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Are the NAIT PVS-14 and PVS-7 something to consider?

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#1 MattJ

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 09:42 AM

NAIT Night Vision Systems sells a PVS-7 for $1850 and a PVS-14 for $2150, with the price maybe varying with the quality of the tube.  I was wondering if these would be something to consider for someone interested in getting into NV at the lowest possible cost.  Do these have used tubes?  Can the buyer see a tube spec sheet before buying?  



#2 Eddgie

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 01:00 PM

I do not know if the NAIT tubes you are looking at are used, but NAIT is esenntially a surplus dealer.   They buy surplus from US, Europe and I think Israel.

 

I doubt that they can sell a new PVS-14 with a good MX11769 tube for $2100.  Sometimes you see a batch of surplus new in the box PVS-7 tubes for $1500 and if they were put into a used body in good condition, $1850 would be a very good price.

 

Some of the tubes I have seen them post for sale though have been blemished or high use tubes.   People think that the lifetime of NV is that it will last 10,000 hours and die, but that is not the way it works.  The tubes dim with usage, and after 10,000 of use, they will usually have lost about half of their brightness and you can see that the display is kind of uneven (darker portions of the field).  Now it is not really the total number of hours but also the total number of photons.  A tube kept covered would probably last forever.   A tube that sees semi-urban use will probably dim more quickly.

 

Anyway, ask them if it is a new tube.  If it is a new 10130 D/UV in a used body, and the body is in good condition, I think $1850 is a very good price.  If it is a surplus tube with a lot of hours on it, not so much.

 

Also, you see new tubes for sale on Ebay from time to time, and I bought a brand new PVS-7 tube a while back for under $1000.  You can buy a body kit for $700 to $800 and it is super easy to build up a PVS-7 from a kit.  A 10 year old could do it.  Only needs a couple of common tools.

 

Anyway, I doubt that the could sell a PVS-14 with a new tube for this price.

 

If the picture through the tube looks bright and even though, it can still be a good tube even if it is used.


Edited by Eddgie, 05 December 2019 - 01:04 PM.


#3 Eddgie

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 01:04 PM

And I have been to NAIT and have met the owner, so I know their business is mostly refurbing and reselling NV gear. They can re-pot tubes, repair reticles and clean and repaint housings. When I was there last,  I think their biggest stock was PVS-4 scopes.  Most of these are Gen 2 but used in a PVS-4 optic, it can be very nice for surveillance.  So, this is not me guessing. Been to the shop, seen the entire operation. 



#4 Eddgie

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 01:10 PM

Here is a brand new 10130 D/UV tube.  

 

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

 

When there is a make offer button, they are inviting you do that, and I would bet that you can get this tube for $1300.   I have seen them sell for less.

 

Also, he says he will make a package, so you could ask him if he has a used PVS-7 body or give a deal on a new body with this tube.

  

Now I really only recommend the PVS-7 if you are on a tight budget or if you really want to be able to use both eyes.  These tubes will not perform nearly as well as something like an F9800VG, though it is hard to find a F9800VG or similar tube for sale, and it is rare to see them sold as monoculars.  About the only device you would normally see them in is AVS-6 or Micro Monocular, but I have seen Micros with F9800VG sell for $2000 range. 

 

So, wound not pay $1800 for a used PVS-7 when I could build up a new one for $2000.


Edited by Eddgie, 05 December 2019 - 01:15 PM.

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#5 MattJ

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 10:17 AM

Thanks, Eddgie, for the help!  



#6 Eddgie

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 12:28 PM

If you have a doubt that you can build your own PVS-7 from a kit, I assure you that it is easy:

 

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

 

Also, you don't need a full PVS-7 kit. I bought a used PVS-7 wired housing (with collimator and eyepieces) for $400, and used it with a C mount from NAIT and a CCTV lens.  I think I paid $950 for the tube, which was a new tube still in Mil-spec packaging. 

 

That is the great thing about PVS-7s. With patience, you can usually find a new tube and build up a body from parts and save a lot of money.  

 

You can buy every part for a PVS-7, so you might see something broken that can be easily and inexpensively repaired.

 

Again, if the budget is really tight, building up a PVS-7 is probably the cheapest way to get into NV, but I still recommend this only to people that are on a tight budget but want to also have an image intensified device. 

 

You can have a lot of fun with a PVS-7 and I would not call anyone that wanted to go that route ugly.  I do love the PVS-7 so no one should think I am bad mouthing it. I just think that if the budget allows (and often people wind up selling some expensive eyepieces after getting a top end NV device) then a top end monocular is the best way to go, and will offer the greatest possible experience. 


Edited by Eddgie, 06 December 2019 - 12:48 PM.


#7 Eddgie

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 12:47 PM

Here is a PVS-7 tube on auction.   The phosohor color says that it is most likely a 64 line pair tube (like the Omni VI or V tubes) but because it does not have Mil-spec markings, it could be a civilian equivilent (the earlier Gen 3 had a darker green phosphor called P23, and this looks like P43 from the color).   

 

The problem though is that you don't know what kind of tube it is and the seller does not say.  They only say "Gen 3" but it is probably typical of the standard PVS-7 military tube. 
 

The body on this one identifies it as a Omni III tube and you can see that the green is darker.  This tube would be about the same as the better Gen 2 + tubes and if it sell for $1200 or $1300 could be OK, but the later tubes are improved enough to make them worth the extra $400 to $500. (I can see the contract number on the body, so that is how I know what it is).

 

https://www.ebay.com...ukAAOSwRs1d22~f

 

Here you go... Two housings up for sale.  Even is one is bad, you could either cannabalize from the other one, or buy parts, repair them both, and sell one.  

 

https://www.ebay.com...M8AAOSw8A1d5rKs

 

The motherload of PVS-7 parts.  Most of this is just trash, but if you could pick it up for $300, you could probably repair a few of them and turn around and sell them.  I am tempted to bid this one myself (putting it on my watch list).

 

https://www.ebay.com...m8AAOSwrvtd5Bo5

 

Anyway, the point is that if you have some patience, you can probably put together a PVS-7 with a new tube for less than $1500.  I know I have done it. 

 

If you think you want to, I would maybe throw an offer for $1300 for one of these tubes and again, the seller here seems movitated, so you might be able to get a complete device for $1800..  Never hurts to ask. 

 

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


Edited by Eddgie, 06 December 2019 - 12:53 PM.



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