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Image Intensifier...


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Thankfully we've finished our Christmas catalogues at work!

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Only Spring 2010 to sort this week, then January Sale next, and finished for Christmas on the 18th!

Off to Prague (and the Christmas markets) for a few days before the big day to get into the spirit of things.... and hopefully get a few clear nights to have a go at imaging again!!!!

So, if any of you get bored over the festive season (or like me you just don't have the time in the week to get the scope out), you might like to take a look at this site that my good friend and observing buddy (Dr) Andy has just made live:

Home - A WebsiteBuilder Website

Andy got the idea from the US Cloudy Nights forum.

As we don't have $3000-4000 to spend on a brand new V3 intensifier (and I don't believe that we're allowed to import them from the States even if we did!), and £600-800 for the V2 also seemed too much, we decided to have a play with a couple of V1 tubes!

These are ex military (sniper/tank night vision units - cool) going for £35 on ebay....

And being 'only' £35, it brings the 'fun factor' back into astronomy - you don't mind letting others have a look! With the V3 units you'd have to be FAR more careful that the user didn't use it on a car headlamp or the moon as such a bright light source could damage the unit...

Well, using Andy's 12" and 16" Meade Lightbridges with these units has been a revelation (scanning the night sky - bang - there's a star cluster, and another! bang - the Andromeda galaxy!) No straining at the eyepiece using averted vision....

They are ideal for group viewing as everyone can see the target rather than one individual looking through the eyepiece - and would be great for an Astronomy outreach party.... and the fact that the target appears on screen (in green hues it has to be said!), is sure to appeal to the younger 'Playstation Generation'!

Then, by screwing an old M42 threaded lens onto the extension tube you have a portable night vision unit - next time you're out with the scope and you hear a rustle in the garden undergrowth - you'll be able to see what it is (fox, rabbit, hedgehog - the next door neighbours cat wondering what you're doing!!!)

Add a 500mm mirror lens instead (£20-50 off eBay) and you have a hand held scope!

Yes, the resolution is not as good as the newer units, the field curvature off centre is like an old TV tube, and it may not be as bright a the newer units... but last friday (when my local Astro Group got together), we had a great after-meeting viewing session (despite the clouds), looking at M45 and M42, as well as the local widelife! In fact, we spent longer viewing with the image intensifiers than we've ever spent with scopes...! and for around £50-60 all told that can't be bad!

If any of you would like more info (we're still learning ourselves mind), please get in touch....

Regards and clear skies!


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It's a shame you feel the need to leave Takman, but FWIW I've just come across this your post and went thru your w/site pages detailing the job. Very impressive and strangely alluring :hello2:

I love these types of mods and :icon_eek: you both for your ingenuity !!


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Hi , I have responded to the odd thread on image intensifiers on various astro forums ( do not read anything into the use of odd!!) but they don't normally generate a great deal of 'forum activity' and are rare to see .

The website on the II Gen 3 tube and its application is interesting and bookmarked by me .I enjoyed my visit but being a tight tyke with a respect for things electronic/optical taking a grinder to the tube seems a bit cruel !

In my youth ( a long time ago ) and at other times since I have 'played trains' using 12 V DC electric . For pick up from the loco wheels to feed power to the DC motor phosphor bronze sprung strip is used to press against the moving wheels. The strip can be purchased from railway modellers shops etc and would give a safer pick up (?) method. For the negative pick up why not use a printed circuit board annular disc ( or a suitable metal ring) with the phosphur bronze pick up tabs soldered to that ( maybe 6 to 8?).

There may be some info to glean off Das original Deutsche Nachtsicht Forum at Das original deutsche Nachtsichtforum | Fehlermeldung . Googles your friend and maybe Yahoo Translation?.

Best wishes and keep looking up,

Len E:)

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