OHUB Review – ATN OTS LT Lightweight Handheld Thermal Imager

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ATN OTS LT – Handheld Heatseeker

Today on Outdoor Hub, we’re taking a look at the ATN OTS LT Handheld Thermal Monocular, and seeing how it did during a few seasons of hunting and ranching.

ATN’s OTS LT Series comes in quite a few varieties, with options being both magnification range as well as sensor.  My particular unit was a OTS LT 320 4-8x with a 320×240 px/12 μm 60 Hz sensor.  ATN claims a human detection range of 1510 meters, a recognition range of 680 meters, and an identification range of 340 meters with this unit.   Full specs below, per ATN:

Core: ATN Obsidian Core LT Micro display: 1280×960 HD Display Eye relief: 25 mm IP rating: Weather resistant Charging: USB, type C Color modes: White Hot / Black Hot Battery life (Li-ion):  9+ hrs Operating Temperature: -20°F to +120°F / -28°C to 48°C Dimensions: 195x75x66 mm Weight 1.2 lb/560 g Warranty: 3 Years MSRP: $1799

Unlike, say, ATN’s THOR 4 riflescope series, the OTS LT does not have sd card recording capability.  If you want to record what you see, you better be adept at capturing the image on the display on your phone (which explains my somewhat wonky display pictures). Menu Options aren’t too complicated, but you can select between white and black hot, 3 levels of contrast, and 4 levels of display brightness.

ATN OTS LT 320 ATN OTS LT 320 ATN OTS LT 320 ATN OTS LT 320 ATN OTS LT 320

Heat on the Range

I initially used the ATN OTS LT for herd observation and protection purposes on my bison ranch.  I introduced a new herd to the pastures, and here were quite a few wolves in the area in the late summer.  Therefore, I spent quite a few nights keeping an eye on things with various night vision devices.  The ATN OTS LT worked great keeping an eye on the roughly 20 acres of pasture I had the new herd in.  I was able to observe my livestock throughout the night, and see how they were eating, drinking, etc.  It was also easy enough to see what was a rabbit, coyote, or fox in the thermal display, and thankfully I did not see any wolves.

ATN OTS LT display image The herd in white phosphor IR night vision

Though I do have a herd protection firearm dialed in with a Trijicon REAP-IR, the ATN OTS LT handheld was extremely useful to observe things without sweeping the whole area with a firearm.  Its compactness and included handstrap made it the primary optic I would grab when going and doing my rounds.  It’s also nicely lightweight for a thermal unit, coming in at only 1.2lb.  The simple 5 button interface was easy to use and memorize right out of the box. I had zero issues with battery life, as it lasted the whole night easily, and the OTS LT did not have issues with the extreme diurnal temperature shifts we have here in the mountains, either.

ATN OTS LT display image ATN OTS LT display image ATN OTS LT display image ATN OTS LT display image ATN OTS LT display image ATN OTS LT display image ATN OTS LT display image

Thermal Scouting

Later on, I integrated the ATN OTS LT into my pre-hunt scouting kit for pronghorn, elk and mule deer.  Though the OTS-LT is very lightweight and compact, making it easy to throw into a pack for your scouting and/or hunting days, its limitations show up when used in a larger more open area than my small piece of land.  Yes, it can detect an animal heat signature at over 1000 meters, but there’s not enough detail to see what kind of animal it is.

I have a couple of years of experience differentiating between animal species on thermal optics, and the OTS LT does have limitations at range.  In a tree stand type of hunting situation, or for detecting varmints on your property, it’s up to the task.  In wide open tundra or western hunting country, however, it’s not the optic to use for long range detection and observation.

All that being said, it held up to 2 months of hunting with aplomb.  Heat up to 105 degrees and cold down to 10 degrees did not degrade performance.  All told, it survived about 100 miles in my pack and in my hands without any major components breaking.  It did help me locate a few herds before the sun came up, and the only small issue I had was that the rubber USB door cord pulled out from the unit, and that was easily fixable.

ATN OTS LT 320

Summary

The ATN OTS LT 320 4-8x paved to be a lightweight and capable tool for nighttime livestock and varmint observation.  It has good battery life, simple controls and does not need constant NUC adjustments like some other thermal imagers.  Small improvements like an eyecap and a tethered endcap could be made to improve it somewhat, and it has its limitations in open country, but overall it’s a useful little unit.  If you’re comparison shopping for entry level handheld thermal monoculars, give the ATN OTS LT series a look.

For more information, please visit ATN Corp.

ATN OTS LT 320

 

 

 

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