Starstruck

Well dear readers you find me having 2 items to review so as they are on similar lines, being used for scanning, I would do a big double review.

We are lucky enough here at the Diary to review many items, some are absolutely fantastic others not so much.

Now roll back 30 odd years ago, lamping was a whole different ball game, old car spot lights or motorcycle head light lots of wires and batteries leaking acid all over your clothes.

One of my all-time setups was a car driving spot light, so had a huge white beam and bolted on top was a red rear fog light, so I traveled with the fog light, then lamped with the spot light, a motorbike battery in an old gallon jug, lashed on a belt and worn around my waist, both lights were on a handle with 2 flick switches. All worked until you shot a rabbit, then you now have a rifle, a light, 6 feet of trailing wires, and a 5lb battery that’s affected by gravity. Then you have to try and pick up the bunny. All good fun, thanks to the technology of today for the kit we have just like this product.

 

This time we have the most powerful torch I have ever had the pleasure to use and some high-tech kit I think I want Santa to pop in his sack.

The Wulf day night vision binoculars, yes folks’ day/night binos. And boy oh boy are they great. Now 1st up is the all-powerful all-seeing Mighty Ranger LED Pistol Light, wow what a name.

It’s a hand-held pistol light boasting a 6500-lumen led bulb, at 65W, with high medium and low beam settings. With factory duration’s being high 1 hour, medium is 1.5 hours and low around 2.5 hour’s constant use.

Its battery is similar to look at as a cordless drill unit. And it also has a cigarette charger that replaces the battery and slides straight in. Now I haven’t mentioned the manufacturer yet can you guess readers? Yes, that’s correct Cluson Engineering. The ever-popular guys from one of the best light makers in the UK, so a run down on the feature, good and bad.

The sizes are as follows everybody likes to know how big things are, it stands 20cm high, its 20 cm long, its lens is 8cm or 80mm with a flange all the way around to make it a diameter of 10 cm.

All good so far, the Led housing flares out in a cone shape but this now causes an issue of the lamp being top heavy, so the whiz kids at Cluson have add a secret feature to the base, a slide out shelf of acrylic, to act as a extra foot to stop the lamp tipping over ingenious they are…

With a detachable battery that means you can purchase more and keep hunting or searching all night, oh and those batteries charge via the now popular USB_C type charging port.

Oh, we are getting all technical, I will mention here that the cigarette light unit replaces the battery pack and slide straight into the runners, also very clever stuff.

The weights will sound odd or heavy till you hold this light then it’s just a balance of a natural hold, it’s just not heavy in the hand, it’s so perfectly balanced you don’t feel it as heavy or odd shaped or anything. Trust me it looks like its going to be awkward and heavy but it is definitely not that.

The light unit is 495 grams, the battery is 293g, and combined it comes in at 788g or a 1lb light, with a 6-ounce battery and 1,7lb total weight. My binoculars are heavier, see I told you they know there stuff up at Cluson’s.

And here is the 1st of my rubs, for they are not moans just things I would like to change, 1st up is a blue switch as the trigger, it clicks not like a click, it’s a CLICK, I tested it over my dB tester, and a click is nearly 14 decibel’s, what I hear you all cry that a fly farting, so it might be, till you’re in the middle of a still night about to lamp some rabbits, and CLICK!, Which leads me on to point 2, one switch 3 brightness levels, Why didn’t the whiz kids think, one switch for one then a separate switch for which power you wanted, especially as high is the first setting, So everything is alerted on the 1st click.

Charging is a simple affair, open the rubber flap on the battery plug the USB-C in and wait around 3 hours, there is even a green 4 bar indictor to let you know How it charging and discharging for that matter, a quick press on the trigger tells you the charge.

 

And that initial 1st setting of high created another issue, I fixed this on my own, now looking at most of the high-power lights at Cluson’s site they do a filter for them except this bad boy, so after 30 odd years playing with lights and lamps, I know a few secrets to help the hunter, when I was a nipper, I used to save the wrappers off the Quality Street sweets as filters for my torch so I could read in bed, I found the purple one worked well to read by.

I also used the red ones to use like we saw in the army movies, bit of tactical fort building at midnight.

Back to this super-duper mega power lamp, its bright, like looking at the midday sun bright. Which is great if you need to see in the next county, but scanning a field for quarry is a different story.

So, I found while looking at the construction which is fantastic the flange around the lens unscrews, I take it a handy way to replace a cracked lens. This gave me an idea, 5 mins on eBay and I ordered some professional lighting gel, the stuff the use on stage and tv to colour the lights. I bought a sheet of deep red. Quick trip with the kitchen scissors and one filter, that is so much better, you will see in the attached video the difference it makes.

Unfortunately, I never got to test the lighter plug as while testing it had been fairly wet and wasn’t going to plough up farmers’ fields just for a torch review.

Rated to IP65 you know it’s going to be a tough unit, and I accidently dropped it off a fence post while taking some of the images and the concrete cried. This unit was kindly supplied by Ian at Ian Hodge Field sports.

 

 

The light retails for around £179.00pounds, which is a fair old chunk of cash, but it’s a fair old chunk of torch, bar my 2 issues the click and the power settings, I couldn’t fault it at all.

https://ianhodgefieldsports.co.uk

 


Right then next up is a new scanning device, and wait till you see the quality from this. Drop buck image here…

These are the Wulf day and night vision binoculars, and wow just simply wow. I sent Wulf a few of the images I had taken and they loved them and I think they were impressed to.

How to start, they are digital binoculars, so basically a camera, but so much more. To start they are rugged and weighty, not heavy but you know that solid constructed feel, yea that’s it.

They come in a molded case in a brown carbon fiber look, its OK, undo the chunky zip and open them up revels a double foam lining and nestled in the middle are the binos.

I’m going to cheat and copy factory specs over as there is loads to read.

Up to 300m Detection Range during Darkness

850nm Wavelength of Infrared LED

Built-in Video Recording Capability

High Sensitivity CMOS Sensor

3.6x Magnification

640×360 LCD Display Screen

3 Year UK Warranty

Followed by this very impressive list of specifications.

SPECIFICATION

Optical Performance
Magnification power (3.6-10.8) X31
Digital Zoom Max 3x
Angle Of View 9.2°
Objective Aperture 31mm
Exit Pupil Distance 30mm
F# for Objective lens 1.3
IR ZOOM 2X
5m~∞ in the daytime; Viewing in the darkness up to 300m (monochrome)

Video Output
640×360 resolution TFT LCD
OSD menu display
CVBS always output with VGA resolution

Imager
High-sensitivity CMOS Sensor Size 1/2.8”Resolution 1920X1080

IR LED
5°~10° Zoom function of 5W Infrared 850nm LED

TF Card
Support SDHC 8GB~128GB TF Card (64GB TF card included)

Hardware Buttons
Power on/off
Snap
Mode selection
Zoom
IR switch

Operation
Preview
Record JPEG file in TF storage
Capture AVI file in TF storage
Playback media file from TF storage

Power
External power supply – DC 5V/2A
8 x AA battery 8-12 V
Battery life: 10 hours working time with IR off
Low battery warning

System
4 modes (Capture, Video, Playback Menu)
Single frame Image Capture
Video image Record
Playback image
Delete image
7 level IR switch (External power supply); 5 level IR switch (8 x AA battery)
TFcard format
Power save (Off / 1 min / 3min / 5 min)
Language: English / Français / Español / Deutsch / Italiano/ 简体中文 / اللغة العربية/Polski
Light Freq. 50/60HZRTC setting
Version

Size
Dimensions: 170mm x 150mm x 60mm
Weight: 650g (without batteries)

Oh, and you can watch wildlife or anything else with them. I do love the fact you get everything bar the batteries, even a 64gb card, to record to.

And how do they perform, well straight out of the box, it was easy and faultless. I only have one moan the screen is an impressive 4 inches long and nearly 2 inches wide, so throws a bit of residual light off, the thing I would love to have seen is a rubber eye cup to cover it while waiting or moving about, I found trying to navigate in the pitch black with the equivalent of a phone screen hanging off your neck was a hard one, even on low settings.

Only gripe, not bad Mr Wulf….

And how did they perform against the Countryman? Very good, easy to read destruction’s, ideal for the alpha male, we don’t normally do destruction’s but as most things are getting very technically minded now it does help.

On to the powering up, is as simple as holding the big round button in the middle for oh 2 secs. The display jumps into life with the Wulf optics banner and another 3 secs you are all ready to go. So, this is a new idea, and I like it, for daytime use you close the windows and at night you open them, what I just said won’t make sense at 1st, but this is how it goes, the system is fantastic, and to use them during the day you close the window to the objective lens, this is a colored filter, And the view through them is a fantastic colour image. But for night use you open the window to let all the light in and the unit also switches to nightvison mode. Clever ole stuff these binos, so that’s window shut during the day and open at night, the binos use a wheel under what would the left viewing tunnel to fine tune you image, and there are 2 buttons on the top left barrel do two options, nearest to the user, is IR, in night mode, you have not 1 or 2 but 7 yes, 7 IR settings, ranging from low to outstanding. I will include the images.

 

The other button, does zoom, it is stepped from 1x to 3x optical zoom. That doesn’t sound much till you look at the comms tower in these images. And Mr Wulf hasn’t stopped there with features, oh no, on the other barrel, you will find a sliding lever under the objective, this zooms the Ir light source, so lighting a barn looking for ferals or rats you can have it on low zoom low IR setting and wide IR zoom, then out rabbiting higher IR brightness and the IR light zoomed into to Pick up better details.

I was out looking for a fox with them and the wind was kicking all around the field so we set the binos up on the dash of his truck and sat and watched the world like looking at a TV.

Yeah, I know really lazy but 4 hours and the batteries were not even drained, heck not even tested. Alas Charles was a no show, but it allowed a good long test on the binos, the box says 10 hours life for 4 AA, I think a lot more.

 

I’m going to add the videos and stills to a video montage for my YouTube channel and that will be embedded back on this article along with the torch review above.

The binos are balanced almost perfectly, not to heavy on forward or rear axis or left to right. They come up the eyes great and because of that large screen I found I didn’t need to hold them up to my eyes a few inches off was great, Ease of use is another plus, not double use buttons and the like, one button, one job, simple yet it works.

So far, we have great quality at night thanks to 7 Ir settings, and zoom able Ir and really great optics, but what about daytime, well I’ve included that footage too, and its good. The buddleia flower is at the bottom of my garden, and actually only 30 feet away, but that is where normal glass normally fails, item too close, but look at the pin sharp details. I took them up on the edge of Dartmoor to really show off the day mode, just look at the details they show.

So easy to use, easy to hold and carry, hang on this isn’t right, tech that’s people friendly, oh  yes it is, I have really enjoyed using them

And coming in at a massive price of just £250, it’s a steal.

https://www.opticswarehouse.co.uk

https://www.wulfoptics.com

 

A big thanks to Ian Hodge at Wadebridge for the loan of the light.

And Wulf optics and the Optics Warehouse for the binoculars.