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Outdoor topics => The Outdoor Board => Topic started by: LeeB on April 22, 2013, 12:08:47 AM

Title: Night vision equipment
Post by: LeeB on April 22, 2013, 12:08:47 AM
Any recommendations on night vision equipment that won't break the bank?
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: scsmith42 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.

Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: doctorb 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.
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: Cedarman 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.
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: LeeB on April 22, 2013, 04:37:20 PM
Is the $3-400 range stuff any good?
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: scsmith42 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.
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: doctorb 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:   
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: SLawyer Dave 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. 
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: jdonovan 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 (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.
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: okmulch 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.
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: ely 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
Title: Re: Night vision equipment
Post by: jdonovan 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