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BIPH users - some questions

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#1 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 07:32 AM

Anybody have one of these? I just have a few questions about it.

Is merging ever an issue?

How does it perform in moderate light polluted skies? Does it bring out more green background? Are there certain filters that would help? Such as a broader band Ha filter like a 12nm vs a 6nm.

Are these still available? Anyone compare to Collins I3?

Does it work like a camera with a focal reducer? I know there are some focal reducers that would take my F/12 MCT down to about F/6, but I also have an F/5 refractor due soon and could could use a reducer/flattener if needed. Would that be better?

Curious about image intensified viewing and video astronomy, but have really liked alt-az mounts and had planned on getting T-Rex or DM6 soon and keep looking at the combo EQ-AZ mounts like the iOptron or Atlas because I'm interested in video if the IIE is not going to happen.

The idea of no wires and manual push still appeals to me over GEM and video, but I'll go through the GEM setup if video will perform substantially better than IIE in light pollution.

I love dark sky trips, but work and parenting get in the way of too many trips and practically speaking, I'm more the backyard observer.

#2 highfnum

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 10:41 AM

I got one
merging never an issue they are bi-ocular not binocular
one big lens

Light pollution can hurt

Use red or ha or sodium reject

Not made anymore only 32 ever made

Use same type of tubes as Collins

Yes like a camera you must supply lens or telescope
Has 2 inch nose


Not made anymore
only used if your lucky

I use red or h alpha or na-ng filter

#3 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:09 AM

Too bad they aren't made anymore. Thanks. I'll keep reading and weighing options.

Not enough interest? Anyone know why the website is still up?

Seems like a great product although a niche market.

#4 highfnum

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:28 AM

site is still up to help current customer with questions
also they supply other more common monocular type

BiPH lens sets are unique
you can be 4 or 5 feet away from device and still see object
and yet you can attach camera to it and still take photo

you never know a future run may someday happen = maybe?

#5 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 11:32 AM

Wonder how hard it is to take something like this or this and convert to Astro use with 2" nosepiece?

#6 PEterW

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 12:33 PM

Look for various posts on this form, there are plenty of commercial monoculars with cmount threads that can be plugged into scopes simply.... The availability depends where you live. You want the fastest optic you can throw at it. Good for micturnal wanderings if the clouds won't cooperate. Red or halpha filter help. If you want to lose count of stars in the sky they can be quite useful!

Cheers

PeterW

#7 StarStuff1

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:04 PM

I love my monocular IIE. Most often it is used with a small scope, focal reducer and Ha filter. Hand held for scanning the MW. With an Orion photographic SkyGlow filter it will bust globular clusters wide open. I have an 8-in f/4 newt I built specifically to use the IIE or a Samsung video camera.

Occasionally I use the IIE with the club's 12-in S/C. Focal reduced of course. An observing buddy has a 15-in f/5 dob. I have a .6 focal reducer that will just allow focus. From a dark site M31 is so bright you can read a newspaper by the light.

#8 cnoct

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:10 PM

Wonder how hard it is to take something like this or this and convert to Astro use with 2" nosepiece?


Now your tracking and doing yourself a huge favor.

The PVS-7B/D are the premier image intensified bi-ocular device for astronomy use, wether it be as a 1x viewer, magnified or as a bi-ocular intensified eyepiece. The same can also be said for the PVS-7A/C.

For bi-ocular viewing, the above systems are what your after, period!

Adapting both is as simple as it gets, a simple c-mount adapter is threaded on inlace of the objective assembly. With the adapter in place, you'll be able to use either a 2" or 1.25" barrel adapter.

There is an exhaustive thread on the above units being used for astronomy. You'll find it here: Night Vision Binoviewers (MilSpec style)

If your also considering a monocular as an image intensified eyepiece, look no further than the NVD Micro Monocular

With the Micro Monocular all you'll need to adapt it to a telescope is a simple 2" or 1.25" barrel adapter. Can't get any simpler than that.

If you do look into any of the above, Night Vision Depot comes highly recommend from myself as well as others on this forum. They are one of two ITT Exilis Distributors and the only one with staff that understands the needs of the astronomy end user.

Image Intensified systems are best used to image at "frame rates" in the nano second range,
fast enough that the "real time/live view" could said to be at the speed of light. This is much different than ccd/cmos imaging systems. It is my opinion that I^2 viewing is more immersive than that afforded by ccd/cmos. For viewing with "refresh rates" near the speed of light there's really only one option as of yet, image intensified systems.

#9 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:39 PM

Thank you very much for the info! I will be reading the links when I get home from work. the specs looked very decent, and I looked through many models, but thought that would give me best performance.

:cool:

#10 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 08:32 PM

Thanks again for links. This looks surprisingly easy once you have suitable C-Mount adapter. Looking at prices, they vary on Gen 3 tubes per resolution, signal to noise ratio, or the addition of manual gain. Seem to all be thin film type. This is looking very promising for when I'm ready to plop down the money on it. The PVS-7 bi-ocular looks very cool, but so does the mil-spec gen 3 pinnacle monoculars that can accept camera mounts.

I'm going to be taking my time to decide, but doing a lot of research in the meantime.

I was weighing in price options and this looks so attractive over buying a bigger scope and hassle of setup to get similar results of what you can see.
The IIE route seems less expensive in the long run over a huge scope and mount for visual observation. Well, unless you go crazy buying IIE's...

I'll continue reading and weighing options. This is still planned for either my 6" F/5 refractor with focal reducer or my mak with focal reducer, but I imagine the refractor will get much more use. Mainly want to see emission nebula and globs better, but some edge on galaxies that I normally can't observe from the backyard would be cool too. Not emphasizing use for galaxies, but I'll sure try to spot some that are normally washed out by LP.

:cool:

#11 De Lorme

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:32 AM

Cnoct, Where would I get the 2" or 1.25 adaptor for the Micro Monocular? Just to clarify{because this sounds to good to be true}would I be able to put the Micro Monocular{
with the 2" or 1.25" adaptor}into the diagonal of my CR6"
and it would work? Thanks for the patience. I have a 8079HP
on it's way right now{because that's all I could afford}but there is tomorrow. Can you recommend any filters that I could use with the 8079HP or the micro monocular?
Thanks for the great help. De Lorme

#12 cnoct

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 04:11 AM

Cnoct, Where would I get the 2" or 1.25 adaptor for the Micro Monocular?


There are numerous sources for the both adapters, price and style are what it comes down to.

Here are a couple sources/options for you:

C-Mount Male to 1.25" Barrel Adapter

C-Mount to 2" Barrel Adapter

1.25" nosepiece to C-Mount

T-Mount and 2" C-Mount Adapter

1.25" adapter C-Mount

Just to clarify{because this sounds to good to be true}would I be able to put the Micro Monocular{with the 2" or 1.25" adaptor}into the diagonal of my CR6"
and it would work?


Yes, you absolutely could, it is as simple as changing an eyepiece.

Here's a video that shows you just how simple these c-mount adapters are to install on the Micro Monocular:

Video on the Micro Monocular

*skip to the 6 minute mark for installing of the referenced part*

Pictures always help as well...


Posted Image

Posted Image



I have a 8079HP on it's way right now{because that's all I could afford}but there is tomorrow. Can you recommend any filters that I could use with the 8079HP or the micro monocular?



[color="brown"]Depends on what your wanting the filter to do. For reducing the effects of artificial light pollution e.g. sodium and mercury lamps, go with a long pass color or ir pass filter that transmits above 625nm (at least) and blocks below (625nm) i.e. make sure the cut-off is above 625nm. For enhancing H-a emitting nebula, go with a narrow H-a filter.


Thanks for the great help. De Lorme


[color="brown"][b]Your absolutely welcome.


#13 cnoct

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:16 AM

Thank you very much for the info! I will be reading the links when I get home from work. the specs looked very decent, and I looked through many models, but thought that would give me best performance.

:cool:


Your welcome.

Those image intensified systems, the ones which have been specifically marketed for and to the astronomy community, are not systems that will give you the best performance. The systems that will give you the best performance are ones whose optical relay assembly is specifically designed to and matches the unique optical characteristics of image intensifiers. Those systems will either be U.S. Military Contracted Systems (addressing U.S. systems and optics only), such as the AN/PVS-7 models or systems which use military contracted/spec'd optics like the Micro Monocular's ocular lens assembly. The ocular lens assembly on the Micro Monocular is the same as found on the AN/PVS-14 and AN/AVS-6/9's. It is specifically designed to match the particular image intensifiers used in those systems. A simple lens assembly seems like such an insignificant thing but it's neither simple nor insignificant.
,

Thanks again for links. This looks surprisingly easy once you have suitable C-Mount adapter. Looking at prices, they vary on Gen 3 tubes per resolution, signal to noise ratio, or the addition of manual gain. Seem to all be thin film type. This is looking very promising for when I'm ready to plop down the money on it. The PVS-7 bi-ocular looks very cool, but so does the mil-spec gen 3 pinnacle monoculars that can accept camera mounts.


The trademark "Pinnacle" belongs to ITT and simply applies to a tube which combines a thinned ion barrier (compared to prior art/technology) and an auto-gating power supply. Both ITT Exilis and L-3 ETO produce "Pinnacle" tubes e.g. thin-filmed and auto-gated, ITT simply trademarked the combination. Keep in mind that the term "thin-filmed" is also some what of a marketing term, the term is simply a reference to film thicknesses achievable with current technology as those compared with prior art e.i. thinner film than previous technology would provide.

L-3 does offers a tube technology that ITT does not, a tube whose MCP has no ion barrier, "Unfilmed MCP". These unfilmed tubes can have unique performance characteristics (e.g. increased contrast and lowlight performance) when compared with filmed MCP technology. This however is not always the case, so one needs patience and a supplier who can select for those unique characteristics. That advise applies to all image intensifiers and systems.

I have found the following characteristics to be more or less true:

ITT tubes produce a view that is smooth with a bit of cinematic softness.

L-3 tubes produce a view that is quite rich with very sharp contrast.

This is best thought of in terms of how a movie is screened, ITT tubes produce views which could be compared to the cinematic quality of a cinema projector movie e.i. movie screened at a theater, while L-3 tubes have more of the contrast and sharpness of HD movies on a home HD LDC monitor. By referencing projector and HD, I'm not implying that HD is better, I'm saying they have different and unique visual characteristics. Some will find the smooth and cinematically soft views with ITT preferable to the high contrast views with L-3. The degree by which their characteristics differ can be quite insignificant or quite pronounced, in either case you'd likely need them side by side to see the difference and only if it was extremely important to you. Ironically I dislike most HD movies and tv, except those on nature. I find HD to be to sharp and rich in most cases and much prefer the cinematic softness of the theatre. However, when it comes to image intensifiers if prefer the opposite, rich and high contrast views.

Both the PVS-7B/D and Micro Monocular use the same camera adapter/mount. Ignore the Morovision branding, it's sold by many without any particular branding.

Again, both systems will accept c-mount accessories though the PVS-7 series will need an extra adapter to allow such.

I'm going to be taking my time to decide, but doing a lot of research in the meantime.

I was weighing in price options and this looks so attractive over buying a bigger scope and hassle of setup to get similar results of what you can see.
The IIE route seems less expensive in the long run over a huge scope and mount for visual observation. Well, unless you go crazy buying IIE's...

I'll continue reading and weighing options. This is still planned for either my 6" F/5 refractor with focal reducer or my mak with focal reducer, but I imagine the refractor will get much more use. Mainly want to see emission nebula and globs better, but some edge on galaxies that I normally can't observe from the backyard would be cool too. Not emphasizing use for galaxies, but I'll sure try to spot some that are normally washed out by LP.

:cool:


Should you continue in pursuit of image intensified astronomy, I'll leave you with a list of outstanding suppliers.

Night Vision Suppliers:

Ident Marking Services
Jason Crum
INFO@IDENTMARKING.COM
Specializing in premium hand select L-3 unfilmed and thin-filmed image intensifiers.

I2 Technologies
Peter Lesbo
pvs14builder@yahoo.com
Specializing in premium hand select L-3 unfilmed and thin-filmed image intensifiers.

MODarmory
Hunter Hamilton
hunter@modarmory.com
Specializing in premium hand select L-3 unfilmed and thin-filmed image intensifiers.

Night Vision Depot
Michael Graham
michael.graham@nvdepot.com
Specializing in premium hand select ITT thin-film image intensifiers and the primary source for the astronomy orientated Micro Monocular Image Intensified Eyepiece.

#14 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:18 PM

I checked out your youtube videos. Great stuff. A lot of info and real time comparisons. The amount of detail is very good. The scintillation - this is standard using longer focal lengths for increased magnification? I noticed the 1x, very fast lenses had virtually no scintillation at all, but the higher powered use was more prominent. I liked the thin film over standard. Much smoother appearance.

#15 PEterW

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:22 PM

Fast is best! Focal reducers rule!

Peter

#16 highfnum

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 02:04 PM

yes faster is better
with a few exceptions

#17 De Lorme

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 03:11 AM

Hi Vondragonnoggin, I also posted this under the "Barrell
Galaxy with IIE and thought you would be interested to.
This is a post from Video & Elect archive under the "filters
for a IIE" by StarStuff in which he says;
"Just for grins I took out the Ha filter and put in an OIII filter. Many more stars were visible but the views of nebulas were worse than before. Next I took the OIII out and put in a Lumicon Deep Sky filter. WOW! MANY more stars were visible in Cygnus. The noise seemed quite subdued
in the IIE. No Ha regions were immediately noticeable or maybe I was just overwhelmed by open clusters and the vast number of stars visible in such a small, hand held instrument working at about 9x. Of course, the majority of these stars were previously subdued by the Ha filter.

I worked my way down the Milky Way to Aquila and was shocked at how easily dark nebulas were visible on such a not so great night. Scanning on down through Scutum, Sagittarius and the tail of Scorpius the views were absolutely mesmerizing. Globular clusters galore, open clusters and star groupings everywhere. The best view of the Scutum Star Cloud I have ever had was years ago from a mountain top on a good night with my 14x70 Fujinon binoculars. Last night was better! Dark nebulas all over the place. I took the focal reducer out and re-installed the Deep Sky filter again and re- visited the MY at 13x. The views were even better at the slightly higher magnification. Quite impressive. Further down the thread he says that he coupled a #25{deep red}to the Lumicon and it worked really well for light pollution. Isn't this great!
These filters are going to make the difference like the Baader 495 Longpass did for achros. "Seek Ye Shall Find"
De Lorme

#18 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 05:14 AM

Thanks for posting that. Yes, pretty excited myself about this type of technology. I tried my hand at AP with a modded Canon Rebel and and EQ5P mount and netbook running APT and Backyard EOS. I didn't like it. It was time consuming and fiddly and I have always used manual mounts and been a star hopper and my eyeballs like looking into an eyepiece, so some type of IIE is perfectly suited to someone like me.

I have been following some of the posts on do it yourself IIE and cascade tube design. Some very interesting reading. Both video from jdbastro and cnoct are really inspiring as are the still shots. I have an aversion to huge telescopes and like my smaller scopes and will enjoy seeing what more I can see with electronically assisted viewing and not having to go with EQ mount or a much larger reflector. My MCT is already over 20lbs with accessories and 2" eyepiece in the diagonal and my 6" refractor even at F/5 is close to 30lbs. That's about as big as I want to go for setup. Coupled with IIE, that should be sufficient to see quite a bit more from the backyard which will be ideal. I am impressed with how much any generation tube will help with open clusters and globs, and very excited to plop an Ha filter in to try out with whichever solution I decide to buy. I still have at least a month to research before my tax return gets to me and I can buy an IIE and get a suitable c-mount adapter and a few filters, but I'll be reading as many posts as I can on IIE use.

:cool:

#19 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 06:14 AM

The two links I posted earlier - one is the gen 3p and the other is gen 3 ghost w/ manual gain. Does anyone have experience trying a gen 3 ghost tube? That is the white phosphor unit.

#20 De Lorme

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 07:26 AM

Cnoct, Thanks very much for posting the pictures. I'll have to make do with the 8079HP for now BUT there is tomorrow even though it may be a way off. Have you seen the pictures on the making a "image intensifier for under $200 in the Video & Electronics forum{p5}? These where taken of the AR15.com "making an image intensifier"{P9} As you know the 8079HP is on it's way and I was able to buy yesterday a PVS-2.
In the Video & Electronics for astronomy archive under
"filter for IIE" StarStuff said the Lumicon Deep Sky filter coupled with the #25{red} was great. The lumicon is on it's way also. With using the PVS-2 and the filters how close in comparison would the 8079HP be to the Micro Monocular?
Thanks for the great help! I really cannot say how much I
appreciate the great help I get here from all you experts.
I would be totally in the dark without CN and you guys on here giving us novices such great guidance. May all your nights be clear and all your skies be dark. De Lorme

#21 De Lorme

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 07:49 AM

Cnoct, Here's the picture taken with the PVC-2 through the
8079HP. De Lorme

Attached Files



#22 highfnum

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:29 AM

for gen I and gen II I found baadar sky glow filter works pretty good. gen I and gen II act more "human" than gen 3 and thus human designed filters work better on them

#23 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 04:51 PM

Just in case my question gets missed with all the other stuff being posted, I am curious if anyone has any experience with the gen 3 ghost (white phosphor) tubes for astronomy?

I'm mainly interested in info on ITT gen 3p, gen 3 ghost with manual gain, or gen 4 (I know it doesn't have the lifespan of gen 3 thin film) or gen 3 + 1 hybrid technologies.

Is it even possible to get a gen 3 + 1 hybrid tube?

#24 PEterW

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:17 AM

Not heard about white phosphor, gen"4" work well as they tend to have superior low light performance and cnoct once posted about a 3+1 and it was very good too. There are plenty if posts on the optimum tube specs to look out for astro usage.

Cheers

Peter

#25 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:03 PM

It I totally let go an eBay item this morning when I should probably have bid.

PVS7-A Gen 3 goggle - the kind you can't find with 25mm ER

Final price was $1035.00

Had no idea of spots on tube or any other issues though and I want to be picky on this purchase. I have spent enough on budget items that I know where I'm going to want to be with image intensified viewing. Going for a pedigreed tube with at least 25db signal to noise and at least 64lpm, gen 3 with inspected tube and no dark spots or other tube issues. I'm sure I'll pay a lot for it, but really want to get the most out of this I possibly can.

Will pick up some good filters too. Ha filter, like maybe a 7nm, have the Baader Moon&Skyglow already, but will pick up another broadband LP photographic filter most likely too.






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