FLIR Thermosight Pro 536 Mini BNVD DKX M7 Level III HALO Medical Supplies
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  1. #1

    The reality of technology

    Just got back from SHOT Show. Amazed at how the thermal and NV market has taken off the last couple years. Every body and their brother is coming out with some "new" product in these category. Some cheap "fusion" (lite) products even coming out although the one cheap one that was supposedly to be such a big deal DID NOT WORK during 3 separate trips to look at it.

    Either way, thermal imaging has come a long way in the last 5-10 years. Both better in quality and smaller and more lightweight.

    Gone are the days when we just thought we would "hear a helicopter" and then somehow don a tarp, thermal cover, etc.

    With thermal imagers starting at around $600. and thermal weapon sights (TWS) to be had for less than $2K, there is an above average chance that you will go up against these if SHTF.

    Even the $600. model will detect a man in light brush at 100 yards. Higher dollar models will reach out further with better processing speed and higher resolution.

    I feel like we are NEAR the bottom of pricing levels for this sort of thing- I mean really $600. for a thermal imager? Just 10 years ago you would have paid $10K for that technology. The little phone apps are cheaper yes but not exactly applicable to most tactical situations.

    TWS or handheld?

    Much discussion about which one is better to have- a thermal weapon sight (TWS) or a hand held scanner?

    Advantages and disadvantages to each-

    TWS-
    * Going to be heavier and bulkier by it's very nature. The "core" has to be beefed up to survive recoil.
    * Adds weight to the rifle (obviously) and unless a "clip on" device, would have to be used as the sole sighting system on the rifle once in place. A flip to the side type weapon mount might overcome this- such as the Wilcox mount used with the IR Patrol. I used one of the flip mounts for years and it worked great in conjunction with my 3X30 ACOG.
    * Ability to immediately engage a target once thermal detection is achieved.

    IMG_1174.jpg
    FLIR PRO PTS536 New model



    Hand held-

    * Very lightweight and compact. Something small like the FLIR TK will slide inside a pocket, or can be tucked inside your jacket when on a lanyard. Pull it out every so often, scan forward the next 100 yards and then move. Fish hook on the trail you've been following and sit and scan for a bit.
    * Typically less expensive, but you may be sacrificing some durability with that (can't have it all for cheap).
    * Some models will be able to fill multiple roles- some will be able to be helmet or head mounted as well as being used as a handheld.


    IMG_1167.jpg

    New FLIR Breach 60 hz. Thermal Monocular- use as a hand held or head/helmet mounted.


    IMPORTANT- DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE try to jury rig a weapons mount to any unit not specifically branded as a THERMAL WEAPON SIGHT. I can't tell you how many people asked me how to jury rig a Scout or a TK to a weapon mount and I practically yelled "don't do it!" Once again the core is not protected against recoil on these smaller handheld units. You WILL destroy your unit, you will void your warranty and they will know what caused the problem when you try to send it back with a colorful story of what happened.....

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    "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed..."

  2. #2
    We tend to think of "pier vs. pier" engagements and believe that we are somehow on a higher plane than say unprepared sheeple in regards to this because of our (usually little bit of) training, or the weapons we have, or even whether or not we have "force multiplier" technological aids such as Thermal and I2.

    However their is a big wide world out there of folks that have access to, or "know someone" that has thermal imaging or I2 capabilities.

    Hog hunters for example, love thermal. I can't tell you how many times in casual circles when someone announced that I "sold NV and thermal" that I hear tales of "my uncle Bubba has an ATN thermal and he hunts hogs..."

    Electricians, firefighters and various safety personnel may have access to thermal imagers as part of their vocation.

    Once again, this is getting more and more common.

    Even the crazy little $200. "app" for your Iphone will produce a short range thermal image that- just a few years ago- might have cost you $5K or more to get.

    As far as these devices having a more wide spread availability, all we can hope is that the casual users will not have training and a lot of experience with them. Logistics could be an issue for casual users as well- how many batteries does an "average" person have in their home? Dozen at most? Thermal in particular being a heavy user of power, this would mean a small battery supply wouldn't last long.

    Cheaper night vision (I2) devices involving russian tubes, 1st or 2nd gen tubes can be diminished with the old standard ideas of bright lights, strobing fireworks, etc. Don't bother with any of these old skewl ideas against REAL Night vision, 3rd Gen and higher US tubes, it won't affect them and you'll just die with a spotlight in your hand and a dumb look on your face. Great for old fiction stories, but completely wrong for quality NV.

    Standard camoflague discipline remains the same at night as during the day. And someone with an older 1st or 2nd gen unit or someone who bought a quality 3rd Gen US set- BUT NEVER REALLY TOOK THE TIME TO TRAIN WITH IT- could be fooled with proper use of camoflage and concealment at night.

    I have to assume that someone that was willing to drop $3K on a night vision device also made the investment in training, but of course we know what ASSumptions do- they make an arse out of U and ME.

    The important factor to remember is that just like with assault rifles- it's not THE GEAR that makes you "better" than what might be the average post apoc bad guy. But it's the TRAINING and EXPERIENCE with THE PROPER GEAR that makes the difference between winning the fight or just donating your high dollar gear to the looters in the least nice way.

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    "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed..."

  3. #3

    Well said and very true

    Well said and very true.

    Everybody, including me, tend to appreciate this kind of reminder.

    Thx,

  4. #4
    So a common question that comes up when people ask about thermal imagers is will they "see through" things. Well it's not an X ray machine, so it's not going to see through walls, etc.

    That being said, brush cover usually doesn't do a lot to eliminate thermal signature.

    breach40lightcover.jpg

    The above pic is about 40 yards out, viewing into a tree line, with a person laying prone behind brush cover. Setting up jungle lanes for about 30 years now, I've seen about 50% of the people miss a target stuck half way behind light brush cover like this, when viewing with the naked eye. However you can easily pick up the thermal signature even with the brush cover.

    Breachlightcovoutdooralert.jpg

    This pic is at about 50 yards with some light brush cover (concealment). This is your standard "stop near cover" thing people do when patrolling, not truly taking cover, but standing near cover perhaps with a little concealment near them.

    The palette setting here is "outdoor alert" which has the red heat image. I don't personally like this palette but I know some do. I prefer white hot or black hot depending on how it contrasts to the surroundings.

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  5. #5
    The above pics were done with the new FLIR Breach Thermal Monocular.

    https://www.jrhenterprises.com/FLIR-...6WN8Q14001.htm

    With the new 12um BOSON core. Super lightweight at just 7 ounces, smaller than a PVS14. Head and helmet mountable or use as a handheld, this particular unit not weapons mountable. At $2495. this unit offers about 5 times the performance of the old Scout 320's for $500. LESS!!!

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lowdown3 View Post
    The above pics were done with the new FLIR Breach Thermal Monocular.

    https://www.jrhenterprises.com/FLIR-...6WN8Q14001.htm

    With the new 12um BOSON core. Super lightweight at just 7 ounces, smaller than a PVS14. Head and helmet mountable or use as a handheld, this particular unit not weapons mountable. At $2495. this unit offers about 5 times the performance of the old Scout 320's for $500. LESS!!!
    These units typically have about a 12-14 week lead time from FLIR. We have a big shipment coming in early next week, most of them arriving are pre-sold but THREE are not pre-sold. So no better time to order one and avoid the long lead time.

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