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Moderate priced Night Vision

NV observing
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#1 D.T.

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 04:29 PM

I am thinking about getting started in Night Vision Astronomy.  I want something to be able to set up and tear down fairly quickly.

 

My thinking is that I would get a Hubble Optics 12" Dobsonian.  And then I will want to add Night vision technology to the set.  So, the Hubble Optics 12" costs about 2K.  I am hoping that I can get some Night Vision equipment for about 2K-3K.  Is this a reasonable expectation?   When I have researched NV online it looks like setups are commonly 5K-10K.  How much should I expect to spend for NV?  Can I get something that slips into  a 2" eyepiece focuser?

 

Please Advise.

 

Dana

 



#2 havasman

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 04:44 PM

I am thinking about getting started in Night Vision Astronomy.  I want something to be able to set up and tear down fairly quickly.

 

My thinking is that I would get a Hubble Optics 12" Dobsonian.  And then I will want to add Night vision technology to the set.  So, the Hubble Optics 12" costs about 2K.  I am hoping that I can get some Night Vision equipment for about 2K-3K.  Is this a reasonable expectation? Yes if you buy in the secondary markets via classifieds here or on Astromart and are patient.   When I have researched NV online it looks like setups are commonly 5K-10K.  How much should I expect to spend for NV?  Can I get something that slips into  a 2" eyepiece focuser? Yes, though it'll incorporate a 2" to 1.25" adapter.

 

Please Advise.

 

Dana

Make good inquiries of this crowd to learn what will be required to attain focus with NV on that scope. 



#3 bobhen

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 05:53 PM

You can get a green tube NVD Micro HP+ spec tube New for $3,295. Shop around and tell them you are a buyer at $3,000 and you’ll get it at that price. This will do the job nicely and will amaze and thrill you. If you want the Dobsonian just to use for deep sky with Night Vision then I would suggest a less expensive Dobsonian and spend the savings on Night Vision. Also a 10” with Night Vision will deliver a lot more than a 12” without.

 

You will need filters. A Pass filter for non-nebula objects and a Ha filter for nebulas
Start with a 640 or 685 Pass and a 6nm Ha filter in the 1.25 inch size. The Pass filters are around $90 the Ha filter around $200

 

You will need adapters: A c-mount to 1.25 inch adapter: This is around $20

 

You take the lens that comes with the Micro off and screw on the adapter. Then screw a filter on the end of the adapter. Then place the Micro into the focuser. A 2” to 1.25” focuser adapter would, of course, be needed. But most focusers have these as standard equipment and the Micro works with 1.25” just fine.

 

You might need to increase in-travel for the Micro (or any intensifier) to reach focus so shorting the struts may or may not be needed.

 

With NV you will also want a smaller 4” fast refractor or a 6” fast Newtonian for the large wide field Nebulas.

 

HERE is a website with lots of info to get you started. Bottom line: Spend on Night Vision save on the telescope.

 

Bob


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#4 Mazerski

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 06:08 PM

Page 1 Post #10 show some photos on using NV by hand-holding and ways to use in scope.

It may be safe to say that all NV users use the devices in telescopes and hand held with CCD finder and / or various type c-Mount lenses. Whatever device you buy, make it a c-Mount for much added flexibility in ways to use.

 

https://www.cloudyni... night vision



#5 Eddgie

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:53 AM

First, a caution.. Allo the devices I mention will look the same from one to the other in that one PVS-14 will look exactly like the next PVS-14, a PVS-7 will look like all the other PVS-7s, and so on.   That does not mean that they are all the same.  It is the tube in the device that determines the performance, and there are many different tube models that fit in the PVS-7, or the PVS-14, or the Mod 3, or the Micro.  It is more about the tube inside the device than the device itself.  A really excellent PVS-7 can outperform a PVS-14 with a low end tube.   Don't buy anything unless you can determine what is inside it.

 

The most cost effective way to get into night vision would be to buy a PVS-7 military style goggle.  With patience, you can find a good PVS-7 on the used market for $1500 but most sell for $1800 to $2000.

 

 

The main issue with the PVS-7 is that the tubes for the PVS-7 tend to have lower performance than the better monoculars.  Most notably, the noise level (scintillation you see in the view) will be higher, and the EBI (a background glow) might be higher than you would get in something like a used PVS-14.

 

There are two major advantages of the PVS-7 over the PVS-14 and those are tha (A), you get to use both eyes (though eye relief is not as good with the PVS-7) and the PVS-7 can be easily converted to work at prime focus or in 2" eyepiece holders, and unlike binoviewers, a PVS-7 will reach focus in almost any telescope with no added magnifcation.

 

A lot of people that start with PVS-7s and upgrade to a  monocular keep their PVS-7s, and a lot of people that start with a Monocular later add a PVS-7, so while the performance is not going to be as good as with a monocular, they can still provide you with the ability to see things like Barnard's Loop, or other nebula you would never be able to see using conventional eyepieces.

 

The PVS-14s can be found used at good prices, but now you are limited to using it afocally (holding or mounting the device on to a telescope eyepiece.)   There are some advantages to afocal, but you can do afocal with other devices besides the PVS-14.

 

Bob mentions the NV Devices Micro, and you can indeed buy a nice Micro brand new for $3000, but that seemed to be above your budget line and the the performance will not be that much better than a good PVS-7 which costs up to $1500 less.   I do recommend the Micro though.  It is a wonderful little monocular and is C mount, so you can use it at prime focus, or afocally.

 

You can shop ebay, or you can also contact someone like Ed Wilcox.  Wilcox is not just a seller, he is also a top tier tech, so he knows his tubes.  Sometimes he has a really great deal on used or new tubes.



#6 Eddgie

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:16 AM

Also, if you decide to buy a Night Vision Devices Micro, there is a dealer that posts on ebay a lot called Night Vision Universe. Bruce or something, I forget. 

 

Anyway, on both ebay and his web page, he has a "Make Offer" button, and I promise you that it works.

 

 

Unless you could get an HP+ at a really good price, it might be better to buy a used PVS-7.

 

You can also buy new PVS-7 tubes for $1500 and put together your own PVS-7 from a kit..  If you can work a screwdriver, you can build a PVS-7.  I have published step by step instructions in the equipment section on Cloudy Nights

 

Press "Make offer" button on this page and put in $1300, and I am pretty sure that you will get an offer accepted on a brand new PVS-7 tube.   New PVS-7 housings sell for $800.

 

https://www.ebay.com...5cAAOSwfSJdXYWy

 

https://www.ebay.com...74AAOSwLEZc4sae

 

 

 



#7 Eddgie

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 10:55 AM

Note... Eye relief on the PVS-7 is not great. 

 

PVS-7 Used as a Binoviewer in a dob with 2" focuser.

 

PVS7 Mounted.jpg

 

This one has the C mount adapter sold by NAIT.com.  It is not on their web page, but you can try calling them if you buy a PVS-7. I do not know if the other C mounts allow direct use in 2" focuser the way the NAIT does.

 

PVS-7 interface - Copy.jpg

 

Now, the PVS-7 allows you to use both eyes, and it is inexpensive, and you can do some really fun NV astronomy with it, but it is not going to be at the same level as a good monocular.  When you can build a new PVS-7 with a 10160 D/UV tube for $1500 though, that makes it by far the best bang for the buck, and at $1500, if you don't like it, you can probably sell it without a loss.  If you get it, keep the mil-spec packaging to prove that you bought it new. 

 

How to assemble a PVS-7 kit:

 

https://www.cloudyni...vs#entry8848481



#8 wtd1114

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 02:09 PM

I don't normally pipe up about ebay sellers, but I had a really bad experience with the new tube seller, atleast that was the same seller name I bought from.  I won't go into detail in public about it.  It was very frustrating experience.  I've been an ebay buyer for well over 15 years and this experience ranks the top 3 worst experiences.  Tons of emails sent to them, many unanswered for weeks and a load of excuses.  I thought I lost my money.  After much stern words, I finally got the tube.  It was a good tube, but it sure caused a lot of heartache and anxiety.  I hope the seller has gotten their **** together.  I personally would not buy from them again.  I did not leave feedback.  I was just glad to be done with it.   Anyway, just a word of caution...  Back to the scheduled programming....



#9 Eddgie

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 03:21 PM

I don't normally pipe up about ebay sellers, but I had a really bad experience with the new tube seller, atleast that was the same seller name I bought from.  I won't go into detail in public about it.  It was very frustrating experience.  I've been an ebay buyer for well over 15 years and this experience ranks the top 3 worst experiences.  Tons of emails sent to them, many unanswered for weeks and a load of excuses.  I thought I lost my money.  After much stern words, I finally got the tube.  It was a good tube, but it sure caused a lot of heartache and anxiety.  I hope the seller has gotten their **** together.  I personally would not buy from them again.  I did not leave feedback.  I was just glad to be done with it.   Anyway, just a word of caution...  Back to the scheduled programming....

Ah, that is good to know.

 

My post was not really an endorsement of a seller, it was instead, just a link that showed that you could buy new PVS-7 tubes

 

ebay Has pretty good buyer protection though, and while some sellers can be difficult, at the end of the day, if the item was not as advertised, ebay will almost always make the seller work it out with the buyer or worst case, you can get a refund.

 

Anyway, I did not intend the link to be an endorsement, only a post showing that you could buy tubes on ebay.

 

I do this a lot (post links to ebay so show something that can be bought) but the should never be considered endorsements. It is always up to the buyer to vet the seller. 


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