Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 8/31/2010 2:27:01 PM EDT
Long story short, I'm seeing some old Soviet surplus nightvision scope floating around. I'm under no delusions here- I realize its going to be no where close to as good as even Gen 2, but for ranges between 250-400 bucks, its hard to not give it a second look.

While we're at it, does anyone else have any suggestions for anything decent that's inexpensive? Its can be a monocular, binocular, scope, whatever. I realize there's a huge difference between Gen 1 and Gen 2, but spending over 1000 bucks on nightvision just isn't going to happen. I'm of the belief that anything that works and is durable is infinitely better than nothing.
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 3:24:00 PM EDT

It depends on what you want to use it for... If you don't have a hammer, a block of wood is better than nothing right? But if you deliberately bought a block of wood when you needed a hammer just to save a few dollars then I'd say your purchase was foolish.

General advice is don't spend more than $100 on Gen1 devices. I mean, if you find a half-decent riflescope for under $200 for IR use, that's probably OK, but $250 to $400? And you're worried about paying $1000? You're halfway there already... So why not the extra?

And the comparison of a hammer to a piece of wood is probably about right too. Gen1 is far too low in gain to be useful in most circumstances. Black is black, whether there's speckled green there or not.

So back again to the advice... You can find plenty of good Gen1 on Ebay and in other places for well under $100 - maybe $40 or $50 even. And they all look different but you'll nearly always find the same tube inside - unless it's a REALLY OLD russian scope, in which case you might find Gen1+

Also, if you're that desperate about the cost ( I won't judge - I'm often in that position ) then make your own scope with a cascade tube. They are big and heavy, but they work OK. Even compared to modern tubes. You'd be lucky to find one cheap in a housing, but you can make your own for little. I even know people who had Gen3 who made their own cascade tube based scope as a project and not one has been unimpressed yet.

Then you can save the extra money you didn't waste on a decent small-sized Gen2 or even a Gen3 later when you realize what you really do need ( or alternately, if you realize it's not what you need, you've saved all that money ! )

Unless you're living outside the US, there's almost no need, ever, to buy a Gen1. They are really just expensive toys...

David.

p.s. If you want to go the Cascade tube route, I am more than happy to help with advice and information... Just look up P8079HP on google and you'll discover a lot of home projects. And I'm not Anti Gen1 at all - just trying to help others avoid the same mistakes I make...
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 3:32:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2010 4:16:33 PM EDT by Harlikwin]
Originally Posted By agillig:
Long story short, I'm seeing some old Soviet surplus nightvision scope floating around. I'm under no delusions here- I realize its going to be no where close to as good as even Gen 2, but for ranges between 250-400 bucks, its hard to not give it a second look.

While we're at it, does anyone else have any suggestions for anything decent that's inexpensive? Its can be a monocular, binocular, scope, whatever. I realize there's a huge difference between Gen 1 and Gen 2, but spending over 1000 bucks on nightvision just isn't going to happen. I'm of the belief that anything that works and is durable is infinitely better than nothing.


Could you be more specific as to what surplus soviet nv you are talking about and what you want to do with it?

I have a good amount of experience behind the 3 most common sov NV scopes, 1pn34, 1pn58 and 1pn51, nsp-2 if those what you are talking about. The main issue with these is mounting them on anything other than com-bloc side rail mounts.

Generally the units I have mentioned DO work reasonably well, but they are much less refined compared to western scopes of comparable design and if you can get one for a good price I'd say they are worth it, depending on your application.
For the 1pn34/58 these are multi-stage gen1 and exhibit a decent amount of geometric distortion compared to western units, though gain and resolution are relatively good. Also, you can still sort of find spare tubes for these and I would snap at least one tube up depending on how much you expect to use the scope.
The 1pn51 if you can find it for a good price is a gen2 unit and is comparable to the PVS-4 in form and function and in general I haven't seen many parts for them around.

Also, you can find g2 stuff for under 1k, it will just be used or use refurbed tubes with significant time one them (mx9916 most commonly) and won't perform as well as a new g2 or g3 scope, though usually still better than single tube "gen1" devices in both gain and image quality.

ETA: also if you can find older western Gen1 cascade scopes like the pvs-2 or others these can be a good deal, though at this point if you get one with a bad tube, there really aren't many/any replacements and usually a good replacement tube for a pvs-2 can be quite expensive. Also the tube David mentioned is a good tube, but it won't fit into a pvs-2. (they were british IWS tubes IIRC).

Link Posted: 8/31/2010 4:30:33 PM EDT
We get this question all the time. The truth is there is no easy answer. Harlikwin and CJ7hawk are both experts in night vision. They have the ability to fix and repair most anything. Many good used deals can be found on Ebay but they come with risks that you need to be aware of. I would look for a D-300 in Gen 2 or even a ITT 150 or 160 in your price range. I would much rather see you save up for something new with a warranty. Used scopes can and do have issues.

The experienced guys here buy used all the time. We don't worry much because we can fix 99% of anything that goes wrong. Most new people can't. Buying used is a gamble and if you are willing to roll the dice good deals can be found. I will not recommend it because I know you can lose your money. There just is a risk involved with anything used.

My advice... Stay away from anything ATN and Gen 1. They are useless and toys. Cascade is a different animal. More of a project then anything else. They do work pretty well if you get a good one. The cheapest new scope that is worth a darn is the D-300 gen 2. Used is a risk and up to you. Many here will help you minimize that risk if you decide to go that route.
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 4:31:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Harlikwin:
Originally Posted By agillig:
Long story short, I'm seeing some old Soviet surplus nightvision scope floating around. I'm under no delusions here- I realize its going to be no where close to as good as even Gen 2, but for ranges between 250-400 bucks, its hard to not give it a second look.

While we're at it, does anyone else have any suggestions for anything decent that's inexpensive? Its can be a monocular, binocular, scope, whatever. I realize there's a huge difference between Gen 1 and Gen 2, but spending over 1000 bucks on nightvision just isn't going to happen. I'm of the belief that anything that works and is durable is infinitely better than nothing.


Could you be more specific as to what surplus soviet nv you are talking about and what you want to do with it?

I have a good amount of experience behind the 3 most common sov NV scopes, 1pn34, 1pn58 and 1pn51, nsp-2 if those what you are talking about. The main issue with these is mounting them on anything other than com-bloc side rail mounts.

Generally the units I have mentioned DO work reasonably well, but they are much less refined compared to western scopes of comparable design and if you can get one for a good price I'd say they are worth it, depending on your application.
For the 1pn34/58 these are multi-stage gen1 and exhibit a decent amount of geometric distortion compared to western units, though gain and resolution are relatively good. Also, you can still sort of find spare tubes for these and I would snap at least one tube up depending on how much you expect to use the scope.
The 1pn51 if you can find it for a good price is a gen2 unit and is comparable to the PVS-4 in form and function and in general I haven't seen many parts for them around.

Also, you can find g2 stuff for under 1k, it will just be used or use refurbed tubes with significant time one them (mx9916 most commonly) and won't perform as well as a new g2 or g3 scope, though usually still better than single tube "gen1" devices in both gain and image quality.

ETA: also if you can find older western Gen1 cascade scopes like the pvs-2 or others these can be a good deal, though at this point if you get one with a bad tube, there really aren't many/any replacements and usually a good replacement tube for a pvs-2 can be quite expensive. Also the tube David mentioned is a good tube, but it won't fit into a pvs-2. (they were british IWS tubes IIRC).



I'm looking at the 1PN34 Looks a bit bulky, but I can accept that. Generally, I just to be able to decipher if an animal is present at close distances-100 yards an in. Like I said, I understand that cheap and quality don't go together when it comes to night vision, but I'm willing to settle for adequate
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 4:38:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dino1130:

My advice... Stay away from anything ATN and Gen 1. They are useless and toys. Cascade is a different animal. More of a project then anything else. They do work pretty well if you get a good one. The cheapest new scope that is worth a darn is the D-300 gen 2. Used is a risk and up to you. Many here will help you minimize that risk if you decide to go that route.


Is there a particular model of D-300 I should look for? All a Google search reveals is scopes in the 1500 dollar price range.
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 4:41:33 PM EDT
Soviet NV is better than nothing. If the price is right, go for it.
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 4:49:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2010 4:50:18 PM EDT by Dino1130]
Originally Posted By agillig:

Originally Posted By Dino1130:

My advice... Stay away from anything ATN and Gen 1. They are useless and toys. Cascade is a different animal. More of a project then anything else. They do work pretty well if you get a good one. The cheapest new scope that is worth a darn is the D-300 gen 2. Used is a risk and up to you. Many here will help you minimize that risk if you decide to go that route.


Is there a particular model of D-300 I should look for? All a Google search reveals is scopes in the 1500 dollar price range.


Yep, A new D-300 is about $1500. No really specific model as they almost all use the same tube. Some D-300 uses a gen 3 tube but this is rare. Vic at TNVC is who I would recommend if you want a new D-300. EE or Ebay is your best bet for used.
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 4:57:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2010 4:59:19 PM EDT by Ghoulardi]
yeah, I wouldn't trust any russian surplus NV equipment

back in the mid 70s we had to turn in our AN/PVS- 2 scope to have a modification done to it, they put a eye piece filter in to stop radiation from entering the eye. I seriously doubt the russians would be that concerned to have it done on their NV equipement.
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 5:21:44 PM EDT
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...
Link Posted: 8/31/2010 7:16:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I think from memory it was Rabbitman on the UK forums that did this research... I'd have to go back and look if anyone is interested.

Bottom line? UK tubes emit no detectable radiation. US cascade emit no detectable radiation. Russian Gen1 emit sufficient radiation that if you use it regularly, it's significant ( ie, exceeds safe levels ), Russian Cascade does not need to emit high levels of radiation, but might... Afterall, just look at their Nuclear Powered Jet engines ( and bomber that flew with them )... The US failed there but the Russians succeeded and no one knew until recently... Flew 40 times... Of course, most of the crew died of radiation related illnesses. This kind of shows the different mentality between Soviet Bloc and NATO countries of the era.

Harlikwin knows way more about the Russian scopes than I do though - they do seem OK and I've seen pretty good russian cascades ( Cyclops type) in the past.

And Dean's advice about needing to know how to fix stuff is worth heeding, but if you can find a secondhand D300, I'd say it's a better option.. And you can always get a decent IR illuminator as well - that makes a world of difference with cheaper scopes :) Good value too!

David

Link Posted: 8/31/2010 7:17:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By agillig:

Originally Posted By Harlikwin:
Originally Posted By agillig:
Long story short, I'm seeing some old Soviet surplus nightvision scope floating around. I'm under no delusions here- I realize its going to be no where close to as good as even Gen 2, but for ranges between 250-400 bucks, its hard to not give it a second look.

While we're at it, does anyone else have any suggestions for anything decent that's inexpensive? Its can be a monocular, binocular, scope, whatever. I realize there's a huge difference between Gen 1 and Gen 2, but spending over 1000 bucks on nightvision just isn't going to happen. I'm of the belief that anything that works and is durable is infinitely better than nothing.


Could you be more specific as to what surplus soviet nv you are talking about and what you want to do with it?

I have a good amount of experience behind the 3 most common sov NV scopes, 1pn34, 1pn58 and 1pn51, nsp-2 if those what you are talking about. The main issue with these is mounting them on anything other than com-bloc side rail mounts.

Generally the units I have mentioned DO work reasonably well, but they are much less refined compared to western scopes of comparable design and if you can get one for a good price I'd say they are worth it, depending on your application.
For the 1pn34/58 these are multi-stage gen1 and exhibit a decent amount of geometric distortion compared to western units, though gain and resolution are relatively good. Also, you can still sort of find spare tubes for these and I would snap at least one tube up depending on how much you expect to use the scope.
The 1pn51 if you can find it for a good price is a gen2 unit and is comparable to the PVS-4 in form and function and in general I haven't seen many parts for them around.

Also, you can find g2 stuff for under 1k, it will just be used or use refurbed tubes with significant time one them (mx9916 most commonly) and won't perform as well as a new g2 or g3 scope, though usually still better than single tube "gen1" devices in both gain and image quality.

ETA: also if you can find older western Gen1 cascade scopes like the pvs-2 or others these can be a good deal, though at this point if you get one with a bad tube, there really aren't many/any replacements and usually a good replacement tube for a pvs-2 can be quite expensive. Also the tube David mentioned is a good tube, but it won't fit into a pvs-2. (they were british IWS tubes IIRC).



I'm looking at the 1PN34 Looks a bit bulky, but I can accept that. Generally, I just to be able to decipher if an animal is present at close distances-100 yards an in. Like I said, I understand that cheap and quality don't go together when it comes to night vision, but I'm willing to settle for adequate


So I'll second what dino said about surplus/used NV there is no warranty and it may not even work so think about that before you buy.

The parts for the 1pn34 are sort-of available currently from a guy in finland if he still has any parts and they have popped up in the past both here in the US and the UK but its not really a steady source of parts. Be sure to get the english translation of the manual and it should include the wiring diagrams and so forth if god forbid you should have to fix it (do you have any basic electronics background?) Working on it isn't terrible but it does involve a screwdriver and soldering parts on/off if you have to. Basically if anything fails you are replacing it, and if you don't have a replacement you are SOL. The three main things that go wrong with this AFAIK are the tube, the power supply/transformer/oscilator, and then the reticle lamps which are somewhat fragile (same lamps as used in the PSO series of scopes so these are sort-of available).

That being said, the 1pn34 is very bulky due to it being a cascade scope but also lighter than it looks. But it is ~4x scope so depending on the animal in question (hogs?) it should be usable to 100yds. The main problem with these units is the geometric distortion around the edges, this varies from tube to tube unit to unit, the later the date typically the better the tube and the lower the distortion.
So here is my .02 description on geometric distortion: imagine looking at a door with knob in the middle, now the knob will look normal, but as you move your view to door frame, instead of it being a square it will be distorted, the straight lines you expect will be bent inward somewhat. You can find some pictures of images taken through this scope or a 1pn58 online to see what you might be in for. This does and can distort your target image especially at longer ranges, but for your purposes I think it should be ok. It does make it a pain scanning unfamiliar areas however.

There are several other potential problems with it/ things to know. So in no particular order:

1. Batteries, some of these 1pn34 units were converted to run on 2 AA batteries since the original batteries are a wet-cell nightmare, if its not already converted go to radio shack and get a 2AA battery holder and wire it up. I have heard that 3V is a bit high to use on these scopes, and the official voltage was 2.5V IIRC, some people use rechargeable NiMH batteries with these which will give about the right operating voltage. I've done it both ways and the NiMH batteries do work, and so will regular AA's which didn't kill my scope, but since it is out of spec and I can't recommend it for long term use.

2. that if there are any lights (street/city/houses etc) downrange of you they can really mess with scope, and can permanently damage the tube, or cause the brightness protection circuits to kick on.

3. The reticule plate may be gummed up with crap and you might have to disassemble the reticule assembly (on the side of the scope) and clean the tini bit of reticule plate glass with some alcohol and reassemble this. Its not really too hard and I think at this point there are instructions online, and there is a chance your reticule will be ok but its something you might have to do.

4. The other issue is mounting, if you have an AK/PSL/dragunov thats about the only thing you will be able able to mount this scope on unless you can gunsmith one of the side rail mounts onto some other weapon. Also, it sits rather "high" and is off-center. You will not IMO be able to even bubba mount this on anything else due to the weird shape of the scope.

5. It does produce a high pitched whine, so if you hear that its a good thing, not a bad thing.

6. Make sure you leave the lens cap on in daylight, its click adjustable to let a bit of light in so you can verify its working during the day or even zero it. Don't take it off unless its dark.

7. There are several "cams" for various weapons and are interchangeable, not a deal breaker if you don't have the specific one for your weapon, just zero it for whatever range you want and worst case hold off a bit. I can't imagine most people really using the range adjustment on these once its zeroed but it is an option.

Anyhow, that was way lengthier than I anticipated, so in conclusion, you are buying an unknown product with no warranty so buyer beware, I'd ask for an inspection period if you can to make sure it works. These scopes if mounted on a combloc weapon do work reasonably well down to starlight levels IMO and can be an ok deal if you don't pay alot for them.

Link Posted: 8/31/2010 11:34:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I can't imagine spending good money on a Russian scope that isn't supportable when there are still PVS2's available for $3-500... The radiation risk would not be a factor for me.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 12:02:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2010 2:20:12 AM EDT by Dino1130]
Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I can't imagine spending good money on a Russian scope that isn't supportable when there are still PVS2's available for $3-500... The radiation risk would not be a factor for me.


I will agree with that. Star-tron MK-303A and a few others are OK..Every one I have ever bought seemed to need some repair albeit minor. Battery's for some can be a pain but not hard to work around. The cascade stuff is more for collectors IMHO. If the guy wants to buy used I really believe something like a D-300 or a couple of the cheaper ITT models would be better suited and less problematic. Maybe a Dark invader or even one of the older Nait scopes. They tend to be pretty reliable over the years. The cascade scopes work OK but as has been stated above many times repairs are needed.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 3:44:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2010 4:01:06 AM EDT by cj7hawk]
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I can't imagine spending good money on a Russian scope that isn't supportable when there are still PVS2's available for $3-500... The radiation risk would not be a factor for me.


I will agree with that. Star-tron MK-303A and a few others are OK..Every one I have ever bought seemed to need some repair albeit minor. Battery's for some can be a pain but not hard to work around. The cascade stuff is more for collectors IMHO. If the guy wants to buy used I really believe something like a D-300 or a couple of the cheaper ITT models would be better suited and less problematic. Maybe a Dark invader or even one of the older Nait scopes. They tend to be pretty reliable over the years. The cascade scopes work OK but as has been stated above many times repairs are needed.


In terms of quality, here's a comparison between an xx2500 ( AN/PVS-4 type Gen2 tube ) and a P8079HP ( AN/PVS-2 type Gen1 Triple-cascade )

Gen2/Gen1 Cascade Comparison

So image quality is right up there with some of the cascades...

The main question then, assuming doing all your own maintenance isn't an issue, is size.

Though please keep in mind that not all cascades are created equally - That's about as good as they get ! Also, Cascades are all going to be 20+ years old - so the tubes may be getting on and developing gas related issues.

Feel free to ask more questions, but either way, please stop back to let us know what you did :)

David.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 4:41:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I can't imagine spending good money on a Russian scope that isn't supportable when there are still PVS2's available for $3-500... The radiation risk would not be a factor for me.


I tend to agree with you dave, though honestly I would say the PVS-2 is about as supportable in terms of available parts as most of the russian stuff. If the tube in your pvs-2 goes you are generally SOL.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 4:41:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cj7hawk:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I can't imagine spending good money on a Russian scope that isn't supportable when there are still PVS2's available for $3-500... The radiation risk would not be a factor for me.


I will agree with that. Star-tron MK-303A and a few others are OK..Every one I have ever bought seemed to need some repair albeit minor. Battery's for some can be a pain but not hard to work around. The cascade stuff is more for collectors IMHO. If the guy wants to buy used I really believe something like a D-300 or a couple of the cheaper ITT models would be better suited and less problematic. Maybe a Dark invader or even one of the older Nait scopes. They tend to be pretty reliable over the years. The cascade scopes work OK but as has been stated above many times repairs are needed.


In terms of quality, here's a comparison between an xx2500 ( AN/PVS-4 type Gen2 tube ) and a P8079HP ( AN/PVS-2 type Gen1 Triple-cascade )

Gen2/Gen1 Cascade Comparison

So image quality is right up there with some of the cascades...

The main question then, assuming doing all your own maintenance isn't an issue, is size.

Though please keep in mind that not all cascades are created equally - That's about as good as they get ! Also, Cascades are all going to be 20+ years old - so the tubes may be getting on and developing gas related issues.

Feel free to ask more questions, but either way, please stop back to let us know what you did :)

David.


David is right, and the above image is a good comparison, the only thing I'd comment on is that the gen1 cascade in that image has less distortion overall compared to the 1pn34/58's.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 4:43:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I can't imagine spending good money on a Russian scope that isn't supportable when there are still PVS2's available for $3-500... The radiation risk would not be a factor for me.


I will agree with that. Star-tron MK-303A and a few others are OK..Every one I have ever bought seemed to need some repair albeit minor. Battery's for some can be a pain but not hard to work around. The cascade stuff is more for collectors IMHO. If the guy wants to buy used I really believe something like a D-300 or a couple of the cheaper ITT models would be better suited and less problematic. Maybe a Dark invader or even one of the older Nait scopes. They tend to be pretty reliable over the years. The cascade scopes work OK but as has been stated above many times repairs are needed.


I agree with you Dino, but I can't imagine finding any of those for 3-400. Sub 1k sure but sub 500?
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:16:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I can't imagine spending good money on a Russian scope that isn't supportable when there are still PVS2's available for $3-500... The radiation risk would not be a factor for me.


I will agree with that. Star-tron MK-303A and a few others are OK..Every one I have ever bought seemed to need some repair albeit minor. Battery's for some can be a pain but not hard to work around. The cascade stuff is more for collectors IMHO. If the guy wants to buy used I really believe something like a D-300 or a couple of the cheaper ITT models would be better suited and less problematic. Maybe a Dark invader or even one of the older Nait scopes. They tend to be pretty reliable over the years. The cascade scopes work OK but as has been stated above many times repairs are needed.



I agree with all of this..

If you have to buy a cascade, get the pvs2 or build one of cj7hawk's aluminum designs. 5-6 lbs is VERY heavy on a rifle. hang a weight plate on your rifle if you dont believe me...I wouldnt mess with the russian scopes.

There are a ton of aging bulky second gen units (dark invader,ni-tec,etc) that use the pvs-4 type 9644 tubes out there for 450-750. Most likely they will have a short lifespan, be about 3.5lbs and large. Almost all will need mods to mount to a rifle and will have no aiming point,requiring a laser, reflex sight or reticle added (more $ and weight).

Used is a gamble, and the d-300 is a safe bet.

Brent












Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:39:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Harlikwin:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I can't imagine spending good money on a Russian scope that isn't supportable when there are still PVS2's available for $3-500... The radiation risk would not be a factor for me.


I will agree with that. Star-tron MK-303A and a few others are OK..Every one I have ever bought seemed to need some repair albeit minor. Battery's for some can be a pain but not hard to work around. The cascade stuff is more for collectors IMHO. If the guy wants to buy used I really believe something like a D-300 or a couple of the cheaper ITT models would be better suited and less problematic. Maybe a Dark invader or even one of the older Nait scopes. They tend to be pretty reliable over the years. The cascade scopes work OK but as has been stated above many times repairs are needed.


I agree with you Dino, but I can't imagine finding any of those for 3-400. Sub 1k sure but sub 500?


I agree. Sub $500 is pushing it. If you work the auctions hard enough and are persistent it can be done. But as a rule $500 to $1000 is a average price
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 6:10:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2010 4:15:34 PM EDT by Harlikwin]
Originally Posted By b_rogers:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Originally Posted By TheOtherDave:
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Some of the US and Russian Cascade gen 1 can be very useful. They also tend to be temperamental in my experience. Harlikwin suggesting a spare tube is a very good one. The Gen 1 radiation thing has been debated a lot. Truth is I just don't know. Some have measured radiation coming off a Gen 1 tube. I don't know if the level is dangerous or not. I have used Gen 1 cascade a bunch and I still see fine. That said who knows...


I can't imagine spending good money on a Russian scope that isn't supportable when there are still PVS2's available for $3-500... The radiation risk would not be a factor for me.


I will agree with that. Star-tron MK-303A and a few others are OK..Every one I have ever bought seemed to need some repair albeit minor. Battery's for some can be a pain but not hard to work around. The cascade stuff is more for collectors IMHO. If the guy wants to buy used I really believe something like a D-300 or a couple of the cheaper ITT models would be better suited and less problematic. Maybe a Dark invader or even one of the older Nait scopes. They tend to be pretty reliable over the years. The cascade scopes work OK but as has been stated above many times repairs are needed.



I agree with all of this..

If you have to buy a cascade, get the pvs2 or build one of cj7hawk's aluminum designs. 5-6 lbs is VERY heavy on a rifle. hang a weight plate on your rifle if you dont believe me...I wouldnt mess with the russian scopes.

There are a ton of aging bulky second gen units (dark invader,ni-tec,etc) that use the pvs-4 type 9644 tubes out there for 450-750. Most likely they will have a short lifespan, be about 3.5lbs and large. Almost all will need mods to mount to a rifle and will have no aiming point,requiring a laser, reflex sight or reticle added (more $ and weight).

Used is a gamble, and the d-300 is a safe bet.

Brent


Brent, realistically the pvs-2/1pn34 will generally be about the same in terms of performance/maintnace/weight etc, with less distortion on the western design but the russian scope is functional, I've shot them to a few hundred meters with reasonable results.

Actually if I were to own only one gen1 cascade it would be be either an oldelft, Orion, or IWS/trilite since the euros actually kept up with gen1 technology much longer than the US and all of those units are much better designs than the pvs-2 IMO.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 11:06:58 AM EDT
It sounds like there are some knowledgeable people here. I'd love any help given. I've been repairing PK-AS's for a well known seller in the states. He sent me a referral for a 1PN-58 repair. The scope was non-functional when I got it. Owner told me he had tried to hook up a battery replacement and it stopped working all together. I suspect he had his polarity reversed. After a thorough inspection, disassembly and reassembly the scope lit up and seemed well except original batteries were weak. I made a custom Li-Ion battery pack.
The problem that remains is the image fades very quickly after turning on. Shutting it on and off will restore the image again, temporarily.
I tried the fix in the manual w/o results.
Thanks in advance.
Noah.

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 11:49:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TinkerTailor:
It sounds like there are some knowledgeable people here. I'd love any help given. I've been repairing PK-AS's for a well known seller in the states. He sent me a referral for a 1PN-58 repair. The scope was non-functional when I got it. Owner told me he had tried to hook up a battery replacement and it stopped working all together. I suspect he had his polarity reversed. After a thorough inspection, disassembly and reassembly the scope lit up and seemed well except original batteries were weak. I made a custom Li-Ion battery pack.
The problem that remains is the image fades very quickly after turning on. Shutting it on and off will restore the image again, temporarily.
I tried the fix in the manual w/o results.
Thanks in advance.
Noah.



What voltage is your pack?

Also does the unit turn off? I.e. do you hear the whine initially?
Is the daylight cover on and fully closed when you power it up?

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 11:49:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TinkerTailor:
It sounds like there are some knowledgeable people here. I'd love any help given. I've been repairing PK-AS's for a well known seller in the states. He sent me a referral for a 1PN-58 repair. The scope was non-functional when I got it. Owner told me he had tried to hook up a battery replacement and it stopped working all together. I suspect he had his polarity reversed. After a thorough inspection, disassembly and reassembly the scope lit up and seemed well except original batteries were weak. I made a custom Li-Ion battery pack.
The problem that remains is the image fades very quickly after turning on. Shutting it on and off will restore the image again, temporarily.
I tried the fix in the manual w/o results.
Thanks in advance.
Noah.



What voltage is your pack?

Also does the unit turn off? I.e. do you hear the whine initially?
Is the daylight cover on and fully closed when you power it up?

Link Posted: 9/12/2010 7:31:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Harlikwin:
Originally Posted By TinkerTailor:
It sounds like there are some knowledgeable people here. I'd love any help given. I've been repairing PK-AS's for a well known seller in the states. He sent me a referral for a 1PN-58 repair. The scope was non-functional when I got it. Owner told me he had tried to hook up a battery replacement and it stopped working all together. I suspect he had his polarity reversed. After a thorough inspection, disassembly and reassembly the scope lit up and seemed well except original batteries were weak. I made a custom Li-Ion battery pack.
The problem that remains is the image fades very quickly after turning on. Shutting it on and off will restore the image again, temporarily.
I tried the fix in the manual w/o results.
Thanks in advance.
Noah.



What voltage is your pack?

Also does the unit turn off? I.e. do you hear the whine initially?
Is the daylight cover on and fully closed when you power it up?



Do the Russian cascade scopes incorporate a BSP protection circuit that you think is kicking in with his scope Harlikwin ? My knowledge of these scopes is very limited.
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 8:03:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dino1130:
Originally Posted By Harlikwin:
Originally Posted By TinkerTailor:
It sounds like there are some knowledgeable people here. I'd love any help given. I've been repairing PK-AS's for a well known seller in the states. He sent me a referral for a 1PN-58 repair. The scope was non-functional when I got it. Owner told me he had tried to hook up a battery replacement and it stopped working all together. I suspect he had his polarity reversed. After a thorough inspection, disassembly and reassembly the scope lit up and seemed well except original batteries were weak. I made a custom Li-Ion battery pack.
The problem that remains is the image fades very quickly after turning on. Shutting it on and off will restore the image again, temporarily.
I tried the fix in the manual w/o results.
Thanks in advance.
Noah.



What voltage is your pack?

Also does the unit turn off? I.e. do you hear the whine initially?
Is the daylight cover on and fully closed when you power it up?



Do the Russian cascade scopes incorporate a BSP protection circuit that you think is kicking in with his scope Harlikwin ? My knowledge of these scopes is very limited.


It may be that simple yes. But the 1pn34/58 does cut out if the scene is too bright.
If not it gets complicated. It does son like the tube(s) work though.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 5:02:50 AM EDT
The battery pack I made consists of Li-Ion 4 X 14500 (AA) size cells with a voltage control PCB rated at 7.4 VDC.
It puts out nearly 8 VDC. No voltage sag when running the 1PN58.
Yes it does the characteristic whine and then clicking upon starting. It will sound/ operate normally for a few seconds, then the frequency of the clicking rises and becomes very faint. When that happens, the tube seems to de-energize and the image slowly fades. The daylight cover is on and I have started it up in all positions including closed. I've only used it in my dark basement shop and at night outside. I've been careful not to point it at intense light.
If the tube is bad, does it usually not display an image at all?
I was a little worried about the brightness control circuit too.
Thanks again.
Noah.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4124/4986587436_2c6ae46b47.jpg


http://www.flickr.com/photos/20607808@N05/4986587436/
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 6:38:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 7:37:49 AM EDT by Harlikwin]
Originally Posted By TinkerTailor:
The battery pack I made consists of Li-Ion 4 X 14500 (AA) size cells with a voltage control PCB rated at 7.4 VDC.
It puts out nearly 8 VDC. No voltage sag when running the 1PN58.
Yes it does the characteristic whine and then clicking upon starting. It will sound/ operate normally for a few seconds, then the frequency of the clicking rises and becomes very faint. When that happens, the tube seems to de-energize and the image slowly fades. The daylight cover is on and I have started it up in all positions including closed. I've only used it in my dark basement shop and at night outside. I've been careful not to point it at intense light.
If the tube is bad, does it usually not display an image at all?
I was a little worried about the brightness control circuit too.
Thanks again.
Noah.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4124/4986587436_2c6ae46b47.jpg


http://www.flickr.com/photos/20607808@N05/4986587436/


Those old batteries are like 6.25V IIRC so its very likely you are overvolting the unit and might have or might be damaging the power supply. Does it still run with the "old" battery without turning off? If that battery is weak you can still find the old batteries a few places as well for testing.
You might try 4xregualr AA that should give you closer to 6V or 4xnimh batteries that will give ~4.8-5V I think 8V is way too much for that scope, maybe 7 would be ok but I think 8V could be damaging or have damaged the unit.

Does the image flicker at all before it dies i.e. when you hear the clicks does it flicker?

IF it runs on the old battery without shutting down:
What might be happening is that the tube is briefly charging which takes more power than just running the scope, and then the PS detects the overvoltage and shuts down. If thats the case I'd try to make a pack out of 4 regular alkaline AA's like they used to make for the PVS-2.


ETA out of curiosity why did you think 8V was the correct voltage?
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:13:49 AM EDT
Yes, the manual says 6.25. I've measured 6.6VDC on a stock battery. A few sources on the web state that 7.5VDC is A-OK. 8 Does seem high, but it is a voltage regulation circuit and the components are safely rated above this voltage. I chose the PCB because of its price, availability, size, features, etc. I thought an 18% (the 7.4VDC rating) increase in voltage wouldn't be harmful. But, I could be wrong!
The image does not flicker.
Unfortunately, the same sound/image phenomenon occurs with the stock battery as well.
Although the voltage circuit is diode protected, I'm wondering why the scope wouldn't function when I first received it. Did reversing the polarity damage something? Polarize?
Dunno. The search continues. Perhaps I need to pull it open again, rig the circuit with jumpers and check the circuit output.
Thanks again for your time.
Noah.


[/quote]Those old batteries are like 6.25V IIRC so its very likely you are overvolting the unit and might have or might be damaging the power supply. Does it still run with the "old" battery without turning off? If that battery is weak you can still find the old batteries a few places as well for testing.
You might try 4xregualr AA that should give you closer to 6V or 4xnimh batteries that will give ~4.8-5V I think 8V is way too much for that scope, maybe 7 would be ok but I think 8V could be damaging or have damaged the unit.

Does the image flicker at all before it dies i.e. when you hear the clicks does it flicker?

IF it runs on the old battery without shutting down:
What might be happening is that the tube is briefly charging which takes more power than just running the scope, and then the PS detects the overvoltage and shuts down. If thats the case I'd try to make a pack out of 4 regular alkaline AA's like they used to make for the PVS-2.


ETA out of curiosity why did you think 8V was the correct voltage?[/quote]

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:25:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TinkerTailor:
Yes, the manual says 6.25. I've measured 6.6VDC on a stock battery. A few sources on the web state that 7.5VDC is A-OK. 8 Does seem high, but it is a voltage regulation circuit and the components are safely rated above this voltage. I chose the PCB because of its price, availability, size, features, etc. I thought an 18% (the 7.4VDC rating) increase in voltage wouldn't be harmful. But, I could be wrong!
The image does not flicker.
Unfortunately, the same sound/image phenomenon occurs with the stock battery as well.
Although the voltage circuit is diode protected, I'm wondering why the scope wouldn't function when I first received it. Did reversing the polarity damage something? Polarize?
Dunno. The search continues. Perhaps I need to pull it open again, rig the circuit with jumpers and check the circuit output.
Thanks again for your time.
Noah.



Yeah, I'd go with the lower voltage, the scopes do tolerate higher voltages, but I can't imagine its all that good for them.
So I'm confused, I saw the 7.4vdc regulator but then you said the measured voltage was 8V?

I think it is possible that reversing the polarity did damage it, but I'm not sure, and I'm not about to test it out on my scopes. Though from my general knowledge of these scopes it seems unlikely as they were fairly soldier proof.

My guess is something is wrong in your HV oscilator unit that is supplying power to the tube assembly. If you have some test equipment I'd start there.

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:27:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 7:12:15 PM EDT by Harlikwin]
Ok I'll actually use my double post to add:

If it came to you non-working and disassembling/reassembling partly fixed it, it may be an assembly issue with the brief on problem. Could be worth re disassembling it and reassembling it to make sure there aren't any loose contacts.
Top Top