Night Vision Choices

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Which Gen of Night Vision Do You Own?

I own Gen 3
1
5%
I own Gen 2
2
10%
I own Gen 1
5
25%
I do not own but plan to buy
6
30%
I have no plans to buy any
6
30%
I own a thermal imager!
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 20

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teotwaki
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Night Vision Choices

Post by teotwaki » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:54 pm

In one of my threads on intelligence gathering and patrolling there was mention made of including optics in the list of gear for a BOL/BIL. In that category is night vision devices.

Rather than let darkness be a security gap why not consider at least a 1st gen night vision?

They can be found for as little as $90
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bushnell-2x28mm ... SwRgJXmU4R

https://www.amazon.com/Barska-NVX100-Ni ... ght+vision
Last edited by teotwaki on Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by Halfapint » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:10 pm

I know it's pathetic but my first nightvision was actually from the collectors edition of Modern Warfare. I bought a IR flashlight to help illuminate things but on it's own it worked alright. I've since upgraded to a Gen2 but I still keep that first one handy just in case. :lol:

I believe this is the model... NVG7-2 ATN Night Vision Goggles, Gen 2+. Got it for 500 when a buddy decided to upgrade to some really nice (really expensive) Gen3
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by teotwaki » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:51 pm

I've actually seen a lot of surplus thermal imagers in the market. I wonder if I can add that to the poll.....
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by quazi » Thu Dec 01, 2016 4:38 pm

I wasn't sure how to vote, because night vision/thermal are on my list of things to buy eventually, but I might not make the purchase for several years.

Part of that is that I have other things I need to take care of first, but the other part is that the prices are dropping fast. Since I personally figure the likelihood of things going Mad Max in the next couple years is pretty low I'm not too worried about waiting for a bit.

The price of thermal has been coming down way faster than normal night vision. I've seen some decent reviews of the FLIR Scout, and it goes for $600. Leupold just released the LTO Tracker thermal monocular and it's going for $700 (I haven't seen any reviews on it yet).

I have a desire to get some sort of night vision to help me defend my chickens, but I have to keep reminding myself that I can buy an awful lot of chicken for the cost of a thermal weapon sight. :lol:

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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by CrossCut » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:26 pm

Gen 1 only, a single NV rifle scope and 4 security cameras connected to a DVR which in turn is ethernet connected to a laptop for video monitoring. Would love to upgrade but it's a hard sell to the Mrs. Actually pretty happy with the rifle scope (Yukon NVRS) for the price, near useless without the illuminator on but wildlife doesn't seem spooked by it so it's a very efficient hunting (more like harvesting) aid should it be needed in a PAW. Only have to rub/scrape a few apples on a tree trunk to bring deer within a few tens of yards of the house here. Post-dusk porch poaching in the 'pocalypse :)

Semi-OT, but did some experimenting with replacing the visible light LEDS on some cheap solar path lights (dollar store AA nicad/solar panel type) with 800-900 nm IR LEDs instead. Hoped the IR illumination from them might create a reasonable radius of light visible by the gen 1 scope without needing to turn on the illuminator on the scope, but no such luck. Even with the reflector/spotlight type solar lights it really doesn't provide much illumination but is more like an IR hotspot (like a bright candle in the distance on a dark night). Put that project on the back burner and really haven't tried to improve on it since, but still think it could have some use for fixed position static defense requiring only cheap Gen 1 NVG. Even unimproved, maybe put a couple on either side of the road leading into our cul-de-sac as a deterrent, as an implied "we know you can see these, and now you know we can see you at night too - so don't do anything stupid" warning. Just thinking out loud there.

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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by teotwaki » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:01 pm

CrossCut wrote: Semi-OT, but did some experimenting with replacing the visible light LEDS on some cheap solar path lights (dollar store AA nicad/solar panel type) with 800-900 nm IR LEDs instead. Hoped the IR illumination from them might create a reasonable radius of light visible by the gen 1 scope without needing to turn on the illuminator on the scope, but no such luck. Even with the reflector/spotlight type solar lights it really doesn't provide much illumination but is more like an IR hotspot (like a bright candle in the distance on a dark night). Put that project on the back burner and really haven't tried to improve on it since, but still think it could have some use for fixed position static defense requiring only cheap Gen 1 NVG. Even unimproved, maybe put a couple on either side of the road leading into our cul-de-sac as a deterrent, as an implied "we know you can see these, and now you know we can see you at night too - so don't do anything stupid" warning. Just thinking out loud there.

I think what you described makes sense and you need more of a flat array of low level IR emitters placed up high and radiating downwards. More light spread across a wide area and it will get the array up and out of the field of view of the NVD.

Thinking of something like this but with IR Leds instead of visible, mounted up on a pole or on your roof.

Image


You could leave the motion detector circuit in them but also add in an RF remote to manually switch the IR floodlights on from wherever you are

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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by RonnyRonin » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:26 pm

I have played with a few FLIR scopes at trade shows, and will say the jump from the cheap FLIR to the expensive FLIR is HUGE. pretty hard to justify the price jump, but it is the difference between "there is a blob of heat over there" and "Nice jacket, and I like that belt too," resolution, refresh rate and screen size where night and day. FLIR scout I'm sure would be useful for just locating heat sources to keep an eye on, but the delux FLIR scopes almost seemed good enough to walk around with without bumping into stuff.


I have only done superficial night vision research but I have heard one sentiment so often and so emphatically that I believe it: just save up for PVS-14s and don't bother with anything else. I'm waiting for my rich single brother to bite the bullet first so I can decide if they truly are worth it, but they are on the list (probably below several rifles, a few handguns, more ammo, range finder, better binos, bike upgrades, BOV upgrades, and a whole slew of other things).


Don't forget that QUALITY daytime optics will extend much farther into dawn and dusk then your run of the mill stuff. My bosses $1200 Mavens will see an hour or two past what a $600 pair of Vortex binos will, of the same power and objective size. I've had similar nighttime experience with Zeiss, Kahles, and trijicon. During the day the price difference might not be immediately apparent (and especially not in the store) but at dawn, dusk, and even by moonlight it can be the difference between "better off with irons" and "100yd+ deer for dinner." In Australia in particular I stayed with some guys that took optics very seriously (imagine if your whole gun budget was in one or two rifles) and also had many more nighttime hunting options then your typical American. Between kangaroo culls and unlimited deer licenses we did much hunting between 10pm and 2am, and $1500+ rifle scopes made all the difference.
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by Zembecowicz » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:19 pm

Summer before last I got to play with an ATN PVS 14. It was super-duper. If it fit my budget I'd have one.
I've heard good things about the Armasight Spark Core, but I haven't gotten to play with one. For what you'd pay for one ATN you could buy six Spark Cores.

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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by RonnyRonin » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:44 am

Very interesting, bookmarked the Spark Core for later scrutiny.

from my fuzzy memory of the research I did years ago I recall the lifespan of Gen I NVDs in general being hugely off-putting to me, I wonder if the Sparks Core's "not gen-1" gen-1 suffers this or not.
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by doitnstyle1 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:59 am

Halfapint wrote:I know it's pathetic but my first nightvision was actually from the collectors edition of Modern Warfare. I bought a IR flashlight to help illuminate things but on it's own it worked alright. I've since upgraded to a Gen2 but I still keep that first one handy just in case. :lol:

I believe this is the model... NVG7-2 ATN Night Vision Goggles, Gen 2+. Got it for 500 when a buddy decided to upgrade to some really nice (really expensive) Gen3

I actually also own one of these. I bought it for $50. Does almost as good as my first NVG's when I was in the military. Not great but it beats tripping on rocks.
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by teotwaki » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:12 pm

Night Vision Tube life

I searched a bunch and here are some highlights.

Early devices that claimed to be Gen 1, especially Russian imports were prone to fail early. Current Gen 1 Devices may last 400 hours.

Gen 2 numbers range from 2,000 to 5,000 hours

Gen 3 devices are 10,000+ hours.

If anyone has one good solid authoritative source on the topic please post up. Gen 1 hours claims vary widely
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by RonnyRonin » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:44 pm

There in lies the question, does the Spark Core have a longer life span because it claims to use different tubes? I'll do some digging and see what I can find. I haven't seen authoritative proof that the gen III is better proportional to the cost increase but the lifespan being exponentially longer was always pretty compelling to me.

Someone remind me, is the tube, or whatever wares out, an easily replaceable item or is it the bulk of the cost of the NVD?

Updated: Did some more digging in the user guide and spec sheet and no word on lifespan on the Spark Core, fired off a question on the site. Found a few glowing reviews, as stated on the page "Gen 2 resolution with Gen 1 amplification" seems to be the consensus. My only concern at this point is lifespan and a lack of autogating, otherwise I might have to start prowling for used sources. Possibly needing some IR LEDs doesn't bother me as much as it does some folks.
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by JFire » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:37 am

quazi wrote:I wasn't sure how to vote, because night vision/thermal are on my list of things to buy eventually, but I might not make the purchase for several years.

Part of that is that I have other things I need to take care of first, but the other part is that the prices are dropping fast. Since I personally figure the likelihood of things going Mad Max in the next couple years is pretty low I'm not too worried about waiting for a bit.

The price of thermal has been coming down way faster than normal night vision. I've seen some decent reviews of the FLIR Scout, and it goes for $600. Leupold just released the LTO Tracker thermal monocular and it's going for $700 (I haven't seen any reviews on it yet).

I have a desire to get some sort of night vision to help me defend my chickens, but I have to keep reminding myself that I can buy an awful lot of chicken for the cost of a thermal weapon sight. [emoji38]
Have you looked at the digital nv options out there? If youre only concerned about 4 legged predators then you dont have to worry about the ir illuminators.

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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by JFire » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:39 am

CrossCut wrote:Gen 1 only, a single NV rifle scope and 4 security cameras connected to a DVR which in turn is ethernet connected to a laptop for video monitoring. Would love to upgrade but it's a hard sell to the Mrs. Actually pretty happy with the rifle scope (Yukon NVRS) for the price, near useless without the illuminator on but wildlife doesn't seem spooked by it so it's a very efficient hunting (more like harvesting) aid should it be needed in a PAW. Only have to rub/scrape a few apples on a tree trunk to bring deer within a few tens of yards of the house here. Post-dusk porch poaching in the 'pocalypse :)

Semi-OT, but did some experimenting with replacing the visible light LEDS on some cheap solar path lights (dollar store AA nicad/solar panel type) with 800-900 nm IR LEDs instead. Hoped the IR illumination from them might create a reasonable radius of light visible by the gen 1 scope without needing to turn on the illuminator on the scope, but no such luck. Even with the reflector/spotlight type solar lights it really doesn't provide much illumination but is more like an IR hotspot (like a bright candle in the distance on a dark night). Put that project on the back burner and really haven't tried to improve on it since, but still think it could have some use for fixed position static defense requiring only cheap Gen 1 NVG. Even unimproved, maybe put a couple on either side of the road leading into our cul-de-sac as a deterrent, as an implied "we know you can see these, and now you know we can see you at night too - so don't do anything stupid" warning. Just thinking out loud there.
Their is ir pass filter plexiglass you can buy. Ive been contemplating buying a sheet and put it over solar powered motion lights for my camera system.

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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by doitnstyle1 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:44 am

I also bought the FLIR-one and I kinda like the possibilities.
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by wagdhead » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:14 pm

I have been using NV fairly regularly for coyote hunting now for over a year. I tired the Gen 1 stuff and some of the Gen 2+, but once you got out past 100 yards they were pretty bad. I did not want to go to Gen 3 due to cost, since this is a want more than a need. I settled on digital after doing a lot of research and talking with guys who use NV for real work.

I settled on the Sightmark Proton 4.6. http://sightmark.com/product.php?item=256

This is a dedicated rifle scope, so there are limitations.
The good:
1) Good NV capability out 200 yards (This is the longest I will shoot with it).
2) Great value. You can find them around $400-425 with coupons. I have three.
3) Has recording ability and can be used in daylight.
4) Zeroing was very easy.
5) Uses AA batteries and the life is decent 4-6 hours continual use with one caveat (see below).
6) With a good QD mount you can swap it out and not lose zero. It took me a while to find the mount that works best for me.
7) Multiple reticles

The bad:
1) The on board illuminator is pretty weak, and eats batteries like crazy. I don't turn it on, so you will need to buy a good illuminator. I went with: http://www.ultimatenightvision.com/20-I ... v-20ir.htm . You can get these on sale for about $175. I mount them like I would a regular weapon light.
2) The lense cover has a tiny hole for daylight use, and you can remove the center portion for nighttime or open the cover all the way. 90% of the time I take the center portion out because full open is too much light. When you take things out you can lose them. The "plug" is black and the size of a quarter. Leave it in the truck.....Sightmark will send you free ones quickly.
3) The scope will white out when you fire for a millisecond. Not a big deal for me, but for some it seems to be.
4) This is not a precision optic it will give you a 2" group at 200 yards.
5) Since I prefer not to scan a wide area with a rifle, my third one is used with a tripod to scan the terrain.

I hope this is helpful.

Lastly, I have been using the Leupold LTO thermal viewer lately (on loan from a friend), and it is slick. It is on my next buy list. It will be interesting to see where they go with this tech.
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by delarey » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:37 pm

I've been looking for a basic gen1 set of goggles that won't break the bank.
I've played with NV before, but never owned any. I know gen1 suck, but I can't justify dropping that kind of money.

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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:49 pm

wagdhead wrote:
Lastly, I have been using the Leupold LTO thermal viewer lately (on loan from a friend), and it is slick. It is on my next buy list. It will be interesting to see where they go with this tech.

I gots to have an update on this, I've been looking up as much about this as I can, reviews seem mixed. form factor and price is right, just not sure on performance.
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by Close_enough » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:06 pm

There's two options that I've seen that are not mentioned in the poll. The first is an IR scope paired with an IR emitter. Effective range was short. 10m or so, but offset by double figure price tag. The second was a low light camera linked to a display. No light amplifier tube. I don't remember the exact price, but I think it was in the low hundreds.

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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by teotwaki » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:34 pm

Thermal Imager: Leupold LTO-Tracker

The compact thermal imager is only 5.6 inches long and weighs less than 10 ounces, allowing it to be carried comfortably in any pocket. It features a 21 degree field of view, 6x digital zoom, and has a thermal detection distance of up to 600 yards. The LTO-Tracker has 6 optional thermal palettes and a user controlled reticle for quick acquisition of the target. Above all, the LTO-Tracker sports a Leupold Gold Ring and is Designed, Machined, and Assembled in the United States.

– Thermal Sensor: 206 x 156 – Operating Temperature: -4F to 140F – Temperature Detection Range: -40F to 572F – Fixed Focus With 6X Digital Zoom – Display: Direct View 1.22? Round – Display Resolution: 240 x 204 px – Startup Time: < 3 seconds – Detection Distance: 600 Yards – Battery: CR123 – 10 Hours Continuous Use



$650 on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Leupold-172830-T ... to+tracker
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by wagdhead » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:04 pm

RonnyRonin wrote:
wagdhead wrote:
Lastly, I have been using the Leupold LTO thermal viewer lately (on loan from a friend), and it is slick. It is on my next buy list. It will be interesting to see where they go with this tech.

I gots to have an update on this, I've been looking up as much about this as I can, reviews seem mixed. form factor and price is right, just not sure on performance.

I found it useful out to inside of 150 yards for finding downed game. It was useful for seeing a coyote out to 300 yards when the NV doesn't have the range. Understand at 300 you see a little tiny glowing blob, it was more of hey something is out there pay attention. The screen is 1.5-2" and the zoom enlarges the screen so you lose FOV. I gave it back to my buddy, and really enjoyed it. While not incredibly expensive for this tech, it is still a lot of money,so I am holding off to see what is next.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken

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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by RonnyRonin » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:03 pm

That is certainly useful information, was it useful at all for navigating at night, or was it only good for locating heat sources to identify better with NVDs?
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by wagdhead » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:10 am

RonnyRonin wrote:That is certainly useful information, was it useful at all for navigating at night, or was it only good for locating heat sources to identify better with NVDs?
It works at night to walk around, but I found it a little disorienting. Not because of the product, but the whole holding up to one eye and walking thing, narrow FOV, lack of depth perception, etc... I only tried it with a couple of the different modes, so I might not have found the right one for me. If you want to keep your night vision in the other eye you need to keep it closed due to the screen glow.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
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Re: Night Vision Choices

Post by RonnyRonin » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:27 pm

Now I'm wondering if a helmet mount and a eye shield would be in order. I'm sure I'll have a PVs-14 someday, but I can get the LTO at a very good price so I might have to just as a stop-gap.
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