Naturally, with the news of a new ATN thermal device that seems so elementary in implementation, I wanted to field test one.
Is the lack of bells and whistles a strategic approach or a deathblow to the new line?
Given its price point, is it worth paying more for 320 resolution versus 160 resolution?
I got my hands on an Odin LT 320 2-4x to test out and did not expect what happened next.
Throughout testing, the Odin LT performed impeccably in thermal detection, resolution, and operator ease of use. The minimal battery life is of concern but can be remedied with the optional extended life battery pack. Though it's an extra cost, it's a recommended one for practical use in the field.
What sets the Odin LT apart from the ATN’s other thermal monoculars is the use of external batteries and it can be head/helmet mounted.
Here’s how I went from skeptical to convinced that the Odin is a straight shooter.
What We Like: 320 resolution
What We Don’t Like: Limited features
Best Uses: Day/Night Use, Adverse Conditions, Tactical Use, Hunting, Varmint Control, Wildlife Observation, Recreational Uses
- Thermal Resolution: 320x240
- Pixels: 12-micron
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Eye Relief: 25mm
- Color Modes: White hot/Black hot
- Battery: 1x CR123A
- Dimensions: 5.16 x 2.8 x 1.81”/10 oz
Our Verdict: Though unadorned with extra features, the ATN Odin LT is as straight as an arrow in thermal form and function. The thermal monocular deliberately does away with bells and whistles but supplies quality and fundamental dependability in abundance.
Who is the ATN Odin LT 320 2-4x Best Suited to?
In general, the Odin LT 320 is best suited to stationary observation use for no-nonsense outdoorsmen that value quality thermal resolution above all else. The 2-4x model offers the lowest magnification with the widest FOV.
Though it can be head/helmet mounted for hands-free use, it’s not necessarily suitable for mobility. I would say it’s better suited to hunters from a stationary setup or for use in a blind or stand.
For professional purposes, the ability to rapidly employ the Odin as a handheld monocular to scan and acquire information is how it will hold value to law enforcement and security officers.
How Does the ATN Odin LT 320 2-4x Perform?
Overall, the ATN Odin LT 320 operated flawlessly in the field when judging its ease of use and resolution quality. Human detection ranges were confirmed, vehicle detection ranges proved to be longer than expected, and small creatures were easily identified at great distances.
At first, the lack of additional features was concerning, and on paper, I wasn’t convinced the unadorned Odin LT should cost as much as it does. Should it really cost double and sometimes more so for double 160 resolution?
From the first moment of observing resolution for myself to using it in the field, the justification for a significant price increase versus 160 alternatives became obvious. I was floored.
The image quality is clear, sharp, and the contrast and detail provided is good enough for professional use in the hunt or on duty. During field testing, I could discern small creatures such as squirrels and rabbits at various distances between 20-100 yards.
Though larger than real blood trails, I could detect wet trails I made. That was a harder test as you’re dealing with magnification and shrub that showed heat signatures similar to the wet trail.
The handling was extremely user friendly. The interface for quick presses of the onboard buttons are germane to rapid, natural use for the settings you would often manipulate: magnification, manual NUC, and palette colors.
I haven’t experienced any software or quality control issues. When the screen became fuzzy, a NUC quickly repaired the picture.
There were many times I wish it had 1x magnification such as finding my bearings when observing inside a few yards and definitely when helmet mounted while trying to be mobile.
I found little need for 4x magnification and primarily sat in the 2x display. When the icon “2x” appears in the display, it means you’re on 4x magnification. The icon disappears when you’re in 2x magnification.
The Odin LT is not a do-it-all thermal, but for most stationary and observational purposes, it is a must-have thermal monocular for hunters, law enforcement, and outdoorsmen.
Features & Benefits
The Odin LT has resolution of 320x240 provided by the Obsidian Core LT thermal sensor running with 12-micron and 60Hz refresh rates. With 2-4x magnification, a 19mm lens, and a 1280x960 display, the thermal sensor is well-suited to the specs to provide optimal image quality.
From hands-on testing, the 12-micron sensor works cohesively with the smaller lens to provide an efficiently sharp image. The low magnification combined with 320 resolution brings detail and clarity regardless of day, night, and adverse conditions.
When you can discern between a horse and a cow at beyond 600 yards and positively recognize pigs and coyotes within shooting range, I call that an impressive win for the Odin at its price point. I have tried and can’t do the same with 160 thermal resolution.
The thermal imaging quality is the number one reason you’re paying more for the Odin LT 320 versus alternatives from other manufacturers and even against ATN’s own OTS-XLT line. It must be said that paying more for an upgrade in resolution is absolutely justifiable.
Keeping things simple, the Odin LT has White Hot and Black Hot color palettes that were as effective in urban suburbs as it was in the pitch black of country fields and woods.
ATN claims mid-range distances for human detection, recognition, and identification. Detection ranges are affected by multiple factors, but the Odin LT 320 detection ranges are about right. It had no issues in long-range detection of large objects such as buildings and vehicles over 1000 yards.
Human detection, recognition, and ID ranges straight from ATN are 535, 380, and 230 meters. Though close to impossible to show this via digiscoping, I was able to confirm from hands-on testing that I could barely detect humans at 689 yards.
It was better at 550 yards and I could recognize a human at 400 yards (approx.). I could positively identify a human at around 300 yards. Confirming these claims was done while the Odin was mounted to a tripod for as steady-as-possible observations.
Being able to determine more human detail such as various layers of clothing, hair length, and confirm human activities was inside 15-200 yards.
Some wildlife observations I had at night were coyotes beyond 400 yards (approx.), a javelina between 300-400 yards away, and cats, squirrels, and rabbits anywhere between 15 to almost 100 yards away.
Easy Onboard Controls
A highlight feature of the ATN Odin LT 320 is ease of use. Operation is intuitive and apt for the features that are consistently used: magnification, NUC, and color palettes. Buttons are well-placed for right-handed users, and they are responsive though a little small when wearing gloves.
The onboard dedicated button for NUC (Non-Uniformity Correction) is extremely convenient and is set for manual calibration by default. A long press will activate automatic NUC’ing.
Between the focus knob and the NUC button that I used freely, I always felt I was able to acquire fantastic thermal imaging quality. Never once did I feel wanting in that regard.
Long presses of the buttons allow access to a very simple menu interface for pixel correction and contrast, sensitivity, and brightness settings.
Mounting options are limited with the ATN Odin LT unless you’re willing to invest in the mounting systems and adapters needed. ATN has a head mounting system that works cohesively with the Odin dovetail mounting rail for hands-free operation.
However, you’re adding significant cost to the overall purchase after you consider the optional extended battery pack combined with the headset mounting kit or the helmet mount kit. As an alternative, I used a JDAPT plate for my mounting purposes.
With the adapter plate, I was able to tripod mount the Odin. Because the mounting rail is on top of the monocular body, it was technically upside down on the tripod, but the image was right-side up save for the icons.
I used the same adapter plate to mount the Odin to a J-arm and then to a Rhino mount to a helmet. Getting it perfectly aligned was a bit tricky but that is fault to the mounting system and not the Odin.
Though the viewing experience for hands-free use was convenient, it was less so for mobility. There is increased risk of bumping into things and disorientation because of the magnification.
This creates room to be extra critical on the benefits of helmet mounting the Odin, but ATN has made it clear that it’s intended as a stationary observation tool.
Long story short, you can use the Odin LT as a hands-free unit but not without limitations.
The battery life of the Odin LT line is perhaps the only, legitimate drawback of the thermal monocular. It takes a single CR123A battery for operation but provides only 2.5 hours of runtime. This is on the short end of the spectrum when it comes to battery runtime of thermal imaging sports optics.
An alternative power source to lengthen operational time is to purchase ATN’s Extended Life Battery Pack. The battery pack was included in the box for me to field test, and I’m glad it was because I needed it. It’s probably the only reason that the battery life is not a full-fledged drawback.
The battery pack provides 5 hours of runtime and takes approximately 6 hours to charge. For long observations, the battery pack would need to be recharged after every use. It is my recommendation to budget in the battery pack when considering the Odin LT.
It’s worth the cost to have that on your person for extended observations versus switching out batteries every 2 hours or so.
Even though the Odin LT 320 doesn’t have a standby mode, it has a very fast start-up time. It’s approximately 2-3 seconds from depressing the power button to full operation. With that, I’m satisfied and don’t miss a standby mode as much.
The Odin LT has resolution and ease of use as its major advantages, but it would be found lacking if extra features are considered important. It lacks WiFi/Bluetooth, remote control, standby mode, and 1x magnification for serviceable use while head/helmet mounted for hands-free mobility.
It does not have internal video recording or image capture. This made it extremely difficult to provide any type of footage that would do justice to prove its resolution quality. However, the Odin LT 320 was intentionally designed to be without the bells and whistles.
The way I see it is as a win-win situation. It not only provides an easy, fast-to-use device, but it’s also a cost-effective measure that does away with the “add-ons.” For those who don’t need or want all the “smart” trappings, the Odin LT is a workhorse when it comes to thermal fundamentals.
The primary differences between the Odin LT and the OTS LT lines of thermal monoculars comes down to the battery type and head/helmet mounting. The Odin LT takes external batteries with 2.5-5 hours of runtime. The OTS LT has an internal, rechargeable battery that provides 9+ hours of runtime.
Thermal imaging does not detect objects behind glass, walls, and through solids such as behind trees or thick brush. Whether it’s the ATN Odin LT or another alternative thermal optic, it cannot see through glass or walls.
The ATN Odin LT takes a CR123A battery to provide 2.5 hours (approx.) of runtime. The Odin LT is compatible with an extended battery pack that is inserted into the battery chamber of the Odin to provide 5 hours (approx.) of runtime and is rechargeable via a USB-Type C cable (not included).
In general, the Odin LT 320 2-4x comes with a soft carry bag, user manual, lens cloth, eye cup, and 1x CR123A battery. Though an optional accessory, purchasing the extended battery pack is highly recommended to extend observation time in the field.
The Odin LT 320 comes with a manufacturer 3-year warranty that starts from the date of purchase and is valid only to the original purchaser. Product warranty registration must be submitted in order to validate the product warranty.
Going from being skeptical to convinced took a hands-on field test for me. Its real quality is in the resolution provided by the Obsidian Core LT thermal sensor.
If you’re going to miss ultra-long battery life, smart features, or video recording, the OTS 4T Smart HD monocular is a better fit.
For those who want to pay for the features they’ll actually use, the Odin LT 320 is as fundamental as it gets.
I am so impressed with it that I recommend the Odin LT 320 2-4x along with the extended battery pack as must-haves for many recreational purposes but also for hunting and some patrol/duty work.