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  • ToolAA

    Active Member
    Jun 17, 2016
    9,384
    God's Country
    I made some progress building a test platform for the RunCam to work with different lenses.

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    It’s not quite finished but it’s operational.
    I’ve been chatting with the developers of the PVS-69 and posted what I was doing on Discord. They got pretty excited and sent me a bunch of lenses to test. Here are the images.

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    ToolAA

    Active Member
    Jun 17, 2016
    9,384
    God's Country
    After posting some of those test photos one of the other developers asked me if I would run some test comparing the RunCam NE3 against a SiOnyx Aurora digital night vision camera, and sent one to me.

    78beb5e684cd862efda77447d93007d9.jpg


    These devices are $700 on amazon.

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    So the RunCam NE3 using the upgraded f0.90 8mm lens performs better than they SiOnyx and so far it’s close to the GEN2+ analog tubes.


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    ToolAA

    Active Member
    Jun 17, 2016
    9,384
    God's Country
    While making progress on the digital NV stuff the PVS-2 housing came in today. It’s in great shape and the glass is unmarred. I don’t think I would be able to find a 4x objective for less than $99.

    What’s interesting is that I’ve been testing the Gen2+ agains the SiOnyx and the RunCam and in zero light there is no image on any of those devices, but the Cascade tube can still make out the target in total darkness.

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    I still need to make an eyepeice, I tried an 8x Loupe but it’s too strong.


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    smdub

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Nov 14, 2012
    3,992
    MoCo
    My PVS2 lens/housing should be in tomorrow. Hope it looks as nice as yours.
    These tubes are ok to run in light with their built in AGC? Or do you have a pinhole lens cap on?
     

    ToolAA

    Active Member
    Jun 17, 2016
    9,384
    God's Country
    My PVS2 lens/housing should be in tomorrow. Hope it looks as nice as yours.
    These tubes are ok to run in light with their built in AGC? Or do you have a pinhole lens cap on?

    I actually do not have a pinhole cap, but the light level in my shop is pretty low and I’m facing away from the source.


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    wbw2123

    Member
    Nov 19, 2012
    863
    Even with abc you need a daylight filter for them. It affects lifespan. Lighting gels, anything really that is equivalent to a pair of dark sunglasses will work. The pvs-2 filter is a lens not the pinhole cap like the pvs-4.
     
    Last edited:

    smdub

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Nov 14, 2012
    3,992
    MoCo
    My PVS2 housing came in today. Decent shape and the glass looks perfect. So now I need to power this thing and come up w/ some caps...

    For the oscillator compartment I think I'm just going to solder a wire to the tab, crimp a small lug on the other end, and screw it into the NV tube. I'll machine a fairly flush cap as this sticks out perpendicular to the optic and would like to keep it as tight in as possible. Threads look to be about 1.75"x18 w/ a groove for an o-ring. I just checked and I have a 2" aluminum rod out in the garage so I'll spend some time on the lathe tomorrow.

    Turning to the battery compartment/cap... Threads appear the same and the compartment is ~46mm deep. I know there are 4xAA adapters for these but since I have to make a cap anyway I'm tempted to machine it to hold a single cell 18650/26650/32650(?) lithium. I have a ton of the first two for flashlights. The Wh of a 5Ah Lithium 26650 is pretty darn close to that of 4xAAs - it would run for days. Though alkaline would have better extreme cold weather performance but I don't think I care that much. Those are all 65mm deep and I could simply 3D print a little donut to keep the smaller sizes centered. Cap would need to stick out ~20mm but its parallel to the optic so its really not getting in the way of anything.

    For the eyepiece I'm waiting for ToolAA to come up w/ an optimal solution :) (I'd order a factory one but they aren't available anywhere)
     

    ToolAA

    Active Member
    Jun 17, 2016
    9,384
    God's Country
    My PVS2 housing came in today. Decent shape and the glass looks perfect. So now I need to power this thing and come up w/ some caps...

    For the oscillator compartment I think I'm just going to solder a wire to the tab, crimp a small lug on the other end, and screw it into the NV tube. I'll machine a fairly flush cap as this sticks out perpendicular to the optic and would like to keep it as tight in as possible. Threads look to be about 1.75"x18 w/ a groove for an o-ring. I just checked and I have a 2" aluminum rod out in the garage so I'll spend some time on the lathe tomorrow.

    Turning to the battery compartment/cap... Threads appear the same and the compartment is ~46mm deep. I know there are 4xAA adapters for these but since I have to make a cap anyway I'm tempted to machine it to hold a single cell 18650/26650/32650(?) lithium. I have a ton of the first two for flashlights. The Wh of a 5Ah Lithium 26650 is pretty darn close to that of 4xAAs - it would run for days. Though alkaline would have better extreme cold weather performance but I don't think I care that much. Those are all 65mm deep and I could simply 3D print a little donut to keep the smaller sizes centered. Cap would need to stick out ~20mm but its parallel to the optic so its really not getting in the way of anything.

    For the eyepiece I'm waiting for ToolAA to come up w/ an optimal solution :) (I'd order a factory one but they aren't available anywhere)
    Cool, I was thinking of 3d printing a battery holder similar to what you described. The 32mm dia x 45mm focal length lenses should arrive to me on sunday. It’s a total stab in the dark for me, because I know nothing about the physics of lenses. I’ll post what they look like.
     

    ToolAA

    Active Member
    Jun 17, 2016
    9,384
    God's Country
    Cool, I was thinking of 3d printing a battery holder similar to what you described. The 32mm dia x 45mm focal length lenses should arrive to me on sunday. It’s a total stab in the dark for me, because I know nothing about the physics of lenses. I’ll post what they look like.
    By the way, I have my first draft of the arduino program running and conducted a quick test sequence from 1.7lux (about the amount of light on a dark overcast sunset down to .008lux which would be similar to the light level of a moonless night.

    This is a quick teaser, using a white LED at 3200k which is close to the color if moonlight. I also did the same test with 850nm and 940nm wavelengths.

     

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    erwos

    The Hebrew Hammer
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 25, 2009
    13,230
    Rockville, MD
    I am vaguely enthralled by the PVS-69 and have set my 3D printer to building out an Echo. Loving the lens comparison. Was there any update on a cheaper alternative to the V780 OLED? That's probably the biggest cost driver to the project.

    Ironically, I have since bought some gen3 binos, so this is purely in the toy category for me.
     

    smdub

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Nov 14, 2012
    3,992
    MoCo
    Hot off the presses. Confirmed the threads are the same between it and the battery cap. Need to dig through my stash of o-rings to see if I have an appropriate size.
    PXL_20230126_192857898_r800.jpg

    PXL_20230126_194243122_r800.jpg
     

    ToolAA

    Active Member
    Jun 17, 2016
    9,384
    God's Country
    I am vaguely enthralled by the PVS-69 and have set my 3D printer to building out an Echo. Loving the lens comparison. Was there any update on a cheaper alternative to the V780 OLED? That's probably the biggest cost driver to the project.

    Ironically, I have since bought some gen3 binos, so this is purely in the toy category for me.

    No solid contender to replace the V780’s yet. One if the Discord guys ordered a board and displa without an eyepiece from Aliexpress that is about $100 cheaper IIRC but I don’t know if he has received and tested it yet.

    I agree that the PVS-69 is not going to be the same as a full fledged Gen3 spec NV, but it’s a promising alternative for those who can afford $300 for a single vision headset that has optical performance similar to a Gen2 PVS14.
     

    ToolAA

    Active Member
    Jun 17, 2016
    9,384
    God's Country
    Here is the comparison that I think most will find useful. I finished up building the lighting platform and was able to start doing some side by side comparisons between the Pvs-69 RunCam NE3 camera and the SiOnix digital NV camera, as well as my Gen2+ analog goggles.



     

    ToolAA

    Active Member
    Jun 17, 2016
    9,384
    God's Country
    My PVS2 housing came in today. Decent shape and the glass looks perfect. So now I need to power this thing and come up w/ some caps...

    For the oscillator compartment I think I'm just going to solder a wire to the tab, crimp a small lug on the other end, and screw it into the NV tube. I'll machine a fairly flush cap as this sticks out perpendicular to the optic and would like to keep it as tight in as possible. Threads look to be about 1.75"x18 w/ a groove for an o-ring. I just checked and I have a 2" aluminum rod out in the garage so I'll spend some time on the lathe tomorrow.

    Turning to the battery compartment/cap... Threads appear the same and the compartment is ~46mm deep. I know there are 4xAA adapters for these but since I have to make a cap anyway I'm tempted to machine it to hold a single cell 18650/26650/32650(?) lithium. I have a ton of the first two for flashlights. The Wh of a 5Ah Lithium 26650 is pretty darn close to that of 4xAAs - it would run for days. Though alkaline would have better extreme cold weather performance but I don't think I care that much. Those are all 65mm deep and I could simply 3D print a little donut to keep the smaller sizes centered. Cap would need to stick out ~20mm but its parallel to the optic so its really not getting in the way of anything.

    For the eyepiece I'm waiting for ToolAA to come up w/ an optimal solution :) (I'd order a factory one but they aren't available anywhere)

    The lenses came in today. These are cheap like $2.50 each. I’ll start working on designing a threaded 3d printed lens holder.

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