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Author Topic: Night vision equipment  (Read 4779 times)

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Offline LeeB

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Night vision equipment
« on: April 22, 2013, 12:08:47 AM »
Any recommendations on night vision equipment that won't break the bank?
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 12:31:10 PM »
The best (and most expensive) is thermal imaging.  It picks up a heat signature, which allows you to detect critters even if they aren't moving.  Unfortunately these start at around 8K and go up from there.

The price of night vision devices is usually related to their generation (and image clarity / intensity).  Gen 1 devices are the least expensive, Gen 3 and 4 are the most expensive.  Gen 4 devices have recently been released to the public, but they are hard to find and expensive.

An add-on IR illuminator really makes a difference.

You'll drop $2,600 on a good NV scope, and closer to 4K on a great one.

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Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 01:51:15 PM »
Ouch!  I have often considered purchasing NV goggles or binocs.  But the amount of time I would use them doesn't justify what I'd have to pay.  Hoping that the technology will get cheaper, like most evolving technologies.
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 04:20:23 PM »
How much do people spend on bass boats and fishing gear and how often do they use them? ???  Just for comparison purposes.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline LeeB

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 04:37:20 PM »
Is the $3-400 range stuff any good?
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 08:01:36 PM »
Is the $3-400 range stuff any good?

It's better than nothing, but not very clear.  An IR illuminator helps any of them though.
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline doctorb

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 09:51:11 PM »
Cedarman-

I think your question is relavent.  Depending on what type of water you fish, how you like to fish, and how much time and money you want to spend personalizing your bass boat, you can spend $5000 - $50000.  So, I get your point.  My bass boat is 6 years old and cost about $20000 then.  I use it 30-40 days a year.  While I had a bit of sticker shock when I bought her, I am very happy with that investment as fishing is my only real vice. ;). Hard to get into too much trouble out on the water, long as you are paying' attention.  It's hard for me to envision using night vision equipment often enough to justify that expense.  But, to each his own.......it is pretty cool Though! :laugh:   
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline SLawyer Dave

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2013, 10:33:37 PM »
I bought a Night Owl Optics monocle several years ago on sale for $299.00, (I think it listed for $350).  It is generation II night vision with a built in IR illuminator.  I really enjoyed it.  I bought it primarily because I was doing a lot of pig management on a local ranch.  The pigs would come in at night to feast on the almonds hanging in the trees, and would tear the orchard up.  We had a deprivation permit, so the monocle would let us find and target the pigs in the dark, (when the pigs thought they were safe), then we would light them up with a 1,000,000 candle watt spot light and the shooting would begin.  Also used it to get into the deer blind in the full dark.   

With the IR, you can see out to 50' or so clear as a bell in the darkest night, it is pretty amazing.  With the ambient night light, you can spot movement at 150 yds or more, though it is mostly just vague shapes at the farthest distance.  I have been very happy with it. 

Offline jdonovan

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2013, 07:25:23 AM »
Is the $3-400 range stuff any good?

Depends on your goals. 0-75' general observation under 1/2 or better moon ( or with add-on IR illumination) then its ok.

200'  with clarity... not so much.

I've got some surplus mil, Gen2 gear, and its decent if there is enough light to amplify. But it won't see into 'dark' areas. Remember this is all light amplification.  If there is little light to amplify Gen2 struggles, this is how gen3 is better. G3 requires much less light to get an acceptable image.

Take a look over here for some gear reviews.... http://www.ar15.com/forums/f_2/209_.html  TNVC is a well respected company, and gives fair and honest reviews of the gear.

Here is a review of a $1600 gen 2 kit. http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_2_209/151987_New_NIGHT_VISION_Gen_2__Monocular__the_D_300__UPDATED__with_new_review_and_PICS_.html

your $300 unit will be MUCH less clear, and require A LOT more light to deliver acceptable image quality.

Offline okmulch

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 08:27:07 AM »
Does anyone have any experience with FLIR? They run about $1800. I know they are thermal imaging and different then night vision. Just wondering how good they might be.
Rotochopper b66 track, woodmizer lt40, CAT 277b, CAT 268b, CAT 287c, CAT 277c, CAT299d2

Offline ely

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2013, 09:20:29 AM »
i have a gen3 scope and it was about 780 or so... several years back. it has IRI on on it. works well.
imo i would not buy any night vision without crosshairs in it... thats just me though.
keep in mind when using the infrared illuminator, that anyone with night vision can see you plainly, think like using a flashlight in smoke or fog.

FLIR is next adventure for me. :P

Offline jdonovan

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Re: Night vision equipment
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 09:48:56 AM »
Does anyone have any experience with FLIR? They run about $1800. I know they are thermal imaging and different then night vision. Just wondering how good they might be.

They are great. There are some Problems/limitations with the consumer grade stuff
Low resolution... like 240x180. So at any kind of distance you just get a heat "blob"
Low refresh rate... consumer grade stuff will be down in the 5-10 frames per second
Low battery life 4-5 hours is typical


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