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Posted: 4/18/2017 4:59:26 PM EDT
Last drill that I had I was driving at night using PBS-14's (the single NOD)

I couldn't see shit because the range limits were too bright and they washed out my nods.  

Any tips for adjustment so I can actually see the road?  For reference, I was playing with brightness and focus settings the whole night and may have passed the correct combination while I was screwing around with them.  Hopefully you guys can help.
Link Posted: 4/18/2017 5:02:19 PM EDT
If the range limits are visible light then you could try a 30mm IR Pass filter on the PVS-14. That will subdue the white light and still allow use of supplemental IR.

EDIT: If you are ever caught in a "shit is happening now" moment and your NOD image is washed then you can put some fingers in front of your objective lens until you can get the gain turned down.
Link Posted: 4/18/2017 7:26:29 PM EDT
Make sure your NODs are adjusted right to your face, I prefer mine a little further out, but since you're using '14s, it shouldn't be a huge deal, however you do it, make sure they're stable--if you're using an issued ACH with the standard 4-point suspension, you'll need to crank down on the straps pretty hard to get them really stable (even a relatively cheap upgrade like an Ops-Core chinstrap can be very helpful), and you'll need to re-tighten them periodically as the night goes on.  You want your NV "picture" to be a perfect circle, an oval or something else means that it's not adjusted right.    

Adjust your NODs to "focus for infinity" while dismounted, i.e., focus so things in the distance are in sharp resolution, things close in should be blurry.  Try to do this outside if possible, not inside, as you'll end up focusing to whatever the length of the room is.  

For focusing the NOD, I usually go back (diopter)-front (objective)-back-front, there's a specific TM order to focusing, but I honestly forget it off top of my head--but as long as you alternate between the front and back lenses, trying to get the clearest picture possible each time, and tweaking it, they will adjust just fine.  

Make sure your blackout drive lights are clean, not covered with mud, and on .  Make sure your onboard illuminator is off (you never know...).  

Once you get in the vehicle, adjust the gain on the device to match your lighting conditions, if there are white light range lights around you, "full blast" may not be the appropriate setting, turn the little knob on the back (not the power knob) to make the image a little darker or lighter as needed.  

Something else that is often helpful when driving vehicles is a small aperture device, a lot of guys make these using Butler Creek scope caps and drill a hole in the center of the cap so that they can flip up and down.  Some companies also make aftermarket versions.  

What these do is to give you a dual depth of field, allowing you to focus on both near and far objects.  The advantage of this is that they will allow you to focus on objects very close to you, like your gauges, close obstacles, etc., while also allowing you to see into the distance.  However they will also cut down on the amount of light the image intensification tube gets, meaning the NV "picture" will get much darker--even when the gain is adjusted all the way up.  In a mixed light environment where there's a decent amount of illumination, they can work quite well though.  

The preferred aperture sizes are usually about 5mm or 7mm, which tend to give you a decent balance between depth of field and light transmission.  While I prefer to make my own out of scope caps, in a pinch, you can also make one out of the soft rubber "pinhole" cap that comes with the issued PVS-14.  To make a cap out of the pinhole ("daylight") cover, all you need to do is find a piece of spent 5.56 or 7.62 brass, hold it in a Gerber, and heat it up with a lighter, and punch a hole through the pinhole cover.  

Really the solution is to try to do night driver's training somewhere far enough away from range lights that it's not an issue--but resource limitations can sometimes come into play, as is a lack of familiarity on the part of the leadership team to resource for such training ahead of time and to make it a priority, and it can sometimes become an "ad hoc" training event.  

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