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Posted: 5/5/2018 10:17:23 PM EDT
I'll start by saying I knew that going in. As I've said in other threads, my plan is to pick up a nice PVS-14 within a year, but a nagging part of me said I need something NOW with how crazy shit has been going in this country. I gave myself a budget of $500 for a helmet mounted monocular. I picked up a used Rhino Mount and J Arm. I had a bump helmet already from my Go Pro. I decided on an Armasight Spark Core which arrived yesterday. Tonight I decided to mount it up and try it out... it is most definitely NOT a Gen 2 or 3 device, but I think it is significantly better than the Gen 1 Pulsar Challenger my friend has that was made in Belarus. I tried to capture some photos using my iPhone 6 through the unit in case anybody hasn't seen these units - which is likely most of you since this is admittedly Tier Zero kit. But for those who can't or won't make the leap right now, I thought it might be helpful.

Please keep your mocking derision to yourself if this thread is beneath you.

First... the back yard through the phone, no flash, no unit, just what my eyes could see.



Second... the Pulsar Challenger with onboard IR illumination. Tree line is about 40 feet away.



Third... the Armasight Spark Core with onboard IR illumination. Again, tree line is about 40 feet away.



Last... the Armasight Spark Core in my messy man cave with IR illumination... go ahead, you can mock how messy it is. TV is about 25-30 feet from the device.



Obviously, you can't see shit without IR or a lot of ambient light, so not a choice if IR discipline matters. I figure if some type of natural disaster or civil unrest happens, I'm not really likely to go up against a threat with IR detection capability, it's more about moving around without being discovered.

Do I regret buying the Armasight Spark. No, not at all, but it has made me want to double down my efforts to get a nice Gen 3 unit.

I'd like to thank everyone that has given me advise, and I hope when the time comes to upgrade I can call on you.
Link Posted: 5/5/2018 11:30:30 PM EDT
That gear is far from useless.
I had a similar scope quite a few years ago for experimental purposes. It works just as expected.
I took care of the requisite lighting with indirect IR lights left and right of me on the deck and could see quite well.

The early stuff like the electrostatic PAS-6 Metascope (I still have one - well, MOST of one) make fine IR-to-visible converters and are marvelously simple.
Quite ingenious and effective considering, by today's standards, the dirt simple systems they employ. Just because the Russians and others made them even simpler is a positive testament to later electronic devices for the power supplies and engineered plastic housings and optics mounts. Some are even sold as toys.
I snap them up whenever I find one that's not obviously ruined.

BTW, IR source detection is as simple as scanning with a smart phone camera. Most see IR well.
Link Posted: 5/5/2018 11:33:01 PM EDT
Not sure how this fits into the post, but something to remember is that when you are using IR to help illuminate your view, you are standing out like a sore dick to anyone else using NV, even Gen 1! Gen 3 doesn't eliminate the issue, but sure helps in it's own way..............
Link Posted: 5/5/2018 11:40:43 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Feeble-Prize:
That gear is far from useless.
I had a similar scope quite a few years ago for experimental purposes. It works just as expected.
I took care of the requisite lighting with indirect IR lights left and right of me on the deck and could see quite well.

The early stuff like the electrostatic PAS-6 Metascope (I still have one - well, MOST of one) make fine IR-to-visible converters and are marvelously simple.
Quite ingenious and effective considering, by today's standards, the dirt simple systems they employ. Just because the Russians and others made them even simpler is a positive testament to later electronic devices for the power supplies and engineered plastic housings and optics mounts. Some are even sold as toys.
I snap them up whenever I find one that's not obviously ruined.

BTW, IR source detection is as simple as scanning with a smart phone camera. Most see IR well.
View Quote
Do you think most ghetto goblins are going to be using their cell phone camera to look for people using an IR illuminator?

In an urban environment there should be enough ambient light to forego the illuminator. I'm sitting in the back lot right now smoking a cigar. If I use the monocular pointed at the street and the houses nearby I can see some with my naked eye but with the monocular, quite a bit more. I'll try to grab some photos.
Link Posted: 5/5/2018 11:49:35 PM EDT
House down the street is probably 60-70 yards away.

Without NV



NV and NO IR illuminator

Link Posted: 5/6/2018 12:16:51 AM EDT
The Pulsar with no IR... much much brighter than the Armasight Spark... hmmmmm

Link Posted: 5/6/2018 12:43:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/6/2018 12:43:54 AM EDT by FullAutoHound]
Like I said in the other thread the spark is really darn good....indoors with the illuminator, as your pic shows.

But in my experience, outdoors, night adjusted eyes and a full moon are almost as effective as the spark.

But like you said, better than nothing and better than ghetto goblins will have.

Plus, if you run into a couple of guys using good gen three shit you’re probably fucked anyway. Best bet is to shut down and let them pass unless you don’t have any choice but to engage.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 1:50:17 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:

Do you think most ghetto goblins are going to be using their cell phone camera to look for people using an IR illuminator?

In an urban environment there should be enough ambient light to forego the illuminator. I'm sitting in the back lot right now smoking a cigar. If I use the monocular pointed at the street and the houses nearby I can see some with my naked eye but with the monocular, quite a bit more. I'll try to grab some photos.
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The fact that the cell phone cameras see IR is widely known. The method is used against US soldiers and the knowledge has spread far and wide.

I don't think most morons would be looking for IR because of a fear that someone with a PVS-14 is looking for them, but it isn't rare amongst criminally-minded types that there is interest in detecting night vision security cameras that illuminate with IR like we do. It doesn't take most of the bad guys to ruin your observation and your night anyway. It takes just one. May as well consider him in your plans while he's not an active inconvenience.

In the urban setting there are so many light sources it would be a challenge to spot a reasonably bright stationary IR source that wasn't all alone, say between houses where other lighting doesn't exist. But a few moderate, stationary IR sources, or dim incandescent bulbs that emit into the IR, would make an active observer who isn't swinging the source along with his scope, harder to notice. That's my thinking.

The early NV gear of this type always impressed me as being the rough equivalent of 7X50 binoculars insofar as light "amplification" is concerned, but with the secret power to see into the IR. Of the devices I have seen, nearly all of the illuminators on them are "dark red" rather than IR, so the illuminator was always the first thing I modified or replaced or moved offboard.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 3:43:23 AM EDT
A one eyed man is the king of the blind. Having it is better than not having it.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 4:55:23 AM EDT
The Armasight Spark Core is a pretty nice device. The worst problem is that you have to manually focus the lense. If you’re in doors for example, you need to crank it tight to get a clear picture, and if you go outside you need to stop and adjust it for whatever distance you want to look at. A good IR light can easily give you a good view past 75yds.

The second drawback to it is that there is no automatic shutoff if you turn into a bright light. You have to be careful to pull up the lens cover when the lights come on so it doesn’t harm the device. Remember that turning it off doesn’t actually shut it down for about three minutes, so don’t think you can just turn it off when the lights come on, always put the cap on it.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 5:39:03 AM EDT
To me, even a simple NV is something.. Owning the night when the BG doesn't is a big demotivator, especially when they know they don't have the advantage.

Thanks OP.. I know I should be looking at early GEN III.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 12:22:55 PM EDT
Well I think that's a good thing do have done here. Never mind the mocking. You have given fair warning to those who have the money burning in their pockets, and shown them exactly what they will get.

And yes, you are right; regardless of what anyone else says, if your estimate of the situation is such that you think your most likely opposition will not have NV, then this is a viable option. When it's your ass on the line, you will do what's necessary to protect yourself and your family. If that's not sexy enough for anyone, then fuck them.

That being said, the OP is certainly the truth.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 3:04:03 PM EDT
I'm surprised the Spark is darker in the street photos compared to the Pulsar. Armasight boasts the CORE technology being more light sensitive compared to other Gen 1 devices in gathering light.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 3:32:01 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By crazy_raccoon:
I'm surprised the Spark is darker in the street photos compared to the Pulsar. Armasight boasts the CORE technology being more light sensitive compared to other Gen 1 devices in gathering light.
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I was as well from the photos, not sure if that was a function of the phone processing the photo through the device. The Pulsar is brighter, but it doesn't seem that much brighter in use. The Armasight is noticeably sharper in use, with less blurring at the outside edge.

I'm going to try to get some more photos, and play with the focus a little more.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 5:59:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/6/2018 7:59:37 PM EDT by MSNightOwl]
One thing I will say after reading the responses here is that you can't always believe what you read on the internet. I have a gen 3 pinnacle PVS14, a Armasight WWZ Gen 1 scope, and a pair of Leica 8X56 Geovid binoculars. The order at which you can see in the dark well is in the same order. The Gen 1 scope with no illuminator is 1000X better than the binoculars and the Gen 3 14 is 1000x better than the scope. The Gen 1 scope works well with an illuminator. Can easily shot out to 150 yards with it with a illuminator. With a full moon you could easily shoot 100 yards with the scope. With the 14 it looks like daylight. The $2500 pair of binoculars are pretty useless at night. Now with that said, the scope has a large objective lense compared to the spark. What size objective does pulsar and the spark have?
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 6:30:12 PM EDT
Better than nothing. I'd rock it if that's all my budget allowed. Do you have a safe with 87 AR's? If so, sell some shit. Once you have 2 AR's and 2 handguns (Glock 19s, etc) NV and gear should be next.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 6:39:22 PM EDT
When I compared 7X50 binoculars to NV, I was thinking of the very inexpensive imported NV scopes. Electrostatic tubes with inexpensive optics.
The point was that even those can be very useful, since they can see reflected invisible light.
The earliest military devices were far better than those, and were improved again and again over the years.
Never one to ignore any available advantage, I think that even a used, cheesy model NV scope intended as a toy for older kids can be valuable to have.

It sticks in my craw when a post is made here that inspires disrespectful or demeaning remarks because the equipment didn't cost as much as a new car or isn't the very finest available. That is NOT something I intended to do.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 6:56:17 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Caeser2001:
Better than nothing. I'd rock it if that's all my budget allowed. Do you have a safe with 87 AR's? If so, sell some shit. Once you have 2 AR's and 2 handguns (Glock 19s, etc) NV and gear should be next.
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The used AR market is too soft to even consider selling any right now. I will likely sell some stuff, but not at what people are paying right now. When you can buy a kit off Palmetto for $300, and receivers for $50... you're not going to get shit for a used AR unless it's an expensive one and you're still going to take a bath.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 7:03:43 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MSNightOwl:
One thing I will say after reading the responses here is that you can't always believe what you read on the internet. I have a gen 3 pinnacle PVS14, a Armasight WWZ Gen 1 scope, and a pair of Zeis 8X56 Geovid binoculars. The order at which you can see in the dark well is in the same order. The Gen 1 scope with no illuminator is 1000X better than the binoculars and the Gen 3 14 is 1000x better than the scope. The Gen 1 scope works well with an illuminator. Can easily shot out to 150 yards with it with a illuminator. With a full moon you could easily shoot 100 yards with the scope. With the 14 it looks like daylight. The $2500 pair of binoculars are pretty useless at night. Now with that said, the scope has a large objective lense compared to the spark. What size objective does pulsar and the spark have?
View Quote
Both are 20mm. The Pulsar is supposed to be 42 lpm, the Armasight is supposed to be 60-70 lpm.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 9:45:49 PM EDT
Cough. Thermal. Cough.
Link Posted: 5/6/2018 9:48:29 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By lb6r:
Cough. Thermal. Cough.
View Quote
Cough GoFundMeHiramRangerThermal Cough

A PVS14 is going to take me awhile to save for.. and you're saying Thermal monocular? What's that, like $6k?
Link Posted: 5/7/2018 3:36:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/7/2018 3:37:06 AM EDT by cj7hawk]
The Armasight CORE punches above it's weight for a single-stage Gen1. I never did figure out what they did - I think they just improved the photocathode and operational electronics... But it works about the same as a PVS-14 on minimum gain. If there's some light, it's particularly good. A bit of moon and it works very well.

Anyway, some NV is better than no NV as some capability is better than no capability. In most circumstances, even Gen1 would be a huge advantage.

But I have to warn you... You're not going to stop at just one PVS-14. It doesn't work that way... I won't explain, as your previous comments indicate the green disease is already well progressed.

David.
Link Posted: 5/7/2018 7:31:59 AM EDT
Yes indeed. Welcome to the dark side. For real.

And yeah, I was thinking the same thing. If the gain was turned down on my -14, that's pretty much what you get, with very low light. Being able to turn up the gain, versus active illum, makes all the difference. Hawk is right, that is impressive performance for gen 1 stuff, perhaps you could call it gen 1+. If you use T,T,P's, similar to white light (on, shoot, off, move) it could be very effective, even if somewhat detectable.

Speaking of T,T,P's, I think this gets lost in the conversations; regardless of what light amplification you are using, it all depends on what tactics, techniques, and procedures you employ. The best night vision in the world won't make up for lack of same. Sometimes even lower tech with superior tactics wins the day. Although we are in the NV forum, if your job is to interdict hostiles coming onto your property, it pays to look at it within that context.

This debate about what level of NV do you need. Hmmm. Well there is what's possible. Then there is what's likely for you. If you take what you have, at hand, and get really good with it, then at least you're prepared and can do your best, with what you have. I have no doubt that the new tech is phenomenal. I have seen glimpses of it myself. But I have also spent some time in the bush with just my mk 1 mod 0 eyeballs. I think most folks would be truly amazed at how good you can get, at night, without any NV gear. So within the context of defending your homestead, wherever that may be, NV of any gen may be incorporated into your defensive plan, and work quite nicely, according to it's (and your) capabilities. Whether something is superior really doesn't make any difference if it's outside of the realm of being obtainable. You take what you have, on the day, and perform on demand. All the rest of it is just hobby shop bullshit. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But know the difference.
Link Posted: 5/7/2018 8:15:11 AM EDT
Random suggestion: For a dedicated rifle optic you might check out the cold war Zeiss Orion. They can be found in their original transit cases for $600-900 and have a Picatinny adapter included

Obviously they are a bit clunky and heavy due to age but the tubes are military quality and crush most civilian stuff I've seen, and it's as good or better than many contemporary Soviet designs of the same period. For a budget weapon optic it's going to be effective, just 30 years old and will need some getting used to. The ones I have had actually had really good visibility and didn't require illumination under many conditions. It's not a PVS14 mind you but it will outperform more expensive civilian grade NV by a long shot



I'm not saying run out and buy one tomorrow but I am using it as an example of getting reasonable gear on a budget. Based on experience with 10+ night vision optics that I personally own, I feel more confident with something like the Zeiss than about buying civilian low end stuff that could be a crap shoot. The obvious best answer is to save up and buy quality that suits your needs but I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the relics I've come across in NV

Z
Link Posted: 5/7/2018 8:27:18 AM EDT
I went with one of the older Night Enforcer Gen III monoculars. Works great for my needs. Price wise you can find them for well under a $1,000 so it's a pretty good deal. Something like https://www.ebay.com/itm/ITT-Night-Enforcer-NE160-Gen-3-Generation-3-Monocular/273158159560?hash=item3f997ebcc8:g:HGIAAOSwslda1NMB:sc:USPSPriority
Link Posted: 5/7/2018 10:18:31 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Cough GoFundMeHiramRangerThermal Cough

A PVS14 is going to take me awhile to save for.. and you're saying Thermal monocular? What's that, like $6k?
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:
Originally Posted By lb6r:
Cough. Thermal. Cough.
Cough GoFundMeHiramRangerThermal Cough

A PVS14 is going to take me awhile to save for.. and you're saying Thermal monocular? What's that, like $6k?
A Flir Scout TK will set you back $500-600 for an entry hand held monocular. I think the Breach Monocular has an MSRP $2500, and the Flir PTS 223 rifle scope has an MSRP around $2100. Not quite an arm & a leg.
Link Posted: 5/7/2018 3:01:25 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Diz:
Yes indeed. Welcome to the dark side. For real.

And yeah, I was thinking the same thing. If the gain was turned down on my -14, that's pretty much what you get, with very low light. Being able to turn up the gain, versus active illum, makes all the difference. Hawk is right, that is impressive performance for gen 1 stuff, perhaps you could call it gen 1+. If you use T,T,P's, similar to white light (on, shoot, off, move) it could be very effective, even if somewhat detectable.

Speaking of T,T,P's, I think this gets lost in the conversations; regardless of what light amplification you are using, it all depends on what tactics, techniques, and procedures you employ. The best night vision in the world won't make up for lack of same. Sometimes even lower tech with superior tactics wins the day. Although we are in the NV forum, if your job is to interdict hostiles coming onto your property, it pays to look at it within that context.

This debate about what level of NV do you need. Hmmm. Well there is what's possible. Then there is what's likely for you. If you take what you have, at hand, and get really good with it, then at least you're prepared and can do your best, with what you have. I have no doubt that the new tech is phenomenal. I have seen glimpses of it myself. But I have also spent some time in the bush with just my mk 1 mod 0 eyeballs. I think most folks would be truly amazed at how good you can get, at night, without any NV gear. So within the context of defending your homestead, wherever that may be, NV of any gen may be incorporated into your defensive plan, and work quite nicely, according to it's (and your) capabilities. Whether something is superior really doesn't make any difference if it's outside of the realm of being obtainable. You take what you have, on the day, and perform on demand. All the rest of it is just hobby shop bullshit. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But know the difference.
View Quote
+1...This right here.
Link Posted: 5/11/2018 6:01:44 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HiramRanger:

I was as well from the photos, not sure if that was a function of the phone processing the photo through the device. The Pulsar is brighter, but it doesn't seem that much brighter in use. The Armasight is noticeably sharper in use, with less blurring at the outside edge.

I'm going to try to get some more photos, and play with the focus a little more.
View Quote
Yeah with digital cameras on electronic devices they usually make night vision photos darker. You can always try to adjust the photos manually in Photoshop or something that most people to do project something close to what the naked eye would see using the Spark.
Link Posted: 5/11/2018 1:26:19 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/11/2018 1:31:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/11/2018 1:31:31 PM EDT by TNVC]
Link Posted: 5/11/2018 2:49:22 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC:

One thing for sure, you're definitely beneath most all of us in regards to your ARFCOM registration! NICE!
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Well if that wasn't a backhanded compliment from the God of Night Vision!
Link Posted: 5/12/2018 9:28:16 PM EDT
Got my Rhino 2 mount in, might be a copy as there are no markings on it. If it’s a copy, it’s pretty solid, and for $35 off eBay I’m pretty happy. Definitely easier to adjust than the original Rhino mount I have. Definitely need a counterweight as my helmet wants to slip forward. Any advice for an inexpensive option? Maybe one that has storage for a spare CR123 or two?

Link Posted: 5/13/2018 8:50:53 PM EDT
For a "ok" cheap night vision, the eye clops will work. About a gen 1+ or 1.5 they are better than not having at all.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kifPjUytU5Y
Link Posted: 5/13/2018 9:14:13 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kychas:
For a "ok" cheap night vision, the eye clops will work. About a gen 1+ or 1.5 they are better than not having at all.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kifPjUytU5Y
View Quote
How far can you see with those?
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