I've got a surveillance van (work) and Uncle doesn't want to spend the funds to buy new NVD for the camera/Lenses. SO I figure the best thing I can do is to get some type of IR illumination. I am pretty sure (? Am I wrong) that the CCTV and lenses will react positively to the IR, giving me some usable surveillance video.
I also own a personal PVS14. So I have a Surefire M1 IR light.
I want to get something that I can use for work (Boss is cheap and won't pay for anything for the van), and still use it for my personal use.
Now that you've read my requirements, this is what I'm thinking:
Either buy one of Vic's lR lights; or the Pentagon IR light;or buy an IR OTAL. Now I'm basically needing light for 1-3 blocks in the inner city, working violent crimes. Would the OTAL simply overpower the cameras at a block? Is the beam so tight that I couldn't watch an apartment building and maybe alley or street?
I've spent enough of my own money for work, and don't want to buy something that doesn't work. I need something with 150 yards or so, with a nice wide beam.
I'm open to suggestions? I also thought about buying some type of 12 volt IR lights and putting them on the roof of the van, and lighting up the neighborhood (so to speak).
Thanks for ALL constructive ideas.
I have done a fair amount of night time surveillance using some of the same gear, though we still don't have a surveillance van. Maybe next FY. I am away from the sneaky side and back doing grunt patrol work, but NVDs are still quite useful during our night shift roatations for catching burglars, running perimeter containment and other various attempts at being sneaky, and I am looking forward to getting back to nights at the end the month after a long, very hot summer on day shift.
In my experience, I find that using a PVS-14 with a 3X magnifier will allow you to read a license plate at about 50 yards or so, more if there is decent ambient light.
A SF M900 turbohead with an IR filter will illuminate the LP just fine if the light isn't good enough, though one has "play" the beam around a bit to avoid getting glare from the reflective elements in the plates. The Turbo head IR filter works on the standard "cop issue everywhere" Streamlight SL-20. Again, this seems to work out to about 50 yards.
I have also used PEQ-2As or PAC-4Cs with the same effect, but you typically get a bit more range, sometimes as far out as 100 yards. The nice thing about PEQs and PACs is that your agency can get them free through the 1033 Program, and there usually seem to be a few available, somewhere these days, and even a PEQ or PAC that is unservicable for its intended use (weapons aiming) because the beam won't adjust for windage and elevation or the mounts are broken may oftentimes be just fine for handheld illumination purposes during surveillance. Order about 5 each from a couple different lots, and you should get two or three that will work (at least in my experience with surplus illuminators from DRMO). If this stuff works fine with PVS-7Bs and PVS-14s, which is most of what I have used since I got nicer stuff to replace the ancient PVS-5s and PVS-4s we were using, then it should work fine with your CCTV stuff, as long as the II tubes for those systems have decent resolution.
Good luck and happy hunting.
I have found the IR Filters too be hit or mis.I went thru 3, before I found one to perform.From what you are stating (150 yards), I would go with Vic's illuminator.I have been using one since March, with great success.I have illuminated our wheat fields out past 300 yards.Contact Vic, he's a LE Consultant, he can/will anwser all you questions.
I would be happy to answer all questions about the IR illum. and NV in general. Drop me a line.