A thermal imager is the ideal companion for wildlife observation, foxing at night, or for wildlife surveys. Scott Country stock a large range of thermal imagers from manufacturers such as Pulsar with their Quantum and Helion Series, Thermoteknix, seek ir, guide and torrey pines
Picture a wildlife cameraman on a remote woodland area at night, looking to spot a fox on a ridge which he can hear calling. With a traditional night vision device, at range he will only know the fox is there if he happens to pick up eye shine, so in fact could spend a long time scanning the ridge to try and pic out a shadowy shape against the background.
With a thermal imager, you can instantly scan the field and see any heat source whether it be a rabbit, a fox, or a vehicle.
Adding a hand held thermal imager to your equipment portfolio not only saves time in the field, but will bring a whole new perspective to watching wildlife at night.
Mike Powell from Sporting Rifle summed this up perfectly "Out foxing at night i could hear a fox calling yet i couldnt see anything apart from some rabbits in the valley when viewing through my Archer, turning on the Pulsar Quantum, i was surprised to see two foxes a hundred yards in front of me, that i didnt even know where there!"
How Does a Thermal Imager Work?
A thermal imager consists of a germanium lens, microbolometer detector and an electronic processing system.
The germanium lens focuses infrared light which is emitted by objects in the field of view, whether it be an animal, a human hiding in bushes, or a vehicle with an engine and exhaust heat signature.
This focused light is then scanned by the microbolometer and the varying heat levels detected change its electrical resistance, which is then interpolated into a signal measured and processed into an image which appears on the OLED screen.
Whether you are looking to check the heat loss from a vehicle roof, or track the movements of a fox moving across a valley, the thermal imager will detect the infrared heat source and transmit it to your eye as a viewed image.
Thermal Imaging vs Traditional Night Vision
In completely dark conditions a traditional night vision device relies on a infrared LED light source to illuminate a subject, whether it be from moonlight or a infrared flashlight.
Traditional night vision devices, although operating in infrared, have a red glow from the emitters, and in the case of the Nite Site Spotter Extreme the IR array is so powerful it can often be seen clearly by animals in front of the device.
The thermal imager however can detect heat sources from extreme distance, or from close up, and allow you to view wildlife without being undetected, which is also ideal for covert surveillance.
Traditional night vision is of course less expensive than thermal imagers, however if you compare the Pulsar Helion with a detection range of 1800m, costing under £2600, with a Gen 3 Starlight Archer with a detection range of 400m costing £2499.99, then you can seethe difference in price is becoming less significant.
We recently visited the Galloway Hills to film red deer on a ridge approx 1000m away using the Nite Site Spotter and the new Thermoteknix TiCam 750LR
We scanned the ridge (1km) and with the Spotter we saw a hint of eye shine which gave away the position of an animal but we had no way of knowing if it was man or beast.
Powering up the Thermoteknix we scanned the ridge and instantly spotted approx 20 heat sources. Zooming in with the 4x optical zoom we identified them clearly as red deer.
With the Spotter the animals were totally unidentifiable, until we gave a red deer call, and all the hinds and stags turned to look at us, and the Spotter identified 20 sets of twinkling eyes in the distance.
Calling the deer closer, it was not until about 400m away that the Spotter started to identify a shape, outline and indeed a species, where as with the Thermal we were already counting points on the antlers of the stags!
Although the Nite Site Spotter could easily identify the animals at this range, the deer were spooked by the IR and stood and stared towards us, easily identifying our position, not ideal for covert surveillance where as the thermal imager could be used completely covertly, making it ideal for security or for anti poaching
The latest thermal imaging thermal devices.
Pulsar Helion XP50 Thermal Imaging
The new Helion XP50 thermal imager incorporates the very latest in hand held thermal imaging technology, with a new high resolution 640x480 thermal core, providing crisp clear thermal images, with enhanced recognition ranges, and a detection range up to 1.8km. Twinned with the latest wifi and integrated video recording technology the Helion XP50 thermal camera provides unrivalled performance, with a 2.5x to 20x magnification.
Whether you are spotting foxes at night, counting red deer by day, or scanning for poachers on a highland game estate, the new Pulsar Helion XP50 thermal imager will provide the recognition distance previously only obtainable by mil spec thermal imagers costing upwards of 20k pounds.
Pulsar Quantum Lite XQ30V
The Pulsar Quantum Lite XQ30V is a hand held thermal imager which is compact and powerful, offering a detection range of up to 900m, twinned with 50hz refresh, and 2.5x to 10x magnification with a new lens design which provides enhanced performance.
Designed for hunting, wildlife observation and security and surviellance the Quantum Lite is unimpeded by foliage, grass or adverse weather providing a reliable method of detecting heat signatures out to 900m (man sized object)
With a super fast start up time of two seconds, offering a choice of 7 colour palettes, highlighting the hottest and coldest areas with different colour spectrums, ideal for tracking quarry in cover, or spotting a fox amongst a field of sheep.
Seek Reveal Pro Thermal Imager
The Seek RevealPRO is a powerful handheld thermal imager, with a 320x240 thermal sensor, 32 degree field of view, and 550m detection range, making it the most advanced thermal imager in its series.
The new Seek Reveal Pro is the latest incarnation in budget hand held thermal imaging, but packing a punch with the latest 320x240 thermal core, providing identification ranges much further than before with digital zoom to get up close and personal.
The RevealPRO also has a >15Hz fast frame rate displaying smoother footage for moving objects.
Users have a choice of up to 9 colour palettes to choose from, allowing them to tune the device to their own specific needs and is equipped with a powerful built-in 300 Lumen LED flashlight that has programmable brightness control. A new and improved interface with a start-up time of less than 3 seconds makes the RevealPRO is a welcome addition to the Seek product range.