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

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