Skip to content
Mar 27 13

Which Night Vision is best for Boat & Ship Safty/Navigation?

by admin

Night Vision for Boating

Night Vision for Boating

With all the types of night vision equipment on the market which one is best for use on the ocean or lake? Most people go straight to a 5x magnified binocular in Gen 3 or Gen 4. But is this really the best choice? What about thermal technology or other devices? Well Thermal technology is great at seeing temperature differences however out in most marine conditions there isn’t very much contrast in temperature between objects you would be looking for and everything will tend to “blend in” with the one exception being heavy fog situations where a Thermal Viewer could be superior to Night Vision. However most of the time the open water is perfect for high quality night vision technology due to the great amount of star light available reflecting off of the water. So which device is best? Our two favorite choices are a PVS-14 or PVS-7 with Afocal 5x lens and a helmet set up option for comfort and stability. Both of these units will handle the harsh environment of salt water use as they are Military grade and are the most durable devices on the market. Equipped with an ITT Pinnacle Image Intensifier Tube they can be used in just about any low light condition including Ports and Marinas where there is a mix of dark areas and artificially lit areas without damaging the Intensifier Tube. The name of the game with these devices is versatility as they have the widest field of view at 1x magnification but you can quickly slip on the optional 5x Mil-Spec Afocal lens for maximum zoom capability. Most of the time you will want a wide field of view and zero magnification while other times and situations you will need maximum magnification for looking for small markers and obstructions. These units usually come with a basic head gear system that allows you to where the device on your head however we recommend upgrading to a helmet system complete with a counter weight option. So which unit is better, PVS-14 or PVS-7? Both units will give you the same superb night time performance. The question really is do you want a both eye system PVS-7 or a single eye system PVS-14. Most new night vision users jump straight to both eyes over a single eye system and the two eye PVS-7 will feel more natural a first, however after you get used to leaving both of your eyes open with the single eye PVS-14 you will find that the non night vision eye will help out more with close up tasks and can actually be more useful than the PVS-7. At the end of the day you can’t go wrong with either device for your night time marine endeavors and by purchasing high quality you certainly will not be disappointed..

Mar 26 13

Night Vision for Preppers as a Priority

by admin

Imagine you have all your supplies/Preps ready. You have your food and water stored, you have saved and worked hard to have everything you need to survive any disaster. You feel confident that you have your guns and ammo at the ready to defend your family and everything you have worked hard for if the need arises. A SHTF scenario breaks out and the time has come to defend your home… but wait a minute it’s the middle of the night, no problem you think I have my super powerful light and 2 years worth of batteries stored up. Understand that as soon as you turn on that light you have given away your position and perhaps have made yourself an easy to hit target. A good Helmet Mounted PVS-14 Night Vision device would allow you to instead see everything and aim your rifle all while keeping you under the cover/safety of darkness. To see and not be seen is the single largest tactical advantage a Prepper can have in this situation. Some people will say “Oh but I can buy 4 AR-15′s for what this night vision set up costs”. The hard truth is that an AR-15 can’t see in the dark and in reality a rusty old deer rifle with very good night vision would likely take out 4 tricked out AR-15′s with lights in most any night situation. Remember the magic is to see without being seen and real quality night vision gives you this capability. It’s an unfortunate reality that in a very bad situation without adequate night time defensive capability many Preppers will end up giving their preps up to someone else.

Situation number 2. You live in a city and disaster strikes and you need to get out but roadways are blocked so you need to travel on foot. Again, to see and not be seen using a quality night vision device to travel safely under the cover of darkness while being able to see and avoid danger while navigating your way out to safety. A good PVS-14 Monocular will give you 40 hours of continuous use on one single AA battery, carry a few spares and you are good to go for quite a long time.

Situation number 3. Most Preppers realize that you can only store so much food and that eventually it will run out. Weather you have a week a month or even 2 years of food storage eventually it runs out and many people think they will just hunt for food at that point. However millions of other people have already been hunting all the food they can get. Imagine opening day of deer season times ten thousand every day. Very quickly there wont be anything to hunt during the day as any game left will be near impossible to get and the only productive way will be to hunt smaller animals at night without using lights that will spook already skittish game. This is where a really good night vision device comes in. It can keep you and you family fed and provide essential protection as well.

The lesson is that all preps are important but don’t be the person that has multiple firearms and thinks that they are good on defense and hunting. After you have one good rifle and one good handgun it’s time to go for your night vision. Good night vision is a game changer in low light situations when it comes to home defense. It becomes even more important than your weapon itself because remember, you can’t hit what you can’t see, and to see and not be seen can be the ultimate tactical advantage.

Just some things to think about.

Jul 20 12

Helmet Vision System Set for Testing in Europe

by admin

The Thales Group, a United Kingdom based global technology  research and development firm, has announced that its TopOwl Helmet Mounted Sight and Display (HMSD) has been selected by the Organization for Joint Armaments Cooperation for flight testing onboard the A400M prototype.  The A400M is a multi-mission airlifter used by the military.  The purpose of the tests is to confirm compatibility of HMSD with this aircraft while on night missions.

During the testing, A400M pilots will utilize the integrated night vision function of the TopOwl.  The intensified night vision image projected from the visor provides enhanced perception of the environment and improved peripheral vision.  In addition, should image tubes become saturated or fail, the pilot will still be able to maintain direct vision through the visor, which significantly enhances flight safety.

The main characteristics of the helmet are:

  • Binocular 40 degree field of view
  • Visor projection
  • Modular integrated image intensification
  • FLIR thermal imaging technology
  • Compatibility with guns, rockets, and missiles
  • A very light weight of 4 pounds, 13.6 ounces
  • Helmet liners customized to the pilot’s head

Essentially, the helmet projects a synthetic view of the environment in front of the pilot’s eyes, which is real-time and superimposed over the actual terrain.  This gives the pilot a virtual representation of the helicopter’s surroundings, even in brownout or whiteout conditions.  Additionally, it has been found to reduce pilot fatigue, which provides substantial operational advantages.

The testing phase on the helmet will continue through April 2013.



Jul 9 12

Comparing Night Vision Devices

by admin

If this is your first time shopping for a night vision device, you may find the choices overwhelming.  Below, we review the 4 major types of night vision devices, their uses, and pros and cons of each to help get you started.

Device What They Are What They Are Used For Pros Cons
Night Vision Monoculars A single eye unit that has no magnification. Extremely versatile, they can be mounted to rifle scopes, weapons, and cameras. Often small and light enough to be carried in a shirt pocket.  Allows you to switch back and forth between eyes, helping you maintain better awareness of your surroundings. Having enhanced night vision in only one eye often does not feel natural to the user.
Night Vision Goggles A device that allows viewing with both eyes, has no magnification, and can be mounted to your head. Excellent for shorter duration navigation and stationary observation activities. Better depth perception improves your ability to navigate while using them. The increased size and weight makes them less versatile.
Night Vision Binoculars A device having two eyepieces with magnification built in. Primarily designed to magnify images at longer distances while staying stationary. The best for viewing objects at a distance. The majority have fixed magnification and are always “zoomed in,” making close objects appear too large.
Night Vision Scopes A device that either attaches to or mounts directly in front of the objective of a regular daylight scope. Long range night hunting. Day/night version excellent when you need both day and night capability but cannot carry two rifles. Day/night version does not gather as much light as a dedicated night scope.

This is meant to be a very brief overview of your options. For a more in-depth analysis, please visit the Night Vision 4 Less “How to Choose Between Night Vision Devices” page at http://www.nightvision4less.com/education-center-night-vision-devices.aspx.  You can also call us at 1-800-771-6845 if you have any questions.

Jul 2 12

Night Vision Goggles Helping Solve Feral hog Problem in Texas

by admin

The growing population of wild hogs has become an increasing threat to the ecosystem in the United States.  It is estimated that there are more than 4 million wild hogs scattered throughout the U.S.  These animals breed quickly, and can have up to three litters of 9-10 young per year.  They have no natural predators, yet prey upon other life forms by devouring large amounts of crops, tearing up plants, and driving out native wildlife by taking away their food sources.

Of all 50 states, Texas is the one most infested with these animals.  Nearly 2 million feral hogs live in Texas, and they cause more than 2 billion dollars in damage each year. Therefore, legal, licensed hunting is used as a method of controlling the feral hog population.

However, wild hogs have the reputation of being notoriously difficult to catch.  They are large animals who seem to detect traps easily and are prone to using their horns for defense.  Additionally, they are largely nocturnal, making it challenging to locate them through the subtle tracks they leave in their wake, such as mud and hair attached to trees on which they have scratched themselves. Therefore, it is ideal to hunt wild hogs at night with a light source.  Due to laws that prohibit using light at night where deer are known to range, you must always seek advanced permission from the game warden to use a spotlight in this manner.

Another, more subtle, option you have is the use of night vision equipment.  This technology works by either detecting heat differences or amplifying the light that is already available.  Use of night vision equipment is very effective when used for purposes of hog control.  To learn more about the available options, please view our “How to Choose between Night Vision Devices” page at http://www.nightvision4less.com/education-center-night-vision-devices.aspx.

Jun 13 12

The Importance of a Bug-Out Bag

by admin

Have you ever thought about what you might do in an extreme emergency situation, such as a natural disaster?  Do you imagine yourself panicking, or could you pick up and pack within 60 seconds before a natural disaster? If you couldn’t, it may be time to start thinking about preparation with a “bug out bag.” A bug out bag is also known as a BOB, GOOD, (Get out of Dodge Bag) or a 72 Hour Bag. A bug out bag is a bag that is packed and always on hand in case a disaster strikes. It’s used solely for the purpose of an emergency situation and/or natural disaster. The bag is made to allow you to survive for up to three days until you are rescued from the emergency at hand.

When there’s an emergency, people are prone to react irrationally. There’s no time to think about what’s needed amidst panic. That’s why it’s good to always be prepared. Packing a bag now will allow you to keep calm and stay rational if you experience a disaster.

An effective bug out bag should include:

  • Water
  • A tent or something that could be used as shelter
  • Clothing
  • Food such as meal bars, canned foods, and dry cereals
  • First Aid Kit
  • Basic items such as matches, survival knife, a poncho, and a small pot for boiling water

These are general must-haves, but each person or family should personalize a bug out bag that can sustain their personal needs for at least three days. For example, if someone needs a specific type of medicine, it may be good to keep that medicine in the bug out bag. Always be sure the medicine has not expired, though.

  • In addition to the basics and personal necessities, it’s important to include a night vision tool in your bug out bag. It’s great to have because a piece of night vision equipment will allow you to see without being seen. This can allow you to fly under the radar, which in a “bug out” situation can be a huge advantage. In the most extreme case, it’s possible that others who are unprepared may try to take what you have and possibly do you harm in the process.
  • Night vision offers more options for finding safe routes by allowing you to navigate your way “cross country” away from the dangerous main roadways.
  • Quality night vision gives you the ability to spot artificial lights from miles away that others without night vision simply can’t see. So, in a situation like a widespread power outage, you can find people or towns that may have a generator for power and the means to help you.
  • Some night vision devices will run up to 50 hours on a single AA battery where as long range more powerful flashlights would go through 100 times the batteries and still give significantly less benefit compared to the night vision device.
Jun 3 12

Increase a night vision devices range/distance

by Craig Pearson

Customers are always asking us how far can they see with a night vision device? This depends on many factors such as what generation, image tube quality and type of device your using, with ranges of 20 yards for department store models to over 2000 yards with one of our long range binoculars. These distances will vary greatly depending on how dark of a night it is. On a full moon clear night you feel like you can see forever with a good gen 2 or gen 3 model. But those dark cloudy nights with little or no moonlight can cut your range down dramatically. Were talking less than half the range you would have on a quarter moon clear night. You see, those stars that don’t seem to give off much light really do when it comes to  light amplification. Night vision works off of “image intensification” so the little bit of starlight enters the device and gets “amplified” by tens of thousands of times. This is why they call it “starlight technology” and when the clouds are covering the stars much less light gets down to the earth thus lowering the amount of light available for the device to work with. There is a solution to this problem however. Utilizing an external long range infrared illuminator, not to be confused with short range built in IR illuminators,  will dramatically increase the range of the device no mater what generation or model you are using. read more…

May 29 12

Dual Mounted PVS-14 Overview

by admin

With increasing interest about the PVS-14 in a dual mount configuration we decided to write a short overview. For those that don’t know what this is, it is basically two PVS-14 monoculars mounted in the new PVS-14 Dual Mount Adapter. This great set up takes two monoculars and creates one awesome stereo-vision goggle. The advantage of the dual tube goggles are increased depth perception with each eye seeing an independent slightly different image instead of a shared image like a single image tube device. Removing the PVS-14′s from the mount is easy and only takes a minute or two so you can switch back to individual monoculars and have two people using night vision again. The lightweight 3 ounce mount has an adjustment that allows the user to increase or decrease the width to fit their eye spacing. These mounts will attach the goggles to any standard mil-spec bayonet style head or helmet mount like the MICH or PAGST. The trick with this type of set up is having closely matched image intensifier tubes in both monoculars. All image intensifier tubes vary in performance and there are many factors in determining how one will perform. If you have one eye that is too different than the other eye the user will end up with eye strain and headaches after a short while as the brain tries to constantly even out the difference in the two different images. If you already own one monocular and want to get a second one with a dual mount please contact us so we can try to match up your new monocular as close as possible to your current one. Better yet if you are getting two new PVS-14′s we can get you as close to perfect match as possible so you will end up with a superb goggle when using them mounted together. This is just about the ultimate night vision set up as you can have two people with monoculars or one person with a dual tube goggle or one person with a monocular on their left eye for navigating and the other monocular mounted on a weapon or one person with… well you get the idea. The versatility of a couple of PVS-14′s and the right accessories and mounts can let you handle just about anything. The possibilities are just about endless and come to think of it this topic will make for a very good post for the near future of this blog. Check back soon to see our post on all that can be done with a PVS-14 when you have the right accessories!

May 27 12

How To Mount a Night Vision Scope

by Craig Pearson

Many folks are familiar with how to attach or mount a regular day time scope to a rife using a set of scope rings for attachment. With night vision scopes you don’t use rings as the scope itself has a built in mount that attaches directly to the rifle. What your rifle will need to have is a standard 7/8 Weaver base or a Picatinny rail. The Weaver bases will be used on most bolt action rifles and the Picatinny rails are standard on most military style semi-automatic rifles including the popular Ar-15 style models. These types of mounts are characterized by the series of cross slots running perpendicular to the length of the rifle. The night vision scopes have mounts that lock into and clamp down on these Weaver and Picatinny bases. Most night scopes will require a wrench for tightening down the scope while some of the better scopes come equipped with a “quick release” mount built into the scope. These quick release mounts allow a shooter to attach and remove the scope quickly with the use of a locking lever and do not require the use of any tools. Most of the night vision scopes with the fast release style mounts can be put on and taken off without the loss of zero. This means that you don’t need to re-zero your scope every time you remove it as the better models will hold within one half MOA (or 1/2 inch at 100 yards) each time you reattach it to your rifle. Many shooters like to remove their night vision scope and keep it in it’s case when traveling or when storing the weapon in a gun safe so the expensive electronic night vision optic doesn’t get bumped around. Other shooters have one rifle that they use for day time and night time hunting and use a quality quick release mount under their day time scope as well so they can swap scopes out in a matter of minutes. Whatever night vision scope you get make sure you have a high quality solid base to attach it to because these high-tec electronic scopes are typically much heavier than a regular scope. Mounting a night vision scope is very easy and if you have ever mounted a regular scope you should have no problem attaching a night scope however if you are unsure of the process or the size/style of your scope base, you should consult a professional. We are always happy to help guide our customers with mounting and can even get you the proper base for your particular rifle if needed.

May 21 12

Night Vision Batteries – A Years Supply!

by admin

Did you know that a PVS-14 Night Vision Monocular will run for 40 hours on one single tiny AA battery. This type of monocular which is also used by the US Military comes very close to turning night into day, with the exception that you view things in green and black. It would take somewhere between 10 to 50 flashlights, depending on the model and power, to even come close to the performance of this type of night vision unit. Those flashlights would require hundreds of batteries or many hours of recharging to get the equivalent performance life of the single AA battery in the PVS-14, not to mention the night monocular allows you to remain covert. With night vision technology you get both unbelievable efficiency and performance but you also greatly reduce the amount of hazardous old batteries going into the environment. BatteriesPeople who like to be prepared can cheaply and easily stockpile 100 AA size batteries that will run a PVS-14 monocular for over a year at a cost of around fifty bucks (bought in bulk). This will power your night vision device from dusk till dawn for over one year! In contrast to the great battery efficiency from night vision devices, thermal optics on the other hand are not very efficient. The average thermal device will burn 3 or 4 of the more expensive CR123A lithium type batteries in about 4 hours. So in comparison the thermal device would require 40 lithium batteries at a cost of about $52 to equal the 40 hour life span of the one AA battery in the PVS-14 at a cost of less than a dollar. From a preparedness stand point a years supply of continuous dusk to dawn use with a thermal imagining device would require somewhere between 2000 and 4000 batteries depending on the device and temperature range (colder = faster battery drain) with a cost of about $2500 to $5000. Now these estimates are based on 10 hours of use per night, every night, which is much more than what would typically be used by most people, but at least you can get an idea. Does this mean you should forget about getting a thermal device? Not necessarily, come back to our blog soon when we will have a night vision V.S. thermal optics shoot out where we’ll get to the bottom of which technology is best. The results may surprise you!