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Link Posted: 12/31/2020 12:35:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: TNVC] [#1]
VP
Link Posted: 1/7/2021 7:07:41 PM EDT
[#2]
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 11:22:14 PM EDT
[#3]
Again ridiculous.

The USAF would not be buying 93 million dollars of unfilmed tubes from L3H to upgrade their old systems if the tubes failed to meet lifetime requirements.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 3:02:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: spunk2] [#4]
@tnvc

I actually came here to ask about this.  

It was actually Elbit employees that told me this.  Three of them.  I am trying to remember how they phrased it so I do not accidentally misquote.  This was maybe 6 months ago.  

If I remember, they said that unfilmed tubes lose their sensitivity quickly.  I think they said a new unfilmed tube is initially more sensitive than a filmed tube.  After 200(?) hours sensitivity starts to degrade to be about equal.  And the unfilmed will keep degrading.  I don't think I can articulate the tech explanation they gave, or fully remember it.  They said the tube life for unfilmed was much shorter.  

I don't remember if someone asked the question "Why does special forces use unfilmed then?", or if they just said it themselves.  They reply was, special forces uses unfilmed and tube life does not matter because they can just go grab a new set whenever they want from the armory.

I was wondering if that was real or them trying to bash their competition.

This was during an NV class.  There was someone else at the class that said something like "I wonder if I bought the wrong thing." and something like "TNVC did not mention that when I talked to them.".






[Edit]
Remembering now it was actually a BE Meyers rep that said this.  With an Elbit rep in attendance who did not correct him.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 3:26:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: TNVC] [#5]
Link Posted: 1/14/2021 2:29:59 AM EDT
[#6]
Link Posted: 1/17/2021 2:40:06 PM EDT
[#7]
Link Posted: 1/19/2021 12:49:11 PM EDT
[#8]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By spunk2:
@tnvc

I actually came here to ask about this.  

It was actually Elbit employees that told me this.  Three of them.  I am trying to remember how they phrased it so I do not accidentally misquote.  This was maybe 6 months ago.  

If I remember, they said that unfilmed tubes lose their sensitivity quickly.  I think they said a new unfilmed tube is initially more sensitive than a filmed tube.  After 200(?) hours sensitivity starts to degrade to be about equal.  And the unfilmed will keep degrading.  I don't think I can articulate the tech explanation they gave, or fully remember it.  They said the tube life for unfilmed was much shorter.  

I don't remember if someone asked the question "Why does special forces use unfilmed then?", or if they just said it themselves.  They reply was, special forces uses unfilmed and tube life does not matter because they can just go grab a new set whenever they want from the armory.

I was wondering if that was real or them trying to bash their competition.

This was during an NV class.  There was someone else at the class that said something like "I wonder if I bought the wrong thing." and something like "TNVC did not mention that when I talked to them.".








View Quote


Yeah that’s a bunch of bullshit. SOF pays a lot more money for their specialized equipment and they expect a return on that investment. They don’t have a money printer and generally have to follow the same budget guidelines as everyone else. Longevity is a huge consideration, that’s why so many SOF-specific items are built like tanks.  Elcans, SOCOM barrels, RIS rails, Surefire weapon lights, SCAR-hardened LA5s are all examples of this.  

Most of us remember when Eotech had to completely rebrand themselves, pay a huge settlement, and still haven’t been able to earn back the trust of many end users. And the biggest problem with their units was longevity.

TL/DR: the idea that SOF has endless money and can just discard their equipment is an incorrect, tired argument and i would avoid companies who go around spreading lies like that. Especially companies that don’t have SOF contracts
Link Posted: 1/20/2021 2:07:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: spunk2] [#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC_Augee:


This is a mind-numbingly stupid statement and utter bullshit, and a great way to tell that someone has not the faintest clue what they're talking about.

SOF units may have higher budgets than most conventional units or LE, but they still have budgets, and surprise surprise--Unfilmed systems are more expensive for them too.

They're also allocated based on tables of organization and allowances, etc., etc.,

Point is, no they cannot "just grab a new set whenever they want from the armory."

It's a common belief by those with absolutely no experience with such organizations that SOF is some sort of free-for-all when it comes to equipment and even property accountability, when if fact it's almost the exact opposite. SOF personnel may tend to get a little more leeway based on more varied mission requirements and a proven track record [of the personnel] for greater than average judgment and personal responsibility, but they cannot just "do whatever they want" or just endlessly buy new NVGs or tubes.

There is a product with a reputation for having lower than stated life relative to performance that got the company in some hot water and put a bad taste in a lot of defense ministers' mouths and in some cases leading to the manufacturer having to provide double the product--one set for training use, and one set for operational use, but it wasn't L3Harris Unfilmed tubes.

~Augee
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC_Augee:
Originally Posted By spunk2:
I don't remember if someone asked the question "Why does special forces use unfilmed then?", or if they just said it themselves.  They reply was, special forces uses unfilmed and tube life does not matter because they can just go grab a new set whenever they want from the armory.


This is a mind-numbingly stupid statement and utter bullshit, and a great way to tell that someone has not the faintest clue what they're talking about.

SOF units may have higher budgets than most conventional units or LE, but they still have budgets, and surprise surprise--Unfilmed systems are more expensive for them too.

They're also allocated based on tables of organization and allowances, etc., etc.,

Point is, no they cannot "just grab a new set whenever they want from the armory."

It's a common belief by those with absolutely no experience with such organizations that SOF is some sort of free-for-all when it comes to equipment and even property accountability, when if fact it's almost the exact opposite. SOF personnel may tend to get a little more leeway based on more varied mission requirements and a proven track record [of the personnel] for greater than average judgment and personal responsibility, but they cannot just "do whatever they want" or just endlessly buy new NVGs or tubes.

There is a product with a reputation for having lower than stated life relative to performance that got the company in some hot water and put a bad taste in a lot of defense ministers' mouths and in some cases leading to the manufacturer having to provide double the product--one set for training use, and one set for operational use, but it wasn't L3Harris Unfilmed tubes.

~Augee



That seemed like a weird statement.  Thanks for confirming.
Link Posted: 3/1/2021 4:13:32 PM EDT
[#10]
I noticed that Photonis mentioned this too in a recent report:

"From the beginning of its use for I2 it has been obvious that the GaAs material is very vulnerable to the positive ion feedback that damages its cesium activation layer necessary for the electron release process. To protect the GaAs photocathode from deteriorating, an ion-barrier film needs to be installed on the MCP. This film is not at all to get a longer life time that HyMA photocathode based I2 but just to prevent GaAs photocathodes to have a lifetime of a few hundred hours only. That "ion barrier film" is not required with a HyMA (4G) photocathode as that is a much more robust material and has a cesium activation layer with a much better chemical bond to the photocathode material, all Photonis image intensifiers are filmless.  

The major drawback of this film is that it captures a significant amount of the electrons released by the GaAs photocathode. Therefore in the context of the race to the highest FOM, L3-Harris proposed GaAs filmless image intensifiers, even though this move jeopardizes the lifetime of their I2. But it is a law of physics that GaAs technology has reached its limits while HyMA technology (4G) has still a lot of improvements to deliver, hence removing the film is the last step available to US manufactures to the detriment of lifetime.

4G image intensifiers have made formidable improvement in terms of lifetime in the past decade. All Photonis image intensifiers offer guaranteed lifetime characteristics of more than 10000 hours according to Mil-Spec criteria with limited performance decrease over time. As far as 4G is concerned, and as recently again proven independently by the renowned Fraunhofer Institute (Germany), the SNR characteristics have a typical values drop of less than 5% over the full lifetime which largely supersedes the US Mil-Spec."

https://www.photonis.com/system/files/2021-02/20210207_Japanese_Article_Night_Vision_and_Image_Intensifiers_market_EN2.pdf
Link Posted: 3/2/2021 4:10:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: TNVC_Augee] [#11]
Link Posted: 3/4/2021 4:57:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: TNVC] [#12]
Link Posted: 3/4/2021 7:42:00 PM EDT
[#13]
Link Posted: 4/22/2021 3:08:25 PM EDT
[#14]
Link Posted: 4/22/2021 6:23:22 PM EDT
[#15]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TNVC:
So during our weekly staff meeting a few ago...Our Sales Manager reporting yet another agency getting told they need to purchase WP FILMED because the L3 Unfilmed have a much shorter life span. Same company, same person spouting the outlandish false information.

It appears these vicious lies about L3 tubes will not be stopping anytime soon. All in the name of selling a competitors tube.
View Quote


are you able to out whoever keeps saying this?
Link Posted: 4/22/2021 6:52:41 PM EDT
[#16]
Link Posted: 4/23/2021 7:27:57 PM EDT
[#17]
Link Posted: 4/25/2021 12:11:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: TNVC] [#18]
Link Posted: 5/29/2021 12:54:31 PM EDT
[#19]
Link Posted: 6/11/2021 5:43:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: RC51_Texas] [#20]
I just received my L3Harris Unfilmed WP two months ago and barely have 50 hours on it.  The clarity on it is awesome! Couldn’t be happier.  

Just ordered a FLIR Breach from you guys two days ago and can’t wait to get it - shows Tuesday delivery!

If only my KVC Universal Dual Bridge would ship now!  Thank you TNVC!!
Link Posted: 6/13/2021 1:57:10 PM EDT
[#21]
Link Posted: 6/14/2021 2:06:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: GoatBoy] [#22]
The real reason why L3 was able to make filmless work "as long" as filmed is because they dropped the voltage significantly across the PC. Les voltage, less wear and tear, allowing for significant gains in performance. Except a couple things here:

1: The test they use is calibrated and owned by them.
2: The test doesn't measure real life usage accurately despite the claims it mimics a certain amount of "real world" usage.
3: Light decays tubes. Therefore, in any other environment besides innawoods, you'll decay your tube faster. facts, yo.

Less subjective facts:

4: It's Lol3, what can you expect? Wouldn't be the first time they lied systemically about a system. To be fair, they are no longer the same company but like two years ago it was a lot more fun to make fun of them, now it's just refreshing to see everyone challenging the narrative.
5: Yes, Photonis won the tube wars, get over it.
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 5:52:37 PM EDT
[#23]
Link Posted: 6/15/2021 6:55:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: GoatBoy] [#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NSFJojo:
The real reason why L3 was able to make filmless work "as long" as filmed is because they dropped the voltage significantly across the PC. Les voltage, less wear and tear, allowing for significant gains in performance. Except a couple things here:

1: The test they use is calibrated and owned by them.
2: The test doesn't measure real life usage accurately despite the claims it mimics a certain amount of "real world" usage.
3: Light decays tubes. Therefore, in any other environment besides innawoods, you'll decay your tube faster. facts, yo.

Less subjective facts:

4: It's Lol3, what can you expect? Wouldn't be the first time they lied systemically about a system. To be fair, they are no longer the same company but like two years ago it was a lot more fun to make fun of them, now it's just refreshing to see everyone challenging the narrative.
5: Yes, Photonis won the tube wars, get over it.
View Quote


Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 6/19/2021 6:07:15 PM EDT
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History

I was more upset the whole thread was used as just passing on gossip than the actual science behind it.  yes, they were able to lower the voltage significantly and that's the reason unfilmed can have a longer lifetime than the first unfilmed. you then give an irrefutable statement. The rest is dependant upon usage, Photonis isn't wrong here, it has been a well known limitation on GaAs technology, written by many 3rd party sources. Either way, it's a disposable device to begin with, our based mil contractors know how to keep uncle sugar buying deep and often. Arguing about which is better is stupid, clearly filmless gives GREAT results for scientific and astronomy usage whereas if you think the shtf, Photonis being dummy proof is the way to go bc it will last longer. We did this whole thing years ago, it's old hat but still contentious I suppose.
Link Posted: 6/22/2021 11:21:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: NSFJojo] [#26]
https://www.ar15.com/forums/Armory/L3-Filmless-tube-life/18-497402/?page=1&anc=5086328#i5086328

I think this thread had the most amount of knowledgeable posters on the subject coming together to make a consensus. Whatever else you want to say, what was said in that thread was the absolute total take on the situation from some of the best minds in the hobby, myself included lol. Anything else is just marketing.

Also, TNVC can you please post more astronomy photos? I'm almost ready to use my stuff at night but nothing I have compares to yours so I absolutely need to see more beautiful sky pictures when you have them. Do you sell to amateur astronomers often? The hobby isn't cheap, so I would bet you do!
Link Posted: 9/19/2021 1:31:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: TNVC] [#27]
Link Posted: 4/4/2022 1:55:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: NightOwlThinker] [#28]
I was curious about the whole tube degradation thing myself.

I wanted to see if this was a rumor or something that Elbit themselves claims, as it would make a big difference if it was a rumor versus something from the manufacturer's mouth.

So, I sent an e-mail to Elbit.

This is the reply that I got back:

"Over time – the film provides for a much more stable life curve of the photocathode which in turn results in much more stable life curve of the image tube’s overall performance."

That is more than just a rumor. That is coming from the manufacturer.

I am really curious to hear other people's thoughts on this? Thanks for sharing.

Update: Just read back through and saw where someone else was told basically the same thing by Elbit employees, and saw some of the responses. How confusing!

Second update: I e-mailed Elbit back asking for any scientific papers, data or studies that show thin-filmed tubes last longer. I was told that they could not send me anything with technical data. I think that says a lot.
Link Posted: 5/28/2022 1:50:48 AM EDT
[#29]
Holy cow, had to make this my first post in 7 years... and I just can't believe this rumor still around... I remember it well from back in 2014... don't fall for it! If you can afford L3 Unfilmed (filmless) get it. You won't regret it.
Link Posted: 12/24/2022 12:08:48 AM EDT
[#30]
I remember this debate. ITT went with thin film to try and meet the standards of the time. They were good tubes with decent performance. That said they did not have tons of luck with filmless

In the early days even I was skeptical  about filmless. So I do what I always have done and bought one used to try out. I was impressed and still use the same tube today many years later.

I don't have a hour meter on my tubes but surfice it to say I put at least a hundred per year (probably more). Never a issue and the tube performs like when I bought it. No idea of the hours on the tube when I bought it used.

I have at least a dozen or more tubes I play with. I got on the photonis kick and tried a few of those. All my tubes I like and use. The filmless beats all of them. I am not a. NV snob. I use all my tubes but my filmless is still my best tube. Just my .02.
Link Posted: 12/24/2022 2:13:17 AM EDT
[#31]
FWIW I'm using filmless 10160B tubes that are a decade+ old at this point.

They still see good.
Link Posted: 1/8/2023 9:40:37 PM EDT
[#32]
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