Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hoss USMC Compares Gen I Night Vision to Gen III

We have talked about night vision and the Gen I vs Gen III debate and I think this video brings some value to the overall conversation.


Arctic Patriot said...

Hands down, Gen 3. No question.

For me though, with Gen 3 absolutely out of the question, the more relevant question is "Naked Eye or Gen 1"?



Ryan said...

AP, A Daniels Defense M4 is also better than Bushmaster and a Lexus will be nicer than a Hyundai;)

The really sucky thing about the NVG situation is there is basically nothing between rather questionable $400-500 stuff and 3k PVS-14's.

Personally if my budget was in the Gen I range I might look at other options to be able to better fight at night. In particular night sights for rifles (and or red dot type optics) and pistols and well as tactical lights. IIRC you are pretty well set in this area.

If the money isn't better spent elsewhere (food, alternative energy, medical, etc) but Gen III is definitely not an option for the foreseeable future I might go Gen I. Maybe you keep it and in a few years replace it with a better set and have it as a backup.

Anonymous said...

The only way Hoss could have done that better would have been to have his buddy walk out 100m with the Gen I while he filmed the guy through the Gen 3 PVS-22s, and have him switch the illuminator on.

Seeing somebody waving around the equivalent of a MagLite on a dark night beats 1000 words on why it's a no go if there's any possibility the bad guys have NODs.

Their main use would be with the illuminator deactivated, to spot other folks using illuminators, but you can do that with most camcorders for less than $300, and Fry's sells NV-capable security cams that'll do the same thing for <$100 for hardwired use in a fixed installation* - like your Rancho Apolcalypse.

Even with Gen 3s, you have to use an eyeshield, or the image splashback on your face becomes a targetting illuminator too.


*{I've done it portable with a 12V battery, inverter, and laptop monitor in a ruck for a field hide, but that's a lot of work unless you're pretty sure someone's coming.}

Anonymous said...

Is there a Gen 2 that splits the difference?


Anonymous said...

PVS-5 goggles are Gen. 2, IIRC.

Very good stuff, but they run on special batteries, and most are nearer the end of useful tube lifespan. IF you can find them, because no one's making them new. (I don't count reconditioned, or Chinese knock-offs using lower quality tubes and even more exotic batteries "new").

My $ 0.02 when this last came up is the same: with night vision, you get what you pay for. Expect a $400 piece of NOD to perform about the same as you would a $100 AR, or a $1 steak. That zero at the end makes a big difference.

Best Regards,

Chris said...

So it definitely looks like PVS-14s for ~$2.5K+ and PVS-14s for ~$10K+ are awesome.

It also seems that some tasks are feasible with gen 1s, or the new inexpensive digital models.
- Detect other users with IR illuminators.
- Passively detect vehicle sized targets at 50 (dependent on ambient illum), and identify with active illum.
- Passively detect (but possibly not ID) moving hog/deer sized targets to at least 25 meters. If active, that may push out to 50+ meters and may allow identification (at least of gross features like weapons carried or not carried) to beyond most folk's effective pistol and shotgun range.
- Potentially navigate at light passively, definitely actively. It definitely looked clear enough to observe immediate surroundings. Then again a small red penlight does this function as well.

In a static setup such as a preset TCP, hunting blind, or home it also seems quite viable to have an IR floodlight that illuminates the desired area which is not collocated with your position. Even an IR chem light might help.

It seems that Gen 1 may have some applications that bridge the gap between Surefires and 26.5mm parachute flares and a $3K piece of kit.

I do agree that spending $600 on a gen 1 setup seems a bit foolish when most of those gen 1 functions could be accomplished with a <$150 digital device.

Ryan said...

Aesop, I've watched people move with a PVS-14 who were using NODs without an eye shield and not been able to see this supposed illumination.

Antibubba, Unfortunately there isn't really anything between $500 Gen i and a legit about 3k gen III setup. I really wish there were more options for folks but there just aren't.

Aesop again, In NODs you definitely get what you pay for. If anybody is selling PVS 5's I have not seen it.

Chris, I would be very comfortable using Gen I kit for game as you can blast IR light all over the place. As to a worst case scenario use I guess if you already have tac lights, trijicon sights and such but can't afford a Gen III setup then Gen I may be a viable option.

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