Thermal for the people
Pulsar turns up the heat with the Quantum Lite XQ30V. Paul Austin takes a close look at their entry level thermal spotter
rior to the launch of Pulsar’s Helion series, its predecessor – the Quantum range – was up there with the best of them and had a price tag to match. To the credit of Pulsar, it didn’t simply dump the older models but just added a new lens design and re-badged them, slashing the price and making quality thermal – a
Prealistic proposition for many. The elephant or elephants in the room are the Helions. I’ve tried both the XQ (384x288 sensor) and the XP (640x480 sensor) models and the image clarity and features are superb. The Quantum Lite XQ30V offers the same (384x288 sensor) as the entry level Helions, but can’t honestly compete in terms of image clarity or features such as Wifi connectivity and built-in recording.
Having said that the Quantum Lite is almost £800 cheaper than the entry level Helion and a whopping £2,370 less than the top of the range XP50! At £1,299 for the XQ30V and £1,199 for the XQ23V, Pulsar is bridging the gap between who can and can’t add thermal to their arsenal.
Form and function
In terms of functionality, it’s faultless. It has every button and feature where you’d expect and you could go all day without putting both hands on the unit and still access all the major functions. Flipping display modes, zooming (x5 & x10 digital), calibration etc. – it’s iPhone-esque in terms of ease of use.
The depth of field is so deep you really need to touch the focus ring. The control knob on the front allows you to adjust brightness and contrast, access the main menu and scale the stadiametric range finder. With a bit of practice you can even drive it with your pinky at a push.
The Quantum offers seven colour modes, but in reality once the novelty of playing with funky colour schemes wore off I only used three. White hot and black hot via mode 1 and coloured highlight in mode 2.
Pulsar’s experience in terms of ergonomics comes to the fore. In mode 1, a short press on one button cycles the zoom while a longer press switches between white hot and black hot. While using an alternate palette, the switch is between the basic colour scheme and the enhanced. The same methodology applies to the power button, a long press does the obvious, while a short one switches off the 640 x 480 display conserving power but leaving the unit instantly
available if the need arises.
All the benefits of a quality IR set-up, but available day or night
Tripod attachment plus a Picatinny rail if you
want to add an MPR