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Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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slimjim
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Joined: May 16, 2009
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Location: Fort Worth TX

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:53 pm    Post subject: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

I’ve been hunting hogs with a red spot light mounted on the forward part of the handguard with Trijicon 1-4 Accupoint. I also have a green laser for when the hogs start scattering after the first shot which has been effective inside of 75 yards. I wanted to step up to a night vision scope for my 6.8mm SPC without a large investment. The 1st generation ATN-X had many negative reviews which I am familiar with. The 2nd gen ATN-X fixed many issues with the scope but there still have been mixed reviews. A friend just received the new 3rd gen 5-20x ATN-X 4k and has been too busy to use it. I was very fortunate that he let me do an eval on it. I will be getting the 3-14x for the wider FOV for engaging hogs at 50 to 75 yards but thought this would be a great opportunity to experience ATN’s new product. I have no other night scope experience but have military aviation time with night vision and thermal devises.

First impressions when opening the box of the 5-20x ATN-X 4k was positive – “this is very nice.” The unit appears rugged, not frail. The unit also was upgraded with an IR Supernova Illuminator but it was DOA so I was unable to evaluate its benefit over the standard illuminator. I’ve seen a couple of reviews where the illuminator has stopped functioning for others and the units have been replaced by ATN. Except for not being able to use rechargeable batteries, the standard illuminator is of good quality, lighter weight, and I like the simplicity of it and its rotary switch. The full-focused beam covered the entire 5x FOV.



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"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

This is a completely different scope experienced. If you purchase one of these, I suggest sitting down with the manual and exercising the functions you will use before you go to the range or hunt with the scope. Maybe do that twice if you plan to use advanced feature. The more I used the scope the easier its operation became. Note, you need to set the hardware configuration out of the box. The software doesn’t know which model it is loaded on. The “Interface” section of the owner’s manual has not been updated for the new scope’s altered button configuration. The menus shown do not always match the ones I see in the scope. I unknowingly turned off Advanced Features which prevented me from activating Recoil Activated Video. I took me a day to sort through what had happened with tips from another user who already had the ATN-X scope. The OK button is a bit sensitive. If you hit it lightly, it will move menu left or right instead of activating the OK function. I found that I had to hold the OK switch depressed for a “potato” then it works fine. I did have the unit freeze twice. The readouts and features freeze and you can’t switch modes, but the viewing through the scope is still good and you can still shoot. Once zoom still worked the other it was froze also. I had already practiced a forced restart, e.g., hold Power button for 15 sec. The unit restarted and was working fine less than 10 seconds later. The manual doesn’t tell you what modes have been disabled and not working in this first release of software. It looks like a lot of the features are easier to use connected to a smart phone which I do not have. I can wait for the bells and whistles to arrive in the next firmware update. Out of the box, the unit has everything I needed to hunt with, e.g., day/night mode, brightness adjust, zoom, reticle zero, and a reticle with tics for hold over.



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_________________
"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

First trip to the range was positive. Don’t expect to look at the 100 yard target and read lines with the clarity of a $500 scope. Even though this is an HD 1080-line display (1K), it does not compete with 20/20 eyesight. Since sensor is 4K, image clarity is maintained through double the zoom of the base power, e.g., 10x for the ATN-X 5-20 and 6x for the ATN-X 3-14. Zooming after that is just increasing the pixel size. Still adequate to hunt with and hit the vitals. The scope needs to be focused for distance which is the large ring on the front objective lens, similar to where parallax adjustments were before they moved to a knob opposite windage. Zoom is a rotary encoder on the left main body of the scope. The encoder doesn’t necessarily pick up every increment of turn but I did not find it interfered with functionality.

The unit easily mounted on my rifle with the supplied scope rings. There is not much eye relief. It is fine with 6.8mm recoil. One-shot reticle adjustment worked like a charm but I miss not being able to click in ¼ MOA adjustments (like I said, a different scope experience). At 100 yards, I marked a large cross over the center of grouping to make adjustment so the grouping was clear to see in the light conditions. I might be better off to use “see-me” targets instead of plain paper. I did not go to the 200-300 yard range as winds were whipping all over the place with buffet at the bench. They suggest saving zeros for multiple ranges, e.g., 100 yards, 300 yards, 500 yards (if you have a hi-power illuminator), etc. You can’t dial a come-up. I did select the graduated reticle. On 7x, each mark was 2” at 100 yards. 14x would be 1 moa markings so you could make adjustments similar to ¼ moa clicks by referencing the reticle.



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_________________
"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

In the darkness of my neighborhood, I did not need an illuminator to look down the street. The unit picked up enough light to see around/under bushes and trees out to 350+ yards (no place for anyone to hide). With a full moon away from lights on country roads, I could see a grainy night-vision google like image as far as the terrain was in-view. Turn on the illuminator and the sensor readjusted to the illuminator’s light intensity and picture clarity was impressive. I still haven’t determined how far away the standard illuminator works but it appears to be at least 100 yards.

A couple other notes, it is easy to hit the ON button and start the unit up – so ensure it’s off when you put it away. I would not take out the mini SD card in the field as there is a high chance you will lose it because it is so small. You also have to be careful inserting the mini-card because if you miss the slot the card can drop inside the unit. I typically run a scope that is one pound or less in weight on top of my ARs. This unit is basically 2.5 pounds with illuminator so I’ve added a sling to make carry easier. I’ve been using the scope at the range, in the back yard, and country roads getting familiar with it and adjusting the IR beam for 5 days and the battery is down to just 75%. BTW, the battery is warranted for 6 years (4 years longer than the unit itself).

I am particular about user interfaces and can suggest several improvements. But I have worked through my initial frustration and am excited to go hunting with the ATN-X 4K Pro. Hopefully, that will be in the next couple of days. The images through the scope look just like those on the ATN website. I’ll try and recover some images from my first hunt.

_________________
"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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slimjim
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Location: Fort Worth TX

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

I've been through 3 firmware updates and the scope is doing well. It definitely has improved the hog hunting experience. I got two good size boars the the other night, 200 pound range. The shot below was 40 min after sunset with no illuminator. They were too heavy to drag very far but I did get to the two of them together. My camera battery was dead so took a close-up picture with the scope.



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_________________
"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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Elvis
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

great stuff mate,dont know how I missed the first bits of this write up...so if Im reading it correctly this ISNT thermal???? but increases what is there???
that photo of live hog sure looks impressive.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

Elvis, this scope uses a small IR illuminator that works well out to 150 yards then some more but not with the best clarity. bigger illuminators double that range. A thermal scope would cost 5 to 10 more.

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"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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Vince
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

Slim wrote:
...A thermal scope would cost 5 to 10 more.

Mate...that would but it bewteen $4K and $8K here. Don't think I could quite justify that somehow.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

Vince that’s what the thermal scopes cost over here. The unit I have is $600 US when you find them on sale. Well worth the investment for me.

_________________
"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

that looks like a worthwhile investment...no more than a decent long range scope. if you can make it work for what you do....perfect.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

It will work without the Illuminator with a full moon. Otherwise, 45 minutes after sunset you need to turn the Illuminator on.

_________________
"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

I went out hunting for hogs last night and ended up at a "stag" party instead. I had some fun so thought I would post some images I captured. While waiting for night to set-in, I took this picture of a cardinal at 85 yards on 14x. I cropped it so you get to see the real resolution since image size is limited on our forum. The feeder is 75 yards and you can see the bolts in the legs. Its 10 minutes before sunset but this is down in a shaded valley. After about 6x the image is just increased in size with no increase in resolution. The 5-20x would have almost double the resolution over this image (5/3) but have less FOV. FOV was the critical parameter for me hunting hogs on the run.



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_________________
"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

Well, no hogs showed up but a stag party went on for an hour and a half. I've never experienced something like this. 35 minutes after sunset, out steps an 8-pt buck with a broken tine. Then a 4 point, then two more legal 8 points. Even the 140-inch majestic 8-point joined the party along with a spike and 5 does. They frolicked and grazed for 90 minutes. Two of the bucks playfully sparred for about 15 minutes about 100 yards away. Below is a screen shot of them sparring. The perceived resolution is about 2 or 3x as good as this when the video is playing.



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_________________
"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

The videos taken are the correct intensity but the stills I took last night were dark. I used Photoshop to correct the image to what I was seeing. That is the "Big" buck are in the back at 100 yards. Again, the resolution is about 2x what you see here because of the file size limitation.

No shots fired last night but still plenty of fun.



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_________________
"To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth." - Theodore Roosevelt

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." - Albert Einstein
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Vince
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Night hunting with ATN-X 4K Pro Reply with quote

Wow...that is awesome Slim...and well worth the money mate.

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
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