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Mod 3 with C mount Arrives! Kinda.. Sorta..

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#1 Eddgie

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 12:58 PM

Ouch..  Five months of waiting and high hopes of getting the Mod 3 binocular before my trip to Colorado, and at the last minute, a snag.

 

On final inspection, the vendor noticed that he could see a pattern in the screen of one tubes that showed up under brighter skies. Knowing that I am going to be using it for astronomy, the vendor contacted me and offered to ship it to me anyway and exchange it when the new tubes arrive, but i suggested  that it would be better for me to wait on the next shipment of tubes than to use the tube with the pattern.   As long as I have waited, I did not want to vendor to suffer the loss of profit from having to turn this new tube into a used tube when it might be fine for someone using it in other applications.  As it was, he said it was difficult to see, but knowing my particular application, he just decided to not risk shipping it.

 

Ok, the Mod 3 though is a binocular that converts into two monoculars, and while I can''t get the complete binocular, after the decision was made to not ship the binocular with the tube showing the pattern, we both agreed that there was no reason not to go ahead and ship one of the monoculars and I am excited to say that it arrived today!

 

The Mod 3 has been around a while, but the previous versions used the PVS-14 style or ANVIS aircraft style objective lens and these lenses are not easily removed in the field to convert to telescope use.  I contacted Adam Baker at ABNightvision several months ago and asked if he had a plan to produce the Mod 3 in C mount, and while he indicated that he had thought about it, it was back burner stuff.

 

I asked them to contact me though if they got around to making it in C mount, and about 8 weeks ago, I got the word that production had started.  

As a stand alone monocular, the price will be higher than would be the case with a Micro and the package, while still small enough to fit in a jacket pocket is just enough larger than the Micro that the Micro is still (in my own mind) the undisputed champ of portability. 

 

On the other hand, for someone using this in urban conditions, the Mod 3 can be (optionally and more expensively) fitted with manual gain, and this makes it kind of unusual in having both manual gain capability and C mount   The Micro can be used with the CCTV lens in urban conditions and here, the aperture ring can kind of substitute for gain control to supress glare and while the mechanisms are different.

 

Who should buy the Mod 3 C instead of the Micro?   Well, if you think that buying a Micro is expensive, then I doubt that a binocular is in your future.   If you think you need manual gain, then the Mod 3 C might be of interest.

 

The  real target market for the Mod-3 C to me is the person that already has NV and knows that they love it, but wants to move from a PVS-7 for low power work to a true binocular.  Here, they can work their way up by adding the pieces as the go along. If they start with the Mod 3 C as a pod, they can add the second Pod in the future, or even just accullate the parts a little at a time and save the tube purchase for last but still be getting the benefit of the monocular along the way. 

 

So, here it is:Untitled.jpg

This one has manual gain, and the tube is an L3 Filmless White Phosphor.

 

The device is heavier and bulkier than the Micro and while in absolute terms, the difference may be small, but to the hand, the Mod 3 feels much bulkier.  While the Micro could be shirt pocket carried, this one is maybe just past that limit, but jacket pocket and around the neck are both about the same.    The Micro is the Micro though, and in my mind, the Micro still reins supreme to me as the ultimate in Grab and Go in terms of size and weight.   Here are pics of each in the hand for size comparison...  The manual gain control adds kind of a big nodule on the top of the housing and the power supply has to contain the space for the contacts and dovetail.  Again, while the difference in size is not great, when the small and petite package of the Micro is compared in the hand, no one would mistake them in a blindfold test.   The difference in size and weight is quite immediately apparent.  Not that the Mod 3 pod is "big and bulky" in absolute terms,, but when comparing small things, one has to be relative to the size domain involved.  

 

 

Mod 3 C monocular.jpg Micro in hand.jpg

 

If I were not going for gain control and a binoviewer upgrade, I would not have left the Micro.   I loved my micro.  The only reason I sold it was to move to a true binocular and I have missed not having the Micro. It was so small and so light that I thought nothing of taking it with me whenever I stepped out of the house at night.   It would fit in a pant pocket.   The Mod 3 though is just just just a midge to big to do this in anything but shorts or pants with a loose fit.

 

I know I may be over-stating the importance of this, but I could put the Micro even in a Jean pocket and that meant it went everywhere I did at night...

 

And once get the ability to see in the dark, you don't like being without it..   

 

Fit and finish are excellent.  The Mod 3 uses a dovetailed power pack to run the device when it is demounted from the binocular bridge and fit on this is tight and free of slop.  It is easy to demount from the binocular frame by a plunger type lock, and it is removed from the battery pack the same way.  The latch is on the battery pack or the bridge an not on the tube housing. 

 

Objective in in this case ENVIS or whatever C mount lens desired, and the eyepiece is the all glass optics type used on the Micro or PVS-14.

 

Have not tried it under the stars, but the dark room test showed the crisp, clear monocular view of the Micro ULT.    Not that the crispness and clarity of a Monocular is so much better than a PVS-7 that it is worth using one eye to get, but it does to my eye, appear to have a crispness and clarity that none of the PVS-7 I owned could quite match.   

 

The L3 filmless tube worked great in my not so dark dark room, but in this rather bright setting, any difference between this and the Micro ULT (from memory) was not apparent though under the dark sky, things may of course be different. .

 

As to the color...   Not white on a pure white ceiling.  Kind of a bluish cast..   I suspect stars will appear white, but a full scene view is a very slight pale blue cast and a flat white ceiling is not flat white in the view.    

 

We are under haze and clouds a lot, but there is usually a break here and there, and I hope to get it out tonight and post  my half a binocular impressions tomorrow.


Edited by Eddgie, 19 July 2016 - 02:14 PM.

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#2 vipinkamath

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 01:14 PM

Would love to hear how it compares to the MICRO in actual use under the skies.



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#3 Eddgie

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 02:31 PM

And I should mention that the vendor I am using is Ultimate Night Vision and I am working with Richard.

 

Ultimate Night Vision was one of the only people that had L3 Filmless WP tubes in stock (and not really in stock but that is a different story for a different time).    

Richard as it turns out is also using NV for astronomy though I think perhaps on a more casual basis, but I know he does observe because we discussed it during our dealings. 

 

This is perhaps what allowed Richard to make the last minute quality call.   Someone looking at a typical busy NV scene perhaps may not have seen this very subtle pattern, but because Richard was testing them knowing that they would be used in a very demanding application by a person that would probably see it as a disctraction, he pressed the Abort button before shipping and let me know what happened.  

And again, they did offer to ship it and exchange the tube later for a new one, but that would have meant the tube I used would be used.   He said maybe they could put in it their rental program, but I did not want them to take a big hit on a tube that could still be sold as new to someone where this particular characteristic would not be noticable or objectionable.

 

I have seen this with "Honecomb."   For general NV, it is not at all objectionable, but when looking at a bright sky with a fast lens, honeycomb was very easy to see in one device.  Even here, it was not horrible, but I could see it and given my choice, would rather not have it.    Richard said he has never seen this in an L3 filmless tube before though, so I would guess it was just a fluke, but still should not stop it from being useful to most people I would guess.   He said he only barely noticed it.

 

But I know how I am.   Once I notice something, I find it hard to un-notice it.   I struggled with the Denkmeier LOA eyepeices because once I started seeing the odd effects of the arrays, I could not un-see them.   

 

So, right call for Richard to tell me, and as painful as the wait will be, I would rather get the right tube than live with something that I might not see, but that if I did see, might not be able to un-see.

 

Richard has been very good to deal with and for someone wanting a custom built system, I can say so far I have been pleased with them despite the long wait involved.   Just not a typical astro-purchase made even less typical becuase it involves a new, never sold before housing..   

 

My guess is that the next person would not have to wait as long and if they are OK with Green, that would make it pretty fast I think.



#4 Eddgie

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 02:33 PM

Here is a video done by Richard using L3 Filmless tube with WP...

 

Note that even here, you can still see kind of a bluish tone....Still looks pretty awesome to me!!!

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=xrnTaYAr4pA


Edited by Eddgie, 19 July 2016 - 02:34 PM.

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#5 Eddgie

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 02:39 PM

And is that a satillite at one minute thirty seconds in?  Very bright flash... 

I first see it a 1:21 in the upper right hand corner..  It appears to sow a pretty constant albedo, but then right at 1:30, a very bright (well this is Night Vision, so a very bright to night vison) flash and then fades and exits at the starting brightness.

 

Even satellites are freaking cool in NV....



#6 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 04:05 PM

It sounds like you selected a great vendor, really watching out for you.

 

What are the specs on that WP tube?



#7 Eddgie

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 05:19 PM

They are L3 Filmless.  SN in the 32 range with EBI in the .35 range.  I don't recall photocathoed but it seems like it was in the 2200 range.   Halo was very low at something like .9 or so.   The view is super crisp and clear, but I have not had a chance to see how it works at night. 

 

I have heard that L3 tubes can be as high as S/N of 35, but I could not find any like this in WP, and to be honest, I kind of struggled to find them at all and still don't have an actual pair of tubes even after almost two months of trying. 


Edited by Eddgie, 19 July 2016 - 06:03 PM.


#8 eastwd

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 06:11 PM

EBI in the .35 range.

 

All those specs are great, but THAT particular figure is FANTASTIC!  Congrats, Ed!  Looking forward to hearing your report, including whether and when you think having gain control is helpful. 



#9 Eddgie

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 09:25 PM

I just re-checked he spec sheet,

 

EBI is .2!

 

You know, when you look at the specs overall, they don't really look like it would make the tube perform much better than thin film, but everyone says they are better.

 

Many of the specs are simply not that much different. than thin filmed tubes I have owned.

 

So, is it the EBI that makes the filmless tubes perform better?  I mean the photocathode response and S/N are not that much better than the thin filmed tubes, so how could the filmless outperform the filmed tubes??  Is it simply the fact that the EBI is half the EBI of some of the best thin filmed tubes????

 

I was pretty surprised by this number when I re-checked.  The first time, I guess I had looked at the "Range" number and mistook it for the actual spec.   Actual recorded spec was the .2 above.   


Edited by Eddgie, 19 July 2016 - 09:36 PM.

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#10 eastwd

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 03:06 PM

Ed, is the Mod 3 C Pod monocular threaded on the bottom so it can be mounted onto a photo tripod like the NVD Micro?

 

Larry



#11 Eddgie

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 06:27 PM

It can be mounted like the Micro or like the PVS-14.

 

Ed, is the Mod 3 C Pod monocular threaded on the bottom so it can be mounted onto a photo tripod like the NVD Micro?

 

Larry

 

I don't know what the thread size is, but it can be mounted to anything that the PVS-14 could mount to, and I think the Micro could also use PVS-14 mount so that would make the threads the same.   



#12 Sarkikos

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 07:53 PM

1/4-20?

 

Mike



#13 cnoct

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 11:37 AM

If I were not going for gain control and a binoviewer upgrade, I would not have left the Micro.


Given the number of times I keep reiterating that the MOD-3c was only worth acquiring if it featured both a c-mount interface and external gain adjustment, which seemed futile on a few occassions :beat:
I'm actually a bit surprised you hung in and did what was suggested way back in January, here and [herehere.

Though it seems your not so happy you did, at least as far as holding out for the MOD-3c optical pod with both c-mount and integrated EGAC.

There are those who will prefer the simple form and function of the timeless NVD Micro Monocular, you may be one of them or you may find the combination of the c-mount interface and EGAC invaluable to your nocturnal pursuits whether astronomical or terrestrial.

If you ever find yourself wanting to change back to the Micro, the L3 unfilmed tube in your MOD-3c can be easily integrated into a Micro housing. The power supply on your 11769 unfilmed tube features an auto configuring power supply so EGAC 'pigtail' is the plug in type.

The auto configuring power supply on the L3 tubes is another reason I insisted you get an L3 unfilmed tube for the EGAC enabled MOD-3c, you can repurpose it to almost any housing at any time.
 

I loved my micro.  The only reason I sold it was to move to a true binocular and I have missed not having the Micro. It was so small and so light that I thought nothing of taking it with me whenever I stepped out of the house at night.   It would fit in a pant pocket.   The Mod 3 though is just just just a midge to big to do this in anything but shorts or pants with a loose fit.
 
I know I may be over-stating the importance of this, but I could put the Micro even in a Jean pocket and that meant it went everywhere I did at night...

 
The elegant form of the NVD Micro Monocular and rational functionality are exactly why it has no compare. The form and function perfectly suit astronomy applications.
 
Having taken delivery of your MOD-3c, do you still consider the MOD-3c to be "direct upgrade to NVD Micro housing"?
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#14 Sarkikos

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 12:26 PM

I favor the plug-n-play simplicity of the NVD Micro Monocular.  Which is why I'm still leaning toward purchasing one, rather then dealing with these newer possibilities.  

 

On the other hand, it would be nice if the Micro had built-in manual gain control ...

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 22 July 2016 - 12:29 PM.


#15 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 02:27 PM

 

If I were not going for gain control and a binoviewer upgrade, I would not have left the Micro.

Given the number of times I keep reiterating that the MOD-3c was only worth acquiring if it featured both a c-mount interface and external gain adjustment, which seemed futile on a few occassions :beat:
....

 

The elegant form of the NVD Micro Monocular and rational functionality are exactly why it has no compare. The form and function perfectly suit astronomy applications.

 

I'm a little confused here as to priorities ....

 

Would you consider the gain control a lower priority vs. the Micro form factor?



#16 Eddgie

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 02:52 PM

 

If I were not going for gain control and a binoviewer upgrade, I would not have left the Micro.


Given the number of times I keep reiterating that the MOD-3c was only worth acquiring if it featured both a c-mount interface and external gain adjustment, which seemed futile on a few occassions :beat:
I'm actually a bit surprised you hung in and did what was suggested way back in January, here and [herehere.

Though it seems your not so happy you did, at least as far as holding out for the MOD-3c optical pod with both c-mount and integrated EGAC.

There are those who will prefer the simple form and function of the timeless NVD Micro Monocular, you may be one of them or you may find the combination of the c-mount interface and EGAC invaluable to your nocturnal pursuits whether astronomical or terrestrial.

If you ever find yourself wanting to change back to the Micro, the L3 unfilmed tube in your MOD-3c can be easily integrated into a Micro housing. The power supply on your 11769 unfilmed tube features an auto configuring power supply so EGAC 'pigtail' is the plug in type.

The auto configuring power supply on the L3 tubes is another reason I insisted you get an L3 unfilmed tube for the EGAC enabled MOD-3c, you can repurpose it to almost any housing at any time.
 

I loved my micro.  The only reason I sold it was to move to a true binocular and I have missed not having the Micro. It was so small and so light that I thought nothing of taking it with me whenever I stepped out of the house at night.   It would fit in a pant pocket.   The Mod 3 though is just just just a midge to big to do this in anything but shorts or pants with a loose fit.
 
I know I may be over-stating the importance of this, but I could put the Micro even in a Jean pocket and that meant it went everywhere I did at night...

 
The elegant form of the NVD Micro Monocular and rational functionality are exactly why it has no compare. The form and function perfectly suit astronomy applications.
 
Having taken delivery of your MOD-3c, do you still consider the MOD-3c to be "direct upgrade to NVD Micro housing"?

 

Did I say that??  It is possible that I either mis-stated it or that the upgrade was taken out of context.

 

The Mod 3 C is an upgrade path not "From " the Micro..  You are right. They are very different in how they handle and the Micro I believe handles better.  It just fits the hand so beautifully!

 

The context of the "Upgrade" would be that is someone wanted to upgrade from a monocular to a binocular, then the Mod 3 might be a better path. . I know you can get a bracket to hook up two Micros, but I did not feel confident that I could do so while using 3x afocal lenses. 

 

So, sorry if I was confusing.  I don't think of the Mod 3 is an "upgrade" to the performance of the Micro but rather see the Mod 3 as being a way to upgrade to a true binocular in the future.

 

My bad if I was confusing with that.     

 

 

Though it seems your not so happy you did, at least as far as holding out for the MOD-3c optical pod with both c-mount and integrated EGAC.

 

Quite the contrary. Your advice was dead on, and I am thrilled with the Mod 3 and L3 tube.. I have not had enough chance to use the gain in a telescope or conditions that would really let me see the full range of performance difference.

 

I mentioned that I had been experiencing some buyer''s remorse, but that was before I took delivery. When you get a very hefty charge on your credit card and go a month without having something to hold in your hand, I think remorse can creep in....  Once I used it, I said that I had immediately put a dagger though the heart of that remorse.   

 

My frustrations are still not having a complete system, not knowing when I will have a complete system, and the freaking moon, which is taking so long to get out of me sky!!!!  

Even with the moon though, I could sell see the Cats Paw, the Trifid, the duck (even at 3x, you can see the ducks profile) and the Eagle.

 

Last night was maybe mag 3 at best, and with 650nm pass filter and the moon 15 degrees above the horizon in the east, I could follow the Great Rift from the treetops into the Northern hemisphere.

 

Am quite thrilled with the Mod 3 and L3 tube, but frustrated about the delay in getting the other half, and can't get the Mod 3 into my skinny jeans pocket.. :lol: .. LIke I have a lot of those in my closet...   And the moon.   Make it go away, Cnoct!!!!



#17 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 05:42 PM

Am quite thrilled with the Mod 3 and L3 tube, but frustrated about the delay in getting the other half, and can't get the Mod 3 into my skinny jeans pocket.. :lol: .. LIke I have a lot of those in my closet...   And the moon.   Make it go away, Cnoct!!!!

 

 

Compared against the 12 Nagler you posted earlier, (perhaps in another thread) the Mod 3 monocular didn't look that bad.

 

Skinny jeans no, but a point-n-shoot camera case would do nicely. Something like the AmazonBasics Medium Point and Shoot Case for about $6. Easily attaches to your belt.


Edited by Jeff Morgan, 22 July 2016 - 05:45 PM.


#18 Eddgie

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 10:13 PM

The Mod 3 is only "big" in comparison to the Micro. Neither device would be considered big by anyone I don't think. 

 

That is why I posted the picture.. to make it easier for people to see the scale and as anyone can see, it is about the size of a 12mm Nagler.

 

If you can put a 12mm Nagler in your pocket, you can get a Mod 3 in your pocket..

 

Not that you would ever want to walk around with a 12mm Nagler in you pocket at night, but if you had an NVD Micro or Mod 3,. I can promise that you would want to walk around with that in your pocket at night.

This was in fact one of my reasons for going to the Mod 3.in the first place. If I just wanted a binocular, I had several choices.   The Mod 3 lets have a binocular, but still lets me convert it to a monocular in seconds so I still have a small carry device.  I will still carry the Mod 3. The little extra bulk does not prevent that, but I will have to wear looser pants to be able to carry it with me.

 

The panic comes when you realize that none of your pants are as loose as they used to be...  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:



#19 Sarkikos

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 10:44 PM

 

Am quite thrilled with the Mod 3 and L3 tube, but frustrated about the delay in getting the other half, and can't get the Mod 3 into my skinny jeans pocket.. :lol: .. LIke I have a lot of those in my closet...   And the moon.   Make it go away, Cnoct!!!!

 

 

Compared against the 12 Nagler you posted earlier, (perhaps in another thread) the Mod 3 monocular didn't look that bad.

 

Skinny jeans no, but a point-n-shoot camera case would do nicely. Something like the AmazonBasics Medium Point and Shoot Case for about $6. Easily attaches to your belt.

 

 

Yep, I would never carry a $3000 to $4000+ gizmo in a pocket, especially a pants pocket!  That reminds me of these folks who carry their cell phone in their back pockets and wind up breaking them.  I know one guy who has broken cell phones several times this way.  What do they say about "crazy?"  ... repeating the same stupid action over and over.   :grin:

 

When I get an NVD, I will carry it in a secure case.  I have a rugged, built-like-a-tank old video recorder case I'll carry mine in.  No sense my getting any case that attaches to a belt ... I don't wear belts!

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 22 July 2016 - 10:45 PM.


#20 cnoct

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 11:07 PM

Would you consider the gain control a lower priority vs. the Micro form factor?


For the vast majority of users, yes!

In Edggie's case no, which why I suggested an EGAC equipped MOD-3c to Edggie back in January. At that time, he was considering a MOD-3 that neither had EGAC nor a c-mount interface. For an avid astronomer, as Edggie seems to be, going to a system that was not all that suited to astronomy just didn't make sense. This is why the MOD-3c and EGAC is even in play.

The NVD Micro Monocular is timeless!

#21 Eddgie

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 11:50 PM

Having owned both the Micro ULT and Mod 3 now, I can say without reservation that both are noting short of amazing.    I loved the Micro ULT and hated to part with it, but I needed the money to put towards the binocular and while the wait is not over, I am loving the Mod 3 with L3 filmless as a monocular already!

 

Whatever their differences, the fun factor is enormous with either one of them.



#22 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 06:39 AM

Forgive my confusion, but what monocular exactly is used in that Mod3 configuration? I had the impression that it was called a Mod3 monocular, but when I try to look up "Mod3 Monocular" all I come up with is the bino configuration with no real reference to what monocular is being used, though I thought that one place referenced the PVS-14. 



#23 cnoct

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 07:11 AM

what monocular exactly is used in that Mod3 configuration?

 

The MOD-3 is the system designation for the modular dual tube system that Adam Barker designed and produces. 

 

The MOD-3 designation doesn't technically apply to the monocular configuration of the optical pods of the MOD-3.

 

Here's the monocular, sans the c-mount interface that Eddgie is using http://nvdepot.com/p...?v=7516fd43adaa


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#24 Eddgie

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 07:59 AM

Yes, the Mod 3 is a "modular" binocular with two pods that mount on to a bridge/frame via dovetails.

 

Each pod can be removed and connected to a small power pack via the same dovetail converting the pod to a monocular so you can have one binocular or two monoculars.

This means that while the binocular can't be used in a telescope for two eye viewing, one still has the ability to de-mount one from the bridge and use it as an eyepiece in a telescope.

 

The monocular does not have a specific name, but you can buy it by asking for a single Mod 3 pod.  The dealers would know what you are talking about.

 

Don't expect that all of the dealers talk about if you saw "Mod 3 C"   That is just what I called it to denote the C mount interface, but again, that is not an actual designation. You would have to be specific and say that you wanted a singe Mod 3 housing with C mount interface, and likely you would have to tell them at this point that it is available because they may not know.

 

I see this as a device that the largest target market will likely be astro people because this is the most likely place where the C mount becomes important.   

 

Frankly, I would not use an ENVIS lens for general NV work.. It is already to slow focusing for general NV and even on a monocular or PVS-7 where you needed to only turn one lens, as compared too the PVS-7 standard objective, it is slow to focus up close with the ENVIS.    Most people using NV for hunting or something are going to want the quick focus of the PVS-14 or ANVIS.   

 

My guess is that the small number of C mount pods sold will be to astronomers.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Mod 3 housing with power supply and bridge.jpg
  • Mod 3 half a bino.jpg

Edited by Eddgie, 23 July 2016 - 08:09 AM.

  • Doug Culbertson and Sarkikos like this

#25 Doug Culbertson

Doug Culbertson

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 08:03 AM

Thanks to both of you for clearing that up!


Edited by Doug Culbertson, 23 July 2016 - 08:04 AM.



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