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Night vision interest

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#1 Interstellar0vDr

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 08:58 PM

I was doing some day dreaming about traveling across country and bringing a telescope with me to view along the way. I went further by thinking about doing it on a motorcycle; and I don't even know how to ride one yet, but do want to learn. If I was in a car things would be totally different as far as what I could bring, but for the sake of the day dream I started looking into decent portable scopes that might be able to be taken on a motorcycle and then I came across a thread about someone also looking into a portable scope to be taken with them on a motorcycle and someone mentioned a couple of worthwhile night vision options. What I would like to know is how night vision works for astronomy with and without the telescope. Without the telescope is obviously the portable aspect and I wanted to know how exactly it works when used with a telescope. From what I understand, it has capabilities to be used for both situations. The big draw back seems to be how expensive they are, but from what I've read they are worth it.



#2 Mazerski

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 10:54 PM

For starters,

 

Portable Use:

-- Hand-held as both monocular (Mod 3) and goggle(PVS-7) type NV device fit nicely in hand. I use with what's called a c-mount thread connection which allows Nikon (F to C) adapters.

-- C-mount to Nikon F body style adapters for attaching Nikon lens (see photos). Lens range from f/2.8 to f/4.5 and the filters are IR and Ha (more info available if needed).

 

Telescope Use:

-- Different adapters are used (but still c-mount) to 1.25" (to screw 1.25" filter at end (see photo) and this slides into focuser or filter wheel.

-- Can use a c-mount to 2" adapter for 1.25" filters (inside adapter) or 2" filters (photo shows 1.25" filter inside with 2" focal reducer - this slides into focuser or diagonal.

This is true for both types of NV device

 

 

Worth it - yes and many on CN (me included) would say NV saved astronomy 

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Edited by Mazerski, 16 February 2021 - 10:57 PM.


#3 Interstellar0vDr

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 11:22 PM

I'd have to assume the goggles would be the more expensive of the two? I've read that people do seem to tend to have a preference for one over the other. What are the pros and cons of each?

 

I feel like I almost dont know how or what to ask from here. How does using NV totally change the viewing experience ? I certainly get the portability aspect of using NV, but how does it drastically change the viewing experience when used with a scope? I've got an Orion XT8i, would getting something like this be useful for my current scope? 



#4 Mazerski

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 11:41 PM

Both can be expensive - over $4K for unit with very good or high intensifier tube characteristics.

The pro of the goggle is using 2 eyes. 
The pro of the monocular is the tube is different type and has better resolution

I use both all the time with and without scope.

 

I have an 8” scope and see stuff I never thought possible, so yes, it should work well with your scope. 

 

With NV device, you will need the adapters for scope use and several IR and Ha filters. If handheld, the adapter type that holds a lens, Nikon or other brand. 
 

At the top of the NV forum page is a topic called Night Vision Image Galkery and one called Best of NV... skim here and this should help solidify a few things and enable you to ask specific questions.

In addition, you will see some wicked photos that may be hard to believe that they are taken with phones and small to large apertures. 

 



#5 Interstellar0vDr

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Posted 16 February 2021 - 11:59 PM

Yes I was looking through some of those pictures just now! Many of the pictures are in black and white rather than green. Is that something that was altered after the picture was taken or is there a filter or something that makes it black and white rather than green? Maybe it is because I'm not actually viewing in person, but it seems as though the green image of the night vision would be off putting versus not seeing the black of the sky and such.

 

id have to assume there would be a major difference in quality when looking at different types of NV. As mentioned, over $4k for a unit is way out of my price range, but briefly searching I saw something around $1600 or so. Even that is rather expensive and would it even be as good as a unit more than twice as much? Not to mention the other things that are needed to buy in addition to the unit. This whole idea is probably way out of reach for me, but I guess that goes back to the idea of day dreaming. 

 

At at the very minimum, I'd assume one would need atleast $2k to get started with something like this and that might not even be that great of a unit. 



#6 Mazerski

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 12:07 AM

No: there is white and green phosphor. The white shows as black / white to gray / white depending on sky condition (light pollution). The higher up in sky the darker it is so the contrast is best. The photos in the Galleries are not fake. These are my iPhone 7 photos with 8 and 12.5" and NO tracking... just pushed button on phone. The objects in my photos all look better with eye vs. phone.

 

As for spending less, some other users may chime in and offer suggestions. 

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#7 Interstellar0vDr

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 12:17 AM

Great photos! As far as astrophotography is concerned, NV seems like the way to go! Not that I know a whole lot about either, but it seems like using NV kind of simplifies it a bit. It's expensive either way, but with NV you don't need to track to get really great shots.

 

This may sound stupid, but how to you alter the phosphor color from green to white? Is that a selectable option on the unit or do only some units have that ability?



#8 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 07:22 AM

This may sound stupid, but how to you alter the phosphor color from green to white? Is that a selectable option on the unit or do only some units have that ability?

 

Phosphor color is specified at the time of order - built into the unit. No need (or ability) to alter.



#9 Interstellar0vDr

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 09:52 AM

What is the least expensive unit that is still useful for astronomy that would also have white phosphor? 



#10 cnoct

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 11:26 AM

Without hesitation, that would be NV Devices PVS-14 PN# 140021 at $2495.00 - https://www.nvdevice...ision-monocular

 

 

What is the least expensive unit that is still useful for astronomy that would also have white phosphor? 


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#11 Interstellar0vDr

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 11:55 AM

Without hesitation, that would be NV Devices PVS-14 PN# 140021 at $2495.00 - https://www.nvdevice...ision-monocular

Is there a used market for NVDs like this? Where would one begin to look for one used and about how much less do they go for ? 

 

My guess is that this aspect of astronomy is out of my range unless a great deal could be found on a used device. It seems like there would be a military surplus option to buy used units from the military some how or another. I can see how NVDs would be a great addition for viewing, astrophotography, and portability so I'm sure the price is justified considering it has multiple applications. 



#12 shohin

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Posted 18 February 2021 - 04:44 AM

Used devices pop up on ebay and sometimes even CN classifieds, though lately the supply seems to have dried up (pandemic related?).  But if you're patient and keep your eyes peeled sometimes you can find something good.  I bought a surplus ENVIS M703E NVD off ebay a few years ago for $1100.  It has a Gen III green phosphor tube but exact specs are unknown.  It's definitely not as sensitive as the new tubes being produced today but it shows me a lot.  This is what M42 looks like from 20 miles east of downtown LA, shot with an old Samsung phone cam, with 640LP filter thru an XT8 dob.

 

Picture2.jpg


Edited by shohin, 18 February 2021 - 04:45 AM.


#13 Interstellar0vDr

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 02:10 AM

I had a chance to get a little taste of NV astronomy tonight. My brother owns a rifle that has an ATN X-sight NV scope on it. I'm not sure the exact model, but I'll have to find out. It wasn't the clearest night tonight, but I got an idea of how it can be used. He has an app on his phone that connects to the scope via blue tooth so you can see right on the phone what you are looking at as well. There was a slight delay, however. It had the ability to zoom in 20x, but since I don't know the details of the scope I'm not sure how much that helps. When you zoom in that high the picture starts to get lower quality and grainy. It worked pretty well even with clouds, but it would look even better on a clear night.

 

I'm not sure how this NVD would compare to some of the units that you guys have mentioned using for astronomy, but I know it is different. I'd think that the quality would look better on the units you guys use,  but I'd assume I'd need the full model number and or specs to get a comparison, but that's what I'd like to know. I guess it would not have the ability to put different lens types on or filters or be used with a telescope so that's another big difference. Do most NVDs have the ability to be used with a phone app?



#14 Dale Eason

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 10:13 AM

 Do most NVDs have the ability to be used with a phone app?

No.



#15 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 01:26 PM

I had to look that one up. Very cool! Makes my Vortex 2.5-10 first focal plane look primitive. Something else I have to buy now ...

 

Also it looks like a digital sensor. Not the same as the NV, analog Gallium Arsenide based technology. Ask your brother about the PVS-14, that would be the technology most of us use here.



#16 Interstellar0vDr

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 03:25 PM

Thats the only NVD my brother has and I don't think he specifically knows about others, but I could run it by him.

 

How do you think the digital sensor would compare to the analog type mentioned? Is the PVS 14 still the better Unit for astronomy specs wise? I think the type my brother has is cheaper than the PVS 14 so if it was just as worthwhile maybe it would be the better way to go? It is nice to be able to use it with a phone too.



#17 Interstellar0vDr

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 09:00 PM

The NVD is ATN X-Sight 5-20



#18 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 10:34 PM

How do you think the digital sensor would compare to the analog type mentioned? Is the PVS 14 still the better Unit for astronomy specs wise? I think the type my brother has is cheaper than the PVS 14 so if it was just as worthwhile maybe it would be the better way to go? It is nice to be able to use it with a phone too.

 

Simple explanation? The strength of digital detectors is that they can integrate or build an image over time, and multiple images can be stacked.

 

The NV technology boosts the signal - not collects it.

 

And NV is instantaneous. No lag time whatsoever. As fast as I can whip my head from on horizon to the other I am getting a full and complete image.

 

Digital integrates over some period of time. Not that we typically whip our heads around, but you would definitely see star trailing while panning the scope around. There are some videos on YouTube (search Sony A7) which show fairly nice performance, but the trailing is obvious. And the sensitivity is lower (but, it is in color).




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