Thermal Clip-On (Day Scope Converter)
It’s been nearly a decade since thermals scopes started becoming affordable to the average Joe, and since that time there has always been a keen interest in the clip-on concept. It seems like the perfect way to go. You can deploy it when you need it and keep it concealed when you don’t. You can move it around from one rig to the next in a matter of minutes offering maximum flexibility to meet changing needs. If designed right it also offered some really great secondary uses like as a handheld observation device. It all seems so perfect. Problem is they just have not performed up to the promise, so adoption of the clip-on by the American shooter has been slow to come. Well, my friends we’re happy to tell you that the clip-on has come of age. Enter the Recon 55XR and its groundbreaking optical system called MORE (Magnification Optimizing Range Enhancement). This new technology brings clip-on performance into the modern era by solving the biggest hindrance to clip-on mass adoption, that of being forced to use your clip-on on the lowest magnification settings of your day scope. Gone are the days of using your clip-on with your day scope on 3X and acting happy. The MORE optical system unleashes the full potential of the clip-on concept by allowing you to use significantly higher levels of magnification, usually by a factor of two, occasionally more.
Sometimes it takes years of obsession and serious brain power to make significant technology breakthroughs, but once the barriers are broken great things happens. If your intrigued and want to know more about what the Recon 55XR might do for you, we invite you to take deeper dive into the information we’ve provided. You just might find that the moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived.
This variant is optimized for right handed shooters.
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Recon 55XR Description
At Fusion Thermal clip-ons are in our DNA. In fact, the very first product offered by our company was a clip-on, and our obsession with perfecting the design hasn’t slowed down since day one. The product we call Recon 55XR is the result of our unyielding obsession to craft a thermal clip-on that actually delivers to the expectations of the user. This is not just another thermal system that has been repurposed as a clip-on, a common mistake of our competitors, but a device purposely built from the first screw for the specific mission of turning your day scope into a nighttime monster. Yes, this product does have secondary uses, for example it makes for a killer handheld monocular, but make no mistake it’s a clip-on first and foremost.
You should know the biggest limiting factor with clip-ons is that your day scope has to be set on very low magnifications for them to work, we call this
functional use magnification. With most clip-ons if you tried to zoom up past three or four power on your day scope, the image became so grainy that it was not functionally usable. To solve this problem required some creative thinking, and some serious brain power on the part of our optical and electrical engineers. The big leap forward came with the development of our new optical system called MORE (Magnification Optimizing Range Enhancement). This technology breakthrough was designed to shatter the problem of low magnification use limitations common to virtually all clip-ons. That’s right, gone are the days of using your clip-on with your day scope set at 3X and you acting happy. Our MORE optical system changes the game in a very significant way and will dramatically increase your functional use magnification. Now, in full disclosure, we acknowledge that functional use magnification is very subjective to the user’s eye, and highly dependent on the design and quality of your day scope. However, under all circumstances you can expect the Recon 55XR to outperform any competitive alternative when used on the same scope under the same environmental conditions.
Friends, if you’ve been waiting for clip-on technology to come of age before making your move, your time has come. The Recon 55XR with its MORE optical system brings thermal clip-ons into the modern era, so if you’re ready to add some serious flexibility and lethality to arsenal the moment is at hand.
Special Note: The Recon 55XR is available in variants for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. The units are identical in every aspect except for the location of the target focus knob. Since the clip-on is placed in front of the day scope your arm is almost always fully extended when trying to focus the device, and our ergonomic studies showed that a significant improvement in usability was achieved by placing the knob on the side of lens housing as opposed to the top. To keep things easy on us we could have placed the focus knob on top like we do on our dedicated scopes, but it turns out that’s not the best place for it on a clip-on, so we put it on the side where it belongs. Thus we needed to make two units to accommodate both left and right handed shooters.
Other Important Considerations
In addition to providing a great visual experience a properly designed clip-on should also address some other very important fundamentals. The absence of good solutions to any of these requirements can lead to missed opportunities or a poor user experience. Here is what you should look for:
Easy to Deploy: The unit must be easy to deploy. Attachment and detachment to your rig should be something that can be accomplished in a matter of seconds and done in complete darkness.
Easy Correction for Point-of-Impact (POI) Shift: Thermal clip-on devices do not have a direct optical path to the target. If look thru your scope with a clip-on attached what you’ll see is a video image of the target on a display screen, and not the actual target. Thus, you are not looking thru your thermal, but looking at a display screen within the thermal. Knowing this is very important as it helps us understand a fundamental fact. It is impossible for any manufacturer to honestly claim that no (POI) point-of-impact shift will ever occur when using a clip-on. There are simply too many variables at play. What’s needed is a simply and easy way to correct for POI shift should it occur. It would also be helpful if the device could memorize these corrections so they could be easily recalled for future use.
Magnification Limitation: Many first time thermal clip-on owners are surprised to learn that their devices cannot be used for the full range of their day scopes magnification. As an example, lets assume your day scope is a 2.5-10×50, its likely with most clip-ons the highest magnification you’ll be able to use will be 4X, even less for many devices currently on the market. This limitation occurs for the reason explained above. Your day scope is zooming up on the thermal internal display screen, it is not looking thru the device. If you zoom in too much on the display screen your image will become pixilated and essentially unusable. Unless specifically designed to address this problem this is a limitation you will likely encounter, and it is why most clip-on devices fail to meet the expectations of their owners. This is a common problem as most manufacturers are simply trying to repurpose an existing thermal design to sell as their clip-on, and its exactly the reason we built the Recon 55XR ground up for this specific purpose. Yes, there are many factors that can affect a device’s usable magnification limitation including: optical design of the day optic, quality of the day optic, quality of the adapter system, but in all circumstances the design of the clip-on is the most important factor.
Multi Use Capability: Having the ability to use your clip-on as a handheld monocular is a big plus. To do this properly requires a couple of things: First, you will need some type of eye shield so it’s comfortable to use, you don’t want to be holding the back of a metal housing to your eyebrow. Second, you’ll need a menu option that lets you change the device settings from clip-on mode to monocular mode, and menu options for other features handy to the monocular application, like digital zoom. Fortunately, the Recon 55XR has both of these requirements covered quite nicely, so in no time you’ll be using it for all kinds of things like scouting, finding wounded or dead game, stealthy pre-dawn walks to your stand, finding lost dogs and lost wives, checking on cattle, navigating your boat, and home security. If your a deer hunter this is nothing short of a total game changer. You will easily triple or quadruple the number of deer you see during a hunt. You’ll spot every deer in the field and those on the edge of the woods in a matter of seconds. Remember thermal vision is not night vision, its completely usable during the day, all you need is heat differential and it will work, so the applications for all types of hunting or other outdoor recreations are nearly endless.
Fusion Thermal Exclusive Technology
KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) Menu – You Might Never Read the Manual
We think you’re really going to like our menu; it uses words, English words. Written for Americans by Americans. That’s why we called it KISS. You’ve heard the phrase, Keep It Simple Stupid, and at Fusion Thermal we took it to heart, and it’s the reason we can make a very bold statement: Our thermal scopes are so easy to use you’ll likely never read the instruction manual. We just thought life was already too complicated, so if we were going to make a living selling thermal scopes why not make them simple to use.
T3 Control System – Don’t Let Your Fingers Get Lost in the Dark
The only thing cooler than the way our T3 – Three Button Control System looks is how easy it is to use. This highly intuitive design with its Center Tower makes using your scope simple and easy. Every command is at your fingertips, and the Center Tower evenly splits the control panel, so you’ll never be confused about what button you’re going to press. We thought this a particularly good idea especially since you’ll be using it in the dark most of the time. Besides, we think simpler is better, and the T3, well it makes life as simple as 1-2-3.
WAVE Thermal Sensor – Same Money, Better Performance.
Is it possible for one thermal scope to dramatically outperform everything else in its class? Might it even be possible that it could outperform products costing hundreds or thousands more? Yes, so don’t make the mistake of shopping by specifications alone or you just might miss out. Our WAVE thermal sensors are the Olympic champions of the industry and perform way above their class. So, before you plop down your hard-earned cash make sure you do a side-by-side comparison to the competitive alternatives. We think you’ll see for yourself that the difference is clearly obvious.
Arclight Ultra HD Germanium Lens – High Purity for Maximum Energy
The single most expensive component of a well-crafted thermal is its germanium lens. If you skimp here, you’re not even in the game. Our high purity ArcLight Ultra HD Germanium Lens is the crowning jewel of our technology package. It perfects the task of collecting and funneling infrared energy into the thermal sensor unhindered by distortion. This clean transition results in an infrared energy dump that unleashes the full potential of our WAVE thermal sensor delivering a user experience well beyond expectations.
Micro Click Focus – Leave the Collars to the Dogs
Getting your target into focus quickly and easily is a must, and you won’t find a better system than our Micro Click Focus. For clip-ons our focus knob is conveniently located on side of the front lens housing making it easy to reach and easy to adjust, and unlike the dog collar design used by our competitors you won’t need to perform a circus act just to focus your scope. Plus, you’ll always get your best shot as the micro click adjustments put you on top of the perfect focus point every time.
XGEN Armored Housing – Plastic is for toys. Metal is for tools.
It’s a fact, thermals produce heat, and heat is the enemy of all things electronic including thermal devices. If you don’t get the heat away from the sensor and out of the device your image quality is going to degrade, and long-term your sensor is going to burn up. Our XGEN (Next Generation Armored Body) shields your expensive investment in a metal clad of armor, and our high-end AL6082 Conductive Structural Alloy displaces heat at an astounding 71,900% better than plastic. Using a high-grade metal housing is not cheap, but this is the way a thermal scope should be built, so this is how we build them. You don’t think of your thermal scope as some cheap plastic toy, why should it be built like one?.
*Source Sciencedirect.com Thermal Conductivity Coefficients: Plastic & Epoxy Glass Fiber W/(m-K) = 0.25 max as compared to AL 6082 Aluminum W/(m-K) = 180
Recon 55XR Features
- MORE – Magnification Optimizing Range Enhancement Optical System
- T3 – Three Button Control System w/Center Tower
- KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid Simplified Operating Menu
- WAVE12 – 640×512 12 Micron Premium Thermal Sensor
- Arclight – 55mm Ultra HD Objective Lens
- XGEN – Next Generation Armor Housing
- Micro Click Focus – Fast Click-by-Click Precision Focus
- Exceptionally Long 2600 Yard Detection Range
- Blazing Fast 6 Second Start-Up Time
- Monocular Mode for Handheld Viewing Applications
- 5 Year Transferable Warranty
- Made in the European Union
Recon 55XR Specs
Thermal Sensor: 640 x 512, VOx Uncooled (WAVE12)
Sensor Pixel Size: 12 micron
Objective Lens Diameter: 55 mm (Arclight)
Frame Refresh Rate: 50 Hz
Field-of-View Clip-On & Monocular Mode: ‘460 at 1000 yards (base level magnification)
Base Level Magnification Clip-On Mode: 1X (before any digital zoom)
Digital Magnification Clip-On Mode: none
Base Level Magnification Monocular Mode: 1X (before any digital zoom)
Digital Magnification Monocular Mode: 2x & 4x (2-step digital zoom)
Display Type/Resolution: Super HD OLED RGBW / 3.2 Million Dots
Color Palette Modes: 4 (white hot, black hot, red hot, rainbow)
Multiple Gun Profiles: yes (save up to 5 different zeros)
Detection Range: Up to 2600 Yards
Recognition & Identification Range: none published (see below)*
Start-Up Time/Cold Start: 5 Seconds (logo appearance to functional use)
Start-Up Time/Power Saver Mode: Instant (button press to functional use)
Auto Shutdown Battery Saver: yes, user time selectable
On Board Video Record: no (external recording possible)
Video Output: yes (output video signal via\USB-C port)
WIFI Equipped: no
Battery Type: CR123A 3V Batteries or 3.7V Rechargeable (2x)
Expected Battery Life: 3 hours (typical operation)
External Power Supply Capable: yes (via USB-C port)
Recoil Rating: 300 Win Mag
Nitrogen Purged: Yes
Front Lens Housing Outside Diameter: 59.1mm
Clip-On Adapter Ring Threading: M52x.075 male
Length: 7.75″ (housing front to housing back)
Weight: 19.7oz. (without batteries or lens covers)
*Please know that there is no industry standardized test to determine a Recognition and/or Identification Range, thus they are meaningless specifications for comparative shopping. Unfortunately, many companies take the liberty of publishing fantasy numbers that only serve to mislead shoppers who are doing good faith research. We do not to participate in this practice.
Recon 55XR Downloads
Questions About Recon 55XR
Does the Recon 55XR utilize the WAVE Sensor Technology and what is it?
Yes, the Recon 55XR does indeed have our proprietary WAVE Sensor Technology and specifically it’s the WAVE12 sensor that we use to power this thermal scope. There is much about this technology that we keep as a closely guarded secret but here is an overview. On each thermal sensor there are hundreds of thousands of pixels on the sensor face, and each of these tiny points are designed to capture the infrared energy brought in by the front objective lens. This is a bunch of sensor pixels to keep functioning properly, and on most thermal units you get a large variation in performance which leads to substandard images. Our WAVE sensors are carefully built and optimized in such a way that every one of these pixel points operates without variation. This dramatically improves infrared wavelength detection uniformity resulting in increasingly precise temperature sensitivity. When it all comes together the result in an explosion in performance and its why our cutting edge 640 WAVE12 sensor will outperform everything else in its class. We live by the slogan Perfecting the Vision of Heat and the WAVE thermal sensor technology is the result of this unyielding obsession.
What is the Arclight Ultra HD Germanium Lens?
The single most expensive and important component of a thermal optic is its germanium objective lens. If you go cheap here it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your components are, the unit will never perform to potential. Arclight Ultra HD Germanium Lenses are painfully expensive for us, but they are key to making everything else perform exceptionally well. The ArcLight Lens pushes the limits of technology and perfects the task of allowing infrared rays to enter our thermal device unhindered by distortion thereby delivering maximum energy to the WAVE thermal sensor. This one two punch unleashes dramatically better image quality over competitive devices.
Are there limits to the number of applications I can use this for and how many different zeros profiles can I save?
The Recon 55XR can be used as a clip-on in front of nearly all traditional day scopes, so the number of applications available to you is generally limited by adapter size availability and your imagination. The firmware has the ability to save up to five different zeroing profiles and these profiles are used to save corrections for POI (Point-of-Impact) shift should it occur. Each of these positions are called Gun Profiles, designated by G1, G2, G3, G4 and G5, and are accessible in the Clip-On menu. If you need to make a POI correction and desire to save this information for use later you should select a specific profile prior to making you POI corrections.
How do I know this unit will work with my scope?
The MORE optical system (Magnification Optimizing Range Enhancement) utilized in this device dramatically increases the number and types of scopes suitable for use with the Recon 55XR, including scopes with higher magnification power ranges, for example 6-24X56 configurations. Of course successful deployment is dependent upon a number of factors including the design and quality of the day scope, so there is always a possibility things might not work out. However, we know of no other clip-on that offers a potentially wider range of use or greater utility than the Recon 55XR.
If I want to use as a clip-on how do I attach it?
The Recon 55XR is threaded to mate with the Rusan ARM52 style clip-on adapter. These adapters are available in a full complement of sizes so its likely that we stock one to fit your scope. We recommend the Rusan adapter as it is of excellent quality and very well engineered. When properly fitted it will securely attach the Recon 55XR to your day scope without fear of harm to your scopes finish or unintended disatachment. It is important to remember the adapter you need is not determined by the size of your front objective lens, but by the size of the outside diameter of the front objective lens housing. As an example, many 50mm objective lens scopes have outside housing diameters of 56mm in size. In this case you would order the ARM52-56 adapter. If you are unsure about what adapter you will need please contact us prior to ordering.
Will my POI (Point-of-Impact) change when I put the Recon 55XR in front of my day scope?
Thermal clip-on devices do not have a direct optical path to the target. If look through your day scope with a clip-on attached what you’ll see is a video image of the target on a display screen, and not the actual target. Thus, you are not looking through your thermal, but looking at a display screen within the thermal. Knowing this is very important as it helps us understand a fundamental fact. It is impossible for any manufacturer to honestly claim that no (POI) (point-of-impact) shift will ever occur when using a clip-on. There are simply too many variables at play. Fortunately, if a POI shift should occur it’s usually a one or two shot fix with the Recon 55XR, and if you assign it to one of the five available gun profiles the unit will remember your correction for future use.
What is the unit’s magnification, and will it zoom to a higher magnification?
The base level magnification of the Recon 55XR is 1X (no magnification). If the device is operating in Clip-On Mode there is no digital zoom, but if your day scope has a optical magnification zoom feature it may be used to magnify the target as desired. If the unit is placed into Monocular Mode the unit has two steps of digital magnification 2X and 4X.
What is the warranty for the Recon 55XR thermal clip-on?
The Recon 55XR is covered by our industry leading 5 Year Transferable Warranty. Warranty registration is simple and easy and may be accomplished at www.fusionthermal.com
What is the recoil rating for the Recon 3?
Well-built thermal devices don’t have the shock sensitivity common with traditional night vision devices. The Recon 55XR is exceptionally well built and has been rated to the recoil level of a 300 Win Mag.
Can I use the unit during the daytime without damaging it?
Yes, absolutely no problem. One of the things new thermal users should learn is thermal technology is much more than just heat sensing night vision. Daytime use, especially with handheld observation devices, is a huge part of how thermal can be used. All you need for successful deployment is temperature differential. Yes, it gets a bit more challenging when things around you heat up, but you will soon find that thermal can be used in daylight under most environmental conditions to good effect. All you need is temperature differential; you don’t need an absence of daylight. Note: The device should never be pointed directly at the sun, on or off, as doing so could damage the internal sensor.
Is the Recon 55XR water and dust resistant?
The Recon 55XR has an IP Rating of 67, which is an excellent rating for an electrical device. Specifically: With all port covers in place and/or firmly tightened the unit is protected against solid objects like dust and sand, and it has been tested to work for a least 30 minutes while under 1M of water. We have gone to great lengths to build a unit very resistant to water and debris, however, this is an electrical device with several ports and penetrations. No user should intentionally use this device in wet environments. Please note, product malfunction or failure by water damage is not covered under warranty.
What should I expect for battery life?
We’ve done extensive testing and can confidently state that you can expect the Recon 55XR to operate continuously for 3.5 hours on a fresh pair of CR123 batteries. You can extend this time period by a good margin if you get in the habit of using the Power Saving Mode feature. Placing the unit into Power Saving mode is simple and easy and is accomplished by quick presses of the Power Button. This feature instantly turns off the power to the display screen without shutting down the entire unit. With another quick press of the Power Button the unit is instantly placed back into full service.
Does the unit take photos or video?
No. We intentionally left out these features to keep the Recon 55XR operationally simple and to maximize battery life. However, it does have the ability to export video via our Video Out feature when connected to an external DVR. If your determined to record your heroic moments it can be done.