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Pulsar Digisight N960 and N970

Pulsar Digisight N960 e N970

From Pulsar, the new digital Digisight N960 and N970 night vision scopes with a 3.5-14х zoom, based on a CCD sensor with improved performance, LED or Laser IR illuminator and laser telemetry on the LRF models.
Riflescope on carbine
The Pulsar Digisight N960 LRF digital night vision riflescope with laser rangefinder mounted on an M4 semiauto carbine

The Pulsar Digisight night vision scope range really shook up the market around five years ago when it introduced digital technology at competitive prices, using Sony ‘Prosumer’ CCD sensors, offering performance that in some cases was comparable to NVD (Night Vision Device) systems based on Gen 2 analogue residual light intensification tubes, also offering the many functions that derive from the digital nature of the signal. In fact, digital night vision works essentially on the same principle as any other digital camera; a lens focuses the image on a CCD sensor and transforms it into a digital signal, which is processed by a CPU and then displayed on an LCD Display and if necessary saved on digital memory. 

In the case of a digital night scope, the sensor is monochrome, optimised to give the greatest sensitivity to light in general as well as at a certain wavelength (600 - 850 nm). The image is displayed on a microdisplay, observed through an eyepiece, and the scope can of course be mounted on a weapon, while the reticle can be zeroed in.

Focus knob on Pulsar Digisight
The focus knob placed on the right side of the Pulsar Digisight in our opinion is just a tad too close to the IR illuminator but is still easily operated.
Next to the eyepiece we find two sealed conectors, one for the Video out and the other for an external power source, such as an EPS3 battery

Note that thermal imaging and digital night vision are very similar in concept: in fact, the only major differences lie in the nature of the sensor and the material the lens if made of -i.e., germanium on thermal imaging scopes.

The advantages of digital night vision compared to traditional Gen 2 NVD systems are the lower cost, the possibility of using it by day without risk, the option of recording what is displayed and being able to manage numerous digital functions that are simply not available on an analogue instrument based on a IIT tube.

In recent years, Pulsar has gradually improved and updated the Digisight series, to now produce what we could call the “3rd generation” of these optoelectronic instruments, with the Digisight N960 and N970 digital night vision scopes we were given to test by the Italian Yukon/Pulsar distributor, Adinolfi S.r.l. of Monza.

The 9xx series Digisight has a 3.5x fixed lens, which, thanks to the digital zoom, can be further magnified by 2x and 4x, resulting in 7x and 14x magnification; intermediate steps are also available.

The integration of laser telemetry, with a maximum measurable range of 400 metres, in Digisight LRF models is a notable addition to the scope's features. The reading is displayed in the eyepiece.

IR illuminator on Pulsar Digisight
The IR illuminator used by the Pulsar Digisight N960 LRF riflescope is based around a powerful infrared LED emitter, with a 810 nm wavelength
Laser rangefinding module
The laser rangefinding module is mounted on the left side and adds considerable thickness to the instrument

The body of the instrument is made of a glass fibre reinforced composite polymer, which is quite strong. The scope can be used with guns that develop up to 6000 Joules, it is water resistant (but cannot be immersed in water) and a mount can be screwed on to fit the scope to the gun. A Weaver/Picatinny compatible mount is included in the package. There are two Picatinny rails on the scope body, one on the side for an extra EPS3 battery or video recorder, and one on top that can be used for a red dot sight like the Docter Sight.

Picatinny mount
The Picatinny mount included in most verisons of the Pulsar Digisight N9xx riflescope can be mounted in three different positions to accomodate most firearms
Pulsar Digisight power source
The riflescope is powered by four 1.5 volt, AA alcaline batteries; it is possible to use an external power source that is rechargeable

It is quite bulky; it weighs around 1.1 kg, is 112 mm long, 94 mm high and 340 mm wide.

The difference between the 960 and 970 models is the auxiliary IR illuminator, respectively an 810 nm LED illuminator (just barely visible to the naked eye) and a 915 nm Laser illuminator (completely invisible to the naked eye); both illuminators can be adjusted to three intensity levels.

The system is powered by four AA 1.5V batteries.

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