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Interested In Night Vision EAA

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#1 Todd N

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 06:22 PM

Hi folks,

 

Is there a cheap monocular out there that can be used for EAA? I've seen some images with Gen3 devices but it seems like they are extremely expensive and the finite life of the light intensifying tube makes it a no go for me. Can a cheap one be modified, IR pass filter be removed? BTW, I'm not interested in video astronomy; I own several of such cams.

 

Thanks,

 

Todd

 

 



#2 BBQwings3

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:00 PM

How much do you want to spend?

#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:01 PM

Hi, Todd; Certainly worth asking!

 

Alas, I think your "cheap" requirement pretty much precludes anything decent.

 

One of the most common, reoccurring questions here, and elsewhere, involves wanting superior hardware... on the cheap.

 

About half the time, the answer is "Yes!"

>grinding, polishing, figuring one's own telescope mirrors

>building Dobsonian mounts

>home-made observatories

>writing one's own software

>buying last-generation equipment, used

>using club loaner equipment

 

Unfortunately, making your own Gen 3 NV just ain't possible. I worked on those devices for a while and they are... sophisticated! The infrastructure needed to make them is WAY up there! Gen 3 viewer for a mere few $K is quite a bargain. That's just the nature of it.  Tom

 

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#4 Todd N

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:07 PM

How much do you want to spend?

Less than $300


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#5 BBQwings3

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:07 PM

Gen3 is rated for 10,000 hours.

So it'll run 3+ years 8 hrs a day.
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#6 Todd N

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:12 PM

Hi, Todd; Certainly worth asking!

 

Alas, I think your "cheap" requirement pretty much precludes anything decent.

 

One of the most common, reoccurring questions here, and elsewhere, involves wanting superior hardware... on the cheap.

 

About half the time, the answer is "Yes!"

>grinding, polishing, figuring one's own telescope mirrors

>building Dobsonian mounts

>home-made observatories

>writing one's own software

>buying last-generation equipment, used

>using club loaner equipment

 

Unfortunately, making your own Gen 3 NV just ain't possible. I worked on those devices for a while and they are... sophisticated! The infrastructure needed to make them is WAY up there! Gen 3 viewer for a mere few $K is quite a bargain. That's just the nature of it.  Tom

 

Thanks for responding. I wasn't implying trying to buy Gen3 parts or whatever to make my own device to save a buck. I'm interested in if there is anything reasonably inexpensive that can be used and especially modified(filters) and adapted for telescope.

 

Todd



#7 BBQwings3

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:14 PM

If you shop around you can pick up a PVS-4/TVS-5 for around $375-400

 

They are Gen2 probably the best yoully get around the price. 

 

You could try the 8079hp Gen1 tubes you can home build something with. 


Edited by BBQwings3, 22 October 2018 - 07:15 PM.

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#8 BBQwings3

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:29 PM

Find a used Gen2 ITT Night Mariner. I got my first for $270 and the second one for $350. 


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#9 BBQwings3

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:43 PM

Less than $300

Furthermore you can get a C mount adapter for the Night Mariner. Then put it on a telescope. 


Edited by BBQwings3, 22 October 2018 - 07:44 PM.


#10 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:49 PM

Gen3 is rated for 10,000 hours.

So it'll run 3+ years 8 hrs a day.

 

 

Under normal usage, should outlive/outlast the average middle-aged astronomer.

 

Maybe even a young one.


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#11 outofsight

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 08:03 PM

If you get lucky you can sometimes find an M944 for around $600, that's about the best you can do. Good luck with your search.

 

The M944 will take a C mount to 1.25" adapter for a telescope.


Edited by outofsight, 22 October 2018 - 08:41 PM.


#12 Kevdog

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 11:52 AM

I have a Gen 3 up for sale in the eyepiece forum, but it's $1100.    It's a pretty good tube though.   I replaced it with a modern WP tube, but it was still a significant improvement over normal glass!



#13 BBQwings3

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 12:51 PM

I have a Gen 3 up for sale in the eyepiece forum, but it's $1100.    It's a pretty good tube though.   I replaced it with a modern WP tube, but it was still a significant improvement over normal glass!

Where did you get your WP tube from. How much did it cost you? 



#14 Todd N

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 05:10 AM

Thanks for all the feedback. But, I won't be considering something in the higher price ranges even used. I intend to buy something cheap and see if I can modify it for astronomical use. I see some devices used CCDs and are not true photomultiplier devices. If I succeed I report back to this forum.

 

Regards,

 

Todd



#15 Eddgie

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 08:05 AM

Thanks for all the feedback. But, I won't be considering something in the higher price ranges even used. I intend to buy something cheap and see if I can modify it for astronomical use. I see some devices used CCDs and are not true photomultiplier devices. If I succeed I report back to this forum.

 

Regards,

 

Todd

No CCD will come close to the performance on NV, but that does not mean you can't get a good result.  It will simply not be real time.

 

The Revolution Imager R2 is a great setup and this is what I would recommend you look at.   Right at your budget but you might have to wait 10 seconds to see the capture. While not real time, it does work with relatively short exposures (as compared to conventional high resolution astro-camers.)

 

And with R2, you get color.   NV is totally monocrhomatic.  Everything is either black/green or black/white.  With R2, you can get color in many targets. 

 

https://www.revolutionimager.com/


Edited by Eddgie, 24 October 2018 - 08:06 AM.


#16 Kevdog

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 06:16 PM

Where did you get your WP tube from. How much did it cost you? 

i2 Night Vision and it was $3800 IIRC (without a lens).



#17 Mike 200K

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 05:09 PM

Interesting thread.  Any updates here?

 

thanks

michael



#18 30mmgunpilot

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 08:51 PM

“Interesting thread. Any updates here?”

Funny, I happened by this forum for the first time ever today, too!

I was motivated by an observing session last night. I recently added encoders and WiFi (nexus ii) to my 20 year old Giro 2 mount and equally aged Stellarvue 102, and now I can find objects in my light polluted skies-which got me thinking about night vision aided astronomy. I got some hints of structure in the pin wheel. Pluto was centered in my eyepiece with too few photons available to excite my retina. alas. Wouldn’t it be great if... so here I am, eager to learn. It may be a bit before I get one of those nice WP rigs, but dang, it’s nice to even have those options available!

I’m a soon to be retired Army helo pilot, and I have a couple thousand hours flying with NVGs and IR imaging systems.

I think my “dream” would be to have something along the lines of the old Collins I3 eyepiece that I could have in a turret, so I could switch from high mag optical (planets and binaries) to low power wonders (galaxies and nebula). Yeah, I want to have my cake and eat it too!

Anyway, sorry about the long, drawn out introduction, but I wanted say “Hi” and give special thanks to Eddgie for his introductory write up on EAA that pointed me in this direction!
—Rob

Edited by 30mmgunpilot, 04 April 2020 - 09:07 PM.

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#19 Eddgie

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Posted 04 April 2020 - 09:12 PM

There is no new advance in image intensifiers since this thread started.

 

Since this was posted, we have gone from a hand full of people to over 60 that are now using image intensified eyepieces. Most will tell you that as expensive as it can be, it is still the best money that they have ever spent on the hobby.

 

There are tons of posts on this forum covering the devices, different equipment, doing photos, and about observations people have made.  It is a treasure chest of info here.

 

Everyone doing NV will be eager to help with any questions you might have.


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#20 Mike 200K

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Posted 05 April 2020 - 12:53 AM

“Interesting thread. Any updates here?”

Funny, I happened by this forum for the first time ever today, too!

I was motivated by an observing session last night. I recently added encoders and WiFi (nexus ii) to my 20 year old Giro 2 mount and equally aged Stellarvue 102, and now I can find objects in my light polluted skies-which got me thinking about night vision aided astronomy. I got some hints of structure in the pin wheel. Pluto was centered in my eyepiece with too few photons available to excite my retina. alas. Wouldn’t it be great if... so here I am, eager to learn. It may be a bit before I get one of those nice WP rigs, but dang, it’s nice to even have those options available!

I’m a soon to be retired Army helo pilot, and I have a couple thousand hours flying with NVGs and IR imaging systems.

I think my “dream” would be to have something along the lines of the old Collins I3 eyepiece that I could have in a turret, so I could switch from high mag optical (planets and binaries) to low power wonders (galaxies and nebula). Yeah, I want to have my cake and eat it too!

Anyway, sorry about the long, drawn out introduction, but I wanted say “Hi” and give special thanks to Eddgie for his introductory write up on EAA that pointed me in this direction!
—Rob

And thanks for your service Rob!



#21 careysub

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 08:41 AM

On the theme introduced earlier on this thread, about an inexpensive NV set-up, wherein the PVS-4 is mentioned, I see there is a listing for a tube (not a complete device) on eBay right now for $495.

 

When I first got interested in this (a couple of years before this thread started) I bought an 8079hp Gen 1 tube, but never got around to trying to build anything (there is a UK outfit that offers a complete kit for these now). I still have it, and am willing to sell if anyone is interested.

 

I still have an interest in getting a pre-Gen 3 device that I can take to Australia for southern hemisphere viewing.

 

Along those lines - the current ITAR restriction on export is a tube with a figure of merit of 1400 or above (lines per mm times SNR). I see a "ITT Night Mariner 150 NM150 Gen 2 Night Vision Monocular" listed (but not for sale from) Amazon for $800 used. I has a resolution of 40 lp/mm so as long as its SNR is less than 35 you should be able to take it overseas (I think).


Edited by careysub, 08 April 2020 - 09:15 AM.


#22 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 10:48 AM

I just wondering ... could ITAR be a one-way ticket for gear?

 

You are not screened leaving the US. Just TSA screening for weapons. How do they know you are leaving with one?

 

When you hit customs at destination, they are looking for things like agricultural goods, drugs, etc.

 

If they are not looking for devices, you pass right through with your astro-gear.

 

But then you could never bring it back - then the US government would know.

 

If you had a 2nd home in Australia - just leave it there.

 

 

Hypothetically of course.



#23 Eddgie

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 12:02 PM

I have a very serious doubt that you would get caught either taking one out or bringing one into the country, but if you did, the consequences could be considerable.

 

Like all smuggling, it is all about risk vs reward. 

 

Me? I can live without it to avoid forfeiture, legal bills, and potential criminal record. 

 

Besides, it would be easier just to buy one out of the country.   I mean it isn't like there are no Gen 3 stuff outside of the US. It seems like anyone that really wants one is able to obtain one. 


Edited by Eddgie, 08 April 2020 - 12:03 PM.


#24 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 08 April 2020 - 11:25 PM

Me? I can live without it to avoid forfeiture, legal bills, and potential criminal record. 

 

Besides, it would be easier just to buy one out of the country.   I mean it isn't like there are no Gen 3 stuff outside of the US. It seems like anyone that really wants one is able to obtain one. 

 

My hypothetical was more centered around "how would they know?" If the country of visitation is not screening "camera" or "astronomy" gear?

 

Of course I am too risk-averse to try such a stunt (not to mention too old to risk a stay in government housing).

 

And if you can afford that 2nd home in Australia to store the device, then you can certainly afford to source the device locally.



#25 Eddgie

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Posted 09 April 2020 - 07:33 AM

My hypothetical was more centered around "how would they know?" If the country of visitation is not screening "camera" or "astronomy" gear?

 

Of course I am too risk-averse to try such a stunt (not to mention too old to risk a stay in government housing).

 

And if you can afford that 2nd home in Australia to store the device, then you can certainly afford to source the device locally.wELL

Well, as I said, I think the risk of actually getting caught is rather small.

 

If it was C mount and you put an SLR camera lens on it, my guess is that TSA would just think it is a camera of some kind and it is doubtful in my mind that TSA would even know if it was illegal or care, so getting it out of the country would be easy.

 

At customs, only a tiny fraction of people get bag inspections, so once again, I think the risk of getting caught is very small and even here, if it had an SLR lens on it, I doubt if many people would even know what it was.  I would think most would believe it to be some kind of movie camera.




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