Having fun with night vision optics - Pulsar Digisight N550

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Date Published: 
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Review Model: 
Pulsar Digisight N550
SRP (inc VAT): £1,099.95
Price Rating: 
Ease of Use: 
Overall Rating: 

Digisight N550As I run a pest control business, Pest Purge it is useful to have something that is bang up to date in the technology stakes when fighting the war against bunnies and foxes.  All of our commercial and domestic shooting contracts require us to shoot on parcels of land at night. For years we have been doing this the traditional way with a high powered spot lamp, battery pack, tripod and rifle.  For us it requires two people, one to do the lamping and the other the fun part, the shooting.  Often in these situations the animals get 'lamp-shy' and this means that they often run off quickly once they have seen the beam on them, quite often before you even have a chance to get a shot off.  Even with different coloured filters over the lens it seems to make little difference, red or yellow they still clear off.  Then recently, this all changed, with the advent of the Pulsar Digisight digital night vision scope, one of my mates (needing a quick buck) offered me his. With the Digisight they tend to stick around, you can fire several rounds and the bunnies carry on munching and hopping about, quite unaware of what is going on.  The sight has been upgraded with the optional high power laser and Infra Red (IR) illuminator.  There is a ton of technical jargon and video footage on the Scott Country web site for those techies who are interested.

The real benefits of the sight for us are the increased range out beyond 250m, which when matched with a .22-250 is an impressive combination against foxes and when matched with the .22 is excellent for rabbits. A good in between round would be the .17HMR (now on my shopping list) good for rabbits easily out to 150m and with some serious clout to knock down foxes too, only about 24p a shot!

The Digisight can be sighted easily with the digital technology using one shot zeroing and believe me, I am not a techy but it does work. The scope can also be zeroed in the more traditional manner, running through various icons and prompts on the scopes main menu. The real benefit of the Digisight is that it can be used in the daytime as well as at night. So in effect you are getting two scopes for the price of one. Also, with the technology that is used, you are not damaging the night vision optics by using the scope in daylight; this is something that occurs with some other dedicated night vision only scopes due in part to the chemical coatings on the lenses. The Pulsar has the detection and sensitivity of other Gen 2+ night vision scopes for a much smaller cost. I have never checked out some of the real top end scopes costing anything up to £7k but the Pulsar seems to cope admirably with all the situations we have been in. The optics are first class and the illumination is very good out to great distances in total darkness (with no moon, thick cloud and pouring rain) the view is impressive, you can clearly make out what animal it is you are watching and see its body shape clearly. Animal eyes show up a long way off, well beyond the capabilities of my shooting! The kit is run with AA batteries and due to the power drain you will need a spare set with you, just in case. The laser unit uses two and the main scope four of them.

For between £1-1.5k you will not be disappointed, if you are serious about night shooting this kit is the business.


Optical characteristics:  
Generation Digital
Magnification, x 4.5
Objective lens 50 mm, F/ 1,0
Field of view, degree / m (at 100m distance) 5.5 / 9.6
Eye relief, mm 67
Exit pupil, mm 6
Resolution, lines/mm ≥ 50
Max. range of detection, m * 450
Eyepiece diopter adjustment, D ±4
Close-up distance, m 5
CCD array characteristics:  
Type of CCD array ICX659AL
Resolution, pixel 752(H)х576(V)
Format (physical dimensions) 1/3” (4.8x3.6 mm)
Output video signal standard CCIR / PAL
Display characteristics:  
Resolution, pixel 640х480x3; 921600 pixel (VGA quality)
Active pixel zone, mm 9.0 x 6.8
Display diagonal, inch 0.44
Operational characteristics:  
Operating voltage 6V (4xAA type rechargeable batteries)
External power supply / consumption power DC 9-15V / 3W
Degree of protection, IP code (IEC 60529) IP44
Operating temperature, °C -10 °C... +40°C
Operation time with one set of rechargeable batteries (built-in IR off/on), hour 4 / 3.5
Dimensions, mm 340x95x94
Weight, kg 1
* - Max. detection range of an object measuring 1.7x0.5 m in natural night conditions (0.05 lux, quarter moon). **- Depending on the region of sale


Product Code:   76316

Description:        Pulsar DigiSight N550

SRP (inc VAT):    £1,099.95


Product code:    76311

Description:        Pulsar DigiSight N550 Kit

SRP (inc VAT):    £1,179.95

The kit comes with the high power Pulsar IR Flashlight (940) but some may also prefer the Pulsar IR Laser Flashlight (L-808) for extra range, which has a SRP (inc VAT) of £189.95.

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Images courtesy of Yukon Advanced Optics Worldwide