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Posted: 10/6/2020 6:17:35 AM EDT
I wrote this post because it's the post I wish I had been able to read before I bought my NVD's. It's the post that I'd have liked to have stumbled across that contains stuff other than FOM and EBI and all that.
I got into NODs very recently. I did a lot of "research" online. I educated myself about Apache vs  Carson glass. About EBI vs SNR vs FOM and lp/mm. I even noted that the NV tech forums seem more like GD, more often than not.

What I did not learn about until I actually bought NODs, that would have been handy to know...


-The NV community is EXTREMELY small. It may seem big...it's not. It's also very cliquish. Remember high-school? That's the NVD community. Unless you're a "buy and bye" customer, you're going to find yourself falling in with certain "clubs", whether you intent to, or not.

-NVD intensifier tubes are analogue. This means they are more like the radio you had as a kid, and less like your Mac Airbook. They can be quirky. For example, in high light (a full moon), they may flicker like there is a voltage fluctuation issue/loose connection. This is the automatic brightness control as well as autogating trying to limit light into the tube. They may whine on start-up...and some may continue to...and some may not...and some may do it loud...and some may do it quiet. ALL TUBES HAVE BLEMS. Some blems are small. Some are not so small. Some things you think are a blem, do not show up on a spec sheet. Others do. If you stare at white walls long enough, you will see new blems form, maybe right before your eyes! But they aren't new unless you damaged the tube (more later on that.). I knew I was OCD, so I took a picture of my tube when I got it. Every "new blem" I found...was right there in the "day zero" picture...

-The housings and optics are not what you expect for thousands of dollars. You can literally spend S&B dual CC money in the NVD world, and have entry level kit. PVS ground optics may have several cm of backlash in the diopter adjustment for crying out loud! These are 1x optics, and the lenses still blur near the edges like an early 1-8 LPVO.

-NODS are expensive...and they are consumables. I hate to acknowledge that. I hate to admit that I spent thousands of dollars on something like this that will wear out and die...but they are incredibly hearty, really, and the only people I know who have even told me about tubes getting worn out, are people who are familiar with aviation schools that use the goggles tirelessly.

-Warranties are cool. They are nice. Don't get all wrapped up in them. Remember when I said NODS were like high school? No NVD dealer or reseller wants to have their name on something that quantifiably shat the bed. Warranty or not, if you didn't break it, it's likely who you bought it from (not EBAY...) will have a resolution for you. Speaking of that, if you break it...they may help you out, but the warranty won't be why. Warranty for NODS isn't like warranty for your Camry. Warranty for NODS is if there is a quantifiable defect in the product from the manufacturer, they will replace it. I don't know of too many people who have gen 3 NODS that have had legit factory defects. Especially ones discovered months out. As time has gone on, a warranty is less and less something I'd base a purchase on. Early on, warranty was HUGE for me.

-NVD tubes that are autogated are actually pretty tough. When I first got mine, I was terrified of even my glowing door-bell ringer. From what I've gathered, the only real way you're going to wreck NODs is: turning them on outside in the daytime and running around like you just don't care, shining your modlite OKW into them because you can, and lasers! Lasers are BAD for NODS. Also, dropping them or placing non-recoil rated systems on a firearm. The street lights, random car headlights/tail lights, and your buddy going white light next to you on the range...will not kill your NODS. Be careful, but you don't have to stress.

-Whether you get binoculars, or a monocular, you're staring at an image on a piece of glass. Depth perception is going to be something you learn. I find that judging distance is best done by looking at shadows, etc. The image as a whole. The better the tube, the better grasp I have of distance, etc. whether bino or mono. Many people will try to convince you that binos are the only way, or that a PVS14 gives you use of the un-NVD encumbered eye and is the best way. You NEED TO TRY BOTH. I have friends that prefer binos. I have friends that prefer monos. Unless you try it, you're just taking someone else's word for it. If you were buying a Camaro or Mustang, and had no experience with cars, would you just take some post online or some phone conversation and pick one? Heck no! DRIVE 'EM BOTH!

These are all things I wish I'd been able to find getting into this. Maybe it's stuff you already know, agree with, or disagree with, but it's a note to a noob from another noob, and I hope it helps someone.
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 8:49:26 AM EDT
Good advice, thanks OP (from a wannabe)
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 9:11:59 AM EDT
Thanks for this post, OP. I have a Sionyx but I know its not real NODS. So now I want them.

I just need to educate first. And convince my wallet second.
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 9:19:19 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NukeThemTillTheyGlow:
Good advice, thanks OP (from a wannabe)
View Quote

Link Posted: 10/6/2020 10:10:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2020 10:11:48 AM EDT by MunnyShot]
You're absolutely correct that if you're not sitting at the head cheerleader table you're not going to be invited to the home coming dance. There is a lot of elitism here that unless you buy this tube, this housing and this IR laser/illuminator you're going to die because everything else sucks and we just so happen to stock everything you need. Tactics, training, mind set has nothing on looking good with Gucci gear. When in truth it's the Indian and not the arrow. There is a lot of hate for the PVS7 and I know it ruffles a lot of feathers because they're the best for the money to have both eyes aided, yet again there is a crowd that swears your eyes will explode unless you have high spec binos.  As far as tubes goes not just one specific vendor that has first pick of all the high spec L3 filmless WP tubes with the rest that didn't past the strict scrutiny gets distributed to the lesser companies. I've looked through some really nice tubes as well as run of the mill Omni VII-VIII and I can tell you that the difference of paying 900-2,900 vs 8k plus more ain't worth the difference IMHO. As far as housings go some do prefer a mono vs a bino/biocular and they all fill a different roll. When posters ask what should they buy my recommendations is always based on budget, how they want to use it and not just what the flavor of the month is.
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 10:38:18 AM EDT
Indeed.

As someone who just researched / bought this past month I noticed the same thing.

The biggest thing here is that most of the knowledge/responses are coming from vendors. None of the other tech forums are like that.

I did the best I could reaching out to knowledgeable guys both on arfcom and SnipersHide that didn't seem affiliated with any one company.

*and I agree 100% on the "this cost me this much".. As someone with high end glass I was pretty underwhelmed myself. Both on the asthetics and overall build of what your getting for the money. I understand the tube cost are what it is driving it, just an observation.
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 1:17:03 PM EDT
Good post JohnDough

The #1 thing potential new users who haven't used NV before need to know is that it has limitations. Sometimes serious limitations. It's definitely something that should be demoed if at all possible before buying which as we all know is highly unlikely unfortunately.

As you said the community is small, so it's already a clique, and it has sub-cliques. Not unlike many other things however. Some of it is due to dealer loyalty which isn't necessarily a bad thing and some it due to guys who've hunted or taken classes together, or simply interact more outside of the internet.

One thing that I don't like about the forums is that new people come here to ask questions and they can't sift through the BS when it flares up. They don't know who's who, sides with "x" dealer, who is actually a dealer or has a conflict of interest, etc. For example, someone asks a simple question like "what's better a monocular or bino" and they are answered with buy this exact device from this exact person. That's pretty lame IMO. To be fair this could be the result from the same questions get asked so many times that people get tired of answering.  

There is good information for the most part but when the forum is less active the info can be pretty scarce or not correct. When the dealers fight it pretty much runs off new and old users which is a disservice to the forum members. There used to be some regular users who would get into heavily tech based conversations that many of us myself included learned a lot of info. I miss reading those and hope they come back.        

There is definitely no single best solution for all users but there are some consistent themes that typically will apply to most users and specific themes that apply to specific uses of night vision/thermal. Sometimes these themes may seem like product sales pitches when in fact they're not but of course there are some sales pitches disguised as questions/posts/etc. Those can usually be spotted but sometimes it' just someone who just wants to share a cool product they found.

New forum members need to do more searching before asking because there is A LOT of great info in the archives. The forum search function sucks and searching Google using ar15.com plus whatever you're looking for is the best way to go.
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 9:13:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2020 9:34:42 PM EDT by GroundhogOZ]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MunnyShot:
You're absolutely correct that if you're not sitting at the head cheerleader table you're not going to be invited to the home coming dance. There is a lot of elitism here that unless you buy this tube, this housing and this IR laser/illuminator you're going to die because everything else sucks and we just so happen to stock everything you need. Tactics, training, mind set has nothing on looking good with Gucci gear. When in truth it's the Indian and not the arrow. There is a lot of hate for the PVS7 and I know it ruffles a lot of feathers because they're the best for the money to have both eyes aided, yet again there is a crowd that swears your eyes will explode unless you have high spec binos.  As far as tubes goes not just one specific vendor that has first pick of all the high spec L3 filmless WP tubes with the rest that didn't past the strict scrutiny gets distributed to the lesser companies. I've looked through some really nice tubes as well as run of the mill Omni VII-VIII and I can tell you that the difference of paying 900-2,900 vs 8k plus more ain't worth the difference IMHO. As far as housings go some do prefer a mono vs a bino/biocular and they all fill a different roll. When posters ask what should they buy my recommendations is always based on budget, how they want to use it and not just what the flavor of the month is.
View Quote



100% bang on the money - training, training, training and fit for purpose.  Also getting the value proposition right is essential, no point in paying 10k for a set of BNVD if you haven't got decent boots or pack that can't do the hard yards.  

Moreover, elite is defined by a set of behaviours and a mind set with a high level of resilience and not the type of gear you carry or wear - you're not going Gucci if you have to EE

A spec sheet is a spec sheet, its good to understand but it doesn't help you if you're not effective with the equipment.

Also, there is an ever bigger push into digital and prices dropping e.g. thermal and very good all round devices like the Sionyx pro.

As the OP recognised the current market for NODs is small, the elite market is tiny - however there is a massive market out there, particularly in 24/7 industries and manufacturing facilities particularly around safety, monitoring, observing, recording and documentation.
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 9:49:33 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GroundhogOZ:



100% bang on the money - training, training, training and fit for purpose.  Also getting the value proposition right is essential, no point in paying 10k for a set of BNVD if you haven't got decent boots or pack that can't do the hard yards.  

Moreover, elite is defined by a set of behaviours and a mind set with a high level of resilience and not the type of gear you carry or wear - you're not going Gucci if you have to EE

A spec sheet is a spec sheet, its good to understand but it doesn't help you if you're not effective with the equipment.

Also, there is an ever bigger push into digital and prices dropping e.g. thermal and very good all round devices like the Sionyx pro.
View Quote


I agree you can’t count on gear alone but the fact is better gear is better gear. Training and skill can only make up so much for low quality compared to high quality.

For example, someone with a Sionyx against an adversary with high end analog tubes on a no moon night would be at a big disadvantage.
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 9:52:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2020 11:19:52 PM EDT by TX-Zen]
Great post OP and great comments from other knowledgeable members


tl;dr
There is a huge difference in what is functionally workable for what most people actually need vs what you are going to be sold when you call one of the major vendors, and you will pay for it as a new person just getting into the field. Most of my friends have been down the same road and you don't know what you don't know, which is why you end up on that road in the first place. There aren't many vendors at all that will give it to you straight and help you make a sound decision, most of them are happy to let you fill in the blanks and write a bigger check based on what you think you need



I think the warranty thing is also fairly overrated and is designed to help painlessly separate a newbie from his or her money under the pretense of feeling good about the insurance policy. I've had friends describe it to me as the car salesman pitch of paying a little more just to 'be sure'. Generally most of us want to feel good about our purchases and feel like we will be taken care of if something goes wrong

That's how the most of the NV industry seems to work and in a way it sort of has too because indeed, the community is fairly small and they don't have an unlimited pool of people to generate revenue from. Not faulting business making profits or how capitalism works at all, but the industry is definitely oriented around selling you NV gear for significant profit, and it really is up to the consumer to go through the big uphill learning curve to really understand the way NV technology works and how the industry sells things to be able to make practical choices for ourselves when we buy stuff. I'm not faulting the industry at all, but this learning curve for newbies is not easy to navigate and the industry is definitely positioned to make a profit from new people entering the market

When the rubber meets the road, I have had less than stellar experience in that warranty department myself. I started out like most of us and hedged my bet with a good warranty being a big part of my buying decision because I didn't know what I didn't know, but during the last few years I realized that regardless of whatever warranty you are supposed to have you are actually most likely going to deal with the original manufacturer more than the outfit that sold you the device. How the manufacturer handles the RMA is what ends up being the most important part in my personal opinion, regardless of what you are told from the outfit you buy from

Another angle where new people get 'taken advantage' of is the way that high end NV is upsold as the most important thing because of X number of what-if's, and then as a newbie you fall into the trap of thinking that things like unfilmed white phosphor binos are the safe bet even though they cost more when in reality they are only the best choice for a fairly narrow range of environmental conditions or specific use cases, like being the tip of the spear as SF in Afghanistan. In places like that high end stuff absolutely matters but for the most of us it really doesn't and probably never will

Environmental conditions are exactly what the problem really ends up being as others have mentioned. There isn't an NV device built yet that can handle everything that can happen to you in the field and I have seen my very own 'uber high end' WP high spec binos turn to complete shit in real world conditions. It happens more often than you'd think actually, so the difference in real world conditions between the highest end gear and lower end practical gear to start off with is often not worth the cost of the higher end gear, but because of the way new people can get upsold it's easy for us to go ahead and spend more than we really need to. Again, I'm not bashing capitalism but this market is one where the buyer really does need to be well educated before purchasing, and most of aren't when we get into it for the first time

I started with a thick film green phosphor, moved onto thin filmed WP and ended up with unfilmed WP binos. Yes the WP binos are awesome, but to be brutally honest in 95% of the same conditions my other tubes are functionally just as effective. When the conditions get so shitty that the WP binos don't work well either I call it a night and go home to drink whiskey, just like most of my friends

Link Posted: 10/6/2020 10:01:53 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By will-1:


I agree you can't count on gear alone but the fact is better gear is better gear. Training and skill can only make up so much for low quality compared to high quality.

For example, someone with a Sionyx against an adversary with high end analog tubes on a no moon night would be at a big disadvantage.
View Quote
I'd respectfully say that most of us will never really be in a situation where that gear will make a difference, or have the training to take advantage of the difference. Another way to say it is that if you personally don't spend a lot of time really training and really getting it right, most of your higher end gear won't make a difference against someone with a PVS-7 and his or her shit-ton of combat experience (for example)

Not a dig against you at all, just my 02 cents
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 10:35:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By will-1:For example, someone with a Sionyx against an adversary with high end analog tubes on a no moon night would be at a big disadvantage.
View Quote


Yes and I wouldn't advocate a SIOnyx for that type of use - but it is a good general NOD particularly in urban and suburban outdoor environments........and it looks like a small video camera :)

Just a case of using the right tool for the right job.  
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 11:05:49 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TX-Zen:
I'd respectfully say that most of us will never really be in a situation where that gear will make a difference, or have the training to take advantage of the difference. Another way to say it is that if you personally don't spend a lot of time really training and really getting it right, most of your higher end gear won't make a difference against someone with a PVS-7 and his or her shit-ton of combat experience (for example)

Not a dig against you at all, just my 02 cents
View Quote


All good. No offense taken and agree.
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 11:14:43 PM EDT
what gets me is how all the big guys talk about specs, so you can be informed. and then you say ok, ill take one. and roll the dice on whatever specs the NOD gods gift you. you would be better off knowing about the differences between the different tubes and less about spec sheet info as once you get the spec sheet its already too late.
Link Posted: 10/6/2020 11:53:12 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GroundhogOZ:


Yes and I wouldn't advocate a SIOnyx for that type of use - but it is a good general NOD particularly in urban and suburban outdoor environments........and it looks like a small video camera :)

Just a case of using the right tool for the right job.  
View Quote

When they where in the 399.00 range I would have bought one just for traveling outside of the US, but now that they're over 700.00 it's a little harder of a pill to swallow.
Link Posted: 10/7/2020 12:02:17 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TX-Zen:
Great post OP and great comments from other knowledgeable members


tl;dr
There is a huge difference in what is functionally workable for what most people actually need vs what you are going to be sold when you call one of the major vendors, and you will pay for it as a new person just getting into the field. Most of my friends have been down the same road and you don't know what you don't know, which is why you end up on that road in the first place. There aren't many vendors at all that will give it to you straight and help you make a sound decision, most of them are happy to let you fill in the blanks and write a bigger check based on what you think you need



I think the warranty thing is also fairly overrated and is designed to help painlessly separate a newbie from his or her money under the pretense of feeling good about the insurance policy. I've had friends describe it to me as the car salesman pitch of paying a little more just to 'be sure'. Generally most of us want to feel good about our purchases and feel like we will be taken care of if something goes wrong

That's how the most of the NV industry seems to work and in a way it sort of has too because indeed, the community is fairly small and they don't have an unlimited pool of people to generate revenue from. Not faulting business making profits or how capitalism works at all, but the industry is definitely oriented around selling you NV gear for significant profit, and it really is up to the consumer to go through the big uphill learning curve to really understand the way NV technology works and how the industry sells things to be able to make practical choices for ourselves when we buy stuff. I'm not faulting the industry at all, but this learning curve for newbies is not easy to navigate and the industry is definitely positioned to make a profit from new people entering the market

When the rubber meets the road, I have had less than stellar experience in that warranty department myself. I started out like most of us and hedged my bet with a good warranty being a big part of my buying decision because I didn't know what I didn't know, but during the last few years I realized that regardless of whatever warranty you are supposed to have you are actually most likely going to deal with the original manufacturer more than the outfit that sold you the device. How the manufacturer handles the RMA is what ends up being the most important part in my personal opinion, regardless of what you are told from the outfit you buy from

Another angle where new people get 'taken advantage' of is the way that high end NV is upsold as the most important thing because of X number of what-if's, and then as a newbie you fall into the trap of thinking that things like unfilmed white phosphor binos are the safe bet even though they cost more when in reality they are only the best choice for a fairly narrow range of environmental conditions or specific use cases, like being the tip of the spear as SF in Afghanistan. In places like that high end stuff absolutely matters but for the most of us it really doesn't and probably never will

Environmental conditions are exactly what the problem really ends up being as others have mentioned. There isn't an NV device built yet that can handle everything that can happen to you in the field and I have seen my very own 'uber high end' WP high spec binos turn to complete shit in real world conditions. It happens more often than you'd think actually, so the difference in real world conditions between the highest end gear and lower end practical gear to start off with is often not worth the cost of the higher end gear, but because of the way new people can get upsold it's easy for us to go ahead and spend more than we really need to. Again, I'm not bashing capitalism but this market is one where the buyer really does need to be well educated before purchasing, and most of aren't when we get into it for the first time

I started with a thick film green phosphor, moved onto thin filmed WP and ended up with unfilmed WP binos. Yes the WP binos are awesome, but to be brutally honest in 95% of the same conditions my other tubes are functionally just as effective. When the conditions get so shitty that the WP binos don't work well either I call it a night and go home to drink whiskey, just like most of friends

View Quote


Great reply.

It’s difficult for new buyers when they see different opinions and advice from various users and have no firsthand experience themselves to base it on. This is why I highly recommend that people demo gear if at all possible before they buy.

It’s tough to recommend to strangers what’s best for them. It’s a very subjective thing and similar to what you said, you won’t know something until you know it. After using a bunch of different tubes, personally the higher cost was 200% worth it to me but I also let people know that I spend way too much time playing with night vision, lol. I completely agree that you don’t “need” the high end tubes for practical purposes. I still continue to buy “lesser” quality tubes and I think they’re awesome too.  

IMO, people have to start using stuff to find out what they like, what’s important to them, etc.

Otherwise, if someone has the budget then they can’t go wrong buying whatever at the time is considered the best by most of the community whether thermal, NV, or other.


Link Posted: 10/7/2020 12:13:11 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By slappomatt:
what gets me is how all the big guys talk about specs, so you can be informed. and then you say ok, ill take one. and roll the dice on whatever specs the NOD gods gift you. you would be better off knowing about the differences between the different tubes and less about spec sheet info as once you get the spec sheet its already too late.
View Quote


Yeah, it’s definitely more beneficial if you can use that info to select your tubes. Unfortunately, the NV market has gone insane. However this info will be useful when all of the used stuff hits the market when the end of the world doesn’t happen hopefully
Link Posted: 10/7/2020 2:28:16 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By will-1:


I agree you can’t count on gear alone but the fact is better gear is better gear. Training and skill can only make up so much for low quality compared to high quality.

For example, someone with a Sionyx against an adversary with high end analog tubes on a no moon night would be at a big disadvantage.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By will-1:
Originally Posted By GroundhogOZ:



100% bang on the money - training, training, training and fit for purpose.  Also getting the value proposition right is essential, no point in paying 10k for a set of BNVD if you haven't got decent boots or pack that can't do the hard yards.  

Moreover, elite is defined by a set of behaviours and a mind set with a high level of resilience and not the type of gear you carry or wear - you're not going Gucci if you have to EE

A spec sheet is a spec sheet, its good to understand but it doesn't help you if you're not effective with the equipment.

Also, there is an ever bigger push into digital and prices dropping e.g. thermal and very good all round devices like the Sionyx pro.


I agree you can’t count on gear alone but the fact is better gear is better gear. Training and skill can only make up so much for low quality compared to high quality.

For example, someone with a Sionyx against an adversary with high end analog tubes on a no moon night would be at a big disadvantage.



And depending on environment, someone with NV only is at a MAJOR disadvantage to someone with HMT/NV
Link Posted: 10/7/2020 6:02:49 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By texassooner:



And depending on environment, someone with NV only is at a MAJOR disadvantage to someone with HMT/NV
View Quote



Shoot, I'd say even a hand-held Thermal. This where the experience comes in - direction of travel is unlikely to change, and back in the day, we did ambushes with No NODs (maybe only the 60 Gunners had a PVS-4 or "Litton" depending on the year) - lots of holes in the towed targets - it's rarely 'that dark'. Now add 3, 6, 9 guys not wearing eye-cups on their wizard gear as they walk through the kill-zone, with the ambush line 25-50 meters away in the brush, in the prone...  

Like said above it's the Indian and not the Arrow - and also said above, you won't be dealing with NOD wearers anyway - that's fantasy land - fun to talk about, never happen. Hell I'd say the closest we've been to even a hint of doing anything since 1812, is right now - and look at who it will be against, and where it will be.
Link Posted: 10/7/2020 7:23:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2020 8:00:45 AM EDT by TX-Zen]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By will-1:
After using a bunch of different tubes, personally the higher cost was 200% worth it to me but I also let people know that I spend way too much time playing with night vision, lol. I completely agree that you don't "need" the high end tubes for practical purposes. I still continue to buy "lesser" quality tubes and I think they're awesome too.
View Quote
Totally right

In my case there is exactly a zero point zero chance I will give up my WP BNVD-ULs to use a lesser tube instead, simply because I love my ULs as much as I do. They are 200% worth it to me as well and I am glad I bought them every single time I put them on ... but they aren't doing much that a $2000 no name green tube isn't doing already. For what I do and what most of us need, the 3 or 4x price difference over a single green 14 isn't necessary, but you won't realize this unless as you said you have used several different kinds of tubes under different conditions

I'm glad we have multiple dealers, multiple choices of NV devices to buy, multiple opinions on what is best with such a wide range of experience and that we get to take advantage of our freedom and buy whatever the hell we want. It's a good thing to have choices. But this is absolutely a market where you need to be well educated and experienced, but it's hard to get that experience. I'm glad to see how many people are quick to offer hands on show and tell when new guys ask. That's great. I think we should all have WP binos myself, but that's not necessarily what we all need or can afford


Link Posted: 10/7/2020 7:51:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2020 7:52:51 AM EDT by wwglen]
Operational Risk Management.

Base what you get on what you expect to do and the risk level you are.willing to accept.

Sure a great tube Rugged Bino system is better than a Sionyx, but can the Sionyx do what you need?

Of course there isn't near as much difference between a halfway decent PVS-7 and a that top line Bino system.


I have a Sionyx I got when they were $360, and am impressed over nothing, but like the post above, it doesn't do well if there is no moon and a power outage without external IR illumination.

I decided I wanted something better and rolled the dice with an EE PVS-7 with autogated and slightly blemished Omni VII autogated tubes for under $1400.  

I'm happy with my PVS-7 and it fits my intended use.

I have a visible red laser on my pistol and one rifle as well as an IR laser from EE on one rifle.  The red lasers work almost as well as the IR laser and with laser control they don't introduce a lot of risk.  Actually while I don't have one, I see a suppressor as reducing more risk than an IR laser.





Link Posted: 10/7/2020 2:39:12 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By texassooner:



And depending on environment, someone with NV only is at a MAJOR disadvantage to someone with HMT/NV
View Quote


Totally agree and great example of all I was trying to get at. All of the experience & training in the world won't help if someone sees you before you see them and gets rounds on you.
Link Posted: 10/7/2020 3:05:17 PM EDT
OP nailed it about how rugged NVGs actually are when it comes to light sensitivity.  Coming from army aviation, you wouldn't believe how some crew chiefs handle goggles and use them. Most civilian owners here would be sick. Leaving them uncapped in full sunlight on the gunner seat. Tossing 6 at a time (in their foam lunchbag case) into the back of a gator and driving full speed out to a flight line. Or flying around a lit up city looking at every light source available.

And most pass 6 month inspection just fine. Tubes are rarely replaced except for emmision point failures and laser burns (lasers are bad).

However, I fully understand spending a few hundred more to get the best specs possible.  But I'll live with my "budget" builds
Link Posted: 10/7/2020 6:29:34 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By TX-Zen:
Totally right

In my case there is exactly a zero point zero chance I will give up my WP BNVD-ULs to use a lesser tube instead, simply because I love my ULs as much as I do. They are 200% worth it to me as well and I am glad I bought them every single time I put them on ... but they aren't doing much that a $2000 no name green tube isn't doing already. For what I do and what most of us need, the 3 or 4x price difference over a single green 14 isn't necessary, but you won't realize this unless as you said you have used several different kinds of tubes under different conditions

I'm glad we have multiple dealers, multiple choices of NV devices to buy, multiple opinions on what is best with such a wide range of experience and that we get to take advantage of our freedom and buy whatever the hell we want. It's a good thing to have choices. But this is absolutely a market where you need to be well educated and experienced, but it's hard to get that experience. I'm glad to see how many people are quick to offer hands on show and tell when new guys ask. That's great. I think we should all have WP binos myself, but that's not necessarily what we all need or can afford

View Quote


@JohnDough
Seeing how this is your post and you said you're fairly new to NV writing this post for other new users, what's your take on high end vs middle vs low end tubes, before you bought and now that you have your device?
Link Posted: 10/7/2020 8:58:26 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By will-1:


@JohnDough
Seeing how this is your post and you said you're fairly new to NV writing this post for other new users, what's your take on high end vs middle vs low end tubes, before you bought and now that you have your device?
View Quote



TL/DR: Tube quality is king.



Before I bought my PVS14 (I do not know t he specs, but it is 2376+ FOM, and the one I briefly had before it, was a 2208FOM unit with 34.1SNR, 0.1 EBI, and this looks similar to me), I looked through several systems:


PVS14 that I do not know the specs on. I would guess 14-1600fom based on the very limited experience I have.
BNVD, Elbit thin-film 1800ish FOM XLSH WP.
PVS14, L3 Filmless 2500ish FOM, IIRC.


I chose to go with a higher spec monocular vs. binocular, because the depth perception and ability to move with the binos wasn't really any better for me except in EXTREMELY low light, and even then it was questionably better, while the PVS14 actually made movement easier than binos in higher light settings (1/4 moon or more). Even on 0 moon nights, I can still run and do whatever I want to do with my PVS14.

Binos were more "natural" to me, but that was a comfort thing, even on the first night I put NODs on, I realized that, and comfort is something we learn. We cannot learn to see better. That, we have to buy. I chose to buy the tube that would allow me to see the best I could. In turn, I feel that my better ability to resolve background, shadows, etc. gives me better gauge of distance, terrain, etc. For me, the binos would have been a comfort purchase: Less panning, more natural, brain processes the information a tiny bit faster coming from both eyes vs one. The lower grade vs best tube within reason I could find, on the other hand, was an actual performance increase that was immediately tangible to me, having tried what I'd consider 3 different "class" of gen 3 NVD tubes.

In time, I may buy binos, or I may not, but I can guarantee that if I had bought a lower grade tube, I'd be figuring out how I could get into an L3 filmless. My PVS14, all said and done, with all of the trading around that occurred, ended up costing me about $3800. TNVC RNVG's with XLSH tubes would have cost me around $5500, and would have been in the budget as well. I do not find myself wishing I had gone that route instead, wait times not withstanding, assuming I would have gotten a decently clean @1800FOM unit. I just find my high spec '14 to be less comfortable (maybe "natural" is a better word?) but more effective for me, than I did the BNVD's I tried. I can see things with it that I would miss with the Elbit thin film, especially on dark nights, and that to me is worth more than bino vs. mono.

I have always moved well at night, typically able to run as fast as I can on the steep terrain around here with just a "flash every 5-10 feet" method using a handheld light through the woods, and keeping in my minds eye where the trees were and when I should get to them. I run at night on rocky gravel roads, and did so even before getting NVD's. I think a lot of that is why I can go up and down my steps outside at night, play with my dog, whatever just fine. It took me about 5 minutes to figure out NVD's and depth, and when it was explained to me that they have no depth, you're not looking through them, you're staring at a screen in front of your eyeball, it began to make sense and I filed that away and things went well. I'd still likely need more time under NVD's to play soccer effectively, etc. though. I can chase and wrestle my dog around in the dark, now, though, when he lets me catch him, lol!


What I don't think I will ever get "trained" to, is the tiny limbs and twigs that seem to end up all over me when going through deep undergrowth. The PVS14 is worthless at 18" unless I want it to instead be worthless past 5ft. Moving through heavy undergrowth remains something I'd rather do with a small visible spectrum light.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 4:29:56 PM EDT
Reading through this and some other threads, it seems guys are hedging their bets a little bit.  I keep hearing "filmless" WP is the best, but also that thin-filmed GP still gets the job done, for most folks.  And I sorta get this.  While older, thin-filmed GP is still very useful for most apps, the newer, "un-filmed" WP is really awesome and nice to have.  So while my old thin-filmed GP still suits my needs very well, it doesn't mean I'm not jonesing for the newer stuff.  

If we take a look at this latest buying spree, and assume a lot of folks are buying these things becasue they are afraid of urban unrest and the possible need to defend home and hearth.  Ten years ago you would have been laughed out of here. However, if we confine ourselves to using these things for home defense, then what exactly are we looking for.  Based on some of the comments here, it would seem that no matter how good the tube 1) you still need regular training to a high standard, and 2) environmental factors still effect them.  So the 64-dollar question would seem to be: what is a base line of performance that you need, vs what would be nice-to-have.  

Honestly I have very limited time behind NOD's, compared to a lot of guys.  But I have some time out patrolling at night, with Mk 1 Mod 0 eyeballs.  There have been times I was very under-welmed by NV performance.  No moon nights. Deep woods nights.  High humidity nights.  No moon, deep woods, high humidity nights.  I am doubtful even the newest specs would perform THAT much better.  A fogged up lens is a fogged up lens.  

Some guys also mentioned thermal.  Yeah having some kind of dual spectrum capability is probably a really good idea.  I was recently very close to picking up another -14 and making some duals.  But I bought a Breach instead.  And ordered what I need to helmet mount them together.  So instead of higher-priced/capability I2, maybe "good-enough" I2 with thermal makes more sense.  That's where I'm at right now.  YMMV.  

As to vendors and new-comers to the field.  I agree with the sentiment that new buyers need to do their homework before buying this stuff.   If you've done the work, maybe even take a class and rent the stuff, you might have a better overall picture of what you really need versus what you'd love to have. (I'd say borrow your buddy's but after that last thread, I dunno!)  Especially if you can get into conditions that reflect what you'd actually see in your area, vs the square range.  Evironment/weather, lighting, obstacles, footing, etc.

And I'm not bagging on anybody here.  I'm not a vendor, nor am I buddies with any vendor.  No hidden agendas or guerilla marketing.  Just an end-user figuring out this shit like many others.  My thinking is that for personal self-defense, if that's your objective too, a good system can be had for 6K with both I2 and thermal.  I'm not made of money and there are many other priorities that need funding.  I'd rather have a good system, and good training, vs a really good system, and little-to-no-training.  The budget should be damn-near 50-50, IMHO.
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 4:44:13 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By TX-Zen:
I'd respectfully say that most of us will never really be in a situation where that gear will make a difference, or have the training to take advantage of the difference. Another way to say it is that if you personally don't spend a lot of time really training and really getting it right, most of your higher end gear won't make a difference against someone with a PVS-7 and his or her shit-ton of combat experience (for example)

Not a dig against you at all, just my 02 cents
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That is and isnt true. Theres few absolutes in life.

I agree heartily with your above post.

But when it comes to performance in low light better tubes will always be better. Ive had situations where even supposed omni 6ish gp tubes looked like it was underwater but my l3 uf looked pretty clear with a bit of scintillating.

If you were moving vs a hostile force which would you rather have?

I agree that device type matters little, 14 vs 7, mono vs duals etc.

But being able to see better is an advantage.
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 4:45:02 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By slappomatt:
what gets me is how all the big guys talk about specs, so you can be informed. and then you say ok, ill take one. and roll the dice on whatever specs the NOD gods gift you. you would be better off knowing about the differences between the different tubes and less about spec sheet info as once you get the spec sheet its already too late.
View Quote

So buy from someone who will let you pick specs? Its that easy.
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 4:55:16 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By JohnDough:



TL/DR: Tube quality is king.



Before I bought my PVS14 (I do not know t he specs, but it is 2376+ FOM, and the one I briefly had before it, was a 2208FOM unit with 34.1SNR, 0.1 EBI, and this looks similar to me), I looked through several systems:


PVS14 that I do not know the specs on. I would guess 14-1600fom based on the very limited experience I have.
BNVD, Elbit thin-film 1800ish FOM XLSH WP.
PVS14, L3 Filmless 2500ish FOM, IIRC.


I chose to go with a higher spec monocular vs. binocular, because the depth perception and ability to move with the binos wasn't really any better for me except in EXTREMELY low light, and even then it was questionably better, while the PVS14 actually made movement easier than binos in higher light settings (1/4 moon or more). Even on 0 moon nights, I can still run and do whatever I want to do with my PVS14.

Binos were more "natural" to me, but that was a comfort thing, even on the first night I put NODs on, I realized that, and comfort is something we learn. We cannot learn to see better. That, we have to buy. I chose to buy the tube that would allow me to see the best I could. In turn, I feel that my better ability to resolve background, shadows, etc. gives me better gauge of distance, terrain, etc. For me, the binos would have been a comfort purchase: Less panning, more natural, brain processes the information a tiny bit faster coming from both eyes vs one. The lower grade vs best tube within reason I could find, on the other hand, was an actual performance increase that was immediately tangible to me, having tried what I'd consider 3 different "class" of gen 3 NVD tubes.

In time, I may buy binos, or I may not, but I can guarantee that if I had bought a lower grade tube, I'd be figuring out how I could get into an L3 filmless. My PVS14, all said and done, with all of the trading around that occurred, ended up costing me about $3800. TNVC RNVG's with XLSH tubes would have cost me around $5500, and would have been in the budget as well. I do not find myself wishing I had gone that route instead, wait times not withstanding, assuming I would have gotten a decently clean @1800FOM unit. I just find my high spec '14 to be less comfortable (maybe "natural" is a better word?) but more effective for me, than I did the BNVD's I tried. I can see things with it that I would miss with the Elbit thin film, especially on dark nights, and that to me is worth more than bino vs. mono.

I have always moved well at night, typically able to run as fast as I can on the steep terrain around here with just a "flash every 5-10 feet" method using a handheld light through the woods, and keeping in my minds eye where the trees were and when I should get to them. I run at night on rocky gravel roads, and did so even before getting NVD's. I think a lot of that is why I can go up and down my steps outside at night, play with my dog, whatever just fine. It took me about 5 minutes to figure out NVD's and depth, and when it was explained to me that they have no depth, you're not looking through them, you're staring at a screen in front of your eyeball, it began to make sense and I filed that away and things went well. I'd still likely need more time under NVD's to play soccer effectively, etc. though. I can chase and wrestle my dog around in the dark, now, though, when he lets me catch him, lol!


What I don't think I will ever get "trained" to, is the tiny limbs and twigs that seem to end up all over me when going through deep undergrowth. The PVS14 is worthless at 18" unless I want it to instead be worthless past 5ft. Moving through heavy undergrowth remains something I'd rather do with a small visible spectrum light.

https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/453733/20201006_043652_jpg-1625357.JPG
View Quote


Good info once again. Agreed that being comfortable in the dark helps tremendously.

One thing you can do with binos or duals is focus one tube near and leave the other at infinity. It can help in some types of terrain but I find that if I really need to see immediately in front of or under me then I just peek under or stow them using eyeballs.

That's one area where IMO a -14 on an articulating mount or articulating goggles/duals have an advantage because it's easier duck and weave through stuff with it rolled up to your eyebrows vs being stowed. At least for me it works awesome.

Getting hung up and really snagged sucks. I remember one time I somehow got so jammed up that I had to unclip the chin strap and get out of the helmet to fix it, lol. The wifey was too busy laughing her ass off at me to help lol.
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 4:59:31 PM EDT
The number one problem i see is. Theres no magic bullet. No perfect solution.

It depends on the job at hand. Hmt/14 is great if youre hunting living animals on foot. Binos/panos are great if you want to drive 50-90 mph through the woods.

Theres techniques to work around any hardships due to your system. Theres way to adapt your training to fit your gear. Sure gear wont replace training, but better gear is still better. Buy the best you can reasonably afford. If thats $600 for a sionyx sure. Learn to work with it. If thats 50k for fusion panos learn to work with it.

Theres nothing wrong with any system, even the system of not having nods. Just accept the limits of what you have and learn to work within them.

Link Posted: 10/8/2020 5:32:46 PM EDT
Good writeup. It's funny when you expect your $3500 PVS-14 to arrive built like watch costing the same amount and what you receive actually has a Colt 6920 fit/finish feel to it. It was definitely built for the military 1st, us 2nd. I'm not saying they aren't amazing or anything... Just that they are fairly simple and built to be used by "the lowest common denominator". I'm glad I have mine.
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 7:07:34 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Diz:
Reading through this and some other threads, it seems guys are hedging their bets a little bit.  I keep hearing "filmless" WP is the best, but also that thin-filmed GP still gets the job done, for most folks.  And I sorta get this.  While older, thin-filmed GP is still very useful for most apps, the newer, "un-filmed" WP is really awesome and nice to have.  So while my old thin-filmed GP still suits my needs very well, it doesn't mean I'm not jonesing for the newer stuff.  

If we take a look at this latest buying spree, and assume a lot of folks are buying these things becasue they are afraid of urban unrest and the possible need to defend home and hearth.  Ten years ago you would have been laughed out of here. However, if we confine ourselves to using these things for home defense, then what exactly are we looking for.  Based on some of the comments here, it would seem that no matter how good the tube 1) you still need regular training to a high standard, and 2) environmental factors still effect them.  So the 64-dollar question would seem to be: what is a base line of performance that you need, vs what would be nice-to-have.  

Honestly I have very limited time behind NOD's, compared to a lot of guys.  But I have some time out patrolling at night, with Mk 1 Mod 0 eyeballs.  There have been times I was very under-welmed by NV performance.  No moon nights. Deep woods nights.  High humidity nights.  No moon, deep woods, high humidity nights.  I am doubtful even the newest specs would perform THAT much better.  A fogged up lens is a fogged up lens.  

Some guys also mentioned thermal.  Yeah having some kind of dual spectrum capability is probably a really good idea.  I was recently very close to picking up another -14 and making some duals.  But I bought a Breach instead.  And ordered what I need to helmet mount them together.  So instead of higher-priced/capability I2, maybe "good-enough" I2 with thermal makes more sense.  That's where I'm at right now.  YMMV.  

As to vendors and new-comers to the field.  I agree with the sentiment that new buyers need to do their homework before buying this stuff.   If you've done the work, maybe even take a class and rent the stuff, you might have a better overall picture of what you really need versus what you'd love to have. (I'd say borrow your buddy's but after that last thread, I dunno!)  Especially if you can get into conditions that reflect what you'd actually see in your area, vs the square range.  Evironment/weather, lighting, obstacles, footing, etc.

And I'm not bagging on anybody here.  I'm not a vendor, nor am I buddies with any vendor.  No hidden agendas or guerilla marketing.  Just an end-user figuring out this shit like many others.  My thinking is that for personal self-defense, if that's your objective too, a good system can be had for 6K with both I2 and thermal.  I'm not made of money and there are many other priorities that need funding.  I'd rather have a good system, and good training, vs a really good system, and little-to-no-training.  The budget should be damn-near 50-50, IMHO.
View Quote


I agree, gotta get out and use your gear and train. That said going from a mid 20s snr to 35snr on a no moon night is a big jump in performance. Go from an old mid 20s thin film to a mid 30s filmless is nice. These higher spec tubes are easier on the eyes in dark environments. Also like you said, some conditions will make these super tubes look bad.
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 10:35:36 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By will-1:


Good info once again. Agreed that being comfortable in the dark helps tremendously.

One thing you can do with binos or duals is focus one tube near and leave the other at infinity. It can help in some types of terrain but I find that if I really need to see immediately in front of or under me then I just peek under or stow them using eyeballs.

That's one area where IMO a -14 on an articulating mount or articulating goggles/duals have an advantage because it's easier duck and weave through stuff with it rolled up to your eyebrows vs being stowed. At least for me it works awesome.

Getting hung up and really snagged sucks. I remember one time I somehow got so jammed up that I had to unclip the chin strap and get out of the helmet to fix it, lol. The wifey was too busy laughing her ass off at me to help lol.
View Quote


I tried peeking under binos. What I found was that my eyes were adapted to the screens right in front of them, and while yes, I could peek under them and use a white light of course, I could not do it passively. One the same night, I also tried a 14, and my non-screen-adapted eye could easily see and allow me to maneuver or manipulate my environment to the extent that ambient light with a dark adjusted eye would allow. Peeking under binos seems like a high-light activity, that you will need artificial source to use, or a legit full moon or something.  I very much like my Norotos INVG Hyper and DDA. I heard one person complain about the "other dovetail blocking vision"...so unbolt it, lol! I made the same mistake for about a week and then remembered...yeah...I'm one phillips head away from fixing this...
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 10:39:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/8/2020 10:48:20 PM EDT by JohnDough]
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Originally Posted By ARShooter91:


I agree, gotta get out and use your gear and train. That said going from a mid 20s snr to 35snr on a no moon night is a big jump in performance. Go from an old mid 20s thin film to a mid 30s filmless is nice. These higher spec tubes are easier on the eyes in dark environments. Also like you said, some conditions will make these super tubes look bad.
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This is my L3 filmless unit on a night with 37% moon, behind 100% cloud cover. Clouds were 100%, at 12,000ft. I could not even tell you where the moon was behind them. It was one of those nights where the clouds just blanketed the sky, and it rained on and off all night. I took this video to show what tubes look like in actual "bad conditions". I can still see shadow under my solar panels, though, so I look forward to filming on a no-moon night to see the difference!

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For comparison, here it is on a GREAT night:

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This is why I went with the L3 filmless tube PVS14 instead of a Elbit thin-film bino. I feel that the L3 filmless PVS14 would allow me to literally see things in the dark (for the Elbit). Also, like I said prior, I did not find binos to be some life changing experience vs. a mono. I am happy with my PVS14. I would have been happy with L3 filmless RNVG's, but I also know I would be looking at those $9K RNVG's and thinking..."dude...I could turn that into $4-5K + a PVS14 and be just fine...". As Will-1 asked prior, tube mattered a LOT to me. Mono vs. Bino wasn't really a big deal. I truly thought it would be huge, based off of all I've read online, etc. but it wasn't. Others have different opinions and experiences, of course. I've learned that optics are super personal.


Also, yes...it was shocking to get a $4K optic to find out that my Vortex Strike Eagle feels so much more "precise", but as one friend said, the tube is what I paid for, and the housing and optics were a very small fraction of that cost. Still, my SE was a whopping $295 including mount...so yes, be prepared to be visually wowed, but "feel quality in-hand"...well, ignore that, PVS14 lasts years used by 18-19 year old's who didn't pay for them, so relax :)

Keep in mind of course that filmed nods look maybe 25-50% 'worse' than they do to the user (my opinion).
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 11:21:09 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By JohnDough:


I tried peeking under binos. What I found was that my eyes were adapted to the screens right in front of them, and while yes, I could peek under them and use a white light of course, I could not do it passively. One the same night, I also tried a 14, and my non-screen-adapted eye could easily see and allow me to maneuver or manipulate my environment to the extent that ambient light with a dark adjusted eye would allow. Peeking under binos seems like a high-light activity, that you will need artificial source to use, or a legit full moon or something.  I very much like my Norotos INVG Hyper and DDA. I heard one person complain about the "other dovetail blocking vision"...so unbolt it, lol! I made the same mistake for about a week and then remembered...yeah...I'm one phillips head away from fixing this...
View Quote


You definitely need more ambient light, Moon etc. It doesn’t work all of the time.

I usually peek for stuff like stepping over something when I want a better visual reference.
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 11:24:06 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By will-1:


You definitely need more ambient light, Moon etc. It doesn’t work all of the time.

I usually peek for stuff like stepping over something when I want a better visual reference.
View Quote


I did try running the binos as you suggest (near and far focus). I suppose it would work for some things, but I quickly put it back to infiniti on both tubes, as it was rather "oof" in the visual department for general moving. I've just come to the conclusion that NODS kindof suck for up close tasks/things, and sometimes I may want them out of the way ASAP, hence my Force to Overcome mount, and PVS14>Binos (in part, also playing a role was money, and benefit/reward as described previous). A PVS14 allows me to shoulder my rifle instantly and go white light without touching a thing.
Link Posted: 10/8/2020 11:37:19 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By JohnDough:


I did try running the binos as you suggest (near and far focus). I suppose it would work for some things, but I quickly put it back to infiniti on both tubes, as it was rather "oof" in the visual department for general moving. I've just come to the conclusion that NODS kindof suck for up close tasks/things, and sometimes I may want them out of the way ASAP, hence my Force to Overcome mount, and PVS14>Binos (in part, also playing a role was money, and benefit/reward as described previous). A PVS14 allows me to shoulder my rifle instantly and go white light without touching a thing.
View Quote


They suck for up close. It is fun though to focus for near and do stuff in the dark whatever it may be.
Link Posted: 10/9/2020 9:22:23 AM EDT
I would just add a nice 5.56 hole in your cap will help in this dept.  But yeah, and I think Augee was the first to mention this, dunno if he still recommends it or not, but I use it: tilt the -14 adjustment up ever so slightly, so you actually have to lower your noggin a little to see throught them.  Then when you have to look up close, you just barely raise your head and look underneath them.  This, combined with enough off-set for safety glasses, actually works pretty good for not bumping into trees, falling into sink holes n shit.

This technique is optimized for longer patrols, where most of your time is spent on the move.  For "actions in the obj area" simply adjust them for a more "through the eyeball" setting.  

And yeah, also courtesy of Augee, you gotta flip up and come off NODs every once in awhile, to rest up your eyeballs.  So the mix of tube time vs nakid eyeball would be up to you.  And like others have mentioned, when doing your "off-set" you might not need them all that much, but forward of the "Obj Rally Point" you damn sure will.

And finally, there may be times and places where you just pouch them up and scan on security halts.  And/or throw them on at the ORP.  Terrain and situation.
Link Posted: 10/9/2020 10:42:41 AM EDT
On moonlit nights I definitely like using a mono so that i can use a night adjusted eye for working up close.

Driving, shooting or moonless nights and I prefer the binos. I use a drilled cover as a refocus device on one eye. Let's me navigate indoors quickly and look at maps and stuff. The other tube doesn't have a cap so I can use my compass, because I've gotten lost in the woods plenty of times
Link Posted: 10/9/2020 3:06:25 PM EDT
NCO's are never lost, just monentarily dis-oriented.

Officers, on the other hand, are frequently lost, but insist on driving on, regardless.  OCS n all.

I think it was Daniel Boone who said he was never lost, just powerfully confused for a week or two.

BTW if you are not familiar with cpgear.com, this is an excellent source of field kit from our northern neighbors.  They just picked up some pretty decent overlays (they are calling "detachble lexan mission envelopes"), that would be perfect for building night nav boards, with compass AZ, distances, etc. overlayed on your mapsheet.  Keeps your mapsheet clean and can be erased fairly easily.  Ol' Daniel would have loved one.
Link Posted: 10/9/2020 3:56:47 PM EDT
I have to say something about tube wear... Gen 3 tube life is rated at 10.000 hours. That is like 416 days of 24h of use! Everything in this life wears... your engine in the car wears, your barrel in a rifle wears.. so I think is nothing to be worried about. Also I think tube does not die when it reaches 10.000 hours.. It just looses performance.
Link Posted: 10/10/2020 10:53:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2020 10:54:04 AM EDT by Diz]
Yeah this was mentioned awhile back.  The 10K number is just a spec; your actual number will depend on actual use, individual tube, and luck.

I think this was a good thread.  It reminds me that any decent Gen III NV is a base line for having this capability.  Perhaps even some Gen II"+" showing up out there.  Is there better?  Of course, but in reality, I will always be one "Gen" behind, due to the fact that state of the art will always cost more than my total load out.  

As to the community.  Yes it is very small, but I think you need to make the effort to link up with those within a reasonable distance from yourself, and learn about this stuff at the local level, as much as possible.  Then when possible, get to a NV class and really get the info dump and some time under goggles.  You will usually meet some good peeps and then may be able to do follow-on training together.  Yes there are cliques but push through all that crap.  Don't let that keep you from reaching out and finding other folks.

Yes there are guys with ulterior motives out there.  Some obvious, some not so obvious.  Again, you gotta burn through it, and find the right scoop.  It can be hard, becasue some guys are in it just to make a buck, and some for the hobby where NV is an end unto itself.  But if you're using it to accomplish another mission, then you have to stay on track and figure out what you really need.  Or what is good enough to accomplish your mission.  

As to vendors here, I think they deserve some props for hanging out here and taking lumps while they try and educate us.  I think TNVC has always been high-end, and with no apologies, so I don't think it's fair to bust on them for that.  If you want high-end, then you go there.  I think JRH has always been more mission-oriented, as far as armed civilians getting ready for come-what-may.  In the past he has taken a more base-line approach to NV, so I don't think it's fair to bust on him for that.  Now you can always get lower performance from TNVC, and higher from JRH, but I think that's been both their sweet-spots.

And there are other vendors, but until they come on here and contribute (and pay the freight) like these two, I will confine my comments to them.
Link Posted: 10/10/2020 11:36:59 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Diz:
Yeah this was mentioned awhile back.  The 10K number is just a spec; your actual number will depend on actual use, individual tube, and luck.

I think this was a good thread.  It reminds me that any decent Gen III NV is a base line for having this capability.  Perhaps even some Gen II"+" showing up out there.  Is there better?  Of course, but in reality, I will always be one "Gen" behind, due to the fact that state of the art will always cost more than my total load out.  

As to the community.  Yes it is very small, but I think you need to make the effort to link up with those within a reasonable distance from yourself, and learn about this stuff at the local level, as much as possible.  Then when possible, get to a NV class and really get the info dump and some time under goggles.  You will usually meet some good peeps and then may be able to do follow-on training together.  Yes there are cliques but push through all that crap.  Don't let that keep you from reaching out and finding other folks.

Yes there are guys with ulterior motives out there.  Some obvious, some not so obvious.  Again, you gotta burn through it, and find the right scoop.  It can be hard, becasue some guys are in it just to make a buck, and some for the hobby where NV is an end unto itself.  But if you're using it to accomplish another mission, then you have to stay on track and figure out what you really need.  Or what is good enough to accomplish your mission.  

As to vendors here, I think they deserve some props for hanging out here and taking lumps while they try and educate us.  I think TNVC has always been high-end, and with no apologies, so I don't think it's fair to bust on them for that.  If you want high-end, then you go there.  I think JRH has always been more mission-oriented, as far as armed civilians getting ready for come-what-may.  In the past he has taken a more base-line approach to NV, so I don't think it's fair to bust on him for that.  Now you can always get lower performance from TNVC, and higher from JRH, but I think that's been both their sweet-spots.

And there are other vendors, but until they come on here and contribute (and pay the freight) like these two, I will confine my comments to them.
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I've made some awesome, and relatively local friends through the NV forum, and feel blessed for it.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 10:03:12 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TX-Zen:
I'd respectfully say that most of us will never really be in a situation where that gear will make a difference, or have the training to take advantage of the difference. Another way to say it is that if you personally don't spend a lot of time really training and really getting it right, most of your higher end gear won't make a difference against someone with a PVS-7 and his or her shit-ton of combat experience (for example)

Not a dig against you at all, just my 02 cents
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Originally Posted By TX-Zen:
Originally Posted By will-1:


I agree you can't count on gear alone but the fact is better gear is better gear. Training and skill can only make up so much for low quality compared to high quality.

For example, someone with a Sionyx against an adversary with high end analog tubes on a no moon night would be at a big disadvantage.
I'd respectfully say that most of us will never really be in a situation where that gear will make a difference, or have the training to take advantage of the difference. Another way to say it is that if you personally don't spend a lot of time really training and really getting it right, most of your higher end gear won't make a difference against someone with a PVS-7 and his or her shit-ton of combat experience (for example)

Not a dig against you at all, just my 02 cents


I've never really placed an emphasis on end gear. Training is the most important factor and will make you effective. The gear is just icing on the cake.

We go to war with the gear we have, not what we want. Train with the gear you have and stop obsessing over the Gucci big money gear.

I'll take a squad of pipe hitters with PVS-5s over a squad of cherries with the high end $10,000 binos any day.

I had a friend that was like that, he had all the high end gear, NVGs, weapons, and not a clue on how to effectively use any of it.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 10:25:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2020 10:26:22 AM EDT by tlandoe07]
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Originally Posted By wjoutlaw:

I had a friend that was like that, he had all the high end gear, NVGs, weapons, and not a clue on how to effectively use any of it.
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I’m in this comment and I don’t like it.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 10:39:43 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By tlandoe07:


I’m in this comment and I don’t like it.
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Originally Posted By tlandoe07:
Originally Posted By wjoutlaw:

I had a friend that was like that, he had all the high end gear, NVGs, weapons, and not a clue on how to effectively use any of it.


I’m in this comment and I don’t like it.


Don't worry, neither you or Derek fall into that category.

The guy I'm talking about is local to me and I had to dump the group we were part of. Constantly talked shit about building your own weapons and NVGs. Didn't have a clue as to how and troubleshoot problems. His answer, I have a warranty, I'll just send them back to them, it's their problem.

Constantly threw out that his binos were 20um. Umm, that's great, what are the rest of the specs? Silence, then the predictable, "They cost $9,000" Great, I have $4,000 in my NODs. Compared them to my RNVGs with the Harris tubes and they were underwhelming at best. Got old FAST.

Tried several times to set up some real training, he was too busy and made excuses that only him and his co-workers were allowed to use the range. Great, I have property that we can all use instead. Crickets.
Link Posted: 10/12/2020 11:24:26 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By wjoutlaw:


Don't worry, neither you or Derek fall into that category.

The guy I'm talking about is local to me and I had to dump the group we were part of. Constantly talked shit about building your own weapons and NVGs. Didn't have a clue as to how and troubleshoot problems. His answer, I have a warranty, I'll just send them back to them, it's their problem.

Constantly threw out that his binos were 20um. Umm, that's great, what are the rest of the specs? Silence, then the predictable, "They cost $9,000" Great, I have $4,000 in my NODs. Compared them to my RNVGs with the Harris tubes and they were underwhelming at best. Got old FAST.

Tried several times to set up some real training, he was too busy and made excuses that only him and his co-workers were allowed to use the range. Great, I have property that we can all use instead. Crickets.
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Having a night capable range is amazing. I never had one at my disposal, and I'll be honest, if I didn't own land, I never would have gotten into NVD's.
Link Posted: 10/13/2020 4:54:26 PM EDT
Yeah it can be sorta funny when you mentioned training and then guys do the LA fade away.
Link Posted: 10/13/2020 9:29:35 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Diz:
Yeah it can be sorta funny when you mentioned training and then guys do the LA fade away.
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Happens everytime I get involved with people that are part of the "tactical" crowd.

I've come to realize, everyone wants to be an operator until it's time to get your gear dirty.

Most of the those guys are jckasses. Honestly they're worse than high school cheerleaders with their drama.

I have a wealth of knowledge I'd like to share but no one wants to learn.

Whatever.
Link Posted: 10/13/2020 9:43:03 PM EDT
@tlandoe7 @wjoutlaw

Know exactly whom you are speaking of. What a know it all, blowhard.

 As Mikey (GT) says looking cool is great, but without training, nothing matters....



Originally Posted By tlandoe07:


I’m in this comment and I don’t like it.
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Originally Posted By wjoutlaw:


Don't worry, neither you or Derek fall into that category.

The guy I'm talking about is local to me and I had to dump the group we were part of. Constantly talked shit about building your own weapons and NVGs. Didn't have a clue as to how and troubleshoot problems. His answer, I have a warranty, I'll just send them back to them, it's their problem.

Constantly threw out that his binos were 20um. Umm, that's great, what are the rest of the specs? Silence, then the predictable, "They cost $9,000" Great, I have $4,000 in my NODs. Compared them to my RNVGs with the Harris tubes and they were underwhelming at best. Got old FAST.

Tried several times to set up some real training, he was too busy and made excuses that only him and his co-workers were allowed to use the range. Great, I have property that we can all use instead. Crickets.
View Quote

Link Posted: 10/13/2020 10:14:34 PM EDT
Yeah, the know it all jackass in that group sucked all the fun out of it. I could ask a question about anything and he would immediately reply with “take a fucking class”

Me > How’s the weather today?
Him > “Take a fucking class”.
Me > It’s pretty nice here today.
Him > “Take a fucking class”.
Me > Do you prefer coke or heroine?
Him > “Take a fucking class”.
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