, not a fan of the FLIRs either.
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#6130058 - 01/11/16 08:44 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
DocHorton Online   content
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Guys, thanks for the input. This is the Thor unit I can buy, I should have specified it will be a used unit which concerns me a little....

http://www.ultimatenightvision.com/ATN-ThOR-640-1-5X-p/tiwsmt642b.htm

From what I've read, and your posts, the Pulsar seems easier to use and has great features. My only concern is the picture quality going from a Mark II, however this will be a back-up scope. I wouldn't even consider the ATN Thor if I was paying full price, but don't want to pass up a good deal. I also like the fact that it is a smaller scope with cantilever mount so I could always take it off and use as a spotter.

Tough choice, I wish it were a clear cut decision....

Thanks again for your help, guys!

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#6130067 - 01/11/16 08:51 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
dfwroadkill Offline
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Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 3260
Loc: D/FW, TX
Something I forgot above...and it does make some difference. The ATN has an OLE D screen and the Pulsar has an LCD screen...

ATN is 17 micron vs Pulsar 25 micron... Better image..

Best to ya! up


Edited by dfwroadkill (01/11/16 08:54 AM)

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#6130129 - 01/11/16 09:24 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
Double Naught Spy Online   content
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Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Yeah, sounds like a no-brainer. Besides, if you have the MKII, then you fully understand the NUC issue.
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#6130173 - 01/11/16 09:48 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
dfwroadkill Offline
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Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 3260
Loc: D/FW, TX
I find the MKII easier to NUC than the ATN. It is the issue of having to get two fingers in the right place and the buttons pushed properly. You get used to it, but easier is easier. I can easily flip the lens cover down on the MKII and roll the top turret to NUC with one hand.

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#6130217 - 01/11/16 10:11 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
CharlieCTx Offline
Tracker

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 781
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
What is NUC'ing?

Charlie

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#6130224 - 01/11/16 10:13 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
dfwroadkill Offline
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Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 3260
Loc: D/FW, TX
NUC = Non Uniformity Correction. It is software the corrects/flattens out your sight image that become non-uniform over time.

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#6130282 - 01/11/16 10:40 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
Texas buckeye Offline
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Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 2965
Loc: Keller
I find the need to NUC my Thor 336 very little when hunting with it, other than maybe an initial after start up if I forget to leave the cover on long enough during start up.

Maybe once an hour or less? I have to NUC my handheld about every 5-10 minutes in the field, but it is a pulsar of-38, so very easy to do that one.

Just my 2cents

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#6130310 - 01/11/16 11:00 AM Re: Which thermal? ATN Thor 640 1.5x vs. Pular Apex XD50a [Re: DocHorton]
dfwroadkill Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 3260
Loc: D/FW, TX
If I am using the HD 38 monoc, I just put it on auto. I generally let whoever I am hunting with use that or my ATN OTS-X 6X, preferring the IR Patrol myself.

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