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Old 15 October 2006, 15:35   #1
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Night Vision

Has anybody any experience of practical Night Vision for a RIB. IE Night vision similar to that used by Armed Forces that sits permanently over the eye.
I'm looking at costs and actual real life usability.
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Old 15 October 2006, 15:41   #2
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NVGs come in 3 generations - they perform much the same in low light - it's what they do with bright lights that makes the difference.

The gen1 will white out if you look at any lights in the background which makes them almost impossible to use coming into a busy harbour.

Gen2 are much better but still not perfect - gen3 are the ones to have but they are NOT cheap!!!

I have used all 3 and they do work very well - goggles do not have any magnification as a rule.

I bought a waterproof 3x mag gen1/2 monocular which is great in dark conditions - especially with it's own built in IR illuminator. The range on the little IR beam is amazing - from 1 mountain side to the other - about 1 mile I suppose!!!

I reckon electronic is the way to go - a ccd camera with an IR illuminator works very well and won't white out much - if you have something like a Raymarine E series you can then couple it up to that.
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Old 15 October 2006, 15:51   #3
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I have used night vision and have had problems with white light. Interesting to hear about your results with CCD. Unfortunately for me I don't have the capability or space to fit a Raymarine E series.

Cruising the Solent I guess I would get major problems with other sources of light which would make standard Night Vision pretty useless.

Of course the other way to go would be Radar but I think that would kill me eventually on my size of RIB. I must admit because I'm a gadget man I would love some kind of Radar, that would be ultra cool.
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Old 16 October 2006, 04:45   #4
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Codprawn - "gen1/2"?? It's hybrid?

Admittedly it's been 17 years since I last played with these, so technology may have moved on a long way since then.

The difference between gen 1 & 2 was huge, they work on totally different principles. The gen 1 units had a low gain, so the image intensifier units were stacked up in the housing to increase the total gain (the one's I saw had 3 working together). The image from them was very clear, however the downside was the physical bulkiness of the unit - about the size of a large lens. Worked well as a gun sight, or as a handheld unit, but certainly not capable of being head mounted.

The Gen 2 units were about the same size as a single stage of the Gen 1 units - therefore total unit size was about 1/3rd. They work on a totally different principle to the Gen 1's, and image quality is much lower. They produce a very grainy image - look at nighttime TV footage from iraq at the overall graininess. This is how the Gen 2's I used looked.

The Gen 1 units use very very high voltage to energise the tubes. As a result, they're very susceptible to moisture.

Afraid I know nothing about Gen 3's.

If you're looking 2nd hand or military surplus, make sure it's a genuine image intensifier and not just an infra-red unit. Physically they can look identical, so it's easy to get them mismatched. An image intensifier can work with infra-red light, but an infra red unit won't work as an image intensifier.
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Old 16 October 2006, 06:31   #5
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Yes it has moved quite a way - the reason I said Gen 1/2 was becuase they have been tinkering with the gen1 tubes and making them as user freindly as the gen2 - for example not hating bright light so much - reducing the bulk etc. Also making them waterproof.

You can get gen 1 googles but they are rather bulky.

http://www.yukonamericas.com/index.a...PROD&ProdID=20

Yukon(Russian) make the best of the budget stuff - the one I have above is great and very compact.

Nice to know though that the best NVGs in the world are made in Wales!!!
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