Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning

Posted by: Str8Shooter

Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 07:21 PM

Iíve got the opportunity to upgrade my scanner to a Helion XP 28 or XP 38. Just wondering which would be the best option for scanning. The base mag on the XP 28 is 1.4 X with a 120 ft FOV and the base mag on the XP 38 is 1.9 X with a 90 ft FOV. I was using an LD 19S previously.
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 07:29 PM

152' x 114.4' is the fov on my current xd19a. I'm in the same boat as you and I'm torn between magnification and field of view. It drives me crazy to look through the big mag of an xq38 helion. If I end up going night vision next year I'm going to need the different handheld but man the xd19a has been working great especially when all I have to do is find the heat signature and then go to my trail xp50.
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 07:40 PM

65.4 x 48.9 is the trail xp50 fov. When our season runs out this Friday I may take it off the gun and just go out and scan with it and see if I feel restricted. I would say probably the xp-38 is going to be the way I go though because the fov of my xp50 trail seems pretty decent but that's gun mounted I'm curious how that will feel when I'm swinging it around looking through it.
Posted by: Str8Shooter

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 08:52 PM

I know, itís a tough call... the difference between the 28 and 38 isnít much, but the difference between my old LD19S and the 38 is substantial... 60 feet.
Posted by: Kirsch

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 08:56 PM

If you hunt more wooded or areas with limited range, I would go for the XP28. If you hunt more open areas, I would go for the Helion XP38 with another 300+ yards of ID. I own the Helion Xp38. I have wished for a bit more mag more times than more FOV while using. However, if buying again, I would buy the same scanner.
Posted by: Str8Shooter

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 09:06 PM

I mainly hunt fields with about 200 - 500 yds of open ground, some areas are a bit smaller but I would say thatís a good average.
Posted by: 1trkyhntr

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 09:12 PM

My $.02.
Here in the east where I hunt FOV is more important than magnification. I'm using a 1X FLIR and am very happy with it. As a matter of fact I went from a XP28 back to the FLIR 640 just for the FOV (and the Pulsars were too problematic, I'll never own another Pulsar but that's another subject).
For PID I depend on my gun mounted scope.
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 09:17 PM

Originally Posted By: 1trkyhntr
My $.02.
Here in the east where I hunt FOV is more important than magnification. I'm using a 1X FLIR and am very happy with it. As a matter of fact I went from a XP28 back to the FLIR 640 just for the FOV (and the Pulsars were too problematic, I'll never own another Pulsar but that's another subject).
For PID I depend on my gun mounted scope.

Just curious what kind of issue you had with Pulsar?
Posted by: Kirsch

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 09:35 PM

I recently was able to use a Trijicon IRD 300w. Very nice image and very wide FOV. However, I preferred using the Helion XP38 as at 1x base mag, everything was too far away for wide open plains hunting. Different terrain, different species, and/or different hunting styles all may impact the best scanner for each hunter.
Posted by: case-nh

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/13/19 09:56 PM

I hunt eastern Iowa and can't count how many times I've recommended the 19a's for the FOV. I have 2 19a's, 1 HD & 1 XD. The XD has a few more bells and whistles which I never use and 50 hz instead of 30 hz refresh rate. Can't really tell the difference after repeated looks through both. Also have a Helion XP28 and the only reason I got that was I got a heck of a deal and it had the widest FOV of it's line. I have a Trail XP 50 and a D740. That being said I use the 19a 90 to 95% of the time. Would not give them up for their FOV and excellent detection ability. Have no issues detecting coyotes out to 500 yards with these. Have tracked on down a fence line at 600 yds. after missing a 300 yd shot. They allow me to scan with less head turning or whipping around and I know have got me on to coyotes I might have not gotten on to soon enough if the FOV had been smaller. The XP28 sits at my side primarily and I pick it up if something is way out there and I want to get a better idea what it might be without turning on the scope. There is nothing out there that gives the FOV of the old 19a except some of the ATN 640 HD low power scopes or scanners and most of us know that ATN hasn't had the best reviews on product or customer service. I think if you have bigger longer areas to hunt like KIRSCH does than the higher magnification longer detection scanners make sense, but for my area here in Easter Iowa which I suspect are somewhat similar to yours I would try to stay with the largest FOV I could get. If they would only have updated the core in the 19a's to a 640 it would have been darn near perfect. FOV on 19a is 26.8x20.8, XP28 22x16.6, XP38 16.3x12.3. To me that is significant. Even the drop of almost 5 degrees from the 19 to the 28 is plenty.
Posted by: Str8Shooter

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/14/19 12:48 AM

Thanks for all of the info guys, I really appreciate it. Sounds like the XP28 is the way to go for the terrain that I hunt.
Posted by: JB-WI

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/14/19 08:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Str8Shooter
I mainly hunt fields with about 200 - 500 yds of open ground, some areas are a bit smaller but I would say thatís a good average.


You probably have the same kind of ground that I am hunting....I tried the Helion XP28 last month for about one week. I was not impressed at all with it. In my opinion it had a heck of a time detecting deer past 400yds. I am currently using a Trail XQ38 for scanning and my Trail blew the Helion XP28 away with detecting critters that were beyond 300yds. I tried every setting/colors/brightness/contrast on the XP28 and bumping the mag to 2.1(the same as the Trail) I really wanted the XP28 to work for me, but it just wasn't there detection wise compared to my Trail XQ38. I ended up returning it.
Posted by: DoubleUp

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/14/19 09:40 AM

Sounds like you had a defective unit. Even a 19A will do deer at over 500. A 640 core should have been much better than that.
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/14/19 09:45 AM

On those good thermal nights my xd19a really does work well. I will pick up most coyotes before my buddy scanning with the xp50 on his gun will. It continually has me second guessing an upgrade to a smaller fov. I guess I just need both.
Posted by: iowayotehunter76

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/14/19 02:30 PM

I have a helion xp38 for scanning. For me it is about the best of both worlds. I had a xq38 and it was way too tight. I would not want to loose any detection range from where I am now.
Posted by: case-nh

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/14/19 06:06 PM

Agree totally with Doubleup & V223. IR-WI must have had some issue with the 28 he was using.
Posted by: JB-WI

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/14/19 09:09 PM

Originally Posted By: DoubleUp
Sounds like you had a defective unit. Even a 19A will do deer at over 500. A 640 core should have been much better than that.


It is a very good possibility, I never heard back from Pulsar engineers. Deer at 400-450yds would "pop" at that range with my XQ38...then I would switch to the XP28 and could barely tell if something was there. I was using black hot and white hot with both.
Posted by: G Anderson

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/15/19 07:18 PM

Originally Posted By: JB-WI
Originally Posted By: DoubleUp
Sounds like you had a defective unit. Even a 19A will do deer at over 500. A 640 core should have been much better than that.


It is a very good possibility, I never heard back from Pulsar engineers. Deer at 400-450yds would "pop" at that range with my XQ38...then I would switch to the XP28 and could barely tell if something was there. I was using black hot and white hot with both.


Had a friend recently purchase a Helion and he called me up and was very disappointed...basically could not get anything to show very well...trees and other background stuff was just almost a solid mass. Told him to adjust brightness/contrast as well as focus the unit...still not good. It then hit me...I called him up and asked about the ID setting. After explaining to him where it was on the menu he told me the unit was set to forest/trees...I had him change it to the ID symbol(which is an eye symbol)...after changing it, he was blown away with the difference and is a happy camper now. I wonder if possibly your XP28 was on the same setting?
Posted by: Kirsch

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/15/19 10:17 PM

I donít like the forest/tree one either as the contrast and brightness isn't to my liking. I adjust any of them anyway, but still not my favorite default.
Posted by: JB-WI

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/16/19 09:06 AM

Originally Posted By: G Anderson
Originally Posted By: JB-WI
Originally Posted By: DoubleUp
Sounds like you had a defective unit. Even a 19A will do deer at over 500. A 640 core should have been much better than that.


It is a very good possibility, I never heard back from Pulsar engineers. Deer at 400-450yds would "pop" at that range with my XQ38...then I would switch to the XP28 and could barely tell if something was there. I was using black hot and white hot with both.


Had a friend recently purchase a Helion and he called me up and was very disappointed...basically could not get anything to show very well...trees and other background stuff was just almost a solid mass. Told him to adjust brightness/contrast as well as focus the unit...still not good. It then hit me...I called him up and asked about the ID setting. After explaining to him where it was on the menu he told me the unit was set to forest/trees...I had him change it to the ID symbol(which is an eye symbol)...after changing it, he was blown away with the difference and is a happy camper now. I wonder if possibly your XP28 was on the same setting?


I was using the ID(eye) setting on the XP28 and my Trail. The XP28 I tried seemed like everything was in a haze. I had more clarity from my Trail than the XP28. I adjusted the brightness and contrast every which way imagineable. The XP28 I tried was good out to 200-250yds and then the performance dropped considerably beyond that.
Posted by: iowayotehunter76

Re: Pulsar Helion XP28 or XP38 For Scanning - 03/16/19 06:35 PM

The forest, eye, or rocks symbol settings are nothing more than a quick starting point for brightness and contrast. I am always manually adjusting these settings depending on the night. Clear nights are way better than cloudy. Fog, high humidity, and falling snow are just a few that affect the image quality. The XP models do have a focus dial and if it gets screwed way off it can ruin image quality long ranges and enhance close objects. One needs to adjust it if it gets off doe some reason. I know when I got mine, it was off about 3/4 of a turn. Close objects looked good, but the detection range was bad. I made drastic changes and it helped big time.