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#5582755 - 02/04/15 06:13 PM Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies
DigitalFOV Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/26/15
Posts: 272
Loc: Georgia
I want to share my opinion on Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies

Digital night vision technology is quite different from intensifier tube night vision or thermal. Digital has advanced greatly over the past few years. Our Digital Crosshairs product line incorporates CCD IR night vision board cameras with 1000 TVL (television lines) of resolution that were not available just a few years ago.

Digital has advanced to the point that the military is putting it on all new Apache copters, not thermal or Gen4.

Here is a link to an article about this Digital NV on Apache Copters

15 Reasons to choose digital IR night vision over intensifier tube or thermal:

1. High contrast black and white night vision, not green
2. Better image detail than more expensive intensifier tube or thermal devices
3. Better location awareness than thermal because of image detail
4. Good quality at a lower cost
5. Bright thermal requires eyes to re-adjust to darkness after viewing, digital does not
6. Better identification of people and animals with digital IR than heat imaging thermal
7. IR causes less eye fatigue than thermal
8. Digital IR night vision is perfectly silent
9. Digital night vision does not have sensitivity to bright light like I2 tube technology
10. Digital night vision can be adjust for brightness according to your need
11. Digital systems offer various ways to record what you see.
12. Digital night vision can see through glass windows, thermal can’t
13. No white out from warm building in cold climate conditions like thermal
14. Digital is generally lighter because it does not need tubes
15. Digital is an “instant on” product, no boot-up time required for many products.

Digital FOV, LLC
Tel: 404-590-6513
Email: digitalcrosshairs@gmail.com
Web: http://www.digitalcrosshairs.net
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/digitalcrosshairs
_________________________


DigitalFOV

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#5582798 - 02/04/15 06:30 PM Re: Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies [Re: DigitalFOV]
HuntTXhogs Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 05/04/10
Posts: 2972
Loc: North Ft Worth
Having talked to the Inventor of digital night vision at the SHoT show this year I was surprised to find out that the Digital used in Apache helos would be sky high cost wise if attempted to be brought to the consumer market.

A year ago it seemed possibly viable however the technology remains untapped for the general users and the Mil uses a plethora of thermal and I^2 so it isn't to be inferred that they are replacing these technologies with digital.

Interesting list of opinions

What do you have to backup #2? The testing protocols between I^2 and digital are not compatible and I've seen good CCD systems (with highres) on low quality near eye displays that degrade the image.

#3 - digital has inherent latency so from an awareness standpoint it probably isn't as good as I^2 for walking or driving with and it can't see a coyote behind a mesquite bush like thermal can.

#5 is just flat out incorrect - no quantifiable data to support thermal being worse and looking at a screen can't be better than a properly tuned (brightness/contrast) near eye display like in commercial off the shelf units.

#6 - ID is thermals weakest feature but the ability to Detect is much better than digital.

The rest of your list is pretty much just about your form of digital product and not commerical off the shelf units.

I'm sure not all my opinions are foolproof however what I know to be true is having a combination of thermal and either digital or I^2 is the best approach for hunting applications.

Note: I figure you'll consider you product a commerical unit however I think of it as a DIY (do it yourself) kit that has been assembled and tested for an end user (buyer). This isn't meant to be derogatory it just clairifes that I see the two implementations of digital as completely separate choices with few similarities.

HTXH

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#5583437 - 02/04/15 11:45 PM Re: Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies [Re: HuntTXhogs]
DigitalFOV Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/26/15
Posts: 272
Loc: Georgia
The digital night vision in the Apache might be sky high for the consumer market but you don’t need that level of digital to hunt. We use digital IR night vision components with 800 TVL (television lines) and 1000 TVL of resolution which is plenty for a sports hunter. We include a long range 850nm IR illuminator that makes all the difference in range and clearity.

First off, I don’t sell military spec equipment and not interested in that market at this time. My goal is to produce an affordable digital night vision device for hunters in the $400 to $700 price range. It is made in Stone Mountain, Ga and serviced here.

The military is going away from analog (thermal and I2), they have to have something that integrates into everything else that’s digital. Apache is just one example.


#2? Low quality components can degrade any digital system. High quality digital is a moving target getting better and cheaper every few months, just like computers and TVs. We use 480x234 pix displays which are fine for hunters and inexpensive to replace if they break them.

#3 –“ digital has inherent latency so from an awareness standpoint it probably isn't as good as I^2 for walking or driving with and it can't see a coyote behind a mesquite bush like thermal can.”

My system has as much latency as a video camera, none that is visible with a human eye. You could not use digital in Apache copters if latency were an issue. Digital can’t see through bushes but thermal can’t see through a truck window either.

#5 This is my opinion from my experience.

#6 – “ID is thermals weakest feature but the ability to Detect is much better than digital.”

I agree with you.

“The rest of your list is pretty much just about your form of digital product and not commerical off the shelf units.”

Digital Crosshairs is unique, not off any Bass Pro shelf yet and just sold over the internet. It is not for everyone but does provide GEN 2 or better quality at a fraction of the cost. I get very few returns.

We are a start-up and all of our products are hand crafted in the U.S. with good components. If you would like to imply that is DIY, is sound very negative to me. You don’t have to be a mass produced product to be a good one. You don’t have to be an expensive military spec scope adapter to be a well made affordable unit for hunters.
_________________________


DigitalFOV

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#5583495 - 02/05/15 05:36 AM Re: Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies [Re: DigitalFOV]
HuntTXhogs Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 05/04/10
Posts: 2972
Loc: North Ft Worth
I agree that Digital has a huge upside to it in terms of integration and performance and that the rate of improvement and lower cost is going to get a good many people hunting at night who weren't in the sport before.

You opened this thread and in your initial post you mention Digital's implementation into the Apache helicopter. Elsewhere you've posted the same information and I just want to be clear that your digital is not the same as their digital. An analogy would be that a common guy like me is the same as Carl Lewis I mean sure "genetically" speaking we are both human but performance wise we are nothing alike. Not even in the same realm. So technically speaking there is no amount of money that can be thrown into any commercial Digital product to attain the performance the military is getting from their Digital system.

You've stated this to be your opinions and I get that but for the new users I think it is fair to lay it out there that the technology is just getting a foothold in terms of civilian hunting applications and not to expect lofty performance from low cost systems.

One thing I'd like some clarification on with your system is the forward mounting of the dayscope, what effect does this have on accuracy of the weapon/scope system when you have one mount on the receiver and one mount on the handguard or both mounts on the handguard? Recoil is bound to have a more dramatic effect on zero retention for items mounted on a handguard and not to a receiver base.



Edited by HuntTXhogs (02/05/15 05:37 AM)

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#5583523 - 02/05/15 06:32 AM Re: Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies [Re: DigitalFOV]
Rockfish Dave Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 246
Loc: Texas
First kudos to the OP for taking a chance and please do not take offense to my post.

Just personal experience having built and used a similar setup:

Does this type of setup work?
Yes. Very well (pretty much NV is a game changer), so much so that I have bagged a hog or varmint every outing. The image is very clear and can identify (not shoot) hogs in up to 800 acre fields after shredding but before disking (from the middle of the field). Shortest shot taken was 7 yards (in small clearing in wooded area) and the longest shot was around 120 (in open field). A big benefit is not having to remove my day optics.

Are there better options?
Yes, but at more cost.

What are the drawbacks?
(IMO): The cables and the shear bulk of my setup. Carrying the setup with wires and a big screen is awkward and tiring when walking multiple fields.

Where does that leave me?
I'm mounting my DIY setup on a small monocular (Vortex Recon R/T) for easy scanning from a blind or spotting for shooter and buying a new dedicated NV scope for the rifle. I'll see if this adds value, if not I'll probably just retire mine.
[edited to show DIY on monocular]



Is it a viable entry level setup?

Yes, and as mentioned it can be re purposed if desired. The issues I have may not be an issue to the next person. I cover allot of ground on foot, so a blind hunter may actually prefer this type of setup.


Edited by Rockfish Dave (02/05/15 07:55 PM)
_________________________
"Sheep have two speeds: grazing and stampede."
- Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin

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#5583571 - 02/05/15 07:20 AM Re: Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies [Re: HuntTXhogs]
DigitalFOV Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/26/15
Posts: 272
Loc: Georgia
Regarding the forward scope mount. My design has a patent pending rail mounted LCD monitor for targeting. In some pictures I mount my scope forward on the gun just to show that this is an option with my system.

Some military friends I know suggested this because they can see where the gun scope is targeted without loosing peripheral vision or location awareness. You can target from the hip as well as shoulder. But again, this is not designed to be a military product. It is designed to be fun and effective for hunters and home defense. I have not had any problems shooting with the scope on the front, but this configuration has not been reviewed by a professional marksman which I am not.

_________________________


DigitalFOV

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#5583696 - 02/05/15 08:35 AM Re: Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies [Re: DigitalFOV]
Double Naught Spy Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 05/18/11
Posts: 4182
Loc: Forestburg, Montague Cnty, TX
Quote:
Digital has advanced to the point that the military is putting it on all new Apache copters, not thermal or Gen4.


Quote:
The digital night vision in the Apache might be sky high for the consumer market but you don’t need that level of digital to hunt.


So you 2nd statement here pretty well renders your first statement pretty darned pointless. That the military is using digital in some areas really doesn't matter - especially given that we don't have access to that sort of quality yet.

Quote:
1. High contrast black and white night vision, not green


Well the military likes green. So do many hunters. So if we go by the military standard, it sort of ruins your argument again.

Quote:
2. Better image detail than more expensive intensifier tube or thermal devices


Not necessarily and I would argue that for hunting technology, NOT.

Quote:
3. Better location awareness than thermal because of image detail


Not necessarily.

Quote:
4. Good quality at a lower cost


"Good" is subjective here. Take the blurry furry hamster in the image you promote in your signature.

Quote:
5. Bright thermal requires eyes to re-adjust to darkness after viewing, digital does not


BULL

Quote:
6. Better identification of people and animals with digital IR than heat imaging thermal


Not necessarily.

Quote:
7. IR causes less eye fatigue than thermal


NOPE, not in my experience.

Quote:
8. Digital IR night vision is perfectly silent


And that is why it is on Apache helicopters. roflmao With that said, I can't say that I have heard noise loud enough from my NV or thermal gear that has been loud enough to cause me any problems.

Quote:
9. Digital night vision does not have sensitivity to bright light like I2 tube technology


Thermal doesn't either. However, you can still white out digital with too much light. We have lots of vids here posted that prove this. Mostly the problem comes from reflectivity of the IR illuminators that are currently necessary for most all night hunting situations, something higher end NV usually does not need and something thermal does not need.

Quote:
10. Digital night vision can be adjust for brightness according to your need


So can thermal and some regular NV.

Quote:
11. Digital systems offer various ways to record what you see.


Not all do. Plus, you can do this with some regular NV and with a lot of thermal as well.

Quote:
12. Digital night vision can see through glass windows, thermal can’t


Regular NV can as well. Thermal can see into the brush where digital and regular NV can't. Thermal does not require contrast of the target to see the target well.

Quote:
13. No white out from warm building in cold climate conditions like thermal

True enough, but hunting digital often requires IR illumination to work and whites out from over illumination (see above)

Quote:
14. Digital is generally lighter because it does not need tubes


Really depends on the specific products you are comparing. I notice your lightweight units require a hefty IR illuminator to make them work, which adds weight, bulk, and complexity to the product.

Quote:
15. Digital is an “instant on” product, no boot-up time required for many products.


Most NV doesn't require boot-up time either. Big deal.

Quote:
My design has a patent pending rail mounted LCD monitor for targeting. In some pictures I mount my scope forward on the gun just to show that this is an option with my system.


My digital NV, traditional NV, and thermal doesn't require or need a monster LCD monitor for targeting or to illuminate me and give up my position.


Edited by Double Naught Spy (02/05/15 08:38 AM)
_________________________
Kill a Hog and Save the Planet
My Videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG6la_HDvAobPBTDtj5B-lQ

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#5583820 - 02/05/15 09:36 AM Re: Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies [Re: DigitalFOV]
DigitalFOV Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/26/15
Posts: 272
Loc: Georgia
The fuzzy logo is just a signature logo. You can see an example of the night vision quality out about 75 yards in this video. This is the Digital Crosshairs 800 unit which currently sell for $400 on our website.

Takes 5 minutes to attach to your scope and the whole package including illuminator and battery is about 20oz. The illuminator we provide with the kit is zoomable so you don't get white out on close shots.



If you do not like the monitor then this is not for you, many do. We have thought about offering a smaller monitor but no one has asked for that yet.
_________________________


DigitalFOV

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#5583879 - 02/05/15 10:03 AM Re: Digital IR Night Vision Vs Thermal and I2 Tube Technologies [Re: DigitalFOV]
HuntTXhogs Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 05/04/10
Posts: 2972
Loc: North Ft Worth
No digital unit is immune to white out from IR reflectivity.

You are doing well in not addressing our opinions head on.

Welcome to THF and good luck with your product.

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