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Spy Gear Night Vision Goggles

written by: Claudine Baugh•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 2/14/2011

Night vision goggles are optical instruments that are used to see images clearly at night. High tech NV goggles are equipped with an eyepiece, image intensifier (photocathode) tube, infrared illuminator, telescope lens, power supply, protective (water resistant) casing and a mounting structure.

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    How Night Vision Goggles Work

    When using spy gear night vision goggles, existing night ambient light such as the moonlight, starlight and infrared light are refracted byblack binocular  the front lens of the device then directed into the photocathode tube that changes protons in the light to electrons. This process amplifies the electron to a much greater number. A phosphorus screen then changes the amplified electrons back into visible light, which then becomes visible through the eyepiece. This makes images appear clearer, green- hued and amplified.

    In completely dark environments where there is absolutely no ambient light the night vision goggles would be useless without the built-in infrared illuminator. The infrared illuminator sends out an invisible beam of infrared light that the night vision goggles detect then transforms into visible light.

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    Types of Night Vision Goggles

    To breakdown the different types of night vision goggles is quite straightforward. However, to assess all the various models, versions and brands is incredibly extensive. Basically there are two general designs of spy night vision goggles- Monocular and Binocular. Monocular is a single eye goggle and Binocular has dual eye viewing.

    In terms of performance regarding optical clarity, visual quality, target detection and technical ability we differentiate between devices by a categorization referred to as ‘generation’. Night vision device generation advances from 1 to 4 with 4 being the most sophisticated technology.

    Generation 1 technology is very popular, it will amplify existing light several thousand times so users can see objects brighter and sharper in dark conditions. These units can view objects as far as 75 yards in pitch-dark conditions and much further in ambient conditions at a low cost.

    Generation 2 technology is a modified version of the generation 1 device with the addition of a micro channel plate (MCP). The MCP produces many more thousands of electrons thus amplifying light many more times than the generation1 giving you brighter and sharper imagery. In pitch dark conditions objects can be seen 100 yards away and much further when there is ambient light.

    Generation 3 technology is more advanced with the addition of a gallium arsenide layer to the photocathode tube. This produces brighter and sharper images. These devices can see up to 150 yards away in pitch-dark conditions and further with ambient lighting.

    Generation 4 technology is the most advanced form, succeeding all other generations of night vision optics available. Its capabilities are improved by the subtraction of the ion film barrier and gating the system. Its overall visibility and target detection is considerably higher and puts it at the top of the tactical night vision market. In pitch-black conditions it typically reaches a distance of 200 yards or further, with considerable ambient lighting it can provide visibility of up to 1000 yards or more depending on the environment.

    Continue to page 2 for our list of the top night vision goggles.

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    Top Spy Gear Night Vision Goggles include the Night Vision Stealth View Monocular Goggle, Night Scout Night Vision Goggle, Night Vision Goggle 7 (NVG 7), The Viper 1 and Night Optics D-112MG Goggle. Incredible optic capabilities for multi purpose night vision tasks.
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    Night Vision Stealth View Monocular Goggle

    We begin our list with the night vision stealth view monocular goggle.This phenomenal device uses generation 2 and 3 optics to highlight images with a powerful infrared spotlight. In extreme darkness and at long ranges, this scope produces a view that is sharp and exceptionally clear. This optical device is known for turning night into day with its advanced light-gathering technology.

    Additional features includemoncular scope 

    • 5x magnification viewing
    • Two infrared illuminators
    • Automatic illuminator when the device is ON
    • Images comparable to Gen 2 & Gen 3
    • Image-intensifier tube
    • In-view micro display
    • Adjustable eyepiece
    • Powerful infrared spotlight
    • 600-feet viewing range
    • Weather resistant
    • Video output
    • Built-in tripod mount
    • 2-hour continuous run time w/ IR on and 8 hours without IR

    Recommended Brand - Bushnell Night Vision 5x42 Stealth View Monocular 260542

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    Night Scout Night Vision Goggle

    Night scout NV goggles provides optimum clarity and distance with its high-resolution 1st generation intensifier tube, this produces exceptional light amplification and provides up to 5x magnification with its heavily coated glass lens. It has sensors with a computerized proximity detector that turns the unit on when in use and off when it is not.

    Additional feature include

    • Long-range infrared illuminator
    • Water and fog-resistant
    • Head-mounted, hands-free night vision system
    • Infrared intensifier for vision in zero light
    • Super-clear 90mm glass lenses

    Recommended Brand - ATN Night Scout Goggle

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    Night Vision Goggle 7 (NVG 7)

    This night vision goggle comes with built-in high-grade 18 mm generation 2 and 3 image intensifier tube and utilizes an attractivebinocular design. It has a built-in infrared light source for close-up illumination in complete darkness.

    Additional features include

    • Lightweight, compact rugged goggle system nvg7 
    • Hand-held, head-mounted or helmet-mounted
    • Comfortable, flip-up headgear
    • Multi-coated all-glass optics
    • Wide angle infrared illuminator
    • Attachable 3x, 5x and 8x lenses
    • Weather and fog resistant

    Recommended Brand - ATN NVG7- CGT

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    The Viper 1

    The Viper 1 can be used with a Camera/Camcorder Adapter, 90mm Lens, and Magnification Doubler.

    Additional features include -

    • Hands free night vision
    • Can be attached to a camera for nighttime photography
    • High-resolution
    • Adjustable Lens technology
    • 1x, 4x, 8x Magnification
    • Light weight
    • Battery requirement -1 lithium battery

    Recommended Brand - ATN Viper Night Vision Goggle

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    The Night Optics D-112MG Goggle

    This monocular goggle is equipped with a built-in photocell that guards the unit against bright light exposure.

    Additional features include -

    • Multi-coated 1x 40° standard lensnight vision goggle 11 
    • Flip-up headgear
    • Light -weight
    • Durable package
    • 3x lens
    • Camera/Camcorder Adapter
    • Battery Requirement - 3v CR123 battery

    Recommended Brand - Night Optic D-112 MG Goggle

    Continue to page 3 for more great night vision equipment like binocular goggles, rifle scopes, and more.

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    Top spy gear night vision goggles continued, These include the PVS7-CGT Night Vision Binocular Goggle, Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope and the Digital Night Vision Ranger Monocular Goggle. Amazing features for military purposes to recreational hunting activities, easy to use and dynamic capabilities.
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    PVS7-CGT Night Vision Binocular Goggle

    The PVS7-CGT is a robust and dependable night vision binocular with all-glass optics and a high quality 2nd generation light intensification system. It is less dependent upon ambient light and as such produces clearer images with less distortion. The binocular configuration offers a greater sense of depth perception; this results in an enhanced sense of dimension within the scene, and longer term viewing comfort.

    Additional feature include -

    • Water and fog proof housing
    • Hands Free Operation
    • Resolution: 40-50 lp/mm

    Recommended Brand - Night Vision Binocular Goggle

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    Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

    This device has a built-in infrared illuminator to supplement low light conditions. The riflescope optic system employs an internal click stop focus position mechanism. Images are clear at extremely short distances and the quality is optimized at longer distances within the working range of the night scope.

    Additional features include

    • Windage and elevation adjustable switchriflescope 
    • Weaver scope mount rail (7/8")
    • Activator switch for built-in infrared illuminator
    • Brightness adjustment wheel
    • Inversion button converts color images to black to white.
    • External video socket for video recording and or playback
    • A mini-USB slot to connect personal computer
    • Durable
    • Magnifies 4.5 times
    • Video in/out port

    Recommended Brand - Digital Night Vision Rifle Scope

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    Digital Night Vision Ranger Monocular Goggle

    The night vision ranger provides clarity of the generation two’s powerful optic magnification. It has one of the most powerful infrared illuminators ever released on the commercial market and has the capability to hook up to a television or monitor for an incredible observation experience. With its dual built-in stealth invisible infrared illuminators, it offers higher magnification and provides superb details.

    Additional features include

    • Resolution of 40 lp/mm, w
    • Comparable Gen 2 and Gen 3 night vision devicesyukon 
    • 5x magnification
    • Day & night operation
    • Dual stealth invisible IR system
    • Image projects onto internal LCD screen
    • Enhanced multi-coated lenses
    • Extra long distance viewing, effective over 300 yards
    • Direct video recording output
    • Punch button On/Off with IR brightness adjustments
    • Contrast adjustment control
    • Fine focus knob
    • Long range focus adjustment
    • Image brightness and clarity- comparable with Gen. 2 optics
    • Built-in 1/4-Inch tripod socket
    • High-strength body
    • Compact and lightweight

    Recommended Brand - Yukon Digital Night Vision Ranger 5x42 Monocular 28041

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    Night Vision Gears -

    NVG7 Monocular Goggle

    Night Vision Optics -

    Night Vision Goggles -

    Image Credit -