Hi Dave, well I promosed to report back to you and here it is.
I purchased my spotter on 17th Nov 18 with the 50mm head and ruby pill and after a few months of extensive testing under all types of conditions I feel I can give you some feedback without the "Rose Tinted Spectacles".
The spotter does struggle if there is a mist or fog but in fairness you did inform me about this and of course the same goes for a torch, (you are right that in mist you can use the spotter if there is enough moon or natural light even tho you would not be able to lamp), that said if you feel you are able to lamp in the current weather then you WILL be able to use this spotter.
Battery life, providing you buy quality flat top batteries, is exeptional. We have had many four hour sessions and never had to change the batteries mid session. I'm NOT saying the batteries last for four hours continuous use but we dont use it like that. we walk, pause, scan and then move on, rinse and repeat. when walking the spotter is off. 150 yds further, turn on again and scan until we spot something to act on, then the spotter stays on longer obviously. I always begin a session with freshly charged cells and the batteries I bought were panasonic 3400Ah flat top ones. When I recharge they are not flat either as they recharge quite quickly.
There are usually two of us out foxing, early on we tried the spotter to locate the fox and a red torch to illuminate for the shot and had some success with younger foxes but a lot of wise old dogs just sloped off immediately the torch hit them so my latest incarnation is one of us on the spotter and the other on the rifle with Pard007 attached. This is a killer combo and provided we dont spook the fox with bad fieldcraft the fox doesn't ever get to know we were there. The torch on the spotter illuminates for the Pard and the scope mag allows me a clear ID on the target out past 200 yds and I won't shoot past 200 at night anyway.
My friend whom I usually shoot with had tried many incarnations of NV himself over recent years and he commented that the spotter is simply the best bit of nnv gear he has ever used, "It just works so perfectly and is so clear" he said! He actually seems to prefer spotting rather than shooting now, I think he's having too much fun with it.
I really cannot thank you enough for building this for me, we are going to take it rabbiting with the rimmies once we stop foxing. It is just so useful. Thanks again Dave, you are still a legend!
To anyone reading this, if you are considering getting one of these stop right now and order one, you'll never regret it, it is miles better than anything else we've tried.