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GavStar

Much cheaper night vision astronomy option

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4 minutes ago, John said:

No.

I think NV is great but it's just not how I like to do astronomy. No wires, no tech, just me, the scope, a case of eyepieces, a star chart and a dark sky and I'll do the best I can with that.

Thats just me though :smiley:

And I fully understand this.

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7yrs and counting.... still enjoying the view!

@GavStar has gone exploring what it is possible to find and what optics gives the best view and reported back to the rest of us. There are cheaper Photonis Echo tunes, which we have yet to see how they perform.
PEter 

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8 minutes ago, John said:

No.

I think NV is great but it's just not how I like to do astronomy. No wires, no tech, just me, the scope, a case of eyepieces, a star chart and a dark sky and I'll do the best I can with that.

Thats just me though :smiley:

No wires with nv John 😀. But I understand your preference.

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6 minutes ago, GavStar said:

I have a case of Televue eyepieces and an nv monocular, so I don’t think it’s a brave statement, just my opinion from quite a bit of actual experience.

 

 

So just to make sure we are on the same page . I did not think your nv was a second hand unit at 2k.  . So if you can clarify the cost of your own nv ,so we are not comparing apples with pears. As 2k is an awful lot for an" extra" even second hand . But my understanding was that your nv was a new unit ,and so so much more? But I may be incorrect on this

Putting 2k on a second hand nv unit that may or may not be working correctly in a year or so seems to be a risk because of possible malfunction or repair bills. Putting 2k on a case of TV has little risk, the views will be there and also keep their value IMO.

As I have said nv has its place if you can afford this luxury , But for the cost of nv I think it is out of the price point of most on this site. And getting to a true "Dark site" would still give you amazing views of DSO ,without nv , and so so much cheaper.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Timebandit said:

 

So just to make sure we are on the same page . I did not think your nv was a second hand unit at 2k.  . So if you can clarify the cost of your own nv ,so we are not comparing apples with pears. As 2k is an awful lot for an" extra" even second hand . But my understanding was that your nv was a new unit ,and so so much more? But I may be incorrect on this

Putting 2k on a second hand nv unit that may or may not be working correctly in a year or so seems to be a risk because of possible malfunction or repair bills. Putting 2k on a case of TV has little risk, the views will be there and also keep their value IMO.

As I have said nv has its place if you can afford this luxury , But for the cost of nv I think it is out of the price point of most on this site. And getting to a true "Dark site" would still give you amazing views of DSO ,without nv , and so so much cheaper.

 

 

 

PeterW’s nv device was secondhand and was around £2k I think. I’ve looked through his a good few times and been impressed by it. That’s the basis for my comparison for these secondhand offerings. As Peter has mentioned previously these monoculars are designed for military use and so are very robust. Peter has had his for several years with no issues at all.

 Mine were bought new and were significantly more expensive but I’ve done a side by side with Peter’s and his are pretty good! 👍👍Mine have manual gain and white rather than green phosphor and have better light amplification and detail but the difference is not that significant. 

I accept the cost even secondhand means nv is not possible for many, but there are still a good number on this site that have pricey scopes, eyepieces, solar scopes etc for which nv (particularly with this new offering from France) may be of interest.

And yes getting to a really dark site is great with normal glass eyepieces (and it’s great for nv as well as I experienced when I took my nv up Teide in Tenerife recently)

But many people also struggle to get to dark sites and nv is a real benefit at very lp places as well. I had a lovely observing session on Wednesday from my sqm 18 back garden in London. Great to see heart, soul, helix, pac-man, m33, veil, North America and Crescent very nicely even with the bad skies.

Edited by GavStar
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There doesn’t seem to be the same controversy over people spending £2k on an entry level 60mm solar scope, which many of us do. Yet they are comparable technologies in that they offer completely new ways to enjoy our hobby, and for those of us who don’t often have access to dark skies, to see far more from light polluted environments. If I lived in an area with dark skies I wouldn’t have bought a new night vision monocular, but I might be interested in a secondhand one. Even if it had only 5,000 hours left, that’s enough for 10 hours viewing a week for the next ten years. The main thing is to try and get more people experiencing NV to see its game changing potential. It’s no threat to traditional astronomy. It’s not going to encourage even more light pollution as was bizarrely suggested in another thread. It’s just a great option to make the night sky more alive, which is why we’re all enthusiasts after all. 

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There is no controversy over NV and I certainly don't regard it as a threat at all. I think the queries are the usual ones you get when a quite expensive piece of equipment is being discussed, similar to the ones when expensive eyepieces, scopes, mounts or, I assume, imaging devices are being discussed. Discussions like this help people to form conclusions about whether they want to move in this direction, either now, in due course, or that it's not for them.

All good stuff :smiley:

 

 

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Let’s hope this French venture succeeds, and in a few years’ time larger European astronomy retailers are able to source and sell secondhand tubes in greater volume, with guaranteed quality and ‘mileage’, for prices closer to a Daystar Quark. I guess that may be the most viable business model for nv astronomy in Europe? As with NV monoculars, every Quark performs differently, and they’re bought in the knowledge that they won’t go on forever, but at least for a decade or more. 

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I bought my used Nagler 31 around a decade ago and I expect I could sell it for more now than I paid for it back then. If I decide to sell my Ethos eyepieces (all bought used) I'll get my money back there as well I reckon.

Until light pollution gets to the point where nobody can do un-aided visual observing that is, after that they will just be paperweights and curiosities !

 

 

 

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With new full cutoff LED coming in all round me and further it might be the future is darker. Even if we lost all external lighting you’d still have trouble seeing hydrogen nebulosity.... each to their own. NV is a bit like a solar telescope, one trick pony, but a pretty good trick.

PEter

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9 hours ago, steveex2003 said:

May I ask what is the spec or model of your NV?

Its the pvs-14 as per this link

https://actinblack.com/product/pvs14/

If you click the buy button it shows various different tube options. I have the Harder gen 3 white phosphor fom 2400 and also a photonis 4g white phosphor. 

The French company also sells Harder and photonis tubes - these are the two key European manufacturers of night vision tubes.

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5 hours ago, PeterW said:

With new full cutoff LED coming in all round me and further it might be the future is darker. Even if we lost all external lighting you’d still have trouble seeing hydrogen nebulosity.... each to their own. NV is a bit like a solar telescope, one trick pony, but a pretty good trick.

PEter

Not sure I’d call nv a one trick pony Peter...there’s loads of targets it’s great for (unlike a solar telescope). And of course you can go out looking for badgers at nighttime if it’s cloudy 😉

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My 150mm solar telescope can do Ha, CaK and continuum. Undo 3 screws and it becomes an excellent night/daytime normal telescope.    😀

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57 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

My 150mm solar telescope can do Ha, CaK and continuum. Undo 3 screws and it becomes an excellent night/daytime normal telescope.    😀

How about night time badger finding? 😉

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I've found the mere setting up of a telescope in the middle of a field at night to be quite effective at finding badgers.  It's amazing how quiet they can be when they're creeping up on you, too.

James

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On 03/10/2019 at 20:07, PeterW said:

.... can see stuff you can’t in a huge (£££) Dobs.... 

Peter

I think both technologies offer pros and cons- are there things like reflection nebula that NV suffers a bit or others?

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, GavStar said:

I would say that 100 percent of my deep sky visual observing is done with nv now - I find it clearly better on nebulae, globs, galaxies and planetary nebulae.

I'm curious how NV does on some of the small unusual galaxies Gavin, ARP's and Hicksons- I viewed a strange little galaxy, kind of worm like with knots in it at high power, forget the name right now but very interesting.

have you tried observing some of these objects with NV?

I checked, it was ARP 81

Edited by jetstream
Arp 81

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Posted (edited)

For (small) galaxies AlanJGreen is the person to ask, he’s using a large dob and going after  smaller nebulae and galaxies with NV.

everything has pros and cons, though it sounds like @Peter Drew “Swiss army scope” does more than many!

PEter

Edited by PeterW
Addition

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2 hours ago, PeterW said:

For (small) galaxies AlanJGreen is the person to ask, he’s using a large dob and going after  smaller nebulae and galaxies with NV.

everything has pros and cons, though it sounds like @Peter Drew “Swiss army scope” does more than many!

PEter

I was just defending solar scopes as not necessarily being "one trick ponies".  I'm actually a big fan of EAA and have done a significant amount in the past and plan to do more in the future.  The majority of my EAA "observing" was done with a 12" SCT at F3.3 coupled with a Watec 120n+, the results were far better than my 30" Dobsonian used visually.  I've not had the benefit of trying a NV unit but my images seemed fairly comparable.  I stand to be corrected, but the main advantage with NV seems to be real time imagery instead of the 10 seconds delay of video. The price difference is considerable.     😀 

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3 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

 I've not had the benefit of trying a NV unit but my images seemed fairly comparable.  I stand to be corrected, but the main advantage with NV seems to be real time imagery instead of the 10 seconds delay of video. The price difference is considerable.     😀 

I’d call it real time visual observing since the experience feels just like using a normal glass eyepiece, but in essence yes. 😀 And no wires, computer screens etc which is also a key advantage for me.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, GavStar said:

I’d call it real time visual observing since the experience feels just like using a normal glass eyepiece, but in essence yes. 😀 And no wires, computer screens etc which is also a key advantage for me.

Perhaps a form of enhanced visual observing, no wires, but still batteries and a screen?

Edited by scarp15
spelling again

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27 minutes ago, GavStar said:

I’d call it real time visual observing since the experience feels just like using a normal glass eyepiece, but in essence yes. 😀 And no wires, computer screens etc which is also a key advantage for me.

As probably known by now, my main interest is outreach, I think a deal breaker for me would be whether NV devices could be displayed on a screen for group rather than individual viewing and whether the images can be recorded. I fully appreciate the luxury of a stand alone system.    😀

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7 minutes ago, scarp15 said:

Perhaps a form of enhanced visual observing, no wires, but still batteries and a screen?

Technically a screen yes, but viewed in exactly the same way as when observing optically, not on a computer screen.

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10 minutes ago, Peter Drew said:

As probably known by now, my main interest is outreach, I think a deal breaker for me would be whether NV devices could be displayed on a screen for group rather than individual viewing and whether the images can be recorded. I fully appreciate the luxury of a stand alone system.    😀

Easiest way I can think of Peter is a Smartphone which can either be used for recording images or potentially streamed to a larger screen for viewing by an audience

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People quite like the eyeball to eyepiece experience, which this gives, though with less of “what am I looking at at”. I agree using a big screen enables you to point stuff out and handle groups better.

PEter

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