I read these threads and dream that someday it will be a simple task to go to Astronomics or other astronomy vendor web site and get a great NV devices with the accessories to attach it to the focuser. I am willing to wait a few more years for the technology to become better, easier to buy and use.
I also love to backpack and I think a handheld NV monocular with a small objective lens would be the lightest possible astronomy equipment that would be useful to carry on a backpacking trip. I currently carry a 8x42 monocular for day time navigation or very casual astronomy.
It takes one part to attach a device with C mount to a focuser and that part is available right now from Scopestuff.
If you wait for the major vendors to start stocking NV gear, you will likely be waiting for a very, very long time. Most of them will see this as a specialty item that few amateurs will want to buy and they will not be able to add any value over what the NV dealers can already do.
Outstanding for back packing and camping! I never go out in the dark without a piece of Night Vision gear.
And a monocular with a 3x lens makes a jacket pocket system that I think is the ultimate grab and go astronomy tool.
While it might seem expensive, for most people, it has made a lot of seldom used gear look so unappealing that they wind up selling a lot of stuff that they know they will probably never use again. I sold a load of expensive eyepieces. Boring after using NV.
Indeed. Buying an NV tube is as easy as dialing a phone number and pulling out a credit card. The only part that takes work is doing a little due diligence on the technology and the NV vendors. And I'll give you a shortcut there: Rich at Ultimate Night Vision. An awesome vendor who is also an amateur astronomer. He knows that our needs are a little more stringent than the needs of the average hunter.
Once you get the tube, using it in a telescope is no more difficult (or time consuming) than threading on a nebular filter to a conventional eyepiece. The required adapter cost me $24 at ScopeStuff.
With respect to traditional eyepiece manufacturers and vendors getting into NV astronomy, it is very much in their interest NOT to do so. Their margins are small and the business model is based on people amassing large collections of individual eyepieces - a recurring revenue stream. With NV that model of buying behavior gets turned on it's head. I doubt there would be enough margin in that single sale to survive, so naturally they will not go there and talk down the potential of NV at every opportunity.