The SENTINEL range of devices consists of compact hand-held infrared night-vision cameras, manufactured in the UK, and can be used to view images on a 2.4ꞌꞌ(63mm) LED screen – in total darkness.
For testing, Magnum received the Sentinel Pro model, which the manufacturer claims is effective up to 100m. Both the brightness of the LED screen and the strength of the infrared beam are adjustable. The infrared beam works like a light from a torch, but is not visible to the naked eye; it allows the camera to ‘see’ in the dark.
The Sentinel Pro comes with an internal rechargeable battery and operation is simple: press a button to switch it on and then adjust the brightness of the screen and the distance of the infrared beam to get the best possible black-and-white picture of what you wish to observe. The controls are initiative and facilitate one-handed use: the trigger finger operates the On/Off button while the thumb of the same hand operates the other two adjustments.
Included in the package is a desktop charger cradle with a universal charging adaptor and a synthetic carry-pouch that can be attached to a waist-belt or tactical jacket.
The fixed focus makes it possible to clearly identify objects or persons well over 100m away, and I could easily spot humans walking 50m from my observation point and could tell what they were carrying. Surprisingly enough, I even managed to spot humans 154m away, walking near a blue gum tree. The next day, I used a range-finder to determine the distance to the tree. For objects or humans that are closer, I had to dial down the infrared beam to ensure the right exposure for a clear picture.
I used the Sentinel to covertly observe various positions around my house which are not illuminated by floodlights (I live outside the city). I could keep an eye on my outbuildings and store-room some 80 metres from the house. The biggest advantage is that I can do this from the safety of my house. Linked to perimeter beams that set off an alarm, the Pro is the ideal tool to locate intruders when the alarm goes off.
Read the full report in the September 2018 issue of Magnum.