Night Vision Renting a Halo-LR and MH25. Questions and what do I need to know??

Tactical Taz

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Supporter+
Feb 15, 2017
279
146
WYOMING
Hello,

I have been lurking in the NV forum quite a while while I am trying to figure out how not to be a poor. Over X-mas I am renting both a Halo-LR and an MH25. I have some questions about these units in hopes to reduce the learning curve and have the best experience possible.

A little about what I am doing with these. I am trying to accomplish two objectives. 1. To start to get a feel for these two units as somewhat of a try before you buy type deal and 2. to schwack some predators. We are renting the Halo-LR to sort of evaluate how a Halo XRF would work for us. We are also considering a rico alpha assuming a LRF can be put on it and I am interested in some of the clip on options as well. The MH25 is obvious as I think the best way to move around in and out of the forest is with a hybrid helmet setup. The mh25 is what I had access to but will be doing a lot more research to evaluate the nox18 vs mh25 vs whatever the new "micro" is from iray. I have been doing a little night hunting with an old NV scope and also realize that scanning on a gun even with a tripod can be awkward. I have been able to tell critters have come in and hung up in the tree line at 2-300 yards away due to being able to see the shine from their eyes.

I live in Wyo and will be hunting both in and out of the forest. I will have visibility on stands typically from 500 yards and in or so. We have snow on the ground, although not near as much as normal for this time of year. Conditions expected are 12-25 degrees, with 13-24% chance of snow, humidity of 40-60%, and wind of roughly 24 mph predicted every night. The Halo will be setup on an AR tripod mounted and used by one guy to scan and shoot with. While we have two people I will use the mh25 to scan and have an old NV scope I can shoot with if more than one critter comes in under 150-200ish, also tripod mounted. If we don't have two I will take the halo tripod mounted and will also have the mh25.

I don't intend to get into a what to buy post yet, rather get a couple questions answered about these two options. My noob level questions regarding these are:

Starting with the Halo-LR
  1. Battery life of the four CR123s in the cold. Tracking this thread it was mentioned battery life in the cold was a complaint. How long should I expect the batteries to last? The renter doesn't supply the USB cord so I won't be able to hook up an external power pack.
  2. Reticle. The nvision website says the halo-lr has 8 reticle options while the manual says six.
    1. Are the two mil reticles on the halo-lr? Obviously it probably depends if the rental company has it updated with the latest software if they were added later.
    2. Do the reticles scale with zoom, i.e. do they behave like a FFP reticle?
  3. How often, roughly, does the manual calibration need to be done? What sorts of changes in conditions makes you decide to do calibration?
  4. Are you adjusting ROI at all? The tips sheet says when using as a scanner to leave ROI on full but can be adjusted for better image in the center of the image.
  5. What palette do most use?
  6. What other quirks or things should I know about the Halo and setup in general? What are the best practices while scanning with it on the gun?
For the HMT:
I will be using it on a TW bump helmet with an external anker battery pack. It is coming with a G24, wilcox folding arm, offset rail adapter, and k-clip. I was told it also has the PVS-14 eye piece. This will be my first experience with head mounted anything.
  1. How often are you NUC'ing these? Is there a difference in doing the silent NUC vs shuttered NUC?
  2. For head mounted use, are you changing the sharpness, contrast, or brightness? Should it be run in automatic or manual NUC mode?
  3. What else do I need to know and are there any quirks to think about? I have seen that some can and cannot navigate with just thermal alone.
I apologize for the long post. It seems that a lot of the posts here are very short and then the OP is asked for more specifics on their use.

Thanks!
 

Evolution 9

Hurter of feelings
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Supporter+
Mar 6, 2010
925
874
38
Central Idaho
For Halo-LR:

1. Bring extra batteries. Nobody can tell you how long they will last. That depends on lots of things (screen brightness, temp, and more). With three complete sets of batteries I would expect to make 8 hours easily… so bring four sets.

2. There should be 2 mil reticles. They do NOT scale like FFP scopes. IIRC, The mil scale is accurate on 2X zoom.

3. Do the manual calibration twice in the first couple minutes, and any time you wonder if the image could be better after that. You’ll know. I bet I do something like 4 in the first 5 minutes, once every 5 minutes for ten minutes or so, then once every half hour after that. You could get away with far less.

4. I don’t touch ROI. Haven’t noticed anything from messing with it.

5. I use white hot. Play with the settings, but most find a low gain and low focus sharpness give a “smooth” pleasant image.

6. If you must scan with the gun, scan SLOW enough that you can stop before sweeping a heat signature you don’t recognize (human).

Speaking of humans, at least one person has been killed with the claim that thermal made ID difficult… wait till you’re SURE, and be willing to wait for animal movement characteristics to help in ID, or pass up the shot.

Have fun and let us know how it went!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tactical Taz

Tactical Taz

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Supporter+
Feb 15, 2017
279
146
WYOMING
For Halo-LR:

1. Bring extra batteries. Nobody can tell you how long they will last. That depends on lots of things (screen brightness, temp, and more). With three complete sets of batteries I would expect to make 8 hours easily… so bring four sets.

2. There should be 2 mil reticles. They do NOT scale like FFP scopes. IIRC, The mil scale is accurate on 2X zoom.

3. Do the manual calibration twice in the first couple minutes, and any time you wonder if the image could be better after that. You’ll know. I bet I do something like 4 in the first 5 minutes, once every 5 minutes for ten minutes or so, then once every half hour after that. You could get away with far less.

4. I don’t touch ROI. Haven’t noticed anything from messing with it.

5. I use white hot. Play with the settings, but most find a low gain and low focus sharpness give a “smooth” pleasant image.

6. If you must scan with the gun, scan SLOW enough that you can stop before sweeping a heat signature you don’t recognize (human).

Speaking of humans, at least one person has been killed with the claim that thermal made ID difficult… wait till you’re SURE, and be willing to wait for animal movement characteristics to help in ID, or pass up the shot.

Have fun and let us know how it went!
Thank you, that is exactly the type of info I was looking for. On #1 I realize it is very dependent on settings. But knowing that a guy might need 4 sets is very helpful.

On #2, according to the Nvision website, the reticle is accurate on 2x zoom as you mention.

On #6 unfortunately when we have two in the group one will scan with the rifle. I am working on convincing the other guy of the importance of a scanner of some sort. And onto the hoomans, I appreciate that as well. While I am hunting mostly private land that borders forest (which is pretty much not accessible this time of year) I will definitely keep that in mind.

I appreciate the input!
 

Evolution 9

Hurter of feelings
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Supporter+
Mar 6, 2010
925
874
38
Central Idaho
Happy to help. I’ll admit that I usually scan with the rifle. I’m in a similar situation where human presence is all but impossible. The advantage is that it’s much faster from animal recognition to shots fired: see, identify, shoot, instead of see, identify, stow scanner, switch to rifle, re-aquire, re-verify identity, fire.
 

Ksracer

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 14, 2017
376
317
On #2. The reticle subtensions are 2mil per hash marks on base power, 1mil per hash on 2x, .5mil per hash on 4x, and .25 mil each on 8x on my XRF.
On 4x, the alternating short and long hash marks very closely mimic a traditional day scope reticle.
I need to setup a precise test to confirm this, but from what I've seen, they are accurate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tactical Taz

Tactical Taz

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Supporter+
Feb 15, 2017
279
146
WYOMING
On #2. The reticle subtensions are 2mil per hash marks on base power, 1mil per hash on 2x, .5mil per hash on 4x, and .25 mil each on 8x on my XRF.
On 4x, the alternating short and long hash marks very closely mimic a traditional day scope reticle.
I need to setup a precise test to confirm this, but from what I've seen, they are accurate.
I appreciate the help on this. I do wish I was renting an XRF model.

Here is the #7 reticle from the Nvision website for anyone who follows this.

Halo7.jpg