I am a complete newbie to the thought of using (never mind actually acquiring) NV equipment for astronomy.
Here's my background:
I've been in the astronomy hobby for quite some time as a visual observer. Many years ago, when web cam astronomy was blossoming, I gave it a try, but never really got past getting a simple web cam modded and working. I did attach it to my scope, and then the problems started with getting things to come into focus, etc. My goal was only to be able to see what the scope was pointed at on a separate screen, so family members could see what I was raving about without the hassle of looking through the eyepiece. Suffice it to say the web cam stuff did not work out for me, and got set aside in favor of simply doing visual observing.
I have acquired a few bits of reasonable quality equipment, and I have enjoyed solar, lunar, and planetary viewing as the weather conditions (and mosquito conditions, and long daylight in the summertime) up here in New England will allow. And, of course, the light pollution in my area has only increased over time. I remember (again back in the beginning of electronic imaging) the wonder of watching someone actually get an image coming from their scope while it was still daylight. With "real time" equipment like that, maybe light pollution won't be such an impediment?
Recently, I have been thinking again about how great it might be for others to be able to share what the scope is pointed at, without taking too much time or having the hassle of getting to, and seeing through the eyepiece. There are some simple inexpensive solutions like the Revolution Imager out there that can accomplish this. And, I definitely do not want to get into all the image processing needed to produce those superb still images that many folks share here online. All I want to do is be able to see stuff, and if there's an easy way to share in "real time", that would be great, too.
Then, I stumbled across a post or two that mentioned the things one can see with a NV setup... As the saying goes - HOLY COW!
I sent a PM off to a fellow I saw here on CN and got a very enthusiastic and supportive response. Thanks a million, Eddgie! I've taken some peeks at the great stuff already posted and pinned here, and I see that it will be quite overwhelming to plow through it all.
I have some questions as a result of my initial investigating, so here goes:
The things I've read so far lead me to believe that an AB Night Vision Mod 3, along with a C-thread to 1.25" adapter, would be a device that I could use stand-alone, or put into any of my scopes. When used stand-alone, looking through the NV monocular will show a 1x view of where it is pointing, but amplifying the light gathered. When used with a scope, the NV device replaces the eyepiece, so what I see looking into the NV device is what my scope is pointing at, but the light gathered by the scope is amplified by the NV device. I think I have this right.
Of course, what I described is good for the individual observer, but does not address sharing the image with anyone else.
When I looked on the Internet for the AB Night Vision Mod 3, I got to the TNVC.com website, and a bit of moving around brought me to:
TNVC/Mod 3 Bravo Monocular (AB Night Vision), $3412-$4245.
There were 3 choices to make prior to getting a final price:
1. L-3 filmed green Phosphor / L-3 filminess white phosphor
2. C-mount / Standard
3. Automatic / Manual
Taking some guesses, I picked: L-3 filminess white phosphor, C-mount, and Manual. Of course, as is usually the case for me anyway, that makes the price $4245, the most expensive.
I did not see the C-thread to 1.25" adapter, but hopefully someone may be able to provide a pointer.
I apologize for this lengthy initial post, but I wanted to give some background of who I am and what I'd like to do, and what I've been able to poke around and find so far.
Do I have things about right, so far? Am I on a good path? What alternatives should I be looking at? I'm sure there are alternatives that are more expensive, but is this one of the less expensive alternatives, or are there less expensive alternatives?
Thanks for listening, and thanks in advance for all your comments, concerns, thoughts, and questions back to me.