Night Vision: Toy or Tool? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I am to the point in my preps where I can make some choices. I have seen night vision scopes mentioned in this forum and others.

My question: How useful do you all consider them to be? Are they worth the price? What is the best kind?

I don't anticipate a lot of human foot traffic in my neighborhood, but I do expect the varmints to move in when the yard light goes out.


-- Gypsy (, November 30, 1999


I uinderstand that if you fire a white flare at night it will ruin night visions devices of the enemy (and friend alike). Food for thought. The local boat supply store has flare guns.

-- Vlad (, November 30, 1999.

Vlad, I hate to expose my ignorance, but I'm not sure how night vision devices work. What are the "varmints" out there using them for as they approach my house, and what do they discover through their use?

We don't have one to detect the varmints, but I hadn't thought about their having one to detect us. Can you help me out? Thanks!

-- peg (, November 30, 1999.

There's a thread that is down below somewhere's where I posted a link to the place I bought my NightVision goggles, that I use for working in the dark.

oh, here it is: msg.tcl?msg_id=001qEo

click there and go to the link marked BORIS.

-- plonk! (, November 30, 1999.

If I could afford to splurge on 2nd generation night vision goggles I would certainly pick up a set: the whole premise of Y2K is that the lights are going out (sooner or later) and you're going to need alternative lighting, as well as a respectable way of escerciding the right of self-defense. Baygen lanterns and kerosene lanterns and LED flashlights are great, and practical; but IF the lights are REALLY out, one advantage of night vision goggles would be to be able to see what's going on or going by without drawing attention to yourself AT ALL through swinging around a bright flashlight beam. With night vision goggles you could see and not be seen -- and it seems to me one of the first steps in home defense would be to avoid disclosing your whereabouts, and avoid detection where possible. I would like a pair of these just to be able to watch the neighborhood without becoming a focus of attention. Let's not presume you're targetting anything on two legs either ... but they sure would come in handy for "intelleigence gathering" on a local scale. As for Y2K, I belive all models work without electricity: nop need for batteris, AC adapters, windups, etc.

They are highly sensitive to light: they work by amplifying existing "ambient" light, I believe in the infrared -- but don't take my word on that -- to create a visual that is entirely "green" on the gogle screeen. HANDLE WITH CARE! They must be used in darkness or near total darkenss, and ,e.g., a car passing by with its headlights on, someone opening a door when you're testing them in a closet or etc., can ruin the sensors -- whatever they are -- and destroy the utility of your set.

You should be able to find them for sale on the internet, at at the next gun/survivalist show in your area.


-- SH (, November 30, 1999.

Um... I just looked at second generation goggles (gulp!)

What about the first generation ones; are they worthwhile?

-- Gypsy (, November 30, 1999.

Peg. I do not know, or particularly care, how night vision gizmos (gizma?) manage to gather enough light for us to see after dark. You have managed to betray our mutual ignorance. Good to hear from you. :- )

-- Vlad (, November 30, 1999.

Peg. I will try to answer your question. If you look through an NVD you will see warm critters as white on black background. In the Cops TV shows you often see the nice man in the helicopter tracking the fleeing bad guy with FLIR (forward looking infra red). The bad guy appears as a white figure on a black background. Looks rather like a video game. The last time I looked thorough a night vision device was 1950/51 in Korean War One. People seen through that particular NVD appeared greenish on a black background. I understand they have improved the product considerably since then. I can tell you from experience that after you have bene in the dark for an hour or so ....... assuming no artificial light ...... your night visions improves remarkably. Stay low to the ground. The enemy will manage to silhouette himself against the sky... and also of course against bodies of water and against campfires if he is that foolish.

-- Vlad (, November 30, 1999.

Gypsy- where did you "look at" 2nd generation goggles?

If you are talking about the ones I bought, they are NOT 2nd generation, they are 1st generation. All they do is amplify the abmbient light by a factor of 30,000. They do not pickup infrared bodies or heat sources.

2nd generation "goggles" would come in 2 types: Monocular (over one eye) or Binocular. I would guess the price of the Monocular ones to be over $2000.

-- plonk! (, November 30, 1999.

To Peg and Plonk


I found second generation night vision stuff on the Genesis Web page; $1,000 to 1,500. That was just off someone's wish list. Then I visited BORIS. Much better prices and should be enuf for what I want.


I found this on the BORIS Web page; hope it answers your question:

Night Vision scopes and binoculars "amplify" existing light, allowing you to see in conditions otherwise too dark for the naked eye. In the Night Vision system, available light (photons) is collected by the objective lens and focused on the functional heart of the device, the image intensifier. Inside the intensifier, a photocathode is "excited" by the light and converts the photon energy into electrons. These electrons accelerate across an electrostatic field inside the intensifier and strike a phosphor screen (like a green monochrome TV screen) which emits an image that you can see. It is the acceleration of electrons which provides gain and enhances the image.

Night Vision systems improve your ability to see in low-light conditions, but they cannot provide a useful image in complete darkness. In complete darkness there is no available light to amplify. In caves, warehouses, or any other location where no ambient light is available, an accessory infrared illuminator may be added to the Night Vision system. The illuminator provides a light source for the system to amplify. Since the light emitted by the illuminator is in the near-infrared range, it is invisible to humans. An infrared illuminator can provide a great deal of utility, even in conditions where a small amount of light is available. It can provide enhanced imaging capability in very-low-light conditions, and offer more consistent performance as the user moves from low-light to very-low- light locations.

-- Gypsy (, November 30, 1999.

Military Intervention Time!!!

AN-PVS4: 2nd-3rd Generation Rifle scope, amplifies ambiant light by 30,000 to 55,000X normal, depending on available light. Such as the Name "Starlight" Scopes. Definiately a rich boy toy, and if used properly, with the correct weapon, can cause all sorts of havoc with the bad guys. Retail, new $3500-$4000

AN-PVS5 AND 5B: 2nd and 3rd Generation Night Vision Goggles. This the more commonly seen commercially sold version, utilising two individual eye tubes. (Looks like a bair of "space binoculars") Major difference between the 5 and 5B model is an improved image intensifier, allowing for better detail at greater distance. Retail, $2000-$2500

AN-PVS7B AND 7C. Third Generation Top O' the line Gear. Uses a single Monocular Tube, while retaining the Bino eyepieces, the only major difference between the 7B and 7C is the internal compass built inside the 7C. This allows for 'Joe' to keep on his compass track at night while walking through the woods. Retail, $3000 to $6000 for the C model.

One thing to keep in mind though, in using the Goggles is that there is an almost total loss of up-close depth perception while wearing them. The stuff at a distance is ok, but watch out for them gopher holes!!!

The only thermal sight currently in use is the AN-TVS4, Thermal sight, Developed for the TOW Missle System. This uses a freon cooling system to supercool the internal Molybedennum (sp?) lens to 'sensitize' it to thermal signatures. Unlike the Army Navy Passive Vission Systems (AN-PVS), which uses a Green on green lighting system, the Thermal Vision System uses a variable set of 'Reds' to show 'hot spots'. The brighter the red, the hotter the target. This can pick out targets at 5km plus with accuracy.

Final note. Avoid all third world manufactured and russian manufactured NVGs. They (the image intensifiers) have no sheilding and can eventually burn the retinas right outta your skull. Blindness anyone?

-- Billy Boy (, December 01, 1999.

Vlad & Gypsy -

Aaargh. Sometimes I don't make myself very clear, and this is one of those times.

What I really want to know is whether or not we're at risk if we don't have night vision equipment and the people sneaking around my house at night do - do they know we're inside, and if they do, what if anything can we do about it? Can we prevent being discovered?

I suppose, given the extent to which we're able to do anything about it, the answer to that question doesn't really matter. Except to confirm my paranoia. Duh. If it's cold outdoors the smoke coming from our chimney is going to give us away without the need for any fancy equipment.

Anyway, I appreciate your explanations of the technical side of this - at least I know more than I used to! :-)

-- peg (, December 01, 1999.

Billy Boy-
Thanks for the intervention, but regarding the bit about goggles not focusing up close; my goggles (Russian, from Boris of course) focus down to 9 inches. I've walked around the basement for an hour with the lights off going through preps and finding tools and reading manuals. After a few minutes of practice I could easily adjust the focus rings to read or manuever with no difficulty.

-- plonk! (, December 01, 1999.

Plonk!!, Never said you couldn't focus up close, just said that you loose the depth perception. And watch out for Ivans stuff....very bad for the ole occular cavities...

-- Billy Boy (, December 02, 1999.

Billy Boy-
I am interested in this lack of shielding that you mention on russian NV, apparently for Gen 1.

Do you have any idea where I could find out more about this?

regarding "depth perception"
Since I have goggles which are basically two monoculars configured together to make Binoculars, I have had no apparent problem with Depth Perception.

I believe your comments about lack of depth perception would apply only monocular devices (over one eye).
Its like running around with a hand over one eye. But this lack of depth perception in monocular devices or scopes would be the same no matter what Generation of NV is involved or where it was manufactured.

The goggles I use have a 40 degree field of view and 1x magnification. (that means no magnification)

-- plonk! (, December 02, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ