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#1 careysub

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 01:43 PM

If someone can provide a link to an existing thread that discusses the cost and options for getting into EAA, the actual observing equipment available new and used, I would appreciate it.

 

I have perused threads here off and on over the years, and actually bought a 1970s era rifle intensifier (for $80) that was discussed here with the idea of trying the lowest cost option (but have not gotten around to working on setting it up).

 

I understand the sorts of things these devices can do, and the value they provide.

 

So I am now thinking of spending the money on a more modern option (but still trying to keep cost within reason, used is fine, previous gen tech is fine).

 

I am sure there are people here who have a grasp on the options currently available that can provide guidance on making a choice.

 

Thanks.



#2 descott12

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 03:52 PM

This is a bit difficult to answer without knowing some things such as:

Do you already have a scope?

Your budget?

Is portability important?

Is weight an issue?

What do you want to look at?

Do you have a Mac or PC already?

 

There are so many options so a little more info would be helpful.


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#3 neaptide

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 05:07 PM

Need much more information about your goals. Are interested in using a Camera or Night Vision?



#4 careysub

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:52 PM

OK - I am interested in enhancing DSO viewing using an image intensifier, so computer, just the viewing apparatus. Also no picture taking, just viewing. The rifle sight device is an example of what I am looking for.

 

I would like to be able to use it with H-alpha filters to view nebulae in non-pristine skies.

 

I have a range of telescopes - a 13.1" F/4.38 dob, an ST-80, an 11" F/5.67 mirror scope, access to a 22" F/5 Dob, and I am looking at getting a TeleVue NP-101is. I build telescopes, and have a range of short FL, wide field type optics that I am considering building, if I can decide which project I want to do next.

 

I would like to be able to use a large aperture telescope visually and with II in the same session, to help locate really hard to find (dim) objects, and to bring out objects that you can only see in a so-so way visually.



#5 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 08:44 AM

What is your budget (asked previously in the thread, but this is very important)?

 

NV devices can be found used for as little as $700-$2500 that will work with Ha or new as much as $10,000 or more for a binocular setup that will break into two monoculars with some high spec tubes. (A $700 used one is going to be hard to find but not impossible and a good deal of researching what to look for first, so it’s not the easiest solution by any means)

 

Close to $4000 for a high spec tube new monocular would be about average give or take $300 or so.

 

Do you want to view afocally only or use Prime focus with ability to make your own afocal adapter or use a digiscoping adapter? PVS-14 with the TNVC adapter on a Televue eyepiece or MOD 3 variable gain prime focus or NVD Micro Prime focus? PVS-14 and MOD 3 variable gain actually have variable gain on both devices. NVD Micro is not a variable gain device.

 

Do you want to use two eyes? PVS-7 biocular with an additional c-mount adapter is a nice choice.

 

This is just a small sample of questions to narrow down your purchase. You’ll want some filters and nosepiece to go with those.

 

Peter Wang has a nice buyers guide on his website - http://pwang.io/hobb.../nvbuyersguide/

 

Need budget info!


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#6 careysub

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 03:15 PM

What is your budget (asked previously in the thread, but this is very important)?

 

NV devices can be found used for as little as $700-$2500 that will work with Ha or new as much as $10,000 or more for a binocular setup that will break into two monoculars with some high spec tubes. (A $700 used one is going to be hard to find but not impossible and a good deal of researching what to look for first, so it’s not the easiest solution by any means)

 

Close to $4000 for a high spec tube new monocular would be about average give or take $300 or so.

 

Do you want to view afocally only or use Prime focus with ability to make your own afocal adapter or use a digiscoping adapter? PVS-14 with the TNVC adapter on a Televue eyepiece or MOD 3 variable gain prime focus or NVD Micro Prime focus? PVS-14 and MOD 3 variable gain actually have variable gain on both devices. NVD Micro is not a variable gain device.

 

Do you want to use two eyes? PVS-7 biocular with an additional c-mount adapter is a nice choice.

 

This is just a small sample of questions to narrow down your purchase. You’ll want some filters and nosepiece to go with those.

 

Peter Wang has a nice buyers guide on his website - http://pwang.io/hobb.../nvbuyersguide/

 

Need budget info!

My plan is (was?) what can be done for $2k or less.

 

Peter's website is useful, and I have corresponded a bit just now with Jeff Morgan and Eddgie.

 

I do want to be able to use the device in prime focus, binocular is not necessary.

 

From Peter's site, and the messages I got from Jeff and Eddgie, it looks like my best option in my price range is the PVS-7, though there are many versions of that (considering all the different tubes), so deciding on what tube makes the grade then becomes a question.

 

The two monoculars, the Mod3 and the Micro, do sound like they are better choices but at a much higher price point. If I go for those, more capital accumulation will have to occur.

 

It appears that the PVS-7 can be had (in some version) starting around $1000 on eBay. The Micro starts at $3000 and the Mod3 at $3500. 


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#7 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 04:14 PM

My plan is (was?) what can be done for $2k or less.

 

Peter's website is useful, and I have corresponded a bit just now with Jeff Morgan and Eddgie.

 

I do want to be able to use the device in prime focus, binocular is not necessary.

 

From Peter's site, and the messages I got from Jeff and Eddgie, it looks like my best option in my price range is the PVS-7, though there are many versions of that (considering all the different tubes), so deciding on what tube makes the grade then becomes a question.

 

The two monoculars, the Mod3 and the Micro, do sound like they are better choices but at a much higher price point. If I go for those, more capital accumulation will have to occur.

 

It appears that the PVS-7 can be had (in some version) starting around $1000 on eBay. The Micro starts at $3000 and the Mod3 at $3500. 

Looks like you are on your way then with all the assistance necessary. Excellent. I’m sure Jeff and Eddgie will provide all the useful info needed.

 

Good luck. NV is a game changer for Richfield and viewing those nearly invisible objects.



#8 DMala

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 10:47 AM

(...)

 

From Peter's site, and the messages I got from Jeff and Eddgie, it looks like my best option in my price range is the PVS-7, though there are many versions of that (considering all the different tubes), so deciding on what tube makes the grade then becomes a question.

 

The two monoculars, the Mod3 and the Micro, do sound like they are better choices but at a much higher price point. If I go for those, more capital accumulation will have to occur.

 

It appears that the PVS-7 can be had (in some version) starting around $1000 on eBay. The Micro starts at $3000 and the Mod3 at $3500. 

I got started with Night Vision with a PVS-7 several months ago, and I feel it was a great choice.  Make sure to get the support of the experts in selecting a good tube for it, and whenever possible ask the seller to show you decent pictures of the images produced before buying it. I spent $1500 ("new" surplus tube  and used PVS-7 both on EBay) which for your budget would leave $500 for the C-mount adapter, the 1.25" barrel  adapter and a 7 or 12 nm H-alpha filter.  If you have old camera lenses like I did, then with a few extra dollars you get an adapter and give a new life to those old 28, 50 and 135mm lenses.  



#9 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:14 AM

I prefer the ScopeStuff 2” nosepiece with inset 1.25” filter threads. It is a c-mount nosepiece and has the 2” threads at the end of the nosepiece while the 1.25” threads are inset in the nosepiece.

 

The reason for the preference is choice of filter sizes and more importantly - I have not found any 1.25” focal reducer that doesn’t vignette. Because of backfocus issues with most NV devices, the focal reducer is usually put on the end of the nosepiece (after the diagonal rather than before it) and while it may not give true .5x reduction, it gives dramatic reduction and have found no focus issues with my telescopes. I found the Antares 2” .5x reducer works well in all of my scopes (AT72ED, 120ST, AT152, mak 150) with all my NV devices (pvs-7, pvs-4, Litton M942, NVD Micro, NAIT NVPS-10) and doesn’t cause vignetting.

 

part# is #C2BF - C-Mount to 2" Eyepiece Barrel Adapter with Filter Threads

 

it is $44

 

I have a 1.25” nosepiece as well but doesn’t get used much for reasons I stated. I use the Antares reducer about 85% of the time when viewing in Ha narrowband. The difference for me is in my 120ST at Native F/5 the Flame nebula will show up but can’t see the Horsehead. With reducer in, the HH will even show as a lump in my AT72ED. Many threshold objects become more detailed or even just become viewable with the reducer. My location is heavily light polluted though (white zone with some access to red zone conditions coastal).

 

Using a 2” nosepiece also gives a little more backfocus room as the 1.25” adapter extends the mm to the device. If going with strictly 1.25” diagonal then it is a non-issue as it doesn’t increase optical train length.

 

Maybe one of the experts will chime in here on this thread though.


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#10 DMala

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:03 PM

If the thread starter decides to go with a 1.25" nosepiece and 1.25" filters, the use of a .7X focal reducer is outlined in the post below and in some of those that follows (#8, 15). I just did the same and it works well with my 78mm Televue Pronto . Just reporting one solution, not suggesting it is necessarily the best one.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ever/?p=9105940



#11 careysub

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 05:07 PM

Has anyone compiled a list of the rube options for the PVS-7? If so, can you provide a link to the thread (or website)?

If not, I will compile one and post it here.



#12 careysub

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 05:08 PM

Has anyone compiled a list of the rube options for the PVS-7? If so, can you provide a link to the thread (or website)?

If not, I will compile one and post it here.



#13 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:38 PM

Has anyone compiled a list of the rube options for the PVS-7? If so, can you provide a link to the thread (or website)?

If not, I will compile one and post it here.

You can start checking here if you get a used tube with pictures of serial or nsn information:

 

https://www.ar15.com...nces/18-317705/

 

If you want to know what the specs mean and some general info on terms used in NV equipment check here:

 

http://astrovideofor...vision-glossary

 

New pvs-7’s can be bought with mx-10130/uv tubes of varying specs or gen 2+ tubes, or Photonis XR5 or 4G tubes

 

its possible to order just tubes from Photonis or several other retailers like TNVC, NAIT, Night Vision Depot, not sure about direct from L3

 

some resources here:

 

http://astrovideofor...ions-experience

 

There are restrictions varying per country and export is usually prohibited for most NV gear. Some info on ITAR laws here:

 

http://astrovideofor...ity-export-itar

 

That should get you started on your adventure.


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#14 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:43 PM

It’s rather unfortunate there is no dedicated NV subforum with stickied information from “Best Of” threads.

 

Threads get buried quickly and the search function works to some degree but there is a lot of information spread out and not collected in a concentrated area.

 

Lots of contributors on the forum and lots of sporadic visits too. It takes a bit of research to familiarize with what is being talked about, but the actual use of the device is fairly simple once the right parts and filters acquired.



#15 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 07:59 PM

CN has some articles on NV use as well. The Ardent, Eddgie, and myself did one on different type observing using very different scopes or 1x and 3x use. GeezerGazer has collaborated with others here on a few articles including phone photography and differences between 5nm and 7nm Ha filtering, older articles too. Haven’t checked them all yet because I was off CN for a long hiatus while unable to do any observing except two nights. On the mend and active again now and just catching up on things here.

 

Also - just like any other equipment forum, there is no unified approach to what is best. Same differences of opinion can happen with NV gear as with refractors, reflectors, eyepieces, cats and casses, mounts, etc

 

NV gear and associated gear can have a multitude of configurations.

 

In the end you’ll decide what is best for you. The more information you have to make that decision, the better. 


Edited by Vondragonnoggin, 16 February 2019 - 08:08 PM.


#16 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:35 PM

I almost neglected to put this amazing thread link from the Deep Sky Observing Forum by Allan Dystrup on Classic Richfield Observing. He starts observations with classic Richfield configurations, then starts using NV afocally to supplement his observations. It’s one of the coolest threads I’ve read on richfield use and full of great technical info on objects, but not on equipment. Just mentions of equipment but focus minimized on equipment and heavy on the Observing aspect.

 

https://www.cloudyni...sic-rich-field/


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