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Posted: 8/26/2001 2:33:29 PM EDT
I just got a catalog in the mail, and see several night vision sights listed. I am not familiar with the differences (aside from the obvious price differences). Can someone brief me on what they mean? Also, I occasionally see a sight marked Gen. 1+. Does the + mean anything in particular? I would venture a guess that one of the generations is IR (heat) sensitive, one is actual ambient light (starlight, etc) enhancing, but that still leaves one generation that I am not sure on. And then, the final question--if someone with a Gen. 1 sight goes into the field against someone with an identical weapon but with a Gen. 3 sight, is the first guy dead meat, or is it more familiarity with the sight and terrain that would make a difference? Thanks!!
Link Posted: 8/26/2001 3:45:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/26/2001 3:53:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2001 3:55:09 PM EDT by MelonPopper-M1A]
"Generation" refers to the intensifier tubes' resolution. With each succeeding generation, image quality improved. A gen 1 tube will present an image recognizable as a human, but that's about it. A gen 3 tube will enable you to recognize wether the human is wearing glasses. IR/ no IR has nothing to do with which "generation" the intensifier tube belongs to. And, if you (using a gen 1 scope) go against a guy using a gen 3 scope, you're probably f*cked, because he will pick you up and be able to engage much farther out than you can, and will be able to aim with more precision. BTW, the only time we ever used a NV scope was to give it to the supply driver so he could find the tanks at night, and bring us our chow.
Link Posted: 8/26/2001 5:57:27 PM EDT
The Generation of an image intensifier is not solely determined by resolution. The enhancements in resolution in an image tube are from advances in the manufacturing techniques. Generations are determined by performance (light gain, output, resolution, etc) and are named so by the US Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD). Generation 0: Active image intensifying devices, such as infrared viewers which require a separate infrared light source to function. Generation 1: The first type of passive image intensifier (requires no separate light source to function), this type amplifies available light electronically, to an output image screen. Most US-made Gen1 equipment uses a "three-stage cascade"; in other words, three levels of image intensification back-to-back for higher amplification. This type system has the highest level of distortion in image quality. Approximately 1000 hours of useful life. Generation 2: Has a micro-channel plate (referred to as an MCP) which takes the place of the cascade-type intensifier, is more efficient, and does indeed have slightly better resolution. Approximately 2000 hours useful life. Generation 3: The current widely-available state-of-the-art in image intensifier technology. Advances in all manner of image tube manufacturing and engineering yield the highest light gain, signal-to-noise ratio, and output resolution. Approximately 9000+ hours of useful life. Generation 4: Not presently available to the public, all the features of Gen3 with advances in manufacturing of certain film coatings in the intensifier yield slightly better gain and signal-to-noise ratio, but large increases in resolution. Thermal imaging equipment: A class all its own. Unlike night vision devices, TI is not affected by rain or fog, and can be used day or night. Useful life depends on sensor array type (cooled or uncooled). Cost prohibitive for the average user. Night vision is not "heat sensitive", other than if you leave it in your car on a hot day, you can ruin the intensifier. It cannot function in the far-IR region like thermal imaging, and see recently started cars, through walls, etc. However, certain things like campfires and even foliage will retain heat and can give off a near-IR signature visible to night vision devices (that's why some plants may seem to "glow" under NVG's). I could sit here and type you a novel about this stuff, but if you want or need more info, email me and I will be happy to help. havoc
Link Posted: 8/26/2001 7:05:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/26/2001 7:37:47 PM EDT
Something I read recently said that with 2nd gen, there was a big reduction in image "blooming". If you have the Cabela's catalog that just came out, they have an explanation, but not as extensive as your board-mates have given. I can tell you this much, our local gun shows have had some guys selling Russian devices listing around $300, but "very negotiable". I'm no expert, but they seem like junk to me, just starting with the lensing.
Link Posted: 8/26/2001 9:00:59 PM EDT
Thanks Havoc, Informative as always!
Link Posted: 8/26/2001 9:06:02 PM EDT
Yeah, thanks for explaining it far better than I did, Havoc! (It's tough being an inarticulate sh*thead)
Link Posted: 8/26/2001 9:10:36 PM EDT
Save your penny's. Go Gen 3.
Link Posted: 8/26/2001 10:27:01 PM EDT
I recently bought a Patriot Night Scope from C.Crane for $800. It had a reconditioned Genll tube. This unit came in a nice hard (pelican?) case with a "IR" unit that ran on 2 AAA batteries. I went out to the woods and couldn't see enough of anything to make this unit useful, with or without the IR. This was with a couple of nights with partial moonlight. C.Crane took it back with no questions asked. I like doing business with them.
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