AGM Global Vision is a relatively new company. I discovered them at the last SHOT Show back in January. At the time I did not see much that was interesting but lately they have come out with some affordable products that are worth looking into. If you recall, they have a dual-tube bino night vision housing called the NVG-50. Well, now we will take a look at one of their entry-level thermal monoculars, the Asp-Micro TM384.
Low-Cost Great Resolution
The Asp-Micro has a simple four-button layout. The two major functions are image capture and pallet change.
I was really surprised at how good the image looks through the Asp-Micro even though it is only a 384×288 resolution.
The Asp-Micro is USB rechargeable and uses USB-C cables. It has an internal battery so unfortunately, you cannot replace it yourself, but it can run the Asp-Micro for 7 continuous hours unless you enable the Wi-Fi hotspot.
If you enable the Wi-Fi hotspot, you can pair the Asp-Micro with the T-Vision app. This allows you to live view what the Asp-Micro sees on your smartphone or tablet of choice. While the Asp-Micro has onboard memory to capture still images and record video (no audio recording though), you can do all of this through the T-Vision App as well as control settings.
I found it easier to view the thermal image through my iPhone rather than look through the small eyepiece in the Asp-Micro. However, in bright sunlight, the screen on my iPhone gets washed out a bit and then I would revert to physically looking through the Asp-Micro.
Using The Asp-Micro
Four Color Pallets
The Asp-Micro has four color pallets although I don’t really consider the fourth one a color pallet.
- White Hot
- Black Hot
- Red Hot
One cool feature in the Asp-Micro is its Hot Spot Mark feature. It points to the hottest object in the image.
Onboard Video Recording
Besides still image capture the Asp-Micro can record video as well. Sadly there is no microphone to record audio.
In the video above, I tested a theory my friend had. He thought a black trash bag could block thermal vision. I thought this would not be true since your body would warm the air trapped by the trash bag and cause the trash bag to heat up. We were both wrong. You can see through trash bags. I did not expect this result at all.
Indoor CQB practice with night vision and training sim guns.
In order to record video, you have to press and hold the camera button for a few seconds. It takes a little bit longer than I would like.
Helmet Mounting The Asp-Micro
While the Asp-Micro was designed as a handheld monocular you could bolt on a dovetail and mount it on a helmet. It is not ideal since the screw hole is so far forward it causes the eyepiece to be pushed right up against my eye. I cannot move the NVG mount any further away from my face. If I bump into anything my eye socket will not be happy. Also, the FOV is not exactly 1:1 with my normal eyesight so the image does not collimate with my unaided eye and I end up seeing double vision.
There are no numbers listed on AGM’s website. But typical thermal devices have the distances listed for detection, recognition and identification. Detection is the farthest distance where it can detect a heat source. Recognition is closer to you a the point where a heat blob is defined enough that you can tell it is an animal or person. Identification is even closer where the thermal image is clear enough you can tell if it is a deer or a cow. Below is a test I did at night. Next to the green crosshairs is a small maintenance shed/building that is just over 500 yards away. You can see the dark roof which is cold.
But during the daytime, it was not as clear. You can sort of see my neighbor across the street 40 yards away.
Final Thoughts Of The Asp-Micro
While the Asp-Micro is only a 384 resolution thermal device, the images it produces certainly exceeded my expectation. At only $1,391 on AGM Global Vision’s website, it is not terribly expensive. The next best thermal monocular that I have used is the FLIR Breach and that is double the price. I would prefer the Asp-Micro use a user-replaceable battery but I believe that would reduce the battery life in order to fit a removable battery or they would have to make the Asp-Micro bigger to accommodate a rechargeable battery with higher capacity.