Friday, January 8, 2021

AN-PVS Night Vison and Thermals

Greetings Me Droogs and Droogettes!
Couple of requests for some NVG edjamahcation.  Now, I was the armorer, NOT the NVG guy BUT that being said I leart a wee bit aboot said googles.  Mainly as a 'second set of hands' when Andy our NVG tech needed 'em, as our office and workbenches were shared.


Understand most of the hands on I had was for the PVS 7 bino and 14 single tube.  The newest Generation intensifier tube was 2.5 and we were seeing the 3rd come out from ITT when I left, so YMMV when it comes to the intel/info I can hand off.

Same goes for Thermals.  TBH I feel -fully unqualified- to talk about modern TAS sights.  The last Thermal I got to play with was the AN-TAS-6.  Fucker is like a million years old, loud as fuck, 'manportable' in the sense that it was only 40 pounds and had to be mounted on the TOW system or in a Tank.  Modern shit are tiny.  Like hand-held.  So, thermals?  I am a no go at this station

Now, the AN-PVS (Army/Navy Passive Vision System) series that I personally am familiar with are the 7 and 14 series.  
Now, as stated by the nomenclature, the 7 preceded the 14.
Reason was that the fucking 7's, as cool as they are, and as high speed as they can be had a minor flaw.  That is and was a complete loss of depth perception.  More on that in a bit.

The PVS series of NVG (Night Vision Goggles) are lightweight, battery powered light amplification based vision systems.  Part and parcel of why Uncle Sugar is the best dot-mil in the world has a lot to do with our night-fighting capabilities, where everyone can see in the dark.  Both PVS models I'm going over have ONE auto-gated image intensifier in them.  Even though the 7 is a bino configuration by way of a set of mirrors that splice the image internally.  The power is supplied either by 1AA, 2AA or a single CR123 battery.  Most high end models use the CR123 as they tend to last the longest.

Both models are waterproof and 'charged' with nitrogen to prevent condensation inside the tube during temperature extremes.  Thats what I usually assisted with as the itty-bitty charging port was a stone bitch to do while purging it as well.  Andy used me to hold them for him while he purged/charged.

Now, the auto-gate means the tube has the ability to 'dial down' the intensification in response to a bright light.  Older models that didn't have this feature suffered from 'phosphor burn' on the tube.  Meaning it'd degrade it so's it didn't work none too good.  It was also possible to 'burn' a black hole on the intensifier, leaving literally a black dot on the sight internally, meaning when you are looking through, it's like a bad pixel on a Plasma screen or LCD.

A PVS-7/14 will run you in a Generation 2 Intensifier around $2000.00 not a small amount of change to most of us.  There are alternatives however.

Now, the I.R. (Infra-Red) Amplification lights, and I.R. only NVG, are common low-end NVGs.  The PVS-7 and 14's have a small I.R. light as part of the sight, but those on those particular military models are ONLY used in zero-light areas for the reasons I'll go over.  The IR light given off can be detected by another set of NVGs from quite a distance.  One particular 'for instance' was during a CAFEX (Combined Arms Field EXercise) or wargame, I had my squad out on a LP/OP (Listening Post/Observation Post) out about 100 yards from our position with the orders NOT to use -any- lights at all.  About an hour into it, they said they could see the IR lights of the Bad Guys headed in their direction... they were lit up like crazy... and not supposed to use the IR, so we waxed their asses for their fuckup.
The scene through NVGs is funky green that takes some getting used to.  It's a bitch if your vision is fucked like mine as wearing glasses and these are not really compatible, leastways with the single tube PVS-14.  I scored a 14 in Iraq as a going away present, but unfortunately, before I knew X was stealing money, when the cancer came around, I had to sell them with the Harley.

Shit happens

So, the depth perception issue.  They addressed that by removing one  of the binos from the 7s and leaving the 14 as a single tube.  My personal compensation was to remove the lense from a spare pair of glasses on the right side so's the 14 would and could be adjusted, and I was then FMC. (Fully mission capable).

To get around some of the other problems, well, they've gone so much further, I really don't know shit.  The Highest End one I've seen is the Panoramic IMAX L-3 GPNVG-18... the one you see in all the Call of Duty dumbassery:
Now, IMO... the only thing theses things scream at me is HEAVY
The battery pack rides on the back of the helmet
Fuckers are also psycho-crazy-mad-expensive
Try $60,000.000 dollars
For one pair.
I suppose if you gots it, flaunt it

But, sorry this's so thin on good solid intel.  I've used them but I'm not really that conversant tech-wise, and the stuff I used was at best 2nd Gen.  They're up to 3rd, and 4th, and apparently there's even a 3rd "Supra-Gen" that the Euroweenies came up with.
Remember, LOOT after you shoot, then scoot.
It's yer best bet for scoring a freebie set o'these

So More Later I Remain The Intrepid Reporter
Big Country


  1. Thanks.

    I had worked out the flaw with having an IR lifht on your face as it makes you a target. But it does give me all sorts of ideas on how to fool with them.

    I had through work a really nice high end thermography rig. It could see heat out to 100feet but usually anything past 50 feet better be a roaribg fire or your not seeing it.

    One trick i read and tried was a wet blanket ovee an open door. The cooling effect meant that even at 10 feet you didn't get much bleed through of the person right on the other side. That gave me a lot of ideas for fooling them. I assumed milspec are a better but found out from our equipment supplier that our work one is the same just less robust case and not goid below -20C.

    How long does it take the AN aeries units to adjust? If you had a really bright UV flood and it strobed, how lobg is the adjust for the goggles? If i knew that then you know what your window is.

    In the topic of loot and scoot. I believe the left said looting is a form of reperations, well i've paid a lot of taxes over the years.


    1. The thermals the .mil has these days, even the big rig meant for mounting on crew served weapons, with all the bells and whistles, cannot see heat through walls, unless it is a super thin wall, and the heat source is touching it. You can't even look through windows, because the window is all the same temperature. The place these things earn their keep is while on the defense. We had a free fire zone on the opposing hill in afganistan, where anything human shaped was to be killed. There was no reason for anyone to be there other than to shoot at us. It was well marked and well known. Well, turns out monkeys can't read. Monkeys also look a LOT like a person trying to move sneakily. Long story short, we ended up plastering a whole... herd? Flock? Pod? Family? Of monkeys one night. So, from between 3-500 meters, we could spot knee high monkeys well enough to guide 120mm mortars onto them.

    2. The reason a thermal imager can't see through a window is because heat is at completely different wavelengths than the IR range that the imager can "see" (detect). The window is opaque at those wavelengths whereas it is transparent at visible light wavelengths.

  2. Latest FLIR thermal mono-tube.

    Reviews on YT


  3. I'm all about Exile1981's theory of reparations.

    I IDENTIFY as a wronged minority in need of shiny new gear. SHEEEIT....

  4. If you don't have the money but want something that works surprisingly well, look at the Sionyx Aurora or Pro. It's digital, it's color, and with the slightest lag (.006 msec) but you get used to it and for the money it beats anything cheaper than $1700+. It can be helmet or rail mounted. I ain't rich and with a wife and leeches, I have to do with what I got. Lots of vids on the youtubes. There are those that say to save and get a pvs14 and anything else is crap. I say to them "i would rather have shit in my eye than get fucked in the dark.

    sorry for the language. I yield the rest of my time back to the floor.

  5. For those who aren't familiar with night-vision device (NVD) specifications, I highly recommend you read the following before dropping your hard earned money. There are many less than honest sellers of NVD products, so make sure you are well informed and get the best possible performing tubes you can afford.