Pulsar Digisight Ultra D355
- 13 Comments
- Last updated: 27/04/2018
Night Vison companies must keep up with technology and customers’ expectations; Pulsar have always been at the forefront in this regard. We are all looking for better performance and good value! Well, their latest Digisight Ultra D355 might be the real deal! Based around their new Trail and Helion range of thermals, with its more compact design, it shares common features, which helps to keep development costs down too. Priced at £1249.95, the digital age has really come full circle with a cost effective, reliable and quality NV sight that is no more than a decent scope.
Size-wise, it’s 314 x 67 x91mm, which compares well to the N970 NV. Weighing 800-grams, you now have as compact a sight as you can get, except for a forward or rear mounted unit. And even on a light rifle it’s not too cumbersome. It is also quite low mounted too, so solving the head height/stock weld problem of many earlier models.
You have a synthetic monocoque construction that’s is rated waterproof to IPX7, which means submersible to three feet of water for three hours, that will do me! The objective lens that is already recessed inside the body has additional protection from an integral flip-up cover. At the back is the usual rubber, concertina eyepiece that protects the lens and keeps out extraneous light.
The lithium battery on the Ultra is my favourite, as once charged will last all night, no problems but does take a few hours to charge. You can buy additional cells or an AA or CR battery adaptor if you want one. They now fit mid body on the right side and so no covers to open and close. Just lift the opening lever on top and behind the battery on the main body. This releases the battery and then secures on two steel clamping spurs. I remove a battery after use and then just reverse around and it sits in the opening, so I do not forget it.
Internally, the N355 has a sensitive CCD of 752x582 pixels that gives a high-resolution image. This is also enhanced by the 640x480 AMOLED HD eyepiece display, that gives a clear image in black and white and is also frost-proof. On Older NV sights, when the zoom feature was used it caused too much pixilation or fizz to the image. With the enhanced CCD and display units, the Ultra can now be used with the zoom feature with clear images. You have a smooth zoom from 3.5x to 14x or an optional stepped facility fast zoom of 2x or 4x.
Coupled to the zoom feature is the PIP option (picture in picture) where you get a small window in the top of the viewfinder that has the magnified image of the reticle centre covering about 10% and then the rest of the image is low mag, so you can see if anything else moves. It’s a handy feature that I did not think was necessary at first but have grown to like the more I used it.
Operationally, the functions are easy to access and are mostly menu in menu. To switch on, there is a rubberised button on the rear/right that fires the Ultra up after four seconds. You have a good display with photo or video option top left, along the bottom is the main display. Your battery life, mag, auto calibrate time and remote displayed and others are activated when it is selected in the menu. On top of the Ultra is a large knurled plastic knob that is the focus wheel, which goes down to about 10 ft and up to infinity, the former is very handy for rats in barns. To the left side is the video or small USB outlet. You can stream via WIFI a live image to your android phone/device if necessary. You also have a wireless remote control should you need it too.
The four remaining buttons are on top and the rear most is the record for video or to take a picture. The others are for the main menu and then up and down scroll buttons to access all the features. Within the chosen option you then get a gradient list of additional options, to activate certain features or turn off. Pressing the middle button scrolls through the brightness, contrast, range stadia and magnification.
If you hold it for a couple of seconds, it accesses the main menu. Here, you can change the view finder colour from black & white to sepia, red hue and others. Wi-Fi options are next but more useful is the reticle brightness, so the black stadia lines can be turned darker, or to white dependent on the background. Black/red, black/green, white/ red or white/green illuminated.
I really like the reticle system that has 17 optional styles, but the centrally lit red illuminated Mil-Dot is hard to beat. Although there are thicker stadia and easier to see in foliage, as well as illuminated range stadia. It really is mind boggling the array and options, and despite my menu in menu aversion, I have to say its bloody good!
Zeroing is via the X and Y coordinate system that has many options with 15 distances and three options, i.e. three guns or three differing loads. Once learnt, you can appreciate the advances here and the one-shot zero feature is handy.
The IR illuminator is supplied as standard and is a great unit. You have a 940nm LED IR, so non-detectable to the eye but boosts the performance as required. It is supplied and fits to a 3-pin attachment to the left of the unit after the protective cover is removed. It is small but has a focusing lens to vary width of the useable beam and at the rear is the push button, 3-level rheostat. For the price I have no complaints!
As I said before, you hardly notice the Ultra on a rifle and once you are sighted in it’s time to appreciate its features. Early digital sights did suffer a little from a low light situation, i.e. nothing to enhance. Now the Ultra has a really good CCD and display units, as well as clever algorithmic computer programs that maximise every last bit of light into a really good image.
That Oled screen is very fine and gives a fizz-free image, so that you can concentrate on shooting and not trying to identify the quarry. The reticle is again really good, probably too many options in truth! But some of them are excellent, especially at night when you need a quick shot and see the reticle for horizontal and vertical position. I do not have a smart phone, so that’s all beyond me, but the record picture or video is a nice feature for memories or showing what you’ve shot.
I fitted the Ultra N355 to a Weihrauch HW66 .22LR and what an outfit, superb accuracy and great down range performance. With a half moon and cloud in and out, the Ultra is good up to 8x-10x without the IR- that’s good. With zero ambient light, sure, use the IR and this instantly makes the image like day, although take care in barns or around trees, as it can reflect off and bleed the image.
The tech spec says 500 meters detection range; well, that is truthfully dependent on the size of quarry and weather/light conditions. I have to say though, this is the best digital NV I have tested to date and at under £1300 it would seem Pulsar have done it again.
The image is clear and that gives confidence for small targets at range. I constantly get asked what is the maximum distance? Honestly; a better NV sight like this is not about increased range but better images at realistic distances for rabbits or foxes for a safer and more confident shot.