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Pulsar D550 Digisight

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/27/2010 at 17:34
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Four days ago, I ordered the Pulsar D550, it came in yesterday.  I spent last night doing the much-hated "bay window review", revered mostly by mall ninjas and secret squirrel command special black ops snipers (that a night vision scope can resolve individual bricks, 200 yards away in Suburbia, USA - I mostly care not.)


Today was range day, temp is 95 degrees, humidity is about 35%, barometric pressure 29.60.

The D550 began its new life on m RR M4, today it was fed 64-grain and 75-grain BTHP ammo at 25- and 100-yards.  As this is a night vision scope, many may be wondering why I shot it at the range in full sun, 95 degrees.  Short answer: because I can!  It is a digital NV device, rather than a traditional gated genX NV device.  As such, it ain't ideal for full light shooting, but it far better than usable.

Rather than a traditional intensifier  tube, the D550 has a high sensitivity CCD array, and the image is displayed on a small 640x480 VGA display in the ocular.  I could discern no delay in movement down range and corresponding movement on the display.  Obviously, the thing ain't "hi def", but it is more than adequate for my needs (I could see individual bricks in very low light from 200 yards, yippie!)

Another key deviation from traditional genX scopes, this one has no green screen, the image is displayed in black and white (and reversible.)  As I haven't hunted with it yet, I cannot say if this is good or bad.

So, to the range, all set up, flip the switch, and the image slowly comes up (maybe 3 seconds from black to full image detail.)  In full sun, looking at my targets was something of a challenge, the 15x15 targets have one central orange bullseye and 4 smaller bullseyes, one in each quadrant.  As the scope is a night vision 4X, it didn't like the "orange on white" in full sun and I saw little more than a light diamond outline rather than a nice orange-on-white contrast.  Again, bare in mind, all this is done in full sun.  Were it < Gen3 night vision, none of this would be happening at all in the sun.

So, round one flies, 2 inches low, 3 inches right, and the first challenge presents itself.  (For background, I am a precision shooter, usually sticking with my 40X that shoots better than me, topped with a Hensoldt that is nothing short of amazing.  With 5 rounds down range, when I do my part, I am disappointed in anything more than 1 hole on paper.)  With a traditional scope, you click in the correction on the elevation and windage knobs, then fire for effect.  With the D550, it has a "one round zero" feature - circa Shepherd optics (not endorsing Shepherd, by any stretch.)  In the D550, you enter the "zero" mode from the menu, and get 2 reticles, one keeping the scope centered on the target, the other moving to the point of impact.  In theory, it is a great feature; however, as this is a 4X optic, and since the display ain't hi def, (and the clicks are about .85 inches at 100 yards) , and since I am a precision fire-kinda guy, it took more than 1 round.  I more-or-less walked them on target.  (The reticle isn't really, really thin either, that didn't help.)

But, again, keep in mind: I am zeroing a night optic at 4 PM in full sunlight and at 100 yards.

With the scope zeroed and the rifle doing its part, the image was usable, the dope seemed to hold (though the adjustment mechanism isn't one conducive to " on the fly" dope changes), everything shot quite well.  After about 2 hours of on time, the battery was at about 50% - granted, this was at the lowest intensity setting and with the IR illuminator turned off.

Soon, I hope to have it out on the corn field and doing some population control on the local hog herd.  That - and only that - will be the true test of the scope's utility.

From the bay window review, I will say that the night vision capabilities are quite impressive, considering the price.  In moon light, the IR illuminator isn't needed, resolution is good enough that I could easily make out small objects at 200 yards, and larger objects much further.  Turning on the IR illuminator is akin to turning on my laser designator on a conventional rifle/scope combo - only with the IR, the object doesn't know it is lit up.

I'll try to run it side-by-side soon with a decent gen2 and gen3 scope, and report on that.  For now, I give a reserved thumbs up (reserved since it ain't shot at a living thing in the dark yet.)

I am working now to get the video out feature up and running and hope to have video soon of hogs dying in the night.

More to follow






Eventually, the Whisper will wear the Pulsar, it'd just be too bad-ass to not put the 2 together.




Edited by Rancid Coolaid - August/27/2010 at 17:39
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2010 at 11:43
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Nice to live in a state where you can use such devices.  Illegal in Alabama to hunt anything, even hogs, with it. 
Guess that's why Texas will always be "home", anyplace else just where I am...  Still one of the freeest states in the Nation. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/28/2010 at 21:19
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Looks great RC
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/29/2010 at 22:01
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Optics Master Extraordinaire
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Thanks for the review RC,looking forward to the next part.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2010 at 15:21
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Optics Jedi Master
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First hunt completed, no dead animals, great sight for very low light.

The singular issue I encountered is stalks of corn still 2-3 feet tall for a lawn of obstruction that reflects IR back at you.  If you've ever turned a bright light on in the woods at night, you know that most of the light hits the stuff close by and reflects back doing little to show what is beyond.  The IR illuminator does the same in a corn field.  Without the illumionator, all was a hazy gray world and moving ojbects stick out well.

The problem, locally at least, is that all the corn has just come down and all the maze is still up.  It's like a banquet table laid out of 4 counties, the odds of finding a hog in that are slim, too many options.

SO, though I wasn't able to take a hog, I was able to test out my new night vision (and my new rail adapter to mount a railed AR to my manfrotto ball head - which is nothing short of fantastical.)

I hope to be back out again tonight and will try to get pics before all light is lost.

I still really like the Pulsar D550, great lower-cost night vision.

One note: I might try to fashion some manner of red filter over the ocular, the bright gray screen messes with night vision in that one eye for at least a few minutes.  A red filter would mitigate that, and the image is plenty bright (especially with the illuminator) to offset the slight loss of light.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2010 at 11:06
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Anything new on this? Seriously considering this as an affordable alternative to the conventional NV scopes. Still a good amount of coin though, real field use tells the tale.
 
I haven't had any experience except a long time ago when we called them "starlight scopes!" LOL
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2011 at 20:13
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I am also interested in some further evaluation.  I'm thinking this scope would work great for coyotes at night on snowy terrain. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2011 at 10:10
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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My scope was sold to csacpt (above), so anything more will come from him.

I used it on a few more hunts and sold it due to changes in my hunting circumstances (I'm now hunting 2000 acres of high-fence, managed land, infested with nice deer and hogs.  After a day of hunting, everyone is too tired to go back out at night.  Hell, on my last hunt, I killed 12 hogs in 2 days with no low light hunting.  That, in my world, is justification to sell the NV and buy more ammo!)

I would put it on par or maybe slightly below (based on resolution alone) a Gen3+ auto-gated NV.  I really like that it functions as a day optic as well as a night optic (though with a decrease in resolution - but far from unusable in daylight.)

My one nagging issue (as referenced above) is that the image in gray-scale really messes with night vision when you come off the scope.  Imagine shining a weak white light in one eye at night, then turning the light off, one eye adjusted to bright light, one eye adjusted to low light, and try to do anything.  I worked on various filter materials to filter the grayscale, but never found exactly what I wanted.

I imagine, with a good filtering material, the problem could be easily and adequately remedied.

Comparing the downside of grayscale with the huge upsides of price and image quality and the D550 is a great way to go if you are really in the NV scope market.  That it compares so favorably to Gen3+ optics is amazing, given that the price is 1/3 or so of a comparable Gen3 scope.
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