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Posted: 10/14/2020 8:48:45 PM EDT
Hi all,

Happy new owner of NV and just looking to cover my bases here. Can’t seem to find any information on whether increasing gain would cut down on the life of the tube.

My understanding is that photons technically wear the tube down over time, just not sure if increased gain would have any impact.

Appreciate the help!
Link Posted: 10/14/2020 9:26:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/14/2020 9:55:55 PM EDT by arptspt72]
Why don’t you pull up the video from SilentSolutions YouTube channel (Sam from TNVC) NV Tube Life and you will get a great answer.
Link Posted: 10/14/2020 10:45:04 PM EDT
Yeah I have seen that one and have gone through the mental exercise of putting 10,000 hours into perspective. Just trying to understand whether or not running high gain could impact that figure significantly.
Link Posted: 10/15/2020 4:29:36 AM EDT
If you have Gen3 tube don't worry about the life of tube.. Unless you are running it 24/7 :)
Link Posted: 10/15/2020 8:11:54 AM EDT
From what I understand, your gain level has nothing to do with tube life as it is simply output brightness.  The tube itself is still taking in the same amount of light no matter where your gain is set, and that is where you degrade the tubes life.  Tube life is degraded by light exposure, not light output.
Link Posted: 10/15/2020 8:37:40 AM EDT
That makes sense to me. Appreciate the help!
Link Posted: 10/15/2020 3:16:56 PM EDT
There are many factors that contribute to the MTTF of an image intensifier, to my knowledge the gain setting isn't a significant factor.

Ion bombardment, PSU wear, temperature, pressure, humidity, photocathode depletion, signal fidelity (degradation to SNR over time/use/exposure) are really the big impacts on overall average tube life. And even then, 10k hour MTTF is not typically where the tube would just shut off. It's just where the performance drops below the minimum performance specs by whatever percentage they deem to be "failed".
Link Posted: 10/15/2020 5:20:32 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tlandoe07:
There are many factors that contribute to the MTTF of an image intensifier, to my knowledge the gain setting isn't a significant factor.

Ion bombardment, PSU wear, temperature, pressure, humidity, photocathode depletion, signal fidelity (degradation to SNR over time/use/exposure) are really the big impacts on overall average tube life. And even then, 10k hour MTTF is not typically where the tube would just shut off. It's just where the performance drops below the minimum performance specs by whatever percentage they deem to be "failed".
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Temperature? What temps are bad? We obviously default to hot being bad, but I see some pretty extreme winter temps. I usually keep a 14 with me that rides in my emergency pack on the back of a snowmobile. I think -10 to -20 is probably the worst it has seen to date. It doesn't live at that temp, but it has been down to it. It has potential to be exposed to lower. Zero to +20 is pretty much daily. What temps are bad and should I be to concerned?
Link Posted: 10/15/2020 5:58:44 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DutyRanger:


Temperature? What temps are bad? We obviously default to hot being bad, but I see some pretty extreme winter temps. I usually keep a 14 with me that rides in my emergency pack on the back of a snowmobile. I think -10 to -20 is probably the worst it has seen to date. It doesn't live at that temp, but it has been down to it. It has potential to be exposed to lower. Zero to +20 is pretty much daily. What temps are bad and should I be to concerned?
View Quote


That information isn't well-understood because generally it's not published. On image intensifiers, various elastomer/polymer materials are used to pot the tube modules. Image intensifier potting is done under a vacuum. Extreme temperature swings and pressure changes feasibly could cause the potting material to warp, which in turn can distort the indium seals on the tube module. When this happens, your photocathode starts to die pretty quickly and that's when you see serious shading and even a completely bad module. There really is no good number as to what temperature is ideal, and most temps you could every feasibly expect to use the device in won't harm your unit. Generally speaking, temperature probably will never be the determining cause of death for a tube- it's just a small data point that is used in testing, since tests are done in controlled environments under specific conditions.

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