The growth of thermal optics
We are in the wild west days of the thermal optic revolution. A few years ago, when the technology was relatively new to the civilian market there were a limited number of companies with offerings, and they were all priced well out of the budget of the average joe. In a relatively short time the options for thermal optics have exploded.
Quality Thermal Optics
Many of the thermals currently available are good quality, solid equipment, and more reasonably priced. If you talk to anyone who owns a thermal or understands the technology they probably have a favorite brand, and very strong feelings about the matter. I am not here to tell you that our Incendis Thermal Optic is superior to any other product. But I can tell you what I love about it and why it is the right thermal for me.
Thermal optics are a lot like anything else in life: you get what you pay for. That does not mean, however, that you have to choose between buying a thermal and sending your kid to college. With advancements in technology and the law of supply and demand, quality thermals are more affordable than they have ever been. Now, let’s be honest for a moment, not all thermals are created equal. There are good thermal optics and bad ones, but much of what makes a thermal “good” is whether or not it meets your requirements.
Thermal Auto Nuke
When we designed the Incendis Thermal Optic we wanted it to cast a wide net and be usable in many different applications. The QD mount is the basis for the versatility of the Incendis. It allows the optic to be a stand alone, forward mounted thermal optic, or hand held thermal optic. With those options the Incendis can be whatever you need it to be. The 340 core resolution allows you to detect heat signatures for a man sized target out to 1000 yards, and identify targets out to 500 yards. The Incendis Thermal Clip On uses a rolling shutter, similar to a DSLR camera in a function called “auto nuke.” In the world of thermals “nuking” is the process of resetting the thermal sensor periodically to avoid wash out.
Some thermals require the user to cover the sensor with a lens cap or other relatively cool object for a short period of time at regular intervals to prevent wash out. The Incendis scope has auto nuke, meaning that the rolling shutter does this automatically, saving you the trouble. If you are out using your Incendis and you hear a faint click from time to time, that is the auto nuke keeping your thermal sensor regulated. The Incendis Thermal Scope has digital zoom at 1, 2, and 4 power. This is best used in stand alone configuration. In the forward mounted or “pass-through” configuration, the resolution on the Incendis will remain sharp up to 4x magnification on the host optic. This means that when your Incendis scope is mounted in front of your LPVO you can dial up to 4x on your scope before you will start to lose clarity.
Hunting with Thermal Optics
My primary use for the Incendis is hunting nuisance animals like wild pigs and coyotes. Sometimes I will hunt from a stand or over bait, sometimes I call from a fixed position, but sometimes I like to get out and stalk. As you can imagine, trying to scan with a rifle mounted thermal is cumbersome. But with the QD mount on the Incendis the process of mounting and removing the optic is fast and smooth, so I can walk and scan in handheld mode, then mount the Incendis scope when it is time to shoot. Like a lot of hunters, most of the places I hunt also have livestock present. Having a thermal optic with quality resolution helps me make the shoot / no-shoot determination more easily.
I have also had the opportunity to use the Incendis optic in a slightly more critical situation. My family ranches, and last winter we had a group of heifers set to calve within a two month period between mid January and mid March. When a cow is having their first calf, as all of these were, you need to pay more attention than you would to a mature cow to make sure they are not having trouble calving. The pasture that the cows were in was fairly large and it was not possible to see all of it from the pasture roads. I have a drone equipped with thermal imaging that I would fly several times a day to find the cows and make sure that they were not having trouble, and to find the newborn calves.
I have also had the opportunity to use the Incendis in a slightly more critical situation. My family ranches, and last winter we had a group of heifers set to calve within a two month period between mid January and mid March. When a cow is having their first calf, as all of these were, you need to pay more attention than you would to a mature cow to make sure they are not having trouble calving. The pasture that the cows were in was fairly large and it was not possible to see all of it from the pasture roads. I have a drone equipped with thermal imaging that I would fly several times a day to find the cows and make sure that they were not having trouble, and to find the newborn calves.
That system works great as long as the weather cooperates. Several times that winter, however, the weather was too bad to fly. High winds and significant freezing precipitation kept me from flying. Thankfully I had an Incendis scope in the truck. Obviously the vantage point from the ground, or even the bed of my truck, is not the same as a birds eye view from a drone, but I was able to locate several cows that I would not have been able to find otherwise.
In Search and Rescue applications, the Incendis can fit in a pocket when not in use, and quickly come to bear. This can allow a first responder or other search and rescue personnel to more easily maneuver in their environment while carrying a necessary tool. With four color pallets you can choose the setting that works best for your situation. The four rechargeable CR123a batteries will keep the Incendis optic running for three and a half hours, giving you plenty of time for nearly any task.
The Incendis Thermal Optic is tough, versatile, and user friendly. It is a good thermal at an affordable price. If you are in the market for a quality thermal, get yourself an Incendis and the bag by Savior Equipment and see the world in a whole new way.
Accufire, Advancing Accuracy. Accufire Technologies – with every product designed by shooters: digital spotting scopes; thermal clip ons; thermal clip ons; night vision scopes, red dot sights – get the technology and clarity that every hunter, competitive shooter and law enforcement officer can rely on and afford.