Night Vision with a torch

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Night Vision with a torch

Post by spuds » 27 Oct 2018, 12:14 pm

G'day,
This is Spud here and i am from Bendigo Victoria.
This is my first visit to this site and i have a question for someone with a bit more experience than me.
I have a Unique Fire UF 1508 IR Torch, it is attached to my Howa .223.
I want to have night vision if possible without having to buy an expensive NV scope.
So my question is ' What else do i need to do to get this up and running?'
Can i buy some sort of goggles or glasses that can be used together with the IR light and see through the scope at night?
It might not be possible and i could be way off track but any help would be appreciated.
Cheers
spuds
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by YoungBuck » 27 Oct 2018, 6:12 pm

Hi Spud, welcome to the forum mate.
You will need some sort of camera setup (without an IR filter) with screen to allow you to see the IR light. There are no goggles or anything which exist (that I am aware of) that will allow you to see the IR light. That said, I have seen on youtube a guy who had the IR camera looking down the scope and had the output going to a set of glasses which had a little screen in one eye.
Here's a build I did a while ago, should give you a better idea of the components needed: viewtopic.php?p=86329#p86329
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by Rod_outbak » 28 Oct 2018, 8:38 am

Spud,

We have used 2 different types of IR Night-Vision scopes; a dedicated IR NV scope with built-in illuminator, and also the Nite-Site brand plug-on arrangement, which uses the optics on your rifle scope, and simply provides the other bits to make it an IR scope.
The dedicated IR NV scope has been a bit of a disappointment, and I still dont know if we have a defective scope, or if we have defective operators.
[Could be either...]

It seems to me you'd like to try to replicate the second option, without breaking the bank?

Attached pic shows you the parts of the Nite-Site system.

Bottom left, we have the battery, which in this system, Velcros onto your butt-stock. You could also have it mounted separate from the rifle, if need be, but you'll still have a cable running to the rifle.

Bottom Right, you have the combo illuminator and video screen. End facing the battery is the illuminator, and this is doing the same as your IR torch; throwing IR light down-range.
Other end of this part has the video screen, which clamps onto your scope, and sits above (clamp in middle of pic, and they make clamps for both 25mm and 30mm scope tubes).

Mid-Right, is the IR camera, which looks down your scope. It has the On/Off control, as well as a cable running to the screen. There is also a 'Video-out' port, in case you want to record.

Top of pic are the series of rubber grommets, which are used to insert the camera onto the end of your scope. They slide over the outside of the scope, and there are 2 or 3 different sizes, to get the right fit for your scope. The camera then slides in the other end of the grommet.

Now, I'm pretty sure this setup cost us around $1650 in 2015. We have used it a few times, and I have nailed a few roos with it, but it's cumbersome, and you'll find that shooting like this is VERY restrictive.
We also found the bolt-throw on the .223 rifle didnt allow it work overly well(Kept hitting the screen when pulling bolt back). Much better on the .243, though. It mightnt be too bad if you know the direction an animal might approach you, but scanning around with this setup is pretty frustrating.
IF you could combine this sort of setup with a thermal scope to quickly scan an area and pick up animals in the first place, then you would likely find it quite successful.
OR, if you have a spot where you know the animals are going to be appearing (along a track etc) every time, then it would likely work quite well.
But we have found that even sitting in wait for the possibility of a dog to walk past, was pretty futile.
Maybe if you could flood the whole area with IR floodlights, then it might be a bit more useful, but that's going to need a lot more hardware in place.

So, you have the IR illuminator(IR Torch). Now, you need to replicate the IR camera, which could be done a cheap Raspberry Pi IR camera, and then project it onto a screen. About the only other challenge would be to make up the rubber grommet/sleeves to mount the camera in the back of the scope.

But you will find it fiddly, cumbersome, and a LOT of fart-arsing around to get it usable, and dont be surprised if you get tired of it pretty quick.

This has been my experience, but I'm sure others have made it work. Didnt end up being worth the money for us as it is, though.
I still think that if I obtained a thermal scope to scan areas to identify when we have a target approaching, then this system might get a lot more use.

My 2 cents.
Good luck.

Cheers,

Rod.
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by spuds » 28 Oct 2018, 12:35 pm

Hi YoungBuck and Rod_outbak,

Thanks for your replies, you have both given me something to think about.
I do have a Canon IXUS 115 HS digital camera.(sorry, unsure how to post a photo to show you) I took out the IR filter and after re-assembling it i attached it temporarily to the front of my scope using some polypipe and elastic bands just to see the effect i would get.
Yes it worked, but i wasn't really happy with the result. I could see for about thirty metres with the zoom maxed out on the camera but started to loose clarity after that. I was hoping for a bit more distance, but it is what it is.Then i found the camera would turn off after about a minutes use, the lens would retract and fall off the scope!
I might be expecting too much.
Then i saw the specs and goggles on ebay and wondered if they would work in place of the camera, but that doesn't look like an option either.
I might have to dig deep into my pockets if i want something half reasonable.
Thanks again
Spud
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by Rod_outbak » 28 Oct 2018, 12:54 pm

Spuds,

You might find the IXUS didnt work because the camera isnt the correct distance from the scope lens?

Looking at these rubber sleeve/grommets, I think they align the camera, but also place it a proper distance from the scope lens.

You might find the IXUS works a bit better if you play around with that distance from the lens?

[Not that this helps the other issues with that camera, but it might help you come up with an alternative that will work.]

If you are reasonably technically minded (which it sounds like you are if you are removing IR filters from small cameras), the little Raspberry Pi-style computers can take a dedicated IR camera, which is on about 8 inches of ribbon cable. They would be one option to get video.
But it would take a lot of stuffing around.

Cheers,

Rod.
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by wanneroo » 29 Oct 2018, 3:53 am

I wonder what restrictions Australia has on civilian use of night optics? I've never looked to see what is available there on the open market.

I use night vision optics sometimes 6-7 times a month for work and also teach a night optics class as well to our clients. The ones I frequently use are the PVS-21s, PVS-31s and PVS-14s. Civilians in the USA can buy pretty much what the military gets except for some of the latest and greatest. There are optics now that combine thermal and regular night optics into one goggle and you can even set it up to combine the image.

IMO, you get what you pay for. Here in the USA you can get the latest digital autogated white phospor lens PVS-14s for around $4500. These provide a very clear black and white image. You can get a dual set up PVS-31 for around $11000. You can combine these with an IR laser illuminator on a weapon. To attach a night optic to a weapon itself it needs to be rated for being able sustain recoil.

Here in the USA we have had older Gen 2 weapon rated scopes that are surplus PVS-4 type scopes. These are bulky 1970's/1980's tech but work ok for the price.

Most of the stuff under $1000 is older technology that relies on external IR illumination and a lot of it really isn't that usable but rather it's gimmicky.

One of the things I find teaching people night optics use if they've never used them before is their brains are fried from watching unrealistic movies and tv shows. They expect looking through night optics they will have the same vision they do during the day except it will just be a green tinted image. They are disappointed to find out all the limitations and issues and it's not what they think it will be.
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by wanneroo » 29 Oct 2018, 3:57 am

YoungBuck wrote:Hi Spud, welcome to the forum mate.
You will need some sort of camera setup (without an IR filter) with screen to allow you to see the IR light. There are no goggles or anything which exist (that I am aware of) that will allow you to see the IR light. That said, I have seen on youtube a guy who had the IR camera looking down the scope and had the output going to a set of glasses which had a little screen in one eye.
Here's a build I did a while ago, should give you a better idea of the components needed: viewtopic.php?p=86329#p86329


In a proper night optic tube like a PVS-14, even an IR flashlight is like a giant spotlight that can blind out others using the same night optics. Early night optics dating back to the 1940s needed IR light to work at all.

These days with a good passive night optic tube like a 14, no IR light is needed, however IR will help illuminate whatever it is aimed at.
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by Gaznazdiak » 29 Oct 2018, 8:06 am

G'day Wannaroo,
The problem is that individuals are severely limited as to what we can import directly from the US, or anywhere. Even certain books.

I said IR scopes in another post but I meant thermal, we can buy from distributors here and be subjected to geo-pricing ripoff but we are prevented by ITAR from buying directly and importing privately.

With other items, the growth in internet shopping has eased the geo-pricing gap but things we can't get direct are still used to gouge us.

When retailers here know we can't bypass their markups by buying direct they take advantage of the fact to overcharge.

I bought a large astronomical telescope from a shop in LA about 12 yrs ago because it was over two and a half times the price here. Even after paying $650 for shipping I saved several grand. Quite a few others obviously did the same because Celestron Australia, the local distributor, ended up complaining to the home office in the US and to help them keep ripping us off, Celestron forced US dealers selling into Australia to only sell if the buyer was willing to accept a receipt stating the item was used or a display item so that the Australian distributor didn't have to honor warranty claims.

Their local prices were so outrageous though, and Celestron products of such quality that warranty claims were like hen's teeth so people kept buying from the US with the result that Australian prices for their products are now pretty close to US plus shipping.
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by wanneroo » 29 Oct 2018, 8:57 am

Night optics are an ITAR item from the US standpoint so I know there are restrictions in place there. We can't even let foreign nationals touch, look through or use the ones we have without prior approval from the US State Dept.

However I did do a google search and found some Australian retailers of night optics. Looks like you can get a PVS-14 in Australia. Of course not all "PVS-14s" are the same. I also saw they have a lot of cheap Gen 1 type optics for less than a $1000. Personally in my opinion if you are going to do this and want night capability, you want Gen 2 at least. In the end you want the best you can afford.

The other option is thermal but again if you want something that actually works well, you pay for it.
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by Ziad » 29 Oct 2018, 9:21 am

I have seen some ppl hey a nv setup from ebay under 200 bucks, plus a good ir torch about 100 bucks. The camera part clips onto the scope and the LCD becomes the viewfinder. With a hoyts torch the view is decent b/w tool armor 150-250m. I can tru and find ther link if you want
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by spuds » 29 Oct 2018, 10:12 am

Thanks everyone for all your inputs to my first post.
I will try moving the camera closer or further away from the lens as suggested by Rod_outbak and see if that makes any difference.The length of my home made adaptor is 70mm at the moment.
I think what Wanneroo said about my limitations is correct, i might be expecting too much.
Ziad would appreciate the link for the nv setup.
Cheers again
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Re: Night Vision with a torch

Post by Ziad » 29 Oct 2018, 4:02 pm

I haven't used it, BMW ssome pol on facebook swear by it.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Hot-DIY-Nig ... 2380781889

Another source to get the setup
https://m.aliexpress.com/item/328566352 ... 4c4dyDr9ET

Needs a better IR torch. Comes from china so will take a month atleast. I have seen pols videos, and it actually looks good.. and no I haven't seen videos of the expensive type NV setups
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